History of Boysenberry

Since release, our Boysenberry Sour has swooned both enthusiastic sour beer fans as well as hardened sour misanthropes.  With a near cult following, the sour has emerged as our top-selling beer. Created with a dedication to perfection and complemented by nature and horticultural wizardry, our Boysenberry Sour has the power to seduce even the most steadfast cynic with its refreshingly tart, yet smooth and sessionable fruity deliciousness.

With all the craft and dedication apportioned to every one of our unique recipes, we are especially indebted to this tiny fruit that comes with a history as distinctive and unique as its taste. So, come along for a trip back to the beginning to give our love, respect, and virtual high fives to the pioneers whose ingenuity, determination, and passion for their craft helped to pave the way for this horticultural marvel’s survival and success. 

The berry is the brainchild of berry aficionado and horticulturist Rudolph Boysen, whose crossbreeding experiments developed the first Boysenberry in the early 1920s.  The berry was created as a hybrid combination of four distinctive berry varieties: European raspberry, European blackberry, American dewberry, and Loganberry. Boysen successfully grew and harvested many of these hybrid plants in Napa, CA. With this success, Boysen aspired to produce the plants commercially and moved his plants to Anaheim, CA. 

Unfortunately, his dreams never came to fruition as a tragic back injury forced abandonment of his beloved crops and goals of commercial production. Years later, curious berry farmer and friend of Boysen, Walter Knott, and horticulturist George M. Darrow learned of this curious hybrid and ventured to Boysen’s old farm with high hopes of crop reclamation. Through thick weeds and neglect, the pair found a few withered, dying vines. The salvage proved a success, and the transplants thrived and produced large berries in their new home at the Knotts vineyard. 

Knott subsequently named the fruit Boysenberry, offering tribute to his pal and berry’s creator. Knott became the first to have a successful harvest of the boysenberry and today, and his farm produces over 1 million pounds annually. The plants thrive in sunny, warm climates, and New Zealand has surprisingly become the largest producer and exporter of the berry internationally. 

The berries in our Boysenberry Sour are sourced from Oregon farmers and are aseptically prepared for brewer use. All boysenberries can be traced back to the farm at Knotts. The success of this great berry is due not only to Mr. Knotts green thumb and determination but also to the ingenuity of Boysen, the OG boss-daddy of the Boysenberry. 

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