Similar to the rise of craft rye whiskey, local craft hard cider has continued to grow in popularity, enabled by initiatives out of Albany that encouraged the growth and proliferation of hard cideries. Several new cider-centric bars are opening this fall and October also sees the return of Cider Week, the annual week-long celebration of all things associated with boozy fruit.

Each year, cider-makers descend on NYC to throw lavish cider dinners, cider happy hours, cider walk around tasting events and other ways to interact with and sample ciders made predominantly in New York State. Below, a few highlights of this year's events schedule. (Note: irritatingly, the Cider Week website does not always allow for linking directly to individual events, so you'll have to scroll the "Happenings" page manually.)

The popular Applepalooza event isn't happening this year, but there are several large tasting events on the docket. First up, Eataly NYC Downtown's Cider & Beer Fest (Wednesday, October 18th, 6 - 9 p.m., tickets $50), which bucks with tradition a bit because these are Italian ciders and beers. However, cider is cider, and you'll get unlimited pours of it plus "savory fall pairings" from the kitchen. Then, Jimmy Carbone of Jimmy's No. 43 throws a Ciderfeast (Saturday, October 28th, 1 - 4 p.m., tickets $45) at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg. The all-inclusive event features over 10 cider brands, plus some craft beer; demos; live music; and cheese, roasted pork, vegetarian bites, and more food.

Bad Seed, one of two dedicated cider bars opening in Brooklyn this fall, celebrates its Tap Room Grand Opening (Friday, October 20th, 1 - 5 p.m.) on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights. The tap room will pour ciders from the Bad Seed cidery out of Highland, NY, plus 20 other craft ciders and beers originating in the Hudson River Valley. Expect all day happy hour ($5 drafts) plus some exclusive perks for party attendees.

Cider's natural pairing with cheese will be exploited at several cheese-and-cider pairings, starting with Naked Flock Cider Tastings at Lucy's Whey (Saturday, October 21st, noon - 2 p.m.) and Malt & Mold (Saturday, October 21st, 3 - 6 p.m.). Then Murray's Cheese hosts American Fine Cider and Cheese (Thursday, October 26th, 6:30 - 8 p.m., tickets $80) with cider samples made from rare heirloom and tannic apple varieties sourced from the East Coast, alongside cheeses selected by a Murray's expert that showcase the terroir of both the ciders and the cheese. Murray's will also host a Cider Cocktails and Cheese event (Saturday, October 28th, 1 - 2:30 p.m., tickets $85).

Cider Week runs officially from October 20th - October 29th; see the full lineup of events here.