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'Best Brews of NYC' challenge names a winner

The city's five borough presidents wagered some iconic food on the outcome.

Harlem Brewing Company's Renaissance Wit was named the

Harlem Brewing Company's Renaissance Wit was named the "Best Brew of NYC" at Brookfield Place's winter biergarten Thursday night. Photo Credit: Brookfield Place / Shane Drummond

A "true taste of Harlem" has been crowned the "Best Brew of NYC" after a month-long competition pitting 14 of the city's top breweries against each other in four rounds at Brookfield Place's winter beer garden.

Harlem Brewing Company’s Renaissance Wit, a Belgium wheat beer, won the title from attendes voting for their favorite among five competitors in one final showdown on March 15. A panel of professional judges selected Kings County Brewers Collective’s Sonic Rocket, a West Coast-style IPA, as their pick for best brew.

Prizes for the Harlem-based brewer founded in 2000 include a planting of 1,000 daffodil bulbs in Manhattan, courtesy of the nonprofit New Yorkers for Parks, and a selection of each borough’s iconic eats.

The latter is the contribution of New York's five borough presidents and "team captains," who raised the stakes for “The 5 Borough Challenge: Best Brews of NYC" on Wednesday evening with these offerings: cannoli from Gino’s Pastry Shop in Belmont (Ruben Diaz Jr.); pickles from Brooklyn Brine (Eric Adams); chocolates from the Harlem Chocolate Factory (Gale Brewer); pastries from Leo’s Latticini Mama in Corona (Melinda Katz); and pizza from Lee’s Tavern in Dongan Hills (James Oddo). 

“Brooklyn’s breweries are the envy of the world — and we intend to keep it that way,” Adams said in a statement egging on the competition Thursday morning.


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