Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finally: Dark Lord Day!

But wait. I realized I didn't tell you about the room party I hit the night before. So I'm walking around the hotel, drinking my beer, and I come across a sign that says "No beer here...come on in!". But of course there was beer, plenty of it. And all these beauty queens you see in the picture. And some guys I had hung out with the previous year. They were already breaking out some great stuff, including Terrapin's Cap't Krunkles Black IPA, Portsmouth Kate the Great Imperial Stout, Voodoo's Big Black Voodoo Daddy, and a bunch of others. Just what I needed the night before a big beer fest.

I know people get to Dark Lord Day bright and early, but my best sleep goes right through that time period. I got up around ten, feeling pretty good and, as usual, ready for a drink. I was prepared to walk the mile or so to Three Floyds with my rolling cooler, but I learned there was a local guy shuttling people to the event for seven bucks. Since the sky looked ready to dump rain at any moment, I ponied up the money. the driver passed the time telling me about Freedom Fest, where "They be rolling up these big-ass joints all day". He had to let me off a ways from the event, which allowed me to check out what people in line were drinking. And gave me time to wonder why they were wasting time in line. I learned last year that the beer is there, waiting to be picked up, until 5 pm, and at that point in the day there is no line. So why not free yourself and roam around and meet people?

Oh my. Looks like this poor guy already made too many friends. You see, this place just turns into a free-for-all of trying the best beers available, many of which are hard to find. But an event like this brings out the true meaning of Christmas, which is sharing your best beers with others. For instance, I had set up a trade with my Chicago friend Gary: a Marble DIPA for a 2008 Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Very generous of him to trade me that beer in the first place, since the 2010 version came and went within a week or so. But not only does he give me that, but he throws in two of them, oh, and why not a 2008 Dark Lord(!!!!!!)? You know how much people are paying for that beer on Ebay? That's just the camaraderie you share between craft beer lovers. Well, that he shares. I still only gave him the Marble.

Met up with the gang from last year, who managed be parked at the same picnic table as last year. The Wisconsin contingent, made up of doctors (who I love drinking with because, if they do it, it must be healthy), brought over 100 beers to sample. And Wisconsin cheese. And sausages, and bread, and more beers. Also met up with some friends from Chicago, one of whom had recently passed the bar exam (congrats!). So I was set: beer, food, friends. I spent most of my time with the beer, though. I saw one of the guys who hosted the room party the previous night and he asked if I left my keys in their room. I checked my pockets and whadda ya know? Once again I had lost something! I need a traveling companion just to keep things in my pockets for me.

I want to tell you all the beer I tried, but...I lost my notebook that I was writing all the beers in. And that was at a point where I couldn't see straight enough to look for it. I can't really say I remember picking up my Dark Lord, but I must have, because it is right across the living room from me. And this picture I took of me actually buying the beer points in that direction as well. I remember calling the shuttle guy, at 6:31 according to my phone. Then: waking up at 10 pm, thankfully in my room, but with no recollection of getting there. And somehow wanting a beer, though I held myself to the Beck's 64s that I wisely picked up for sessions like these. Know when to say when like I do, folks! Retrieved my keys from the room they were hiding in, did some more hanging and drinking, and most importantly, survived another Dark Lord Day!

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