This week Toast caught up with Jared Gemmell, the young Kiwi who recently travelled to Amsterdam for the Heineken Global Bartender Finals in pursuit of showcasing the perfect pour
Last month, Heineken held the Global Bartender Finals in Amsterdam which saw top bartenders from around the globe go head to head to demonstrate how to pour the perfect glass of Heineken draught beer. Hamilton-based 20-year-old Jared Gemmell, who won the New Zealand National Star Serve Finals back in February, went over to Amsterdam to compete and took out second place (a very, very close second place) in the Heineken Global Bartender Finals. Toast caught up with Jared to hear about his whirlwind experience.
It sounds like you had an amazing time at the Heineken Global Bartender Finals! Tell us about your experience?
It was an unbelievable experience. I didn't know what to expect and was blown away once I got there. Heineken really know how to put on a show! The Heineken Global Bartender Finals saw some of the best bartenders in the world all in one room showing off their skills when pouring a Heineken, so there was a pretty epic atmosphere. While I just missed out on the first place, fingers crossed I get the opportunity to go one better and crack the top spot next year.
What was it like leading up to the competition in terms of training and practising?
I was up against 15 other finalists from all around the globe, so the competition was intense. I knew we were being judged on the five key steps in the Heineken Star Serve Ritual which are rinse, pour, skim, check, serve but we were also being scored on our consistency, professionalism, service and flair – so in the lead-up I made sure I was nailing all those elements. We were also given a lot of practice time onsite in the days building up to the competition which left me confident as I was able to familiarise with the set-up.
Were you nervous?
Not as much as I thought I would be. There were more people and cameras there than I was expecting but once I got my first pour out of the way and my nerves settled, I was good to go.
What are your tips for pouring the perfect beer at home?
A lot of it is down to personal preference I find, but a good tip would be to have a chilled glass and a steady pour!
What are your favourite beers? (alongside Heineken obviously!)
Heineken of course! But being a Hamilton local, I definitely enjoy a cold Waikato Draught on the odd occasion.