On Tuesday evening at 5 o’clock, there were only two beers flowing from the side pulls at Cøllect Beer Bar in Detroit off Gratiot. Outsiders would have believed it was a travesty, but insiders knew it was a celebration.
It was September when Side Pull Beer Company last took over Cøllect. The two taps ran out of beer in under two hours and Detroit has been thirsty and very patient ever since.
Side Pull Beer Company refers to their beers as “Session Beers.” I like to call these type of beers “Lifestyle Beers.” The names can be used interchangeably as they are low in ABV and usually have a lighter calorie count. Each “Session Beer” that I had at the takeover were dynamite.
Koeslig (pronounced “coz-lee”) was a Kviek Hazy IPA. The beer had tropical notes and had a fun hoppy zip at 4% ABV.
The other, Rites of Spring, was a German Helles collaboration beer with Eastern Market Brewing Company. This beer clocked in at 4.7% and, coincidentally, I had a chance to have two versions of it. The first version was on draft at EMBC’s taproom about an hour before the takeover at Cøllect. This sample was crisp and clean with subtle bready notes. The selection at Cøllect with the side pull tap was more hop forward. Both iterations were delicious.
Side pulls are an unknown factor in the Michigan craft beer scene. I hadn’t seen one until the event on Tuesday. Reading about side pulls tell me that a brewery that uses the side pull mean business when it comes to the traditional Lager game. Using a side pull instead of a traditional tap gives the beer different tasting notes and denser foam as I saw first hand.
A Google search of “Side Pull Beer Company” won’t warrant much. When I first heard of the project and couldn’t find anything out, I was intrigued. Their Instagram account @sidepullbeer is the main source of information. At the time of publication, they have around 650 followers and one can see that Side Pull Beer Company is beginning to grow an organic and craft beer loving community in this small yet mighty corner of the internet.
Side Pull Beer Company is owned by three people – Elliot Hoffman, Brittney Carnahan, and Erik Annonson. All three are transplants from San Jose, CA who recently made Detroit their home. Brittney currently works in data analysis and is looking forward to transferring her skill set to the brewery. Elliot and Erik have brewing and management roots, respectively, in San Jose at Camino Brewing Co. They are holding down beer-related jobs in Detroit, too, while plans firm up with their licensing and location in Detroit. Elliot is part-time at Eastern Market Brewing Company and Erik bartends at Cøllect.
Keep your eyes on Side Pull Beer Company’s Instagram for updates and announcements. This is a brewery that is worth the stop either at Cøllect or once they secure a location within the Detroit city limits. Their beers are well crafted and exactly what the Michigan craft beer scene needs.