The Canadian-Austrian cousins

Once upon a time there lived a family named Gershkovitch in Vienna, the city of the waltz, happily together. At the beginning of the thirties the young music professor Leo Gershkovitch and his wife Laura responded to a call to go west to a country far far away. They found their luck in the city Ottawa in Canada. Otty, Leo’s sister, stayed in Vienna and married Anton Ottenschläger.

Two generations later the young Eli Gershkovitch, meanwhile living in Vancouver, followed his wanderlust to the old homeland of his grandfather – Europe. During his trip he was very fascinated with the art of brewing. His passion was sparked and he took many ideas and visions back to Canada. Otty’s grandchild, Herbert Ottenschläger, went likewise west to Salzburg. Today he is living in the small village Saaldorf, within immediate distance to the city of Mozart. For more than 20 years he is with his family business successfully operative in tourism. 

In the meantime, in the year 1995, Eli took hold of the historic Gastown brewpub location in Vancouver. In that building they discovered a rare steam heat system. A remnant from forward thinkers of a century past. The brew master had only read of steam powered brewing, but had never seen a functional steam brewery. These are very rare indeed.

With passion they ventured forth, experimented and created a one-of-a-kind steam generated brewery. The only one in Canada.

In search of new recipes and inspiration Eli often returned to Europe and therefore also to Herbert’s home. The contact of these two families, who were separated by a continent many years ago, deepened. In the year 2014, while sipping a nice glass of Steamworks craft beer together, the two cousins decided to enter a business commitment and to import the Canadian craft beer to Europe, where the idea was born.

Twenty years after the opening of Steamworks, this amazing and flavorful craft beer is now also available in Europe. In February 2015 the distribution in Austria with the partner “Stiegl Brauerei” in Salzburg started. Soon afterwards the German and Italian market followed.

And so a piece of European culture combined with the Canadian uniqueness returns back.

Team Europe



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