New 2016 State Fair food, and Virginia craft beer to wash it down

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DOSWELL, Va. — The State Fair of Virginia starts Sept. 23 and brings with it 10 days of tantalizing treats to pair with entertainment and thrills.

Though some of the bestselling foods are the classic fried dishes, each year vendors and State Fair officials are in search of the “perfect fried food,” or exciting new dish, according to vice president of communications, Greg Hicks.

This year adventurous eaters can look forward to Bacon Pretzel Dog or chocolate-dipped corn on the cob – washed down with bacon ice tea.

Just make sure to do your dining before spinning around on one of the many rides.

For those who like breakfast for dinner, there’s Breakfast on a Stick—a bacon-wrapped sausage dipped in pancake batter and deep-fried. Or if you’d like something hardier for dinner, there is the Country Rib on a Stick.

Other new fare includes Philly Tots, which are deep-fried potato nuggets topped with shredded beef, Swiss cheese and green peppers; strawberry shortcake doughnuts; deep-fried cinnamon buns; crab and blue cheese burgers; s’more cobbler; and sweet quesadillas. A list of the vendors selling these dishes is here. 

The “butt fries” dish is one of Hicks’ favorites. That’s pulled pork slathered over steak fries, smothered with cheese sauces, topped with sour cream and sprinkled with scallions.

And of course, there are cotton candy and caramel apples!

And of course, there are cotton candy and caramel apples!

Those in pursuit of more traditional fair staples will not be disappointed. There will be no shortage of fair food staples, including funnel cakes of every variety—plain, red velvet, pumpkin and fruit-topped. There also will be plenty of corn dogs, Italian sausages, ribbon fries and deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies, cheesecake, candy bars and any number of other things that can be battered and fried.

In fact, deep-fried butter makes its triumphant return this year!

There also will be candied and caramel apples, cotton candy, kettle corn, pork parfaits and a variety of seafood, including gator bites.

All of these salty and sweet delights can be washed down with some of Virginia’s most choice craft breweries, along with a selection of Anheuser-Busch products.

Fairgoers can pair their foods with the following:

  • Virginia Midway, an American pale wheat ale from Midnight Brewery
  • Saison, a farmhouse-style ale from Ardent Craft Ales
  • Apple cider made with Virginia Granny Smith apples from Bold Rock Hard Cider
  • Oktoberfest, a classic Munich fest beer from Center of the Universe Brewing Co.
  • Pony Pasture, a Czech pilsner from Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
  • Great Return, a West Coast-style IPA from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
  • Vienna Lager from Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company
  • Grateful, an American pale ale from Starr Hill Brewery
  • Lil Hellion, a Bavarian lager from Brothers Craft Brewing
  • El Guapo, an agave IPA from O’Connor Brewing Co.

Another fair highlight this year is the wide variety of free, live music every day. The State Fair concert lineup will include country singer/songwriter Granger Smith, featuring Earl Dibbles Jr.; beach music from The Tams; rock classics from the Little River Band and Teaze; and an exciting finale from country rock band Carolina Gold.

Virginia singer/songwriter Kevin MaC will be performing what he calls his “southern swag” mix of country and hip-hop at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27. He’s opened for big industry names like Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Trace Adkins, Missy Elliott, Timbaland and J. Cole.

The full music schedule can be found here. 

The 2016 State Fair of Virginia will run from Sept. 23 through Oct. 2. Information is available at 

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