This is the first year in over a decade without an official Darkness Day. Oh, there’s still Darkness to be had–available wherever Surly is sold on Halloween–but no bacchanal of beers, bands, and bottle shares. We miss it too, and we hope that public health and Minnesota liquor laws will change for the better in the near future.
That said, in this long, long, LONG year of making the best out of bad situations, there’s no reason not to celebrate the annual release of our legendary Russian imperial stout in the comfort of your own home. Take a break from doomscrolling and enjoy responsibly:
- Reach into your cellar. The Surly Nation-driven highlight of every Darkness Day is when the campers trot out the best and brightest of their beer cellars and display them on rickety card tables and truck tailgates. There’s not been a lot to celebrate this year. Break out the good stuff. If you’ve been sitting on that last bottle of Pentagram, now’s the time.
- Play the metal. Play it loud. As is tradition. Yes, we realize it’s jarring to say, “Alexa, play Toxic Holocaust.” Non-metalhead Darkness fans might be tempted to play, like, Steely Dan, but it’s just not the same.
- Grill something from a butcher shop in a small town. In addition to every barrel-aged beer ever made, the campers often bring the finest proteins their hometown provides. Shout out to whoever brought the meatballs from Welcome Meats in 2017, multiple Surly employees have been chasing that pork dragon ever since.
- Wear your finest black t-shirt/hoodie. The Darkness gear of choice. If your Slayer tee from the South of Heaven ‘88 Tour has finally disintegrated, we have new and vintage Darkness merch available online.
- Sleep outside. Forecast says it’s going to be relatively mild. Pitch the tent, grab some shuteye, wake up, complain about your back, breathe in the cool morning air, maybe enjoy a Coffee Bender? Sounds like a nice little weekend you’ve got going there.
- Build a fire. The size and scope of your bonfire depends on local ordinances, so don’t get crossways with the local fire department.
- Support your local liquor store. It’s the only place to get Darkness to go this year. They’ve had our back since the pandemic started and we urge you continue giving them your business.
Ideally, we’ll do all of this in person with a bunch of healthy friends, strangers, and dudes from Kansas next year.