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Wailua Wheat - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Wailua WheatWailua Wheat

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

843 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 843
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 12
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co. visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Swimming in a fresh water pool at the base of a cascading waterfall is what we all imagine we would find in paradise. On Maui, follow the old Hana Highway and you will find such a place – Wailua Falls. This plunging cascade of clear water is the inspiration for our Limited Release Wailua Wheat Ale. This golden, sun colored ale has a bright, citrus flavor that comes from the tropical passion fruit we brew into each batch. Sit back, relax and enjoy paradise anytime.

15 IBU

(Beer added by: rowew on 05-01-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 843 | Reviews: 366 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jzeilinger


3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium yellow color, small white head with mild carbonation.

The smell is passion fruit (obviously), picking up hints of pineapple, papaya, some white grape, and is mildly floral with some wheat.

Taste is crisp and light with the papaya blending and mixing with the wheat, and delicately hopped to round out the flavor.

Wailua finishes semi-dry, medium-light body, and with a sweet distantly tangy finish. The tangy passion fruit finish lingers for quite awhile on the palette with the tart frutiness. The finish hangs on like mild tropical fruit lifesavers in the mouth. (The only way I can describe it.)

This is something I picked up a single of when beer shopping because I've never had this one before. Kona is known for some good brews and I have to say, on very hot summer day, this beer would really hit the spot. It's very quaffable beer and setting my manhood aside, I would buy this beer for summer parties and my own enjoyment after mowing the grass. Differently unique...but it works.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 23:38:04 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy golden orange into a pint glass, with a finger of white head, decent carbonation, and fair lacing. The smell certainly revealed the passion fruit within, with some biscuit and lemon as well; a rare but enticing mix. (On the record, I hate fruit beers, but the smell of this one was intriguing.) The taste was a nice balance of biscuit and lemon, a subtle passion fruit/mango undertone throughout, until the finish, where a more intense passion fruitiness punctuated the dryness. I was pleasantly surprised. The mouthfeel was a little on the thin side, but nicely balanced with a not-that-abundant amount of carbonation...at least not as abundant as I was led to believe from the appearance. You'll probably never catch me saying this again, but I certainly would session this beer. Maybe the rarity of the passion fruit flavor brainwashed me.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2010 05:59:50 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of wnh


3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.
Bottled on 06.11.09

Pours a hazy orange-tinted straw topped by a smallish frothy white head with decent staying power.

Passion fruit aromas are clear but subtle, and instantly distinctive; dominates the nose without really being dominating. Faint, bright lemon underneath, with just a touch of yeasty funk.

Passion fruit is clear but subtle, again, on the palate. Light malty base of white bread, and just a hint of citrus. Finish is relatively short and quite clean, excepting a tinge of yeast on the back end. Light bodied, soft and round. Quenching.

Mild on the whole, but an interesting and mostly well-done variation on the style. Worth trying for something different.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 21:35:26 | More by wnh
Photo of CharlatanSin


2.53/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Saw it on the shelf, and bought it on a whim. When else am I going to have a passionfruit beer from Hawaii?

The beer pours a very pale golden yellow, which is a little cloudy. Looks super fizzy. Creates a small bright white head which collapses very quickly into a ring.

The smell is basically straight up fruit juice, with a little bit of grain. Adjunct-y. As for the taste, the best comparison I can make is Martinelli's sparkling apple cider, with some hay dumped in there. It's very tart and very sweet, with a bit of grainy bitterness on the finish. It doesn't work at all, in my opinion. The tart fruitiness completely overwhelms the wheat.

It's very light and fizzy. Maybe if I were on a tropical beach at sundown, I would care for this beer more. As it stands, I finished it, but never want another.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 23:10:24 | More by CharlatanSin
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is a pale yellow, almost straw, gold beer with a tall, meringue-white head that leaves a web of lacing on the pint glass.

The aroma is mercifully faint with wet straw, possibly some fruit, but that may simply be desire.

This may be the closest example of beer-flavored water I have yet to try. Similar to "lite" beer with a touch of fruit. I'll call it passion fruit, but it is closer to watermelon. Very faint, mind you. There is a lingering, faint finish trailing off from each sip.

The thin body has a hint of carbonation, otherwise lacking all character.

One could easily drink several dozen of these, but with water being so readily available, why bother. Sorry guys. Sometimes a limited release is a good thing.

If Kona was going for pale, they certainly hit the mark. Wailua is not offensive, just lacking in beery goodness.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 21:19:40 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barely blurry pineapple gold with sun-faded lemon peel edges. The eggshell colored crown started at two full fingers and is hanging on nicely. Neither meringue stiff nor milkshake creamy, but somewhere in between, describes the foam once it settles.

