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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Darkness Day 2012

Darkness 2012 - with the new glass
For the second year in a row I found myself in line outside of Surly Brewing Company, drinking beer, meeting new friends and having way too much fun in a line all in pursuit of one of the last great non-barrel aged imperial stouts worth chasing - Surly Darkness.  Unlike the first year where I showed up at 5:00 in the morning to get in line this year I convinced my brother to join a group of my Minnesota friends in camping out - OVERNIGHT.  

After getting off of work we met at his house.  After unwinding with a little rock climbing and grabbing a bite to eat we loaded up the car with gear to survive in the 23 degree weather that was expected that night.  We arrived and connected with my buddy Brandon who immediately handed me a bottle of 2007 Darkness and told me to take a drink - it was pretty god damn tasty and set the mood for what would be the best beer related experience I've ever had. A lot of people in the community made that statement possible but I'm going to have to single out Brandon (Biglobo8971) as being outstanding. After settling in for a while Ryan and I took a walk with a glass of Cantillon Classic to scout the area, the entire business park was packed with people.  We chatted with a group around the area I was at last year at 5am and they told us that they had arrived around 7. It was unbelievable. 

That night I had some incredible beer, meet new people and overall just had a blast.  We decided to head to the tent around 2 am to grab a quick four hour.  My brother, who is a doctor, clearly had trained his body through years of little sleep to instantly crash out as he was sound asleep pretty much as soon as his head hit the pillow. Me, not so much as the light above where we made camp and the sound of a nearby generator both kept me awake most of the night.

Untappd version 0.2
Last year I got to meet a bunch of great BAs and put faces with names this year I really felt like part of a community. It was an amazing feeling being that welcomed. I got to hang out with several trading partners including my main Surly hookup Dan (Ungertaker) and put more faces with so many BAs. Lots of insane beer was poured and I got to try several that I never thought I'd have the opportunity to try, so that was cool.

Plus I got to hang out overnight with my brother and expose him even more to the world of BA.

On the downside, as I told my brother, I'm no longer allow to make fun of people who camp out for iPhones. He did point out that we probably had more fun in line than they ever will so there's that.
"Last year waiting in line was half the event, this year it was the event" - Me
My brother Ryan sharing a mini keg of beer
One of my favorite moments of the day came after wristbands were handed out. My brother had bought a mini-keg of Two Hearted and I think because of it's placement it didn't get consumed at lobo's truck. So we decided that we would kill it by walking up the line sharing with anyone that wanted some. While there were a few camps that semi turned their noses up at it most were very stoked and loved it. We almost made it the whole line and almost everyone who had some offer great beer in return. Definitely one of the highlights for us.


Here's a list of all the enjoyable beers that I had the opportunity to taste at Darkness Day 2012
  • Bandwagon IPA by Surly Brewing Company
  • Barrel Aged Odin's Raven by Alpine Beer Company (CA)
  • Barrel Aged Yeti (2009) by Great Divide Brewing Company
  • Before The Dawn by Steel Toe Brewing
  • Black Note Stout by Bell's Brewery, Inc. 
  • Brett Dream by Funkwerks
  • Brettliquor Ipa by Surly Brewing Company
  • Broo Doo by Three Floyds Brewing Company
  • Cacao Bender by Surly Brewing Company
  • Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) by Founders Brewing Company
  • Classic Gueuze by Brasserie Cantillon
  • C-Minor IPA by Titletown Brewing Co
  • Crème Brûlée by Southern Tier Brewing Company
  • Cuvee de Tomme by The Lost Abbey
  • Damien by Surly Brewing Company
  • Dark Lord - Bourbon Barrel Aged (2012) by Three Floyds Brewing Company
  • Darkness (2007) by Surly Brewing Company
  • Darkness (2012) by Surly Brewing Company
  • Framboise For A Cure (2012) by Russian River Brewing Company
  • Gilgamesh by Upland Brewing Company
  • Golden Canary by Block 15 Brewing Company
  • Golden Nugget IPA by Toppling Goliath Brewing
  • James by Hill Farmstead Brewery
  • King Henry by Goose Island
  • Kriek (1998) by Hanssens Artisanaal - From a magnum
  • Narwhal Imperial Stout (2012) by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  • Nelson by Alpine Beer Company (CA)
  • Serpent's Stout by The Lost Abbey
  • Speedway Stout - Vietnamese Coffee by AleSmith Brewing Company
  • Twilight of the Idols by Hill Farmstead Brewery
  • Two Hearted Ale by Bell's Brewery, Inc.
  • Vigneronne by Brasserie Cantillon
  • Wee Heavy by Dry Dock Brewing Co
  • Whiskey Barrel Rodeo by Collaboration: Jester King Craft Brewery / Mikkeller 
  • ZeeLander by Toppling Goliath Brewing 
  • Armand'4 Zomer (Summer) by Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
  • I'm Batty Dark Saison by Dave's Brewfarm
  • Imperial Crème Brûlée Java Stout by Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
  • Isabelle Proximus by The Lost Abbey
  • ISO:FT by The Bruery
  • Oude Geuze Golden Blend by Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen

Back of Brandon's truck - aka Whale Central
Our campsite after breaking it down
Hot coffee on a cold Minnesota morning = ??
Some line shots
Inside the brewery
The main area
Outside the gates
Early morning beers

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