Stella Artois anoints UK Draught Master

Stella Artois is gearing up for its World Draught Masters final in Buenos Aires, having anointed a champion from its UK heat.

Mark Simmonite of Henry’s in Sheffield, will join 19 others at the October 26 global final, after impressing judges at London’s O2 with his rendition of Stella’s ‘nine-step pouring ritual’.

To date, finals have also been held in Beijing, China; Auckland, New Zealand; Kiev, Ukraine; Adelaide, Australia; and Belfast, Northern Ireland (NI and IRE heat).

The overall World Draught Master for 2011 will be appointed Stella Artois brand ambassador for a year, and will visit more than 20 countries to “share his passion and dedication to the craft”.

Simmonite, who prevailed from a 27-bartender field at the UK final, said: “My friends, family and the team at Henry’s know how much we’ve achieved in the short time we’ve been open. The team and regulars have been rooting for us so I can’t wait to go back and share the news. In fact two members of the bar team are currently raising money for Macmillan Cancer Care – I will be donating my prize money to them.”

Tim Clay, on trade sales director for Stella Artois, added. “Quality has been really high, but Mark really stood out to us as a bartender who served Stella Artois with the same care, consideration and craftsmanship as has gone into years of brewing heritage."

Now in its fifteenth year, the World Draught Master competition, and its sister training scheme, the Quality Draught Masters Programme, is aimed at improving serving standards in the on-trade.

The nine-step pouring ritual is as follows:

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 - 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