What We Ate and Drank at the 2024 Knott’s Berry Farm Bosyenberry Festival

Knott’s Berry Farm kicked off it’s annual Boysenberry festival back in early March, and this past weekend we were able to finally make it down to the park to check out all of this year’s offerings. The Boysenberry festival seems to get bigger every year, and 2024 is no exception with over 75 different dishes available. There are also even more boysenberry drinks, with beers from a range of different Southern California breweries, as well as ciders, seltzers, wine, and cocktails. Plus even more shows and entertainment. Obviously there was no way to try everything, but we wanted to highlight some of the drinks and eats we tried.

Boysenberry Bites

This year the park has a mix of things available on the tasting card ($55 for six food or drink tastes) and items only available a la carte. We went with the tasting card, so stuck to mostly that.

First up, the boysenberry barbacoa over mac and cheese. The biggest downside, and one we found on a lot of the savory dishes, was that I wanted more boysenberry flavor. But, aside from that, it was an excellent bowl with tender beef and solid mac and cheese. You won’t be unhappy with it, even if I wish it were a little more berry flavored.

Similarly, the boysenberry pulled pork over pastel de elote (Mexican corn cake) was really good, but not boysenberry enough for me. I’ll say I was really impressed by how good the pastel de elote was, I was expecting something dryer and blander it, but it was really rich and packed a ton of flavor. I would definitely recommend it, and it was maybe my favorite bite.

The boysenberry pulled pork is hiding the pastel de elote. It’s a generous bowl

The spam musubi was a solid musubi. If you’ve never had one, this isn’t a bad place to start, but I’m not sure it was too different from a regular spam musubi. It possible I did not drench it in enough of the boysenberry soy sauce it came with, but I would have liked a little boysenberry sauce mixed into the rice or glazing the piece of spam or something. A nice thing about it is it comes with 4 to a box, so easy to share with your group.

The other top taste for me was the beef and chorizo chili boysenberry poutine with cheese curds. I give lots of credit to Knott’s for this, mostly because of the use of real cheese curds! A rarity for lots of poutine in the US, and especially at theme parks. Good curds, freshly fried fries, and an incredibly generous helping of chili. Again, I wish it had more fruit flavor, but I’ll take it.

Real cheese curds! And a lot of chili and fries!

Of course, I’m realizing partly the lack of boysenberry might be my fault. Mostly I tried savory dishes, and usually heavy on the bbq aspect. It’s possible some of the other savory bites had more fruit forward flavor, and the desserts may have been much more boysenberry-y. But, one of the reasons I didn’t try desserts is that several of the ones we considered were sold out. So, if you’re there on a packed day at the park, aim for dessert first. The plus side of all of these, though, is that they are all very big portions. While $10 a bite sounds like a lot from the tasting card, each of these can easily be a meal. And $10 for a solid meal at a theme park isn’t a bad deal at all.

Boysenberry Drinks

While the fruit was lacking a little on the savory dishes, it’s very prominent on the drinks. And there are a lot of drinks. I counted six different boyenberry beers, a couple seltzers, an imperial cider, boysenberry wine, and a bunch of cocktails (some of which were on the tasting card, some only ala carte). I tried the boysenberry lager, boysenberry imperial cider, the Boysenberry Juice, Mint, and Cucumber Gin Spritzer, nd had tastes of some of the seltzers and other beers my friends ordered. For me personally, the lager was the best option, as it had a distinct fruit flavor but wasn’t too sweet. While the Imperial cider packed a lot of boysenberry, and a lot of alcohol, it was too sweet for my taste.

I also thought the regular boysenberry setlzer had a good balanced berry flavor, but the watermelon-boysenberry seltzer had too much of a generic seltzer flavor. The cocktails seemed to range from not very boozy (like my gin spritz) to very boozy (the rum runner), all with a decent amount of boysenberry. And the espresso martini looks like a dessert beverage, if sprinkles on your cocktail are your thing.

Basically, there’s a whole range of drinks for your tastes, and that’s not even including the non-alcoholic options. I also greatly appreciate that the beers are all made by local breweries, like Anaheim’s Brewery X or San Diego’s Karl Strauss.

Overall, everything we tried at this years Boysenberry Festival was solid, although I admit my choices were made partly off suggestions from people who had been already, so there may be a few misses elsewhere. And its nice to see so many options at the fesitval, a big contrast to Disney’s current Food & Wine festival at California Adventure which seems to have scaled way back on its offerings. The continued growth of the Boysenberry festival is great.

But, I’ll also warn you that the festival was packed. Admittedly, it was spring break, but it was also a Friday. If you’re planning to go on a weekend, maybe don’t expect to do much coaster riding. Maybe focus on food, drink, and entertainment during the festival, and aim for rides after the festival is over.

Coasters might be packed for the boysenberry festival, eat food instead.

Speaking of which, the festival continues until April 28 on Fridays-Sundays. The park is also offering special 1 day packages with a ticket and 3 item tasting card for the festival, which can be a good deal for non-pass holders. For more information on tickets, offerings, entertainment, and all that jazz head to the Knott’s Berry Farm website. And if you’ve been to the festival, let us know what your favorite foods were!