Round 2, Bout 12 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Elmhurst Brewing Co. (Illinois) take on Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers (Massachusetts).
Elmhurst are first time entrants in the tournament while Jack’s Abby are returning entrants from 2020. Elmhurst progressed into Round 2 after besting Prost in Round 1. Jack’s Abby moved into Round 2 after a first round clash with Elsewhere. Let’s get this rolling.
Elmhurst’s can design is up there with the best in this tournament. I really appreciate those that can leverage tradition in an original way, so Elmhurst’s Bavarian check can and lederhosen is very enjoyable.
Jack’s Abby’s Copper Legend is eye catching. As the name may suggest, an aggressively copper colored label adorns the can, including a Oktoberfest-check-esque design and inclusion of lions and dragons which is pretty cool.
That said, I have to give this one to Elmhurst for the reasons listed above. Running total: Elmhurst 1-0 Jack’s Abby.
Elmhurst’s brew offers a mild aroma with a generally malty base. It’s slightly earthy and offers a mild warmth that dissipates from the nose quickly.
Copper Legend offers a much more intense aroma. It’s biscuity and floral, with a quite powerful warmth that lingers on the nose for some time.
On the balance, this one has to go to Jack’s Abby for crafting a much more intensely aromatic brew. Running total: Elmhurst 1-1 Jack’s Abby.
Elmhurst’s brew opens mild but sees an awesome rush of flavor in the backend. A sweet, caramel-y malt leads the way and is accented by an earthy bitterness. The aftertaste is sweet and earthy, with the sweetness dissipating and the earthiness retaining and building throughout the experience.
Copper Legend is a uniformly flavored brew. It’s firm without overwhelming offering a biscuity sweet malt with just enough bitterness to balance it tremendously. A mix of sweet and bitter holds in the aftertaste and sees the sweetness build a little between sips.
After a few more sips, I have to give the edge to Elmhurst here. Their brew is balanced with an excellent mix of textbook Oktoberfest qualities. Running total: Elmhurst 2-1 Jack’s Abby.
Elmhurst’s brew is light-to-mid-bodied, smooth and lightly carbonated. It coats the mouth quite liberally in a reasonably syrupy sweetness. The physical properties of its mouthfeel make it insanely easy to drink. It presents a burnt umber color that’s largely opaque.
Copper Legend is a light, thin-bodied and crisp brew with a significant carbonation. It finds the balance before bloating, making a particularly refreshing brew. It presents as straw colored and largely translucent.
As you can see above, both brews retained head at a comparable level, and Elmhurst laced more liberally.
The mouthfeel of both is comparably enjoyable, despite the relative differences. With that in mind, I have to give the edge to Elmhurst here as it laced better—the key point of differentiation on this criterion. Running total: Elmhurst 3-1 Jack’s Abby.
On to the public polling results to see who is the People’s Choice of this bout.
Elmhurst took this one quite handily, securing 62% of the vote.
Two excellent brews entered, but only Elmhurst will continue to Round 3. Next they’ll face 4 By 4 Brewing.
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.