It’s May Day and what better way to honor International Worker’s Rights and deeply held Communist and Socialist beliefs than writing about the release of a Russian Imperial Stout!
The last Saturday in April has slowly become a day to either praise or revile Three Floyds Brewery as a craft beer enthusiast and although my past writings have not been too favorable of my regional superstar I will change course this year, slightly.
My times at Dark Lord Day are small in comparison to the length of time this event has been going on, but I feel comfortable saying that this year’s event was probably the best run show Three Floyds has ever put on. There was no pandemonium in entering the gates, buying beer or food, or buying the allotted bottles. Everything flowed like, well, I’m sure you know.
Three Floyds again expanded the festival grounds and convinced the Town of Munster to refuse parking on the two side streets that lead into the festival area. They did this by establishing breakfast food tents on either street and encouraging more pedestrian flow. This did eliminate a considerable amount of free parking but as had been pointed out by several hundred people, “Who would want to drive to an event like this anyway?”
The need to expand was also driven by the fact that Three Floyds offered general admission tickets this year so that someone could experience the merriment of Dark Lord off the tap and Eye Hate God on the mikes with zero chance of buying a Dark Lord bomber to take home. I know that adding 3,000 additional bodies made great business sense, but really that’s just more crowd control that needs to be handled and longer lines.
This year’s brew changed recipes and that was probably a good thing. The 2013 Dark Lord was not welcomed with much fanfare and readers of this site are fully aware that the 2013 Dark Lord finished 5 out of 5 in a blind tasting of Russian Imperials. Instead of keeping Intelligentsia coffee, Three Floyds incorporated Dark Matter Coffee (headquartered in the Ukrainian Village). I can’t personally vouch for the taste of the 2014 because I did not have the opportunity to drink off the tap nor did I open a bottle. However, I did witness someone accidentally break a bottle in the parking lot and proceed to get on their hands and knees to salvage what they could with their tongue. Of course, that could have nothing to do with the taste.
The weather wasn’t nearly as accommodating this year as the last but all in all the continued improvements Three Floyds makes to this event keep me wanting to come back the following year. I’ve finally realized that I could put my negative angst toward the brewery aside and enjoy the day for what the founders’ intents were: to share quality beer. I had the opportunity to sample some rare, quality beers that I would have denied myself had I not gone.
Anyone else make their way to the festival? Any stories you’d like to share?