DLD Details

I can’t see a place to buy on the Three Floyds site, but the details of Dark Lord Day 2010 Golden Tickets (from the site…the times I’ve gotten it to come up) are below:
1.) Golden Tickets are only required for the purchase of Dark Lord bottles. All other aspects of DLD 2010 will work just as they have in the past – the event is free to attend and you’ll have access to great bands, great fun, other Three Floyds bottled beer, beer by the glass from Three Floyds as well as our guest breweries, and great food for purchase.

2.) Each ticket guarantees the holder the opportunity to buy a set allotment of bottles of Dark Lord. This exact number has not yet been locked down due to the fact that we won’t know our exact Dark Lord yields until closer to the day of the event – April 24th.

3.) Each ticket also comes with a tasting portion of Dark Lord.

4.) Proceeds of ticket sales will benefit the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago

5.) We reserve the right to reject the sale of tickets or the redemption of tickets for any reason – basically you should be be responsible, considerate, and fair with the handling of your tickets.

6.) Each ticket is $10 each and there is a limit of two tickets per person, and four tickets per household.

7.) Ticket sales will be manually and automatically filtered after the sale to identify individuals attempting to “game” the system. If we feel that someone has done so we will refund their money and they will not receive Golden Tickets.

We once again hope that this Golden Ticket System will help make Dark Lord Day 2010 the best DLD yet, and we look forward to seeing you on April 24th at Dark Lord Day 2010!


Pilgramage to Dark Lord Day 2009

After the fiasco of last year, I considered not attending the 2009 event, but it feels like with the new “golden ticket” program, Three Floyds may have a handle on the event today. Except that it’s pushing 7 AM Central, and they haven’t posted how many bottles a ticket holder can purchase yet – cash only, $15 – I’m thinking the ATM lines are going to be the ones to worry about this year!

I’m (voluntarily) stuck in Philadelphia, so I missed out on the pre-DLD festivities, but the text messages and Facebook updates sounded like everyone is having a great time.

Can’t wait to be there!

Destination Madison – Already Behind

It’s only day 2, and I just can’t keep up.  Drink beer or blog – those are my choices, and I choose beer.

So for those who care, let me just tell you where we’ve been, and not elaborate on how much tremendous fun we are having (or how horrible the traffic has been.)  We are heading into Madison tonight, but our day went something like this:

  • Liquor Stop distributor in Highland, IN was our first stop for bottles of Three Floyd’s and other things we can’t get in PA (I also got a good deal on Chateau St. Jean CabSav – 2003)
  • Piece in Chicago for awesome (AWESOME!) beer and pizza
  • Lakefront in Milwaukee for a tour and tasting (where I got to be “Shirley” (of Laverne and…), and we got lots of free beer and a pint glass!); you can take your own tour at their site
  • and now we are sitting at Tyranena, using the wi-fi and enjoying Scurvy IPA

Tonight we will end up in Madison, where there are many, many special release parties all over town, 105 breweries represented at the festival tomorrow, and more parties in town again tomorrow night.  Hooray for a town with fabulous public transportation!

I’ll write when I can, but don’t hold your breath!

Officer Sassy and the Dark Lord

I’m not going to waste my time and energy posting negative thoughts on Dark Lord Day 2008 – I certainly had some, but plenty of people have posted the whiny thoughts and I’ll be happy to point you there (see this post, which will link you to griping on the forums.) I can’t disagree with most of it, but I also can’t see dwelling on it. Besides – don’t I look happy?

Waiting for Dark Lord  That’s not a photo of drunk – that’s exhilaration (many thanks to Ev for the costume inspiration…after the hat exchange, my companions started calling me Officer Sassy. With a Troeg’s work shirt, a little bedazzling and a Marshall’s badge from Dark Horse, I was set!)

Overall, I had a FABULOUS time! I traveled with fun people, we stopped at some great breweries along the way out and back, and it was my pleasure to catch up with fellow beer enthusiasts in the parking lot of Three Floyd’s. It started out as a chilly day (or, as I pointed out, cellar temperature), and I was thrilled that I purchased a cozy long sleeve t-shirt from Bell’s – I needed it with that wind!

