Heineken's meticulous beer serving process ensures global consistency
New Zealand's bartenders are among the best in the world at following Heineken's meticulous five-step beer serving process.
Heineken draught master Franck Evers wrote a 90-page manual on the serving process and has trained bar owners and staff around the world to follow suit.
Evers has arrived in Auckland from Amsterdam to judge six finalists from across the country on their beer pouring technique, alongside boxer Monty Betham and Heineken New Zealand marketing manager Taylor Green at the Star Serve Bartender Finals on Wednesday.
The ideal "rinse, pour, skim, check, serve" process starts with a clean glass, involves pouring the beer at an exact 45 degree angle and finishes with the words "enjoy your Heineken".
New Zealand is best at ensuring the glass is cold, Evers said.
Heineken has has five mystery shoppers in New Zealand who visit every bar and restaurant that serves Heineken, four times a year to ensure they are following the exact serving technique.
Evers said the Heineken Star Serve training programme, which teaches the perfect pour and the mystery shoppers, had increased sales by 5 per cent in The Netherlands.
The biggest challenge for Heineken now was keeping up with consumer expectations, Evers said.
"If you go out it should be better than at home.
"In the old days people would go to the bar because they had the big televisions, they had the drinks, they had the ice, you could see other people.
"But nowadays you have your own flat screen television … they know everything about brands, about products, they travel so the challenges of the industry is to keep up with the consumer and do better," Evers said.
"And that is why I love Heineken so much. They send me all over the world to train bar staff how to treat a commodity like beer the best possible way. They take responsibility for the experience of the consumer."
As a former bar owner who made half of his income from Amstel beer sales, Evers said he wanted to learn more about the origin and treatment of beer.
When his Dutch bar playlist became famous for giving band Gompie the idea for their 1995 chart-topping song Alice, Who the F... Is Alice?, Evers was asked by media who he would love to meet.
His pick was Freddy Heineken, the late third generation boss of the family-owned beer brand.
"In Holland we loved him, he was a legend, he was very outspoken, a little bit of a mystery. But because he made Heineken so big, we were all so proud of him," Evers said.
The pair met and and eventually Evers was employed as global draught master.
In his job, Evers lives and breathes his legacy by believing in and ensuring the quality of Heineken beer across the world.
"He [Freddy] believed in quality with everything he did. There are 258 checks on a Heineken beer before they let it leave the brewery … and he was responsible for that," Evers said.
Heineken's focus on quality has led other beverage brands to follow suit hiring mystery shoppers and trainers, especially older coffee brands.
But other brands are too focused on advertising and train staff to think their brand is better than another, Evers said.