Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Darkness Day at Surly Brewing Company

Part of the reason I like Surly so much is because of their seasonal rare brews. It’s so cool to see a local brewery workingWaiting in line on Darkness Day at Surly Brewing Co. hard to keep their clientele entertained with new brews and clever marketing to go along with it. I’m proud they’re based here in Minneapolis.

Every year (since 2007 I believe), Surly has put out their Darkness brew around Halloween. This Russian Imperial Stout comes in a waxed 750 ml. bottle and weighs in at around 9% ABV. $18.00 each. Buddies Cristof and Dan accompanied me (“enabled” me) to wait in line at the brewery on Darkness Day in hopes of getting one of the 7,500 bottles available for purchase that morning (with just 7,000 more bottles distributed to local liquor stores this year — the number produced grows each year to get a little closer to meeting demand). Apparently guys who trade beer online (according to the two standing in front of me at the port-o-john that morning) go nuts for Darkness. “You can pretty much trade online for any beer you want if you’ve got a bottle of Darkness” I heard one of the guys say.

We arrived just after 7:45am Saturday 10/23. Armed with some Surly Wet and Surly fest, a newspaper, folding chairs and sack toss game, we sat in line until things started moving just before the 12 noon release. After the line got going, it took us until about 1:15pm before we were actually able to get to the front and purchase Darkness.

The whole time in line, I was debating just how many bottles I would buy. $18 a bottle for beer I’d never tried… hmm… Think about it though: if you got a recommendation for an awesome $18 bottle of wine, would you buy it? I’m not near poor but also no where near rich and I’ll occasionally spend $18 on a bottle of wine at the liquor store (obviously very easy to do that at a restaurant) if I’m interested in the “varietal” (I’ve been to Napa/Sonoma a few times) and I only like wine a FRACTION of how much I like beer. So yes, $18.00 isn’t that bad. I decided to buy four bottles (Surly limits each person to only be able to purchase six bottles on Darkness day and many liquor stores will only sell someone one or two bottles each time they come in). Dan bought three and Cristof one that day.

This was my third visit to Surly Brew Co. (the other two being back in May and June of this year, I believe). We hung around for a short while after purchasing the beer, but were hungry for lunch and wanted to grab some Fat Lorenzo’s before kicking off a brew day of our own. Check out the Sammy’s Golden Porter post for more on that.

Here’s a great BrewingTV episode on Darkness Day:
Brewing TV – Episode 25: Surly Brewing Company from Brewing TV on Vimeo.

My car appears near the beginning of the video. I’m honored.


One response

  1. Pingback: Surly’s 5th at Pizza Nea « Barking Dog Beer

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