Dark Lord Day – The Truth is Out There

Three Floyds is one of my favorite breweries. I have gone on record claiming that I have never had a bad beer from them. In fact, I declared their flagship IPA Zombie Dust as the best single IPA on the planet. So when I heard that they make a stout that is so amazing that it has a whole day dedicated to it, it got my attention. That stout is Dark Lord, and the event is the annual Dark Lord Day at the end of April in beautiful Munster Indiana. That is the only time and place they distribute Dark Lord and barrel aged variants to the public. But there is a catch…you have to buy a ticket for Dark Lord Day, and drive to Munster to spend the day in tents with hundreds of other beer lovers while listening to death metal. For me that means a 3+ hour drive and a hotel stay while suspending my distaste for large crowds of people clamoring for the same beer I am. Is this beer worth it, I know that answer now, and I will share it with you when I review Dark Lord in another Sommbeer post. What I am not sure of, is if I really went to Dark Lord Day or if I imagined the whole thing while I was unconscious on a Jiu Jitsu mat. I had to get the beer somehow, right? I have never seen a beer fairy so I can’t explain any other way that I ended up with the beer .

darklordbagandbeer

I have the physical evidence all around me that I attended the event, but no recollection of actually being there. To add to the mystery, my wife insists that I was safe at home all day Saturday April 30th. I am writing this blog post in an attempt to reconnect the dots and to let the good people that follow Sommbeer decide, to paraphrase Joe Strummer, “did I stay or did I go?”. I know, sounds tough to believe but I have the missing time often attributed to alien abductions or lost weekends. I am older and I have abused my brain a bit in my time so who knows. I was also an X Files fan so I am pretty sure that we are not alone. Maybe I got abducted by aliens that left me a parting gift. I will recount the story in all the detail I can, but I have to warn you, it makes absolutely no sense at all. Neither does how Dark Lord tastes, but I am not going to discuss that until my next post…

“Let’s go to Dark Lord Day” was how it all started on a Sunday at Jiu Jitsu class. Those words were spoken into my right ear (not what you think, he had my back and was trying to choke me, which he succeeded at BTW) by my brown belt buddy as he attempted to set up a Bow and Arrow choke on me (I am going to call my assailant and partner in crime “Brownie” to protect his identity). I felt the choke tighten and I said “sounds good” as I reached up to defend against the choke. Technically that is the last thing I remember.

Here is what I have pieced together from there. Tickets went on sale online March 5th and were a whopping $200.00 per person.

darklordtix

This fee got you entry into the festival, 4 Dark Lord Bombers, 1 Barrel Aged Variant, and $40.00 in food and merchandise vouchers. You also got to drink Three Floyds Beer while listening to a lineup of really dark and hard thrashing bands. Information was slowly leaked about the event on the Dark Lord Day web page and through social media. The band lineup, and most importantly the barrel aged variants were posted closer to the event. Lots of wine barrel ages beers with chilies in them. Hmmm, how much are the tickets again? Regular Dark Lord better be worth it. I better not get a wine barrel aged beer with chilies in it.

As I continue to piece together clues to make a time line like a detective, I flash forward to the day of the event, Saturday April 30th, a cold and damp day as evidenced by the line that I may or may not have gotten soaked to the bone in.

line

“Why didn’t we bring beer to drink in this really long line” said Brownie. Wait, no way I would stand in a line in the cold and rain without booze. Clearly evidence that I did not attend. I may be a lot of things, but ill-prepared and sober is not one of them. Of course then people walked up and down the line handing out beers so I guess I was not sober, man this is really confusing.
We are in the tent and I get a Zombie Dust which makes total sense, and I drink some more and some more, ok, that adds up too. Bands come and go and people mill about handing each other beers. Yup that follows.

 

tentPort-a-johns, check. Mud mixed with whatever goes in port-a-johns, yup. But that could be anywhere. Line, lines, lines, more lines, people shuffling like zombies bumping into each other, people passed out, what time is it? I lost an hour didn’t I? Why is that guy puking into his own hat? Wow, the band I Hate God is playing. Wait, what? I get to go stand in another line? When do I get my beer? We are group “D” so 4:30 – but 4:30 Eastern or Central? Wait, no line for my beer allotment? Black bag with the Three Floyds logo on it with a 4 pack of Dark Lord Bombers. What is my barrel aged variant…man Trump and Pump, aged in wine barrels probably not my thing but at least no chilies…I am cold and wet and drunk but that could be anywhere at any time, not just Munster Indiana. Uber to a hotel, more beer, trying a Dark Lord in plastic cups. Water water water.  What do you mean no one delivers pizza after 9 PM. Where am I, Beirut? Go look for a vending machine. Doritos before bed to soak up the booze. Hungover drive home Sunday or am I at my Sunday morning Jiu Jitsu class after all…I hear music like it is being played through a megaphone, and it is fading in and out then I see a bright white light. I am on my back looking up, someone has my legs up trying to get blood back to my brain, I am confused. Brownie looks a bit concerned. “When did we get back from Dark Lord day?” I ask. “What, I just choked you out man. You need to tap sooner.” says Brownie. “Wait, so we did not go to Munster?” I asked. “No way dude, we never got tickets. I sat online for 4 hours then I tapped out, like you should have just now when I sunk that choke in.”

Dizzy and a bit confused I head back to my house, sad that I did not have any Dark Lord waiting for me. I open up my bag to put my gi in the wash and there it is, a black bag with 4 Dark Lord bombers and a barrel aged variant in the bottom of my Jiu Jitsu bag. How did that get there? Well I am smart enough to know not to look a gift horse in the mouth, even if I am too dumb to tap before I pass out. Beer fairy, aliens, or could it have been Lohman? I will never know.

variant

I know this seems silly and hard to believe but understand that I am in my mid-forties and have been drinking since I was a pre-teen so there has to be some damage. Couple that with a blood choke that put me to sleep and it could be true, couldn’t it? In my upcoming companion piece to this post I will review Dark Lord, which I know I did drink for sure, I hope. The truth is out there…

Don Manfredi

Don Manfredi

Yooper, Spartan, martial artist, friend to most things fermented.
Don Manfredi