Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Eric Strader
Eric Strader
Eric Strader writes about the craft beer scene in Indiana and Michigan. He's a dad, husband, potter, soccer coach, special education paraprofessional, who likes to read, bike, hike, and canoe.

Limited Release Bottles at Dark Horse Brewing Company

Posted on Jan. 1, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 1, 2013 at 3:33 p.m.

Dark Horse Brewing Company has their annual 4 Elf party in December, which is the

Pub Entrance Entrance to Dark Horse Brewing Company

release of their Winter Warmer by the same name.   They also release several small batch beers at this party like their deliciously famous Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth.

This year's most coveted bottles, Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th (Russian Imperial Stout, 14% ABV), Monster 29, and Bourbon Barrel Monster 29 (barley wine, 17% ABV), were sold out at the party.  However, I was recently able to find several 750 ml corked and caged bottles of Militiagan (bourbon barrel aged Potable Oat Wine), Whiskey Richard (bottle count 395), Lambeek wants Dragonfruit, Lambeek wants Passionfruit, Aigre Plead the 5th (bottle count, 304), King of the Forrest (bottle count 804), and Sour 3 Guy off the Scale Old Ale (bottle count 1826) at their store.

Aigre Plead the 5th Sour Stout Aigre Plead the 5th Sour Stout

Three Guy Off The Scale Sour Old Ale Three Guy Off The Scale Sour Old Ale

3 Guy Off The Scale Old Ale (barley wine 15% ABV) is a much sought after beer, and Dark Horse has not brewed if for a few years.  The most recent batch, brewed a couple of years ago, went into barrels for souring.  It was around 1 1/2 years ago that I was first learned this, and I have been waiting ever since.  I did talk with Bryan Wiggs, head brewer, and they are planning on brewing a batch of regular 3 Guy Off the Scale sometime in January, with a possible release around April Fool's Day.

He also told me that along with their cheese, candy, and bakery facility that are in the works, they are building a brew house just for sour ales.  This way he can build a recipe specifically for this type of beer, instead of souring a base beer such as Plead the 5th or 3 Guys.

Brew House 2 View of the brew house from the VIP loft

If you are not aware of the Dark Horse VIP Loft, this is a place where there are always special release beers on tap.  Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th is on tap here ALL YEAR LONG.   You must be a mug club member to purchase a VIP membership, and if you take a brewery tour on weekends, this is also where you end up after the tour.

While I was there, I got my annual pint of 4 Elf, and also picked up a couple of bottles as well.  These will fill in my vertical collection of 4 Elf starting from 2009.

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