Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 1, Bout 9: Autumn Arch Beer Project vs. Telluride Brewing Co.

Round 1, Bout 9 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Autumn Arch Beer Project (Delaware) take on Telluride Brewing Company (Colorado).

Both of these breweries are first time entrants to the Master of Marzen tournament, so I’m excited to check them out. Let’s get things rolling.

Packaging Design

Autumn Arch’s d’Wiesn on the left and Telluride’s OktoberFISH on the right.

Each brewery took a different lane here.

Autumn Arch has a clean can design that leverages white space well and offers a mix of blue and gold design elements.

Telluride’s can leverages the blue and white Bavarian Oktoberfest check and has the can set up in a pair of lederhosen.

While I appreciate the spacing of the Autumn Arch can, it’s hard to argue with a festively dressed can. This one goes to Telluride. Running total: Autumn Arch 0-1 Telluride

Aroma

Autumn Arch’s d’Weisn offers a deep and malty aroma that opens slightly bready and there’s a rush of sweet, earthy malt and a touch of spice on the back.

OktoberFISH’s aroma is an intense mixture of sweet and earthy toasted malts. A slight sweetness lingers and is accompanied by a reasonably piney touch.

These are two tremendous aromas that are really hard to separate. After additional deliberation, I’m giving the slightest edge to Telluride as OktoberFISH has a slightly stronger aroma. Running total: Autumn Arch 0-2 Telluride.

Flavor

d’Weisn opens mild and tame, but it’s quickly swept up in a rush of amazing flavor. A deep, caramel sweetness is soon overtaken by a powerful earthiness and a tremendous hop profile that far exceeds most of what I have experienced in Oktoberfest brews. The aftertaste is slightly sweet and very bitter, without being overwhelmingly so. The bitterness retains between mouthfuls and builds very slightly. It’s a rollercoaster of deep and excellent flavors.

OktoberFISH flies out of the gates, hitting with an immediate wave of flavor that persists through the entire drinking experience. Slightly sweet, deep toasted caramel malts and a touch of bitterness dance across the tastebuds. The aftertaste leans into the bitter side, but maintains enough sweet to balance nicely. It mostly retains, and does not build.

Another tough decision here, as both beers are truly tremendous. Although I thoroughly enjoy both brews, I’m going to err on the side of Autumn Arch here as the delicate dance of flavors it’s truly remarkable. Running total: Autumn Arch 1-2 Telluride

Body

d’Weisn is a mid-bodied and smooth brew that coats the mouth and lingers. It has a pretty low carbonation point, which makes the heavier mouthfeel exceedingly drinkable.

Telluride is a light-bodied and effervescent brew. Despite its low viscosity, it carries a ton of flavor which is a great combo of body and depth.

As you can see above, Autumn Arch’s brew is a bit darker. Both beers are quite translucent. Both retained a ring of foam and both laced reasonably well.

With that in mind, it comes wholly down to preference of mouthfeel. In this instance, I’m siding with Autumn Arch. The thick, smooth and low carbonation presentation makes for a tremendous drinking experience. Running total: Autumn Arch 2-2 Telluride.

People’s Choice

As in all bouts of Master of Marzen history, the final criterion is decided by public vote on my Instagram, at sargentsuds. Let’s see how things went.

As you can see above, Telluride are clear winners of the People’s Choice, taking the poll with 63% of the vote.

Results

A tight bout came down to the People’s Choice, with Telluride taking the bout with 3 out of 5 points. They now progress to the second round where they meet Austin Beerworks (Texas).

Be asure to check back regularly for updated results, and to follow @sargentsuds on Instagram so you can vote on all polls throughout the tournament.

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