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Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Brewing CompanyDark Horse Brewing Company
Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
Based on:
106 Beers
28,258 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
Reviews by adamette:
Photo of adamette
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

 2,775 characters

More User Reviews:
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.

 1,209 characters

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.

 185 characters

Photo of Sprague67
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of cards22
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of Daydream816
3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

 954 characters

Photo of scott2269
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Photo of mgavin
4.46/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Wolverine48092
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of Sexton
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

 1,112 characters

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

 310 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.96/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of Sinzanasti
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of spike8382
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

 388 characters

Photo of jamesod
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25

Photo of daniels79
3.71/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Photo of Beersmuggler
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Photo of kamin1jl
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Shon4star
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3

Mhhh. Good beer. Solid decor. People where rude. But hey good beer.

67 characters

Photo of j_dub_42
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

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