Jun 5, 2012

Three Floyds!

Now, if you talk to "beer geeks" around the United States, and you ask them, what is the biggest beer release there is. I would venture to guess, Three Floyds release of "Dark Lord" would be amongst the most mentioned, along with maybe Kate the Great, KBS and a handful of others. I have never had the pleasure of drinking a Dark Lord, so I have no idea if its worth the hype or not. However, Roving Beer Czar corespondent Uncle Gary had the pleasure of visiting the Three Floyds pub on his way back from his visit to Arizona and New Mexico, and he was kind enough to share it with us. Here is what he had to say.....

Well Worth the Trip

by Gary W. Morrison

Indiana's Three Floyds Brewing is statically located in just the right place: not to far from Chicago and close to the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Just off the highway that cuts through the northern part of the state and in the city of Munster, 3 Floyds, 9750 Indiana Parkway, Munster, IN 46321, is an easy-to-get-to place for people from Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan.

But its location is not the reason that draws so many people to the brewery and has people willing to wait as long a 90 minutes at times to get inside. As you can guess, it has to be the beer.

Suzanne Golec and Mandy Dolliver
Friends Suzanne Golec and Mandy Dolliver found the eclectically decorated 3 Floyds to be a convenient meeting place prior to attending a play that Mandy's brother was performing in at a nearby town. Suzanne lives only 10 minutes from the brewery while Mandy is 40 minutes away. They find the brewery is a convenient meeting place.

"I like coming here, it gives me the chance to try something different all the time," she said, referencing the beer menu of 20 brews by 3 Floyds and 13 guest beers.

"My favorite is Zombie Dust," she said. "I always go back to that."

Mandy hasn't proclaimed a favorite, saying: "I'm trying something different each time until I do."

Larry and Carol O'Donnell
Larry and Carol O'Donnell "live nearby," but only have been going to 3 Floyds for a short time because Carol had a previous aversion to beer.

"Beer didn't taste good to me because I was going through menopause," she said. “About the only thing I could tolerate was Killian’s.

"Now that I'm through with that, I find that I now like good tasting beer and I stay away from that light tasting stuff."

The brewery's main stays are Alpha King, 3 Floyd’s flagship beer that is a big American pale ale that pours deep amber with a creamy head; Robert The Bruce, a complex malty brew derived from roasted and crystal malts; and Gumballhead, an American wheat ale brewed with Amarillo hops and a generous portion of American read wheat.

Aunt Linda with a glass of Gumballhead

Yet to single out just those three as mainstays is doing 3 Floyds a disservice. Believe me, they are all good. While I haven’t tasted them all, I am working my way through them. My wife, Linda, and I often take that little detour when driving from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Chicago.

Golden Tickets
At the end of April each year 3 Floyds has a special run of Dark Lord, an imperial stout that beer aficionados say: "It's to die for." Well, if not to die for; at least to wait in a long line for after traveling great distances.

In the past, the brewery issued "Golden Tickets" to people for Dark Lord, but not anymore. People can now go on line and secure their quota and forgo a wait in line with the chance of not getting anything.

"Each ticket will be an allotment," said manager Joe Skertich. 'The amount varies from year to year. "We announce on Face book and Twitters so people can come in and buy Dark Lord without having to camp out."

A ticket safely in hand I required for entry to the event, Skertich said. If a person does not have a ticket, they cannot get in. The ticket gains entry and people exchange it for a Golden Ticket that has a scratch off portion. If lucky enough to be a winner, they will have the opportunity to purchase a version of Barrel Aged Dark Lord in a screen printed, hand numbered, was dipped bottle as a cost of $50.

And lastly, not to be forgotten is the brewery's other big attraction, which is its food that I can personally attest to. Unlike other breweries that serve typical bar room fare, 3 Floyds outshines them all. The brewery offers up a menu selection of meat and cheese plates, combination plates that include grilled baby octopus, mussels and chicken liver; sandwich plates; main course meals; pizza and desserts.

All of this comes together to make that previously described 90 minute wait to get inside (usually on the weekends) seem like nothing, nothing at all.

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