When it comes to the perfectly poured glass of Stella Artois, detail is something that should never be overlooked and that’s why Stella Artois is excited to announce the return of the Draught Master Championship – a competition that celebrates perfection of the brand’s unique 9-Step pouring ritual.

On Thursday, 21 September, 16 finalists from Te Puke, Tauranga, Christchurch, Auckland, Fielding, Pirongia, Nelson and Wellington - who have already proven their talent for the 9-Step pour as being above the rest - will descend on Ponsonby Central’s Sapphire Room to fight it out for the coveted title of New Zealand Draught Master.

Quick fire knock out rounds will take place in front of a panel of judges, filtering down the finalists to find a champion who demonstrates their perfect charm and artistry for pouring the most precise Stella Artois using the famous Stella Artois 9-Step Pour.

The winner will not only walk away with the coveted title, but a trip for two to the Stella Artois Brewery in Leuven.

Jeremy Meech from Stella Artois says, “Stella Artois demands perfection and excellence at every stage, from brewing to the perfect pour, to the perfect chat. There is a huge talent pool of bar men and women in New Zealand who are elevating the drinking experience of our discerning fans and upholding the nearly 600 year old legacy of the Belgian beer every day. This competition gives us an opportunity to celebrate them.”

The 9-Step Pouring Ritual is a mastered technique that requires practise and precision to perform. Each finalist will be tested on the renowned 9-Step Pouring Ritual at the finals in Auckland, which consists of:

  1. The Purification - use a clean and rinsed branded glass
  2. The Sacrifice - open the tap in one quick action and let the first drops of beer flow away.
  3. The Liquid Alchemy Begins - 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 Two Finger Rule - 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 customer.

Stella Artois is part of a brewing tradition that stretches back nearly 650 years, the Draught Masters will help to protect the Stella Artois service of excellence for years to come.

Finalist include:

Larni Pitman, Te Puke – Te Puke Hotel
Frankie Mcguire, Tauranga – Mount Social Club
Brendan Hyndman, Christchurch – Christchurch Golf Club
Ethan Kay, Auckland – De Post
Anita Sutopo, Auckland – De Fontein
Korena Pairmama, Orewa – Horse and Harp
Bodie Johnson, Drury – Murphy’s Law
Saffron Tenant, Fielding – Murrays Irish Public House
Azure Day-Henare, Pirongia – Five Stags Pirongia
Gary Owens, Nelson – Smugglers Pub & Café
Tobias Wevers, Wellington – Leuven
Danny Dentith, Auckland – Euro
Kain Cangir, Auckland – Pilkingtons
Lucy Francis, Wellington – Foxglove & Foxtale
Theo Loach, Wellington  - Foxglove & Foxtale
Allister Meffan, Auckland – Malt