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“Cider Week is one of New York’s best kept secrets,” says Ben, a cider connoisseur and WestHouse staff member. Falling in the thick of the holiday season, it’s easy to lose sight of this annual week-long cider celebration. But Ben highly recommends the festival for a uniquely seasonal and delicious treat that also supports local farmers and cider makers.

“When harvest arrives, I immediately think of cider,” says Ben. “While many of my friends and colleagues start arranging their wine tasting plans, I daydream about my next cider.”

“Whether crisp or dry, sparkling or still, I appreciate how a really good cider can put me in the mood of the season. Cider week is the perfect time to learn more about local cider makers, taste new bottles and brews and experiment with inventive pairings.”

Here are the events that Ben is looking forward to this year:

Cider and Cheese Pairing at Campbell Cheese & Grocery

“Led by Seth Jones of East Hollow Cider, this free event at Williamsburg’s family-run, neighborhood shop and kitchen will feature the best cheeses, meats and sundries that pair with this small-farmed cider from Petersburg. With their brews made from local wild apples, old orchards and a hand-picked selection of heirloom and cider apples, East Hollow’s event promises to be the perfect introduction to a cider-filled week.”

Lower East Cider Fest at the Essex Street Market

“For one night only, the city’s most historic public market will transform into a cider showcase, highlighting farmers, owner-operated businesses, diverse ciders and specialty bites. With the space transitioning into a new development next spring, this is one of the final opportunities to experience this pre-war market in its original glory.”

Falling for Cider Cocktails at the Astor Center

“It’s rare to see cider incorporated into the average cocktail menu, which is why I’m particularly excited to see this cocktail-inspired event on the week’s lineup. A two hour long class with instructor Jenn Smith will demonstrate hands-on how the diverse fermentation styles of cider pair with various cocktails. Learn about cider history and traditions while honing your cider cocktail-making techniques.”

Bushwick Cider Festival and Market at the Brooklyn Cider House

“As the official close-out event of the week, the Brooklyn Cider House will convert their 12,000 square foot space into a cider-dedicated market. With live music, more spectacular drinks and food and an interactive barrel ‘catch’ room, cider week is sure to go out with a bang.”