MHB’s Andy Kho and I together with our friends Denise, Rachel and Karina, headed over to Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur on 7 June 2016 for the Stella Artois® Asia Draught Masters 2016 Regional Final. The event is held to bring the Belgian beer experience to a higher level, and in Malaysia is organised by Anheuser-Busch InBev International (AB InBev) and Luen Heng F&B Sdn. Bhd. (LHFB), sole importer and distributor of Stella Artois® in Malaysia, showcasing the decades-old annual event that honours the mastery of beer connoisseurs in the Stella Artois 9-Step Pouring Ritual.
MHB’s Naomi Tham, Andy Kho, and I actually headed up to Genting Highlands for the Malaysian finals some years back and we had such a good time that I was eagerly anticipating the event this time round. BTW you can read about that event here – https://timchew.net/2013/08/16/stella-artois-world-draught-masters-malaysia-finals/
The event featured some of the region’s most skilled and charming bartenders from Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and of course Malaysia who performed the Stella Artois 9-Step Pouring Ritual in front of a panel of judges.
Each country will send their top 3 finalists that won the National Draught Master Championships in their own country, and these 3 top finalists will compete in heated head-to-head duels against each other. Apart from being appointed the “steadiest pouring hand” of their own country, there will also be a “Best Performing Team/Country” where all five (5) countries will challenge among each other. The best team with the highest scoring will be crowned as the Champion Country for this Regional Finals.
This annual competition was inspired by more than 630 years of long heritage brewing tradition, and encourages bartenders to embrace upcoming trends in the art of delivering a superior beer experience to consumers while celebrating the sophisticated elegance in pouring skill with Stella Artois’s unique Chalice glass. This annual competition also epitomizes the brand’s dedication to delivering superior beer the world over and showcases the unique Belgian experience that fans of the brand have enjoyed for more than six centuries.
“Belgian beers are traditionally served in unique glasses developed to accentuate each of the beer’s unique flavor profile. For Stella Artois®, that glass is the Chalice. The 9-Step pouring ritual makes the best use of the Chalice’s shape, stem and signature rim, and offers the best possible Stella Artois experience,” said Kenneth Soh, Managing Director of Luen Heng F&B Sdn. Bhd.
In 2013, Malaysia was awarded the “Best Performing Country Award” in the Stella Artois® World Draught Masters Regional Final held in Thailand. Luen Heng F&B Sdn. Bhd. partnered with their trade partners in training their bartenders as Stella Artois® connoisseurs so to compete against their peers from around the region.
Three (3) finalists from the Stella Artois ® Asia Draught Master 2016 Malaysia Final (listed below) represented Malaysia at the inaugural Asia Draught Masters Regional Final. The event will determine the Malaysian grand winner who will attend the finals which will be held in London in July 2016.
- Joshua Chen Xin Tao from Brussels Beer Café Ampang
- Melvin Bintai from The Beer Factory, Penang
- Thiventhran A/L Chinniah from Brussels Beer Café Jaya One
With pretty Stella Artois girls Yiwen and Yuki.
The 2016 Stella Artois ® Asia Draught Masters Regional Finals had a line-up of professional and experienced judges:
– His Excellency Daniel Dargent, Belgium Ambassador in Malaysia
– Mattias Priels, Global Marketing Manger Stella Artois® Anheuser-Busch InBev International
– Joey Loh, Sales Director – North Asia Anheuser-Busch InBev International
– Philip Tan, Sales Director – South Asia Anheuser-Busch InBev International
– Sean Soh, Commercial Director Luen Heng F&B Sdn Bhd Malaysia
– Rawin Suphavanij, General Manager Brewery Co Ltd Thailand
– Raymon Chester P.Cabrera, Marketing Manager Booze Online Inc. Phillippines
– John Jackson Walker, Chairman Pacific Beverages Pte Ltd Singapore
– Takumi Yamaguchi, Brand Manager, Imported Beer Asahi Breweries Ltd, Japan
– Jonny Higgins, Trainer of the Stella Artois ® Asia Draught Masters Regional Finals Malaysia 2016
– Leong Kar Fei, Grand Winner of Stella Artois World Draught Masters Malaysia 2014
The 9-Step pouring ritual at the heart of the World Draught Master competition is rhythmic and complex. The Stella Artois® perfect pour is fundamental not only to ensure the highest beer taste but also adding theatre to the consumer experience. Each of the 9-Step pouring ritual in the signature Chalice serves a specific purpose and optimizes serving consistency, drinking enjoyment while delivering romance to the beer itself.
These steps include:
Step 1: The Purification
The Chalice must be cleaned and rinsed.
Step 2: The Sacrifice
The tap is opened in a single swift motion and the first drops of beer are poured.
Step 3: The Liquid Alchemy
The Chalice must be held at a 45° angle, just under the tap.
Step 4: The Crown
Lowering the Chalice permits the natural formation of the foam head.
Step 5: The Removal
The tap is closed quickly and the Chalice removed. No drips permitted.
Step 6: The Beheading
While the head foams up and threatens to overflow, a head cutter is deployed to smooth it gently.
Step 7: The Cleansing
The bottom and sides of the Chalice are to be cleaned.
Step 8: The Judgment
The perfect amount of foam equals two fingers.
Step 9: The Bestowal
The beer should be presented on a clean coaster, with the logo facing outward.
Congratulations to the winners from each country:
Japan: Ms Natsuko Ohsaki
Philippines: Mr Jordan Bernarte
Malaysia: Mr Thiventhran Chinniah
Singapore: Mr Kenny Oh Zhi Guang
Thailand: Mr Sansern Chaitosa
Best Performing Team: Thailand
More info on Stella Artois at http://www.stellaartois.com
Stella Artois is distributed in Malaysia by Luen Heng F&B – http://www.luenheng.com
Photo credits: Andy Kho Photography (www.andykho.com)