26 April 2008

DarkLord Day 2008

We went, we saw, we spent a lot of money.

While I haven't heard a head count for the 2008 DarkLord Day at Three Floyds, I do know there were more people than last year. I know that the beer went on sale at 11 AM and ran out at around 4 to 4:30 PM. I know that some folks went home uphappy when they realized they had spent five hours in line to acquire nothing.

Let's talk about that line... This is what the front looked like at about 11:30.

In this image you'll see what the front of the brewpub looks like - note the water tower in the upper right corner.

In this picture you'll see where the line curved around and went back on itself. For an idea of how far away from the brewpub that is, check out the water tower again.

And this is the end of the line at 1:30. The last guy in line had just arrived.

Or like this:

For Gina and I, who arrived at Three Floyds at 8 AM and got into line, the day was an overwhelming success. We were lucky enough to secure 12 bottles, sample the Oak Aged Dark Lord (which might be the best beer I've ever had, and I'm not really that big a fan of Dark Lord...), and meet and drink with a ton of good folks.

So how about you? Did you make it up? Leave a comment, and tell us how your day went. And if you weren't fortunate enough to make it up to Munster, stick around.

Hoosier Beer Geek will be giving some away in the future.

DarkLord Day Follow-up from HBG Friends: Matt's Beer Blog, DIG-B, Indiana Beer, StlHops


  1. I've heard of long lines for gasoline before but lordy a line that long for beer?!?!? I guess those people have their priorities straight. :)

  2. That line was absurd!

    If they ran out around 4 or 4:30, I bet that anybody not in line by about 10am didn't get any. We got there at 9. When they opened and the line compressed at 11, we ended up right at the first bend in the line at the entrance to the parking lot. It still took us 2 hours and 10 minutes to get the beer! Good thing they had the Oak Aged Dark Lord to sustain us.

    Sorry we didn't stop by to say hi after we got through the line. By the time we got our beer and hauled it all the way back to our car, we just decided to take off.

  3. Thank you both for saving us in line. I was looking for you both again. Mike opened up some more delicious homebrew and Ric opened up plenty of O'Fallon. It was awesome. I can't wait to try the Pappy Van winkle that Mike gave us both.

    I will get my pics up soon.

    I didn't get to try the VB darklord, but the regular barrel aged DL was out of the world. I will agree with your sentiment.

  4. The Good Beer Show secured 30 bottles (four of us) + some KBS trading. I had the VB DL and some stellar beer from Firestone Walker. My Dreadnaught was yeasty and cloudy but still super. We split to Flossmore station as soon as we could. Don't know if I will be back for that circus on DLD.

  5. Oh yeah, great article. I like toeh overhead map.

  6. Holy crap, Matt. You got some Paddy Van Winkle? Just call be Hoosier Bourbon Geek. Mmmm.

  7. Jason, I got some too. I was just standing there and Mike from Stlhops.com handed me a bottle. I think I owe him.

    It'll be part of our Dark Lord Day Haul Roundtable.

    Drinking a Dark Lord right now...

  8. After I got through the line we opened a bottle of the Barrel Aged Smoke from O'Fallon and I thought it was amazing. I can't wait to try the Pappy. I am going to feel bad for opening it. It comes all wrapped up in cellophane that is hand numbered and hand bottled with a little card inside of it.

  9. We are talking the Pappy Van Winkle the bourbon? If so, than holy shit, screw the Dark Lord, I want some Pappy!

  10. Mike just corrected me that you all are not talking about Pappy Van Winkle's the expensive and beautiful bourbon, but instead O'Fallon's Pappy Van Winkle Smoked Porter, which I am sure is very good.

    But the bourbon fan in me is crying right now...

  11. Already the stupidity has started - check out Three Floyds Dark Lord on Ebay.

    I realize Dark Lord is a limited beer. I realize that people stand in line for five hours to get some. I understand that's it's a RateBeer 100.

    What I don't understand is how anyone would pay $85 for a bottle.

    Obviously whoever's that stupid (and I do mean stupid) hasn't had it before. $85? After drinking a bottle tonight, I wouldn't pay $10 for a pint if it was on the menu at Badaboomz.

