New Zealand’s top bartenders went head to head on Sunday at the Heineken National Star Serve Finals to demonstrate how to pour the perfect glass of Heineken draught beer, but only one came out on top to take out the title of New Zealand’s top bartender.
After a nationwide search with semi-finals in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, it all came to a close during the NZ Polo Open when Heineken crowned Hamilton-based Jared Gemmell from Keystone Bar as the country’s top bartender. Gemmell will now head off to Amsterdam to represent New Zealand in the Star Serve World Finals later this year.
“I have been bartending for over two years, so have had plenty of practice when it comes to pouring the perfect Heineken. That’s not to say I didn’t feel the pressure slightly when it came to doing in front of 200 people!” says Gemmell. “However once I got up there and started feeding off the energy of the crowd, it was great. I am excited to get the chance to travel to Amsterdam, the home of Heineken, and represent my country.”
Rinse, pour, skim, check, serve – these are the five steps in the Heineken Star Serve Ritual that ensures a world class drinking experience every time a Heineken draught beer is ordered. This was the criteria that the contestants were being tested on.
To help with the judging, Heineken flew in International Draughtmaster Franck Evers, to offer his expert opinion when it came to crowning the winner. Franck was also joined by George FM’s Dan Aux and Heineken’s Director of Sales, Dan Gilbert on the judging panel.
“We were looking for more than just technique when it came to the judging process. While the technique and quality of the pour is the most important part, the delivery is what makes it a real beer experience,” says Evers. “All three of us were really impressed with the level of skill and creativity Jared bought to his serve as everything was done with precision and flair. We wish him the best of luck in the World Finals.”
The Heineken Star Serve World Finals will take place in April 2016. Jared Gemmell will be competing against winners from 16 counties around the globe including the United States, the Netherlands and Ireland.