A Brooklyn brewery has once again been judged to have the best craft beer in New York state.
Threes Brewing learned Wednesday that it won the top prize, the Governor’s Excelsior Cup, at New York’s annual Craft Beer Competition — its second prize in the competition’s two-year history. A team of 43 judges deemed the Belgian farmhouse-style “Passing Time” ale the best beer in the state based on a blind taste test. The fledgling competition took place in Rochester at the Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Great New York State Fair.
Threes has had great success over the first two editions of the competition, as its European-style pilsner “Vliet” came out in front of 700 other beers to win the competition in 2017.
“Passing Time” was the best of 642 entries from 120 breweries representing 40 different styles of beer. The Excelsior Cup winner was selected from the gold medal beers in each category.
“There’s a real renaissance going on in New York state for craft breweries,” Joshua Stylman, co-founder and CEO of Threes Brewing, said. “New York was at one time kind of the king of brewing in the United States going back to the Prohibition era.”
Stylman joined the resurgence when he opened Threes Brewing in December 2014. Since then, it has created more than 60 beer styles with groovy names like “Gender Neutral” (pale ale with lemon zest) and “I Hate Myself” (an IPA). The state champion, “Passing Time,” is the brewery’s table beer aged in a stainless steel tank with wild yeasts and souring bacteria.
“It’s cool to remake something that’s kind of a staple in our portfolio and then shift it in a different style,” Stylman said. At 4.5 percent alcohol by volume, it is a light grisette. “It’s a little funky, a little tart, and it’s a really great multipurpose beer.”
Stylman’s two bars are located in Gowanus and Greenpoint, and he said that there is no better place to brew.
“We’re really lucky to be in a state that’s really supportive of local brewing,” he said. “It’s a really great place to make beer.”