Darkness Day is a thing that should not be. We didn’t plan it. We didn’t start it. If we had, it wouldn’t be the same, and maybe wouldn’t exist. This one is entirely on Surly Nation, and we ride the wave (“the wave” = booking the bands and making sure there’s enough beer and food and biffies to go around, so it’s not like we’re entirely sidelined here).
The nickel version is this: We brewed our first batch of Darkness in 2006. Omar went to the brewery on a Saturday/Sunday to do some work, and there were people huddled outside the door. They wanted to know if the Darkness was ready. As we sit barstool-deep in the Craft Beer Gold Rush, a line for an in-demand beer outside your local brewery’s door is not uncommon. In 2006, it was fucking weird. And great.
The years went on, and the line grew bigger. We picked up some coffee and donuts. Then we booked some bands (the darkest metal possible, the perfect pairing for the beer itself). Then we dropped off some Coffee Bender. Then we called up some food trucks. Then we rolled out a whole bunch of exclusive kegs and casks for you to sample after you got your bombers.
And the line kept growing. It was a whole thing now.
We get people from across the country. They come in RVs, motorcycles, and sensible family sedans. People schedule fall vacations around a Saturday in a secluded Brooklyn Center office park. The leaves are turning on the trees by the facility, so you could technically say you’re experiencing the fall colors if you’re trying to persuade a skeptical friend or loved one to go.
What can you expect for Darkness Day 2017? We’re glad you asked.
The line: Get here early. We open at 11 am Saturday, but we will be handing out wristbands prior to that. There are 1,500 Darkness wristbands that will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. This wristband will allow you to purchase up to SIX 750ML bottles of 2017 Darkness for $20 each (CASH ONLY) – you must be 21+ to purchase Darkness. Chef Shack will have their food truck at the ready bright and early. Caribou is on the other side of 100, and in addition to offering overflow parking, they’ll also open early for the caffeine-deprived.
The bands: When we announced the lineup, discerning metal fans went nuts on our social channels. “I don’t even drink beer, but I’m going to Darkness Day,” “Best Metal show in Minnesota in years,” “TOXIC HOLOCAUST!!!!!!!” etc. etc. The bill:
If you’re a fan of any/all, or are just a metal dabbler and want to see what all the fuss is about, come on down. It’ll be loud.
The beer: Some of these kegs and casks might escape into the wild, but many are Darkness Day exclusives.
- Cooper—a damn good beer with coffee and cherries
- Darkness 2017
- Furious Black
- Todd The Axe Man
- Dumpster Fire
- Darkness with Vanilla Aged on Red Oak Kilderkin
- Cherry Darkness Kilderkin
- Salted Darkness Kilderkin
- Mole Darkness Kilderkin
- Sardonic Infused with Blueberry & Basil Firkin
- Mango Axe Man Firkin
- Moe’s Bender Firkin
- Simpson’s Scottish Ale Firkin
The food: Our food truck lineup this year is as formidable as the bands and the beverages.
- Chef Shack
- Butcher Salt
- Little Gs Pizzeria
- Hot Indian Foods
- Groveland Confections
- Maddy & Maize
- …and the Surly Food Truck
If you need further details on the event, check the event page. And if you see some of the veterans of Darkness Days past, thank them. They’re the reason we’re all here.