It’s evening in October. As dusk settles, the lines will form in Brooklyn Center as hundreds to even thousands wait to get their treats. It’s an annual rite, one where the devoted gather. Darkness overtakes the weekend, stretching from Friday evening’s waiting party to Saturday’s distribution and celebration, followed by Sunday’s delicious brunch binge. That’s right. It’s Darkness Day.
Surly Darkness Day officially returns from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the original Brooklyn Center Brewery tomorrow, with the limited sale of both their regular 2015 Russian Imperial Stout and a new barrel-aged edition sold in a matching gold bottle after soaking up extra character inside High West rye whiskey barrels. The first 1,500 in line will get wristbands allowing for up to six bottles of Darkness and one of the barrel-aged version. Meanwhile, Surly celebrates Darkness the best way they know how: with an onsite party, 13 Surly taps pouring the goodness, and blaring live metal denoting the evil of the season.
Taking place during the daytime this Saturday, Surly has celebrated Darkness Day each year since 2007 and it’s one of their biggest draws—both among local beer lovers and a growing national flock. Darkness is their most celebrated beer, and this year’s is no different. There’s the big new barrel-aged edition and this year’s artwork, a demoniacal bat courtesy of tattoo artist Brandon Holt.
While the flyer says 11: a.m., the fun starts early for the dedicated. Surly notes that lines are allowed to form as early as dusk tonight. The line is half the fun with rare beer flowing and anxious anticipation among the Surly Nation cult. It’s a bonding opportunity to showcase those cellared and hard to come by beer delicacies and a chance to take in Surly’s past and present in one fell swoop. While the Minneapolis beer hall is still a top beer draw in town, Darkness Day this year is about showcasing their roots.
Surly Darkness will be available in retail in Minnesota next week, followed by the barrel-aged version in early December. It will also be distributed in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois later this year.