Craft Beer Conversation: Sherwood Brewing Company Is All About Community

"We’ve always looked for ways to give back to them and things that are meaningful to them."

WWJ News
October 31, 2019 - 11:05 pm

Photo: Zach Clark / WWJ

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WWJ’s Zach Clark is searching metro Detroit for the best of the best when it comes to craft beer. On a quest for the best tastes, funkiest brews and most unique experiences on the craft beer scene, “Craft Beer Conversation” will be a weekly series highlighting the area’s best. Be sure to check it out every Friday.

SHELBY TWP., Mich. (WWJ) -- At Sherwood Brewing Company in Shelby Township, you'll find an unsuspecting brewery inside a strip mall that's firmly rooted in the community.

Ray Sherwood began home brewing about two decades ago, and after spending time in some of Michigan's busiest breweries and brewpubs, he and his wife, Lisa, decided to give it a try of their own. In 2006, they opened the brewery, which has come to be affectionately known as "The 'Wood," not only a place with great beer and great food, but a love for their community.

"I think from day one, making sure we’re strongly connected to the community has been really important to us," Lisa Sherwood told WWJ's Zach Clark. "We’ve hosted a lot of different events here – a lot of life events, between weddings and we’ve had wakes here, first birthday parties, christening parties – it’s like the whole life cycle. And the fact that our customers are entrusting us with these super important life events is quite a compliment."

The Sherwoods give back to the community with a daily military discount and by supporting local fundraisers, charities and countless good causes.

"We’ve always looked for ways to give back to them and things that are meaningful to them. If it’s that their child is running a race for Type 1 Diabetes, we’re on it. We want to hold that fundraiser for them," Sherwood said. 

When it comes to the beer, Ray Sherwood says he likes to stick to tradition, but brings his own unique style to the table.

"Even when we do things that are out of the box, they’re still rooted in the box. And then when we do things that are classical or traditional styles, we feel like they’re modern or updated versions of that," Sherwood said.

Take the Fat Elvis, for example -- a peanut butter banana dunkelwiezen. He got the inspiration for that one when he was working in the kitchen one day.

"Literally, an idea can come from anywhere, so sometimes I’m working on something in the kitchen, then I get the idea like, oh, from a dessert standpoint, this would be a cool beer, or from a baking standpoint, this would be a cool beer," Sherwood said. 

That works the other way around, too. Sherwood says some days he'll be in the brewhouse working on a beer that's mid-production and get an idea for a dish on the food menu.

The Sherwoods are active in the community outside their walls, but they have their own little tight-knit group of loyal customers at the brewery.

"All those guys know one another and they’ll call each other and text one another on their own accord and a bunch of the guys," Sherwood said. "One guy landed tickets to a football game last weekend and they all went to the football game together, so we get to hear stories about their adventures and stuff."

Sherwood Brewing Company is located at 45689 Hayes Road, just north of M-59 in Shelby Township. More information, including their beer list, can be found on their website.

Have a favorite brewery or brewpub you want Zach to highlight in his “Craft Beer Conversation” series? Reach out on Twitter -- @ZachEClark -- or via email at Zach.Clark@entercom.com.

Listen to Zach Clark's full conversation with Ray and Lisa Sherwood to learn more about the brewery that loves their community:

CHECK OUT MORE OF ZACH CLARK'S CRAFT BEER CONVERSATION SERIES