Surly Darkness Vertical

With the growth of beer cellaring, craft beer collectors have enjoyed putting together vertical tastings of beer.  Verticals are simply a collection of several vintages of the same beer.  This Surly Brewing Darkness vertical is assembled from bottles going back to the start.  The recipe has been tweaked each year as head brewer Todd Haug zeros in on just what he wants Darkness to be.  Those that have been lucky enough to have Darkness every year all have their favorite vintages.  The number of bottles produced each year has increased but so has demand.

Seeing the progression in the labels over the years, Darkness definitely has one of the best series of beer labels around.  A framed and signed copy of the 2008 Darkness label hangs over my desk in my home office.  Offering different artists the chance to make the labels each year has produced different styles of design with a common theme.

Darkness Day is coming up this weekend, Oct 27th 2012, with craft beer fans from all around the country coming into town to party at the brewery, purchase bottles, and enjoy a great day of great beer and friends.  Looking back, it’s crazy how it’s grown from just a bit over 200 of us freezing on a December day in Minnesota back in 2007.  And the growler release back in 2006 didn’t even fill the 30 growler spots until a minute or two before the doors opened on a couple of the Saturdays back then.  Now people camp out at the brewery the night before to get a bottle (not that they have to).  Pretty cool to see the growth in a local brewery in just a couple years time.