Bring this local stuff to your 4th of July cookout

Attending a 4th of July cookout can be stressful, let me alleviate some of your anxieties.

Throwing parties can be stressful, but, I’d argue, even attending parties carries with it a bucket of anxieties. What do you wear (red, white, and/or blue, baby!)? What do you do with your hands (fill them with a beer!)? What do you do when you inevitably run into your ex(es) (try not to cry!)? And, maybe most stressful, how do you contribute to the consumables?

To help with the last one, I give you my suggestions for what one should bring when invited to a 4th of July cookout. I’ve them separated into categories which I sorted by importance.

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  • Blue Bee Cider; Charred Ordinary — I asked my cider-drinking pal which Blue Bee she’d recommend, and she said “literally all of them.” This was super unhelpful, and now we are no longer speaking.
  • Hardywood; Cream Ale — A classic-style beer to drink on a classic-style American holiday. Also, if you can find their Bohemian Pils on tap, fill a couple of growlers immediately.
  • Wineworks; Box of Viognier — Wine in a box, you say? I do say, especially when it’s made by Virginia’s wine making paladin Michael Shaps. With a box, you save a couple of bucks, and it balances nicely on the edge of a table.


  • Shyndigz; Strawberry lemon cake — Fact: lemons are the best flavor around. Also, this monstrous cake will fit the holiday’s red-white-and-blue color scheme while smugly dominating the rest of the dessert table
  • Sugar Shack Donuts; Apple fritters — Three or four years ago it might have seemed weird to bring doughnuts to a party in Richmond, now it almost seems weird not to bring them. The apple fritters here are massive (cut them in half), delicious, and as American as apple pie.
  • Proper Pie Co.; Dutch apple pie — Sorry USA, the Dutch version of this American classic is better. Deal with it.

Side dishes

  • Mosaic; Signature dips (PDF) — Man I love dips. The Signature Dip situation from Mosaic comes with everything you need to slip successfully into a deep dip coma.
  • Pickled Silly; Sampler — Pickling is by far the most delicious of the ways to preserve food. Pick up this sampler to prove to your dumb friends that just about anything made of matter can be pickled deliciously.
  • Billy Bread; Loaf — When you bring a crusty loaf of bread to a party, you’re basically saying “Friends, I think too highly of you to let you use mere plastic spoons. Please, use this delicious, edible spoon I call ‘bread’, instead.” You can never have enough bread at a party.

For the grill

  • SausageCraft; Saturday Nite — The perfect sausage, and I’m quoting here, “to soak up alcohol late on a Saturday night.” If you can’t find the Saturday Nite, try the San Miniato, which are a bit smaller (but twice as adorable).
  • Yellow Umbrella; um…a fish? — Here’s what you do, go into Yellow Umbrella and speak these words to the person working there: “I must grill and serve a sea creature for me and my friends. Help me to do this please?” They’ll take it from there, and you’ll walk out with something both delicious and impressive.
  • Ellwood Thompson’s; Corn — Yeah that’s right. Corn. Leave the husks on, soak them in water for a bit, and then grill them until you feel good about yourself. Oh, also slather them in butter–that’s a critical step.

Photo by: Another Pint Please…

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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