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MAYS LANDING - Atlantic Cape Community College held what school officials hope will be the first of many South Jersey Craft Beer, Food and Music festivals on Saturday.

“We are excited; it’s a brand new event,” said Jenny Ayres, assistant director of auxiliary services and special events at Atlantic Cape Community College. “Our goal is to bring people here who don’t typically come out to the campus.”

The festival attracted 10 local breweries that included Tomfoolery Brewing Company of Hammonton, Three 3’s Brewery of Hammonton and the Garden State Beer Company of Galloway.

The festival was broken down into two sessions, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Both sessions included craft beers, food and music. The musical guest for the afternoon session was local band Juicy and the musical guest for the evening session was Geri Mingori.

“I wanted to participate because it’s associated with the college,” said Tomfoolery Brewery owner Shawn Grigus, who received his food certificate from the college. In honor of the day’s festivities, Grigus brought in two specialty beers. The first one was called “Molé Mexicana Stout”, which Grigus described as a chocolate, chili and cinnamon stout. “It is not as hot as it sounds” said Grigus, though he did admit there was a bit of a kick. The other beer was called “Sun Grown.”

“Sun Grown is hoppy, with citrus and mosaic hops,” said Grigus.

The idea for a craft beer festival began being floated around about a year ago amongst the staff at the college and has been in the process of being organized for at least six months.

“There’s nothing like it in this area,” said Ayres about why they decided to host a craft beer festival.

For public relations and social media specialist Amanda McCullough, organizing the event was a happy learning experience.

“It’s been really exciting for me to learn about the industry,” said McCullough, who had no previous knowledge about the craft beer industry. McCullough also was happy to see the festival bring more people to the college. “It has brought a new group to the college.”

It was clear from the smiles on their faces that Ayres and McCullough were excited about the college hosting the event.

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