Heineken Star Serve, GABPS Academy National Finals 2013

Thanks to Heineken for the exclusive invitation to the Heineken Star Serve National Finals 2013, organised by the GABPS Academy. It was an honour to be among the 160 guests to witness the ultimate quality showdown which was held at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. It was truly a remarkable show of draught skills where the 6 finalists compete to get into the Top 3 who will be going through an intensive boot camp, where there will only be 1 GABPS Hero of the Year. The GABPS Hero of the Year will represent Malaysia at the Heineken Global Bartender Finals 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Heineken Star Serve is a global draught beer quality programme that aims to improve and maintain the quality of beer in addition to elevating the standard of the hospitality industry holds the principle that the perfect drinking experience begins with the Heineken Pouring Ritual. Out of 1,400 hospitality industry professionals that GABPS Academy trained this year, 30 participants qualified to the GABPS Academy Regional Finals, of which 6 were qualified for the GABPS Academy National Finals.


The 6 finalists are Bon Siong Hooi (Sky Bar Traders Hotel), Dexter Dion Patrick (The Beer Factory Setia Walk), Jamie Malina Samarakkody (Palate Palette KL), Jimmy Goh Teong Hock (Patio Bar Genting), Kristine Tang Yin Hui (Geographer Cafe Melaka) and Low Wei Kiang (Beer Belly Johor Bahru).



GABPS Academy anchors the Heineken Star Serve programme in Malaysia, the global quality initiative by Heineken, to ensure that consumers all over the world can enjoy a perfectly poured Heineken draught beer.


Opening speech by Hans Essaadi, GAB’s Managing Director

GAB (Guinness Anchor Berhad) Professional Solutions (GABPS), through its training arm, GABPS Academy, caters specifically to GAB trade partners and front-line staff, by providing 5-star product and service quality training, to ensure that the perfect drinking experience is provided to consumers at all GAB outlets.

For the entire evening, we were treated to unlimited free flow of ice cold Heineken in bottles or draught.


Heineken Star Serve National Finals 2013 Malaysia Showdown

The Top 6 National Finalists demonstrated tremendous tenacity by proving that pouring the perfect glass of Heineken time after time and mastering all the steps to perfection under pressure is not complete without adding their own touch of unique magic parallel to Heineken’s trademark of delivering world class experiences. Some danced, some did martial arts and some cooked. It was entertaining and intensifying at the same time to watch the finalists on stage.

Each finalists are required to serve 2 perfect Heineken draught beers by performing the Heineken 5-Step Pouring Ritual:


They were judged based on what the beers look like. The result component is split into 4 elements; Curvature, Closing, Height of the head and Alignment.


Looks easy right?

Tried to pour myself a perfect pint of Heineken but ended up……………lol


Takepicha with the panel judges, Ben, Choulyin & Henry

Judged by a panel of seasoned experts, the ultimate quality showdown was the culmination of a nationwide search over a period of 12 months in the making that showcased their bartending prowess and evolution of their growth since they joined the GABPS Academy Training programme late last year.


A month ago, Heineken fans were able to virtually learn how to perform the five steps in the Heineken Pouring Ritual while putting their beer knowledge to the test in a pop quiz with the Star Serve Facebook App. The Top 10 virtual pourers also demonstrated their skills in a showdown during the Heineken Consumer Pour-Off Challenge at the National Finals with the winner, Leong Yee Kum, taking home a trip to join the GABPS Hero of the Year 2013 for The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam and to witness the Heineken Global Bartender Finals in November. So envious!! I should have worked harder on the quiz!


While watching the performances of the 6 finalists, we were fed with freshly baked bread and butter to keep the tummy from excessive growling.

 Smoked Duck Magret, Waldorf Salad

  Baked cod, warm eggplant and sultana raisin salad, oregano jus

 Lemon mascarpone tart, raspberry sorbet, nougatine crumb, chocolate stick

Everyone at the dinner was given a voting ballot to vote for our favourite choice. The winner for the People’s Choice Award was won by Jamie Malina Samarakkody. Congrats, Jamie!

Just when everyone was done with dinner and all well fed, it was time for the announcement of results and awards presentation. The finalists were judged based on 2 requirements; 5-Step Pouring Ritual and the beers outlook based on 4 elements. The chosen Top 3 will then quality to an intensive GABPS Academy boot camp.

The Top 3 GABPS Academy National Finals 2013 are…

 *drum rolls*






Jimmy Goh Teong Hock, Patio Bar Genting

Jamie Malina Samarakkody, Palate Palette KL

Low Wei Kiang, Beer Belly Johor Bahru

Congratulations to Jimmy, Jamie and Low! May the best man/woman wins the GABPS Hero of the Year and make a name for Malaysia at the Heineken Global Bartender Finals 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands!

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