Surly was still a nascent brewery in 2007 when it held its first Darkness Day, marking the release of Darkness, a limited-edition Russian imperial stout that would quickly win over beer enthusiasts near and far. With distinctly demonic artwork commissioned each year by a local artist, Darkness remains one of the brewery’s most prized elixirs. Demand has proven so great that Darkness Day unofficially begins an evening early as thirsty fans camp out in hopes of being one of the first 1,500 in line, a distinction that allows the opportunity to purchase the first bottles on the market. Those arriving later can still soak in the atmosphere, sampling from the copious (and often rare) selection of brews on tap, snacking from the food trucks, and enjoying the metal music so integral to the Surly personality. Unlike SurlyFest’s setting at the expansive environs of the Minneapolis brew hall, Darkness Day beckons the faithful back to the brewery’s founding location in Brooklyn Center, reaffirming the occasion as a homecoming for the Surly Nation.