Master of Marzen 2021 – 3rd Place Final: Telluride Brewing Co. vs. 4 By 4 Brewing Company

The 3rd Place Final of Master of Marzen 2021 sees Telluride Brewing Co. (Colorado) vs. 4 By 4 Brewing Company (Missouri).

Telluride are first-time entrants and 4 By 4 return from their inaugural Master of Marzen in 2020. These are two remarkable beers that earned their spot in the top four, let’s see how this one plays out.

Packaging Design

Telluride’s OktoberFISH on the left and 4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! on the right.

Telluride’s OktoberFISH is a brilliant mix of tradition and personality. They lean into the Oktoberfest branding, dressing their can in lederhosen and including a Bavarian-check shirt. Use of German flag colors for the title and lower section of the can is a pleasant touch.

4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! leverages an interesting pattern of Oktoberfest and fall iconography that’s appropriately colored in yellow, brown and orange. It stands out prominently against a dark grey background.

Both are interesting designs, but I find it hard to top Telluride’s lederhosen-adorned design. Running total: Telluride 1-0 4 By 4.

Aroma

Telluride’s OktoberFISH offers a powerful aroma. It leans heavily into the earthy and dry qualities of the toasted malts. A pleasant warmth sits and lingers.

O’Zapft Is! offers a milder aroma. It also leans into the malts and warmth. The aroma is not as deep, but there’s a pleasant warmth that holds.

Given the depth and textbook nature, this one goes to Telluride. Running total Telluride 2-0 4 By 4.

Flavor

OktoberFISH punches you in the mouth. It opens with an aggressively earthy and flavorful brew that really leverages the best from the malty profile. A dry and slightly bitter quality lingers on the aftertaste, building a smidge between sips.

O’Zapft Is! opens mild but closes intense. It’s earthy and dry, leaving a somewhat bitter backend that ebbs and flows between sips.

Both are excellently flavored brews, so the rollercoaster of flavor sets 4 By 4 slightly ahead here. Running total: Telluride 2-1 4 By 4.

Body

Telluride offers a thin-bodied and bitey brew with a low carbonation. It’s a smooth drinker that is an excellent vehicle for a ton of flavor.

O’Zapft Is! is a light and smooth brew with a low carbonation point that liberally coats the mouth.

Telluride’s OktoberFISH on the left and 4 By 4’s O’Zapft Is! on the right.

As you can see above, 4 x 4’s brew is considerably darker colored. Both are mostly translucent. The head retention is pretty comparable, but 4 By 4 is the clear leader in terms of lacing.

While the 4 By 4 isn’t quite as smooth, it’s pretty close. I think their lead on lacing and tie on foam retention sees them edge through here. Running total: Telluride 2-2 4 By 4.

People’s Choice

Tied at 2-2, we turn to the People’s Choice polling to declare a winner.

Poll results: Telluride 44% and 4 By 4 56%.

As you can see, this was reasonably competitive but 4 By 4 secured enough vote to take the point. Running total: Telluride 2-3 4 By 4.

Results

Two awesome beers made it very late into the tournament. A big thank you to bother breweries and a congratulations to 4 By 4 for their 3rd place result.

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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