Darkness Day. It's one of the only days of the year where you'll see a bunch of people in Minnesota waiting in line for hours to buy a bottle of beer.
It's something that happens across the country for rare or limited-release beers, but it wasn't really a thing in Minnesota until 2007.
That's when some people lined up unexpectedly outside Surly Brewing's original brewery in Brooklyn Center on a cold December morning to buy a 750 milliliter bottle of Surly Darkness, a Russian imperial stout.
Here's everything you need to know about this year's event:
What is Surly Darkness Day?
It's a day for Surly to celebrate Surly Nation with local and national metal bands, food trucks – and of course the release of Darkness 2017.
Historically, about 5,000 people attend Darkness Day, Surly told GoMN.
It starts at 11 a.m. Saturday and goes until 5:30 p.m. at Surly's Brooklyn Center brewery (not the one in Minneapolis).
The event is free, and you have to be 21 years old to attend (or be there with a parent).
Get there early
If you want to buy bottles of Darkness 2017, you better get there early.
Surly will be handing out wristbands to the first 1,500 people at the brewery – and people from across the country start lining up as early as 3:30 p.m. Friday for these wristbands. (Surly says they'll be handing them out before 11 a.m. Saturday.)
Getting a wristband means you'll be able to buy up to six bottles of Darkness 2017. The wristbands will have times on them, so that's when you should line up in the bottle line (which is not located inside the brewery – look for the signs).
Each bottle is $20, and it's cash only.
No wristband? No problem.
Don't you worry. You can still drink at the Darkness Day event without a wristband – you just won't be able to bring a bottle of Darkness home with you.
Surly will be pouring a bunch of special beers for the event – many that are exclusive to Darkness Day.
Pints are $6.
You'll also be able to buy Darkness 2017 in liquor stores in most Surly markets starting as early as next week.
There will be a bunch of beers
There will be kegs of:
- Cooper: "a damn good beer with coffee and cherries."
- SurlyFest: Surly's unconventional Oktoberfest beer.
- Darkness 2017.
- Damien: the "child of Darkness."
- Furious Black: Surly Furious, but black.
- Todd The Axe Man: A West Coast-style IPA.
- Dumpster Fire: A smoked IPA that's named after an dumpster that was on fire at Darkness Day 2012.
The casks include:
- Darkness with vanilla, aged on red oak kilderkin.
- Cherry Darkness kilderkin.
- Salted Darkness kilderkin.
- Mole Darkness kilderkin.
- Sardonic infused with blueberry and basil firkin.
- Mango Axe Man firkin.
- Moe’s Bender firkin.
- Simpson’s Scottish ale firkin.
Read more about the beer offerings here.
And a ton of food
There will be a bunch of different food trucks for you to grab a bite to eat while you party.
- Chef Shack (it's coming early to feed the hungry people who slept outside to be among the first in line for Darkness).
- Butcher Salt.
- Little Gs Pizzeria.
- Hot Indian Foods.
- Groveland Confections.
- Maddy & Maize.
- The Surly Food Truck.
Oh, and if you can't make it to Darkness Day on Saturday, there is a Darkness Eve party on Friday at Stub and Herbs in Minneapolis, where you'll be able to try Darkness 2017 and Darkness 2016.