A Beer Geek Stampede.

“How long are we going to keep doing this before it’s just sad?” – Tim, upon arrival from New York City one year to attend Dark Lord Day

The truth is, we are well in to sad territory, and Tim no longer attends Dark Lord Day. I for one shall be trucking along until death; the event’s or my own.


This year spun in a weird and somewhat dark, nuanced direction as we showed up – probably the earliest we’ve ever shown up in our eight years of showing up. Alex wanted to get in line as soon as possible for the Dark Matter snifter set so we corralled ourselves in to the gate to await the buzzer.


As 9 AM struck we began the slow waltz toward the coffee tent. Like the sound of rustling, obese cattle being stirred from a deep slumber, behind us in an adjacent line we heard commotion. Within a few seconds I realized what was going on. All the beer geeks had been released from their pen and they had started gunning, gaining momentum and plowing toward the barrel-aged Dark Lord variants that were on tap as if some invisible matador stood aloft waiving a crimson death flag.

Chemtrail Mix, Marshmallow Handjee, what have you.


It stirred a deep horror in my soul to think of some poor sap falling and being trampled by this mess of overweight bearded men, heavily stomping toward the prize, glazed-over eyes, hungover or possibly already drunk, and definitely, partially asleep. No one would have found a body until at least one round of kegs kicked. Like a collective English bulldog mustering up the energy to bark, not even really knowing exactly where they were running to, this terrifying natural disaster of fat men yielded literally no sound other than clomping hooves and eerie clanks of glassware as they galloped in the dust toward more calories.


The air was dense with embarrassment – heavy with shame. Each ticketed beer geek knowing for sure, if he didn’t break his daily tradition of not running, he might be the lone miser, missing out on that respective delicious concoction. An invisible hand ushered the critical mass toward blood.


I ended up alone for a while, but at least it was sunny. I poured a bit of my 750 mil bottle of Pillar of Beasts in to some guy’s snifter. It was an offering to the stars while baking in a morning sun, sipping salted caramel barley wine and feeling relief that no one was killed during that terrible beer geek stampede.


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