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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.