Karrisa Vasil, 23, is a Beertender at Delaney’s Restaurant and Taproom in New Haven, Connecticut. Even though she has been pulling draughts for only about three years, she bested regional and national competitors to win a trip to Brussels, Belgium, in October where she finished second in the Stella Artois World Draught Master Championships.
“It was an incredible experience. I got to meet people from around the world and learn a great deal about proper beer etiquette and presentation,” Vasil says. To earn the right to represent the United States at the Stella Artois finals, Vasil first had to win a regional competition for bartenders in Connecticut and Rhode Island. She then beat out six other national finalists to earn the trip.
A total of 24 countries, including Belgium—where the eventual winner hailed from, Canada, Russia, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands and Israel were represented. A team of seven judges, three watching the activity behind the bar and four served at a table, kept individual score cards ranking the bartenders on everything from how they washed glassware to whether or not the beer was presented centered on a coaster with the logo on the glass facing the customer.
Vasil says the attention to detail stressed in the competition is something she uses everyday at Delaney’s, which has 54 beers on tap, especially when it comes to glass washing. “The Belgians stress that you have to clean every part of the glass, even the foot, to remove any oils or other residue. It’s what we do here everyday. It takes extra time to be really thorough, but we do it because it’s important,” she says.