Round 2, Bout 13 of Master of Marzen 2020 sees Parleaux Beer Lab (LA) take on Saint Arnold Brewing (TX).
This is my first experience of Parleaux and I am very familiar with Saint Arnold as it’s one of Texas’ largest craft breweries. Lets get things underway!
Parleaux has leaned into the Oktoberfest motif by including the traditional, diagonal, blue-on-blue check on the bottom segment of the can. I also appreciate their punny name juxtaposed against imagery of a mountain range.
Saint Arnold’s Marzen is offered year round, which is likely why they don’t have the Oktoberfest branding. I do appreciate their use of German colors in the funky design.
On this one, I have to side with Parleaux for their embrace of the Oktoberfest spirit. Running total: Parleaux 1-0 Saint Arnold.
Parleaux’s Long Way To Fall offers a fairly mild, but quite malty aroma. It isn’t packing much of a punch, but as a lighter colored brew, it’s about what you might expect.
Saint Arnold’s Guten Tag offers a slightly stronger aroma that is packed with toasted malts. It’s also slightly sweet.
I am giving this point to Saint Arnold as it’s a bit deeper and stronger overall. Running total: Parleaux 1-1 Saint Arnold.
Long Way to Fall is a textbook Marzen from a flavor standpoint. It opens with a rush of malty goodness, and the back end adds some complexity with a hoppy/malty bite and a slight sweetness to round it out. The dry malty flavors retain in the aftertaste, making for a great overall experience. It offers a very deep flavor compared to its comparatively light color.
Guten Tag is also a super flavorful brew. It opens on the milder side, but quickly offers a rush of deep, toasted malt flavor. A nice sweetness accentuates the backend, parlaying into a crisp, malty, and slightly bitter aftertaste.
This is a tough call! Both are incredibly flavorful and great examples of the Marzen style, though they go about it differently. Parleaux’s is brighter and warmer, whereas Saint Arnold’s is a heftier, deep malty experience.
After a few more mouthfuls, and lots of deliberation, I am giving a slight edge to Parleaux. Running total: Parleaux 2-1 Saint Arnold.
Flipping the script here, I’ll open by saying neither beer retained any head nor laced throughout their consumption (as you can see in the image below).
With that in mind, it comes down to a decision regarding mouthfeel.
Starting with Parleaux’s offering, it’s light-bodied and smooth. Mildly-carbonated, it punches well above it’s weight in terms of flavor. Super easy drinking, and packed to the brim with flavor, it’s an awesome brew.
In comparison, Saint Arnold’s brew is a little heavier, but equally as smooth. It has a lower carbonation level and is insanely easy to drink.
I give the edge to Saint Arnold on this one. Running total: Parleaux 2-2 Saint Arnold.
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?
This was a close poll, but Parleaux manages to take the people’s choice this time around. Running total: Parleaux 3-2 Saint Arnold.
Another close bout sees Parleaux sneak through to round 3 where they will meet the winner of Wild East vs. Paulaner.
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!