Beer of this style needs something to set it apart from the crowd. Kona uses passion fruit, which gives WW a distinctly Hawaiian character. The aroma features pale wheat (natch) and has a pleasant tropical fruitiness that is both interesting and enjoyable.

Wailua Wheat needs more malty guts to be considered good beer. It may be a fine point, but it tastes like the ABV is at least one full point lower. It's hard to argue with the flavor, however. I'm still groovin' on the passion fruit fruitiness, which is a nice addition to what otherwise tastes like a standard American pale wheat ale.

A fairly skimpy amount of both pale and wheat malt are in the house, as well as Hallertau hops. None of them contribute much on the flavor front. Specifics include water crackers, lemon zest and a well-designed amount of passion fruit... juice or essense or whatever. This would be a fantastic 'change of pace' lawnmower beer in the hot weather months.

The mouthfeel does what it needs to do, no more. It's on the light side of light-medium and is saved from being merely average by nicely calibrated carbonation. The bubbles are zesty without being fizzy or harsh.

With a few well-chosen tweaks, Wailua Wheat could be one of the best APWAs going. The passion fruit is an inspired addition and makes it tastes like no other beer of this style that I've ever had. Aloha and Happy New Year!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 13:34:50 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of nickfl


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, yellow body. The foam sticks around for a little while before settling to a thin film and leaving minimal lace.

S - Fruity aroma of berries and tropical fruit with tart wheat in the background.

T - Mild wheat flavors up front with some sweet fruit. The passion fruit manifests itself as flavors of grape and pineapple. Finishes with more wheat and mild hop bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Reasonably drinkable with a nice fruit character. There isn't anything too exciting going on here, but it is refreshing and drinkable. Overall, it's a better than average fruit beer and I would drink it again if I, for some reason, was in the mood for something like this.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 01:50:24 | More by nickfl
Photo of tjd112

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this with a microbrewery pack at Spirits Unlimited in Manahawkin, NJ. It pours an orange colour with minimal head and has a very fruity smell, lives up to the passionfruit name. However, the taste has a subtle bit of pineapple to it, with a little bit of citrus and subtle hops. Has a medium body with a very smooth finish. There is a lot better fruity wheat beers out there, and this seems to be popular at the Jersey shore, but its still a decent beer

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 00:53:34 | More by tjd112
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.49/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was pleasantly surprised. Not a big fan of their other beers (save the porter, which is their best). This one offered your usual wheat fare, but with whatever (passion) fruit they brewed it with, gave it a little more levity, which strangely, was nice. Proper subtle amount of hopping. Doesn't seem like a wheat you'd want to put any additional fruit into.

Poured out looking like a wheat beer, a little cloudy, a little haze, small 1/2" white head on the top. Aroma was wheat and tropical fruit, seems apropos. Taste delivered both as well.

A great hot weather beer for around the pool.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 22:50:28 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of generallee

New York

3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz, long neck bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has a "bottled on date" of 060409 notched into the label.

Appearance: The body has good clarity and a nice golden color. It builds up a tall white head full of big loosely packed bubbles that quickly fade out. This only makes for a very little spotty lacing.

Smell: The aroma is pleasant and has a little bit of sweet fruity mango and papaya like notes with a light grainy base.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor is very close to what you would expect from its aroma. It is sweet overall and has a pleasant hint of tropical fruitiness. The finish is sweet as well and there is no balance from hops. It's not overly sweet in my opinion but there is very little hop flavor at all.

Notes: My overall feeling is that it is easy to drink, somewhat interesting and would have to say that I like this beer. I think this would be a great beer for non-beer drinkers or just people who don't like bitter beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 22:46:12 | More by generallee
Photo of cptierney


2.7/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Weihenstephan Hefe glass from a 12oz "limited release" bottle.

I am immediately put off by this beers appearance. Looking like a flat Miller High Life in my glass, this beer poured with next to zero head and had a clear yellowy- bordering greenish hue. No lacing remained as I drank it down.

Lowest marks for the smell. This thing has the "American Adjunct" stench all over it, not to mention some strange floral hits on the nose. This almost honeysuckle scent does not mesh with the ammonia- like adjunct hit, making me almost not want to go any farther with this beer.

Nothing about this beers mouthfeel says either wheat or pale to me. It's flat, thin and unremarkable. Again, I just can't believe this isn't listed as a fruity adjunct lager, if such a style exists.

