A beers a beer, right? Try telling that to Heineken Global Draught Master Franck Evers, who wrote a 90-page manual on the serving process, and has spent his life travelling the globe making sure that bars around the world follow it.
150 years since Gerald Heineken founded his brewery with the promise of supplying the highest quality beer, the goal remains the same. Heineken believes that you buy your second beer based on the quality of your first. Skilled bartenders know that the pour is as important as the quality of the brew itself, and it takes technique to perfect the act.
Rinse, pour, skim, check, serve – the five steps in the Heineken Star Serve Ritual that ensure that the quality and enjoyment of a Heineken draught beer is never compromised and consistently delivered anywhere in the world.
Last week the search commenced to find the country’s top bartender at the Heineken Star Serve Bartender Finals in Auckland. The annual event sees semi-finalists from around the country go head to head, competing to perfect the pour of Heineken draught beer. This year, Sarah Ewing from The Thomas Green in Gore won the top spot, landing herself a trip to Amsterdam to compete on the global stage.
Different judges oversee the steps of the Star Serve pouring ritual at the bar. Franck Evers, Heineken Global Draught Master was among them and we asked him a few questions about the competition and the aim of pouring perfection worldwide.
What makes Heineken so special?
“Heineken bartenders take huge pride in the quality of our beer and the Heineken® International Star Serve ritual ensures that bartenders from around the world deliver a premium Heineken® draught beer every time, no matter where in the world you may be.”
What makes a good bartender?
The link between a brand like Heineken and consumer satisfaction is the bartender. If the bartender knows what he or she is doing, the guest will have a great reaction on the beer. The other way around is the same, if the bartender messes up the pour the consumer gets a bad experience, but the brand gets the blame.
What advice would you give to budding bartenders?
Treat your consumer like your best friend and make his stay unforgettable. Of course serving them a perfectly poured Heineken will make their stay even better!
What do you love most about your job?
“I'm passionate about the perfect treatment of Heineken in general and my role is to train people and involve them in pouring the best possible Heineken there is. So I'm a trainer, and also help Heineken markets to implement the Star Serve program.”
How do NZ bartenders compare to other countries?
“It is clear to see that New Zealand has a very high standard when it comes to service and adherence to the 5 steps that make up the perfect serve. New Zealanders do very well, I'm here now for the fifth time and I see so many improvements in the beer treatment and passion for beer, that I'm afraid I don't have to come back.....But I will come back anyway. I've been to 81 countries and NZ is definitely top three!”