Round 4, Bout 4 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees East Brother Beer Co. (California) vs. Twisted Spike Brewing Company (Oklahoma).
East Brother are first-time entrants who progressed from their third round bout against Real Ale. Twisted Spike are the defending champions from 2020 and qualified for Round 4 after their bout against Chilly Water. Let’s get rolling.
East Brother boasts a clean and sleek looking can. An off-white background hosts minimal text and branding in a vibrant fall orange. It’s a pleasant and eye catching can.
Twisted Spike’s Can leans into tradition, featuring a prominent wooden keg against a Bavarian-check background. Bright yellow elements make a solid contrast.
Both are great in their own way, but I’m giving this point to the sleeker design that is East Brother’s. East Brother 1-0 Twisted Spike.
East Brother’s Festbier offers a sweet and crisp aroma. Malty, floral and warm, it telegraphs a pleasant brew and offers a much stronger aroma than its light color may suggest.
Spiketoberfest is a more intensely aromatic brew. With a deep, robust toasted malt base, it’s sweet and warm. It’s pretty close to a textbook Oktoberfest brew.
On the balance of intensity, given both are pleasant in their own way, this one goes to Spiketoberfest. Running total: East Brother 1-1 Twisted Spike.
East Brother’s Festbier opens slightly mild but is quickly supported by an amazingly intense backend. Clean, bready malts with a touch of sweetness add a pleasant complexity. The aftertaste sees the sweetness dissipates quickly, resulting in a dry and slightly bitter back end that’s very enjoyable.
Spiketoberfest is a powerhouse of flavor from the jump. A robust baseline of toasted malts supports an elegant mix of sweet and earthy. It’s a particularly enjoyable brew that hits many of the notes you would expect of an Oktoberfest seasonal brew.
East Brother does a lot of things well, buts it’s ever-so-slightly edged out by the defending champ. Running total: East Brother 1-2 Twisted Spike.
East Brother’s Festbier is light-bodied, clean and smooth. It’s supported by a reasonable level of carbonation that makes it very refreshing without being overwhelming. I really enjoy this mouthfeel.
Spiketoberfest is mid-bodied and smooth, coating the mouth liberally. It has a lower carbonation and a slight boozy heat that really rounds out the experience.
As you can see above, both beers are comparable in color and transparency. East Brother is a clear leader in both head retention and lacing.
Each beer is different, but genuinely enjoyable in terms of mouthfeel. When it comes to lace and foam, East Brother does enough to set it ahead here. Running total: East Brother 2-2 Twisted Spike.
Tied at 2-2, the People’s Choice poll will be the decider. Let’s see how that went.
This was the highest vote total in Master of Marzen history, seeing East Brother take 57% of the vote (348) to Twisted Spike’s 43% (266). The support shown just indicates how special both of these brews are. With that said, East Brother takes this deciding point. Running total: East Brother 3-2 Twisted Spike.
Two remarkable beers entered, but East Brother were able to squeak by the defending champs. Next, they’ll meet 4 By 4 in the semifinals.
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.