Wailua Wheat | Kona Brewing Co.

376 Reviews
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Wailua WheatWailua Wheat

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

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

Added by rowew on 05-01-2007

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Reviews: 376 | Ratings: 970
Photo of asegal
4.74/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first review, and keying it on my Blackberry... So bear with me.

Was a bit reluctant to buy Wailua, because fruity beer is not my thing.
But Kona has impressed me in the past, so gave it a try.

Served cold (about 45F) found it quite refreshing.

Drank from the bottle, so can't fairly judge appearance.

Smell is inviting, with a bit of hops and a distinct tropical fruitiness.

Mouthfeel was pleasant... Crisp and light with a comfortable prickle of carbonation
No puckering, and it goes down VERY easily, especially on a hot day.

Taste was surprising. It"s a good wheat beer, but there is no mistaking the passionfruit. The flavors work very well together.
It's not sweet... That is why I liked it. They've managed to carry the fruit flavor without a sugary or syrupy taste. I've never before experienced a fruity beer like this.

Short; it would be very easy to drink too much of this. Will definitely buy more!

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Photo of eigervue
4.67/5  rDev +39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A side note about this, and all of Kona's beers. Kona brewing only makes kegs at their brewery in Hawaii for local consumption. The only place to get the beer actually from their brewery is on tap in Hawaii. They contract out with Widmer Brothers for all their bottled beer and kegs on the West coast and redhook on the east coast. So yes, if you drink this beer in a bottle in Hawaii it came from Widmer and rode a boat to get there, and if you drink it in a keg in the states it isnt from hawaii. That said the recipe is the same and they visit a few times to check on the process but some of the ingredient sources are different. Source: the tour at the brewery in Kona.

On to the Review
Appearance: Has the color of a pilsner, a golden straw, pours a very light head that dissipates into a faint ring.
Smell: The nose is dominated by the sweet and floral passion fruit with some hints of wheat.
Taste: Crisp with citrus and other tropical fruits fading into a little bit of wheat than a floral finish.
Mouthfeel: Exactly what I'm looking for in a summer beer, its light crisp smooth and refreshing, almost has the feel of white wine/champagne. The kind of beer I could sit on the beach and drink all day.

Overall: This is a great Hawaiian beer, it s welcoming, easy to drink tropical refreshing and complementing the island climate and cuisine. I do think I might like this beer more if it were unfiltered however. I have had this beer in the bottle since I came back and still enjoyed it although I found the taste and nose were much weaker and would lower them a point each if I was grading the bottle. Its still a good beer for a hot day and I'll take it any day over a corona at the beach but it lacks the character to where I'd pair it with food. Maybe things just taste better in Hawaii but drinking this at their brewery is one of my all time favorites

Serving: On tap @ the brewery on the big island.

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Photo of erosier
4.57/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a clear golden yellow color with a tall and medium bodied white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet wheat malts, hints of citrus and another sweet fruit that I can't put my nose on.
T: Tastes of a really light toasted malt base followed by a nice citrus/passion fruit flavor and a light hint of hops at the end of the taste. Passion fruit was the flavor I couldn't identify before. But I couldn't identify it until after I read the bottle, then it all clicked haha.
M: Very light, biscuity, fruity, refreshing, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, I loved it, especially on a hot spring day sitting in the sun. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a sessional summer beer.

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Photo of Yekaterina
4.54/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say. This beer was unique and exciting and those are qualities I look for in a beer.
Both my boyfriend I weren't quite sure what to make of it at first, but after the first couple of sips of it's sweet seductive magick we were under it's spell.
I (we) only rated this a 3.5 for appearance, we both poured our beers into frosted glass and his had a head on it whereas mine did not. His glass was narrower than mine so I attribute it to that. Both bottles tasted the same. I look forward to having it on tap (if any of the bars or distributors local to me get it that way.)
I'm going to help myself to another...

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Photo of schoolboy
4.5/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I only picked up one bottle of these when I went shopping this morning. since I was on foot in the Waikiki area I couldn't carry much, and I found some other beers too. This is unfortunate, because I wish I had more of these.

This is exactly what a specialty beer is supposed to be. Something unique and tasty. The aroma is authentic passion fruit with that wheat beer smell. It's pretty and light in the glass (unfortunately, I still don't have decent glass to drink out of).

The taste is smooth and relatively simple. Clean. Creamy, like all the Kona beers seem to be. It's a perfect addition to an afternoon in Hawaii.

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Photo of Troy518
4.48/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Brilliantly clear, excellent head in a 22oz glass. Strawish and Pale Yellow in color, sadly no Hula Girl is included with this tasty brew.

S: Smell is of wheat and passion fruit as expected.

T: Tastes like a solid wheat beer with the addition of passion fruit. Has the fruitiness of a kolsch and perhaps the passion fruit would be better suited with a kolsch but otherwise still a tasty brew. I was apprehensive about buying a whole six pack but they go down was too smoothly. Definitely not overpowering fruit flavor. Passion Fruit plays nice in the rhythm section on this brew.

