Pork Lord Day
Zombie Dust is a really stellar sessionable IPA. Weighing in just above the 5% mark and aggressively hopped with only the Citra superhop, this beer certainly has the IBUs to smack you in the face and the malt to back it up. If you've ever had Cenotaph, this is the same beer with a much better name. Lemon and orange flavors from the hops were dominant and the overall experience was very refreshing and felt appropriate for spring. You really can't go wrong with this beer.
Ham on Rye
I decided to follow up the Zombie Dust with a Ham on Rye. I've had this 3 Floyds / Piece collaboration beer in Indy before, but as a fan of smoked beers, I was eager to revisit it. Although 3 Floyds had some pretty appealing special beers on tap tonight, I stuck with the standard tap list to delicately ease my palate in to the assault that it will receive tomorrow. Ham on Rye features a healthy dose of rye that certainly brings to mind rye bread, and enough meaty smoked malt to make its namesake entirely appropriate. Even if it wasn't called Ham on Rye, you'd still think that rye bread and smoked meat were the dominate qualities of this beer. I love it, but it's certainly subjective. Smoked beer haters need not apply.
Left Hand Wake Up Dead on nitro (foreground), 3 Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf and Figure 8 Solar Collector
After a brief run to both make ourselves feel better after dinner and to keep up our Mini Marathon training runs, we made our way out to Beer Geeks Pub in Highland. Although the atmosphere is a little lacking and odd, the tap list did not disappoint. Left Hand Wake Up Dead was on nitro, and while the nitro version brought out a lot more booziness than the bottled version, lots of bourbon, chocolate and a touch of smoke rounded out this imperial stout. Figure 8 Solar Collector was a great IPA / Wheat hybrid that will be especially excellent this summer with its creamy and refreshing body coupled with a fairly intense hop profile. I followed up the Solar Collector with a Resistance IPA, which definitely had an interesting selection of hops and stood out among the hoppy beers I had tonight.
I did learn that Dark Lord Day will be hosted and fenced in entirely on 3 Floyds' property, including the parking lot out front and the grass lot out back (currently fairly muddy). Most of the parking in the office park is roped off this year, and I have my doubts about how they're going to be able to hold upwards of 6000 people this year. Last year's crowd of 10,000 spilled over the entire west end of the office park, so trying to contain a crowd of roughly half the size to a single lot is going to be tricky. I expect most people to get their beer and get out. I'm not sure what 3 Floyds expects to happen this year, but they are certainly making the best of their situation. I'll stick around to hear Sweet Cobra, Lair of the Minotaur and Indian tomorrow and hopefully try a number of guest beers, but the beer I'm carrying in is going to be limited to a subset of what I brought. I think anyone expecting a similar event to last year is going to be extremely disappointed, but we have to adapt with the times and enjoy the positives of this event. I mean, how can you be disappointed with buying some Dark Lord, trying some amazing and rare guest beers and listening to some incredible metal bands?