Dark Horse Brewery is located on the other side of the railroad tracks in historic downtown Marshall.
The Dark Horse brewery creates many craft beers in different styles and flavorings.
My mom has assembled a list of popular local breweries and slowly but surely we’ve started to visit them. As winter slowly releases its hold on the area brewery visits have provided a great opportunity for us to see some of Michigan’s small towns and sample beer, chatting with the teams of brewers who make it possible.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share this video with you. The owner’s mom talks about working with her son–and how proud she is of him. Happy Mother’s Day to you, and the moms in your life! Enjoy today’s post!
Dark Horse Brewery is an independent brewery, which first opened in 1998. Today, it’s located just off the main square in Marshall, in one of Michigan’s quaint, historic towns. The brewery sits on a small tract of land just beyond railroad tracks and is a brewing facility, a gift shop, tattoo parlor, skate shop, and a smallish tasting room with a very large pub and beer garden.
Dark Horse has one of the largest mug clubs in the country. As soon as you open the door to the brewery, you can see the mugs that are suspended from the ceiling and walls of the 1,200 square-foot-space. The mug club is the restaurant’s decor, with more than 3,800 mugs are suspended from the ceiling. These mugs are made in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by a potter named Ryan Dalman. (Dalman’s work is appealing, and I will most likely cover him in another article, later this summer on home goods from the U.P.–stay tuned).
As you enter the restaurant, a large bar with exposed brick greets you.The decor is reminiscent of a cabin, and the small space includes a bar with stools and a jukebox. The larger and more inviting space (because it has more capacity) is the outdoor seating area. The outdoor area has a stage, fire pit, and massive area for outdoor drinking and relaxing with friends.
Candidly, we came for the beer not the food. With that said, we ordered a pizza, and it was good. The circle shaped pizza arrives at the table cut into squares. This is something I don’t really get–but will say is great when you’re sharing a pizza with a lot of people, because it creates more for the group. The food was good–and it would be absolutely fine for feeding a crowd.
Everyone loved their beers. I like mine so much that I purchased my very first growler! I ordered the Barracuda Blue, I was thrilled to learn that the beer would need to be consumed within 36 hours–so that its integrity was maintained and merrily drank the entire thing (shamelessly) within the stated time frame! I rinsed the growler out and put it in my car, so that the next time I’m in the area, I can return it for a refill!
Tours of the facility are offered Saturday and Sunday between Noon and 6:00 pm. The cost is $10.00 per person and includes a guided tour of the production facility, a pint glass and private tasting in the VIP Loft.
The legendary mug club. Dark Horse’s mug club is undoubtedly one of the largest in the country. According to our waiter, there are now 3,924 members in the club. Club membership costs $46.00 for life and is highly coveted. The mug sale happens a few times a year, with the brewery selling 400-600 mugs. The last mug sale, in December saw people arriving early (think 4:00 am) and lining up!
Dark Horse is my favorite brewery in western Michigan. It has an independent vibe and a high quality offering of beers. The brewery’s vibe is authentic, blue-collar and relaxing. Being there, is like sitting on your friend’s sofa and drinking beers while catching up.
Though difficult to join, I’m adding joining the Dark Horse mug club to my bucket list. I’d love to own a mug so I can show up and drink with the staff there at my leisure!
address + phone number.
515 South Kalamazoo Road