Derek, Kim and Heath

I owe a heap of thanks to Kim for being our able (read sober) driver and trip coordinator – she did a super job at both! Heath and Derek were great traveling companions, making sure we didn’t miss a single thing (well, Cereal City was a miss for now-obvious reasons, but all of the beer stops were right on!) There are a lot of terrific beer people in the world, but this was a crew I was more than happy to spend four days in the car with! 
Jim and Joan sharing Pisgah Baptista!

Uncle Jedi and Joan (aka Mrs. Jedi) get the hospitality prize for making a place for us in the line. They are always a treat to hang out with, as are the entire Free the Hops clan (not all of them are in the photo below…just the ones wearing kilts!)

Free the Hops!

Speaking of the line, a couple of bloggers mapped the beer line, and this was one of my favorite renditions. I just couldn’t get an accurate photo of it, which I estimated to be 4500 people stretched over no less than 1/2 a mile. I was so glad to get my six bottles of Dark Lord Imperial Stout, and also my allotted two bottles of Hvedegoop Wheat Wine (a surprise for D.) When we packed it all in the car, it was obvious we weren’t even going to attempt getting more.

It\'s full  Me with Officer Hall  PA Girls love beer!

Meeting Officer Hall and collecting his trading card made my day (next time, I’ll need an “Officer Sassy” card.) And I thank Aaron for introducing me to April (and April for the photo with an inebriated stranger!)

Everyone at the event in a brew-sharing mood gets a big thank you, too! I shared my Troeg’s Nugget Nectar, but kept looking for an opportunity to pop my bottle of Otto’s Double D and just never saw an opening (no offense to Otto’s, but the bottles being passed around we far superior!)

There are some additional summaries blogged here and here, and a little video coverage.

One of my favorite summaries of the event was on the Vagoscribe blog– it is both poetic and completely descriptive of the experience. There are no expressions of detestation, anger or even elation, which is kind of how I left this year’s experience (last year, I departed full of elation and urine – thanks, FFF, for the improved toilet situation this year.)

By 2:30 on Saturday, I did say, “where is the get-the-hell-out-of-here line?,” simply because the lines were so disorganized. I felt like a character in Hope for the Flowers (read pages 12-17 and you’ll understand what I mean!) – it was impossible to tell which line led to which final destination or how long it would take to get there. We decided to find food, clean bathrooms and great beer, which I will talk about in my next post…when I get to it.

Until then, I hope you, too, have found some good beer with good friends!



Pilgrimage to DarkLord Day

Just a brief note before getting a good night’s rest for DarkLord Day…  Our road trip has taken us from Harrisburg to Cleveland last night, and through Michigan and Indiana today. Stops included Great Lakes Brewing Company, Kuhnnan, Dragonmead, Dark Horse Brewing, Bell’s and Three Floyds.

They have been brief stops, but enough to enjoy many new brews, and a few old favorites.  For instance, last night I started at Great Lakes with the Grassroots Ale. At 4.8% and only 20 IBUs, it was a light, refreshing treat on a warm spring evening. The ginger and lemongrass give this beer an interesting complexity, and I remembered why I liked it so much the last time. I followed that up with a Blackout Stout, which was served in a snifter glass. In contrast to the first beer, this Russian Imperial Stout is 9% ABV and 85 IBUs. It has a rich, roasty flavor that coats the top of the mouth, but the hops come through nicely and the alcohol is subtle.

At Kuhnhen (Warren, MI), we intended to have lunch, but the menu wasn’t really appealing so we only drank. This was a strange little place – half of it is a pretty decent bar with seating for 14 and the brewing equipment all located behind and beside it; approximately 12 high wooden tables with chairs in that room. The other half looks like the wall was knocked out and a warehouse converted into a bingo hall serves as the seating area. A piano sits along the wall, boxes are stored under plastic, and the ceiling is either going up or being taken down.  Kuhnhen had 11 different taps, most served in 12-oz glasses, some available in bottles and sample glasses available for a small fee.  I had a 10-oz glass of Simcoe Silly (8.5% ABV) which was more Belgian in nature than hoppy. I’m a big fan of the Simcoe, but there was such banana in the nose, and as they describe, bubble gum flavor, to this one that I was not impressed. My 3-tablespoon sample of Tenacious Cassis (16.5%) was plenty – this is a very sweet and highly alcoholic concoction, which I later learned we have at home in bottles. And finally, the Crème Brule Java Stout in a 12-oz glass. This was the first thing Derek had, and Heath and I followed suit. It was so lovely with vanilla flavor – it made me incredibly happy!

