The Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival is almost upon us and event producer Jon Henderson of Good Time Tricycle Productions has created Atlantic City Beer Week, a series of beer- and beverage-related programs hosted by local and regional establishments with the sole purpose of celebrating craft beer leading up to the main event March 29-30 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
One of the spotlight events of the week is the Foraged & Fermented Gourmet Dinner and Beer Pairing 6 p.m. March 27 at Cardinal Bistro in Ventnor that will benefit the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch. This fine-dining experience will feature foraged local delicacies paired with unique craft beer from six New Jersey breweries and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the food bank. The dinner is being curated by Chef Michael Brennan of the Cardinal Bistro and Chef Pam Green, executive chef of The Sheraton of Atlantic City, both of whom are no strangers to supporting this organization. South Jersey Beer Scene will be one of the co-hosts of the event and helped to recruit Atco, Slack Tide, Tuckahoe, Ludlam Island, Eight & Sand and Czig Meister to participate in the dinner.
“We wanted to host a dinner where the food can hold up to the beer and their individual flavors. We are taking components used in the brewing process and adding them to the food. The brewers are craftsman in their field, and we wanted to showcase the art involved. This dinner is going to redefine what beer dinners are meant to be,” Chef Brennan said.
This is not your father’s beer. The breweries all are bringing something unique to complement the food that is being prepared. There will be a smoked beer, a beer infused with long hots, two sour beers, an award-winning Belgian and an IPA infused with Marshmallow Fluff to complement the dessert course. The spirit of community and giving back is something that is universal in the brewing community. In addition to the beer, the breweries are providing glassware for each course that attendees can take home as a thank you.
Renate Taylor, development director of the food bank, said, “Chef Michael Brennan has continuously supported the CFBNJ because he understands that the CFBNJ Southern Branch is feeding the hungriest kids in the state of New Jersey.”
South Jersey has some of the most hungry kids in the state. Taylor said Cape May County is number one in the state, followed closely by Atlantic County in second and Cumberland County in fourth. “19.82 percent of our kids are hungry. Food and hunger is a serious health issue for children.”
The organization survives on donations and events from the local community, and for every dollar raised it is able to buy $8 of food though food exchanges and other programs available to it. In addition to the pantry at the Egg Harbor Township location, the money raised will help fund the Mobile Pantry Program, Kids Cafes and a Summer Nutrition Program to bridge the gap for those children who receive free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year.
Tickets are $100 each and are available at cfbnj.org.