Vasily Baranov

The much awaited bartender’s test is back once again.

HEINEKEN Malaysia Berhad (HEINEKEN Malaysia) is setting the standard for bartenders with the return of Star Academy 2023 through its new and improved 2023 National Star Academy Championship and Regional Quality Training. With a mission to educate, recruit, challenge, and crown the 2023 champion, the brewer is calling all bartenders across the nation to join the elite ranks and take their skills to the next level.

Vasily Baranov, Sales Director of HEINEKEN Malaysia said, “At HEINEKEN Malaysia, our commitment goes beyond the brewery as we train and empower our partner bartenders to deliver exceptional consumer experiences. Through our yearly Star Academy programme, we want to equip bartenders across Malaysia with the product knowledge and technical know-how to serve the perfect glass of beer while inspiring them to strive for excellence, and in turn, raise the bar for the industry.”

Star Academy 2023 – This year’s new and improved HEINEKEN Malaysia’s National Star Academy Championship and Training will be more comprehensive than ever before, as the brewer will be combining both its Heineken® Star Quality and the Guinness Perfect Pour programmes to be held in Selangor, Johor, Penang, Perak, Sabah, and Sarawak.

Bartenders will go through an immersive experience as they engage their senses in mastering beer taste profiling, as well as perfecting the Heineken® Star Quality Pour and Guinness Perfect Pour. The training will empower bartenders with newly acquired skills, allowing them to earn their credentials and excel in serving the perfect glass of beer. As a result, bar-goers will be able to enjoy the best-tasting glasses of Heineken® and Guinness when they order their favourite beers.

Beyond the training sessions, bartenders will also be competing to be crowned as the 2023 champion by showcasing their skills in the taste profiling tests and executing the Heineken® Star Quality Pour and Guinness Perfect Pour flawlessly. 

This competition will not only test the bartenders’ ability to identify a quality draught beer but also enhance their understanding of the diverse range of taste profiles offered by HEINEKEN Malaysia’s extensive selection of beer styles. The National Star Academy Champion will then be crowned at the finale in September 2023. The winner will walk away with an all-expenses paid trip to Amsterdam, where Heineken® was first brewed, for both the champion bartender and the bar owner or a representative.

Taking things up a notch this year, Star Academy is also introducing the Star Academy Mastership public event a day after the finale, where beer enthusiasts can also try their hand at mastering the perfect pour.

Regional Master Class – HEINEKEN Malaysia’s commitment to quality is the driving force behind Star Academy’s approach to excellence. To ensure that the highest standards were met across all regions, Star Academy kicked off the year with a series of Regional Master Class held in non-urban areas, including Langkawi, Alor Setar, Kluang, Muar, Segamat, Sandakan, Bintulu, Melaka, and Sitiawan. This meticulous approach to quality assurance reinforces HEINEKEN Malaysia’s dedication to delivering exceptional experiences to its consumers in Malaysia.

Star Academy 2023 Challenges – For the first time ever, Star Academy is also rolling out innovative challenges for bartenders to push their boundaries and showcase their culinary creativity through beer-infused food and drink creations. Challenges include:

Beer Mixology Throwdown Challenge: Bartenders are called to showcase their mixology skills by creating cocktails, infused with HEINEKEN Malaysia-branded beers. The winning cocktail will be awarded a recognition plaque and travel voucher.

Guinness Food Infused Challenge: Chefs are called to unleash their imagination and create exciting, original, and inventive ways to infuse Guinness in their meals. The winning dish will be awarded a recognition plaque and travel voucher.

Book Your Spot – To participate in this year’s Star Academy training, bartenders at participating HEINEKEN outlets, including restaurants, pubs, and bars, may register their interest at the Star Academy website at As for beer enthusiasts, stay tuned for the Star Academy Mastership event in September and take on the challenge of mastering the Heineken® Star Quality Pour and Guinness Perfect Pour.