Coffee and beer — one wakes us and the other sends us to our slumber. Oh, how we’d suffer without these dark elixirs. This weekend the two lifebloods upon which modern civilization hath been built receive their due celebration in the form of the New York Coffee Festival, taking place at The 69th Regiment Armory, and the 5th Annual Village Voice Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival at the Brooklyn Expo Center.

New York’s self-described “flagship coffee event” runs through Sunday, and will feature over 70 different coffee suppliers, with an estimated 10,000 visitors in attendance. The festival, geared toward retailers and aficionados alike, will offer both coffee tastings along with a selection of programming in a section of the event called, “The Lab.” Basically, with a lineup of events including interactive demonstrations, workshops, talks and tastings from industry experts, “The Lab” is the port of call for anyone interested in exploring the intersection of art and science as it relates to all things coffee.
For some competitive caffeination, be sure to catch the Coffee Masters barista-championship. Launched in London earlier this year, Coffee Masters is the definitive “knockout battle” challenge that seeks to test barista’s skills in various disciplines from cupping to latte art. Along with the illustrious title, a $5,000 cash prize is also on the table.
With tickets starting at $20, all profits from the festival will be used to help offset the historically damaging environmental and social impacts of the coffee industry. Specifically, the festival hopes to raise “more than $1.5 million to deliver safe drinking water and sanitation projects for up to 100,000 people, specifically in coffee-producing countries in Africa.”

With Oktoberfest ever so far away,  The 5th Annual Village Voice Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival may likely be your next best bet. In standard fashion, the fest will offer tastes of over 120 craft beers from 67 breweries, most from the tri-state area. Here too, the spirit of competition abounds in the form of the “Samuel Adams Stein Hoist” competition, an event equal in prestige to its coffee counterpart, with at least half as much self-seriousness.
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The New York Coffee Festival will begin with an industry day on Friday, September 25th, and opening to the public on Saturday morning through Sunday. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Village Voice Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival takes place on Saturday, September 26th from 3:00PM – 6:00PM, with tickets going from $55 – $85, available here.