The taste of this beer rescues it from bad rating oblivion. While the lager like character of this supposed wheat pale is thin it does provide a decent background for the sweetness of the passionfruit. With no sense of hops in the mix this beer provides at best a refreshing beach brew. That said, that's all there is, some sweet and some watery lager.

The thin nature of this beer makes it an okay sipper, though I do imagine a drinker would tire of its sickly sweet nature after more than a couple. Ultimately unpleasant, this beer is a mildly offensive offering from a nearly quality brewery. Glad it's a "limited release."

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 00:51:35 | More by cptierney
Photo of Bookseeb


3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a hazy golden in color with a almost nil head and no lace. Smell of wheat and passion fruit with a taste that comes out the same having a light hoppiness. Mouthfeel is light - medium with a nice light carbonation. A diffinate summer brew to be had on a warm day, easy drinking and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 02:06:47 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of jwc215


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 06.04.09:

Pours golden with a thin white head that loudly fizzles to thin swirl.

The smell is of wheat tang, some sweetness and citrusy passion fruit (with hint of banana?)

The taste is of wheat tang. Passion fruit supports wheaty character without dominating. Not too sweet. Finishes with a refreshing dryness.

It has a crisp, light body.

A fruit wheat that is not too sweet or fruity. An easy-drinking refresher.

By the way, Mo'o means lizard in Hawaiian, according to bottom of bottle cap.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 17:13:42 | More by jwc215
Photo of FreshmanPour77


4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 10-25-09
Cold poured from a bottle to a glass

A - cloudy yellow, little carbonation, one finger of foam

S - strong wheat with a sweat fruity smell

T - Light bodied, you can taste the wheat but with a noticeable after taste that tastes like passion fruit

M/D - light, easy going down, very palatable. Over all I'm not a big wheat ale drinker but this one changed my mind. A for sure beer to enjoy over and over. If I have a chance to have this beer again I will defiantly purchase it again!

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 00:14:35 | More by FreshmanPour77
Photo of tigg924


2.48/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: bright yellow in color, small head, clear, small carbonation

Smell: wheat, passion fruit, and florals..almost too sweet a smell

Taste: wheat honey, sweet fruit, and flowers. The taste is not as sweet as the smell.

Mouthfeel: smooth, semi-sweet, low carbonation, light body

Drinkability: I am glad I got this and am equally glad I got just one. It was like drinking a tropical flower garden. The fruit does not mix as well with the light beer. The taste is a bit too sweet and there is no need to rush and get a second one.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 19:41:04 | More by tigg924
Photo of tavernjef


3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear light golden hay color with a quick to slip covering of white fizzed out foam. Some lacing sticks in thick and loosely set strings.

Clean, crisp, barely there aroma of pale wheat sweetness thats a bit like Tastee white bread, no plastic.

Taste is also barely there, however, with a nicely rounded malty tone of pale wheat sweet doughyness. Quite clean, dullingly crisp with just a slight snap and tang of the palate. Not bad, but really not much on taste here. A bit too plain and simple without much length or overall tone.

Body is just under medium with a nice clean malty doughyness thats rounded and slightly crisp.

A fairly average Wheat ale that surely goes down with ease while out and about enjoying the sunnier days in Hawaii.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2009 23:13:17 | More by tavernjef
Photo of JimmyK77


3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into glass golden and bubbly, slightly darker than I expected. Aroma is strongly fruity and flavor is dominated by passion fruit bolstered with undercurrents of malt and wheat. Lively carbonation pleasingly combines with medium/light mouthfeel. Slight sweetness and bitterness are well balanced and leave a clean finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2009 13:24:43 | More by JimmyK77
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wailua Wheat pours a mostly-clear gold body beneath a short head of creamy bright white that drops shortly to an average collar. The lacing is limited.

The aroma expresses a distinctly grainy and wheaty malt, and a hint of fruitiness... in a way, they kind of clash.

The flavor follows suit but it's more balanced, delivering a combination of the fruit and malt. It's subtly citrusy, and subtly earthy or rind-like. It tastes of passion fruit. And some mild hop flavors are present, but non-distinct; and it's balanced by a firm bitterness that leaves it fairly dry in the finsh with just a little bit of sweet malt lingering.

Overall I found it interesting, but I think that most people will be looking for more from the fruit. And in a way, it's a little bit odd. It throws off the beer just enough so that people who aren't aware of the fruit would find it weird. But beyond that, just hedonistically, I think there are better wheat beers out there, but this one is unique. And like any other beer, it has its place and time.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2009 01:08:46 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Spineypanda


3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Wailua Wheat by Kona Brewing Co. is not a terrible beer, but honestly I feel it is only a tiny step above the Abita Purple Haze.

