What I love about Japan is how it treats many occasions as a ceremony. Just take a look at how they enjoy tea and you’ll see how they treat things with respect and give it the attention it deserves. This regard to mindfulness and deference is practiced similarly across the world by Stella Artois in Belgium. To fully enjoy the bouquet of flavor and aroma of its beer, Stella Artois recommends a nine step ritual in pouring.
This ritual is understandable when you consider that Stella Artois has been brewing its beer since 1366. Even after almost 650 years, the brand still uses natural ingredients and the same processes used in the old days.
I was able to witness first-hand the nine step pouring ritual at the 2nd Draught Masters Philippines, a competition where bartenders from different restaurants, bars, and hotels showcased their expertise in handling the drink.
Just to share how meticulous Stella Artois prepares its Belgian beer, I wrote down the nine step ritual below:
The ritual begins with the bartender giving the chalice a cold-water bath so it reaches the same temperature as the beer. Stella Artois is best enjoyed with the signature Stella Artois chalice, which is designed to highlight the taste and aroma of the drink.
The tap is quickly opened, but the first drops of beer are not used. The sacrifice is done to make sure that the drink poured into the chalice only has the freshest taste.
The Liquid Alchemy
The chalice is tilted at a 45-degree angle as the beer is poured so that it circulates for the perfect combination of liquid and foam.
While the beer is poured, the chalice is slowly straightened to form the perfect foam. This is also done to seal its freshness by preventing the exposure of liquid to air.
The tap is quickly closed and the chalice is removed to stop last minute drops of beer from entering the chalice. These don’t need to be included as they have already been exposed to air.
The extra foam is “beheaded” using a foam cutter at a 45-degree angle. This is done to get rid of large, loose bubbles that can quickly dissipate the foam.
The foam must be three centimeters (two fingers) thick to ensure that the flavors are locked in.
Before it is served, the chalice is dipped in cold water to rinse the outside so that it is neat-looking and pleasant to hold.
The chalice is presented on a coaster with a drip catcher at the base. This finishes the nine step ritual, allowing the drinker to enjoy a perfectly served glass of Stella Artois.
For the 2nd Draught Masters Philippines, Jason Laurio of Pablo’s Bistro, Shiela Roa Poderanan of Draft Gastropub Ortigas, and Michael Angelo Mallari of Draft Gastropub Greenbelt were announced as the winners. They will represent the country in the regional finals in Bangkok, Thailand.
This post is in partnership with Booze Online, Inc. and Stella Artois. Booze Online, Inc. is the country’s largest beer distributor and the pioneer in imported craft beer. They also import global wines, spirits, and premium beers. For more information, visit its website, and its Facebook and Instagram pages. For more information on Stella Artois, visit its website, and its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.