EDILON C. Cauilan of The Beer Factory from Jalan Raja Uda, Penang, has been declared winner of the Heineken Star Serve 2018 beer-serving competition.
He won the coveted spot after beating seven other bartenders from Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Ipoh, Johor Baru, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
With eyes brimming with tears of joy as he received his prize of an all-expense-paid trip to Amsterdam, the Manila native said even though he had four years of experience as a bartender, the win was still a surprise.
Admitting to being nervous just before his turn, Cauilan said he had bad memories from last year’s competition which still haunted him as he nearly fainted on stage from the stress.
Having learned from experience, he brought a friend along for moral support this year.
Despite his win, Cauilan said the battle was far from over as he also had his eye on winning the Heineken Global Bartender finals next month. If he clinches it, Cauilan may well end up as the brand’s global ambassador to demonstrate the perfect pour across the world.
“I came to Malaysia 10 years ago to work as a busboy. My father passed away when I was 12 and my mother worked in a factory to support the family,” said Cauilan, revealing his humble background.
Before he gets to represent Malaysia, however, Cauilan will have to beat 2017 champion Daimler Kenn Cagas of The Rabbit Hole in Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, in a pre-finals face off in Amsterdam.
Malaysia’s hopes for clinching this international title was realised in 2016 by Eddy Jay Jaimin, a Sabahan who beat 15 other finalists from around the world.
Unlike the showy elements of flying bottles and fiery cocktails in bar-flaring competitions, this one solely focuses on achieving the perfect pint.
One of the criteria is to ensure that the line separating the beer from its head of foam must rest exactly at the shoulders of the Heineken star, a feat that requires precision and focus.
To achieve this, it is necessary for bartenders to know how to position a glass when pouring and when to stop the flow, and then, how to skim the top off a foam head.
The Heineken Star Serve competition swings into its fifth series this year. Draught masters Jonathan Chong and Thomas Ling were the judges at this year’s event. The duo are also responsible for teaching the beer label’s pouring ritual to 600 bartenders nationwide.