Pike Brewing Company just announced the appointment of a new President. Talk about promoting from within? Talk about working your way up the ladder? Drew Gillespie is an example of both. Drew started working for the company 20 years ago as a line cook in the pub’s kitchen, became Vice President of Operations in 2011, became a co-owner in 2015 (read that story), and now has been promoted to President.
On December 19th the brewery hosted a party to celebrate Drew’s 20th anniversary at Pike Brewing and to officially announce his promotion. After Charles and Rose Ann Finkel made the official announcement, Drew took the mic and shared his thoughts on the future. “Next year we celebrate our [Pike Brewing’s] 30th anniversary,” he said. “The plan is to get to 100 years; my job is to get us to 50.”
He assured the crowd that the 30th anniversary celebration will be an event to remember. That event is slated for October 2019 and we will share details as the event nears.
Charles and Rose Ann Finkel say that Drew’s promotion is a natural development, a clear next-step in the path for Pike Brewing as they move forward towards the ultimate goal of becoming a 100-year-old independent craft brewery.
Back in 2015 we reported that Pike Brewing had, in our words, “Sold in instead of selling out.” In that story, we explained that Charles and Rose Ann had expanded company ownership to include three long-time employees. That is, they transformed three long-time employees into owners, giving them a substantial piece of the ownership. Drew was one of those people.
“Pike is an independent family business and Drew is part of the family,” says Rose Ann. “He is a caring, ethical individual of integrity.”
“We have seen first-hand Drew’s enthusiasm and devotion to Pike, its success, and its adherence to a philosophy of quality and sustainability,” says Charles. “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.
According to a press release from the company, during Drew’s 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 percent, and the addition of the company’s new oyster bar and Northwest-focused restaurant Tankard & Tun. See our previous story about the opening of 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 21st century craft beerdom.” Seattle Magazine named it the “new downtown go-to.” Seattle Met promised the restaurant was, “as committed to good beer as ever.” The Washington Beer Blog (that’s us) proclaimed it “an elevated drinking and dining experience,.”
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.”
Congratulations, Drew! We look forward to watching you drive Seattle’s venerable, beloved Pike Brewing Company into the future.