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5 things to know about Surly's Darkness Day

People wait in line for hours to buy a bottle of beer.

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.

– Tasting 7 years of Surly Darkness in one sitting – how it's changed over the years

And since then, the annual Darkness Day (the release of Darkness) has grown bigger and bigger. In fact, it was named among the 10 most traveled for beers in America by Orbitz.

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: 

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.

There will also be cans of Hell and Xtra-Citra

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. 

Among them: 

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.

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