Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 1, Bout 21: Elmhurst Brewing Co. vs. Prost Brewing Co.

Round 1, Bout 21 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Elmhurst Brewing Co. (Illinois) take on Prost Brewing Co. (Colorado).

This is the first time either brewery has entered the Master of Marzen tournament. Im excited to see how this pans out, let’s get rolling.

Packaging Design

Elmhurst’s Oktoberfest on the left and Prost’s Marzen on the right.

Two very different tactics in can design here.

Elmhurst’s Oktoberfest has a very interesting label in which the can is dressed in lederhosen and a Bavarian check shirt. A clean black border and blue logo, plus the pretzel edges, make for an amazing can.

Prost’s take is a clean and minimal design. Ample white space hosts the Prost word mark above a two-tone yellow lower segment. It’s a very clever label.

While I love both cans for different reasons, it’s hard to beat a can dressed in lederhosen. This one goes to Elmhurst. Running total: Elmhurst 1-0 Prost.

Aroma

Elmhurst’s Oktoberfest offers and intense aroma with a tremendous backbone of toasted malts. It’s sweet and warm, holding a little heat on the nostril. This is as close to textbook Marzen aroma as I’ve found.

Prost’s Marzen offers quite a deep and powerful aroma given its reasonably light color. A crisp note of grassy malt leads the way here, with a slight sweetness exciting the sense. It’s also a quite enjoyably smelling brew.

While both are great, aroma wise, this one has to go to Elmhurst for an intense mix of textbook qualities. Running total: Elmhurst 2-0 Prost.

Flavor

Elmhurst’s brew delivers on promise of its aroma. A tidal wave of sweet toasted malts rush the tastebuds from the jump. A pleasant caramel sweet malt levels out on the backend and retains into the aftertaste where it slowly dissipates leaving a dry earthy quality. An excellent experience.

Prost’s Marzen is a flavor bomb in its own right. A mild opening quickly gives way to a beautiful combination of sweet, bready malt and a tasty hop profile that lends a stern bitterness. That bitter quality holds into the aftertaste and retains throughout the experience, with a slight build over time.

After a few more mouthfuls, I’m giving the edge to Prost here. That crisp, delicate and complex mix of flavors is hard to top. Running total: Elmhurst 2-1 Prost.

Body

Despite a significant difference in the color of these brews, see below, they’re quite comparable in terms of mouthfeel. Light-bodied, these tremendous brews have a mild carbonation and a generous mouth coating quality that make them smooth as silk.

Elmhurst’s Oktoberfest on the left and Prost’s Marzen on the right.

As you can see above, Elmhurst’s brew is significantly darker beer. Both are about equally translucent.

Elmhurst is the clear winner on both head retention and lacing here, with pockets of foam present throughout the glass.

Given the relative parity on mouthfeel, Elmhurst has to take this point on head retention and lacing, as that’s the only significant differentiation here. Running total: Elmhurst 3-1 Prost.

People’s Choice

The fifth criterion for Master of Marzen is decided by a public poll on my Instagram. Let’s see how it turned out.

Poll results: Elmhurst 25% and Prost 75%.

Prost fans came out in force here, handing Prost a People’s Choice victory with 75% of the vote. Running total: Elmhurst 3-2 Prost.

Results

Two tremendous beers entered, but only one can continue in the tournament. Elmhurst now progresses to round 2 where they meet the winner of Jack’s Abby vs. Elsewhere.

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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