Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 3, Bout 6: 4 By 4 Brewing Company vs. Elmhurst Brewing Co.

Round 3, Bout 6 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees 4 By 4 Brewing Company (Missouri) vs. Elmhurst Brewing Company (Illinois).

4 By 4 are returning for their second Master or Marzen tournament and qualified for this Bout after their previous round clash with the Fermentorium. Elmhurst are first time entrants who progress from their Round 2 clash with Jack’s Abby. Let’s get this rolling.

Packaging Design

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

4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! can features a dark background with an interesting Oktoberfest and fall-inspired pattern. Complete with kegs and steins, it’s appropriately fall-colored.

Elmhurst shows some amazing personality while honoring tradition. A lederhosen-adorned can also features a Bavarian-check button down. It’s a real eye grabber.

Both are great cans in their own right, but the personality of Elmhurst’s can design pushes them over the top. Running total: 4 By 4 0-1 Elmhurst.

Aroma

4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! is a powerfully aroma’d brew. Deep and earthy, it has a slight warmth to it that lingers for some time. The aroma is quite dry and somewhat smokey.

Elmhurst’s Oktoberfest is an equally powerful smelling brew. It’s also deep, rich and malty, but it’s particularly warm. That warmth lingers and tickles the nose for some time.

After a few more sips, the very similar brews are separated in favor of 4 By 4 for having a slightly better balance on the warmth. Running total: 4 By 4 1-1 Elmhurst.

Flavor

O’Zapft Is! opens quite mild but sees an intense rush of flavor on the backend. It’s deep, malty and earthy. Slightly dry, the earthy quality holds for quite some time on the backend and builds a bit from each sip. Clean and flavorful, it’s particularly moreish.

Elmhurst’s Oktoberfest also opens mild, seeing a similar late rush of flavor. It’s earthy and slightly vegetal, seeing a mostly dry and somewhat earthy aftertaste. A much milder backend makes for a less intense aftertaste that does not build at all.

On the balance, I think the backend flavor and aftertaste are slightly more enjoyable on the 4 By 4, hence their receiving this point. Running total: 4 By 4 2-1 Elmhurst.

Body

O’Zapft Is! is a light, crisp and clean-bodied brew with a mid-level carbonation point. That carbonation makes for quite an invigorating and refreshing experience.

Elmhurst’s brew is mid-bodied, smooth and has a lower carbonation point that makes for a tremendously easy drinking brew. It coats the mouth particularly well.

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

As you can see above, both brews have comparable coloration, but 4 By 4’s is much more translucent. The head retention and lacing is fairly comparable, although 4 By 4 might hold a slight edge here.

Placing more weight on the mouthfeel, I think Elmhurst’s smoothness and drinkability makes up for their gap on head retention and lacing. Running total: 4 By 4 Brewing 2-2 Elmhurst.

People’s Choice

All tied up, let’s see who will take the People’s Choice.

Poll results: 4 By 4 59% and Elmhurst 41%.

As you can see above, 4 By 4 took this poll with 59% of the vote. Running total: 4 By 4 3-2 Elmhurst.

Results

A back-and-forth tournament went all the way down to the wire. Ultimately, 4 By 4 emerged the winner and now move onto a Round 4 Bout against Freetail.

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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