CELEBRATING 10 YEARS!

Buy us a beer!

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS!

Buy us a beer!

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Beer | 0 comments

It was party time as merry elves descended on Dark Horse Brewing in Marshall to chow down and drink up at the annual 4 Elf party.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

4 Elf 2023 – We are back!

When we arrived at the annual 4 Elf party at Dark Horse Brewing this weekend, I thought, “We are back, baby!” Not only did we make it this year after missing last year, but it felt like we all had made it back, back from the lower turn-out after the pandemic and just back to gathering in mass.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

Then I thought of the scene from The Hangover where Phil and Stu are jazzed about being back. Now, I’m not sure if I’m Phil or Stu in this scene (or perhaps I’m Doug??)  Anyway, for a refresher, here’s the clip:

Now, I could also be Alan as he sings about his best friends. However, in my case, it isn’t just three friends; it’s a room full.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

Dark Horse Community

I love beer events like 4 Elf. While the beers are outstanding, what makes it shine is the community. We immediately started seeing old friends such as Go Dad, Brett, and Kevin. Our dearest Dark Horse pals Trent, Emily, and Taylor were on hand. 

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

Sadly, I missed getting a pic of Cabe, Katy, and Kristine. However, we met Dark Horse marketing director Charlie Osberger, whom we’d seen at beer festivals. Now, we can put a name to the face.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

Speaking of names, I will admit up front that I’m terrible with names. This is not a good trait, and I’ve yet to rectify it. Suffice it to say, we ran into many friendly and familiar faces, the usual suspects, if you will. I’m going to have to get my shit together and take a hot minute to ask folks names. In the meantime, shout out in the comments after this story if you have names for these wonderful folks.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

It Ain’t Easy

If you are like me, you love a great party, and there can be no doubt that 4 Elf is one of the very best. Everyone is decked out in fun holiday wear. Some with their favorite ugly sweater. Some with festive hats or Christmas lights. Others take their holiday costumes to the max, hoping to snag the best costume prize money.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

In the rush of seeing people enjoying beers and food, it is easy to forget that a ton of work goes into putting on a party like this. Many thanks to the Dark Horse team of staff and volunteers who make 4 Elf so much fun. They did a marvelous job keeping the beer flowing and serving dandy food.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

Roaking Out in the Beer Garden

With the new Roak Beer Garden up and running, the 4 Elf party has a badass new home. Dark Horse set up tents connected to the roof over the Roak bar and into the garden. It made the party space feel huge. Filled with partying elves, the space was bright, festive and fun. Although, the rocks in the garden made for a sobriety obstacle course when navigating around them.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

The famous bottle releases from 4 Elf parties of old were back this year. The general store had special bourbon barrel varieties of Plead The 5th, the delicious Russian Imperial, and 4 Elf Winter Warmer. Those big-ass beers were on tap along with a bevy of beauties, including the new Apricot Tree Hazy IPA and the Gen Pop pilsner. These beers and the original Crooked Tree made this party hum harder.

Let’s Rock

When we made our power slide into the 4 Elf party, the music was already kicking. We missed out on Father Stone but caught the soulful rockin’ blues of the Fat Animals. The band was firing on all cylinders. Brilliant vocals, heart-thumping rhythm, and the sweet singing of dual Les Pauls were heaven to my ears. The Fat Animals jammed a number of classic tunes, but the highlight was the extended cover of The Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post.” My lord, The Fat Animals are fantastic.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

The front of the stage on the opposite end of the Roar beer garden quickly filled up in anticipation of Starfarm. This was the band’s third year in a row headlining the 4 Elf party. After just a few notes of “Working for the Weekend” by Loverboy, it is easy to see why Starfarm is a favorite. They play to perfection the power hits of the 80’s. You want to dance, Starfarm’s got you. You want to go crazy, Starfarm’s got you. You want to crack that whip, Starfarm’s got you. We jumped around with a few hundred of our best friends and had a ball.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023
Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

Stories of 4 Elf Party Past 

We’ve got a bunch of 4 Elf Party stories going back to 2012!: 

Pictures

For more 4 Elf memories from this year, head to our gallery.

Dark Horse 4 Elf Party 2023

Become a Supporter!

We wholeheartedly extend an invitation for you to become part of our Life In Michigan community. Your support is not just appreciated—it is vital. It is the lifeline that allows us to continue unveiling the unique and captivating narratives that paint Michigan in its true, vibrant colors. Whether you buy us a beer or choose to offer more sustained support via Substack, every contribution enriches our mission.

If our content has resonated with you, we urge you to become ambassadors of our stories. Share our work on your social media, or forward a link to someone who would appreciate it as much as you do. We are grateful for your support in every form. You breathe life into our cause and keep the spirit of Life in Michigan thriving.

Stay Connected

We’d love it if you’d like our Facebook page. Better yet, subscribe to our newsletter through Substack. Life In Michigan posts and our Sunday Sip Newsletter are delivered directly to your email. You can also find us on Instagram

Cheers!

Follow LifeinMichigan

Life in Michigan Archives

Recommended Reading

World Expo of Beer 2023

World Expo of Beer 2023

Frankenmuth becomes the epicenter of the greatest beverage known to humanity as pilgrims of the pint gather for the World Expo of Beer in Heritage Park. World Expo of Beer On Saturday, May 20th, we barrel rolled into Frankenmuth for another sudsy adventure at the 26th...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest