Round 1, Bout 11 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Rahr & Sons Brewing Company (Texas) take on Toms River Brewing Co. (New Jersey).
Rahr & Sons make their third appearance in the Master or Marzen tournament, having been involved since the inaugural campaign in 2019. This is Toms River’s first time in the tournament, and I’m excited to see how this shapes up.
Rahr & Sons have opted for their trademark label design, offering the black shield with bold, white lettering. The background is a fall-appropriate shade of orange and is adorned with faintly outlined pretzels—a nice touch.
Toms River’s Marzen Das Denken’s can is embossed with an interesting floral pattern on a dark grey back. A prominent grey circle bears a powerful serif font of their name and is topped by a Golden claddagh.
I appreciate the design intricacies of both cans here, but the edge has to go to Rahr & Sons on this one for their use of seasonal colors and design elements. Running total: Rahr & Sons 1-0 Toms River.
Rahr & Sons’ Oktoberfest offers a warm and powerful aroma. Deep malts and a spiced warmth dominate the aroma and linger on the nose. It telegraphs what’s likely to be a very tasty brew.
Toms River’s Brewing’s Marzen Das Denken offers a lighter overall aroma. It’s also quite malty but as a smooth sweetness about it. I’m looking forward to the flavor profile that develops this aroma.
Two tasty smelling brews here. I’m going to award this point to Rahr & Sons as their brew offers a more powerful aroma. Running total: Rahr & Sons 2-0 Toms River.
Rahr & Sons’ Oktoberfest offers a consistently sweet and tasty brew from start to finish. A mild toasted malt foundation is accented by a nice, sweet overtone and a hefty bitterness that retains into the aftertaste and builds a little throughout the experience.
Marzen Das Denken opens mild but soon experiences a powerful rush of flavors. Steeped in a toasted malt backbone, the flavors are a satisfying mix of sweet and earthy. The sweetness dominates the aftertaste, retaining from mouthful to mouthful, without overwhelming.
The relative depth of flavor here puts Toms River slightly ahead of Rahr & Sons. Running total: Rahr & Sons 2-1 Toms River.
Rahr & Sons’ Oktoberfest is a mid-bodied and smooth brew with a reasonably high effervescence that coats the mouth liberally. The carbonation creates a pleasant tingling sensation but isn’t heavy enough to bloat.
Marzen Das Denken is also mid-bodied and smooth, though it has a lower effervescence. The easy drinking body carries tons of flavor and makes for an excellent drinking experience.
As you can see above, Toms River’s Marzen Das Denken is a considerably darker brew, though both are mostly translucent. Both brews retained a thin ring of foam and had a few small spots of lacing. With no separation here, it comes down to mouthfeel preference.
I’m giving a slight edge to Toms River here. While being a quite substantial brew packed with tons of flavor, it’s exceptionally smooth drinking and enjoyable. Running total: Rahr & Sons 2-2 Toms River.
Tied at 2-2, it all comes down to the People’s Choice which is based on the votes on my Instagram story on the sargentsuds account. Let’s see how that went.
Toms River took this point, finishing the poll with 65% of the vote.
Rahr & Sons came flying out the gate, but a late comeback surge from Toms River sees them slip through to the second round. Next up, they’ll face Pulpit Rock.
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.