Round 2, Bout 2 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Saint Arnold Brewing Company (Texas) vs. Hop and Sting Brewing Co. (Texas).
Two very different looking cans here.
Guten Tag leverages an interesting tessellated pattern in the German National colors as a background. In the foreground, the standard Saint Arnold branding is accompanied by a giant pretzel.
Hop & Sting finds a great balance between the traditional Oktoberfest motif and a clean, modern can design. The blue on blue check background and dark blue logo section are sleek and the firefighter logo creates a visually interesting contrast.
Both of these cans are in my top few label designs of the tournament, but I have to give the edge to Hop & Sting. That mix of sleek and eye catching is truly remarkable. Running total: Saint Arnold 0-1 Hop & Sting.
Guten Tag offers an amazing aroma of sweet, caramel malts. It’s an intense sensation carrying a reasonable warmth and mild earthiness that lingers on the nose.
3113 offers an intensely malty aroma. It’s sweeter and earthier, though it does not carry the same heat.
This is a tough decision, so after a few more sniffs and some significant deliberation, this one goes to Saint Arnold. Running total: Saint Arnold 1-1 Hop & Sting.
Guten Tag is a uniform flavor experience, offering an intense malty backbone that is sweet and somewhat floral. Sweetness dominates the aftertaste but fades reasonably quickly. It holds just long enough to drive you towards another sip.
3113 opens mild, but sees an intense rush of flavor through the backend. Smooth, warm and earthy, an intensely bitter aftertaste has just enough sweetness to temper the experience. The bitterness retains over time and builds a bit from sip to sip.
I really enjoy both of these brews, but have to give the edge to Hop & Sting based on its relative complexity. Running total: Saint Arnold 1-2 Hop & Sting.
Guten Tag is a light-bodied and reasonably smooth brew with quite a low carbonation point. 3113 is a light-to-mid bodied brew that has a lower carbonation point making for a slightly smoother experience.
As you can see above, there isn’t a ton of difference in the color and appearance, with Guten Tag being slightly lighter and both beers being comparable in terms of opacity. Hop & Sting holds a clear advantage in terms of both head retention and lacing.
With all those comparative points considered, it’s probably unsurprising that Hop & Sting’s 3113 takes this point. Running total: Saint Arnold 1-3 Hop & Sting.
The People’s Choice criterion is decided by public poll on my Instagram account. Let’s see how it went.
Saint Arnold takes this point comfortably, securing 64% of the vote compared to Hop & Sting’s 36%. Running total: Saint Arnold 2-3 Hop & Sting.
Two excellent Texan brews entered, but only one can move on to Round 3. Today, that’s Hop & Sting who move on to meet West Side Brewing (Ohio).
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.