It’s week one and Wisconsin is in town looking for a big win to start their season. But, you don’t just come into Philadelphia and walk through a matchup. This is gonna be a tough fought battle, won by the team who can pound it out on the ground the best. No fancy pants wide-outs running fly patterns, or triple option flea-flickers in this one. Just classic, hard-nosed power.
Clarification: To decide who gets to go first I’ll flip a coin. Philadelphia always picks heads. The winner always defers to the second half (the better half, in my opinion). Game on!
Lakefront Oktoberfest vs. Sly Fox Oktoberfest – Battle of the Märzens
Philadelphia won the toss so Lakefront is up first.
Lakefront (LF) – Comes out strong with a crystal clear, beautiful amber/copper color with a mid sized white head.
Sly Fox (SF) – SF tries to counter LFs early strike with its own color profile of copper and a white head, but it come up just short. WHile it originally looks mighty pretty, upon further inspection it’s rather pale. WIll that missed extra point come in to play later in the match?
7-6. Lakefront leads after one.
LF – Has a pleasent aroma of toasty malts, medium sweet fruits, some caramel malt, and a touch of herbal hops. Solid.
SF – A much lighter aroma than LF. Light biscuit malts, honey, light caramel malts, too. Wasn’t expecting that honey aroma. Nice touch.
13-10. Sly Fox pushes one in for seven on the legs of honey and takes the lead.
LF – Has a crisp, medium thick body that is full of carbonation.
SF – Medium bodied. Super tiny bubbles really give it a bite.
16-13. Sly keeps it’s lead but this is anyones game. A slugfest for sure.
LF – Flavor has plenty of biscuit malts, caramel sweetness, some medium fruity sweetness, but not much in the way of earth or herbal hops that had a minor role in the aroma. I gotta say that I’m a little underwhelmed with with the flavor. Sure, it’s solid and there is nothing wrong, but it’s just a little dull.
SF – Again, SF is more muted. In this case that’s not a bad thing, though. While LF was full of flavor, it wasn’t all that great. SF isn’t great, either, but a bit better. Nice grains, sweet malts, a bit of toffee, and that honey comes back just slightly. Still, not enough to get in for seven.
19-16. Seems after some early fireworks, both beers have slowed down and just can’t get over that goal line.
LF – Overall I’d say this is a solid beer but not really memorable. It has some doughy malts, fruity sweetness, caramel malts, and in the aroma, a bit of herbal hops. It quenches the thirst, which is always a plus, but it’s just boring and I’ve nearly forgotten it already. Would I buy this again? Not if there is another Oktoberfest available to me. So, what started out promising with it’s gorgeous color really let me down with it’s substance.
SF – This is a nice beer, but I can’t say it’s in the upper ranks of Oktoberfests. It has distinct pale lager notes throughout because it’s flavor profile is really very muted. I liked the honey notes, but is that enough to really make this a beer to seek out? Maybe it’s just something about Sly Fox and my tastebuds that don’t get along too well. While I think their pilsener is an amazing beer I believe their pale ale is a beer I can really do without. The Oktoberfest is more drinkable than their pale, but it has some similar characteristics. Is it the yeast? I don’t know.
Final: 22-19. Sly Fox Oktoberfest wins week one of the Gridiron Showdown and making Philadelphia proud. It’s a solid beer and well brewed. It wasn’t without it’s first game jitters, though, and could improve on things down the line.
Philadelphia: 1-0. Up next: Philadelphia travels to Detroit – Philadelphia Newbold IPA @ Bells Two Hearted IPA
(I learned a lot during the week one showdown. I need to devote more time to these, take more photos, think about what I’m saying a bit more, and hopefully come up with solid and repeatable scoring guidelines. But, for week one I think it went pretty well. The rest of the season looks bright!)