25 April 2010

Dark Lord Day 2010

"This one goes out to the working man! The working men and women of America! Of Canada! Of Mexico! Of Japan and Australia and Iraq and England and Egypt... THIS ONE GOES OUT TO THE WORLD!"

Dark Lord Day 2010 Crowd (6:30 AM)

Watching Dark Lord Day musical guest Sybaris, I couldn't help but note how right bassist Shawn Podgurski's dedication was. This year's Dark Lord crowd was the most traveled yet, with folks coming from all over the world to experience the madness.

Dark Lord Day 2010 Crowd Panorama (9 AM)
Click for a larger version

That crowd was obviously bigger this year. Less than five years ago, Nick Floyd was personally handing out bottles of Dark Lord from the top of a pile of wooden pallets. But the event is now an octopus, with tentacle-like lines wrapping this way and that, threatening to lay waste to anything in their wake.

Dark Lord Day 2010 Crowd Panorama (11 AM)
More Impressive
Click for a larger version

It should be interesting to see what sort of feedback crops up in the next week; while last year's event seemed to eliminate most problems of the year before, the same systems may have been crushed by the crowd this year. Last year's line ran one way; this year's line ran both, with a merging in the middle. Earlier birds were given the opportunity to buy four bottles for each golden ticket, but somewhere near 3 PM the four bottle limit became three.

Golden ticket lines stretched out of site of the brewery

None of this is to say that there weren't improvements for this year's event. The guest taps moved out of the brewery space into the parking lot, allowing everyone to access them better (perhaps at the detriment of the golden ticket line). There were more people sharing beer, which is always a good thing.

Creative outlets for brewery enthusiasm

The staff was equally enthusiastic.

On a personal note, we joined the line at 8AM and had our beer about and hour and a half after the doors opened a little after 11AM. We then set up shop about a block to the left of the brewery, with a tent and a table full of bottles for sharing. We rolled out our dueling bacon beer growlers and quickly attracted an audience with the help of a our collective twitter accounts.

Despite the fact that we were wearing shirts with the words "Dork Lord" on them, we were easily outdone by this pair. Nice shinguards, Captain Evil. I'm not sure what your buddy is supposed to be, but he's really doing a good job at it.

And a job. I need a miracle and a job.

One thing that left us confused was the reaction of some of the crowd to our efforts. We were regularly asked if we were selling or trading. When we told folks that everything was free for the sharing, many walked off. We're not sure what to think of that.

Take some of our beer! Seriously! Rod isn't that scary. Is he?

I may have figured out why our sharing table wasn't as successful as we had hoped.

In any case, the day seemed to be a success for all around - a giant smiling crowd, a bonanza of rare beer for sharing, great music, guest beer, good food, and very little in the way of unruly behavior. Much respect is due to the folks at Three Floyds for their efforts. We'll be back next year.

A hearty crowd awaited us at every turn.

What we're all here for.

So how about you? Did you make it up? Leave a comment, and tell us how your day went.

Want to compare this year's Dark Lord Day to the previous two years?
Click here for our 2009 coverage
Click here for our 2008 coverage


  1. Hey I thought we were done with Winterfest bathroom comments!

  2. This is the second year I've followed the event via Twitter, maybe I'll make it out for the real deal one of these years, seems like a lot of fun. Cheers!

  3. I definately enjoyed myself at my first DLD. At the risk of sounding like a hippie I must say the energy of the whole event was amazing. Everyone was in good spirits, welcoming and being generous with one another, and considering the collective amount of alchohol consumed combined with the general sausage-fest-ness of the crowd the testosterone didn't get the best of most people. I'm glad the bacon beer made another apearance and I even got to try some Pliney the Elder while hanging around your table! I can't say I recommend Dark Lord Day to everyone but I can say that I had a great time and plan on going back next year.

  4. I would have stopped by and said hi, but my van broke down 15 miles from the event and I spent the day with my head buried under the hood in the parking lot of Car Quest.

    $300 and 7 hours later, I did get it fixed and spent an hour at DLD before I had to drive back to Ohio. Still, the hour I had there was fantastic.

  5. Those panoramics you did were awesome, Mike. I really enjoyed meeting tons of new people at this year's DLD and I thought the sharing table worked out really well. Still bummed we didn't make it through all the beer we brought, but we were definitely over-ambitious in that department.

  6. great pictures! Wish I had been there.

  7. Nate, I'm glad you chose CarQuest as your auto part store, my dad owned one once upon a time, and I worked at a CarQuest warehouse all through college.

    Sorry to hear about the van problems, but good to hear you did finally make it over. Better luck next year.

  8. We really enjoyed our first DLD. Got to meet a lot of cool people and try some new beers. What a turnout, whoa!! Only regret was not getting a hotel Saturday night and driving all the way back to Omaha arriving at midnight! Don't really remember the first half of the drive thanks to the samples of DL and other yummy beers! Definitely reserving a hotel for two nights next year!

  9. The 3 of us that attended was our first taste of Dark Lord. We got there at 6:20am and are the 3 amateurs sitting with no beer or food on the left of the first picture! We had a awesome time. The people were great as they shared beer with us, though we had none to share back. Tried all kinds of new beer we'd never heard of! Can't wait until next year! We'll be well prepared!

  10. I just found your blog. I was at DLD this year, and I felt like the sharing tables really sucked. In previous years, folks dropped a bottle on the table (a kind of admission cost)and then helped themselves to whatever. This year people were just sitting around, hording their stash or something, not cool. However, there was ALOT more sharing in the lines this year, and that was pretty aweseome, especially from the homebrew guys. Another DLD in the books!

  11. Great article, as always.

    My comment verification word is "kentrum." What is kentrum? Does the word verification count if it really is not a word?

  12. My friend Don and I were amazed how much DLD had grown from last year. The diversity of the crow (as far as city of origin is concerned) was really rad. Met a cool couple from Wisconsin that were kind enough to toss some Surly Furious my way, also came out with a bottle of Pliny the Younger. Ended up with 6 bottles of DL, not bad since I didn't have a golden ticket when I got there.