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Dark Horse Brewing Company
Active Beers: 66
Beer Ratings: 16,539
Beer Avg: 3.76
Taps: 8 / Bottles: 8
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Homebrew Store ]
511 South Kalamazoo Street
phone: (269) 781-9940
General Store: 269-781-9741
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I don't know why I can't get on board with all the others who reviewed this place before me but it's pretty apparent that my experience was completely different from those who came before me.
Driving up to the place, you realize that this is a double wide trailer. No big deal because they can do some great stuff with double wides.
Walk inside and the first thing you notice, as mentioned in other reviews, is the mugs. However, the very NEXT thing you notice (at least I did) is the 1/2 inch growth of fur on top of all the unused mugs. This 'dust carpet' was everywhere, including the leading edges of all the ceiling fan blades. I constantly felt as if I had to keep my beer covered, for fear this stuff was gonna fall right off and land in my beer. It sounds paranoid but I've seen it happen at a restaurant and it's totally disgusting. Perhaps this is why I was so conscious of it but it was disgusting none the less.
The biggest disappointment to me was that there was nothing special on tap during our visit. All the beers were their regular releases, not even a one, too, tres, plead the 5th, double crooked tree, etc. Nada.
The bartender took care of us the way she seemed to be taking care of everyone and the crooked tree was tasty but overall, unless I hear that the place has changed, I don't think I'll be stopping in again on my next DLD weekend beer tour.
I suppose under different circumstances I might be able to give better scores but there just wasn't anything there to excite me even a little bit, and the extra joy of seeing how dirty the place was really put on the finishing touches.
It's really too bad too, because I dig a lot of the Dark Horse brews. I guess bottles is the way to go from here on out.
05-15-2008 18:38:50 |
More by nflmvp
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Located smack-dab in the middle of small town America, with townie regulars to boot, this is a stunning little pub with some awesome beers. The first thing you'll notice about this place is the 1400 mugs hung up on the walls, all of them hand tossed and unique. They're everywhere. It's hard to not see them. As an employee told me, "the place looks like a yard sale threw up in there." I agree. It's an ecletic mix of oddities spreadabout the mugs. Did I mention the mugs? The lay out reminds me of an old lodge with high open ceilings. There are tables on one end and the bar on the other with a little kitchen behind the bar. I don't think you could fit all that many people in here, but it seems like a cool place to be on a less than crowded evening.
The place was far from busy on our way out to DLD '08, but there were a few locals giving each other a hard time at one end of the bar, so the server didn't have too much going on. To her credit, she seemed in the know about what was happening with beer here. That was a big plus in my book.
8 beers were on and two sodas. The taps we tried weren't that great, but their bottled stuff is outstanding. Oh well.
For lunch I had their special which was a buffalo chicken sub of sorts. It was quite tasty.
I would be thrilled to live down the street from here. They seem to have a nice community feel going for them and they make some kick ass beer. After trying a handful of their beers, as far as I'm concerned, DH is one of the major players in the American beer scene as far as quality goes.
05-13-2008 01:13:17 |
More by DarkerTheBetter
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
From the outside, Dark Horse looks like it's a middle of nowhere biker bar, just a single level trailer looking place with a Wacky Shack next door and 2 other buildings on the other side of the parking lot, one containing the brewery's general store, the other one a tattoo parlor. But once inside, the place has a great vibe. Though a little on the small side, there are a good amount of tables, some of them being large enough to hold 6 or 8 people, as well as a few seats at the bar. One thing you cannot miss is the mugs for the mug club members, they've everywhere, and every member knows exactly where their mug is. Based on how many there are, this place has to have a loyal following, and with the good stuff they brew, it's not hard to see why.
We chose our table and sat down and were promptly greeted by the waitress who took our beer orders and brought food menus. The beer selection was a little disappointing, only having 5 beers on tap, as well as 2 sodas, but at least the stuff on tap was good, figured we just hit it at an off time as well saw the other signage sitting off to the side. Foodwise, they offer up the typical brewpub stuff; sandwiches and subs, pizzas, nachos, quesadillas, and potato skins, but also offers salads and calzones. My Buffalo Chicken Sub special was very tasty and not too overpoweringly hot. The place was a little smokey, but that's all because of the kitchen, as the place is non-smoking.
Dark Horse's brewpub was a real unique looking place, but totally is fun and lively as well as friendly and enjoyable. Highly recommend stopping off if you're heading between Chicago and Detroit on I-94.
