No fall Saturday down south would be complete without an epic tailgate spread, but September 10th has a few can’t-miss events: The Battle at Bristol and NASCAR’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at the Richmond Raceway. At the Battle at Bristol, Virginia Tech and the Tennessee Volunteers square off in the city that straddles the state lines.
If you plan on attending either the football face-off in Bristol or the race in Richmond, you may want to take your tailgating game to the next level with these eight Virginia-sourced foods and beverages. From oysters to hard cider cocktails, Bloody Marys to artisanal cheeses, here are eight simple ways to majorly step up your tailgate for the Battle at Bristol, the NASCAR race in Richmond, and sporting events occurring every Saturday this fall.
— SEASONAL VIRGINIA CRAFT BEERS —
Courtesy of Starr Hill Brewery
With more than 120 craft breweries around the state, Virginia is quickly becoming a premiere destination for craft beer lovers. Load up the cooler with some of these favorite seasonal beers from Virginia craft breweries:
- Hardywood Farmhouse Pumpkin (Richmond)
- Lost Rhino Rhin’O Fest Amber Lager (Ashburn)
- Starr Hill Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter (Charlottesville)
- Wolf Hills Creeper Trail Amber Ale (Abingdon)
- Smartmouth Alter Ego Saison (Virginia Beach)
— CHARCUTERIE PLATTER WITH CURED VIRGINIA MEATS —
Everyone knows Virginia has great ham, but did you know our purveyors produce some incredible products for your charcuterie platter, as well? Your spread is sure to wow your guests when you include some of our favorite Virginia-made selections:
- Organic hot chorizo from Olli Salumeria (Mechanicsville)
- Belmont Butchery Duck Confit (Richmond)
- S. Wallace Edwards & Sons Surryano Ham (Surry)
— MIMOSAS WITH VIRGINIA SPARKLING WINES —
No tailgate is complete without mimosas. Skip the André this year and pop some Virginia bubbly instead. These effervescent sparkling wines are sure to add some fizz and pop to your next get-together.
- Thibault-Jannison Virginia Fizz (Charlottesville)
- Ingleside Vineyards’ Virginia Brut (Oak Grove)
- Afton Mountain Vineyards’ Bollicine (Afton)
- Trump Winery’s Sparkling Blanc de Blanc (Charlottesville)
- Veritas Vineyard’s Scintilla (Afton)
- Chateau Morrisette Winery’s Star Dog (Floyd)
- Greenhill Winery’s Sparkling Blanc de Blancs (Middleburg)
— VIRGINIA ARTISANAL CHEESE PLATE —
Southern artisanal cheese is all the rage right now, and Virginia boasts some of the top purveyors on the East Coast. We say the stinkier the better, and these cheeses won’t disappoint. Wow your guests with artisanal cheese platters from Virginia’s very own cheesemongers:
- Caromont Farm’s Farmstead Chevre (Esmont)
- Mountain View Farm’s Jumpin’ Jack Cheese (Fairfield)
- Our Lady of Angels Monastery’s Gouda (Crozet)
- Sullivan’s Pond Farm’s Chesapeake Bleu (Wake)
- Everona Dairy’s Everona Piedmont (Rapidan)
— SCREWDRIVERS WITH VIRGINIA CRAFT CIDER —
Virginia’s up-and-coming craft cider scene has the culinary world all abuzz, and our delicious and flavorful craft ciders make for an interesting twist on the classic Screwdriver cocktail. Try this recipe at your next tailgate!
- 5 oz. orange liqueur
- 1 oz. orange juice
- 12 oz. of your favorite Virginia craft cider, from Bold Rock (Nellysford), Foggy Ridge (Dugspur), Blue Bee (Richmond), Ciderworks (Winchester), Potter’s (Free Union), or Castle Hill (Keswick).
— SLICED VIRGINIA APPLES WITH CARAMEL DIP —
Juicy, fresh-picked apples are hard to beat. For a sweet treat, serve up sliced Virginia apples with a yummy caramel dip. You can even pick the apples you serve at one of Virginia’s many U-Pick farms across the state. Check out our handy apple-picking guide to plan your trip.
— BLOODY MARYS WITH VIRGINIA CRAFT SPIRITS —
Blue Crab Bay Co.’s Sting Ray Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
Some die-hard football fans start tailgating in the early morning. When that’s the case, Bloody Marys are a must. To add a very Virginia twist to your Bloody Mary, try adding these Virginia-made craft vodkas:
- Great Dismal Distillery’s Silverfox Vodka (Norfolk)
- Cirrus Potato Vodka (Richmond)
- Chesapeake Bay Distillery Blue Ridge Vodka (Virginia Beach)
- Silverback Distillery Beringei Vodka (Afton)
Pro tip: Want to make your Bloody extra spicy? Be sure to add some Virginia-made hot sauce for an extra kick. Just look for that Virginia’s Finest label, or click here.
— VIRGINIA OYSTERS —
Did you know Virginia is the Oyster Capital of the East Coast? Boasting seven oyster regions with seven distinct flavors, Virginia’s oysters are some of the best in the world. But you don’t have to be seaside to enjoy these succulent bivalves. Whether served raw, roasted, fried, or Rockefeller, our Virginia oysters are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Serve at your tailgate while you daydream of your next vacation to Coastal Virginia by slurping oysters from some of these oyster farms:
- Rappahannock River Oyster Company (Topping)
- H.M. Terry Company (Willis Wharf)
- Shooting Point Oysters (Franktown)
- Pleasure House Oysters (Virginia Beach)
- Anderson’s Neck Oyster Company (Shacklefords)
- Bevans Oyster Company (Kinsale)
- White Stone Oyster Company (White Stone)
What are some of your favorite Virginia-made tailgate dishes? Did we forget your go-to? Be sure to leave them in the comments section below!