Sherwood Brewing Company
45689 Hayes Rd.
Shelby Township, Michigan
Visited on May 3, 2012
Sherwood Brewing was a pain in the ass to get to. The traffic around greater Detroit sucks, and makes me really glad that I don’t live anywhere near such a large city. Besides the crappy roads and backed up cars, there are strip malls as far as the eye can see in the more prosperous areas. This is where Sherwood Brewing comes in.
Just off a major street north of Detroit, the brewery is in a run-of-the-mill strip mall. With big doors flung wide open, the place must be trying to save on air conditioning bills on a fairly warm spring evening. It’s a bit humid and musty in the joint, but it kind of goes with the place.
There’s absolutely nothing fancy about the brewpub. A fairly large space is sectioned off by false walls to create bathrooms, the kitchen, offices and, most importantly, the brewing equipment. A few raised booths line the real wall opposite the brewing room while a large, rectangular bar dominates the rear of the building. Plenty of tables are lined up between, as well as at the far end, where a stage for live music is set up. I bet this place rocks.
Red rafters go on top of a no-frills joint. It’s the type of brewpub that any American blue collar worker would feel comfortable at after a long day of hard labor. And indeed, the ratio of men to women greatly skews towards a sausage fest.
The menu isn’t very expansive or creative, but it’s pretty solid in non-pre-frozen-and-then-fried fare. Homemade pizza crusts feature both wheat and gluten free. Vegetarian burgers are available, and the toppings for all of the above are pretty substantial with a wide variety. I got a barbecue chicken pizza, and the whole wheat crust was terrific. However, I could only taste it around the edges since the whole thing was doused in way too much barbecue sauce. It smothered the whole thing so it was pretty much all I tasted. Still, with about half the sauce, it would be one mighty fine pie.
As for the beer, I was set to like it from the word go since the head brewmaster at Harper’s in East Lansing strongly recommended the place. They had 9 drafts when I showed up, mostly lighter fares with a couple of darker ales thrown in. The first few were exceptional, but they flattened out to very good the further I went on. Their Buxom BlonDDE is easy drinking with a great malt backbone. An experimental mild ale was on tap with chai tea brewed right in, which was quite tasty and interesting.
The service was pretty great. Though the girl didn’t look a day over 18, she ran the back of the bar mainly on her own and never failed to ask how I was doing before I needed her to.