World's Premier Draught Masters Descend Upon New York City

On Oct. 29 in New York City, draught masters from 32 countries will descend upon New York City to perform the centuries old Belgian Pouring Ritual and compete for the 2009 Stella Artois World Draught Master title. The draught master crowned this year's winner will embark on a global quest during which he/she will visit more than 20 different countries as a Stella Artois® brand ambassador and share his/her passion and dedication to the craft of the perfect pour.
The Stella Artois® World Draught Master Competition will be held in the U.S. for the first time after being hosted in Leuven, Belgium for the past 12 years. This competition has recognized the best bartenders from across the globe for their ability to perform the Stella Artois Belgian Pouring Ritual.
The timed competition will take place in front of an esteemed panel of judges including Food & Wine magazine's Ray Isle, Bon Appetit magazine's Andrew Knowlton, Stella Artois Draught Master, Cian Hickey and 2008 U.S. Draught Master Winner, Anthony Alba.
Alexander Lambrecht, global marketing manager for Stella Artois®, said of the competition, “The Stella Artois 9-Step Pouring Ritual and the search for the Stella Artois World Draught Master epitomizes the brand's continual quest for perfection, striving to guarantee that Stella Artois® is served to all discerning adults with the same care, consideration and craftsmanship as has gone into more than 600 years of brewing.”
Representing the U.S. in the World Draught Master finals is Las Vegas bartender Greg Black. A bartender since 1997, Black was named the U.S. champion during this year's U.S. Stella Artois Draught Master Competition where he demonstrated his mastery of the 9-Step Belgian Pouring Ritual.
The annual World Draught Master competition continues to grow in success and stature. This year, New York Fashion Designer Tim Hamilton, winner of the 2009 Swarovski CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award, will create a unique trophy that embodies the ideals of the competition. Hamilton's passion for perfection in craftsmanship echoes the Stella Artois dedication to quality, making him an ideal partner for the brand. Hamilton will also create a limited edition Chalice glass, the brand's iconic glassware which is integral to the perfect experience of a Stella Artois®.
For the first time in the competition's history, Stella Artois® connoisseurs were able to enter via a ground-breaking digital application, “My Quest.” Available on the World Draught Master Web site, “My Quest” allowed entrants to capture and share their own personal visions of perfection by uploading images from a selection of contemporary categories ranging from design to sports to film. Five lucky contestants will compete against the world's best bartenders as wild cards in the dramatic final event in New York City.