(Visited 02/2012): Dark Horse is located on the south side of Marshall a few miles from I-69. They have a decent-sized private lot shared between the brewpub and store.
The inside features a bar right by the entrance and table seating past that, all the way to an enclosed patio. The most immediately striking feature is the collection of mugs hanging overhead throughout the entire space, all of them uniquely identified.
Dark Horse has around 8 of their beers available on draught and offers samples (in a plastic cup). On my visit they had several of the more common beers on tap plus a couple I don’t see as often, like Double Crooked Tree and What’s Up With The Monkey Blueberry Ale. All of the beers are solid.
Service was decent on a slow weekday afternoon. The bartender was our server and was friendly enough.
Food at Dark Horse consists mainly of pub grub. My colleague and I got sandwiches and they were decent.
Overall this is a worthwhile stop to try some Dark Horse beers.
Warning... This may be a bit of a homeristic review. I don’t live anywhere near here but this is my second favorite brewery in the world, so this equates to a beer mecca for me. I missed the bus here from RBSG as I just needed more sleep, but I scrapped my planned trip to Shorts just to make sure I made it here. The atmosphere is low-key and locals oriented. The place is not fancy, and is lined with odd pieces of decor all over the place. The ceiling and walls are lined with the mugs of mug club members. I noticed there were somewhere around 2400 of them. The food was a little disappointing, and I merely picked at it. The patrons seemed to be a combination of locals indulging in their mug club membership and fellow beer travelers like me. Gina the bartender was in charge of the bar and all of the tables, and worked really hard while still being very nice, and cute, and giving great service. They do offer tasters but are iffy about giving tasters of all of the smaller batches. The beer was excellent. There is a merchandise/homebrew store/skateboard shop across the parking lot which was closed, but they were happy to let me in to make purchases. They met my expectations and more, and be sure to heed the warning above when I tell you that you have to stop here.
Worth the stop if you are passing nearby because of the beer. Some experiments here, and they tasted very good. A bit hard to find, you need a to print a map and then look around, signs would be great. A little place, that at night gets buzy, bottles are sold next store at a regular store. I am told the food is good. Staff were very friendly, its like you really are in a small safe town. Middle America. Thousands of very tastefully made ceramic mugs hanging from the ceiling for "club members" who have visited frequently. There were a half dozen on tap, and served perfect.
The brewpub is basically a relatively small extension to the brewing facility. 2 main sections with a airy, more lighted area with regular tables and chairs down a small flight of stairs and the bar area, dominated by its hundreds of different beer mugs hanging from ceiling and walls. Pretty cool to see, but not particularly beautiful. Around 8 beers were on tap during our visit including the special purpose bourbon plead the 5th. Otherwise, the list consisted of many regulars from their lineup. Do not come expecting to load up on rarities or an all-stout menu. The service was efficient considering how RBSG bus filled the place all of a sudden. I’m glad I visited as it’s a great brewery, but it’s not a place I’d go to very frequently unless I lived less than an hour away.
Dark Horse is a must stop when traveling between Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo...very easy find not far from the interstate in a nice looking old town called Marshall. The first thing you notice is that this is no ordinary taproom or bar or restaurant or even beer garden...it’s all of those and more. This place was built by a local family over time and includes a separate store and motorcycle shop a couple of other venues with more supposedly coming (candy store, bakery, and distillery). The best part is the outdoor gardens and decks as well as a large area for groups and events that includes a stage and a sizable open barn. There are cool garden decorations...fountains...and numerous different types of seating areas. The beers were pretty good to very good...the Crooked Tree IPA was my favorite. I understand their pizzas are very good...as we were headed to Bells next for beer and dinner we didn’t eat...but the wood fired pizza smell was great. Come here during nice weather if you can to enjoy the outdoor beer garden...also the indoor restaurant/bar is not very large.
deyholla (660) Minneapolis, Minnesota | December 19, 2009| Updated August 3, 2010
I have stopped by here a couple times, but never rated it so I figured why not? I love the atmosphere here, with the mugs all over the ceiling and always at least a few people enjoying a Dark Horse beer. All you will find here are Dark Horse beers, but that is not a bad thing! Has a decent menu selection, but don’t expect good service, especially if it is full! Definitely worth a stop if you are passing by on I94 or I69 and have plenty of time.
Easy to locate and plenty of parking. Service was freindly and she let me order samples of the seven brews on tap. Very good brews and interseting pub. Sunday hours now and the place started to fill as the football games started. Well worth the visit and nice package store directly next door.
Out in the middle of no-where Michigan its a quit hop off 94 traveling to our from Detroit. A total small town locale, the pub itself has that small town feel too. The customers seem to be all regulars that know each other and the walls are decorated with what appears to be memorabilia that the customers put up themselves. The best part is the mugs that hand all over the wall and ceiling. Each is different and numbered for all the people that one. The Mug Club seems worthwhile...The beer list is displayed on each table with a plastic menu, each beer that is available has an X next to it. I was supremely disappointed in the beers available as all they had were regulars that I can get at any half decent store in Chicago...The service was good, they were nice and rushed us through our meal as we told them we were in a hurry. The food was pretty decent. Lots of people raved about the pizza but they were average at best.
With the limited tap list, despite the easy free-way access, this is not a place I would venture again.
The first stop on the Saturday trip during RBSG. The first thing my eyes were drawn to when I first walked in were the mugs hanging from the ceiling. Not a few of them, and not just in one place. Thousands, hanging from every available bit of rafter space. And they were all really nice hand thrown mugs. Apparently they work in partnership with a local potter who does them in bulk for Dark Horse. This was very much not the typical mug club. Talking with people in there, the reason there were masses of them around is that DH’s mug club is expensive. Something like $90 or so if I’m recalling correctly. The thing is though, there is no renewal. It’s a lifetime membership. Which turns out to be a pretty good deal, and a whole lot of people seemed to have figured this out. What makes it a good deal is the quality of the beer and the food here. While it looks like a bit of a hole in the wall almost cobbled together of spare bits of other buildings, it is definitely the kind of place I’d love to spend lazy afternoons and weekends in. The service staff did an excellent job accommodating our bus full of beer geeks who wanted to taste everything. Went with a calzone that was a bit more of a pizza folded on itself since the sauce was inside, reminding me of the ‘pizza rolls’ my college town feasted upon during late drunken nights. Well made and brushed liberally with garlic butter as soon as it came out, I put down half of it there, and the other half very late that night back in the room after the grand tasting. Their beers were quite good with well done low alcohol styles (the sort of things that many brewpubs mess up or do sub-par work on since they know they’ll sell that to the non-beer crowds), and a bourbon barrel treatment of Plead the 5th which blew me away. Also really good – housemade sodas, which may or may not change, but featured a fine root beer, and a limeade which we were happy to call green-drank as it amused us greatly. Great place.
cubs (420) Fort Collins, Colorado | November 29, 2011
The big let down here was that they didn’t have sampler trays and we were discouraged from buying half pints ("it’s only $.50 more to get a pint") I really wanted to try the whole lineup, so it was a letdown that we had to choose. I did love the rural feel to the bar and the mugs overhead but fuck man, get some taster trays!