‘Best Brews of NYC’ challenge names a winner

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.