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Dark Horse Brewing Company
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Active Beers: 55
Beer Ratings: 13,156
Beer Avg: 3.81
Taps: 8 / Bottles: 8
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Homebrew Store ]
511 South Kalamazoo Street
phone: (269) 781-9940
General Store: 269-781-9741
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vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I have been coming here once a month the last two months for a homebrew class and have visited a couple times prior. The atmosphere is laid back and local. All the beers are very good, with the black bier and crooked tree on tap every time I have been, along with at least 6 other beers. The last time there I had 4ELF (great spiced winter warmer) and the Tirsty Trout Porter that is well made also. The brewers are real cool guys and are willing to share thier knowlege. Travis, the head bartender knows his beers and is a very nice guy. The specialty pizzas are great, a must try. The homebrew shop across the parking lot has decent selection. Probably my favorite brewery to hang at thus far.
02-17-2009 18:06:40 |
More by MasonBeerMan
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I love this place. Aaron, the head brewer, in a moment of generosity, parted with a stash double IPA. The regular IPA and stout were just as good. The staff is super friendly and it was open mic night, so the atmosphere was fun. The food smelled great, but we didn't try any having just ate. Their menu is pretty large and there were was a variety of items offered. The beer is excellent quality. I highly recommend taking the trip out there. I hear they may be expanding, but I didn't hear this first hand so I can't confirm it.
11-21-2005 18:43:01 |
More by yock
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $
Based on a visit there 10 15 09. Review from limited notes, mainly memory. In fact, here are the notes that I took that day (just jotted them down really): Atmoshphere. Shack like atmosphere of hard wood tables, random bar stools and about 2,000 pottery mugs hanging from the ceiling. Had Gina as a server and she was excellent. She was engaging, knowledgeable about the products and positive in attitude. She handled our every need with style and grace. Approaching this place it is not all that impressive but you know it is very much a local brewery and its quality surpasses that of my hometown's Great Lakes Brewing Company. Artisan beers from artists for (mainly) the locals. Excellent.
Service: As mentioned, Gina was patient, kind, positive and helpful.
Quality: Beer: Excellent.
Selection: Excellent. Dark Horse beers are tremendous.
Value: Great. $5 pint glass with Dark Horse label on it is very reasonable.
...and what follows is the supplemented review that I did from memory....I think that they agree...
Atmosphere One thousand clay mugs literally cover the ceiling, reinforced by 2 by 4's that span the ceiling, essentially lowering it in the process. The place is kind of a shack with hard wood chairs, tables and a hard wood bar with Dark Horse taps featured at the bar and all manner of assorted decorations. I really like this atmosphere as there is a genuine quality here that you do not find in many modern brewery locations. I was told later in my Michigan trip that Founders of Grand Rapids used to be more like what the modern day Dark Horse is like. There are probably seats for about 75 people, 10 of which are literally at the bar. There is a small gift shop opposite the brewery bar which is the size of a small living room. I would not change a thing. 5.0
Quality Well this is interesting. I don't think that most people would consider the quality to be very high since, in essence, this is a shack that features beer brewed locally but I think that this is the essential beer advocate place that I have ever been to. If your focus in on the beer, the quality cannot be improved. If your focus is on the cleanliness or class and presentation of the place, there are a lot of improvements that could be made. Mine is on the beer. 4.5
Service Just great. The bartender was attentive, talkative, informative and even patient as I described to her my interest in the place and asked about the "mug club" feature. 4.5
Selection The best feature of the place. Dark Horse beers are incredible and probably even better here at the brewpub. 5.0
Food Did not order food.
Value Cannot be improved. 25 cent samples and I got a pint glass with a logo, filled with the beer of my choice, for $5. 5.0
Notes: What a gem, a real Beer Advocate place.
11-24-2009 05:29:32 |
More by adamette
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Dark Horse is one of my favorites and I'm sad that they're so far away from where I live.
