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Auck Bartender To Represent NZ At Stella Artois®

Auckland Bartender To Represent New Zealand At The Stella Artois® World Draught Master

The New Zealand champion Belgian beer pourer from De Fontein in Mission Bay, Auckland, is on his way to Brussels to demonstrate his expertise in the Belgian beer pouring ritual. Today Suhardi Wisata (32) won the New Zealand round of the Stella Artois® World Draught Master competition, held at Torenhof Belgian Beer Café in Christchurch.

Fifteen bartenders from around New Zealand contested this year’s title, which required them to perform a seven-minute Belgian beer pouring ritual. This included a ‘serial pouring’ of two Stella Artois® on draught, one Hoegaarden® on draught and one Leffe Dark from the bottle, served with the respective coasters to a panel of six judges.

“I am so passionate about beer”, says Suhardi, “I love the tradition and culture of pouring Belgian beers and have been practicing for this competition all year.”

Indonesian-born Suhardi has worked at De Fontein for nine months and plans to make his career in the hospitality industry.

“One day I would like to manage staff of my own and teach them about the tradition of pouring beer, the rituals and the drinking experience, which I believe is so important,” says Suhardi.

As the only international draught master competition, the Stella Artois® World Draught Master is one of the most prestigious and recognised titles to be bestowed upon bartenders around the world. In New Zealand, the competition is organised by Interbrew and Lion Breweries.

Jeremy O’Brien, Stella Artois® Brand Manager, says beer is deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of Belgium.

“Beer quality and the art of pouring and presenting a beer with service excellence is essential for an exceptional drinking experience,” says Jeremy.

“We hope that through this event we can raise service standards and increase the awareness of the Belgian pouring ritual, which is an important facet in the enjoyment of Belgian beers. This event will serve to enhance the beer culture here in New Zealand,” says Jeremy.

Participants’ style and social skills such as spontaneity, eye contact, sociability and serving technique at the table was also under the spotlight from the jury, which comprised Robert Briers (Interbrew), Laura Smith (Lion Breweries), Jeremy O’Brien (Lion Breweries), Mavis Airey (food writer), Geoff Griggs (beer writer) and Gavin Sinclair (CTV).

Suhardi will represent New Zealand at the World Draught Master 2004 in Brussels, Belgium, land of Stella Artois® in October and compete for the title of Grand Champion against participants from 28 other countries. The Grand Champion will receive a trip of his/her choice to anywhere in the world.

Organised annually since 1997, the Stella Artois® World Draught Master promotes quality and service excellence among Interbrew’s partner outlets in the world. It establishes Interbrew as the international specialist and leader of beer in dispensing technique and Stella Artois® as the ambassador for Belgian beers worldwide.

Interbrew, the leading consolidator in the global beer market and the World’s Local Brewer©, is one of the world’s oldest beer companies and the newest global brewer. It is a public company based in Brussels, Belgium (INTB – Euronext Brussels) and runs operations in 20 countries across North America, Western Europe and the emerging markets.

Its portfolio combines international premium and specialty brands - Beck’s®, Stella Artois®, Hoegaarden®, Leffe® and Bass® Pale Ale - with the strong local brands which are at the heart of its operations, including Jupiler®, OB Lager®, Labatt® Blue, Cass®, Ozujsko®, Klinskoye®, Sibirskaya Korona®, Chernigivski®, Staropramen® and Borsodi Sör®.

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