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Hell is a Line at Three Floyds

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Nov 14, 2011 9:30PM

The beginning of a three hour queue. (Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist)

Alex gave in to his id at the Festival of Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beers this weekend, I decided to drive to Munster, IN and attend Three Floyds 15th Anniversary party. And, while Alex followed my advice for FOBAB to a tee, I largely ignored my own experience regarding attending a Three Floyds event.

I was hoping the improved crowd control measures Three Floyds implemented for Dark Lord Day would carry over into their anniversary party. For the most part, it did. Entry and exit points were clearly defined and monitored. Problem was the staggered sale times that made Dark Lord Day such an enjoyable experience for attendees was replaced by the polite British queue that's marked our previous trips to Munster.

And what a wait it was. The line to enter took 2-1/2 hours to negotiate. Once inside, it was another hour wait to buy bottles of Three Floyds anniversary beer. Baller Stout: a blended Russian Imperial Stout of Dark Lord, Surly's Darkness, Mikkeller's Beer Geek and Struise's Black Albert, sold for $30 a bottle. I bought my maximum three bottle allotment. Or nearly $26 an hour for the privilege to purchase Baller.

The lines didn't stop there. Both Big Star and Lillie's Q had their food trucks on the scene, with waits of up to 30 minutes for tacos and Sonoran dogs. The wait for beers inside the tents was less and the tickets that gained guests the right to buy beer also allowed up to four samples. Three Floyds came correct with some rare selections along their regular brews.

But the the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I wanted to use that to describe Three Floyds, but they're only feeding the demand. Instead, that described me and scores of others Saturday, alternating between patience and frustration to gain entry to the party and thank Nick Floyd and company for fifteen years of killer beer.