The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2012

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Page 101 of 124

BEER ADVENTURES NEWCASTLE CELEBRATES Unraveling the A The perfect pint of Newcastle in the brand's signature Geordie Schooner. LOS ANGELES BARTENDERS COMMITTED TO THE PERFECT PINT Mystery by Rich Manning / photos by Leigh Castelli guy walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "Pour me the perfect pint of Newcastle." While this sounds like the setup for a ribald wisecrack, the Los Angeles– area barkeeps that participate in Newcastle's Mystery Shopper program know that such a request from a clandestine customer acts as a call to dispense the brew in precise accordance to the popular beer's high presentation stan- dards. Those who executed their pour perfectly were invited to gather together at L.A.'s hip industrial facility Monkspace on January 23, where they were honored by Newcastle for their meticulous handiwork. For Newcastle's distributor, Heineken USA, the celebration surrounding bartenders pour- ing the ideal Geordie Schooner of draught beer goes beyond the realm of flawless service technique. It also shines a spotlight on the company's ongoing Passion 4 Beer program—a strategy designed to educate the public on the many ways in which a properly served beer upholds the romanticized integrity that fortifies each glass. "There is a certain emotional experience that comes with pouring a draught beer," explains Sinead Carrey, Heineken USA's Western Region On-Premise Draft Manager. "Making sure Newcastle is served correctly allows the customer to be immersed in that experience as much as possible." The desire behind preserving this visceral feeling of enjoyment is so strong that it can be argued that the overall process to produce the perfect pint of Newcastle is an art form. The journey to create the faultless potable begins within the keg itself, where the beer is contained at a consistent temperature of 38 degrees. When the bartender coaxes the liquid from the tap into a Geordie Schooner, the signature Newcastle glass, the brew settles into its new home with a finger's worth of head cresting at the top. Perfection is finally achieved once the barkeep rests the filled glass, embla- zoned with Newcastle's iconic blue star logo, atop a Newcastle coaster and presents it to a customer, with the branding on both pieces proudly and squarely facing the lucky patron. Heineken's Sinead Carrey tries her hand at pouring the perfect pint. When properly assembled, the ritualistic mix of science, ceremony and business savvy serves to elevate the prospect of having a Newcastle to a special plane. "All of the elements that go into producing the perfect pour all build toward maintaining Newcastle's mystique," Carrey states. "In a way, it allows us to tell Newcastle's story." And a story about Newcastle is infinitely better than a joke about a guy walking into a bar. march 2012 / the tasting panel / 101

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