The atmosphere and vibe make it feel like an awesome dive bar that happens to serve amazing beer and great food. I like the fact that the entire place is covered in unique mugs and it's very common to see a group of folks walk in, look up, grab their mug and get it filled right away. All of the staff I've interacted with have been great both on site and at various festivals.
I really enjoy their pizza and of course the beer. My favorite beers include their Double Crooked Tree, Tres Blueberry, Fore Smoked, and BA Plead the 5th. With the amazing offerings they always bring to festivals and what they have at 4 elf.... I really wish they had more taps at the pub to showcase that diversity and some of the more interesting beers.
We had quite an amazing afternoon the last time we stopped in and I can't wait to go back as soon as possible.
02-11-2012 19:41:18 |
More by dblab33
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
My wife and I went here as our last stop on our Michigan beer tour. It turns out we saved the best for last.
We went at around 1 on a Sunday, and the inside was busy. We helped ourselves to a seat outside, in the cool comfort of a shady tree. The waitress came by eventually, and listed what they had off the top of her head. I had an amber ale and my wife had the raspberry. I really liked the amber, and I tried and enjoyed some of my wife's. While we were drinking our first beers, we went on an informal tour of the brewery. It wasn't very detailed, but it was fun.
They had a really good selection of beers, and we next had the trip ale and the crooked tree IPA. Both were delicious.
In the meantime, we ordered a small hawaiian pizza, which eventually surprised us with its extreme deliciousness.
The waitress was cool, and the whole place has a very relaxed atmosphere. The beer was great, and the food was good as well. We had four pints and a pizza for 27 dollars or so, so it was quite reasonable.
I want to come here again, but it probably won't be until I'm in Michigan again.
07-17-2011 21:50:16 |
More by ebby82
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
on the way back from a trip to the UP i realized we were 20 miles from marshall, MI. i asked my girlfriend if she would be interested in taking our time by stopping at dark horse for a late lunch. she was more than enthusiastic. i more than love her!
A: at dark horse they take the term "mug club" to the extreme. each member gets their own ceramic mug which is then hung on the ceiling for them to retrieve when they visit. awesome. the grounds of the brewery were a bit scrambled, but their outdoor area looked like it would be a great place to hang out, have a beer and see some live music.
Q: the quality was exceptional. nearly a dozen beers on tap with really unique tap handles at the bar. the beer was fresh and our bartender let us try as many beers as we wanted.
Ser: for someone who had only worked there for three weeks our server/bartender was kind, knowledgeable and fun to talk to. she knew a great deal about the beer on tap as well as things going on around the brewery.
Sel: dark horse is undergoing a massive expansion yet they still had ten or so beers on tap with helpful information about each beer and free samples of each. unique pub offerings too (beers for charity and one offs).
F: i had some great eats here. a toasted turkey sub with guacamole and other veggies. my lady had some good chips and dip and a salad with a house made dressing. delicious!
V: a bit pricey and that's more on the food side than the beer side. our beers were less than $4 a pint but my sandwich with regular ruffles potato chips was $10. twas good, but expensive.
overall, this was the highlight of my ten hour drive back to indiana. best of luck with the expansion, dark horse! cheers.
08-24-2010 16:14:18 |
More by chrizzle
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $
I'm used to decimated cityscapes and abandoned downtown areas in great Indiana so I was surprised to find the quant, picaresque town of Marshall Michigan to be a great counterpoint. Its town circle seems pulled right out of American Graffiti, with its vibrant very much alive city center.
Just a few blocks away from the town's roundabout is Dark Horse brewing company, a completely unassuming (and divey as some mentioned) little brew-bar. Modest digs, great friggin' beers.
The flagship brew is a double stout - that should tell you something. The IPA was delicious as was the Sapient Trip (tripel) and even the raspberry beer was tolerable.
The wait staff was very beer-geeky and hospitable. Great lady to talk to, though I didn't catch her name.
If you drive on I-69 near Marshall or are anywhere near this place, stop. It was so nice and blew my local right out of the water.
07-01-2005 19:01:58 |
More by GreenWBush
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Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall, MI