Round 1, Bout 26 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees East Brother Beer Co. (California) vs. Austin Brothers Beer Co. (Michigan).
Both of these breweries are first time entrants in Master of Marzen. I’m excited to check this one out.
East Brother’s can is a sleek and minimal can that leverages plenty of white space. A clean text dominates the can, crafted in a bright orange color. It’s quite aesthetically pleasing.
Austoberfest leans into the traditional Oktoberfest check, leveraging it as a striking blue and white background. In the foreground, a man and woman adorned in festival garb dance together. Dark borders of the can are a nice way to encapsulate things.
I do enjoy both cans, but have to give the advantage to Austin Brothers here as their can expertly leverages many of the visual elements synonymous with the festival. Running total: East Brother 0-1 Austin Brothers.
East Brother’s Festbier offers quite a mild aroma. It’s dry and malty with a slight touch of earthiness about it. A pleasant warmth lingers on the nose.
Austoberfest kicks the door in. An intense wave of deep, powerful, malty aroma hits like a freight train. A borderline coffee aroma and some warmth linger on.
This one has to go to Austin Brothers due to the significant depth it shows. Running total: East Brother 0-2 Austin Brothers.
East Brother’s brew offers a consistent flavor experience from front to back. It’s malt-forward but measured, leaning into a dry sensation with the perfect balance of bitterness. That predominantly dry experience holds through, taunting the tastebuds with just enough bitterness to belong for another sip.
Austoberfest tastes like the brew I expected from the aroma. It hits hard and fast, leading with a semi-roasty malt flavor and just enough sweetness to curb it all.
While the Austoberfest hits harder, the edge goes to East Brother here. Their layered experiment of delicate, deliberate and complimentary flavors pushes them over the top here. Running total: East Brother 1-2 Austin Brothers.
East Brother’s Festbier is mid-bodied and smooth with a low carbonation. It’s highly translucent.
Austoberfest has quite a heavy mouthfeel, but when combined with its minimal carbonation, it’s a particularly smooth brew.
As you can see above, East Brother’s brew is a much lighter amber color, with Austin Brothers’ brew being a deep walnut brown. Bothe beers are quite translucent in person, although Austoberfest’s appearance doesn’t translate too too well to the image above.
Both beers retained a reasonable ring of foam, but East Brother was the clear winner as far as lacing was concerned.
This one also goes to East Brother. Running total: East Brother 2-2 Austin Brothers.
As always, the fifth criterion is decided by public polling on my Instagram account. Let’s see who is the People’s Choice.
As you can see above East Brother takes this point with 70% of the vote. Running total: East Brother 3-2 Austin Brothers.
Two excellent brews clashed here, but only one can progress. East Brother now moves on to Round 2 where they’ll meet DESTIHL brewery.
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.