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Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Brewing CompanyDark Horse Brewing Company
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Based on:
106 Beers
28,249 Hads
Place Score: 93
Reviews: 109
Visits: 319
Avg: 4.17
pDev: n/a
Taps: 8
Bottles: 8
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Homebrew Store ]

511 South Kalamazoo Street
Marshall, Michigan, 49068
United States
phone: (269) 781-9940

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @darkhorsebrewco

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

General Store: 269-781-9741
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 109 | Visits: 319
Photo of C_Adams
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Stopped here on Sunday for the first time for lunch and then did the brewery tour and checked out the general store. There were fairly busy when we arrived and the seating was pretty limited but we were able to get a table. Ordered a pizza and garlic cheese bread. Both were pretty good. Their beer selection was a little smaller than what I was expecting, but they had a few seasonal beers on tap that I tried. Both were very good. The service was pretty good. The wait staff works together and does a good job of making sure you have a beer and get what you need.

After lunch, we checked out the beer garden before doing the tour. We were the only ones on the tour, but it was still a nice tour. Greg was a good tour guide and it was interesting learning about the history of the brewery and all of the plans they have for future expansion. The best part of the tour was the tasting in the VIP room. They have several beers on tap there that are not available in the taproom.

The general store was a little cramped, but they had a good selection of beer, home brewing supplies, and dark horse stuff. Overall it was a very good experience and we will be stopping back again for another visit.

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Photo of 98green
3.96/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Quick stop at 1pm on a Monday. Decent crowd but not busy. Ambiance is unique, very rustic to say the least. Selection is 10 handles of their own stuff, a couple brewery only selections.

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Photo of bismarksays
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

If you have seen the show, you already kind of know the vibe of the place. It is a tough guy who secretly really cares sort of thing.
Sat at the bar. Staff was courteous, but not necessarily quite friendly. Rarely waited long for a beer, but never was really asked how I was doing or if I wanted a sample of anything. Not really a needy person, but just strange considering for a good part of my time there, I was literally the only person sitting at the bar and they knew I was also getting a growler to go.
Food was really good. I got one of their pizzas and the crust was crisp, the cheese perfectly cooked. Very nice.
Of course, you come to Dark Horse for the beer. And the beer was good. Nothing brewery only the day I was there, which is kind of a bummer. However, with the quality of beer they put out, their regulars are still special.
If you are going by Marshall, stop. Great beer and food. Don't forget to check out their general store too.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

We visited the Dark Horse brewpub in Marshall, MI, for lunch on our way to Grand Rapids. There seems to be adequate parking although the lot is shared with other businesses. The pub is long and fairly narrow with low ceilings festooned with Mug Club mugs. It was somewhat claustrophobic, like walking into a cave full of hanging bats. A waitress told me they have over 4200 members in the mug club. Since some of the mugs sported a thick layer of dust it appears some haven’t been active in a long time. They do have a large Bier Garten for those desiring outdoor dining and drinking, but since it was threatening to rain we chose to eat inside. The $ 10.00 sandwiches were good (we had the ta Tanka and the Climate Change) as were the $ 3.00 pints. There was but a single TV and it was off! A chance to eat, drink, and talk without the idiot box – we were indeed blessed! A gift shop is available across the parking lot but we didn’t visit it. Next year when we’re in Marshall again, this will be a must stop – hopefully the weather will be better and we won’t have to eat in the batcave.

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Photo of clager
2.63/5  rDev -36.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 2.75 | service: 1.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 2

Vibe: Awesome. Lots of tables, some shade, some sun. Very relaxed.

Quality: Average

Service: Extremely poor. Had to wait a very long time and not friendly at that.

Selection: Average, beers ok and only a few, mostly their staples.

Food: Had nachos that were similar to stadium nachos, just cost a lot more.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

Fun spot not too far from I-94 in historic Marshall. Generally good beer, but I've been there at times when there's nothing interesting on tap outside of their flagships. Small pizzas go well with the beer. No Nickleback or AC/DC on the jukebox. Great spot for the 4 Elf party or any of the other seasonal parties- chicken wing thing, crawfish boil, 4-20 party. Generally a good time.

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Photo of donnierickles
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

A little cramped at times (which is great for business!), this brewery mostly offers what it offers in bottles. I have only been here once but I was a little disapointed that there was no specialty beers in the general store or offered on tap. Still though, this place is awesome and could prove to be a great bar to get a little rowdy in.

