Semi-Final 1 of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Hop & Barrel Brewing Company (Wisconsin) vs. Telluride Brewing Co. (Colorado).
Both are first-time entrants in the Master of Marzen tournament. Hop & Barrel emerged from their Round 4 clash with Hop & Sting and Telluride progressed from their previous round bout against Zero Gravity lol. Let’s see how this goes.
Both cans are up there with the best Oktoberfest seasonals.
Hop & Barrel’s Oktoberfest sees a Bavarian-check inspired background of blue hops on white. The foreground sees a Kaiser-dressed party goer complete with stein.
Telluride’s Can is dressed in lederhosen with a Bavarian-check shirt. It’s a great personality spin on tradition.
As mentioned before, both are awesome, but it’s hard to argue with lederhosen. This one goes to Telluride. Running total: Hop and Barrel 0-1 Telluride.
Hop and Barrel’s brew offers a pleasantly powerful aroma. A deep, malty backbone is accentuated by sweet and warm notes with a touch of earth. The warmth holds on the nose for some time.
OktoberFISH offers a punch to the senses. Dry, earthy and particularly warm, it lingers on (and clears out) the nose.
Telluride offers a more intense aroma that executes well, so they take this one. Running total: Hop & Barrel 0-2 Telluride.
Hop and Barrel offers a uniformly flavored experience throughout. Dry and earthy, it’s a pleasant mix of seasonal flavors. The earthy bitterness sits on the aftertaste and builds a little between sips.
Telluride’s OktoberFISH hits just as hard as its aroma would suggest. Dry, earthy and bitter from front to back, it really leverages the malts superbly. A milder version of the earthy bitter lingers and builds a little between sips.
I find the Hop & Barrel flavor profile to be slightly preferable, though both are simply superb. Running total: Hop & Barrel 1-2 Telluride.
Hop & Barrel’s brew is mid-bodied, smooth and has a low carbonation point. It coats the mouth liberally and is a tremendously easy to drink brew.
Telluride’s brew is a thinner, more carbonated brew with substantially more bite. It’s quite refreshing, snapping you to your senses.
As you can see above, Hop & Barrel has a darker brew. It also has a slight edge on foam retention and lacing.
Hop & Barrel is a smoother drinking brew and also leads on lacing, with head retention being a tie. Running total: Hop and Barrel 2-2 Telluride.
Tied at 2-2, a spot in the final awaits the awardee of the People’s Choice. Let’s see how that went.
As you can see above, Hop & Barrel set themselves apart here, securing 65% of the vote. Running total: Hop & Barrel 3-2 Telluride.
Two excellent brews made this Semi-Final. Hip & Barrel have booked a spot in the final against the winner of 4 By 4 vs. East Brother. Telluride will face the other brewery in the 3rd place final.
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.