Master of Marzen 2020 – Round 3, Bout 2: Night Shift Brewing vs. Key Brewing

Round 3, Bout 2 of Master of Marzen 2020 sees Night Shift Brewing (MA) vs. Key Brewing (MD).

Both of these breweries have been high-level performers throughout the tournament and this should be an epic bout. Let’s get rocking.

Check out the Round 3 draw.

Packaging Design

Two very different takes on packaging design here.

Night Shift opted for a yellow and black can, with their logo encased by the European style lion silhouettes.

Conversely, Key set their Lord Maltimore against a backdrop of the traditional Oktoberfest blue and white check.

On the point of tradition, I’m giving a slight edge to Key’s Lord Maltimore. Running total: Night Shift 0-1 Key.

Aroma

Steinbier offers a subtle yet malty aroma. It lacks some of the strength I might prefer, but it is malty and slightly hoppy. What aroma you pick up is quite enjoyable.

Lord Maltimore offers a stronger aroma that is packed with toasted malts and a slight sweetness. It smells like a typical Marzen brew, which is awesome.

I’m giving this one to Lord Maltimore. Running total: Night Shift 0-2 Key.

Flavor

Steinbier’s flavors severely outperform it’s aroma. It’s a deep and flavorful brew that balances malts, hops, sweetness and bitterness in a masterful way. The experience is consistent from front to back and builds a subtle but flavorful aftertaste. A great experience.

Lord Maltimore is a deep and flavor-packed experience. The malts are much deeper and toastier, with a slight sweetness to temper it all. It also offers a consistent experience, but leaves a slightly sweeter aftertaste.

This is a very tough decision. Despite their differences, they’re both incredibly tasty brews. I think I give a slight edge to Lord Maltimore as it really leans into that toasted malts. Running total: Night Shift 0-3 Key.

Body

As you can see below, neither beer really retained a head or laced.

Night Shift Brewing’s Steinbier on the left and Key Brewing’s Lord Maltimore on the right.

So with that in mind, it all comes down to mouthfeel. So let’s talk mouthfeel.

Steinbier is light-bodied, crisp, and slightly dry. It has a mild sweetness and a nice hoppy twist. It’s reasonably effervescent. All of this adds up to a very tasty brew.

Lord Maltimore, in contrast, is less carbonated, smoother, sweeter, and slightly heavier.

I think this one leans in Night Shift’s direction. The relative complexity is expertly leveraged for a great experience. Running total: Night Shift 1-3 Key.

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?

This one was fairly one sided. People’s choice goes to Night Shift. Running total: Night Shift 2-3 Key.

Results

Night Shift closed the gap in the end, but Key takes this one 3-2. They now progress to Round 4 where they will meet 4 By 4 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 3 draw.

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