Frankie McGuire from Mount Social Club in Tauranga has been named 2017 New Zealand Stella Artois Draught Master after beating 15 other finalists for the title.
Held at Ponsonby’s Sapphire Room, the cream of the crop of bar workers from all across the country gathered to face off in quick fire knock out rounds to determine who had the most perfect execution of the Stella Artois ritual 9-step pour.
Q: You are the winner of the 2017 Draught Master Championships, how does it feel?
A: Overjoyed! Now the feeling has sunk in, it’s awesome.
Q: What do you think gave you the winning edge?
A: Remaining calm, focusing on myself as opposed to worrying about what my opposition was doing. I thought about what I would tell my staff; stay focused, breathe and concentrate.
Q: What is the most important part of pouring a Stella Artois – in your opinion?
A: The Bestowal – it’s the last chance to represent the brand to the customer. You trust that you are serving a great beer, so it’s the finishing touches in the final moment that will impress the customer.
Q: I want to pour the perfect beer at home, but obviously I don’t have all of the equipment. Do you have any suggestions?
A: Use a clean glass. Using a glass, opposed to drinking from the bottle, opens up the beer and gets the aromas going. There is a lot of flavour in the foam head.
Q: Why do you think someone should try to get into bar work?
A: It’s a great way to meet people. If you hone your skills properly there are opportunities to travel around the world.
Q: What does the future hold for you now that you are officially New Zealand’s Stella Artois Draught Master?
A: Well first up is a trip to Belgium and an opportunity to visit the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven I can’t wait.
Q: Best food match (in your opinion) for a Stella Artois?
A: Fish is a great match. It’s light and fresh, similar to Stella Artois.
Q: Most memorable experience while working in a bar?
A: Meeting so many amazing people and most importantly meeting my girlfriend.
The 9-Step Pouring Ritual is a mastered technique that requires practise and precision to perform. Each finalist was tested on the renowned 9-Step Pouring Ritual at the finals in Auckland, which consists of:
- The Purification - use a clean and rinsed branded glass
- The Sacrifice - open the tap in one quick action and let the first drops of beer flow away.
- The Liquid Alchemy Begins - hold the glass just under the tap without touching it at a 45° angle
- The Head, although ‘Crown’ would be more appropriate - lower the glass to allow the natural formation of the foam head
- The Removal - close the tap quickly and move the glass away so beer doesn’t drip into the glass
- The Beheading - while the head foams up and overflows the side of the glass, smooth it gently with a head cutter
- The Cleansing - clean the bottom and sides of the glass
- The Two Finger Rule - the right amount of foam is usually about two fingers
- The Bestowal - present the beer on a clean beer coaster with the logo facing the customer.
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