Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 3, Bout 3: Telluride Brewing Co. vs. Pulpit Rock Brewing Co.

Round 3, Bout 3 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Telluride Brewing Co. (Colorado) vs. Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. (Iowa).

Both breweries are first-time entrants in the tournament. Telluride qualified for Round 3 after a bout with Austin Beerworks, and Pulpit Rock qualified against Toms River. Let’s see how this one goes.

Packaging Design

Telluride’s OktoberFISH on the left and Pulpit Rock’s Oktoberfest on the right.

Two excellent designs here.

Telluride’s can features a lederhosen with a Bavarian check shirt. The title and lower segment feature German-flag colors for a nice finishing touch.

Pulpit Rock’s can also features Bavarian check, but adds some personality with a somewhat distressed look. Dark blue branding ties it all together.

I really enjoy Pulpit Rock’s design, but it’s hard to argue with a Can on lederhosen. This one goes to Telluride. Running total: Telluride 1-0 Pulpit Rock.

Aroma

OktoherFISH offers an incredibly intense aroma. A sweet, malty backbone and powerful warmth lead the way, with the warmth holding on the nose for quite some time. A touch of earthiness adds a complexity that makes the aroma a well-rounded one.

Pulpit Rock’s Oktoberfest has a milder aroma. Sweet, clean and malty, it smells great but doesn’t hold very long.

Unsurprisingly given the info above, Telluride takes this point with their mixture of power and complexity. Running total: Telluride 2-0 Pulpit Rock.

Flavor

OktoberFISH opens with a bang. A uniform experience from front to back, it’s an intense combination of dry and bitter malty notes. The bitterness levels out a bit on the aftertaste, retaining for some time and building a smidge. It’s a real powerhouse of a brew.

Pulpit Rock’s brew opens a bit milder, but sees a pleasant rush of flavor on the backend. Clean and bready malts lead the way, with a slight hoppy bitterness that retains into the aftertaste for quite some time. The crisp and clean aftertaste is quite moreish, as those across the pond would say.

While the Telluride brew comes in all guns blazing, I think I’m going to err on the balanced nuances of Pulpit Rock. While it’s not as intense, it’s a clean and flavorful brew that saw me anticipating the next sip. Running total: Telluride 2-1 Pulpit Rock.

Body

OktoberFISH is mid-bodied, smooth and low carbonation with a generous mouth-coating. It’s a true easy-drinker with an excellent overall experience.

Pulpit Rock’s brew is lighter-bodied and thin. It has a reasonably high carbonation point that makes it clean and refreshing.

Telluride’s OktoberFISH on the left and Pulpit Rock’s Oktoberfest on the right.

As you can see above, Pulpit Rock’s brew is a little darker and more translucent. The head retention is comparable but Telluride holds the lead on lacing.

With a slight edge in mouthfeel and a reasonable edge in lacing, this one goes to Telluride. Running total: Telluride 3-1 Pulpit Rock.

People’s Choice

Now we turn to public polling to see who will be crowned the People’s Choice.

Poll results: Telluride 50% and Pulpit Rock 50%.

In a first for this year’s tournament, the poll returned an exact 50:50 split. Each brewery receives half a point, Running total: Telluride 3.5 – 1.5 Pulpit Rock.

Results

In a season first, the breweries split the poll. Two great brews entered but only Telluride will continue in the tournament. Their next stop is a Round 4 Bout against the winner of Zero Gravity vs. MadTree.

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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