Round 1, Bout 17 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company (California) taking on Shiner Beer (Texas).
This is Devil’s Canyon’s first time in the tournament and Shiner returns after missing the 2020 edition. I can’t wait to see how this ends up, so let’s get rolling.
Both beers have stayed away from the typical Oktoberfest branding here.
Devil’s Canyon has opted for the trademark blue on blue, but have leveraged an ornate, crown-esque design. The choice of a striking yellow text to contrast is a nice touch, despite the central “f” design looking like Facebook’s logo to me.
Shiner have opted for an orange label with blue design elements and white text. The use of rams is an interesting choice.
As a matter of personal preference, I’m giving this point to Devil’s Canyon. I find the darker blue on blue design easier on the eye and generally more aesthetically pleasing. Running total: Devil’s Canyon 1-0 Shiner.
Devil’s Canyon’s Festbier offers and intense and bright aroma. Malty, sweet and slightly bitter, it is a tremendous mix of aromas that makes me anticipate a delicious brew.
Shiner’s Oktoberfest’s aroma isn’t quite as intense, but it is a very tasty smelling brew. A toasted malty backbone dominates the aroma, offering a slight sweetness.
With both beers smelling tremendous, I’m giving the edge to Devil’s Canyon based on its relative intensity. Running total: Devil’s Canyon 2-0 Shiner.
Devil’s Canyon’s brew opens reasonably mild, but offers an incredible rush of flavor. Earthy and bitter, with a slight sweetness, it’s a truly delicious mix. The bitterness retains into the aftertaste and builds a touch. While sweetness shows up in the aftertaste, it’s soon overwhelmed by bitterness. Despite its growth, the bitterness never goes overboard. An excellent experience.
Shiner’s Oktoberfest is a consistently tasty brew. It’s reasonably dry and quite bitter, which also sets into the aftertaste and lingers. There is no build between sips.
With both beers very much leaning into the dry and bitter side, with a slight touch of sweetness on the Devil’s Canyon brew, I’m giving the edge to Devil’s Canyon. The intensity and depth, tempered with its sweetness, puts it just ahead here. Running total: Devil’s Canyon 3-0 Shiner.
Devil’s Canyon’s brew is mid-bodied and smooth. It’s relatively highly carbonated, but generally reasonably easy to drink.
Shiner’s take on the brew, despite being noticeably darker, is a lighter and less carbonated brew.
As you can see above, there’s a significant color difference, with Devil’s Canyon being much lighter. Both brews did pretty well on both head retention and lacing.
I’ve got to give the edge to Shiner here. While both at enjoyable, it’s a bit smoother and easier to drink. Running total: Devil’s Canyon 3-1 Shiner.
As is tradition, the fifth criterion is decided by a vote on my Instagram story. Let’s see which brewery was awarded the People’s Choice.
Devil’s Canyon takes this one with 55% of the vote. Running total: Devil’s Canyon 4-1 Shiner.
Two tasty beers entered, but Devil’s Canyon takes this one with a score of 4-1. Now they progress to the second round where they’ll meet the winner of Freetail Brewing vs. Dynasty Brewing.
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.