Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival: A Berry Bonanza Awaits

“A Taste of Boysenberry” custom flights gives guests the chance to choose from an extensive list of beers and cocktails to build their own flights.
Photo by Charly SHELTON


This spring, Knott’s Berry Farm is again painting the town purple with its annual Boysenberry Festival, continuing through April 28 on select dates. Celebrating the berry that started it all, the festival is a gastronomic delight, featuring over 75 boysenberry-infused dishes and drinks that promise a unique taste experience at every turn.

We were invited out to the Boysenberry Festival for opening day to see everything Knott’s has to offer, and we tried as much as we could. Boysenberry beer, boysenberry chocolate stuffed cookies, potato and corn chowder with boysenberry crostini and boysenberry drizzle, caprese stuffed portabella with a boysenberry balsamic drizzle, pork loin slices over mashed potatoes with a creamy boysenberry mustard sauce … the list goes on. ​The festival’s menu is a testament to culinary creativity and the berry that put Knott’s Berry Farm on the map over 100 years ago. Each dish embodies the festival’s commitment to delivering exciting new boysenberry treats year after year.

The Boysenberry Festival itself has become an institution with guests venturing down to Buena Park each year to partake in the boysenberry revelry. And with each passing year, the food gets better. The potato and corn chowder was particularly well done with a knockout chowder that is a great standalone dish, and the boysenberry drizzle brought just enough berryness to satisfy the festival theme without getting in the way and overpowering the chowder. The boysenberry pulled pork over pastel de elote is maybe the best in show with a delicious, sweet cornbread cake piled high with rich pulled pork which, while light on boysenberry flavor, is still good enough to remember for years to come.

But what struck me most about this year’s festival was an old standby – the boysenberry sausage. Each year, I gravitate toward the new, experimental, exciting foods of the fest. The boysenberry sausage has been there, year after year, while other menu items come and go. I haven’t revisited the sausage in several years, thinking it was “old hat.” Delicious old hat, but still. I got a sausage this year for the first time in what seemed like forever and was once again taken aback at how perfect it is – slightly sweet, subtly smoky, and a rich, toothsome character that hits like a hug from an old friend. There’s a reason it has stood the test of time for so many years from festival to festival.

But the best new revelation from this year’s festival was “A Taste of Boysenberry” custom flights. Choosing from an extensive list of beers and cocktails, guests can build their own flights to sample short pours of four selections to cover more items (without getting so tipsy). Whether it’s all boysenberry beers, all IPAs, all boysenberry cocktails or a mix of everything, this is a great way to get an overview and find your favorite that you can double down on for the next round. For instance, the Boysenberry Hurricane seems like a sure bet. But no, it was a letdown. Meanwhile, the Boysenberry Shortbread Cookie Ale sounds strange. But actually, it was surprisingly good – good enough to get a full pour. The flight is a great way to discover a new favorite drink with less risk. We enjoyed it so much we had two flights. And then some full pints of our favorites. Then we had to sit for a while.

Beyond the culinary delights, the Boysenberry Festival is a full-bodied experience with shows, live music and artisan craft vendors filling the park with joy and entertainment. It’s not just a celebration of the boysenberry but also an homage to the rich heritage of California’s first theme park.

For those looking to get the most out of their culinary adventure, the tasting card is an unbeatable deal. Priced at $55, the card offers six tastings from an array of boysenberry-inspired dishes and drinks with further menu items available a la carte.

Be sure to catch my full video review of the tasting experience on YouTube by scanning the attached QR code or searching for Charly Shelton/Zipahdeedoodad. With comprehensive coverage of all the best tastes, it’s your guide to making the most of this berry special event.

As Knott’s Boysenberry Festival runs through April 28, prepare to be immersed in a world where the boysenberry reigns supreme. From the savory to the sweet – and everything in between – it’s a feast for the senses that promises to make this spring unforgettable.