Photograph by Miguel Rivas, The Beer Trekker, Image via Five Boro Craft Beer Fest 

We’re fast approaching the end of the work week, and celebratory drinks are in order. But beyond Thirsty Thursday in the city — when you’ll likely encounter questionable dive bars and overpriced cocktails — plenty of annual drinking events are held across the five boroughs.

Granted, there are plethora of food festivals that also sell drinks. But, for the purposes of this list, we’re focusing on events where booze is a shining star. Whether your drink of choice is whiskey or artisan beer, enjoy an array of your favorite alcoholic beverages with these fun festivities. (NYC Beer Week also happens to be right around the corner if you’re keen on grabbing a brew):

10. NYC Craft Beer Festival

Since 2012, the New York City Craft Beer Festival has been a favorite among beer lovers and connoisseurs. Best yet, the event takes place not once, but twice a year — first in the spring and then again in the fall. Each season, the featured drinks are carefully curated to showcase the immense variety of craft beers, meads, ciders and spirits that are available in the city.

In addition, patrons will have the opportunity to interact with beer industry professionals and taste “one-off” cocktails they likely won’t find anywhere else. This year’s spring event takes place on April 20-21, and features 75 breweries and 150 craft beers. General admission will give you access to shopping and food vendors, 2.5 hours of unlimited tastings and a souvenir tasting glass.

9. NYC Winter Wine Festival

It may feel like spring, but winter isn’t over just yet. The ninth annual NYC Winter Wine Festival takes place inside Times Square’s PlayStation Theater on March 18, featuring artisanal eats and live music, but most importantly: hundreds of fine wines from New York State and around the world, curated by Vintry Fine Wines.

NYC Winter Wine Festival was listed by Thrillist as one of the 17 Things You Have to Do in Winter in New York City — and if that isn’t a selling point enough, perhaps selections from the world’s finest grape growing regions in France, Italy, South Africa and other countries will entice you.

8. Queens Beer Festival

The Queens Beer Festival — the borough’s first annual beer festival — is hosted by LIC Flea & Food, which organizes a variety of food-and-drink themed events every year, including the International Beer Festival and the Beer & Taco Get Down. While the event itself is hosted in Queens (with offerings from every Queens-based brewery), a curated selection of brews from Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island are also featured.

Although the dates are still unconfirmed for this year, we advise you to keep checking the LIC Flea & Food website to stay ahead of the game.

7. New York City Whiskey Feast

Whiskey Feast is hosted in cities nationwide, and you can bet that tickets sell out quickly. From Cannonball Productions, the creators of the Bacon and Beer Classic and Taco Takeover, Whiskey Feast highlights warming whiskey and original whiskey cocktails.

The “Feast” portion of its name refers to the variety of inventive comfort foods that will be offered to accompany your favorite drinks. In the past, events have also featured live DJs, spin art, a donut wall, photo booths and more. Stay tuned for dates for New York City.

6. The Brew Hop

The Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Fest Recap 2017 from Beacon Events on Vimeo.

ombines two unlikely past times: drinking and running. Start with a stretch and embark on a 5K dash through the course on Randall’s Island, where you’ll get the opportunity to see foliage and take in stunning waterfront views of the New York City skyline.

Once runners conquer the 5K, they are awarded with unlimited tastings from craft breweries, as well as live music, lawn games and amazing food vendors. If you need a little push to exercise, The Brew Hop might just give you the needed encouragement. After all, you’ll be awarded with beer after crossing the finish line.

5. Five Boro Craft Beer Fest

Photograph by Miguel Rivas, The Beer Trekker, Image via Five Boro Craft Beer Fest 

The fifth annual Five Boro Craft Beer Fest takes place on May 19th this year. With 50 local and out-of-state brewers and 100+ craft beer varieties, the Five Boro Craft Beer Fest claims to be unlike any other you’ve ever been to. According to its website, it was “started because MOST other Beer Festivals well, frankly, give beer Festivals a bad name.”

There are a number of wins at the Five Boro Craft Beer Fest: a) you’ll also receive a tasting glass, b) the beer will be served at the appropriate temperature and c) tickets are limited to ensure that there aren’t any lines for the drinks.

4. Beer, Bourbon & BBQ

The name of this festival is pretty self explanatory: the 9th annual “pork-out in the Big Apple” took place in January, featuring all the pleasures that Southerners live by. The event not only offered unlimited samplings of 60+ kinds of beer and 40+ kinds of bourbon, it also featured food tastings from pit masters and chefs from some of the city’s finest BBQ and Southern cuisine eateries (think pulled pork, brisket and ribs).

In addition to dining and drinking, seminars with master distillers, brewmasters and pit masters were held, and a selection of BBQ-related accessories were sold. Most notably, however, the event included a bacon eating contest and whole hogs (aka “Shrine of Swine”), so make sure to prepare yourself for next year.

3. NYC Brewers Choice

Alphabet City Beer Co, East Village

The 8th annual NYC Brewers Choice, presented by Beer Sessions Radio™, the Good Beer Seal, and the NYC Brewers Guild, takes place in July this year (specific date and venue to come). The outdoor festival will gather more than three dozen breweries this season for a celebrate of craft beer.

On the drinking and tasting menu are 40+ varieties of beer, and chefs’ tables with a variety of food options, including brisket and cheeses. This year, there’s also mention of award celebrations and “special VIP guests,” although that’s still TBA.

2. Best of Brooklyn Food and Beer Festival

The Best of Brooklyn Food and Beer Festival just rounded up its 2nd annual event, but it’s not to be missed next year. What makes this festival so unique is that patrons actually have a say in who and what is featured. Prior to the event date, thousands of businesses are nominated across 100+ categories, and the best of the best is ultimately showcased.

In 2017, this translated to 45,000 votes across 128 categories. As part of the festival, patrons enjoyed unlimited local craft beer tastings, 20+ of the best chefs and music from curated DJs all in one place.

1. Jersey City Whiskey Fest

Image via Jersey City Whiskey Fest

Although Whiskey Fest isn’t located in New York City, it’s just a stone’s throw away in Jersey City. Now in its second year, the event features unlimited samples of over 100 styles of whiskey and spirits, including Scotch, Irish, Tennessee, high-end rum and cognac. In addition to these beverages, food vendors and music is offered at the festival, which takes place inside Jersey City’s Harborside Plaza Atrium.

This means guests will also have the opportunity to see the beautiful New York City skyline while mingling among master distillers, blenders, and industry experts. You’ll also get a whiskey tasting glass — not only to sample the drinks, but also to take home as a souvenir.

Next, check out a few of NYC’s pet cafes and get to know the Shop Cats of NYC. Buy the book Shop Cats of New York on Amazon.