Master of Marzen 2020 – Round 1

Some of the entrants in the 2020 Master of Marzen

It’s that time y’all! The Master of Marzen is about to get underway. I was blown away by the response to this year’s tournament, which is going to be significantly larger than last year’s. So let’s break this down.

The Competitors

As of writing, I have received entries from 38 breweries, with a few more committed to enter (pending receipt of their beer). The breweries whose beer I have on hand to start the tournament are:

  • Tucker Brewing (GA)
  • Real Ale Brewing (TX)
  • Rahr and Sons Brewing (TX)
  • Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers (MA)
  • Lupulin Brewing (MN)
  • Eight Bridges Brewing (CA)
  • Double Nickel Brewing (NJ)
  • Brooklyn Brewery (NY)
  • Dru Bru (WA)
  • Klaus Brewing (TX)
  • Kros Strain Brewing (NE)
  • Night Shift Brewing (MA)
  • AleSmith Brewing (CA)
  • Parleaux Beer Lab (LA)
  • High Ground Brewing (WV)
  • 3 Sheeps Brewing (WI)
  • The Brewing Projekt (WI)
  • Freetail Brewing (TX)
  • Von Trapp Brewing (VT)
  • Sunk King Brewing (IN)
  • Key Brewing (MD)
  • New Realm Brewing (GA)
  • Huss Brewing (AZ)
  • Motorworks Brewing (FL)
  • Roundhouse Brewing (MN)
  • Aeronaut Brewing (MA)
  • 4 By 4 Brewing (MO)
  • TUPPS Brewery (TX)
  • Twisted Spike Brewery (OK)
  • Oak Highlands Brewery (TX)
  • Live Oak Brewing (TX)
  • 14th Star Brewing (VT)
  • Backpocket Brewing (IA)
  • Fonta Flora Brewing (NC)
  • Wild East Brewing (NY)
  • Big Storm Brewing (FL)
  • Smog City Brewing (CA)
  • Mill House Brewing (NY)
  • Saint Arnold Brewing (TX)
  • Birds Fly South Ale Project (SC)
  • Schell’s Brewing Co. (MN)
  • Ranger Creek Brewing (TX)

Bracket Format

The Master of Marzen is a single elimination bracket, from which one beer will emerge as the 2020 Master of Marzen.

Like last year, each head-to-head tasting will be judged on a best-of-five scale with equal weighting assigned to the following criteria:

So we can get started now, but also accommodate the handful of committed breweries whose beer has not yet arrived, this year’s tournament was built with 6 alternate slots. Alternate spots will be assigned to breweries in the order the beer arrives. Should there still be alternate slots unfilled at the completion of a round, the brewery who was against the alternate will progress to the following round by default.

I used a random bracket generator into which the breweries were fed in the order the beer was received (the same order they are listed in above). Due to the tournament being drawn up with 44 competitor, not all breweries will have a round one clash, with some automatically moving to round two. Where applicable, when listing round one clashes, I will notate who the winner will face in round two.

Round One Matchups:

  • Round 1, Bout 1: Schell’s (formerly Alternate 3) vs. Oak Highlands Brewery (winner faces 4 By 4 Brewing in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 2: Tucker vs. Night Shift (winner faces Jack’s Abby in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 3: Key vs. Smog City (winner faces The Brewing Projekt in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 4: Ranger Creek (formerly Alternate 4) vs. Birds Fly South (formerly Alternate 2) (winner faces Eight Bridges in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 5: Fonta Flora vs. Brooklyn Brewery (winner faces Klaus in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 6: Round House vs. High Ground (winner faces Rahr & Sons in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 7: Mill House vs. Von Trapp (winner faces Twisted Spike in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 8: Kros Strain vs. AleSmith (winner faces Lupulin in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 9: 14th Star vs. Live Oak (winner faces Dru Bru in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 10: Backpocket vs. Saint Arnold (formerly Alternate 1) (winner faces Parleaux in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 11: Huss vs. Real Ale (winner faces Double Nickel in Round 2)
  • Round 1, Bout 12: TUPPS vs. 3 Sheeps (winner faces Alternate 6 in Round 2)

Wrapping Up

Be sure to check back at for ongoing updates about the tournament. My Instagram (@sargentsuds) is your spot to see upcoming bouts, results, and to vote for the people’s choice in each bout.


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