05-01-2008 03:35:21 |
More by HopDerek
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
One of my favorite stops on the trip and one of the best atmospheres of any brewery I've been too. First of all the place looks like a little rustic hunting cabin or something along those lines. Its one long, narrow cabin style room with some tables and a decent sized bar. The small kitchen is kind of back in the corner behind the bar. But the thing you instantly notice upon entering is that there is literally over 1,200 different mugs hanging and covering the entire ceiling and all of the walls. It really is an impressive site. Every mug is numbered and belongs to an individual patron. We soon learned that The 'Mug Club' is a hallmark of the establishment. Many of them are locals but I was assured that the mugs were owned by people from all over the country. You could tell some of them were regularly used and some hadn't been touched in a long time. Another cool custom was passing notes to others by leaving them in their mugs like a little mailbox. It was a really neat little piece of local culture. Needless to say the atmosphere was awesome. We first showed up in the afternoon and had a pint with some local guys. We the returned that evening and had dinner and continues to enjoy some brews. The food was fantastic, especially the pizza. It doesn't seem like a place that would have great pizza, but trust me they do. Despite the great food, this is undeniably a beer place with plenty of great selections on tap. The Crooked Tree IPA was particularly good. The prices were very good as well; especially the growlers (only $5 to fill!) and they sold a crap ton of them just that evening. The service was very friendly and helpful as well. One of my favorite parts was the outdoor seating area out back. There were some picnic tables and another wooden bar as well as a little stage of sorts. Everywhere you look there was so much character. After hanging out there for ten minutes you realize how much this place is a part of the community. There are pictures, knickknacks and little pieces of memories everywhere you look. Very personal and comfortable. If I lived anywhere near this place I could see myself hanging out there regularly. If youre anywhere close to this place I urge you to visit. Its a place any beer enthusiast can enjoy and appreciate.
12-31-2007 23:19:51 |
More by letsgopens
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I finally stopped at Dark Horse late Saturday afternoon. It's easy to miss this from the road. (I saw it, but a little too late to turn)
This is one of the most laid-back brewpubs, I have ever visited. There are a few posters and other varied pieces hanging on the wall, but the most notable wall adornments are the mugs. Hundreds of clay mugs line the walls and cieling. The bar has a nice masonary top. It looks like this place does very well with the locals, but was welcoming to travelers as well.
The food menu consisted of pizza, calzones, subs, and a few snack items. My brother and I split a pumpkin seed pesto pizza. It hit the spot as tasty bar food.
There were seven or eight beers on tap, including Crooked Tree IPA, Double Crooked Tree, Boffo Brown, black beer and more. I had a pint of Crooked Tree and one of the black. Both of my choices were delicious.
This is a good place to spend a few hours drinking good beer. I'm sure this won't be my only visit.
07-02-2007 16:56:02 |
More by frazbri
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped in here on our way to a friend's house. Luckily I wasn't driving. Bar has a great fun atmosphere with great mugs hanging all over the place. I immediately sat down and got to business. Business was Double Crooked Tree on draft, and business was good. I followed that up with Say Zon, a beer that I had never heard of before, but it was an excellent belgian. It was too early for dinner, so we ordered the fancy pretzels from a grocery store with spicy mustard. The mustard was very good and went well with the beer. If I lived within 20 miles of this place I would probably set up a tent and sleep there. Awesome place.
06-14-2007 15:00:44 |
More by Duster72
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This was the most odd/unique atmosphere I have ever seen in a brewpub. It's a cool place just strange. Clearly a local bar / biker / rural town bar (with patrons very different from those at Founders). The difference between this place and my local dive bar is, really good beer. The walls and ceilings are lined with pottery mugs that are used for their mug club. I like the fact that they have outdoor patio seating in addition to the dining space. The selection wasn't as vast as I might have hoped, some of the beers were simple session beers but they also had there Double Crooked Tree IPA on tap and our bar tender gave me a sample of it. It is a decent beer. I bought a 4 pack earlier in the day at Bello Vino. I had a pint of the Amber and of the Black Beer which were easy drinking. We ordered some pizzas that really hit the spot (well mostly), I learned that the garbage pie is really too hot for my tastes. If you are in the area it is worth checking out this different culture. If you are local, get one of those custom mugs. The atmosphere would take some getting used too. For example the Men's room had "interesting quotes" on the walls of the stalls but that aside the place isn't dirty per se'. I would definitely go back again, though there is a limit to how far out of the way Id go.
