Steamworks Founder Eli Gershkovitch Explains His Love For Beer

Eli Gershkovitch didn’t start out wanting to own a brewery. In fact, he wanted to be a lawyer. He graduated from the University of Toronto, armed with a law degree and ready to jump into a very lucrative profession. But he was sidetracked after venturing through Europe and tasting Belgium beer. Gershkovitch developed a passion for the beer and decided that tank to tap beer might be something he could craft.

Eli Gershkovitch beer

Eli Gershkovitch didn’t immediately turn his back on law. While building his practice, he was also researching everything about the craft brewery business ( After scouring the area, he settled on a location in Vancouver’s historic Gastown area. The best thing about the location is that it was equipped with a rare steam system that created steam-powered brewing. After 14 months of roadblocks, Gershkovitch opened his Steamworks Brew Pub in 1995.


In the beginning, he only had six beers. But Gershkovitch is one who doesn’t mind pushing the envelope. His brewery continued to grow, and by 2013, he built a full-scale brewery. If you look closely at the labels, you will see a symbol of his love of flying (OttawaCitizen). Eli Gershkovitch, who is also a pilot has flying machines hidden in every label. He routinely flies his 182 Cessna to and from Vancouver.


Eli Gershkovitch was able to reestablish a family connection in Salzberg who helped him launch another brewery in Europe. He attributes his success to tradition, craftsmanship, and creativity. Gershkovitch makes no bones about how he feels about the brewery business. He says he loved the taste and the possibilities owning a brewery could produce.


“I believe in myself. That’s why I’m so successful.” Eli Gershkovitch says once he gets an idea in his head, it’s hard to move it forward. His successful foray into brewing is the proof in the pudding.