Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Amber Ale

Other reviews for this beer:
Eddie Glick one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer read it ›
Dark Horse Brewing Co.
Marshall, MI

Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 5.5%

Rings’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Dark Horse Brewing Company, out of Marshall, Michigan is one of those breweries with a bit of a cult-like following among the beer geeks. They’ve managed to infuse a good amount of creativity into styles that may otherwise fall into the “same ol’, same ol’” categories that sometimes plague small brewers. You know, there are those places that settle for American Ale 1056 yeast in all their beers and brew a “Pale,” “Red” and “Porter/Stout” that all taste strangely alike.

Well, you won’t find that sort of conformity from these guys.

I spent an afternoon yesterday with a few pints of their Amber Ale. The only thing generic about this beer was the name. Served unfiltered, the draft pours with a traditional deep, cloudy copper color, but opens up immediately with a funky yeast nose that almost hints at a Belgian strain or the essence of a homebrew. The body is full, sweet and rolls back into a spicy, but clean hoppy bite. Nearly every sip brought out something different, a spice here and hint of fruit there.

While it does have a little bit of kick, you don’t feel like you’re drinking a strong ale as the blend of flavors and aromas balance nicely and the fullness covers up any heat from the alcohol. It’s a very satisfying brew and interesting enough to find new layers as you pair it up with an appetizer or meal.

Dark Horse’s brews are available in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. While the Amber Ale is probably the tamest of their year-round offerings, any of their brews are worth checking out if you can find it in your area.

I’d wavered between three and four mugs on this one, but by my third pint, I was convinced this was a four. While it’s certainly not a “profile” amber ale, the lack of conformity is an asset as this Amber Ale is distinctive and memorable for all the right reasons.

Reviewed by Rings on April 7, 2010.
Agree with this review?

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...