Hope this is helpful.
05-02-2007 07:15:40 |
More by Phatz
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Ventured here with dispholidus1, aforbes10, and a few other friends. Well worth the trip from South Bend, and great redemption after our failed attempt to visit Zeke's a few weeks earlier.
Like people have said, this place is easy to drive right past. Just keep your eyes peeled. It was fairly busy inside (Saturday at 6PM), but two people were nice enough to offer to move so we could fit at a table. Our table was actually a door turned sideways. There were about a million ceramic mugs on the wall, and all kinds of weird crap such as a huge painting of two chimps filling a bottle of Crooked Tree with a red hose, permission slips for people's kids to "ride the halfpipe," and evidence that Fred Flintstone had a child out of wedlock. Great atmosphere! We ordered up some beer (they were all delicious), and some fantastic pizza. The chicken little, basil pesto, and pumpkin seed cilantro pizza were all great. Despite those fancy soundin' names, eating them off paper plates helps keep the place grounded. No pretentions here. No copper bar, no dark green paint, no visible brewing operations behind a huge glass window... in fact, the lady at the table next to me had a mullet. Service was good, the waitress knew what she was talking about and kept the beer coming. The food did take a while to come out, but I really didnt notice because we were enjoying damn fine beer.
About the only thing I can complain about here is that the selection was slightly different from what I expected. I was hoping to see some Double Crooked Tree. Still, there was a good varied selection (stouts, cream ale, brown ales, IPA, fruit beer, etc), a couple that I haven't seen in bottles, and everything on tap was just stellar.
Overall, it's a fantastic place, kind of a hidden gem. Oh, and don't forget to use the bathroom, and look straight up when you pee.
03-05-2007 05:00:48 |
More by shivtim
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
So we took a trip up to Marshall this weekend because i heard Fra Fra Elderbrown was going to be on tap and because i was hoping to score some Double Crooked Tree. We got there and realized we might have to be creative about finding seating for our party of 8. Its a tiny place, with only maybe 8-12 tables, if that, and a small bar. A couple sitting at a table much too large for them let us have their spot though so that was nice. We ordered a good round of excellent beers, including Too Cream Stout, F1 Cream Ale, Fore Smoked Stout, Raspberry Ale, Crooked Tree (regular, not double), Black Beer, and the Amber. Every single friggin one was a gem. I asked the waitress about Fra Fra and Double Crooked Tree and was told DCT only goes in bottles (boo!) but that it was available in the liquor store directly next to the brewpub (yay! - i got some later!!!). I was then told that Fra Fra was there but they were waiting to clear the keg of Fore Smoked Stout. So we set about doing that for them. Happily, we succeeded (with help from others in the bar, of course) and got to try it (its good). For food, we got nachos, spinach artichoke dip and three freaking fantastic pizzas...really, really great food. Service was great too...down to earth waitress joking around with us and helping us with such important tasks as taking pictures with the Dark Horse thong. All in all a fantastic time and well worth the trip from South Bend. Love the Mork from Ork poster and the painting of the chimps drinking crooked tree.
03-05-2007 02:27:01 |
More by aforbes10
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
If you haven't been to Dark Horse before, pay attention or you might drive right by it. It appears to be a little trailer hidden behind a small beer store (which I overheard receives their Dark Horse shipments from a distributor in Paw Paw. Good old liquor/beer laws.)
I stopped by on a Friday afternoon shortly after they opened. There were about 10 people at the bar and at tables. The place is very small and it reminded me of when I was a kid walking into a northern WI bar after a long day of deer hunting with my dad and his friends. It had a nice local small town feel to it. The walls are covered with beer signs, mug club mugs, Great Taste of the Midwest awards and just about anything else they felt like hanging up.
The bartender/waitress was very nice and talked to our group a few times when she was busy at the bar. There were 5-6 beers on tap that consisted of the Black Bier, Crooked Tree, Blueberry Stout, Scotty Karate and 1 or 2 others. I was hoping for something I couldn't find in bottles but was out of luck. It looks like based on the other reviews they usually have 1-2 more taps going.
Overall, I enjoyed Dark Horse and would be a regular here if I lived in the area. I would like to see them offer more brewpub only beers or would like to see more of the seasonal bottlings make it to WI but I am guessing it is a matter of them needing to grow or expand more first.
01-23-2007 21:16:45 |
More by brewcrew76
Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall, MI
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