Before settling into a career routine, Eli Gershkoritch needed a break after graduating from law school. He enrolled in Universite de ski in Grenoble for art classes (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6457149/). Eli Gershkovitch would explore the French Alps on weekends and do his studies during the day. Surprisingly he was about to discover something that in the future will cause him to leave practicing law.
Eli Gershkovitch had a taste of Belgium beer where he described it as an epiphany. On his trip to his first microbrewery in Heidelberg, Germany, he found it big enough to impress but not big enough to be intimidating. He decided to join hands with Walter Cosmas, a president of the ever- expanding brewery business. The partners transformed 30,000sq.ft space into a production facility that annually pumped out 90,000 six packs of Steamworks pale ale and pilsner and 800 twelve packs of their seasonal brews. Eli Gershkovitch has a law degree and was also of good use, his former Vancouver practice included legal work on clients’ liquor licenses, and he had become so familiar with the rules and how he could get them work on his behalf.
As a business man, he still practices law and him as his only client, he created a craft beer festival over his efforts to protect his trademark of the Cascadia craft beer name. He is the CEO of the Steamworks Group of Companies. He has lived the brand for 20 years protects it to date.
Steamworks produced 15 to 17 beers a year. Last August it launched its bottled beer, and it brought success where pale ale and pilsner are sold in 85 government liquor stores as well as some private retailers.
Steamworks Pilsner came first in the British Columbia Beer Awards last October and also won the Northwest Brewing News Readers Choice Award for the best pilsner. The craft beer makes up 50% of the consumed beer in the greater Portland area, and it shows a potential to double the size at the local market. Eli Gershkovitch has seen a broadening of his customer base, including women and liked by both white and blue collar beer drinkers.
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