Okay, beer fans, you can finally pick your season ticket packages and tell you cousin whether you can attend her wedding. Three Floyds Brewing Co. has set its Dark Lord Day extravaganza for Saturday, April 26th. The doors will open at 10:00am Central Time on the grounds of the brewery, 9750 Indiana Pkwy, Munster, Indiana.
This will be the 11th (or so) annual iteration of the one day a year when 3 Floyds offers its Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout, a black, sticky brew running about 15% alcohol by volume, and brewed with coffee, vanilla, and an extra fermentable like molasses. First released in 2002, its popularity grew until the Floyds were able to sell their entire production run in one day, first just to dozens of people showing up at the brewery, and now to over 6,000 people lucky enough to score a "Golden Ticket." Many more people have shown up at the industrial park where Floyds is located, bringing along coolers from their own beer stashes to share with other beer fans.
The "Golden Tickets" will go on sale March 17th, at 12pm, Central, through an online link that will be provided at the DLD website at the on-sale time. Those who get through will be able to purchase two tickets at $30 each. You'll be able to pick your timed admission period to enter the brewery and buy your allotment of Dark Lord. While the final per-person allotment isn't decided until after the beer is bottled, it has almost always been a four-pack of 22 oz. bomber bottles. Each ticket will also have a scratch-off spot, which may entitle the holder to buy a special barrel-aged Dark Lord variant.
The Dark Lord site notes that the Floyds brewpub will be closed for the day. All purchases will be cash-only, though ATMs will be on site. Also expect live music and several guest beers to be tapped within the event fences.
If you can't get in to this event, there will be many more chances to get some exclusive beers later. The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild has set its 11-day Chicago Craft Beer Week for May 15 - 25. This celebration of local beer will kick off with a "Beer Under Glass" event at Garfield Park Conservatory, and will be marked throughout the event with hundreds of tap takeovers, educational events and beer dinners, ending with a West Loop Craft Beer Festival at the Chicago French Market under the Ogilvy Transportation Center.
The CCBW's main web page is still showing information from the 2013 event, but new updates are now appearing on their Facebook page. Watch either of these sites for your chance at tickets to some of the exclusive events.