Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 2, Bout 11: 4 By 4 Brewing Company vs. the Fermentorium

Round 2, Bout 11 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees 4 By 4 Brewing Company (Missouri) take on the Fermentorium (Wisconsin).

4 By 4 are returning entrants, having made their debut in 2020, while the Fermentorium are involved in Master of Marzen for the first time. 4 By 4 secured victory against Avery Brewing Company in Round 1 and the Fermentorium progressed against Enegren. Let’s get this one underway!

Packaging Design

4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! on the left and the Fermentorium’s Oktoberfest on the right.

4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! features a number of fall icons such as leave and acorns, accompanied by a keg and some steins, in fall orange against a black background. The pattern in which they are arranged is quite enjoyable and the can is sleek overall.

The Fermentorium’s Oktoberfest leans into tradition, displaying a prominent Bavarian check in the background. A vivid red banner hosts their branding and makes a nice contrast against the blue and white.

Both are nice cans in their own right, but the edge has to go to the Fermentorium for a clean, sleek and modern take on Oktoberfest tradition. Running total: 4 By 4 0-1 the Fermentorium.

Aroma

O’Zapft Is! offers a robust and intense aroma. A sweet and warm toasted malt dominates the senses, with the sweetness holding on the nose. It smells pretty close to textbook for an Oktoberfest brew.

The Fermentorium’s Oktoberfest offers a milder, but also quite tasty smelling, aroma. Sweet, malty and slightly floral, a powerful warmth dominates the aroma and lingers for quite some time.

Both are tasty smelling brews, but the edge has to go to 4 By 4 here. Running total: 4 By 4 1-1 the Fermentorium.

Flavor

O’Zapft Is! isn’t playing any games. A tidal wave of malty flavor is present from the jump, leaning into an interesting mix of sweet and earthy. Both qualities build into the aftertaste, with the sweetness receding over time and leaving that earthy bitterness to retain. It also builds a touch between sips. Tons of well-leveraged flavor throughout.

The Fermentorium’s Oktoberfest opens mild and is supported by a firm but balanced wave of flavors. A deep malty backbone is quite dry and slightly bitter. The bitterness holds into the aftertaste and builds considerably over time. The juxtaposition between mild and bitey makes for a pleasant roller coaster of sensory experience.

Given the balanced intensity of the experience, 4 By 4 also takes this one. Running total: 4 By 4 2-1 the Fermentorium.

Body

O’Zapft Is! is a mid-bodied and crisp brew with a quite high carbonation point. It presents a transparent, walnutty brown color. The Fermentorium’s brew is lighter-bodied, smoother, and considerably less carbonated. It’s a slightly lighter color, but more opaque comparably.

4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! on the left and the Fermentorium’s Oktoberfest on the right.

As you can see above, both retained head comparably in that they both had a thin ring of foam. Neither laced particularly well, but more lacing was present in the Fermentorium’s glass.

With a smoother brew and an edge on lacing, this point goes to the Fermentorium. Running total: 4 By 4 2-2 the Fermentorium.

People’s Choice

We’re tied at 2 points each, so let’s see who takes the People’s Choice poll.

Poll results: 4 By 4 Brewing 66% and the Fermentorium 34%.

As you can see above, 4 By 4 takes this one with about 2/3 of the vote. Running total: 4 By 4 3-2 the Fermentorium.

Results

A tight contest came right down to the wire, seeing 4 By 4 sneak out victorious. They now progress to Round 3 where they’ll meet the winner of Elmhurst vs. Jack’s Abby.

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.

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