There’s something cool about drinking Heineken on draught… The brand rolled out a global draught quality programme, called Star Serve, to ensure customers get the high level of experience associated with Heineken’s long-standing image.
With a legacy that dates back to 1864, Heineken has always been associated with quality – a result of its finest ingredients and traditional brewing process. But the Heineken experience goes beyond the product; it is the whole ritual of serving it the way it should be that makes it stand out on its peers.
“Having a great product is only the first step; there are so many other factors that can unfortunately spoil the beer until it reaches the taste buds of consumers,” says Laurens Rauen, a Heineken Draught Master who was recently in Malta to train bar staff on the proper Heineken Star Serve. This is his third time in Malta and so far he has been to 40 outlets to share his art of serving Heineken with the passion it demands, training over 400 bar staff.
Heineken draught is imported by Charles Grech Limited and distributed by GSD Marketing Ltd.
Once a bartender is awarded a Star Serve certificate they get mystery visits ensuring that their skills are maintained with every glass of Heineken served. During his recent visit, Laurens also gave people from the media a first-hand experience to pour their own Heineken at the Grand Hotel Excelsior's newly launched Tiki Village.
“It breaks my heart when I see a Heineken that is not given the treatment it deserves after having been prepared with so much love and dedication,” says Laurens. “The last few seconds when the beer leaves the draught tap to reach the consumer are crucial – that is the time where things can go wrong and the whole process can make the beer taste completely different from its original intention.”
The most common pitfalls to spoil a beer are too much foam, dirty glasses, the tap touching the beer while pouring and serving it warm. When there are any of these mishaps, the uniqueness of Heineken cannot be appreciated and consumers may experience bitterness or even a hangover which shouldn’t be there if the serving process is adhered to.
Through the training programme delivered by Heineken’s certified Draught Masters, the brand is ensuring that its serving standards are kept throughout the world through a five-step pouring ritual. This highly successful Dutch initiative trains some 10,000 bartenders annually in more than 2,000 outlets all over the world.
Laurens is confident that as consumers become more demanding, there will come a time when drinkers refuse a beer because there’s no foam, or too much of it, or it has not been skimmed. Heineken is empowering customers by encouraging them to carry their own skimmers.” It’s fun for a customer to bring out their skimmer and skim off the extra foam before this spoils the beer with a bitter taste,” says Laurens.
The five steps you should see your barman do when serving Heineken
- Rinse the glass to make it clean and cold (unless cold glasses are stored in a glass freezer).
- Pour with the glass at a 45-degree angle for a full satisfying head.
- Skim off the foam at a 45-degree angle to seal the head.
- Check that the head sits on the horizontal line of the star.
- Serve with a smile on a Heineken coaster with the logo facing the customer.