Sherwood Brewing Co.’s macaroni and cheese wins Best Mac in the Mac

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 19, 2021

 Sherwood Brewing Co. is the winner of the first Mac Madness: Best Mac in the Mac contest to find the best macaroni and cheese in Macomb County.

Sherwood Brewing Co. is the winner of the first Mac Madness: Best Mac in the Mac contest to find the best macaroni and cheese in Macomb County.

Photo provided by Macomb County

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On April 7, Macomb County announced that Sherwood Brewing Co., of Shelby Township, was the winner of the first-ever Mac Madness: Best Mac in the Mac contest.

The competition, which was organized by the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department, sought to highlight house-made macaroni and cheese at locally owned and operated restaurants. Sixteen establishments went head-to-head in the competition, which had a March Madness-style tournament bracket, with Sherwood Brewing Co. coming out on top.

Public voting was used to choose the winners at each stage of the bracket; voting ran from March 29 to April 5. The championship game voting took place April 4-5.

Ray and Lisa Sherwood are the owners of Sherwood Brewing Co. Their baked mac and cheese features cavatappi noodles and a four-cheese blend of cheddar, mozzarella, provolone and American.

Colin Raudabaugh, the kitchen manager at Sherwood Brewing Co., said the cheese is mouthwatering.

“Our house-made cheese sauce melts to perfection and comes out of the oven bubbling,” he said.

Randy Osbourn, a regular at the Sherwood, said he enjoys the mac and cheese because of two things.

“The quality of the cheese and the panko baked on top make it the best,” he said.

Ray Sherwood named the things that he believes make their macaroni and cheese stand apart from the field.

“I think two things really make it stand out. First, you can tell it’s home-made; it’s not some canned cheese-food sauce that has been sitting in a warmer all day. Second, we use heavy cream in our sauce and not butter, so it isn’t a bowl of greasy cheese and noodles,” he said.

He said the macaroni was already pretty popular before they entered the contest.

“Our mac and cheese has been a popular item for us since it debuted in 2015. Since then, we’ve added several variations, like the Buffalo chicken mac and the pulled pork mac, that have also been fan favorites,” he said.

He said that since winning the contest, there has already been an increased demand for orders of the mac and cheese.

He said that winning this contest will be helpful in trying to overcome the effects of the pandemic, the closures and the seating capacity limits.

“Even before we won the contest, we were getting messages with questions about our mac and cheese. For a small, locally owned place, it’s always a challenge getting your name out there and establishing your place as a destination. Then a corporate chain place drops a spot down the road from you, and everyone gets sucked into the whirlwind of hype, and suddenly the local places are back to fighting to get their name back out there,” he said.

Lisa Sherwood said that, in addition to from-scratch food and beverages, Sherwood Brewing Co. prides itself on community interaction and support.

“This contest is a perfect example of how hard our regulars rally for our product, our employees and their home away from home. Macomb County government has provided a variety of support this past year to local businesses, and we couldn’t be more appreciative,” she said.

She said the county has been supportive of local businesses by providing county-level grants, personal protective equipment and access to important information.

As the winner of the Best Mac in the Mac contest, Sherwood Brewing Company will receive:
• A $2,500 grant from Macomb County.
• One week of free advertising on a digital billboard, donated by 5 Star Outdoor.
• The Mac Madness: Best Mac in the Mac plaque.

The county also is awarding grants to the runners-up:
• A $1,000 grant for second-place restaurant Simple Palate, located at 27380 Van Dyke Ave. in Warren.
• A $500 grant to third-place restaurant Jayell Smoke House, located at 221 N. Bailey St. in Romeo.
• A $500 grant to fourth-place restaurant Bistro Orleans, located at 11528 East 15 Mile Road in Sterling Heights.

Although the contest is over, Macomb County is encouraging the public to taste test entries from all of the restaurants that participated. Find those restaurants, and additional details and information, at living.macombgov.org/Living-Mac-Madness.

“Our goal from the outset of this initiative was to highlight and support our great Macomb County restaurants. So we hope that people who either voted or simply saw the contest were inspired to get out and try some of the best mac and cheese dishes in Macomb County,” Vicky Rowinski, director of the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department, said in a prepared statement.

Sherwood Brewing Co. is located at 45689 Hayes Road in Shelby Township. The winning macaroni and cheese costs $11.99. For more information, visit sherwoodbrewing.com.

For more information on the Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Department, call (586) 469-5285 or visit ped.macombgov.org/Ped-Home.

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