The craft beer industry in Canada has exploded in recent years. In fact, just in 2016, the number of craft breweries in Canada increased by over 20 percent. New Brunswick holds the title for having the most breweries per 100,000 drinking-aged adults, followed shortly by Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. Newfoundland has the highest consumption rate followed by Quebec and Alberta. While craft beer sales fell slightly in 2016, they’re expected to make a comeback in 2017 and onward given that Canadian interest in the craft beer industry is on the rise once more.
With the increase in craft breweries in Canada comes the increase in revolutionary entrepreneurs who seek to make a name for themselves – and change the industry. Eli Gershkovitch is one of those individuals. He’s a pilot with a love of craft beer, and he set out to create his own brewery, the Steamworks Group of Companies, to pursue his passion. In the airline industry, there’s a saying: you can’t run out of runway if you’re the one building it. Eli Gershkovitch applies that same idea to the craft beer industry. If you’re not growing to meet the demand, then you’re contributing to the decline of that demand.
With that in mind, Eli Gershkovitch opened Steamworks Brew Pub in 1995. At that time, craft breweries weren’t a hip trend – they were virtually unheard of. He had to use innovative techniques, marketing prowess, and a true entrepreneurial spirit to grow his pub – a feat he accomplished with startling success. Since then, he’s added to his company piece by piece. Eli Gershkovitch is doing his part to bring demand for Canadian craft beer back into an upswing by creating that demand.
Eli Gershkovitch is used to paving new roads, though. While he obtained his pilot’s license in 1993, it wasn’t until 2009 that he truly showed his spirit by taking his single-engine Cessna 182 from Vancouver to Europe and back. He also made a gigantic shift in his business when he transformed from a brew pub to a full on the brewery (LinkedIn). Eli Gerschkovitch is used to making course corrections and charting new paths, be it in the sky or in the craft beer industry. Because of his spirit and skill set, it’s likely that when Canada’s craft beer industry takes another upswing, Mr. Gershkovitch will be leading the way.