Entries in Nine Part Pour (1)

Monday
Sep062010

Stella Artois in NYC

A few weeks back, Stella Artois hosted a promotional competition at my bar, inviting patrons to pour the perfect Stella Artois using their 9-Step Pouring Ritual. In reality, most bartenders in most bars in the US don’t go through such pomp and circumstance when they pour a beer from the tap. Some bars don't have the proper dish sink system, but more importantly most American drinkers aren't familiar with the process. Many American drinkers might get antsy watching the process as they tend to value a rapidly poured beer more than a properly poured one. However, Belgians are world renown for the incredible focus on detail and ritual with which they regard their beer. Stella Artois is a classic Belgian beer; hence, their 9-Step Pouring Ritual.

Turns out the event I competed in was the first round in what is actually the 14th Annual Stella Artois World Draught Master Competition. Anyway, I took part in the competition at my bar mostly because I just happened to be there. Due in part to the fact that most of the other competitors were just regular bar patrons - and possibly had never poured a tap beer in their lives - somehow I won. Anybody that knows me knows that I’m not particularly competitive. However, when I heard that the winner of that competition would win a trip to New York to compete in the next level of the Stella Artois World Draught Master Competition, I got even more serious and did my homework. The regional competition brought together some decent bartenders from the Madison area, but with some practice and a little luck I ended up taking first place.

So, as much as I can still barely believe it, Stella Artois and Wisconsin Distributors are sending me tomorrow to New York City to compete Wednesday night against 12 other bartenders from the eastern seaboard. Keep in mind I’m still in Panama right now. So tomorrow I’m flying 2000 miles to pour a beer. And I can’t wait. Apparently, if I take 1st or 2nd place in this competition, there is one more competition in Boston next week before the ultimate final in London in October.

You can read more about the competition here and you can check out their interactive game where you try online to pour the perfect Stella Artois using the 9-Part Pouring Ritual. I’ll warn you: if you’re at all competitive, it’s insanely addictive. Apparently they are taking the highest score from online game to be the wild card at the upcoming competitions in Boston, so give it a shot.