Craft beer blogger Ryan Cauley ventures upstairs to a Detroit drinking spot with a rare collection of beers.
By Ryan Cauley
Featured photo via Cøllect Facebook
Well, I did it. I found a gem. A really cool beer bar in Eastern Market called Cøllect. It’s above the restaurant Gather on Gratiot Avenue. Cøllect…Gather — yep, you guessed it, these two are related. Collect is a synonym of Gather, as the owners Kyle and Lea Hunt describe on their website. To dive deeper into the name, the “øl” is actually a Danish word for beer. I love these names — so inviting, personable and downright pure genius.
As you walk in and up the stairs, light pours in from the large windows at the front of the building and directs your attention right to the bartender. Today’s barkeep happened to be a young lady named Haley, and behind her were 14 incredible craft beers on tap. There’s also a fridge with a variety of bottles, canned beer and ciders to either enjoy in house or take to go. Haley was patient with us as we gathered our composure.
Disclaimer: My wife and I get real excited about this stuff, as mentioned in my previous article.
On tap were some rare hits by Prairie Artisan Ales, Central State Brewing and Upland Brewery Company, to name a few. My wife really enjoys sours, so she had the Prairie Artisan Ales No Way Frosé with hints of pineapple and lime and just the right amount of tart. I ordered an imperial stout, Alastar by Central State Brewing.
After taking obligatory pictures of our beer for the gram, we discovered a stairwell that led to an unexpected rooftop. My love for this rooftop begins with the stairs that lead you to a sunlight window as an exit. Very cool. I’d advise walking directly to the railing that overlooks Gratiot and gaze straight across to the Shed 2 and 3 signs of Eastern Market. It’s hard to not appreciate Detroit and its magnificent history from this viewpoint.
The rooftop also has a little protector, Brune. He’s the friendly Playskool Gargoyle and keeper of the roof. Brune was recovered during the remodel, as the owners transitioned their space from an art studio to beer bar.
Kyle and Lea’s love for craft beer is what pushed them to open this amazing place. That love is spread throughout the space from the industrial-style bar to the vibrant mural painted on the wall. They’ve captured an essence and style that encapsulates their personalities.
We had a chance to have a conversation with Lea, who beamed with excitement while she spoke of their dream. They opened Cøllect in October and Gather in 2017. They recently opened a quaint little walk-up soft serve ice cream spot downtown they named, Huddle. I mean, come on. Genius. Their restaurant, Gather, is open for brunch on the weekends and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. It also offers a nice selection of beer, wine and cocktails.
We had such a great time at Cøllect. Not only does it offer quality beer and an amazing vibe but also spectacular views of the city. Kyle and Lea created a little slice of home to enjoy a good beer.
1454 Gratiot Ave., Detroit
Tuesday-Thursday 4-10 p.m.
Friday 4-11 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ryan Cauley grew up in Pendleton, Indiana, and moved to Detroit in 2010. He served in the Army for four years with the 101st Airborne. He’s been drinking the sweet craft beer nectar since he was legally allowed (wink, wink), with a little-known IPA called Two Hearted Ale. Two of his favorite breweries are Homes in Ann Arbor and Ascension in Novi. You can follow his craft beer journey at @wizcrafts on Instagram.