Grisette, an old style of beer that’s recently seen a resurgence among craft brewers, originated in Belgium and is essentially a low-ABV saison. Where it differs from its higher-alcohol cousin, however, is in its raw ingredients (usually wheat), mixed culture fermentation techniques, and bitter minerality. Threes Brewing’s Passing Time grisette is only the second beer of this style I’ve had the chance to taste. A 2018 winner of the Governor’s Excelsior Cup for the best beer in New York state, Passing Time’s “lightness in alcohol (4.5% ABV) and tartness help make this a truly multi-purpose beer,” according to Threes.
Appearance and Aroma
Threes Brewing’s bottle art for Passing Time depicts a black silhouette of a person walking through red and white sand dunes backed by blue skies. The beer pours as a pale blonde liquid with an effervescent, off-white foam that quickly dissipates. I pick up aromatics of hay and grainy malt accompanied by lemon and an herbal, earthy character as a swirl the beer in my glass.
Hands down, this is a grisette not to forget.”
Thanks to a blend of wild yeasts and souring bacteria, Passing Time has vibrant flavors. Fresh dough and raw wheat with a slight Brettanomyces barnyard “funk” come through at the start. As the beer makes its way across my palate, I pick up citrusy notes of lemon-lime, melon rind, and spritz on the back end. It ends with a bone-dry, minerally finish.
After working my way through a 500-milliliter bottle of Passing Time, I conclude that this beer is both extremely refreshing and tantalizing on the palate. Despite not having a huge field of reference for the style, I’m already wishing I had more than one bottle. Hands down, this is a grisette not to forget.