Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Stella Artois 9-Step Pouring Ritual at The Labatt Beer Institute

Thanks to Calvin (@cdot_in_tdot) from Boston Pizza Yonge & Sheppard and The Labatt Beer Institute, I had a great night at #9StepTO last week. I got a chance to attend a brief seminar about beer (while drinking Stella Artois and munching on nachos), sample various domestic and international beers, learned and tried out The 9-Step Stella Artois Pouring Ritual, and also met a several new tweeps =)

All this took place at The Labatt Beer Institute which is located at 207 Queens Quay W. It is a private facility that also doubles as the corporate headquarters for ABInBev (which consists of several merged companies including Anheuser-Busch(AB), Interbrew (In), AmBev (Bev)).  ABInBev is the brewers of brands such as Stella Artois, Beck’s, Budweiser, Leffe, Brahma, Hoegaarden, Labatt, Alexander Keith’s, Bass, Busch, Kokanee, O’Doul’s.

I personally do not know much about beer nor do I drink much of it, but given that my name is Stella, I do tend to choose Stella Artois over other brands when I go out =D However, at restaurants that offer Fruli, there is no question, whatsoever, that I will order the strawberry beer over anything else (yes, I like my fruity drinks).

The events that night took place in this beautiful room. The first thing you notice once you walk in is the huge bright bar.

Everything looked so clean and polished. There was a lot of shiny chrome.

The Stella Artois tap. In a class all by itself.

A subtle reminder of where we were.

With a bottle of Stella Artois in hand, we all proceeded to the big bench in the middle of the room. I was picked to be the first to introduce myself; how fitting =) Somebody there actually thought I was joking when I told them my name haha.

What was next? Beer school! We learned about Stella Artois, its history and country of origin (Belgium), and also some general beer knowledge (i.e. difference between ale and lager).

Can't say I was fully paying attention; with a cold and refreshing Stella and these yummy nachos, can you blame me?

After that was done, we all headed back to the bar. It was game time. Basically, every one of us had to perform The Stella Artois 9-Step Pouring Ritual and the person / team that gets it done the best wins a pair of Raptors tickets in January. You do know how much I want to win this competition, right? Me, being a Raptors fan, and me, having the name Stella? 

The teacher showing us how it is supposed to be done. Here he is performing "Step 1: The Purification - the chalice is rinsed with cold water, allowing the glass to reach the same temperature as the beer".

Each of us took turns doing the 9-Steps; we were all judged very closely. I must say the whole pouring ritual was pretty intense especially doing it for the first time in front of a bunch of people.

Here we have "Step 4: The Crown - the creation of the foam head occurs by straightening and lowering the glass. This initial foam is important as it prevents the beer from coming into contact with the air and losing any flavour".

Numerous Stellas were left unattended at the bar as a result of this competition.

Although I did not win *sad face* it was still great fun. I finally got to meet Jonathan (@shrued)

And also met new tweeps like George (@rosalesj).

Everyone got a free Stella Artois chalice ^_^

My friend, Jason (@LO_TEK), got the Stella Artois Pouring Kit.

So pretty :)

In my opinion, the name "Stella" was "cool" until Stella Artois came along. So thank you, Stella Artois ^_*