SEATTLE, WA - February 14, 2011
While studying at Seattle Central Community College, Drew Gillespie began working at the Pike Pub as a line cook in 1998. According to Pike Executive Chef Gary Marx, "Drew distinguished himself with a strong work ethic,his love of beer and food, attention to detail, teamwork, and strong company values." In the ensuing years, Drew worked hard and earned praise and promotions. In 2000, he was made Lead Line Cook. In 2002, Drew moved from the kitchen to the front of the house where he became a Floor Manager. In 2003, in addition to working as a floor manager, he became Lead Bartender. The following year he added the title Senior Manager.
In 2006, The Pike Brewing Company was re-acquired by Rose Ann and Charles Finkel. The Finkels wanted a General Manager who embraced their philosophy of local, organic, and sustainable food and exceptional service. "We wanted a strong manager who would help take the Pike Pub to the level of quality that we experienced working with some of Europe's finest breweries and their tied houses (brewery-owned restaurants). These included Brauerei Gasthof Aying in Bavaria, Pinkus M�ller Home Brew House in Munster, Westfalia, Germany, and Samuel Smith Old Brewery of Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England." says Rose Ann Finkel. Charles Finkel added, "Drew had grown up with the company and though he got his start during the time that we were away, once we returned, he embraced our concepts completely. Drew has roots in rural Eastern Washington and was aware of the bounty available through local resources. His parents were and continue to be community activists. His Mother Barbara Culp is the Executive Director of Seattle's Bicycle Alliance bike advocacy organization, and his dad, Michael Gillespie, a lawyer, has been active in human rights causes. Drew was raised with a sense of pride and concern for health and the environment."
Since assuming the job of Pike Pub general manager Drew has instituted many "Green" practices including a composting program that contributes to eliminating 98% of land fill waste, and he installed a LED lighting system that reduced power consumption by 96%. During this time The Pike Pub has received many accolades including "The Best Re-Birth," Seattle Magazine, 2007;" "Best Local Attraction," N.W. Source, 2008; "Best Organic Food and Best Beer Selection, City Search, 2008; and "Best Brew Pub," Seattle Weekly, 2009. Pike has been awarded a Distinguished Wine List Award, the only brewpub to do so, by The Washington Wine Commission, two years in a row, 2008, 2009; selected as a Slow Food Restaurant, by Seattle Slow Food in 2010; and to start 2011 off right, received "The Good Food Award" presented by Alice Waters in San Francisco. Since Drew assumed a leadership position, sales at the Pike Pub have grown 89%.
According to Charles, "Drew's commitment to sustainability goes beyond protecting the environment. His interest in providing a long lasting and positive work environment for the seventy plus Pike employees and his comprehension of planning, financial analysis and budgets are exemplary."
In conjunction with The Pike Pub, The Pike Brewing Company operates a gravity flow, steam brewery that is known internationally. Pike beers are widely distributed in the Pacific Northwest and in limited quantities in Texas and 10 Eastern States. According to Rose Ann, "with strong demand for our beers, and the company poised for expansion, the need for an operations manager became apparent. Drew was the natural choice."