How Did Dark Lord Day 2014 Turn Out?
With Hunuhpocolypse still in the rearview mirror, how did Dark Lord Day, one of the largest, most notorious beer geek events turn out this past Saturday?
Before I answer that, let’s jump into the time machine a few years back. 3 Floyds Dark Lord was all the rage that it is today. For those not familiar, Dark Lord Day is the one day of the year that Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout goes on sale, at the brewery only. Folks from Chicagoland and around the country flock to this event to party and pick up bottles. When I went in 2010, the festival had grown too large for the staff of 3 Floyds to handle. This led to chaos and bad times for those looking to buy the bottles. After pages and pages of nasty messages on RateBeer and BeerAdvocate, measures were taken to make subsequent events more enjoyable, manageable and safe. 3 Floyds broke the event into sessions, with neatly organized lines and designated times to get your allocations of Dark Lord bottles.
While the sessions format greatly improved the festival experience, there were still some bad apples were detracting from the spirit of the event. In order to curtail scalpers and cheaters, 3F went a step further to institute a rule that the person buying the ticket is the only one entitled to use the ticket to gain entry.
So How Did Dark Lord Day 2014 Turn Out?
In my mind, the excitement for these types of events are at a whole new level. You have all the OGs who love attending this, and all the n00bs who have heard of this legendary event, and want to get in on it. With so many variables, and drawing on past experiences, I was looking to find 15 page threads on RB,BA and TalkBeer.com, expressing mild annoyances all the way to screams of dissatisfaction. Entitlement or not, the vocal minority calls it like they see it typically. After cruising through all threads, I was happily surprised.
Not a bad word was spoken about Dark Lord Day 2014. Folks got in, they did the bottle share thing, they got their bottles at their allotted times, were able to get food, and seemingly stayed safe. The word smooth was used to describe the day. This makes me happy and gives me hope that the pioneers of special release festivals, 3 Floyds, have nailed the format, and other, newer brewers will follow suit.
The biggest observation from those who attended was the event staff was on point. After some quick research, we found that the event organizers was The Running Waters Group. I’d like to give 3 Floyds the lion’s share of the credit, as they recognized that this was what it would take to make for a memorable, enjoyable festival. Off to the trading boards so I can try to snag some bottles!