M: A little thicker than a typical wheat beer but still easy drinking nonetheless.

D: I am four deep in between downing three Harpoon Leviathin IPA's, this is definitely an easy drinker and something that would make any summer afternoon that much more enjoyable.

As a side note, and as a homebrewer, I emailed the brewery to find out what the ratio of Passion Fruit was, sadly, however, they were unable to offer me any details!!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.45/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My pour resulted in a finger's worth of off-white head with low retention. Color was a hazy light-gold. Nose had a slightly tart, slightly citrusy scent. The label revealed that it was a wheat ale with passion fruit. How interesting! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a riot of flavors on the tongue. It was like taking the whole roll of Tropical Fruit Life Savers, jamming them into my mouth, then taking a swig of wheat beer. It was on the finish that the passion fruit flavor really stood out, lingering well after the swallow. This was a nice summery beer without the usual fruits and their esters being involved.

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Photo of Ahoyhoyindeed
4.44/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light crisp, fruit flavored beer that is great for the summer. The flavor is unique in that it is passion fruit, unlike the more typical citrus or berry flavored beers. Combine that with the fact that it is a wheat beer and it has some good body to despite being fruity. Delicious and satisfying.

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Photo of tammyshawdixon
4.42/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great light summer seasonal beer! 5.4% ABV, average head, clear body, no sediment, straw color, light on hops, nice passionfruit flavor, light on the malt, no yeasty taste, very light body, think texture, light carbonation, moderately sweet...no sour or bitter taste...Awesome beer!

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.39/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may be more aptly classified as a fruit beer, rather than its current designation of APWA.

A - Golden, brassy and radiant, it is capped with next to no head or lace. Only the richness of hue puts it above average.

S - The nose is mostly pale grain with some floral hoppiness and a polite dosage of passion fruit. The exotic fruit is aromatically subtle, and suggests nearly as much peach and apricot as passion fruit.

T - The taste is not so restrained with the passion fruit flavor; it is, in fact, fully loaded with it. Joining that flavor, in an island fruit melange, we have apricot, guava, canteloupe and papaya notes. Pale wheat and grain is there too, and perhaps some vaguely floral hop; however, these elements are merely the platform for the fruit.

M - Lighter-bodied and refreshing.

O - I am a huge fan of this; I got it just for the tick, but am really taken aback by how well it is composed.

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Photo of TaySuth
4.32/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great hazy, golden color. Very small head that dissipated quickly leaving a small ring.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by flowers and fruit. No real hop aroma to speak of. Very inviting.

Taste: The taste mirrors the smell. Its like swallowing flowers and tropical fruit while still maintaining a beer flavor. Very delicious.

Mouthfeel: Nice body for a wheat beer. Not too heavy or light. Just the right amount of carbonation. Feels great on the tongue.

Overall: This is my favorite wheat beer. Super fun and tasty to drink. Much more sessionable that the DIPA's that I love.

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Photo of TownDunkel
4.21/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I saw this one and it reminded me of the Coconut Porter from another Hawaiian brewry.

Appearance - A very beautiful yellow and gold lines with and excessively awesome amount of carbonation bubbles that come from the bottom

Smell - Passion fruit along with some other light fruits, though I wish it was a bit more scenty.

Taste - Delicious stone wheat with a nice after thought of fruity goodness. I really like the mix of golden wheat with a light tropical fruit flavor

Mouthfeel - great amount of carbonation to match the flavor and keep a little bitterness that reminds you that it is still a beer

Overall - Now this is a great wheat beer / lambric substitute for the usual.

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Photo of tmitch75
4.2/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up in Tahoe and brought some home. Pale cloudy gold color with ample white head.

Smells wheaty and grassy, like a normal wheat beer, except for the super-sweet passion-fruit smell.

Tastes like a good normal wheat beer, just for a split second, followed by strong passion-fruit taste. It tastes good if you know what you are in for.

Medium body with crispness from the carbonation, but it finishes with a syrupy texture from the fruit.

A unique idea that is well executed. I'd recommend it if you like freuit beer and tropical fruit in general, but definitely not if you don't. A great refresher on a hot day.

Tasted on 4/20/08 and revisited on 5/20/08.

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Photo of Onslow
4.15/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a wonderfully uplifting and vacation inducing aroma ... has a very refreshing mouthfeel ... is a very mellow beer ... the best product ever to grace a sliver eagle beer truck ... i look forward to trying other Kona brews ... a crazy good beer that seems to be an X factor..

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.1/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass (from a sixer)

A- Cloudy light gold color. Some head, not much, and definitely no lacing.

S- Smell was really tart and sweet, tropical fruits abound in the nose.

T- Wow! Surprisingly tasty and refreshing. Nice tart/sour flavors from the sweet passionfruit combined with other tropical fruits. Nice wheat presence as well adding to a nice well-rounded beer.

