Made in the Northwest: Side Hustle Syrups

Made in the Northwest: Side Hustle Syrups

It all started in 2017, when Dry Fly Distilling asked Dillon Hueser, who had a background in commercial brewing, to make an in house ginger beer for their tasting room.

“I’d never made ginger beer before. I’d never made syrups before,” said Hueser. “So I really didn’t have any idea what I was doing.”

Hueser threw himself into the project, before having an epiphany.

“Why don’t I just make a concentrate?”

And just like that, Side Hustle Syrups was born.

“It became this like, ‘Wow! This is a really good thing,’ recalled Hueser. “And it’s notably different than anything that I’ve seen commercially made, so that was a really proud moment for us.”

Side Hustle currently sells two craft syrups for cocktails, ginger beer and tonic, as well as four simple syrups. And they’re all made with natural, fresh ingredients.

“When you taste them, it’s notably different and you can tell that there’s more flavor, it tastes better, it’s better quality,” explained Hueser.

And Hueser says his day job at Dry Fly has been extremely beneficial for his blossoming business.

“I get to learn how to make the products that I intend my products to go with or pair with.”

But the syrups can be used for more than just cocktails.

“So you can use it in baked goods. You can use it in dessert toppings and what not,” said Hueser.

And he’s working on a deal with Sweet Frostings Bakery to have his syrups sold there.

“They’re going to be able to pick it up and they’re going to say, ‘Hey, do you want to try to make some cupcakes with this?'”

Right now, Side Hustle’s syrups have to be refrigerated. But Hueser is undergoing tests to certify his products as shelf stable, which will be huge for his business.

“Then you’re going to be able to see it at these local retailers and I’m really excited to start doing business with them,” said Hueser. “And more people are allowed to taste the products. And at the end of the day, that’s what I want.”

Side Hustle sold about 400 bottles of syrup in 2018 and hopes to increase that number dramatically this year.

“I would love to sell twice that or triple that or whatever that might look like. I’d love to be involved in more bars.”

But what happens if Hueser’s side hustle needs to become his full-time gig?

“That’s the question of the year, man. So needless to say, I guess I really don’t know and I’m just going to kind of live it one day at a time.”

And see where craft syrups can take him.

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