Background: This study evaluated the effects of acute high-dose and chronic lifetime exposure to alcohol and exposure patterns on the development of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). Methods: The Thyroid Cancer Longitudinal Study (T-CALOS) included 2,258 DTC patients (449 men and 1,809 women) and 22,580 healthy participants (4,490 men and 18,090 women) who were individually matched by age, gender, and enrollment year. In-person interviews were conducted with a structured questionnaire to obtain epidemiologic data. Clinicopathologic features of the patients were obtained by chart reviews. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were estimated using conditional regression models. Results: While light or moderate drinking behavior was related to a reduced risk of DTC, acute heavy alcohol consumption (151 g or more per event or on a single occasion) was associated with increased risks in men (OR = 2.22, 95%CI = 1.27-3.87) and women (OR = 3.61, 95%CI = 1.52-8.58) compared with never-drinkers. The consumption of alcohol for 31 or more years was a significant risk factor for DTC for both men (31-40 years: OR = 1.58, 95%CI = 1.10-2.28; 41+ years: OR = 3.46, 95%CI = 2.06-5.80) and women (31-40 years: OR = 2.18, 95%CI = 1.62-2.92; 41+ years: OR = 2.71, 95%CI = 1.36-5.05) compared with never-drinkers. The consumption of a large amount of alcohol on a single occasion was also a significant risk factor, even after restricting DTC outcomes to tumor size, lymph node metastasis, extrathyroidal extension and TNM stage. Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that the threshold effects of acute high-dose alcohol consumption and long-term alcohol consumption are linked to an increased risk of DTC.