The headline possibilities for this story are endless.
"Spokane man converts craft brewing experience into all-natural syrup business."
Or "Dillon Hueser's contacts in the spirit world give life to extraordinary drink mixer."
Or the more obvious: "Hueser's Side Hustle Syrups evolve from side hustle while working in the beverage industry."
All are true.
In 2017, Hueser was working at a local brewery when Dry Fly Distilling's Mikel Lenox approached him about making a nonalcoholic ginger beer for their tasting room, Hueser says.
Making ginger syrup for the beer led to experimenting with syrups, which led to a business opportunity. The syrups, which are part of Dry Fly's new ready-to-drink line of canned cocktails, are now his main focus, Hueser says.
"Side Hustle Syrups manufactures drink mixes that are intended for, but not limited to, cocktails," he says. "Users can create cocktails, mocktails, flavor their tea or coffee, or even create premium sodas."
There are currently six flavors: elderflower, lemon-lavender, ginger, orange-vanilla and tonic. Hueser is working on new flavors and expanding availability, including collaborations with interested businesses.
He also sells kits to infuse alcohol with flavors like tropical fruit or citrus, including one that can turn plain-tasting spirits into an old fashioned.
Several local brewers, distillers, restaurants and bars serve Side Hustle Syrups, including Lumberbeard, The Viking, Bijou, and Joe's House, which is also one of several retail outlets for the 8-ounce syrup bottle ($12). You can also find Side Hustle Syrups at Riverfront Spring Market, South Perry Thursday Market, Spokane Valley Farmers Market and Liberty Lake Farmers Market, Hueser says.
Cocktail Time!When he's not working, Dillon Hueser enjoys living the outdoor life, from soccer to "pretty much any boarding sport," he says, all of which pair nicely with a cocktail like this Spokane Side Hustle twist on a French 75, using his lemon-lavender syrup.
He suggests pairing it with brunch instead of a mimosa, noting it's equally at home as a refreshing drink to accompany a casual lunch or a more elegant dinner.
Side Hustle French 75
- ½ ounce lemon Juice
- ½ ounce Side Hustle Lemon-Lavender Simple Syrup
- 1 ounce gin (he recommends Dry Fly)
- 3 ounces champagne
Combine the first three ingredients in a shaker with ice, strain into a champagne flute, add champagne and top with a lemon twist.