M- Light yet appropriate.

D- Great summer beer. Nothing that will wow you over, but damn this stuff was very tasty.

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Photo of andreasmwatt
4.1/5  rDev +22.8%
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.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.09/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Slightly hazy golden hue with a thin white head that quickly settles to a thin rim.

Light wheat aromas along with what I can only assume is passion fruit. Smells nice though.

Tart wheat grain mixed with sweet passion fruit flavors. It's a very sweet fruit along the lines of a peach, pineapple, or kiwi. Light bodied with good carbonation. The finish is lingering fruit.

Not a bad summer ale. Along with any other sweet fruit, the passion fruit seems to go well with the wheat. Recommended.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.09/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No freshness dating

A= Pours a nice translucent yellow color with a thick two fingers of typical wheat style head that is bone white. The lacing on the side of the glass is great.

S= The smell is filled with poopy wheat and a nice sort of semi sour passion fruit aroma. This is my third time having this beer and my first really taking note of it's characteristics and the passion fruit in the nose surprised me. Never noticed it before despite the bottle saying it's there.

T= The taste matches the nose quite nicely. A big poopy wheat flavor comes through and the passion fruit hits the tongue right up front before being swallowed by poopy wheat. The passion fruit is less "fruity" and more of a slight sour flavor. It's not like this is a sour beer but the passion fruit definitely plays a little sour role.


O= This is a solid beer for summer. I think I'll be buying more actually. A nice tame beer but when you take the time to peak at it it's pretty fun. The more I get through it the more the passion fruit flavor comes through. Check this beer out for sure.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.07/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've never had Passion Fruit so don't know what to look for in here.

Pours a very pale golden yellow with a half finger of white that melts rather quickly.

Aroma has a lot of wheat graininess to it as well as some peppery smells and tropical fruit.

Taste is very grainy with a very drying finish. Lots of wheat...some white pepper and again a hint of fruit that almost has a honey-lemon character to it.

Nice mouthfeel...aftertaste is again, dry and husky (as in grainy). Refreshing summer ale and different, but a good example of an American Pale wheat.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a wheat glass
A - Clear, golden with a thin head about the thickness of a Beer Advocate bottle opener. The head is thin w/ good retention and wispy lace remains.

S - Aromas of tropical fruit, a distinct passion fruit odor with malted wheat scents.

M - Crisp, thin but not watery. Semi-sweet and nutty.

T - A refreshing palate cleansing fruit enhanced wheat. The fruit is noticable in the initial taste, but an effervescent wheat taste wisks it away moments later. No beer cooler juiced tastes, the wheat ale flavor comes through effortlessly. The sweet creaminess and lightly toasted taste is there with a finish that borders on dry.

D - An easy to quaff beer, great for summer with smooth quenching qualities. The aroma is a bonus with the passion fruit scent playing a big role. Later the taste of passion fruit comes through in a more subdued way.I bet this would go well with yellowfin tuna or a sushi roll w/ scallop and crabmeat.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.07/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Kona Brewery, Kona, HI, 4-29-07. This is a slightly tweaked version of Lilikoi wheat. According to the brewery, this version has more passion fruit (lilikoi) than the aforementioned beer. I would agree based on taste and aroma.

Pours a hazy golden color with a small white head. Head disappears rather quickly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma is strongly of fruit, passion fruit. Not a whole lot of wheat aromas. Not much banana or corriander or any other wheat aromas. Mainly fruity and slightly tart.

Minimal tartness in the flavor. Fairly sweet but not cloying. A very nice summer beer, in my opinion. Mouthfeel is somewhat medium but slightly low. A good beer overall and a nice summer beer.

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Photo of Likeburning
4.05/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ran into a sales rep from Kona at Riverside Beverages in Chattanooga Tennessee and this beer was recommended to me. He was right. It's one of the fruitiest wheatbeers that I have ever had. Crisp light, and the passion fruit is very noticeable. A good summer beer to sit with and enjoy a sunset. Also a good one to get a lady friend to try when introducing her to craft beers. I would buy this one again.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.05/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.05/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz.

pours a light wheaty gold with sugar white thin head with coarse sudsy bubbles.

smells wheaty and sweet with mild fruitiness like melon.

taste is wheat malts, mild, subtle fruit notes.

feels moderate to full with mild carbonation on the back of the tongue.

very drinkable and very refreshing. Great summer or warm weather beer as it feels like it quenches your thirst with no bad aftertaste.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.04/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy straw color with a white head.

S: Orange, citrus peel, pine, passionfruit and papaya in the nose.

T: Taste is similar with orange peel, fresh orange, wheat, passionfruit and papaya. Tropical fruit is not as present as I'd like.

M: Medium bodied and somewhat smooth.

O: As I mentioned, I'd rather there was more tropical fruit flavor, but I'm glad it's there. Recommended, and definitely worth a try.

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Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing Co.
3.34 out of 5 based on 970 ratings.
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