York bartender to represent UK at Stella Artois global final

Stella Artois Jordan McGuigan

A bartender from a hotel in York is set to compete in the Stella Artois 2015 World Draught Masters competition after winning the UK national final.

Jordan McGuigan (pictured) from Mercure York Fairfield Manor Hotel was named the Stella Artois 2015 UK Draught Master after winning the national competition at De Hoorn, the original home of Stella Artois, in Leuven, Belgium.

He will face bartenders and other competitors from over 30 other countries at the world final being held on Saturday (June 27) in Borough Market in London.

Now in its 17th year, Stella Artois’ World Draught Masters competition is an annual search for perfect craftsmanship among men and women from over 30 countries across five continents.

It invites both expert bartenders and Stella Artois fans to try their hand at Stella Artois’ nine-step pouring ritual, from cleaning the glass to presenting the beer.

Jordan stood out in the regional leg of the competition, which involved a video application and a face-to-face showcase of his perfect pour and bartender finesse.

He joined five other regional winners at the UK final in Leuven where he impressed the judges with his pouring ritual and his pitch on “Why I deserve to be the Stella Artois World Draught Master”.

This year’s UK judging panel consisted of Mark Simmonite, who won the UK Draught Master competition while working at Henry’s in Sheffield. He was joined by Allaine Schaiko and Marjolein Geuens, two previous World Draught Masters, and Nick Kirman, last year’s UK Draught Master winner from The Strait & Narrow bar in Lincoln, plus Ally Atha, brand manager for Stella Artois, Laura Brown, trade marketing manager for Stella Artois, and Thom Robberechts, brewery manager at the Stella Artois Brewery.

The winner of the global final will embark on a global journey visiting more than 30 countries as a Stella Artois brand ambassador to share their passion and dedication of the craft and celebrate the skill and care that goes into delivering the “perfect pour” of Stella Artois.

Jordan said: “The two-day national final was an unforgettable experience. The competition was so fierce and the standard extremely high so hopefully with the finals being held in London in 2015 we can produce a British champion.

“To be crowned UK champion is absolutely unbelievable and I can’t wait to represent my country in the Draught Masters final.”

The nine-step pouring ritual involves:
1. The Purification: The Stella Artois chalice must be cleaned and rinsed.
2. The Sacrifice: The tap is opened in a single swift motion and the first drops of beer are poured.
3. The Liquid Alchemy: The chalice must be held at a 45-degree angle, just under the tap.
4. The Head: Lowering the chalice permits the natural formation of the foam head.
5. The Removal: The tap is closed quickly and the chalice removed. No drips are permitted.
6. The Beheading: While the head foams up and threatens to overflow, a head cutter is deployed to smooth it gently.
7. The Cleansing: The bottom and sides of the chalice are to be cleaned.
8. The Judgment: The perfect amount of foam equals two fingers.
9. The Bestowal: The beer should be presented on a clean coaster, with the logo facing outward.

The Stella Artois World Draught Masters is part of a larger campaign by the brand dubbed “World’s Greatest Events”. It focuses on people whose “relentless pursuit of flawlessness lifts everyday events up to a superior level”. It will celebrate artistry and perfection at events across the UK, France, Argentina and the United States.

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