Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 3, Bout 4: Zero Gravity Craft Brewery vs. MadTree Brewing Co.

Round 3, Bout 4 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Zero Gravity Craft Brewery (Vermont) vs. MadTree Brewing Co. (Ohio).

Both are first-time entrants in the tournament, with Zero Gravity progressing from their third round bout against Spiteful Brewing and MadTree qualifying against Great Lakes Brewing Co. Let’s get rolling.

Packaging Design

Zero Gravity’s Oktoberfest on the left and MadTree’s Ziegler on the right.

Zero Gravity leverages traditional design, but gives it their own spin. The black and white check is reminiscent of the Bavarian check you see at Oktoberfest. The black and white base with gold branding elements makes for a clean and eye-catching can.

MadTree’s Ziegler leans heavily into the blue-on-blue check you also see associated with tournament. In the background, anthropomorphic trees enjoy steins of brew. The all-white branding also makes a crisp contrast.

I really enjoy both cans, but I’m giving the edge to Zero Gravity as they’ve put their own twist on tradition and created a sleeker looking can. Running total: Zero Gravity 1-0 MadTree.

Aroma

Zero Gravity’s Oktoberfest offers a reasonably intense aroma. It’s sweet and biscuity with a pleasant warmth that lingers on the nose. It may not be typical of the seasonal style, but it smells great.

MadTree’s Ziegler offers a slightly more intense and more typical aroma. Sweet, malty and warm, it’s an excellent smelling brew. The heat sits on the nose.

Given the above descriptions, the edge has to go to MadTree here. Running total: Zero Gravity 1-1 MadTree.

Flavor

Zero Gravity’s brew opens mild but sees a rush of flavor on the backend. It’s sweet, malty and pleasantly bitter. The sweet and bitter combo sits on the aftertaste, seeing the sweetness dissipates slowly and leave a crisp bitterness in its wake. The two-phase aftertaste makes for a very enjoyable experience.

MadTree’s Ziegler offers a uniformly flavored experience from front to back. Mild, dry and malty, a slight sweetness and bitter base hold through the front, to the back, and on the aftertaste. A dry bitterness holds over time, but does not build. That mix of dry and mildly bitter saw me eaglet anticipating the next sip.

After a few more sips and some additional deliberation, the edge goes to MadTree. Running total: Zero Gravity 1-2 MadTree.

Body

Zero Gravity’s Oktoberfest is mid-bodied and smooth with a medium carbonation point. It’s an easy drinker but may bloat a tad.

MadTree’s Ziegler is light, slightly fluffy, smooth and sees a touch higher carbonation. It also may bloat a touch.

Zero Gravity’s Oktoberfest on the left and MadTree’s Ziegler on the right.

As you can see above, MadTree’s brew is slightly darker brew but both are somewhat opaque. Head retention is about the same, but Zero Gravity laced better.

With comparable mouthfeel and head retention, the slightest edge in lacing is a key differentiator. This point goes to Zero Gravity. Running total: Zero Gravity 2-2 MadTree.

People’s Choice

Tied at 2-2, we turn to People’s Choice polling to see who will take this bout.

Poll results: Zero Gravity 54% and MadTree 46%

A reasonably tight poll goes to Zero Gravity, having secured 54% of the vote. Running total: Zero Gravity 3-2 MadTree.

Results

This one went down to the wire, seeing Zero Gravity sneak through to Round 4 where they’ll meet Telluride.

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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