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Dark Lord Day, the one day a year that Three Floyds Brewing sells its Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout, has historically been an exercise in insanity (albeit one that beer geeks all over the country are happy to brave). Two years ago the brewery implemented a ticketing system: to be guaranteed a chance to buy the beer, you first had to buy a "golden ticket." That resulted in its own type of insanity; tickets sold out within a few hours in 2009 despite going on sale at 4 AM, sales last year crashed the servers of the host site, and scalping ran rampant both years.
This year's Dark Lord Day FAQ recently went up on the Three Floyds site (via), and there's one major difference from previous years: tickets will be required to attend the event (the same ticket that allows you to buy the beer also gets you admission). In the past, Dark Lord Day has ended up doubling as a beer festival, with enthusiasts coming out to listen to live music, trade rare beers, drink what's on tap—there are usually several tents set up selling both Three Floyds and guest beers—and generally geek out. The people waiting in line are an affable bunch, eager to share tastes of whatever they're drinking and talk about beer, and despite long wait times last year when I went, there was a feeling of camaraderie (the fact that everyone was drinking beer probably didn't hurt).
More details: Dark Lord Day 2011 is on Saturday, April 30; tickets tentatively go on sale March 17 and will be announced first on Twitter. The time of day hasn't yet been disclosed, nor has the number of bottles one ticket will get you. As in the past, proceeds from ticket sales go to charity.