Frankie McGuire from Mount Social Club in Tauranga has been named 2017 New Zealand Draught Master after beating 15 other finalists.

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, but in the end there could only be one winner.

The competition puts a spotlight on the bar tending industry in New Zealand and highlights the level of skill that goes into making sure when you enjoy a drink from the tap it’s of the highest standard. In this case, the skill was determined by which finalist had the ability to master the unique Stella Artois 9-Step pouring ritual.

As the new winner, McGuire has won a trip for two to the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven, Belgium, and will act as an ambassador for Stella Artois for the next year.

“Taking out the title of Draught Master is amazing,” said McGuire. “I can’t wait to head over to the brewery and find out more about the brewing process, and bring home some information that I can pass onto the people I work with and do my bit to keep the 600 year legacy of Stella Artois alive.”

“It was down to the wire and choosing a winner was really hard because there was so much great talent performing and pouring last night,” said Richard Gaotcher of Stella Artois. “When it came to judging, we were looking for perfection at every level. We wanted perfect execution of the 9-Step pouring ritual, but we were also looking for a show, someone with charisma and great chat. Luckily for Frankie he ticked all of the boxes and he should be proud to call himself New Zealand Draught Master.”