Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 2, Bout 6: Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. vs. Toms River Brewing

Round 2, Bout 6 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. (Iowa) vs. Toms River Brewing (New Jersey).

Both are first-time entrants of Master of Marzen, with Pulpit Rock besting Hi-Wire in Round 1 and Toms River progressing against Rahr & Sons. Let’s see how this one goes!

Packaging Design

Pulpit Rock’s Oktoberfest on the left and Toms River’s Marzen Das Denken on the right.

Pulpit Rock’s Oktoberfest features an awesome take on the Bavarian check we associate with Oktoberfest. The distressed, watercolor looking take on the two-tone blue is truly remarkable.

Toms River’s Marzen Das Denken also has a very visually appealing label. A dark grey background features a floral pattern with a lighter grey and slightly brassy coloration.

While I do enjoy both cans, this one has to go to Pulpit Rock. Their design is not only awesome, it’s a great take on the seasonal design elements synonymous with the style. Running total: Pulpit Rock 1-0 Toms River.

Aroma

Pulpit Rock’s brew offers a measured aroma. It’s steeped in toasted malts and offers slightly earthy notes and a pervasive warmth that lingers.

Marzen Das Denken offers a stronger aroma that is particularly malt heavy. It’s hard to explain the main aroma, outside of boiling wort.

While the intensity of Toms River’s brew is higher, I find the aroma of Pulpit Rock’s brew to be preferable. They take this point. Running total: Pulpit Rock 2-0 Toms River.

Flavor

Pulpit Rock’s Oktoberfest opens with a bang, offering a uniform experience from front to back. A deep and earthy backbone of toasted malts is largely dry. A mild earthy profile holds in the aftertaste and builds a little between sips.

Marzen Das Denken is also a uniform experience, but it’s incredibly intense comparably. Deep and malty, it offers a mixture of sweet and earthy. A mild earthy bitterness holds on the backend but does not build.

Both are very tasty, but subjectively I find Marzen Das Denken to be preferable, marginally. Running total: Pulpit Rock 2-1 Toms River.

Body

Pulpit Rock’s Oktoberfest is mid-bodied with a very low carbonation point. It’s an incredibly smooth brew that coats the mouth well. Marzen Das Denken is a slightly heavier mid-bodied brew with a marginally higher carbonation point. It has a smooth base and the added carbonation is quite refreshing.

Pulpit Rock’s Oktoberfest on the left and Toms River’s Marzen Das Denken on the right.

As you can see above, Pulpit Rock is a much lighter colored brew that is more translucent. Toms River takes an edge with both head retention and lacing.

On balance, I think it’s fair to say that Marzen Das Denken takes this point. Running total: Pulpit Rock 2-2 Toms River.

People’s Choice

As always, the fifth criterion is decided by public polling on my Instagram story. Let’s see who is the People’s Choice.

Poll results: Pulpit Rock 54% to Toms River 46%.

As you can see above, Pulpit Rock took this point with 54% of the vote. Running total: Pulpit Rock 3-2 Toms River.

Results

Toms River mounted a late comeback, but it wasn’t enough to best Pulpit Rock. Pulpit Rock now move onto Round 3 where they meet Telluride Brewing Company.

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.

2 thoughts on “Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 2, Bout 6: Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. vs. Toms River Brewing

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