Master of Marzen 2021 – Round 4, Bout 3: Freetail vs. 4 By 4

Round 4, Bout 3 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Freetail Brewing Co. (Texas) vs. 4 By 4 Brewing Company (Missouri).

Freetail make their third Master or Marzen appearance, having entered every iteration to date, an qualified after a third round bout against Twelve Guns. 4 By 4 returns for their second tournament and progressed from their previous bout with Elmhurst. Let’s see how this goes.

Packaging Design

Freetail’s Oktoberfiesta on the left and 4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! on the right.

Freetail’s can design highlights two major seasonal celebrations. A Día de los Muertos-esque figure poses in lederhosen, hoisting a Texan designed stein. A vibrant orange makes a great background.

4 By 4’s brew features and interesting design of fall and Oktoberfest icons. The imagery is colored in fall-appropriate orange and yellow against a dark grey background.

Both are great, but the edge for personality and celebration goes to Freetail. Running total: Freetail 1-0 4 By 4.

Aroma

Oktoberfiesta offers a reasonably intense aroma. With a deep malty backbone, a pleasant sweetness and pervasive warmth, it signals a great experience to come.

O’Zapft Is! offers a particularly intense aroma. Robust and full of toasted malts, it’s a pleasant mix of sweet and earthy with a mild warmth that holds on the nose.

Both are tremendous smelling brews, so intensity is the real differentiator here. With that said, this one goes to 4 By 4. Running total: Freetail 1-1 4 By 4.

Flavor

Oktoberfiesta opens mild but sees a rush of flavor on the backend. Dry, bready malts with a touch of hoppy bitterness makes for a pleasant mix of flavors. The dry bitterness holds on the backend, delivering a well-balanced and enjoyable aftertaste.

O’Zapft Is! kicks off with a bang. Deep, toasted malts present a mix of earthy bitterness and a mild sweetness. The earthiness holds through the backend and creates a tasty, bitter aftertaste that retains and builds.

After a few more sips, the edge goes to 4 By 4. A well-balanced and impressively powerful brew makes it a slightly preferable experience to the lighter and milder Freetail. Running total: Freetail 1-2 4 By 4.

Body

Oktoberfiesta is mid-bodied, smooth and soft. It has a reasonably high carbonation that, when combined with the soft body, makes for a very refreshing brew.

O’Zapft Is! is a little but lighter bodied, with a bit more bite. It has a slightly lower carbonation point. Light, bitey and low carb makes it an impressively drinkable vehicle for a pretty intense flavor.

Freetail’s Oktoberfiesta on the left and 4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! on the right.

As you can see above, Freetail is a much lighter colored brew. Freetail holds a edge on head retention and the lacing is pretty comparable.

Both mouthfeels are comparably enjoyable because of their respective differences. Given a slight edge in foam and lace, this one goes to Freetail. Running total: Freetail 2-2 4 By 4.

People’s Choice

Tied at 2 per piece, let’s see who is the People’s Choice.

Poll results: Freetail 38% and 4 By 4 62%.

As you can see, 4 By 4 took this point fairly handily with 62% of the vote. Running total: Freetail 2-3 4 By 4.

Results

There’s no easy Bouts this late in the tournament. Today’s victor, 4 By 4, now moves on to the Semi Finals where they’ll meet the winner of East Brother vs. Twisted Spike.

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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