Master of Marzen 2020 – Round 2, Bout 5: Eight Bridges vs. Birds Fly South

Round 2, Bout 5 of Master of Marzen 2020 sees Eight Bridges Brewing (CA) take on Birds Fly South Ale Project (SC).

I’m excited to check our Eight Bridges for the first time and really enjoyed Birds Fly South in Round 1. This should be a great bout.

Check out the Round 2 draw.

Packaging Design

Two very different designs here.

Eight Bridges has opted for the German national colors and a design that is about as close to Bruno Mars as might get away without needing likeness royalties. The punny name of Brewno Marzen is also very clever.

Birds Fly South has opted for a border of the traditional Oktoberfest check. They also included a crest, bordered with their trademark birds.

I give a slight edge to Birds Fly South, for their use of the traditional Oktoberfest check in a very appealing can. Running total: Eight Bridges 0-1 Birds Fly South.

Aroma

Brewno Marzen offers a tremendous malty aroma. It’s deep and toasty, with a hint of sweet. Well balanced and quite strong, I’m excited to see what follows the scent.

Flocktoberfest is also quite malty, but a bit earthier and less sweet. The toasted malts are deeper, which matches the difference in hue. I remember the aroma being a good indicator of flavor in round 1.

A slight edge goes to Eight Bridges here. Running total: Eight Bridges 1-1 Birds Fly South.

Flavor

I really appreciate the flavor of Brewno Marzen. It opens with a slightly sweet rush of hops and transitions into a more bitter and toasty flavor on the backend. A decent bite retains in the aftertaste, and is slightly tempered by a sweet twist at the very end. A delicious experience indeed.

Flocktoberfest offers a smooth and mild experience. The flavor isn’t as strong, but it does offer a nice amount of toasted malts and it’s rounded out well with a slight earthy twist to close out.

I give the edge to Brewno Marzen here. It offers a more powerful flavor, and I really appreciate the complexity as it transitions between flavors. Running total: Eight Bridges 2-1 Birds Fly South.

Body

Brewno Marzen is a mid-bodied and smooth brew with a reasonably high effervescence. I think they did a great job balancing viscosity and flavor, resulting in a very pleasing beverage.

Flocktoberfest is a little thinner than Brewno Marzen, which is somewhat surprising given their relative hues. It’s also a very smooth brew, and with a lower level of carbonation, it’s incredibly easy to drink.

Eight Bridges’ Brewno Marzen on the left and Birds Fly South’s Flocktoberfest on the right.

As you can see in the image above, neither brew retained a head or laced, meaning it all comes down to mouthfeel.

With that in mind, I give a slight edge to Brewno Marzen. Both are excellent brews, but the high drinkability and slightly more developed flavor from Eight Bridges sets it slightly ahead.

Running total: Eight Bridges 3-1 Birds Fly South.

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?

Birds Fly South take the people’s choice. Running total: Eight Bridges 3-2 Birds Fly South.

Results

Birds Fly South tightened things up a bit in the end, but Eight Bridges progresses you Round 3 where they meet the winner of Aeronaut vs. New Realm.

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 Round 2 draw.

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