Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Brewing CompanyDark Horse Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.74/5
Based on:
98 Beers
26,143 Ratings
Place Score: 95
Ratings: 306
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 4.26
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

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

General Store: 269-781-9741
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 306 | Reviews: 116
Reviews by adamette:
Photo of adamette
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Photo of Shon4star
3.36/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Photo of donnierickles
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of JonB25
4.43/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great Experience, Crowded, Enjoyable Pizza, Open Seating

Photo of hardysf
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Packed bar on a Friday night. Lots of beers on tap. Limited food menu. Great Pizza though.

Photo of Agostini10
5/5  rDev +17.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Best brewery in Michigan, best beer in Michigan.

Photo of MSEGUIN
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Always a good time to be had here. Great beer, and an awesome atmosphere to enjoy it in.

Photo of mccormid35
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Awesome place. Very good food. All the workers and servers are polite. Cabe Churchill sat and talked with me and shared a beer with me. Must visit

Photo of Musselman
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great beer, always something new to try. Awesome environment just don't play any ACDC.

Photo of SteveSly
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of thebigredone
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
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

Photo of Beerdudenumberone
3.06/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3.25

Very basic and unimpressive atmosphere and food

Photo of raeman70
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

These guys do an awesome job with their beers and events. Down to earth guys making kickass beers !

Photo of rden4654
3/5  rDev -29.6%

The next time you post you are going to distribute a certain way you should do it. Alot of people got screwed by this brewery at 4 elf.

Photo of gopens44
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +17.4%

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!

Photo of Azumel
5/5  rDev +17.4%

I always make a point to head here at least once when we go back to Michigan. I've never had a bad beer here.

Photo of indianabeerman
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

great atmosphere. really good food. 6 plus really good beers on tap always . then the excellent seasonals

Photo of Jackofallbrews
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.24/5  rDev -23.9%
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?

Photo of tsauce2
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of rsenters29
5/5  rDev +17.4%
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!!!

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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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Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall, MI
95 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.