The National Post recently published an article on the 2107 U.S. Open Beer Championships, which pits professional breweries against each other to earn the title of the best beer. This event is now international in nature and attracts some of the top names in the craft brewing industry in the hopes of winning the bragging rights as the top beer. There are also categories for home brewers to compete in, which draws an even bigger crowd of attendees. The winners from the home brew competition are given the chance to compete against professional breweries for the ultimate prize. The competition is based on a point system, and points can be earned for each type of beer that a brewery enters into the competition. There are category winners as well as an overall grand prize for the brewery that accumulates the most points across categories.
This major competition is considered the Holy Grail in the craft brewery industry and is attended by some of the most promising brewers in the field. It has been around since 2009 and continues to grow in popularity and attendance each year. This year, breweries from the U.S., Canada, Belgium, Australia, Venezuela, Vietnam and England participated in the competition. The panel of judges was also international and consisted of some of the top names in the business with some of the most discerning palates when it comes to choosing between the world’s finest craft beer options.
This was a very successful year for Canadian breweries at the U.S. Open Beer Championships. They captured a grand total of 24 medals in various categories and even made a showing in the top 10 list of breweries around the world for 2017. Some of the craft beer categories in which Canadian breweries stood out include the best foreign stout, oatmeal stout, old ale, Belgian pale ale, gluten-free beer and vegetable beer.
As the CEO of Steamworks craft breweries, Eli Gershkovitch has been proud to do his part in continuing the tradition of making great beer in Canada. He has more than two decades of experience in developing and bottling craft beer, which means that he has lived through more than one cycle of boom and bust in the craft brewing industry. Eli Gershkovitch has always risen to the occasion in finding creative ways to grow his company, even when it appeared that craft beer was on the tail end of its time in the sun. His focus on quality and sourcing the best ingredients allowed him to survive some of the leaner times in the industry and come out ahead as one of the visionaries in this field.
The first brew pub Eli Gershkovitch opened was definitely a beacon of more to come. Since 1995, Eli Gershkovitch has been behind the rise to prominence of the craft brewing industry and has consistently added new locations to his operations. Eli Gershkovitch opened his first full brewery in 2013 in Western Canada. Demand certainly kept up with Eli Gershkovitch’s expansion, and he was quickly able to branch into the U.S. with more than 14 Steamworks locations.
It may come as a surprise at first that Eli Gershkovitch had a very successful law practice before he opened his first brewery because he has such as a strong passion for creating the best craft beer. Once he graduated from the University of Toronto, Eli Gershkovitch put his law degree to work and pursued his passion for craft beer on the side. He traveled around the world whenever he got the chance and enjoyed sampling beers from different countries. This was actually what spurred him into action in drawing up the plans for his very own craft brewery.
Given his incredible success in the craft brewing industry, Eli Gershkovitch is frequently consulted for tips and advice on how to launch a successful business. One of his key pieces of wisdom is that it is important for new entrepreneurs to take risks very early on because it is the only way that you can truly grow in business and personally. Having debt as a start-up operation is not such a bad thing as long as you have a plan to show investors how you can leverage that debt into big opportunities, according to Eli Gershkovitch. Another principle that Eli Gershkovitch likes to share with peers and mentees is that conventional wisdom will not bring you unconventional results. Eli Gershkovitch suggests that if you push to be extraordinary and challenge all of your assumptions, you may learn something that you never would have uncovered otherwise and can take your business to unexpected levels.
Eli Gershkovitch was recently asked about where he sees the craft brewing industry headed in the near future. He answered that he thinks the market for craft brews has expanded drastically and will continue to embrace a broader demographic. There is plenty of potential to establish new markets for women and older beer aficionados outside of urban or rural areas. The suburbs have a lot of untapped possibilities, and Eli Gershkovitch says that he is excited to see how Steamworks will take advantage of that over the next few years. He also thinks that many brands will start expanding the restaurant side of their business to provide a full meal experience to those who are passionate about trying craft beers.
In addition to expanding the types of craft beers that Steamworks brews, Eli Gershkovitch has also built a culture of fun and socialization around his brand (http://vancouverfoodster.com/tag/eli-gershkovitch/). The Steamworks Brewery offers plenty of events and coordinates with the Steamworks Pub to bring all kinds of guests into its locations. Nothing is ever stagnant with Steamworks on Eli Gershkovitch’s watch, and fans of their craft beers are constantly checking in to see what new flavors are being offered. Eli Gershkovitch has never been afraid to try something new and is proud of how much he has experimented with each of the beer flavors from Steamworks to come up with the perfect blend. He loves hearing about how much customers enjoy the different flavors that Steamworks has debuted over the years and is always searching for that next flavor to push the limits. Some of the more popular craft beer options available from Steamworks include Summer Mash Up, Flagship IPA, Kolsch, Killer Cucumber, Jasmine, IPA, Trail Can Mash Up, VYR ISA, Tropical Tart Ale and Pale Ale. Some of these options are seasonal only, which means that you should hurry to a Steamworks location nearest you if you want to try them. Eli Gershkovitch is known for changing things up and keeping customers coming back for more.