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May 11, 2009

dark lord day 2009

what would april be without another road trip down to munster indiana for dark lord day? this year's trip started at my place in markham. we stopped to drop jenn off in stony point, then got back on the highway and headed for the detroit/windsor tunnel. after crossing we stopped at the detroit beer company for growlers, then popped up to kuhnhenn for more growlers. we didn't linger long at either location and pretty much drove straight through to the "pre-DLD" party at flossmoor station. most of the usual suspects were around, and a few new ones that i'd yet to meet in person. after a few hours things started to die down and we headed off to our hotel in munster for the night. pints of alpha king across the parking lot from the hotel served as a a good nightcap.

saturday morning we loaded the cooler up with beer and ice and made the short drive over to three floyds. unlike in past years, the local police were helping out to direct traffic and get people parked. in general, it's a good thing, but it also meant that we had to park a decent ways from the brewery and make the long walk with the very heavy cooler. we've had good luck with close parking the last two years, so i guess we got a little spoiled. a 48qt cooler full of beer and ice is damn heavy!

we had both setup some trades ahead of time as well as a small tasting with alex/rhinos00 and some of his friends from ohio. we ended up basically setting up camp with them, dropping the cooler and lawn chairs and pretty much staying in that one spot all day. saw tons of familiar faces and shared many fine brews. the weather was lovely, a gentle sprinkling of rain here and there, but otherwise pretty nice.

it was confusing that people were still lining up at the crack of dawn - considering everyoen had golden tickets and was guaranteed to get their allotment of dark lord there was no point to spend 4+ hours in line before they opened the doors for sales. i waited until about mid-afternoon, filled up a couple glasses of dark lord (one from each golden ticket) and decided to hop in line. i still figured the line was going to disappear, but thought it would be good to get up and walk around for a bit, so i did. i think it took all of 30 minutes to get through the line (which moved even faster than in past years) and drop the beer off at the car. we were allowed to buy 4 bottles per golden ticket, and since you were allowed two golden tickets that meant the per-person allotment was up to 8 bottles this year from 6 in previous years. one of the guys we were hanging with (chris) didn't have a golden ticket and was really just there for the fun of it, but i told him i'd give him two of mine at cost since i was only really expecting 6 bottles anyway. by about 4pm there was no lineup left and they started selling additional golden tickets to anybody who wanted one, so i grabbed another golden ticket and another 4 bottles. when 6pm rolled around there was still no lineup and plenty of dark lord left, so they opened it up for anyone to purchase without a golden ticket. i grabbed a couple more bottles to round out an even case of 12. eric did roughly the same thing as i did, ending up with something like 15 bottles, bringing a few back to ontario for someone who bought a golden ticket and was unable to use it.

somewhere around 6:30 the wind changed direction and the temperature suddenly dropped to unpleasant levels. we took that as our cue to pack up and head back to the hotel to find some dinner. after a couple more pints of alpha king and a solid meal we walked back to the hotel and found a bunch of fellow beer geeks had set up camp in the common area and were continuing the beer tasting spirit from dark lord day. we polished off the remains of our growlers from detroit beer company and pulled out a few other bottles, including some homebrew. the gold medal and best-of-show winning old ale was a big hit. somewhere around here i decided i should probably try to get some sleep, knowing i still had a long drive ahead on sunday.

on sunday morning we reorganized the car and got everything packed in for the drive home. after a solid breakfast and a few cups of coffee we headed out. we drove pretty much straight through to the border, then rested in stony point for a bit before continuing on to toronto. we dropped eric off and continued home.

total distance traveled: 1783.9km.

this was a lighter year for me. in past years i had a ton of trades setup and spent most of my time running around taking care of that rather than just relaxing and enjoying the day. so this year i only had a few small trades setup with past trading partners, and i took care of half of them at flossmoor on friday night. i think my final haul when i got home was about 2.5 cases of beer and a couple of growlers. quality over quantity this year i guess.

another great road trip to dark lord day. already looking forward to the next one!

i didn't take many photos, but chris and ryan/rgtravers were nice enough to send me a few that they took, so i've added them in here.

the sweet dark lord day banner.

i took these for jenn. she likes root beer, and since she doesn't come along on the dark lord day roadtrip she missed out on it. signage from the train car at flossmoor.

our badass cooler at DLD. every time we'd pull a bottle out, there'd be another one to go back in its place. we shared many fine brews with many fine people on this day.

eric and some of the folks we were hangin' with. chris with the cowboy hat, alex/rhinos00 having a drink, alex's buddy (who's name is escaping me), eric/Viggo, and april/Aprilluvsbeer.

me and the ohio crew.

part way through the day eric let aliza/naproxen borrow his jacket in exchange for her sunglasses. he added the ponytail to complete this excellent look.

the line heading in to buy dark lord

me fighting to get the cork out of the killa gorilla. when we were first figuring out corking+caging, a few of the corks ended up in a little deeper than others, and thus a little more difficult to remove. ryan/rgtravers ended up working it free.

closeup shot of my sweet label. this one went over really well. in fact, ryan said it was one of his favourites of the weekend. high praise indeed!

Posted by grub at May 11, 2009 12:48 AM

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