Master of Marzen 2020 – Round 2, Bout 8: Rahr & Sons Brewing vs. Roundhouse Brewery

Round 2, Bout 8 of Master of Marzen 2020 sees Rahr & Sons Brewing (TX) take on Roundhouse Brewery (MN).

I am very familiar with Rahr, given their geographic proximity to me. This tournament was my first time trying Roundhouse, who had a very solid Round 1 showing. I’m excited to get this one underway.

Check out the Round 2 draw.

Packaging Design

Rahr & Sons have kept their typical can design, opting for an orange background with faintly visible pretzels throughout. There is also a pretzel mounted at the top of the can, above their word mark.

Roundhouse’s Der Zug opted for the diagonal white-on-blue check for the top section of their can, going for a clean and minimalist lower section.

This one goes to Roundhouse for their use of traditional Oktoberfest motif. Running total: Rahr & Sons 0-1 Roundhouse.

Aroma

Rahr & Sons’s Oktoberfest is a textbook Marzen in terms of its aroma. It’s deep, powerful and packed with toasted malts. A slight sweetness ties it all together. This is a great sign for an awesome brew to come.

Roundhouse’s Der Zug also offers a deep and malty aroma. It’s not quite as powerful overall, but the malts have a well-toasted and slightly earthy quality about them.

Both are great smelling beers, but this point goes to Rahr & Sons. Running total: Rahr & Sons 1-1 Roundhouse.

Flavor

Rahr & Sons’ take on the style is impressive. It opens with a rush of malty flavor, and transitions to add a touch of bitter bite and enough sweet to round it all out. The aftertaste is very malty and slightly bitter, which retains and builds a little from mouthful to mouthful. A tremendous brew.

Der Zug is a consistently flavorful experience from start to finish. It’s deep and complex, with lots of toasted malts and the earth bitterness that comes with it. Also a very tasty brew.

This is one of those situations where both beers are incredibly good and I have to get a little nit-picky to separate them.

I appreciate the smooth transitions between complimentary flavors in Rahr & Sons’ offering, but I also appreciate the consistently flavorful experience from Roundhouse. I think I give a slight edge to Roundhouse here. Running total: Rahr & Sons 1-2 Roundhouse.

Body

Neither beer retained a whole lot of head, and both laced a little (see below). With that in mind, it’s going to be all down to the mouthfeel.

Rahr & Sons’ Oktoberfest on the left (obviously) and Roundhouse’s Der Zug on the right.

Regarding mouthfeel, Rahr’s take is mid-bodied and smooth. Its body strikes a great balance between weight and flavor, resulting in a highly drinkable, and very tasty, brew.

Despite being a much darker beer, Roundhouse is comparably weighted and also very flavorful. It’s slightly less carbonated, which makes it a little smoother to drink overall.

Another very tight criterion in which to separate these two amazing brews. After several more mouthfuls, and much deliberation, I am giving a slight edge to Rahr on this one. Running total: Rahr & Sons 2-2 Roundhouse.

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?

It’s a fairly close count, but Roundhouse edges out Rahr here. Running total: Rahr & Sons 2-3 Roundhouse.

Results

Another epic bout of Master of Marzen ends 3-2. Roundhouse now progress to Round 3 where they will meet Klaus 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 Round 2 draw.

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