Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 1, Bout 19: Avery Brewing Co. vs. 4 By 4 Brewing Company

Round 1, Bout 19 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Avery Brewing Co. (Colorado) vs. 4 By 4 Brewing Company (Missouri).

This is Avery’s first time in the tournament and 4 By 4’s second consecutive entry. This will be a banger, let’s see how it goes.

Packaging Design

Avery’s Kaiser in the left, 4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! on the right.

Two very different designs here.

Avery has adapted their usual branding to include a traditionally German man in military garb. The brew’s name “Kaiser” fits the motif well. It’s a very intriguing label.

4 By 4 has opted for an orange and yellow design on a black can for their O’Zapft Is! Label. Design elements include steins, acorns and leaves that fit the fall theme.

While I enjoy both, I have to give the edge to Avery here. Running total: Avery 1-0 4 By 4.

Aroma

Avery’s The Kaiser offers a deep and intense aroma. Deep toasted malts combines with a slight boozy heat and a touch of sweetness. The aroma lives up to every bit of the 8% ABV of this imperial brew.

4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! offers a milder, but equally enjoyable aroma. A gentle sweetness overarches a foundation of beautiful toasted malt. A slight earthiness persists long after the sweetness dissipates.

This is a tough decision. Avery’s take is a considerably more intense aroma, but I appreciate the delicate complexity of 4 By 4’s brew, when comparing the two. I’m giving the slightest of edges to 4 By 4 here. Running total: Avery 1-1 4 By 4.

Flavor

The Kaiser is a heavy-bodied brew that hits with a rush of flavor. Leading with a deep malty front, a push of boozy heat kicks in on the backend and persists into the aftertaste. While it’s warm, it’s not overdone. A slight build of the booze between sips sees it dominate the aftertaste experience.

O’Zapft Is! offers a pretty intense flavor in its own right. A consistent experience through each phase, a dry and earthy malt is the Star of the show. The earthiness and a touch of bitter dominate the aftertaste, retaining over time and build a bit from sip to sip.

Where The Kaiser is a powerhouse of flavor, O’Zapft Is! balances power and complexity. While I enjoy both for different reasons, I think 4 By 4 leads the way in offering a powerful, enjoyable brew with a bit more depth of experience. Running total: Avery 1-2 4 By 4.

Body

As noted above, The Kaiser is a heavy-bodied brew. A thick, boozy warmth coats the mouth and takes some time to dissipate. It has a medium carbonation and is quite easy drinking and enjoyable given how heavy its ABV is.

O’Zapft Is! is a mid-bodied brew with a reasonably high carbonation point. The carbonation makes for a nice tingle that really compliments the deep flavors of the brew.

Avery’s Kaiser in the left, 4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! on the right.

As you can see above, The Kaiser is (surprisingly) the lighter colored brew. Both are reasonably translucent. Both retained some head, but 4 By 4 is the leader here. They also laced much more than their Avery competitor. Running total: Avery 1-3 4 By 4.

People’s Choice

As always, the fifth criterion is decided by People’s Choice, based on a poll from my Instagram story. Let’s see how that went.

Poll results: Avery 46% and 4 By 4 54%.

It was a reasonably close point, but 4 By 4 takes it with 54% of the vote. Running total: Avery 1-4 4 By 4.

Results

Two excellent brews, but 4 By 4 takes this bout 4-1 on aggregate. They now move onto round 2 where they meet the winner of Enegren’s Marzen vs. the Fermentorium.

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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