Stormy weather may have been looming outside, but guests enjoying the posh atmosphere at 214 Lafayette in SoHo appeared to be unconcerned. On Tuesday, March 25, about 100 thirsty party goers joined Belgian lager Stella Artois and "New Girl" actor Jake Johnson to score an early peek at Stella's PerfectDraft home bar pouring system.
"I'm getting one of these for my home, for sure," Johnson (who plays bartender Nick Miller on Fox TV's "New Girl," opposite Zooey Deschanel) told Examiner. The sleek, black-and-chrome dispensing system allowed guests to pour their own ice cold beers, complete with the perfect head of foam. The machines are not yet available in the U.S., but a pilot program is launching in several cities, including NYC, London and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Johnson, whose new movie "Let's Be Cops" (also starring "New Girl" co-star Damon Wayons Jr. is scheduled for release later this year, made no bones about his interest in the evening's proceedings. "Look: I like beer," he told Examiner. "I like drinking beer with my buddies." He also added in a press release from Stella: "I know people love the bar experience. Any movement to recreate that experience at home is one worth supporting."
The concept of elegant home appliances for relatively mundane purposes is one that seems timely. PerfectDraft upgrades the beer pour in much the same way Nespresso and Keurig have elevated the morning coffee experience. The compact machine stores a six-liter minikeg and maintains it at the approved temperature (in the case of Stella, we're told it's 3 degrees Celsius or 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit). A tap easily dispenses the beer, and the machine will keep a mini-keg fresh and ready for a month. "So much nicer than having a giant frathouse keg in your living room," joked Johnson.
Johnson and other guests received additional advice on pouring the perfect beer from Allaine Schaiko, the current reigning Stella Artois World Draught Master. The brand sponsors a global competition to promote its nine-step pour which involves rinsing and chilling the glass, pouring at a certain angle to a certain point, swiping the head carefully and preparing the finished product for service. Schaiko taught guests how to hold the branded Stella chalice at just the right angle, and use the machine to get a perfect pour each time. "Because the machine already balances the carbonation, temperature and acid in the beer, many of the nine steps we don't have to do at home," he said.
Thirsty for more? Check out National Spirits Examiner or NY Drinks Examiner.
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FTC Disclaimer: The author sometimes receives product samples for review, which carry no cash value and cannot be re-sold, and sometimes attends press events such as lunches or cocktail parties, designed to promote a given product. The author is not paid by any alcohol manufacturer, retailer or distributor, or provided compensation apart from revenue from an assigning publishing company for editorial publication. Opinions are the author's own. By the way, you should be 21 or older to read this page. Author received no comps or samples in connection with this article, but he did get to sit in a comfy chair and chat with Jake Johnson about "New Girl," beer and "Lost World" dinosaurs. That was pretty cool.