How Eli Gershvitch’s Micro brewing Leap of Faith Paid Off

Everyone has been talking about craft beer, in particular, craft beer. Craft beer has shaken up the market over the last couple of years. Microbrewers like Eli Gershkovitch, CEO of Steamworks craft brews have been there from the very beginning and are regarded by many as a pioneer of the industry in Canada. It is estimated that craft brewing generates about $50 billion in sales worldwide. Canada has proven to be a growing market, generating $9 billion. According to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario sales of Canadian craft beer has been growing from 20% to 30%. This is no surprise, Canadians love their beer as much as they love their Kinder Joys. What started as micro-brewing has grown significantly over the years with some brewers garnering a bigger client base and having to increase volume almost in general competition with bigger breweries.

Things weren’t always that easy. Craft beer brewing used to be a personal business. You set up your equipment in your garage, brew a few liters for yourself, family and friends. Things changed about 20 years when passionate entrepreneurs like Eli Gershkovitch, stepped in and dared to push their vision of what a craft beer industry can be. Eli Gershkovitch was well on his way to becoming a successful lawyer when a trip to Germany opened up his eyes to the world of microbrewing. He was hooked.

In 1995, Eli Gershkovitch acquired a brewpub location in the historic Gastown. What he found was a building with a rare steam system. This would be used in production, making the brewery pub the first to use steam power for brewing. With such novel operations, Steamworks Brew Pub became one of the must visit place in Canada (YouTube). Eli Gershkovitch expanded the business, adding seats to the brew pub taking them from 184 to 754. He went on to set up shop in the Waterfront station and transforming the Transcontinental restaurant into the trendy Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar because nothing beats a great cold beer after a good meal. In 2013, Eli Gershkovitch decided to explore like outside micro-brewing to a full-blown brewery. This brewery has a capacity of 40,000-hectoliters which is incredibly higher than what the old Gastown brewpub produced.

Eli Gershkovitch’s Steamworks brand is known by beer connoisseurs worldwide (http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Steamworks+founder+Gershkovitch+echoed+firm+theme+Stanley+Steamer+from+vintage+automobile+collection/9952459/story.html). Steamworks brews a number of beers, some are seasonal and others are available throughout the year. The brewery offers Pale ale, Pilsner, Jasmine Indian Pale Ale, Kolsch, Black Angel and White Angel IPA’s of which are always available on tap. Popular seasonal brews include Oatmeal Stout, Blitzen, Pumpkin Ale, Farmhouse Wheat Ale, Killer Cucumber Ale, Saison, Frambozen and Hop Attack. Some of these beers can be found in a number of U.S States, Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Italy.