30 April 2012

Dark Lord Day 2012 Recap

Heading up to Munster for our fifth Dark Lord day, there weren't the list of questions that normally float around the event. Or maybe those questions did still exist, but we've learned to just go with it.

The previous large Three Floyds event - their 15th anniversary party - wasn't without its problems; on the inside things went smoothly, but there were some folks who didn't make their way through the gates until much later than they had expected. But despite what some folks might believe, the 3F staff does pay attention, and they do work hard at making their events as good as possible.

With that in mind I expected a nearly flawless event, and Three Floyds delivered.

The HBG crew arrived later than normal this year - with the addition of per-ordained time slots, there's really not much reason to get there too early (though one gentleman set up shop at 3am). Although we were deep in the line, we knew what to expect, and things moved pretty quickly once the doors were opened. I was also well on my way at that point, thanks to our cooler bag and the help of the folks near us in line.

Sometimes you pose in a scarf.

In previous years we did our best to cover all aspects of the event. This year we enjoyed ourselves, setting up camp on a northeast corner picnic table with a group of folks who closely associate with STLHops - good folks to spend a day drinking with. My phone died very early into the event, so photographic coverage ceased. In any case, it won't be long until you can find multiple "line videos" on youtube, as we were passed by folks videoing the event nearly every 10 minutes.

Towards the end of our day our table was crowded by the Group C line, with folks trying to buy our beer, or trade line tickets for bottles, and things got a bit uncomfortable - our cue to go watch High on Fire. We took in a few songs, and headed back to our parking lot and a park bench to talk over the day. A good day, as expected.

Line beer two, I think. Line highlights included Firestone Walker's Sucaba.

Overall I thought the event was great. Lines were ridiculous as always, but I thought moving the picnic tables out of the middle and cycling the guest taps more frequently by offering less at a time were big improvements. It was also nice that they had 12+ 3 Floyds beers on at the other stations, instead of just the 4 standards.

""That's got 12.5% alcohol? That's a hell of a pizza!"
Cleanup efforts began much earlier this year, as roving groups of folks picked up empty bottles while many were still in line.

I was expecting the worst on Saturday and was surprised by how well it went. Lines are lines, so be it, but they were a helluvalot better organized than last year. No chairs and no big coolers meant more room for everybody. I liked how they handled guest taps too. At the end, they put Firestone Walker Sucaba on tap. Damn good shit. If they had put a lot more on tap at once, then all the good stuff would have been gone early. The amount of 3F beer was great too. They could use portalets in the carryout purchase line and around the industrial park for pre-entry waiting. But otherwise, I have nothing bad to say other than I didn't win. But that's just $50 I didn't have to spend.

It was very cold standing in line, but as the day went on things got more reasonable. These folks lowered the tent to get out of the wind.

As a dld virgin, I loved it. I don't have anything to compare it to, obviously, but things seemed to run pretty smoothly. My only suggestions would be more trash cans lining the entry route - makes people more likely to actually throw their trash away; adding some water stations around the place; some portalets outside on the entry route; and adding a little more seating. But that said, not having those things didn't cause any real problems. The beer selection was great, though between what I brought and what people were sharing, I actually only bought 3 beers.


  1. It sounds like DLD is now akin to a large exterior liquor store with huge lines. At least they give you some entertainment while you're waiting...is there anything else to do now that all of the fun stuff was banned?

    All right, enough with the snide remarks. I'm just glad I made it to the first few tailgate style events before it became too large to handle :) Those were good times!

  2. This was my 4th DLD and i thought it was by far the best organized. You guys hit on most of the improvements. The only thing I'd add is that upping the lottery allotment was a big crows pleaser as well (not to mention hugely profitable, i'd imagine).

    My biggest complaint is that they need to start carding and tagging people in line before they hit the gates. They do this at the Indiana Brewers Guild events and it works fantastically to expedite entry.

    Overall there was much less chaos and we were able to focus more on enjoying the day with other enthusiastic beer fans. Bravo, FFF.