Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 2, Bout 13: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. vs. Real Ale Brewing Co.

Round 2, Bout 13 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (California and North Carolina) vs. Real Ale Brewing Co. (Texas).

Sierra Nevada is a first-time entrant of Master of Marzen while Real Ale return for their third time in the tournament. Sierra Nevada qualified for this round after a clash with SingleCut in Round 1, while Real Ale emerged from their bout against Panther Island. Let’s get some tops popping.

Packaging Design

Sierra Nevada‘s Oktoberfest on the left and Real Ale’s Oktoberfest on the right.

Sierra Nevada’s Can leans into the traditional Oktoberfest check that’s synonymous with the style. A stark blue band across the middle anchors the branding in what is quite an enjoyable looking can.

Real Ale’s label features a dark-blue background, a olde time font and an ornate lion holding a shield with Texas. It’s a clean and intriguing design that is quite enjoyable.

I enjoy both designs, but I have to give the edge to Real Ale. I believe they added their personality to several traditional elements and have, creating something unique. Running total: Sierra Nevada 0-1 Real Ale.

Aroma

Sierra Nevada’s brew offers an intense and warm aroma. A vibrant backbone of toasted malts and an earthy accent sets the tone for a truly remarkable flavor profile. The warmth lingers on the nose for some time.

Real Ale’s Oktoberfest also possess a quite intense aroma. It’s also quite malty, but not toasted. Biscuity and slightly sweet, it’s a very tasty smelling brew.

Both are very intense aromas and smell very tasty, but I have to give the edge to Sierra Nevada here. The depth of typical Oktoberfest qualities is borderline textbook. Running total: Sierra Nevada 1-1 Real Ale.

Flavor

Sierra Nevada’s brew flies out the gate. A sweet, caramel toasted malt sets a deep and flavorful foundation. A slight earthiness tempers the sweet, with both flavors holding in the aftertaste. Overtime, the sweetness dissipates, ebbing and flowing through the experience. The earthiness retains and builds a bit over time.

Real Ale’s Oktoberfest offers a uniformly flavorful experience from front to back. Biscuity malts and a hoppy bitterness make a smooth, well-balanced experience. The bitterness retains on the aftertaste and builds quite a bit over time.

I give a slight edge to Real Ale here as the savory/bitter combo is preferable to me when compared to the sweet/bitter combination from Sierra Nevada. Running total: Sierra Nevada 1-2 Real Ale.

Body

Sierra Nevada’s brew is mid-bodied and smooth. A slightly syrupy quality and low carbonation makes for an easy-drinking brew that coats the mouth liberally.

Real Ale’s brew is a lighter, dryer-bodied brew with a reasonably high carbonation point. The crisp qualities of the mouthfeel make it refreshing, but this is somewhat offset by the high carbonation point.

Sierra Nevada‘s Oktoberfest on the left and Real Ale’s Oktoberfest on the right.

As you can see above, Sierra Nevada’s brew is significantly darker and both beers are comparably opaque. The beers retained head comparably and neither laced at all.

With mouthfeel being the key differentiator here, this point has to go to Sierra Nevada for being a smoother and easier drinking brew. Running total; Sierra Nevada 2-2 Real Ale.

People’s Choice

With scores in a deadlock, we head to the People’s Choice poll as the decider.

Poll results: Sierra Nevada 40% and Real Ale 60%.

As you can see above, Real Ale took this point having secured 60% of the vote. Running total Sierra Nevada 2-3 Real Ale.

Results

Two behemoths of craft beer entered and Real Ale squeaked through to Round 3. Next, they’ll face the victor of the bout between DESTIHL and East Brother.

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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