Many families have traditions. Some get together every Sunday for a weekly feast while others partake in cultural holidays that endear individuals to their ancestors. Well, in this family, Dark Lord Day has been a tradition for the last seven years. Chris and I have been attending Three Floyd’s Dark Lord Day since 2008, before Golden Tickets and 8000-10,000 attendees. We have seen many improvements and have sampled some truly amazing beers over the years. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend Dark Lord Day again this year. And the best thing about the 2014 Dark Lord Day? I wasn’t pregnant!
If you remember, I attended Dark Lord Day last year when I was 6 ½ months pregnant (and sported a “Baby’s First Dark Lord Day” t-shirt). As my hubby so eloquently put it, Baby Flynn attended last year in utero and already thinks Dark Lord Day is overrated so he stayed at home with a babysitter (thanks Grace and Jason!) while Chris and I enjoyed the festivities. We traveled to the Munster, Indiana brewery on the Chicago Brew Bus and, wow, is this the way to travel! The Dark Lord festivities started early by sharing brews on the bus with my fellow travelers that included homebrewers; the brewers/owners of Slap Shot Brewing Company; Kevin Salvi, the founder of Chicago Brew Bus; and Brian Ferber, the organizer of Beer Hoptacular.
The line for Dark Lord seemed to move rather quickly this year, and the beer stand in the middle of the line was a welcome addition. For the first time since Three Floyd’s started the scratch off tickets for barrel-aged variants, neither Chris nor I “won” the opportunity to drop $50 for a bottle of beer. But we are now the happy owners of eight bottles of 2014 Dark Lord to add to our collection (well, seven bottles as a bottle of the coveted Dark Lord was part of the payment for our babysitters).
A real treat of the day was when I got to meet Adem Tepedelen, author of The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers. A few years back, Adem wrote an article about homebrewing for All About Beer Magazine and included me as one of the homebrewers mentioned. I had never met him in person (our interview occurred via phone and email) so I was thrilled to finally meet him. The book is a compilation of extreme beers (obviously) and metal bands, which made this book an ideal fit for Dark Lord Day, which also hosts a heavy metal concert. I admit to not being a metal fan (if I wrote a similar book, it would be pairing beer with Broadway Musicals or NPR Morning Edition) but I am a fan of extreme beers and those that write about them. Adem was signing books in the merchandise area and I wasn’t able to make it in there, which made me really sad as I was planning on buying a book! (I immediately placed an order Amazon when I got home.) But about a half hour before I was supposed to be on the Brew Bus to head back to Chicago, Adem was able to steal away from his crowd of adoring fans to meet me. Chris and I gifted him a bottle of Pipeworks End of Days and then Adem took us to the stage where we met Richard Christy from the Howard Stern Show! Richard was the MC for the concert, which is apropos as he is a drummer for his own band, Charred Walls of the Damned, and a huge beer fanatic. He is quite the talented beer “taster”, which he has demonstrated on the Stern Show. (If any of you heard the particular show that I am alluding to, you know why I put quotation marks around taster…)
To be honest, I did not drink that much at Dark Lord Day. I guess the thought that I had to go home eventually and take care of an active 8 month old was ever present in my mind. But I definitely sampled some world class beer and got to hang out with some of my favorite people. I can’t wait for next year!