Bout 2, Round 7 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Zero Gravity Craft Brewery (Vermont) vs. Spiteful Brewing (Illinois).
Both are first time entrants in the tournament. Zero Gravity secured a first round win against Back Unturned. Spiteful qualified for Round 2 after besting Equal Parts. Let’s see how this one turns out!
Both cans have their own take on the typical Oktoberfest style.
Zero Gravity has opted for a black and white check label, with clean gold branding that stands out. It’s expertly leveraged to combine tradition with a clean, modern design.
Spiteful’s can leverages the Bavarian check in the background, using a darker blue for their branding and contrasting their red logo against the blue and white.
I really enjoy both, but I’m giving a slight edge to Zero Gravity here. The clean, minimal and modern design is a really pleasant twist on the traditional elements. Running total: Zero Gravity 1-0 Spiteful.
Zero Gravity’s Oktoberfest is an intense smelling brew. A deep, earthy, toasted malt sets the foundation and is accented by a generous warmth and a slight sweetness that holds on the nose.
Spiteful’s Oktoberfest is built on a powerful backbone of deep, toasted malts. A dry, earthy quality dominates the aroma and makes for a very pleasant smelling brew. It’s of comparable intensity to Zero Gravity, but emphasizes different qualities.
After a lengthy deliberation I have to give a tiny edge to Spiteful as their aroma is slightly preferable. Running total: Zero Gravity 1-1 Spiteful.
Zero Gravity’s flavor is uniform throughout all phases of the experience. Crisp and malty, a delicate balance of earthy and sweet make for a clean and refreshing experience. Sweet is the most dominant flavor of a generally mild aftertaste that dissipates quickly.
Spiteful’s brew is also uniform, though it’s decidedly more intensely flavored. Steep, bitey toasted malt with a significant bitterness rules there experience. The bitterness retains into the aftertaste and builds a little between sips.
While Zero Gravity makes a flavorful brew, Spiteful is the clear winner in terms of flavor experience. It’s a powerhouse of well-balanced flavors. Running total: Zero Gravity 1-2 Spiteful.
Zero Gravity’s brew is light-bodied, soft and smooth. It has a fairly low carbonation and is quite thin, making for an insanely easy to drink brew. It presents as a soft amber color that’s somewhat opaque.
Spiteful’s brew is mid-bodied and smooth. It has a slightly syrupy quality that coats the mouth liberally. It has a low carbonation but is slightly more effervescent than Zero Gravity. Darker in color, it’s slightly more translucent than it’s competitor.
As you can see above, neither beer retained head or laced particularly well. There’s no separation here, making mouthfeel the only differentiator for this criterion.
With that said, I’m giving a slight edge to Zero Gravity here. It’s an insanely easy to drink brew. Running total: Zero Gravity 2-2 Spiteful.
The fifth criterion sees public polling declare the People’s Choice. Let’s see who took the title.
As you can see above, Zero Gravity took this poll quite handily with 70% of the vote. Running total: Zero Gravity 3-2 Spiteful.
A tight, back-and-forth bout sees Zero Gravity emerge victorious. Next, they move onto Round 3 where they’ll meet the victor of the bout between MadTree and Great Lakes.
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.