    Now the barrel-aged I had Saturday? I might pay $30 for a bottle of that...

  12. actually, when i got in the line at 11, it was back in that darker parking lot, just south of FFF. 41.534867, -87.516147
    only adds about 150 more feet to your picture, so about an hour more to the wait, haha. it really was that slow of a line. 5 hours for me in line and no DL.

  13. DLD '08, what to say...

    Arriving a little later than we (my friend Daive and I) wanted to, I was shocked to see a line already formed down the street. In '07, there wasn't a line formed until they opened the warehouse doors at 11am. So we decided to head to the tasting tables to share and make merry, because that's what really makes DLD a good time. Nearing 11, some people started lining up to the Brewpub, so we jumped in on that and got seated right away. I got a glass of the BA DL and my friend got the Vanilla Bean DL. WOW! The BA was insane! Quite possibly the best beer I've ever had. The VB was also Amazing. I tried bribing the waitress to fill up an empty growler for me, but she wouldn't budge... *sigh* I also had FFF's DECIMATOR DOUBLEBOCK, which was very tasty and insanely drinkable at 9.5 ABV.

    So after hanging in the Brewpub for about an hour, we went back out to the tasting tables and enjoyed several fine brews while chatting with a bunch of the BA/RateBeer guys. My ankle was killing me(recently broken), so unfortunately I couldn't stand around much, which meant there was no way I could stand in line. The plan was to wait until the line died down and get our bottles later in the day (which was what happened the previous year). We also knew that FFF brewed like 30% more this year, so no big deal, right? There's no way they're going to sell out? Well sure enough around 4:30 or so, FFF's were sold out of Dark Lord... Don't feel sorry for us though, we got our 6 Dark Lords. Let's just say it pays to have friends who know Nick Flyod.

    Despite FFF's DLD '08 improvements (many which were null/void due to the increased crowd size this year), they have a lot to think about next year. They really need to get even more organized and I still think they need to implement some sort of pre-sell ticket/wristband system. This could alleviate a lot of the line issues and possibly eliminate some of the unwanted individuals (eBay scalpers, frat boy stereotypes, etc...).

    All in all though it was a fun time and a perfect way to cap off our brewery tour of Western Michigan.

  14. There seems to be a lot of hostility to the ebay element here. I can understand being angry at people that stand in line only to sell off every single bottle they get for profit.

    But for others, I don't see selling a bottle or two as something that's really that bad. First of all, it makes it possible for people that live nowhere near FFF to get the beer. And second, it's a sort of compensation to the people that do make the effort to get to FFF and get up early in the morning to stand for hours on end to get the beer.

    Obviously, asking $85-90 is a little ridiculous. That said, someone actually DID pay that much, just a little more than 24 hours after DLD. The beer is worth what people will pay...

  15. Yeah, I can see both sides of the argument, really, but I still think $85 for a bottle is stupid - and definitely worth noting.

    It's easy to read an online beer forum and come away with the impression that the Ebay thing is a major "problem".

    Reposted from a comment I made on Appellation Beer:

    Having spent most the day there, I think the ebay thing is being over-reported… I mean, just look at how many bottles are on ebay versus how many people showed up - it’s a pretty tiny ratio.

    We had a good enough time that next year I’d consider going, forgetting about buying the beer, and just to drink for the day. The barrel aged stuff they were selling was almost worth the trip by itself, and I had so many people offer me beer…

    My guess is the only people that went home unhappy showed up way late. You wouldn’t show up late to buy Tickle Me Elmo for Christmas, would you? A little common sense goes a long way.

  16. Also, in retrospect, I regret our decision to not stay in the area Saturday night. That necessitated one of us DDing, which basically meant we all kept the drinking to a minimum. We did get the barrel-aged DL and the Flossmoor Pretty Big IPA (de-fucking-licious) in addition to our allotment of DL, so the trip was still worth it.

    Next year, we're staying in the area Saturday night and bringing chairs and a full cooler.

  17. Well put Mike, but I think Ebay is a very bad thing. People will hoard the beer all year long and will put them up one by one.

