When you envision Three Floyd’s Dark Lord Day, what immediately comes to mind? Standing in long lines? Meeting awesome beer people from all over the country? Sampling rare beers? All of those may be true, but what if you were to take away the sampling and drinking beer part? Would Dark Lord Day still measure up to expectations as the best damn beer festival ever? I say YES. As many of you know, I am pregnant and, therefore, not drinking. My hubby and I were going to pass on Dark Lord Day 2013 due to this but at the very last possible second, I said that we should try and get tickets anyway. This is one of our traditions (we have been attending Dark Lord Day since 2008) and I was not going to let a silly thing like pregnancy hold me back! Besides, I intend for my child to appreciate craft beer (when he’s of age, of course) so I thought I would start him young!
I had a t-shirt made that said, “Baby’s 1st Dark Lord Day” and wore it with pride on April 27, 2013. Overall, I was very impressed with the changes that were made to the festival this year. There was no need to wake at the crack of dawn to get in line to be admitted to the festival as each ticket had a time slot for Dark Lord purchases. Rather than have the entire festival take place on the brewery’s grounds, the area across the street was utilized for the majority of the fest. The stage where heavy metal bands played was relocated from inside the brewery to this outside area, as well. And what a beautiful day for a festival! Sunny and 70 degrees? I’ll take it!
The camaraderie of Dark Lord Day was alive and well and reiterated what I have found to be the true meaning behind craft beer: community. Everywhere I went, I ran into friends and people from the Chicago craft beer scene. A group from CHAOS Brew Club had a little camp set up right outside the entrance to the festival and I was able to hang out with them for the majority of the day. They were quite chivalrous and offered me, the pregnant lady, a chair. And it was fun having complete strangers ask to take a picture of me in my fashionable, custom made DLD t-shirt.
And I know what you want to ask. “Was it painful watching everyone else drink beer while you abstained?” To be honest, not really. I have become more appreciative of aroma and the role that it plays in the overall beer experience, so I ‘sampled’ beer that way. I was still able to talk about beer and geek out with fellow beer nerds. And many of these beers or similar ones will be available at Dark Lord Day next year. (Mom, please notice that this post is a reservation for babysitting services for the last Saturday in April 2014.) Excellent job, Three Floyds. I’ll see you next year!