A per­fect pour

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - FRONT PAGE - SAM KILMISTER

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.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WILSON/STUFF

Saf­fron Ten­nant is a fi­nal­ist at the Stella Ar­tois Draught Mas­ters.

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