People who personally know me and my fiancé Jessie know that we both love to drink. We’re both into wine and cocktails, but he also likes his scotch and beer. That’s why friends and family expect that our wedding will be one big drinking party.
And we want it to be. This would be the one time we’d get all our family and closest friends drunk together in one venue, celebrating our union. Of course the bar list should include drinks that Jessie and I both enjoy.
Beer is a wedding staple, but it has to be beer that we both like to drink. I enjoy only a few brands of beer, and one of them is hands-down Stella Artois. We both like to drink it ice-cold, straight out of the bottle.
Stella Artois has been named the most sophisticated beer brand in the world. The brand’s rich heritage dates back to 1366 and the Den Hoorn Brewery in Leuven, Belgium. The brand’s nearly 650-year heritage is reflected in its iconic chalice and exacting 9-step pouring ritual. Stella Artois is still brewed using natural ingredients in the same processes of mixing and fermentation used in the old days.
Born from the passion for delivering a full-bodied, authentic flavor of Belgian beer, the nine-step pouring ritual follows strict standards in beer pouring. To ensure that this ritual is preserved and will endure through time, Stella Artois hosted its 2nd Draught Masters Philippines Competition last June 22, 2017 at Fairmont Hotel, Makati City. Here, bartenders from various restaurants, bars, and hotels showcased their expertise in the nine-step pouring ritual. The top three performers will represent the country as finalists in the regional finals in Bangkok, Thailand.
Our wedding is five months away, and we have yet to figure out if there’s a Stella Artois supplier where we are getting married, but in the meantime, for your weekend drinking pleasure, here are the nine steps to pouring the perfect pint of Stella Artois:
Step 1: The Purification. The Chalice is cleaned and rinsed with cold water, which allows the glass to reach the same temperature as the beer and ensures the lacing when the beer is drunk.
Step 2: The Sacrifice, the act where the tap is opened in a single swift motion to let the first drop flow away before placing the Chalice with the logo facing forward under the tap at 45 degrees.
Step 3: The Liquid Alchemy means holding the Chalice by the stem at a 45-degree angle without the nozzle tap touching the Chalice.
Step 4: The Crown. The Chalice with the logo facing forward is filled to the top while straightening the chalice gradually without touching the Chalice with the tap nozzle.
Step 5: The Removal. When the Chalice is almost filled with beer, a connoisseur needs to ensure that the beer is overflowing slightly over the Chalice and in the same movement smoothly remove the Chalice from under the tap without touching the Chalice.
Step 6: The Beheading. The beer is allowed to overflow slightly and a head cutter is used to smooth the foamy brim at 45 degrees and close the tap in one smooth movement.
Step 7: The Judgement ensures that there is a perfect amount of foam in the Chalice, no more than two fingers tall. The beer has to be in the correct proportion of beer and foam.
Step 8: The Cleansing sees that the bottom and sides of the Chalice are cleaned by moving the Chalice in water using a circular motion and getting the excess water using a white towel.
Step 9: The Bestowal. As the beer is finally presented to the drinker, the Stella Artois drip catcher must be on the stem of the Chalice with the logo, and underneath, a clean coaster with the logo facing outward.
It’s a lot more than just pomp and pageantry. The process highlights the skill and craftsmanship of the beer connoisseur, and reinforces the brand’s belief that their beer should always be served in a way that demonstrates the skill and passion that goes into creating a pint of Stella Arois. Now you know what to expect next time you order your beer.
And I just have to find a bartender who can do this 9-step ritual really fast when serving beer at the wedding. Oh dear.