Mark Simmonite heralded as top UK Draught Master Back to news

28th September 2011

– Stella Artois sends top bartender to its annual global final in Argentina to represent the UK –

LONDON, 21st September – Mark Simmonite triumphed at the UK Finals of the Stella Artois World Draught Masters last night. Representing Henry’s of Cambridge Street, Sheffield Mark wowed the judges by demonstrating his mastery of the Stella Artois pouring ritual at the IndigO2 last night. He beat 27 other UK finalists and will now go on to represent the UK at the Global Finals in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 26th 2011.

If Mark is deemed to have perfected the Stella Artois 9-step pouring ritual and wins in Buenos Aires, he’ll be crowned the Stella Artois World Draught Master 2011. He’ll then embark on a global journey which will see him visiting more than 20 countries as a Stella Artois brand ambassador to share his passion and dedication to the craft.

Now in its fifteenth year and inspired by more than six hundred years of brewing tradition, this annual competition sees bartenders from more than 28 countries, celebrate the skill and care that goes into delivering the ultimate “Thing of Beauty” – a perfectly poured chalice of Stella Artois.

Born and raised in Sheffield, Mark started in the pub sector washing dishes at the Arbourthorne Social Club where his Dad was club secretary. Mark quickly moved on to bar work, and after studying a degree in Business Studies had much bigger ambitions. Mark now manages and co-owns with his brother, Henry’s. The bar reopened in 2009 after the brothers took over the lease and renovated the then derelict property. Since then, Henry’s has gone on to win Best Pub in Sheffield’s Best Bar None Awards that recognise excellence in running responsible premises.

Since April 2011 Mark has received bespoke training as part of the Quality Draught Masters Programme, and following an intense evaluation process won a place in the UK Finals. The chalice of Stella Artois he serves on 26th October at the global finals in Buenos Aires could change his life.

Mark said on wining the Stella Artois 2011 UK World Draught Masters Finals last night;

“This makes me so proud. My friends, family and the team at Henry’s know how much we’ve achieved in the short time we’ve been open. Receiving recognition tonight from such a prestigious and well-loved brand as Stella Artoismakes it all so real. The team and regulars have been rooting for us so I can’t wait to go back and share the news. In fact two members of the bar team are currently raising money for Macmillan Cancer Care – I will be donating my prize money to them.”

Tim Clay, on trade sales director for Stella Artois added;

“This year has been one of the toughest contests yet. Quality has been really high, but Mark really stood out to us as a bartender who served Stella Artois with the same care, consideration and craftsmanship as has gone into years of brewing heritage. The Finals celebrate the hard training the UK bar industry puts into quality control and improving the customer experience in-outlet and we’re delighted to be supporting to help drive this further.”

Global Finals – 26 October, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Stella Artois World Draught Master Global Finals 2011 will see Mark compete on an international stage against countries from around the globe. Each step of the time-honoured Stella Artois pouring ritual will be scrutinised, in the quest to earn the coveted title of Stella Artois World Draught Master 2011.

For more information about the Stella Artois 2011 World Draught Masters competition, visit


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Notes to Editors

The StellaArtois 9-Step Pouring Ritual:

  1. The Purification – Use a clean and rinsed StellaArtois chalice glass
  2. The Sacrifice – Open the tap in one quick action and let the first drops of beer flow away
  3. The Liquid Alchemy Hold the glass just under the tap without touching it at a 45° angle
  4. The Head, although ‘Crown’ would be more appropriate – Lower the glass to allow the natural formation of the foam head
  5. The Removal – Close the tap quickly and move the glass away so beer doesn’t drip into the glass
  6. The Beheading – While the head foams up and overflows the side of the glass, smooth it gently with a head cutter
  7. The Cleansing – Clean the bottom and sides of the glass
  8. The Judgement  – The right amount of foam is usually about two fingers
  9. The Bestowal – Present the beer on a clean beer coaster with the logo facing the consumer

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