It's the number one thing we reach for after a hard day's DIY, our favourite beverage to wash down a BBQ dinner, and a mainstay in the fridges over over-18s all around the country. If you haven't figured out we're talking about beer by now, then we feel sorry for you.
Whether enjoyed by the bottle or in a glass, our friends at Heineken know a thing or two when it comes to crafting the perfect brew. But what if we told you you've been enjoying your beer wrong all along? Turns out there's more to pouring a brew than we thought.
In New Zealand to judge tonight's Heineken Star Serve, we caught up with Global Draught Master Franck Evers to find out how the perfect pour affects beer's taste, how many glasses he pours in a week, and the best place he's ever enjoyed a cold one.
1. You previously worked as a psychiatric nurse and tennis coach and are now Heineken’s global draught master, I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the change! How did you get to be here?
Owning my own bar was always a dream for me. I lived above a bar while I was working in a psychiatric hospital few years ago. I liked beer and making people happy, so when the change came to buy the place, I did it. Teaching people how to pour a beer on the other hand was a lot of fun, so I kept doing it. This job has taken me to 78 countries and almost 300 cities over the whole world so it certainly beats working for a living!
2. What’s the best part of your job?
Travelling and being able to meet so many lovely, passionate people. The people always make the difference and attending world class Heineken events is always incredible.
3. What’s the worst?
I have to throw a lot of beer down the drain, because it’s training material during the day!
4. Talk me through the art of pouring the perfect ‘Star Serve’?
Step 1 – Rinse. Take a cold and clean glass, because a warm glass can create a lot of foam and makes the beer flat.
Step 2 - Pour. Keep the glass on a 45 degree angle as you pour and let the beer run in spirally, to preserve the Co2 and to create a nice amount of foam. Close off the tap, when the foam hits the rim of the glass.
Step 3 – Skim. Put the glass next to the tap and skim, with a wet skimmer, under an angle of 45 degrees, to get rid of the excess foam on top. There’s a lot of oxygen in the top of the foam and some bitterness that you don’t want in your beer.
Step 4 – Check. Check if the foam is sitting at the horizontal shoulders of the Heineken star in the branded glass.
Step 5 – Serve. Take a Heineken coaster and put the Heineken glass with the brand facing the consumer and say the magic words – “enjoy your Heineken!”
5. Why is how beer is poured important?
It’s all about the perfect treatment of a product. Now we’re talking about beer, but if you compare it to wine. If you serve an expensive red wine over ice you still drink an expensive wine but the taste is not as good as it could or should be. So the treatment of beer and how it is served is very important. It takes 28 days to brew a Heineken, but it takes only seconds to mess it up.
6. What does a typical day look like for you?
No day is ever the same for me. A lot of times I’m in a market to train staff, so I will be running bar staff training from 9 to 5, but then we need to check the different bars and experience the quality of Heineken in those places. We take the product confrontation very seriously.
7. Where’s the best placed you’ve enjoyed a beer?
I love tropical islands and I have visited quite a few, but being a tennis fan I was once invited to help out at the US open and I enjoyed a Heineken while watching Djokovic practise, just a few meters away from me.
8. When you’re not drinking beer, what’s your other tipple of choice?
I love gin and tonic. Basically any high quality beverage, served with passion will do.
9. How many beers do you pour in a regular week?
I think I have poured over 1,000,000 beers over the last 15 years, so that’s 1,282 per week.
10. What’s your favourite way to enjoy an ice-cold beer?
I travel so much that I always love to drink a few ice-cold ones with my wife, she’s a beer lover as well. And I love my wife, so it makes sense right?
Check out Franck and the country's top Heineken bartenders at tonight's Heineken Star Serve at Auckland's Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen from 6.30pm until late. Semi-finalists from around the country will go head to head as they attempt to pour the perfect Heineken draught beer, adhering to the Star Serve tips Franck mentioned earlier. Enjoy beats by Dan Aux as you watch the action go down, and even try your hand at pouring yourself. Entry is free, and open to R18 only.