By Justine Sterling
Updated June 17, 2015
© Paulette Sinclair / Alamy

Beer fests are great, but they’ve been sadly lacking in exotic wildlife and the possibility of getting mauled by a beer-crazy sea lion—until now. This Friday and Saturday, New York City’s Central Park Zoo will host Lions, Tigers & Brews—the first beer fest to ever take place there. The inaugural Lions, Tigers & Brews was held at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo last year and was a great success (translation: people had fun, drank great beer and no one tried to drunkenly cuddle a tiger).

General admission ($49) includes unlimited beer tastings from 60 regional craft breweries, a souvenir beer glass and entry into an animal-themed costume contest. Sadly, most of the animals will be asleep by the time the party gets going, which is why those who want to drink with animals should pay the extra $20 for VIP entry. That will get you into the park an hour earlier, at 7 p.m., and access to the sea lion show, the tropics zone (that means lemurs, y’all!) and the penguin house. Food is not included in the ticket price but will be available for purchase from local spots like Wafels & Dinges, Tres Carnes and Luke’s Lobster (especially appropriate after watching the sea lions slam buckets of fish).

For those who want to really commit to the fest’s wildlife theme, here are some of the best animal-centric beers that will be available:

  • Trout Town Red Ale
  • Sea Dog Sunfish
  • Otter Creek Backseat Berner
  • Victory Golden Monkey
  • Thirsty Dog Labrador Lager
  • Lion Imperial Pilsner
  • Radiant Pig East Side Rapture Pale Wheat
  • Happy Elephant Thai Wheat
  • Sly Fox Grisette