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Photo of SteveSly
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Dark Horse is about a 35 minute drive from where I live in Kalamazoo, so only get there occasionally, but it is worth the drive when I do. As most people already know Dark Horse Beers are outstanding which is the reason they have become the 3rd highest rated brewery (behind Bell’s and Founders) in the crowded Michigan beer scene. The place itself is small and funky, but cool at the same time. I have never been there in the summer when the beer garden is open, but it looks like it would be fun. For food, the thing to get is pizza. They have a great selection and the pizza is outstanding. The rest of the menu is just average. Along with the brewery they have a general store, where you can purchase beer to go, shirts and other merchandise. If you are travelling along I-94 near Marshal and are a beer lover, you owe it to yourself to stop in.

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Photo of thebigredone
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited Dark Horse a few years back on a random day in April. Loved the ceiling with the mug club mugs hanging over your head.

The selection that day with was incredible, as BBPT5 was on tap. The other beers were mostly their basic lineup, with one or two pub only offerings.

Food was basic but good, ordered the cheese fingers and they were tasty.

Business was slow, so the service was good.

Prices were reasonable.

Prices were reasonable

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Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Same trip as my Arcadia and Bells trip -

Real simple - if Sons of Anarchy frequented a brewery, this would be it. Totally cool unpretentious vibe. Pretty large mug club thing happening on the ceiling but otherwise, just a good scene. Random tap handles were kinda cool as well. Retail shop had everything going on from homebrew supplies to beer to skating gear to obviously, beer and swag. Very cool place indeed.

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Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +19.9%

I had an absolute blast at Dark Horse ... it's biker bar meets brewpub but nothing intimidating or anything like that. Visited on a Wednesday at noon so it wasn't too crowded. The place is super chill - really cool just to sit there, drink beer, do some people watching and check out the awesome decor (the fish tank is EPIC). The workers were super friendly - chatted with me the whole time and were genuinely engaged. I had the calzone/fold and it was delicious. Tasted a bunch of their brews (they will give you small tasters at no charge if you ask) and threw down a few pints during my visit. It was awesome - go to Dark Horse!

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Photo of Jackofallbrews
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I've been a fan of Dark Horse beers for years and was very excited to check out this brewery. The space is small, with reclaimed doors as tables and tons of old posters on the walls. Classic folk and rock music played over the loud speakers. The entire low ceiling of the pub was lined with multicolored ceramic mugs, giving this place a close, but homey and rustic feel. I wish I lived close and could have my own unique mug here! While waiting for our tour I had some really good chili and sipped on the hoppy Smells Like a Safety Meeting.

Dark Horse is one of the more unusual breweries I've been to. The pub itself is actually attached to a family owned store. Outside there is a new outdoor biergarten, but it started raining the second we passed through that. Next to the brewery are small buildings featuring a Harley shop and the General Store. The General Store sold homebrew supplies, Dark Horse merchandise and skateboard supplies. We eventually went on the tour for an extra $10. There seemed to be a lot of unusual decorations (life sized Jack Skellington hanging over the bottling line, a fish tank table in the pub), and re purposed materials in use. Everywhere there was something new to look at.

We eventually ended up in a small but hot upstairs tasting room, where we had 6 samples included in our tour fee. This was pretty cool since we were able to try some smaller batch stuff not on tap downstairs in the pub. There was a disgusting cherry beer, but also an amazing maple aged brown ale and the bourbon barrel aged Plead the 5th Stout. We chugged these down fast and headed back to our bus. Overall this was probably my favorite brewery of the day, with a true independent spirit and vibe notable throughout everything these guys do!

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

The wife and I were traveling to Kalamazoo from Cincinnati and somehow it dawned on me near the border of Michigan that Dark Horse was on our way. And there we went. A perfect stop from the boring interstate.

Marshall is a small town hard by I-69 with some cool, old buildings around. I would have never expected a world-class brewery here! Dark Horse is located past the railroad tracks in a compound with a parking lot, a store and the brewery itself. Nothing fancy here, and mighty busy on a Thursday evening when we visited. The parking lot was practically full.

We managed to get a spot at the bar and ordered two beers. Service is nice but weird. Unless you are at one of the bar stools, you must queue on one side of the bar and order there.
Dark Horse is located in a cozy shack-cum-trailer-and-bar, with a low ceiling full of ceramic mugs and lots of wood all around.

Six dollars for a snifter of Plead the Fifth and $5.75 for Double Crooked Tree. 10 taps, nothing crazy: Barracuda Blue, Dark Horse Reserve, Thirsty Porter, Smoked Stout, Sapient Triple…

The store across the parking lot is quite expensive, but I still bought some stickers and single bottles of Plead and Double. Glad I came here, as I love Dark Horse beers, but I wouldn’t consider this a destination.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.24/5  rDev -22.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

Atmosphere: really digging it, mugs hanging everywhere, fish tank table, brewery stickered door tables, nice outdoor area.

