Arboretum Brews Up Partnership to Turn Unlikely Fruits into Local Beer

Osage orange tree in Longenecker Horticultural Gardens with fallen fruit on the ground.

Osage oranges in Longenecker Horticultural Gardens

Rock-hard, lumpy, and larger than a softball, pale-green Osage oranges seem to be no good for anything but a twisted ankle.

But to Levi Funk, they smelled like opportunity.

On a walk through the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum’s Longenecker Horticultural Gardens last fall with his family, Funk picked up the strange fruit and noticed a surprisingly pleasant floral, citrusy scent. Funk immediately thought of the potential uses at Funk Factory Geuzeria, the sour beer brewery near the Arboretum that he owns.

Read the full UW News story by Eric Hamilton, April 16, 2018