Sam Cunningham, from Blankenberge Belgian Beer Café in Auckland, has claimed victory and is crowned the official Stella Artois Draught Master for New Zealand.
Held at The Occidental Bar in Auckland (the first official Belgian Beer Café in the Southern Hemisphere), the prestigious competition saw 16 Stella Artois connoisseurs from all over New Zealand compete against one another in a national competition.
Each contestant was judged on their passion, enthusiasm and skills on the 9-Step Pour, a mastered technique that requires practice and precision to perform. When carried out properly, discerning fans can enjoy a glass of Stella Artois that’s served in its perfect form.
As the new winner, Cunningham will go on to represent New Zealand at the Stella Artois World Draught Masters, held in Cannes, France in 2014.
Sam Cunningham of Blankenberge Belgian Beer Café, says: “To be able to represent New Zealand at the Stella Artois World Draught Master is a dream come true.”
“Since the competition began some 16 years ago, Kiwis have won the world title three times – I’d love to be the fourth to bring it home.”
Flying in especially to judge the finals from no other than the home of Stella Artois, is Allaine Schaiko, the winner of the 2012 Stella Artois World Draught Masters.
“The level of competition I’ve seen in New Zealand has been extremely high and Sam will do New Zealand proud at the international final in Cannes next year. It gives me great pleasure to see people of all ages taking part and mastering the art of the important 9-Step Pour.”
“As a judge, we are looking for the highest degree of quality, excellence and execution. Sam performed outstandingly well throughout the competition and thoroughly deserved to win.”
Pete Dick, Brand Manager at Stella Artois, says: “The Stella Artois Draught Masters is a celebration of pouring perfection and this competition helps provide our discerning fans a superior beer experience.”
“If successful in France, Sam could have an amazing opportunity ahead of him, going on to become an international brand ambassador for Stella Artois around the world.”
“Stella Artois has an amazing history that stretches back over 600 years and it’s important to protect the traditions associated with it, so beer drinkers around the world can enjoy an exceptional experience like no other.”