The best Guinness pint pourers in the land battled it out at Auckland's Classic Comedy Club last night to determine who would win the title of Guinness Pint Master 2012.
Four duos from bars and pubs from each region (upper North Island, lower North Island, upper South Island, and lower South Island) competed for the title at the grand final with the D4 bar of Wellington once again reigning supreme as pourers of the perfect pint.
This is the fourth year D4 has entered the competition, and the second time it has taken out the title. "This is the Olympics of Guinness, and the Olympics of the bar trade," says D4's Dermot Murphy, who with the bar's head chef Graham Gibson won the judges over with their perfect pours and Guinness brownie, ganache and ice cream dessert.
The judges (comedienne Jaquie Brown, Breakers player Tom Abercrombie, editor of M2 magazine Andre Rowell and Guinness Master Brewer for Asia Pacific Rik Chambers) were particularly impressed with the way the D4 team worked the crowd - and their dessert was the only dish the judges couldn't put down.
"I've learnt so much about Guinness tonight," says Jaquie Brown. "It's wonderful that people feel so passionately about it. The D4 team had great stage presence and charisma - and I could have eaten that dessert all night."
Rik Chambers adds: "People might think pouring a pint of Guinness is simple, but there are actually 25 different points the teams are marked on, so it really is a bit of an art. To get it perfect while engaging the crowd with the friendly personality that embodies Guinness is what we were looking for and what the winners really delivered."
The winners each received a cash prize of $1759 each, representing the year Arthur Guinness signed a 9000 year lease on the St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin, founding the world's most famous stout.