Well my big plans for liveblogging the event fell through. The wordpress plugin didn’t work right, or I had it misconfigured, or whatever. So though I may have been off my game yesterday, Three Floyds put on a pretty great event.
We arrived at the industrial park at around 8:30 am, 90 minutes before the event was due to start. At that point, there was already a line leading away from the parking lot & down the street about a block. The previous year, the crowd just milled around outside the gates until they opened, snarling traffic & growing more & more dense, and once the gates opened it was every man for himself. This year the line was maintained & I believe enforced by some of Munster’s finest. Once the gates opened, it moved faster than you’d think possible, and we were inside & had our bottles in hand in practically no time.
And then there was nothing left but the drinking, and the meeting of random people, and the ambushing of strangers to demand they drink our homebrew. (And the eventual sunburn, grogginess, dehydration, 4 hour nap, etc) We ended up meeting some fantastic people and I know I’m not going to remember them all but if you are on twitter at all you should definitely follow @GirlsPintOut and @GPOJhenn, they were great. Also another group of homebrewers sat with us for a while–a guy from La Crosse, another guy who was in the Chicago area I think and had the best homebrewed Russian Imperial Stout I’ve ever tasted, and also shared with us his bottle of Surly Darkness, their friends who also shared beers…. I wish I could remember everybody’s names. And another homebrewer at a nearby table who brought over his black IPA and a California Common, both quite good.
Not to mention the people who waited in line with us on the way into the fest, my friends Teddy and Melissa, Nathan from ChiHOPS! and his wife, the dudes in front of us and behind us in line who shared some beers. And so many other friends who I saw in passing or intended to see but couldn’t get to. And all those who I didn’t meet but who are probably also awesome. Maybe we’ll see each other next time.
The beer nerd camaraderie that I feared would be suppressed with all the new Dark Lord Day rules was out in full force, and the better organization of the event made things run smoother for the most part. However, the grounds were crowded as hell, and despite Three Floyds’ warning that there would be no loitering permitted in the industrial park, there was some inevitable spillover as 6000 people tried to jam into a space that normally would contain about 20 or 30 cars.
As in years past, I eschewed the waiting in line for guest taps and food and just stuck to what we brought with us. I did not happen to bring any actual food, and there were no grills so I was not offered food by random strangers, but I actually managed some restraint in the pace of my drinking and hey, beer is nutritious right? Regardless I think we stayed much longer than we’ve ever lasted before. Still left early by the standards of some but we’d managed to accomplish our goals. Wish one of us had been lucky enough to get a “winning” golden ticket that would have allowed us to buy a bottle of one of the special Dark Lord variants but oh well.
Thanks for a great day, Three Floyds. I’ll be seeing you again next year.