The appearance is light and not cloudy. The smell has the fruit hints that the beer claims it has (Passion Fruit). Taste, however, is another story, which reminds me of the Purple Haze. The only difference is that the slight fruity flavor actually sticks with you throughout the beer even if not that strongly.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 04:24:23 | More by Spineypanda
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours clear pale yellow. Completely see thru with no evidence of foam or lacing. Some residual yeast at the bottom.

Very modest fruity smell, but mostly absent. Uneventful.

Taste is clean, crisp backed by a fruitiness that is nonspecific to any flavor. Good carbonation in the mouthfeel. Light wheaty pale with very little hop.

Very good drinkability. Not a taste that will bowl you over, but enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 23:58:17 | More by KTCamm
Photo of RomaniIteDomum


3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an extra tall pilsner. It looks very nice in the glass. It has a nice hazy yellow color, much like an adjunct, but with some character. Nice head that leaves some lacing.

Smells mostly of wheat with a kiss of citrus and light passion fruit. Not that impressive, but still good.

The passion fruit is obvious here, but not overpowering. The "citrus" tone the passionfruit leaves is a little strong, but the base wheat beer is pretty good.

In the mouth is it pretty light and nicely carbonated.

This would make an exceptional replacement for any of the BMC "beach beers". This has mroe flavor and is much more refreshing than a BL (S)Lime or a Corona.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 21:28:38 | More by RomaniIteDomum
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic. Bottled 05/28/09.

Light golden pour produces a smaller head than anticipated (a finger, at best) that drops quickly and doesn't leave much lacing behind.

To my knowledge, I haven't had any past encounters with a passion fruit, so I was somewhat excited to experience a new flavor. The aroma is faintly tropical in nature, but I'm also smelling some lemon zest. Unfortunately, the aroma begins and ends with fruit and wheat.

Luckily, the passion fruit comes out more in the flavor, and it's pleasantly refreshing. The combination of fruit and wheat gives this beer a nice tartness. The flavor, like the aroma, lacks depth.

Body is medium-light, with aggressive carbonation. I know a high carbonation level is pretty standard for the style, but this is carbed like a soda. It's a little too prickly on the tongue.

Not my favorite beer, but certainly not a bad one. Not much to contemplate, flavor-wise, but it's refreshing and drinkable. Good summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 04:16:51 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of andreasmwatt


4.1/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer in Kauai!!!! Great beer!!! The passion fruit really sticks out. I could definately drink this beer on a hot summer day. Matter of fact I did 10 days in a row. Its not bitter at all and definately a beer my wife would like. It is a limited release so I am not sure how often they brew it. But it was there in August.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 04:14:02 | More by andreasmwatt
Photo of oelergud


3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tall 12oz brown glass bottle, pry-off cap. A scene of an exotic waterfall on the label.
Surprisingly clear for a wheat ale, pale golden. White head that falls quickly and leaves very little lace.
Scent is full of wheat, sweet fruit and light white bread.
Flavors of sweet fruit, mild citrus and wheat dominate the taste. Shortlived aftertaste of mostly citrus.
Medium body but with some residual sugars.
Good drinkability.


Serving type: bottle

09-07-2009 15:17:26 | More by oelergud
Photo of DoubleJ


2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm on my last bottle of Wailua Wheat after buying a six-pack of it a week ago. Time for a review:

Using the inverted pour technique into my weizen glass, the beer has an almost colorless straw yellow with some carbonation bubbles racing through, and a low density soapy head. Poor retention, no lacing. The aroma doesn't really go together. On one level, there is some passionfruit, and at another level, there is bland, husky wheat. It's more fruity than wheaty.

Wailua Wheat has a better melded taste than aroma. There's enough sweet passionfruit to go around, and that's good, because I am a fan of passionfruit. The blend of hops used in the brewery's Longboard Lager is familiar here, with its rough edges and sappy flavor. The wheat occasionally shows up, and it too is sometimes rough. Soft in the mouth, firm for the style.

A co-worker of mine really likes this beer, so I was curious to try this out. The passionfruit saves this beer from being boring, but sand the edges of the beer and you got a fruit wheat beer that goes down more "round" than "square". Refreshing initially, but after a bottle, you start to re-evaluate your thought.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2009 04:39:28 | More by DoubleJ
Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing Co.
76 out of 100 based on 843 ratings.