Quality: there beers aren't bad, they just don't seem to do it for me. not quite in my tastes, and I've tried all there most popular besides bbpt5

Sercive: not bad, seemed to get a new waitress everytime someone came to our table though

Selection: Kinda weak for such a big brewery, only 7 or 8 with 1 maybe 2 being pub exclusives

Food: good but lacking creativity, pizzas just about the only meal you can really eat here.

Overall: I was wrapped in by the atmosphere and just completely lost by everything else.for a brewery that can distribute to 12 states outside michigan, can't they take care of there locals a little better than this with unique and non-bottled beers?

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Photo of tsauce2
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

A: Intimate and welcoming rustic/country setting. Mug club mugs hanging from the ceiling are very cool. Bar and table seats available. Outside beer garden. Neat complex of buildings.

Q: Beer and food were great.

S: Service was great, servers and bar tenders are knowledgeable and friendly.

S: Brewery offers many different styles, all house brews.

F: Sandwiches are great and well priced.

V: Everything seemed to be very fairly priced. Always a destination when in MI.

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Photo of rsenters29
5/5  rDev +19.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My very first visit to Dark Horse Brewing was for the 4 ELF party and to be HONEST I got the very best for the money I spent,the whole experience was most definitely bang for buck,I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK TO VISIT THEM THANKS DARK HORSE FOR THE AMAZING BEER AND FOOD!!!

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Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I did a quick MI brewery tour on my way to Founders KBS Day, and we stopped at Dark Horse first.

The Atmosphere is pretty cool. It's in the middle of what seems to be a trailer, and the ceiling is lined with all the mugs from their mug club. It's a long, narrow place that can get pretty crowded, but it's clean and has a cool vibe.

The Quality is great. I only tried 2 beers, but both were fantastic, and we all greatly enjoyed the quality of our meals.

The Service was entertaining. We had a very sarcastic waitress, and she made fun of us whenever she could. It's nice to see some waitstaff members not take everything so seriously. She was also prompt with our food and beer.

The Selection was great as well. They had a good number of their offerings on tap, and they even had Plead the 5th still tapped, so I greatly enjoyed that one as a first-timer. We also grabbed some beer to go, and they had a couple interesting bottled offerings.

The Food was delicious. I can't remember exactly what I ordered, but all 4 of us enjoy what we ate and would order food from there again without hesitation. The Poop-a-Pepperoni pizza was tempting.

I really enjoyed my visit here and would definitely go back if I was in the neighborhood.

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Photo of CMoPink
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Loved this brewery! Was totally blown away by the small charm feel, along with the amazing service. Had a very cozy interior, with an awesome collection of mug club mugs hanging from the ceiling. Also, had a great outdoor space, complete with a bar, stage, and even a fire pit. Although it was small, the place was packed, with what seemed like locals and regulars. Can't wait to go back to this awesome brewery!

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Photo of kattmunkel
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is awesome! We stopped in one weekend and ended up coming right back the next weekend for an event which was also awesome (chicken wing thing (tosspints)). The environment is young and fun, the service and food is great, and the beer is amazing. If you are ever near marshall do not hesitate to stop cause you absolutely will not regret it!

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Photo of DMarlinJ
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

I stopped by to have a growler filled. They had a chicken wing thing festival going on and a lot of people there. I was still able to go in and get my beer quickly and had fun talking with people while I waited. Checked out their store too and got a glass. I wanted to stay longer but was just passing through on vacation. I plan to go back for a spring rib cook off and enter my ribs using one of their beers in my recipe.

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Photo of qcbrewer
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

First thing I have to say about Dark Horse is holy mug club!!! Soon as you walk in you feel like you're going to hit your head on all of the custom pottery mugs hanging from the ceiling (granted, I am 6' 4"). I mean, this is seriously a VERY impressive collection of mugs that must have taken YEARS to put together. They add to the overall atmosphere significantly and help separate it from any other brewery I've been to.

That being said, the atmosphere is slightly dark, although the lighting is certainly unique as well. There is a rather small bar (downside) but plenty of seats inside. A few of the tables are really old doors covered in brewery stickers and plexiglass (a very cool feature). Outside there is a LARGE "beer garden" with ample seating, another bar, and a stage to boot. It's a nicely landscaped and very neat area.