Dragonmead (Warren, MI)was a lot of fun, and certainly a place to which I must return. Unfortunately, the fryer was out of commission, so most of the menu was unavailable, but Kim picked out a lovely roasted red pepper Jack cheese for us, served with a sleeve of crackers, which the four of us could share. I had a nice conversation with Larry Channel – one of the owners – and enjoyed the beers I had and those I tasted from my friends. Dragonmead does offer half-pint options, which was great because there were so many different types! There were approximately 37 beers on tap (12 on nitro, but nothing on either of the handpumps), and four house soda pops available as well. My beers were the Honey Porter, served on nitro (which was spot on and delicious!) and Broken Paddle IPA (which paled in comparison to their Crowning Jewels IPA; both are American IPAs, but mine was simple, while Derek’s was fragrant and full of flavor.) Dragonmead looks totally boring and industrial on the outside, but inside it is colorful with flags and awards, stained glass (made by one of the owners) and lots of locals stopping by, many maintaining their passports. We sat in front of the doors to the brewery, and because they had the back entrance open, the wind blew a constant Grape-Nut breeze of fragrant wort through the place.

We made a short stop at Tim Horton’s, and then headed of to Marshall, MI for dinner at Dark Horse Brewing Co. The place still looks very much the same – like a double-wide trailer holding a yard sale inside – but it was so much more pleasant with a new non-smoking rule. There were only five beers on tap, so I stuck with an old favorite – Crooked Tree IPA. And while the menu is simply, I really enjoyed my toasted sub, and Kim’s pizza looked terrific. Dark Horse is such a great place, so we had to go into the new gift shop across the parking lot to buy a few souvenirs.

The merch shop was our first stop at Bell’s in Kalamazoo, MI. We stocked up on t-shirts before going in for a beer. I was really excited to find Wild One – a Belgian-style fruited beer made especially for Eccentric Day. They have a few extra barrels left over, and will roll them out periodically. I was glad this was one of the days! Wild One comes in at 6% ABV, and is served in 12-oz glasses for $4 and 16-oz glasses for $5. It was very similar to the Kriek made by Selin’s Grove Brewing, but lighter in flavor and lacking the color – this was more of a dark amber with an orange aura. Most beers at Bell’s are available in 12, 16 and 20-oz pours, but we all had smalls. Derek got the Poolside– a cherry wheat that was outstanding (this is saying a lot coming from me – I don’t generally care for the cherry wheats!) It was 5% ABV, which is a little high for a session beer, but I could see myself drinking lots of it on a hot summer day. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t stay, because a funk/fusion band called Spare Parts was playing – three keyboards, a bass guitar, drums, trumpet and simple vocals – and I was enjoying watching the bass player. But we needed to get to Indiana in reasonable time.

So here we are…  we made it to Three Floyd’s, and all of the excitement for Dark Lord Day is building.  We won’t get in the door tomorrow, I am sure, so I was glad to get in tonight for a Topless Wytch Baltic Porter. It was rich with coffee and chocolate, and a nice way to end the night. I need to get some sleep now so I can sample like crazy tomorrow at the festival and still have the strength to enjoy The Livery and Founders in it’s new location.

Three Floyd’s Brewing Company (Munster, IN)

We decided to forgo the entire Chicago scene (Taste of Chicago looked like a really great time, but going into the city on the fly would have been such a pain.  We felt the same way about going into Goose Island Brewing Company – just too close to the city for this trip.)  Instead, we headed south to Munster, IN for Three Floyd’s Brewing Company.

The minute we walked into Three Floyd’s (which features a fairly new brewpub…they use to serve through a concessions window directly from the brew room), it was important to keep in mind a common tagline on their beers: “It’s Not Normal.” Continue reading