Anyone who knows anything about beer would know about Stella Artois. The brand has become so synonymous with quality and excellence that, when I’m in a dodgy bar (which has happened more times than I’d care to recount), I default to a Stella.
Now, what I didn’t actually know about Stella is that the pour plays a massive part in the quality. The pour is so important that they hold a championship over it every year called the Draught Masters Championship. This year, Jason Laurio won the competition and last September 26th, he showcased what a winning pour should look like, and even patiently taught the attendees how to go about the comprehensive nine-step process. While it is unlikely that I will be winning pour competitions anytime soon, the process is actually easy enough that a girl like myself could easily do it, and do it well.
It starts, of course, with the glass. The same way wine is enhanced by the proper glass, Stella Artois’ trademark chalice is designed to enhance the beer’s flavor and aroma when beer is poured into it. The chalice needs to sparkling clean and cooled before Stella Artois is poured into it, and keeping with the process ensures that the beer is at its optimal quality.
The actual pouring process is pretty involved and requires one to tilt and then un-tilt the glass, measure the foam, and in a demonstration of the wonderful theater that many brands can benefit from, a “beheading,” which levels out the proper amount of head for a chalice that would hold the flavor and temperature of the beer well.
During the event, which was held at Pablo Bistro in Makati, the beer was also thoughtfully paired with food from the bistro that would complement the distinct Stella Artois flavor. There is a growing movement in pairing food with beer, as we have always done with wine. With Stella Artois being full-bodied and mildly bitter, it pairs well with rich, hearty food as well as salty bites.
Sitting in an event like this was a pleasant surprise, and if you want to see what sets a Stella Artois apart, just watching the pouring process makes the experience.