Master of Marzen 2020 – Round 1, Bout 7: Mill House vs. von Trapp

Round 1, Bout 7 of Master of Marzen 2020 sees Mill House Brewing (NY) take on von Trapp Brewing (VT).

This is my first time checking out Mill House brewing, whereas von Trapp are return entrants to the Master of Marzen. This one is looking to be a cracking bout, so let’s get things underway.

Check out the 2020 Master of Marzen Round 1 draw.

Packaging Design

Both breweries really leaned into the traditional Oktoberfest two-tone blue check this year.

Mill House’s can marries the traditional style with a modern, clean, minimalist aesthetic.The blue tones differ with low-contrast, making a smooth and easy general appearance.

von Trapp’s can maintains their typical can design of the mountain range and their logo featuring what I believe to be a steinbock. They have incorporated the Oktoberfest design around the top and bottom of the can, a great way to maintain branding and uphold tradition.

While I think both are great can designs, I hold a slight preference for the deeper blue and minimalist design scheme of Mill House. Running total: Mill House 1-0 von Trapp.


Mill House offers a subtle, yet malty aroma. It’s quite reserved, but definitely smells like a Marzen brew. I wish it were a bit deeper, however.

Von Trapp offers a stronger aroma full of malts and a hoppy warmth. It’s not as toasty, but is a wonderful aroma that sets up what should be a very tasty brew!

Given the comparatively powerful aroma, von Trapp are the winners here. Running total: Mill House 1-1 von Trapp.


Mill House opens as a fairly subdued brew, but benefits from a rush of toasted malts with a touch of sweetness. It maintains its flavors into the aftertaste, which build a little from mouthful to mouthful. A great balance, it continually drives interest in the next mouthful.

Von Trapp’s take on the style is an explosion of flavor. Malty and warm, it has a nice hoppy backend that is a bit atypical of the seasonal style. The hops hold stronger than the malts in the pleasant aftertaste.

I am awarding this point to Mill House. It’s a more typical take on the Oktoberfest flavor profile and I appreciate the nuanced, accelerating pace of its flavor experience. Running total : Mill House 2-1 von Trapp.


Despite having similar colors, these two beers are quite different when it comes to body.

Mill House is a mid-to-light bodied, smooth brew. It offers tons of flavor while maintaining high drinkability. Von Trapp’s take is light-bodied and smooth, but has a noticeably higher effervescence. I worry it may bloat a bit through consumption.

Mill House on the left and Von Trapp on the right.

On head retention, Von Trapp built a much more elaborate head and retains a small amount of foam halfway through the beer. Mill House built almost no head, and the small amount receded very quickly comparatively.

Regarding lacing, Mill House did not really lace. As you can see above, Von Trapp’s Oktoberfest laced quite well throughout the mouthful.

This was a hard decision. I preferred the mouthfeel of Mill House, which I found smoother due to its lower effervescence. However, with von Trapp taking the sub-criteria for head retention and lacing, they edge through on this point. Running total: Mill House 2-2 von Trapp.

People’s Choice

As in last year’s tournament, my Instagram followers have the opportunity to shape the decisions of each bout. In the 24 hours directly preceding each bout, a poll is placed on my Instagram story. Whoever has the most votes when the poll closes, takes this fifth criteria. So how did it shape up?

With almost two thirds of the vote, von Trapp is the people’s choice in this bout. Running total: Mill House 2-3 von Trapp.


Well, this one went to the wire, but von Trapp snuck through with a 3-2 win. They now progress to round 2 where they will meet Twisted Spike Brewing.

Be sure to check back regularly and to follow me on Instagram for your latest updates and opportunity to vote on each bout throughout the tournament. Until next time, cheers y’all!

Check out the 2020 Master of Marzen Round 1 draw.


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