An international trainer was recently in Malta to step up the Stella Artois serving ritual to the standards the top-end Belgian beer is renowned for worldwide.
Stella Artois is enjoyed in more than 80 countries. With an annual production of more than 9 million HL, it is one of the biggest global beer brands. Stella Artois was introduced in Malta by GSD Marketing Ltd in 1995. Stella is part of the Anheuser-Busch InBev Group, which is the largest brewer in the world.
The first three establishments that received professional training were Hugo’s Pub and AXM Club in St Julian’s and Traveller’s Café in Bugibba. GSD Marketing Ltd is providing all outlets offering Stella on draught with the brand’s famous chalices. Serving Stella in the right chalice is the first step to reach the Gold Standards status.
“Stella Artois is known worldwide not only for its distinct taste, but it is also associated with its capacity to make beer a thing of beauty,” said Frederick Broeckhoven, a Stella Artois World Draught Master and Gold Standards Programme visiting trainer. “For this reason, Stella Artois pays great attention to the details involved in the serving ritual which takes beer-drinking to the next level. To distinguish themselves, bars around the world want to have their barmen professionally trained by Stella Artois and obtain the Gold Standards recognition that shows their patrons the quality of service they offer with such a premium beer.”
GSD sales and technical staff were trained in the pouring ritual and draught troubleshooting to assist bars and catering establishments in serving Stella the proper way and aim to achieve the Gold Standard. Once the level is achieved, the bars will receive the Stella Artois’ international Gold Standards status which can be proudly displayed on the façade. Spot inspections will be held by the trained GSD representatives to ensure that standards are maintained in the outlets that receive the international recognition.
GSD Marketing Ltd Business Development Manager Wilfred Camilleri also received personalised training to qualify as a trainer himself and in return offer refresher courses to GSD representatives.
During the training, which was held over an intensive three days, participants learnt about Stella’s history and heritage, its differentiating tasting notes, the importance of the specifically-designed Stella chalice, the pouring ritual, draught troubleshooting and the brand attributes which give Stella its cutting-edge over other beers.
Depending on the outlet, a barman may choose either a nine- or four-step pouring ritual, which includes rinsing the chalice with cold water to allow it to reach the same temperature as the beer; removing the the liquid in the tap nozzle to ensure that every drop of Stella is fresh and at the ideal serving temperature; holding the chalice at a 45-degree angle to create the ideal proportion of foam and liquid; removing the chalice away from the font quickly to prevent any drops from falling into the glass and forming oxidisation; cutting the overflowing foam; and rinsing the bottom and sides of the glass. Finally, the Stella Artois is served to the customer on a coaster, accompanied by the drip catcher at the base.
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlHAuCtnMYg for a demo of the serving ritual.
Stella dates back to 1366, when a brewery called Den Hoorn (The Horn) was opened in the Belgian city of Leuven. The evidence of this heritage is present today with the horn emblem proudly worked into the Stella Artois logo. In 1708, Sebastian Artois became the master brewer and in 1717 he purchased the brewery, changing its name to Artois. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Artois family celebrated a century at the brewery’s helm by becoming the biggest brewery in the then French Empire thanks to an annual production of 80,000 HL. For the Christmas of 1926, the Artois brewers devised a special holiday beer with a bright colour. Christened “Stella” for “star”, the beer was so well received that it became available all year around.