Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 1, Bout 15: Call to Arms Brewing Company vs. Great Lakes Brewing Company

Round 1, Bout 15 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Call to Arms Brewing Company (Colorado) take on Great Lakes Brewing Company (Ohio).

This is the first time either of these breweries has competed in Master of Marzen. I’m excited to check them out, so let’s get rolling!

Packaging Design

Call to Arms’ Seshtoberfest on the left and Great Lakes’ Oktoberfest on the right.

Both breweries have leaned into the typical branding of Oktoberfest, but executed it a little differently.

Call to Arms’ Seshtoberfest offers a stark stylized font over clinking steins, with a Bavarian check background. The illustration style and choice of font is very eye catching.

Great Lakes opted for a stein of beer in front of an Oktoberfest flag, with vibrant rolling hills in the background.

While I think both cans are quite aesthetically pleasing, I’m giving the edge to Seshtoberfest as a point of personal preference. Running total: Call to Arms 1-0 Great Lakes.

Aroma

Seshtoberfest, despite being a session brew, offers quite a robust aroma. It’s malt heavy, slightly earthy and has a touch of warmth. It sets the scene for what should be a very tasty brew.

Great Lakes’ Oktoberfest offers a malt-forward, warm and sweet aroma. It’s pretty gentle, but the warmth lingers on the nostril for a while.

On the merit of depth and experience, I have to give the edge to Seshtoberfest here. Running total: Call to Arms 2-0 Great Lakes.

Flavor

Seshtoberfest opens reasonably mild, but the backend offers a dry earthiness that is quite enjoyable. The aftertaste has a nice dry base and the tickle of carbonation holds on for a while.

Great Lakes’ Oktoberfest opens with a firm mix of flavors. It’s malt-forward and slightly earthy with a nice hoppy bitterness. The flavor is consistent throughout and it retains into the aftertaste where it builds a little.

While both are quite enjoyable, the edge here goes to Great Lakes. Running total: Call to Arms 2-1 Great Lakes.

Body

Seshtoberfest is a thin-bodied and crushable brew. It has a mid-level carbonation and is very smooth.

Great Lakes’ Oktoberfest is a mid-bodied and low effervescence brew, making for a reasonably heavy but smooth brew.

Call to Arms’ Seshtoberfest on the left and Great Lakes’ Oktoberfest on the right.

As you can see above, surprisingly the Seshtoberfest is the deeper colored brew. Seshtoberfest retained a touch of foam and laced a tad. Great Lakes’ offering did a lot better as far as foam and lacing went.

I think it’s fair to say Great Lakes takes this. It’s a smoother brew that leads the retention and lacing side of things too. While it’s pretty close, this one goes to Great Lakes. Running total: Call to Arms 2-2 Great Lakes.

People’s Choice

As is tradition, the final criterion is decided by a poll on my Instagram story, at sargentsuds. Let’s see how it worked out.

Poll results: Call to Arms 20% and Great Lakes 80%.

As you can see above, Great Lakes took this point quite handily. Running total: Call to Arms 2-3 Great Lakes.

Results

Call to Arms came flying out of the gates, but a late comeback from Great Lakes was enough to see them through to round two where they’ll meet MadTree brewing in an all-Ohio bout.

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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