Master of Marzen 2020: Round 2, Bout 1: Schell’s Brewery vs. 4 By 4 Brewing

12 beers have been eliminated, and only 32 remain in the hunt for the Master of Marzen 2020 title. Round 2, Bout 1 sees Schell’s (MN) take on 4 By 4 (MO). Let’s get this underway!

Check out the 2020 Master of Marzen Round 2 draw.

Packaging Design

Another great bout for cans, despite neither really going for the typical Oktoberfest motif.

Schell’s use a fall-colored silhouette of their facility and a traditional Oktoberfest blue in their naming font and upper border. In stark contrast, 4 By 4 used a predominantly black can for their O’Zapft Is! The use of seasonal oranges and yellows is a nice touch, and I appreciate the symmetry of their design.

On personal preference, I am giving this point to 4 By 4. Running total: Schell’s 0-1 4 By 4.

Aroma

Schell’s Oktoberfest offers a bright and warm aroma. It’s malt heavy and has a hoppy twist. It is the lighter colored of the two brews, but it’s not slacking on aroma.

4×4 offers a deeper and maltier aroma. It’s also a little sweeter. It has somewhat of a herbal property and I’m interested to see how that impacts its flavor.

I’m giving a slight benefit to 4 By 4 as it’s the maltier of the two brews. Running total: Schell’s 0-2 4 By 4.

Flavor

Schell’s Oktoberfest is light, dry and somewhat malty. It offers a solid flavor, but is maybe a tad underpowered. It does offer a nice hoppy bite on the backend. The aftertaste retains that nice dry and bitter flavor.

4×4’s O’Zapft Is! has a very interesting flavor. It’s also dry and malty, but that herbal aroma really ties to the flavor. The backend of the experience is quite similar to white tea, which is very unusual for an Oktoberfest brew. Most of the aftertaste is that semi-sweet herbal flavor.

While I enjoyed both brews, I preferred the flavor profile of Schell’s. While it wasn’t particularly strong, it was well balanced and true to the style. Running total: Schell’s 1-2 4 By 4.

Body

This is a really tight bout as far as body is concerned. Both beers are very thin, neither retained a head, and neither is lacing.

Schell’s on the left and 4 by 4 on the right.

From a color standpoint, the 4×4 is ever so slightly darker, as you can see above. The slight opacity of 4 By 4, comparable to Schell’s take, may give some clues as to why it’s a tad smoother.

Overall, the Schell’s is quite dry and refreshing, where the 4 By 4 is slightly smoother and has a nice sweetness to it.

It’s a tough call, but I’m going to give the edge to 4 By 4. Running total: Schell’s 1-3 4 By 4.

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?

Schell’s took the people’s choice of this bout quite handily. Running total: Schell’s 2-3 4 By 4.

Results

What a great bout to kick off Round 2! 4 By 4 were able to edge out Schell’s and they’ll progress to round 3 where they meet the winner of Motorworks vs. Freetail.

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 2 draw.

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