As for the beer, there are 10 beers on draft today, with a relatively decent mix of option. I was told they were just coming off of "festival season" (which to menus actually the fall in NC) so they had a lot of special and one brews. I was hoping to try a few of the higher BA rated beers, but alas none were here (minus the crooked tree IPA). Had a decent imperial brown ale called Naughty Uncle Auger (previously unlisted), and a Crooked Tree IPA.

Overall, I would certainly come back if driving through the area. They have a decent line up, with quality beers, and atmosphere you won't likely find anywhere else. Worth a trip from sure.

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Photo of neckbracesub
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

February 2013. On our way back home from Grand Rapids, we made it a point to stop in Marshall, MI for an evening to visit Dark Horse Brewing Company. They have always brewed some of my favorite beers (Plead The 5th Imperial Stout is particularly tasty), and my dad highly recommended the brewery's atmosphere and food.

My dad couldn't have been more right about the atmosphere. I've never been inside a bar quite like it. It's almost like an old-time cabin and features mugs all across the ceiling throughout the entire place. The pub is connected to the actual brewery that sits behind it. For $7 each our group got to take a tour, on which Miles informed us of their history and the operations of Dark Horse. The tour ended up in the VIP tasting room, where we sampled six beers and took part in an extended chat about all sorts of things. Miles is one cool dude, extremely real and personable and helped put a memorable stamp on our trip.

The quality, service, and food were all just about perfect. We ended up staying nearly 9 hours. it was a Sunday evening, on which they normally close early-ish, but they extended their hours because we wanted to enjoy it a bit more. They were unbelievably nice people, all of them.

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Photo of Foosier
3.43/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in for a couple of beers and was disappointed by the options. They had several beers on tap (probably 8-10) but several were fruity beers (raspberry and peach) that I don't normally enjoy. I did try a half pour of the raspberry mixed with a half pour of the black and it was decent. Had a bowl of chili which was the best part of the experience. I really enjoy the Crooked Tree IPA and the Double Crooked Tree IPA, but the other beers I tried (Boffo Brown and the mix mentioned above) were merely decent.

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Photo of DavidRandall
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I stopped this past Sunday about 12:30 soon after they opened for Sunday service. There were a dozen or so people there already. I sat at a high top table and quickly was asked if I would like something to drink and was handed a menu. I ordered a Crooked Tree IPA. Then ordered a bowl of chili and mini pretzels with beer mustard. The chili came with 5 or 6 pieces of bread and was tasty. The pretzels were literally mini pretzels out of a bag with a small container of mustard. The mustard was good but the plate was expensive for 75 cents worth of pretzels and some mustard.
The mug club mugs hanging from the ceiling had to number over a thousand. It made for interesting ceiling tile. The bar itself is on the small side but there was outside seating and a small stage. It was raining when I was there.
One pint, a bowl of chili and the pretzels came to $14. I will be back to try a sandwich sometime.
Across the parking lot is a store to buy home brew goods, clothes and beer to go.
Have been back a few times since my original post. The sandwiches are very good and the pizza is good.

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Photo of king75
3.51/5  rDev -15.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.75 | selection: 4

Review from notes taken on visit 5/24/13

Atmosphere- This brewery has a very unique atmosphere. Very crowded and noisy playing a lot of music from the 90's. Has kind of a clique feel to it with the wait staff interacting with many of the visitors on a first name basis. They have a huge mug club with the entire ceiling being covered in hand thrown mugs. Overall the atmosphere is good but not great a little loud for my taste but it is a Friday of a holiday weekend.

Quality/selection- Beer selection is great with several that I have not seen on tap before. I was fortunate to be able to try double crooked tree on tap which was delicious and served in the proper glass ware. The beer is top notch and very well balanced.

Service- I have visited many brewery's and understand that brewery's get busy but I have never experienced the rudeness and poor service at any other establishment that I experienced here. My wife and I walked in and no one greeted us and their was no sign stating whether or not your supposed to seat yourself. My wife and I saw two spots open at the bar so we decided to sit there. We sat there for over 10 minutes before anyone even talked to us. I put my hand up to flag down a bar tender and when someone finally came over to take my order they gave me attitude and asked for my ID. They took my ID but did not take my order for another five minutes. The wait staff had plenty of time to dance behind the bar and talk to their local friends but I had to wait for close to 20 minutes to get a beer!

Overall, I love Dark Horses Beers but the brewery experience due to the service left a lot to be desired. I hope that this poor experience was due to it being a holiday weekend. I will go here once more just because I like there beer but if I experience the service that I did the first time I will never return

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Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall, MI
93 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.