Following on from James Davidson’s look at the Heineken Perfect Pour program, we seem to be in the midst of an international brand pouring battle. Once again it is the battle of Australia’s big two, with Lion Nathan-brewed Heineken up against CUB-brewed Stella Artois. While these competitions certainly focus on practical bar skills and add some much needed theatre to bars and hotels, the real test of the program is what happens when the bar staff step out from behind the sponsors logoed font and away from the heavily reinforced brand language and answer questions about beer.
Now in its 15th year, the Stella Artois World Draught Masters competition will once again see bartenders from more than 28 countries compete with skill and mastery in performing the Stella Artois nine-step pouring ritual.
Inspired by more than 600 years of brewing tradition, this annual competition encourages staff training and development in the art of delivering a superior beer experience to consumers while celebrating the skill and care that goes into creating the ultimate “Thing of Beauty” – a perfect chalice of Stella Artois.
Over the last two months, would-be Draught Masters from participating venues across Australia have received training in the finer details of the Stella Artois pouring ritual and its ability to give consumers the best possible taste and service experience, time after time. The winners from each state will compete in the National Final at the Belgian Beer Café Oostende, Adelaide on Wednesday 14 September for their chance to represent Australia at the Stella Artois World Draught Masters Global Finals in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 26 October.
In Adelaide, state finalists will walk the red carpet and entertain the audience with exceptional beer theatre, whilst demonstrating with finesse their pouring skills in front of an expert jury. A final ‘pour-off’ between the top two finalists will reveal the Australian winner, who will take on the rest of the world for the most valued prize in bartending, the title of Stella Artois World Draught Master 2011. Along with the title, the winner will embark on a journey around the world to share their skill and passion for the art of the perfect pour.
Judgin the competition will be the 2010 Stella Artois World Draught Masters Champion and Ambassador, Chris Myers, who is at present away from his hometown in Wisconsin sharing his passion and dedication to the craft of the perfect pour with aspiring draught masters around the globe.
As a continued commitment to the Australian on-premise sector, Stella Artois will be rolling out their ‘Pouring Perfection Program,’ which will focus on delivering the ultimate beer experience in venues. The nine-step pouring ritual, complemented by the carefully designed and elegant chalice glass and new stand-alone Swan Font, are key components of the program.
“The World Draught Masters is about perfection, quality and passion – everything Stella Artois embodies as a brand. Our ‘Pouring Perfection Program’ will be rolled out across Australia and will aim to deliver this premium beer experience in outlets, creating theatre and adding value to drinking occasions. Stella Artois’ aim is to raise the bar on beer service standards in Australia,” said Richard Oppy, Group Marketing Manager, International Beers, Carlton United Brewers.
About Stella Artois
Stella Artois traces its origins back to 1366 to the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium, just outside of Brussels. The beer was originally brewed to celebrate Christmas, and it was named Stella (Latin for “star”) for its exceptional clarity. Stella Artois has a pleasant bitterness and refreshing finish that distinguishes it from other European lagers. Stella Artois should be served in its signature chalice glass, which showcases its rich, golden colour while releasing the beer’s flavour and aroma.
The Stella Artois 9-Step Pouring Ritual:
1.The Purification – Use a clean and rinsed Stella Artois chalice glass
2.The Sacrifice – Open the tap in one quick action and let the first drops of beer flow away
3.The Liquid Alchemy – Hold the glass just under the tap without touching it at a 45° angle
4.The Head, although ‘Crown’ would be more appropriate – Lower the glass to allow the natural formation of the foam head
5.The Removal – Close the tap quickly and move the glass away so beer doesn’t drip into the glass
6.The Beheading – While the head foams up and overflows the side of the glass, smooth it gently with a head cutter
7.The Cleansing – Clean the bottom and sides of the glass
8.The Judgement – The right amount of foam is usually about two fingers
9.The Bestowal – Present the beer on a clean beer coaster with the logo facing the consumer