MARSHALL — For those who saw a small town’s brewery become a national TV star Tuesday night, “Dark Horse Nation” seemed to show the Dark Horse Brewing Co.’s individuality and spirit the way fans know it.
The reality show airing on History follows the crew of the Dark Horse, 511 S. Kalamazoo Ave., as they not only make beer, but embark on other projects to either improve their growing brewery operations or the quality of their free time, such as the heated, TV-equipped ice fishing shack with a bar inside featured on the second episode shown Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Jason LaForge, owner of Louie’s Bakery — that other Marshall destination of deliciousness — said he watched the premiere of “Dark Horse Nation” at a private party.
“In fact, I went down there Monday night and stocked up on growlers for this party I was going to,” LaForge said. “You can’t watch the show about Dark Horse and not have Dark Horse beer.”
LaForge said the show captured what he knew about the crew of brewers and others that work there.
“Especially John,” LaFoge said. “John Churchill — Cabe — works all the time. Every time I’ve been in that building he seems to be working. He’s always doing something.”
In one episode Tuesday, Churchill was shown hard at work on a particular brewing component that had failed.
“It’s really cool to see guys that you know be themselves without a lot of crazy stuff,” LaForge said. “Or maybe there was a lot of crazy stuff, but it was enjoyable.”
Louie’s Bakery, found at 144 W. Michigan Ave., and Dark Horse know each other well; Dark Horse created the Polymer Long John donut beer with Louie’s logo on the label.
Other businesses were also joining in. At Schuler’s Restaurant and Pub, 115 S. Eagle Street, a banner promoting the brewery was posted on the front of the building, where Dark Horse beer can be found inside.
At Vint-edge, 114 W. Michigan Ave., shop owner Ann Michels said people have been coming through and talking about the show Wednesday.
Michels was at Dark Horse’s red carpet premiere party Tuesday. She said the show was pretty accurate when it comes to showing the Dark Horse vibe.
“They have kind of a different way,” Michels said. “They have a weird, different personality. I like something different.”
Glenn and Teresa Hubbell of Somerset Center have been camping near Coldwater. They said they’re Dark Horse fans, having just come from lunch at the brewery before shopping downtown.
“We especially enjoy going to their events that they have,” Teresa Hubbell said. “Last year, they had a thing for cancer and we went to that. We always go to their (Chicken) Wing Thing. You can go if you’re dressed up and going to a meeting.”
“Or straight from the lake,” Glenn Hubbell said.
While eating at Broadway Grille, 107 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall’s Charity Gary said she liked the show and the whole Dark Horse experience.
“Just the ambiance,” Gary said. “Just laid back and cool.”
Michels said that ambiance creates something unique, where the mugs hanging from the ceiling create a sort of cave, an escape from the rest of the world.
“It’s just like you’re in your own little world,” Michels said. “Just across the tracks, it is like its own little nation”
Article courtesy of: Call Andy Fitzpatrick at 966-0697. Follow him on Twitter: @am_Fitzpatrick