Round 1, Bout 28 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Enegren Brewing Co. (California) vs. Sketchbook Brewing Company (Illinois).
Enegren’s Marzen was also an entrant, but this will be my first time trying their Festbier. This is my first experience with Sketchbook. I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes!
Two great can designs here, both leaning into the traditional Oktoberfest branding.
Enegren’s Festbier features a pair of lions enjoying a Stein of brew in front of the Bavarian check. The rest of the can is sleek, leveraging white space well.
Sketchbook’s Oktoberfest can features a faceless man, decked out in lederhosen, double parked with steins and complete with a Bavarian shirt. It’s a very engaging can.
With two epic cans, this is a hard decision to make. I have to go with Sketchbook here, as their design is truly spectacular. Running total: Energren 0-1 Sketchbook.
Enegren’s Festbier offers a light and somewhat grassy aroma. A slight warmth lingers on the nose for a while. It’s a tasty smelling brew.
Sketchbook’s Oktoberfest offers a powerful aroma that’s a pleasant mix of toasted malts, a slightly floral quality and a substantial warmth.
While both are quite pleasant, aroma-wise, the edge has to go to Sketchbook here. Running total: Enegren 0-2 Sketchbook.
Enegren’s brew offers a much deeper flavor than its appearance may suggest. Bready malts mingle with a crisp and bitey hop profile, leading to a pleasantly bitter and dry aftertaste that holds for quite some time. It does not build, but leaves you hoping for another sip in pretty short order.
Sketchbook’s brew offers a measured but firm mix of flavors. A uniform experience from front to finish, a rigid malty backbone is accented by subtle floral qualities, a touch of earthiness, and a generally dry flavor profile. A mild, persistent aftertaste leans into the earthier side of the malts, building a slight bitterness between sips.
Two remarkably enjoyable flavors here, but they differ significantly. I’m giving the edge to Enegren as that surprising power sets it just a touch ahead. Running total: Enegren 1-2 Sketchbook.
Enegren’s brew is a mid-bodied and reasonably effervescent brew that straddles that’s smooth, crisp and dry.
Surprisingly, the Sketchbook is a considerably lighter-bodied brew. It has a slightly lower carbonation, but is an intensely smooth vehicle for a measured mix of flavors.
As you can see above, Enegren’s brew is a much lighter colored brew. It appears more translucent in the image, but I think that’s mostly due to the difference of color.
As you can see, both retain some foam and lace to an extent, though Sketchbook takes a firm grip on both fronts.
This bout is a tough one for separation. Despite being two very different beers, they’re similarly well executed. I find their mouthfeel to be comparably enjoyable despite their fundamental differences, so on lacing and head retention, this one goes to Sketchbook. Running total: Enegren 1-3 Sketchbook.
And now we move to the public poll from Instagram to determine the People’s Choice.
A reasonably tight poll goes to Enegren who secured 54% of the vote. Running total: Enegren 2-3 Sketchbook.
I really enjoyed both of these brews, but only one can continue in the tournament. Today, thats Sketchbook Brewing. They now move onto Round 2 where they meet Chilly Water 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.