24 Feb Evil Czech Brewery’s Stalin’s Darkside Release Party Set For March 3rd
It’s not every day that we celebrate the anniversary of a person’s death with a beer release. But then again, it’s not every day that a despot like Joseph Stalin checks out. Evil Czech Brewery & Public House in Mishawaka was founded by George Pesek, a native Czech who defected in 1986.
George knows, heck – he remembers the oppression of Czechoslovakia behind the Iron Curtain, and how this began with Joseph Stalin and the coup in 1948. When Stalin died in 1953, the Soviet Union embalmed him and placed his body under glass next to Lenin’s. It remained there until 1961, when the USSR realized that perhaps venerating the mass murderer wasn’t the best idea. To drive that point home in present day, Evil Czech Brewery now releases a Russian Imperial Stout called Stalin’s Darkside each year on the anniversary of his death.
This year’s release marks the 65th anniversary of Stalin’s demise, so technically the name of this year’s release is Stalin’s Darkside ’65. The first release was in 2013 (Stalin’s Darkside ’60), but a few years ago they decided that just releasing the beer wasn’t enough; a party was also in order. March 3rd this year (just a couple of days before the actual anniversary) will be the 4th Stalin’s Darkside release party at Evil Czech Brewery & Public House (3703 N. Main St.).
Along with the advent of the parties, variants of the base RIS started to appear a couple of years ago. This year there will be a limited number of bottles of a whiskey barrel aged Stalin’s Darkside ’65, a S’mores variant, and a Mexican chocolate and cinnamon variant. There will also be a few bottles of 2017 variants (chili vanilla and Woodford Reserve) and a couple of Stalin’s Darkside ’63 variants (BBA and Rum barrel aged).
The folks at ECB have been putting the final touches on the bottles for release. They hand bottled this past Monday, labeled on Tuesday, and wax dipped on Wednesday. The Stalin release is so popular that ECB has volunteers asking to come in and help with bottle preparation. Owners George and Tammy Pesek send a huge shout out all the volunteers that help them each year.
The bottles will only be available to release party attendees on the 3rd. Any remaining bottles will then be put on sale to the public on March 4th. So the question becomes, how do you get into that release party? I’m glad you asked. Tickets for this year’s party have been reduced from $45 to only $20, and this includes Evil Czech’s Lightning Lunch, ie. unlimited trips to their small plate buffet and one free draft pour.
Besides the 100 tickets available to the public, if you’re a mug club member all you need do is contact ECB and tell them that you would like to attend. This will constitute a bunch of people, but the number of tickets to the public is unaffected by how many Mug Club members wish to attend. In addition, mug club members get to enter the release event at 10:00 while the general public will enter at 11:00. The party will run until 2:00 pm.
Flights of the Stalin’s Darkside and its variants will be available during the release party and bottle sales will take place at the same time. There is a six bottle for the Stalin’s Darkside ’65 base beer and a three bottle limit for the 2018 variants. As for the older vintages, there is a one bottle limit per person. Beer, food, bottles of rare releases, death of a tyrant….sounds like a party to me.
Click here for tickets.