Three Floyds XV Anniversary Party & Baller Stout Release

It’s hard to believe the Three Floyds Brewery has been around fifteen years. A brewery commended for producing some of the worlds best beers. So what does a brewery like this do when they hit that fifteen year mark? Throw a huge party to celebrate the collaboration between three other exceptional craft breweries (Surly, De Struise, and Mikkeller) in producing a truly rare blending of the world’s best Imperial stouts.

2pm Line

It seemed everyone was unsure exactly how this event would compare to previous Dark Lord Day events held at the Munster, Indiana-based brewery. Every year each Dark Lord event has shown a gain in experience and improved planning for the Three Floyds crew. This Anniversary party was the first of it’s kind and many of the changes payed off. One of the best changes made was the sale of 750 tickets at the brewpub days before they went on sale online. This gave locals a chance to get tickets without having to compete with online ticket brokers who snag many of the tickets just to make a profit. Also a positive was sharing more information on the blog the day before, such as the 3 bottle limit, and a list of barrel aged beers available for purchase.

With entry starting at 1pm we wanted to get there early. Arriving around noon, there was a line as expected, but maybe only a couple hundred deep. The line 1 hr before entry to about the 3-4hr before entry line at this past Dark Lord Day. The FFF Blog post mentioned no coolers when you entered the party. It did say you could bring “two or three bottles to trade”, but just before 1pm they came buy announcing no outside beer could be brought in. This caused many people to try and rapidly drink everything they had in their bags and backpacks.

About to Enter the Brewery

We entered and immediately went to the bottle line as everyone did. While in line I went to the tent and grabbed a couple glasses of the XV Ale now called Baller Stout. This stout was a collaboration between the 4 breweries. Blending 4 great beers together: Three Floyds Dark Lord, Surly Darkness, De Struise Black Albert, and Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch. I’m always worried when I hear about beer blending, but this massive beer turnout out just right. I felt it was very well blended and each of the beer profiles complimented and offset each other. The 2 I felt stood out more then the others were Dark Lord and Darkness, but the other 2 were there just not as up front in the taste. With these 4 breweries teaming up to make a beer they outdid themselves and made one that outperformed my expectations.

Handing out the Bottles

Once inside the brewery we traded our event tickets for a golden ticket and were off to get our beer. There were much fewer sale stations / volunteers distributing the bottles at this event then the previous Dark Lord Day. After you received your 3 bottles of Baller Stout, if you were early enough you had a chance to buy 1 of 6 different barrel aged beers: Barrel Aged Dark Lord, Cuvee De Viking a wine barrel aged RogGoop, SoBro a sour brown ale, Biggs’ ‘Stache a golden sour, Barrel Aged Owde Engwish Bahwey Whine, and Conquistador de Muerte Porto a version of Conquistador aged in Port Barrels. We all went for the Dark Lord and it was the Brandy Barrel aged version. I heard talk of some people getting Vanilla and other varieties as well randomly. There was also a table for the normal varieties of FFF, such as Zombie Dust and Gumballhead. We then took our goods to the car and returned to enjoy the rest of the event.

Baller Stout XV Anniversary Ale

It was close to 2pm at this time and the line was incredibly long and slow moving, so I am glad we got there when we did as this line still had hundreds of people in it later in the night also. Once back into the event area, there was an enormous tent with heaters and all the brewers pouring their delicious brews. With our golden tickets we were treated to 4 samples of any of the beers we wanted. In addition to the the 4 collaboration breweries, Pizza Port was also there as a guest brewer. Some highlights were Damian (Surly), Boo Goop (a FFF Mikkeller Colaboration), and ’08 Pannapot Grand Reserve (De Struise). With the exception of FFF each brewer had a rotating tap list which kept the lines down for the most part. The only line we had to wait in for beer was Surly, and that was just about 5 minutes. The tent was also filled with tables and chairs which made for a great relaxing area to enjoy some brews with new and old friends.

Just next to the serving tent was the food. On one side was some fantastic looking food from Three Floyds themselves, and on the other side 2 food trucks with fantastic looking pulled pork or tacos. I did not get a chance to try the food, so can’t comment specifically but everyone I saw with some was raving that it was fantastic.

Three Floyds Taps

You’d think that all of this would make for a lot of things going on and a great party, well there was more. Inside the brewery was a full stage setup for a constant stream of bands throughout the day, ending with the Melvins headlining. There was good sound for the bands and it wasn’t overpowering where if you didn’t want to be listening to them you just had to walk to another section and you could easily chat with friends. The merch tables were set up here for the band merch as well as Three Floyds merchandise. My only complaint here is they never have any enough XXL shirts and I’m a bigger guy and always try and buy an event shirt but they are always gone in my size. After picking up some shorts/glassware/posters, we went out to inspect the state of the folks in line still awaiting their Baller Stout at around 5pm. It had gotten colder and windier, and it seemed the folks that had arrived at ~2pm were just getting to the entrance to the brewery grounds, having to wait 3+ hours in line at this point.

Barrel Aged Beers

Overall, we enjoyed the festival and thought many things had improved over Dark Lord Day. These specifically were, tickets for sale locally ahead of time, and the main tent/serving areas. Plenty of room to relax and easy access to the beers. We did feel that the line for purchasing bottles on Dark Lord Day flowed, in comparison to this event, much smoother. It worked essentially the same way, we think they had many more volunteers distributing beer, which made it work a lot quicker then compared to this time. We did like that the barrel aged beers were first come first server since we were able to get one this time; however, this probably added to the wait and long bottle line. Without this reason to line up right away many people may have went to enjoy the taps and bands first then get bottles later. Regardless we enjoyed the beers, bands, and company of all the beer geeks we had a chance to hang out with.

Beer Tent

Maybe we will see another great Anniversary Party in 5 years for the 20th, or even just more great brewery collaborations like Baller Stout in the future. Either way I’ll be toasting everyone at the party when I crack open my bottles of the Anniversary Ale.








For more scenes from the FFFXV Party  be sure to visit our facebook page (dont forget to hit the like button)

awesome FFFXV shwag



Founder of Chicago Beer Geeks also Founder of Windy City Stangs, a Chicagoland Mustang Club. I work in the IT industry but also do some DJ work at local bars and clubs.


  1. The Melvins had 2 drummers and as the headliner really rocked out to end this event. The mosh pit was in full effect for that show and crowd goers were eager to share some of the rare beers they scored on the day. I got a change to try the Biggs Stache a golden sour during warming up for the final performance.

    It was fun to see so many make trip down from FOBAB to enjoy this party as well which was in full swing all the way up until close…

  2. The double drumming Melvin’s really did rock hard as Nkosio mentioned. Crazy long lines made it tough to get food but not bad for beer. We had some awesome selections at both the Floyd’s party and FOBAB but the contrast between the two parties organizationally was painfully evident. While FOBAB was structured nicely, as any craft beer event of that calibre should be, the Floyd’s event was more like a college frat party, where chaos ruled the day. Good times had at both as long as you know what to expect….

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