A perfect pour
When it comes to pouring the perfect glass of beer, detail is something that should never be overlooked.
That’s the word from Feilding bartender Saffron Tennant, who today takes on 15 of the country’s best beer pourers at the Stella Artois Draught Masters in Auckland.
Stuff caught up with the 21-year-old to see how it’s done and, much to our amazement, learned of an intricate nine-step process to ensuring the perfect pour.
Tennant has been working at Murray’s Irish Public House, in Feilding, for about a year, where she has her very own beer pouring coach. That’s right, coach Royce England stops by a few hours every week for a gruelling training session.
Whenever a customer orders Stella Artois, she’s the pourer ’’no matter what’’.
No one can question her dedication - Tennant is going to Auckland to win.
The winner walks away with a trip for two to the Stella Artois Brewery in Leuven, Belgium, an ‘‘ultimate door opener’’ for Tennant.
How does she get there? By perfecting the famous nine-step pour.
1. The purification - using a clean and rinsed glass.
2. The sacrifice - opening the tap in one quick action to let the first drops of beer flow away.
3. The liquid alchemy begins the most important part of the process, according to Tennant. This involves holding the glass just under the tap, at a 45-degree angle.
4. The head or crown - lowering the glass to allow the natural formation of the foam head.
5. The removal - this includes closing the tap quickly and moving the glass away so beer doesn’t drip onto the glass.
6. The beheading - the hardest part of the process, Tennant says. While the head foams up and overflows, bartenders are required to smooth it gently with a head cutter at exactly 45 degrees.
7. The cleansing - cleaning the bottom and sides of the glass.
8. The two finger rule - what’s the right amount of foam you ask? It’s about two fingers.
9 - The bestowal - the final piece to the puzzle. Present the beer on a clean coaster with the logo facing the customer.
It’s a pouring tradition that dates back some years - almost 650 to be exact - when Se´bastien Artois became the head brewer in 1708 at the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, a brewery established in 1366.
Saffron Tennant is a finalist at the Stella Artois Draught Masters.