Eli Gershkovitch and Steamworks Brewery: Pioneers in Canadian Craft Beer

Eli Gershkovitch is a Canadian Craft Beer entrepreneur and founder of the Steamworks Brew Pub in the Vancouver neighborhood of Gastown. From its humble beginnings as a single brewpub with less than 200 seats, Steamworks has grown now is an internationally known brand that is sold internationally.


Steamworks Brew Pub was founded in a historic building in the Gastown neighborhood of Vancouver, famous for its steam clock that is operated by a steam engine. Steamworks Brew Pub was opened in 1995 after 14 months of legal wrangling as well as a local referendum. Eli Gershkovitch used his experience as a lawyer working in Vancouver to help guide the process along. After finally getting permission from the local liquor control board, he was able to start producing craft beers on-site at his steam-powered brewery.


Once the Steamworks Brewery took off, Eli Gershkovitch realized that he either had to decide to stay small or expand, stating that, “You grow to meet demand or demand shrinks to meet you.” Because of that belief, Steamworks has been able to increase the size of its production, leading in 2013 to opening a full-scale brewery in order to meet the international demand (MontrealGazette).


In addition to the Steamworks Brew Pub, Eli Gershkovitch was able to open a restaurant in the neighboring building, Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar.


Eli Gershkovitch started his career as an attorney but after sampling Belgian beer in 1987 during a trip to Europe, he knew that his passion and career was going to be in producing quality beer.


Canadian Craft Beer may have been pioneered by people like Eli Gershkovitch, but over the past 20 years, it has grown into a large industry. Breweries such as Propeller Brewing Company out of Nova Scotia, Pump House Brewery from Moncton, Quebec Breweries Unibroue and McAuslan, Muskoka Brewery from Bracebridge, Ontario, and the award-winning Cameron’s Brewing Co. from Oakville, Ontario are all turning out creative, delicious beers (https://about.me/eligershkovitch). For beer lovers in Canada, now is a great time to be alive, as the quality and selection of beer has never been as plentiful as it is now.