As they were celebrating their 26th Anniversary back in 2015, Seattle’s iconic Pike Brewing Company also announced that they were expanding their ownership to include three longtime employees: Drew Gillespie, Vice President Operations; Patti Baker, Vice President Controller; and Gary Marx, Executive Chef. Pike founders Charles and Rose Ann Finkel called this ‘selling in‘ – a direct contrast to all the breweries out there who have been ‘selling out’ to beer giants like AB/InBev.
At the time, Drew Gillespie had been with Pike for over 17 years and, along with Patti & Gary, this was the Finkel’s way of showing how much they valued their loyal, long-time employees. It was an amazing gesture that further endeared the Finkels to those of us in the craft beer community who already love them.
Now in their 29th year, Pike is ready to make another big announcement. As of today, December 19th, 2018 (which also marks his 20th Anniversary with Pike), Co-Owner Drew Gillespie has been promoted to President of Pike Brewing Company. Congratulations, Drew!
Here is the full press release from Pike Brewing Company:
On December 19, 2018, at a private party at Tankard & Tun, founders Charles and Rose Ann Finkel will name Drew Gillespie president of Pike Brewing Company. Auspiciously, December 19 is Drew’s 20th anniversary at Pike: He started as a line cook at The Pike Pub in 1998 before working his way up to vice president of operations in 2011 and becoming co-owner alongside the Finkels, Patti Baker, and Gary Marx in 2015.
“Pike is an independent family business and Drew is part of the family. He is a caring, ethical individual of integrity,” says Rose Ann. The Finkels call Drew’s promotion a natural development, and the clear next step in the plan for Pike to become a 100-year-old independent craft brewery. “We have seen first-hand Drew’s enthusiasm and devotion to Pike, its success, and its adherence to a philosophy of quality and sustainability. This includes a passion for giving back to the community. He is a superb business person, illustrated by his almost seven years as vice president of operations, and a key part of Pike’s plan for longevity entering year 30. Rose Ann and I are thrilled to have Drew help guide Pike into the future and are pleased to present him with the title to match his contributions.” Charles and Rose Ann will continue to be active members of Pike’s management team as board chairs.
During his tenure as vice president of operations, Pike Brewing Company has thrived, seeing consistent sales growth at The Pike Pub, a brewery production increase of 30%, and the addition of Pike’s new oyster bar and Northwest-focused restaurant Tankard & Tun. Since its opening last year, Eater Seattle called Tankard & Tun Pike’s “glittering crown,” one of the most beautiful restaurants of the year, Sip Northwest proclaimed it, “one giant leap into 21stcentury craft beerdom,” Seattle Magazine named it the “new downtown go-to,” and Seattle Met promised the restaurant was, “as committed to good beer as ever.” This year, Drew expanded Pike’s public transportation benefits to include all fulltime Pike team members, and in October, Pike Brewing celebrated its 29th anniversary and the release of newly designed cans for four year-round beers: Pike IPA, Pike Space Needle IPA, Pike Kilt Lifter, and Pike Monk’s Uncle. With an eye toward the future, Drew says, “What separates Pike is that we’re always looking forward. While we take pride in the past, Pike was founded by forward thinking, and it’s how we make decisions today. What new beer, what new project is around the corner—that’s what gets me excited about my job.”
Pike Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery founded in 1989. Located in Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Public Market neighborhood, Pike Brewing Company is home to The Pike Pub and Tankard & Tun.
It’s wonderful to see Pike Brewing continue to embody the type of family-feel, independent ownership that we all like to see in the craft beer World. Rather than putting profit above all else, Pike puts family and the craft beer community above all else. That’s a rare thing these days, and one of the reasons Pike has always been and will continue to be one of my favorite craft breweries in the World. Charles and Rose Ann Finkel started something really special way back in 1989, and it’s great to see how Pike continues to thrive, without ever bowing to corporate interests.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.