As much as I love food, I love beer equally. When a place serves good food and better beer, I'm in love. Add to that a kid-friendly atmosphere and a menu that is very family-friendly, and we have a winner: Sherwood Brewing Company of Shelby Township!
Sherwood has a unique line of beers, a menu full of made-from-scratch top-tier bar food, and even house-made sodas to keep the kids happy.
Since this is a brewery, some parents may balk at bringing their kids to hang out. But owners Ray and Lisa Sherwood have two kids of their own and love having tykes around, so this is definitely a family spot.
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The interior has high ceilings to absorb kid squeals and screams. At the front of the building is a big screen television with a couple of couches in front of it. If there isn't a big game on, kids can ask politely to have the channel switched to their favorite programming. (Sometimes all it takes is a little TV to calm a restless child!)
Before we get to the food, let's talk beverages. Mom and dad: You must try the beer. Pints are available, but samplers are also an option. Truth be told, some of Ray's beers are unique, so don't pass up the opportunity to sample. For example, the Mole Stout, a chocolatey beer with hints of chiles, might not be for everyone. However, if Mistress Jade's Hemp Ale is available, just go ahead and order a pint. It's delicious.
Now, kids might get upset mom and dad are enjoying their nifty sampler. Have no fear: Sherwood also makes soda. Four (or more) flavors are usually available. Even better, soda is available as a sampler, too. While I'm enjoying unique beers, the kids are sipping interesting pop like bubblegum or birch beer.
In addition to delicious beer and soda, the food is surprisingly great. Often, breweries focus solely on beer, so the grub takes a backseat. Not so at Sherwood. With nearly all of the dishes made in-house, the hops aren't the only draw here.
While there is a kids menu, the story of our meal at Sherwood is all about sharing. When dining out, I love ordering stuff the entire table can enjoy. Passing a dish or dipping chips in the same bowl of hummus is an often-overlooked way of building family togetherness. It may seem silly, but simply chatting about or over that snack is a fantastic way to keep a discussion going the entire meal.
Happily, each of the appetizers on this menu are made for sharing. We split the hummus and cheesy breadsticks. Both my kids are little hummus fiends: Put a bowl of this Middle Eastern staple in front of them and they're all smiles. Sherwood's version is more garlicky than lemony with a rustic texture. Served with tortilla chips, one order was more than enough for the four of us.
The cheesy breadsticks are even better. A basket should be enough to share, but once my kids took one bite of these chewy, perfectly baked wonders, they commandeered it all for themselves.
The salad and pizza
Salad is sometimes a tough sell for kids. However, antipasto salad is a much easier to stomach for little ones, mainly because on top of all of that greenery is a mound of salami, ham, cheese and tomatoes. The tricky part, of course, is getting them to eat the veggies.
Whether it's mediocre or tremendous, most pizzas are made for family dining. And Sherwood has a wide selection. Toppings are fresh, sauces are made in-house, and the dough is homemade, besides. Sherwood serves a round pizza that's more chewy than crisp. The sauce is slightly sweet, which my kids loved. Even after eating a metric ton of breadsticks, both had room to eat a slice of pizza a piece.
I don't know about you, but when my kids eat well, we reward them with a treat. At Sherwood, they make their own ice cream, too. Options fall into two main categories: adults and kids. "Grownup" ice cream is made with beer or wine, while the youth version has those tasty in-house sodas.
Flavors fluctuate – they've ranged from cocoa gingersnap to cotton candy – all specially whipped up with the KitchenAid in back. Be sure to check the specials board for the flavor of the day.
A family friendly brewery? Better believe it. Order a pizza, some breadsticks and you've got a fun night on the town!