Malaysia’s 2023 Star Academy National Finals Crowns Bartending Champion

J'Shua Chua pours a fresh Heineken
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Heineken’s nationwide search for Malaysia’s best bartenders came to a fun-filled conclusion recently in Kuala Lumpur, putting the best to the test to crown one champion!

In a thrilling culmination of the Heineken Malaysia’s 2023 National Star Academy Championship and Training, J’Shua Chua of JJ Wine and Tapas, Johor, emerged victorious as the 2023 National Champion. His achievement was celebrated with an all-expense-paid trip to Amsterdam, the Home of Heineken!

The competition marked the conclusion of Heineken Malaysia’s extensive training program, which aimed to equip bartenders nationwide with the expertise required to serve the perfect beer. This comprehensive training initiative also sought out the finest bartending talents from various regions to compete in the prestigious finals.

Stepping up to the challenge of pouring the perfect glass of beer

Jimmy Ding, Sales Director of Heineken Malaysia, expressed the brewery’s commitment to ensuring that customers savor their favorite beers to the fullest. Ding emphasized that this commitment goes beyond the brewery itself and extends to the bartenders. “We truly value our partner bartenders and believe that it is crucial to educate and equip them with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to serve top-quality beers,” Ding affirmed. Over 1,250 participants enthusiastically joined this year’s National Star Academy Championship and Training, showcasing their dedication to raising the bar in the industry.

With the objective of elevating industry standards, the National Star Academy Championship and Training provided bartenders from KL/Selangor, Johor, Penang, Perak, Sabah, and Sarawak with an immersive experience. This experience encompassed mastering beer taste profiling, as well as perfecting the Heineken Star Quality Serve and Guinness Perfect Pour.

The top three finalists

At the Star Academy National Finals 2023, bartenders showcased their skills in serving the Heineken Star Quality Pour and Guinness Perfect Pour. The competition also evaluated their presentation abilities and engagement with the audience.

The event featured esteemed judges, including Cian Hulm, Commercial Quality Manager, and Wayne Wong, Commercial Quality Lead of Heineken Malaysia, along with two special guest judges from Heineken, Gerard Anselm, Star Academy Trainer, and Thomas van Boheemen, Star Quality Manager, who traveled all the way from Amsterdam.

Heineken’s Commercial Quality Manager Cian Hulm

The top honors were secured by J’Shua Chua of JJ Wine and Tapas, Johor, who was crowned the national champion. He was joined by Yeoh Seng Yao from Maze Eatery and Bar, Perak, the runner-up, and James Aloysius Mojitu from Stylo Marriott Sabah, who claimed the third position.

Upon being crowned the National Champion, J’Shua Chua expressed his delight, saying, “I’m so glad to be able to be a part of this year’s Star Academy’s National Finals! Indeed, the competition was tough, and I’ve been able to challenge myself alongside my fellow bartenders across Malaysia. Thank you, Heineken Malaysia, and cheers to the perfect glass of beer!”

Winner J’Shua Chua from Johor

This year’s competition not only recognized remarkable bartending talent but also underscored the commitment of Heineken Malaysia to the craft of bartending. By empowering bartenders with the knowledge and skills to serve exceptional beers, the brewery continues to elevate the drinking experience for patrons across Malaysia. The 2023 Star Academy National Finals demonstrated that the art of bartending is thriving and that the perfect beer is more than just a drink – it’s a craft.

The top 3 finalists pose with Heineken’s judges and management

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