Throughout Monday morning, the Campeonato Estrella Galicia de Tiraje de Cerveza de Euskadi (Estrella Galicia Basque Country Beer Pulling Championship) took place at the Hotel Carlton in Bilbao. A total of 30 aspirants from many areas of the Basque Country competed in different rounds in the hope of winning the title of best beer puller, encouraged by spectators who attended the event.
After different stages in which they had to demonstrate their draught and bottled beer serving skills and answer questions related to different aspects of the world of beer, Sara Pedrosa, from Bar Topa de Galdácano (Vizcaya), has won the title. The runner up was Xabier Fresco from Bar Ibarralde in Mundaka. Both will represent the Basque Country at the Campeonato Nacional (Spanish Championship) to take place during the Salón de Gourmets de Madrid in Madrid in April 2015.
Sara Pedrosa, the competition winner aged only 28, stated after being proclaimed winner that “it’s good that everyone knows that in the world of catering, women also exist”. She was very proud of the recognition received for her work after 8 years in the sector, and confessed that she had felt very nervous during the whole Championship but that she had felt a growing feeling of confidence as the stages went on. In addition, she expressed her satisfaction at being able to represent the Basque Country at the Spanish Championship in Madrid. In her own words, beyond technique “the secret to drawing a good beer is to do so with pleasure and lots of love”.
Meanwhile, Xabier Fresco, explains that his skill at the beer tap comes from 8 years of having worked in catering. He entered the championship with the aim of enjoying himself and learning, and expressed his happiness at receiving recognition for his work.
Five aspirants reached the final. The three finalists that received a consolation prize were Jesús Acosta, from Vitoria, Raúl González, from Ermua, and Jon Briones, from Sestao. The aim of the championship is to promote beer culture and acknowledge the work carried out by bartenders as a fundamental link in the distribution chain of Estrella Galicia products. Professionalism in catering establishments is fundamental to offer end consumers the full range of possibilities beer has to offer.
The jury was made up of professionals from the beer sector, and the bar and restaurant sector, such as Fernando Iglesias, Head of Market Quality, Hijos de Rivera, Alberto Benavides, Editor of Bar&Beer magazine, Mikel Garaizabal, sommelier, and Xabier Cubillo, Estrella de Galicia Quality Expert. All of them have had to work hard to evaluate quality, efficiency and speed when serving, as well as the aspirants’ knowledge regarding the characteristics of Estrella Galicia products.
The five finalists received their own weight in beer as a prize. The winner received €600, and the runner up €400. There were also three consolation prizes of €150. All the finalists were given a diploma accrediting their classification, the winner and runner-up directly qualifying for the Spanish Championship, with paid travel and living expenses.