    They sell Angel's Share, Darkness, Kate the Great, Westy 12's, 8's, and 6's on there for huge profits that doesn't benefit your local craft brewery. (not that FFF's needs anymore after the assumed take on Saturday)

    I just don't think it promotes good beer karma. I trade alot, so I guess that is where some of my frustration comes in as well.

  18. I didn't get any Dark Lord but I did get a freakn' rug! Why the hell did they print on rugs?

  19. I'm so sad...I viewed your original Dark Lord Day post and invited friends, arranged a caravan, secured a babysitter for LAST weekend.

    Thank goodness I checked right before we left LAST weekend! Sadly, we could not find child care for this weekend and thus had to cancel the trip.

    Glad you guys snagged some great beer- drink one for me!

  20. we didn't get any bottled dark lord. our crew got there around 9:15 and set up in the lot. we got into the pub right when it opened and got seated right away. we tried the oak aged, vanilla oak aged, straight up dark lord, the decimator, and a few others with an early lunch. when we left the pub the line was a good 200 deep to get in there so i guess we beat the rush. at that point the dark lord line was ridiculous so i figured i'd just wait until it died down and swoop in for a few bottles, which is what i did last year. around 3:30 i took the car back to the hotel and when i returned at 4:30 they were sold out. i was dissapointed, but not overly so. we gave away a bunch of homebrew to people in line and stuck around to see some bands. mucca pazza was a riot.

    i guess the reason i went was to just sort of tailgate and hang out, and we accomplished that, so it was a weekend well spent.

    as for the ebay thing, i have no problem with that. 3F brews darklord at least partly as a promotional gimmick to pack the house and sell their other offerings, so people reselling on ebay to others willing to cough up some fat cash is okay in my book. hey, if these people are putting the time in and waiting in line they can do with the bottles whatever they want.

  21. I went, I saw, I sampled. But I also didn't get to buy any bottled DL. I was pretty bummed, but not really surprised, as we didn't show up until about 4:20 :)

    "Hoosier Beer Geek will be giving some away in the near future."

    WHEN!? HOW!? WHERE!?

  22. Sorry about the confusion KNH - I guess I should say it pays to subscribe or visit regularly, as we updated the information on the original post, on a second post and again last week. I tried to make is as clear as possible that the first post was just unconfirmed rumors; it's unfortunate that it didn't turn out for you. At least you double-checked in time. But bummer anyway.

    We're still figuring out how and if we can give away any beer - there may be legal issues involved, I guess... which I think is stupid. Anyway... we'll let you know when we sort it out.

  23. Sounds like a lot of fun, maybe we'll make it out next year. I would say personally I would enjoy having DL on tap, as well as the variations and all of the other rare stuff people bring in. Bringing home a bottle (or 4) is just icing on the cake. Although I could easily see how waiting in line all day to end up with nothing would be frustrating.

  24. MECA Brewers Mike Pearson and myself (Jim Matt) waited in line for 5 hours...and guess what? Even the people right in front of us were able to purchase 6 bottles per person...the 3F person put his hand up when we were next in line, and said, "wait!" We were then allowed to buy 1 bottle per person. I'm happy to have been able to do that, but our good buddy Steve paired up with a group just in front of us who did not purchase their entire allotment. Steve procured 14 bottles total between him and his girlfriend, and he very generously allowed us to spilt it all evenly. Your good beer Karma will coem around again, Steve. And to the individuals cutting in line endlessly during the day: may your own beer karma come back and bite you in the a$$! :)

    At least the "experience" was interesting and entertaining...

  25. Jim (Matt)

    I am looking to get really serious about my homebrew and move from extract to all-grain. How do I join MECA (or if I even can) to help me take that next step?

  26. Matt, contact me privately,

    jemthebrewer at the yahoo

  27. Jim,

    It's funny how my trolling at work made me find your comment. I should have kept the extra bottles though, I already made a mint sharing it with the local high schoolers. (Now that would be a tragedy).

    Splitting all the bottles was never a question in my mind.

    We'll need to get together later in the year and taste it with some Founders KBS and Goose Island BCS side by side.

    I did a writeup on my webpage if anyone cares: link.