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Craft beer fans bow before the Dark Lord at Three Floyds Brewery

High fives. Roaring cheers. Aggressive line changes on the fly.

It wasn’t a Blackhawks playoff game, but the announcement that Three Floyd’s Brewing just tapped a new keg of its 2014 vanilla bean Dark Lord stout. Groans and expletives followed less than 10 minutes later. The keg was dry as quickly as it was tapped.

Long lines of anticipation, elation and deflation marked the popular craft brewery’s annual Dark Lord Day, the only day of the year its Russian Imperial Stout is sold.

Don’t drop your Dark Lord. | Charles Berman/Sun-Times Media

The high-alcohol, jet black ale that is creamy, smooth and full of dessert-table flavors is so highly coveted that Bill Peterson was willing to take his first taste off the street.

“It’s Dark Lord, man,” the 27-year-old Skokie man said after someone dropped a 22-ounce bottle. “You can’t let that go to waste.”

Peterson was among more than 8,000 people that packed the beer festival in Munster, Ind. He drove straight from work at 7 a.m., and tasted that asphalt-aged version.

Alex Armitage, 26, drove more than five hours with five friends from Columbus, Ohio, to bring back an impressive haul. Teamwork netted the group $300 worth of Dark Lord and an extra three cases of Three Floyds Zombie Dust pale ale.

Alex Armitage and his friends made trek to Munster from Columbus, Ohio. | Charles Berman/Sun-Times Media

Michelle McIntyre earned her $30 ticket by volunteering from 6 a.m. to noon on parking lot duty.

Even though she lives down the street in Munster, it was her first Dark Lord Day. A keg of the special release stout dried up just before she reached the front of the line, but she was happy to find other beers she enjoyed.

Justin Schmidt drove 12 hours from Hattiesburg, Miss.

“The beer is that good,” he said. Waiting four hours is worth it because of the camaraderie. The reason you buy this 22-ounce beer is to share it with people.”

LINKS:

Beer lovers brace for Dark Lord Day in Munster

No dice on Dark Lord day tickets? Hit the brewpub another day

Dark Lord Day: Tickets on sale and Chicagoans deserving of the title Dark Lord

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