Wailua Wheat | Kona Brewing Co.

378 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: 378 | Ratings: 982
Photo of GRG1313
3.22/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Generally not one of my favorite producers, couldn't pass up the "limited release" and "brewed with Passion Fruit" on the label.

Dark gold clear color with a nice white head. Nose is the winner on this one. Smells like Passion Fruit shampoo! Very pleasant and elegant.

Mouth feel is thin, as are the flavors and finish. A bit like "strong water" this one. Not bad; just not good. Perhaps a pleasant summer beer when you want something more than water to quench your thirst. Pretty weak and thin all around.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: thin head on a hazy pale golden body.

S: very fruity, definitly getting the passion fruit. some wheat, little else.

T: definitly getting the passion fruit but its much more sour than sweet. the wheat makes a musty and dull base. the fruit gets sweeter as you drink it.

M: light body and high carbonation. semi dry finish.

Overall: its different. the base beer is weak. The fruitiness is ok at times but changes too much and becomes more sour than tart.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pale watery orange soda color with a 1 inch white head that fades to a filmy residue. Very little lacing on this beer.

S - Typical wheat beer smell, overripe passion fruit, and flowers.

T - Fruity passion start, malty in the middle, with the typical wheat beer taste taking over for the finish.

M - Good carbonation. Very crisp and clean.

D - Pretty good beer that would be refreshing on a hot summer day after sweating outdoors doing some sort of yard/house work.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours weirdly clear, yellow sunny color with a small white head that goes away quickly. smells tart and sweet, crisp and clean. hoppy maybe on the back end. flavor is a stiff hit of passion fruit right up front. really neat. fresh, actual passion fruit, its very tropical. a mild hopping but less than the nose indicated. great clean finish. doesnt taste much like a wheat beer though, and no yeast to speak of flavor wise. feel is good, crisp and brightly carbonated, light light body, this is a slammer beer in the summer, majorly easy drinking. overall i like this one a lot, maybe not as much as the koko brown, but its a unique beer just right for summer.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A new beer being offered at my local beer store. Apparently the name of this beer translates into "2 freshwater rivers which mingle together" in Hawaaian... interesting to say the least. Pretty good beer though. Has a nice fruity aroma to it and has a nice body for a pale wheat ale. Brewed with passion fruit, which I've never tasted before but you can definitely taste some good, subtle fruit flavor in the beer (which I'm guessing is what passion fruit tastes like). Nice and drinkable with a clean finish. Nothing extreme here, just a solid summer seasonal that tries to be different by using a different fruit flavor and it does what it intended to do.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A new offereing from Marrikka's. The wheat beer appearance was evident from the murky yellow hue and froathy head formation, retention. Aromas however, were very earthy and reminded me of dishwater. There were a lot of muddled fruits, sweet malts, and bready wheat character. Peppery and spicy throughout. Flavors fare much better. The pommegranite flavor comes through nicely above the malts, esters, and phenolics; but below the timid hops. Textures are creamy for an American wheat, but thin considerably in the end for the fruits to shine and make the beer easy to drink. Finishes with part esters and pommegranites. Pretty decent beer after you get past the nose.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 16oz Yankee pint on our first (briefly) rainy evening on Waikiki Beach - and nope, the Tiki torches didn't go out!

This beer pours a cloudy, medium golden apricot colour, with a thin cap of wispy white head, which leaves a bit of loosely striated lace around the glass as things quickly sink away.

It smells of decent citrus bitters, reserved wheat grain, subtle yeast, and a strange, understated meatiness. The taste is more neutered citrus fruitiness, sturdy wheat and pale malt graininess, and tame earthy, spicy, and leafy hops.

The bubbles are kind of cutting, and they keep at it for a bit too long, the body a weak middleweight, and yet mostly smooth. It finishes fairly dry, the citrus and wheat both trending in that direction.

Overall, a decent wheat ale, citrusy, and not overly sweet, and just tart enough to keep my attention for a few, to be sure.

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Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy pale golden color with what appears to be a very modest head for a wheat beer; hints of lace, but not what I would have expected from the style

Smell: Wheat cracker with a distinct passion fruit tone but there is a hint of acetone (nail polish remover) in there; not much, but just enough to throw it off a bit

Taste: After a second or two, the wheat cracker flavor is joined by a pronounced tropical fruit character from the passion fruit; after the swallow, the fruit lingers, but in a very feminine way; the beer will clearly have appeal but is designed more for the fruit beer crowd than the geeks

Mouthfeel: Light body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Boy is this easy to quaff and would be great on a hot summer day in tropical paradise

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Photo of largadeer
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Straw-colored with a small but thick head. Passion fruit and malted grains come through faintly in the aroma - subtle but nice. The taste closely reflects the smell, but with a touch of citrus and wheat. As the beer warms the fruit flavors begin to show themselves more; definitely a good thirst-quenching summer beer. The body is a bit thin and fizzy, which is the only real flaw of an otherwise good beer. Pretty unique stuff, not an immaculate brew but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Disney scotch ale glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard pressure cap as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head of some cream, average thickness, and average retention. Colour is a clear pale copper gold. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Passion fruit, cream, clean malts, and wheat. An average strength aroma.

T: Passion fruit up front with inconsistent wheat throughout. A bit bubble gummy and artificial to its detriment. Clean malts lend it some body, but not enough. Simple, bland and boring for the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Lively and enjoyable. Good thickness and carbonation.

Dr: A nicely drinkable little wheat beer. I'd have it on-draught and it's a good session beer, from it's far from impressive - especially coming from Kona. Likable and well priced, but boring.

High C


Rereviewed on June 9th, 2013. Acquired as a 6 pack from my local Vons. Bottled May 2nd, 2013. 5.4% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with green label and pry-off cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass. Reviewed live. Served cold. Side-poured.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head. Nice cream. Decent thickness. Good retention. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Body colour is a clear pale yellow. Generally appealing for the style.

Sm: Tropical fruit, passion fruit, pale malts, wheat, clean barley. Lychee. A nicely sweet aroma of mild strength and above average appeal. No yeast or alcohol is detectable.

T/Mf: Crisp, clean, and lightly fruity with some accompanying sweetness. Smooth and wet. Nice thickness. Overcarbonated. Pale malts. Wheat. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Pleasant and approachable. Mild floral hops. Nicely balanced, if a bit simple. Not at all subtle.

Dr: Quite drinkable. I'll enjoy killing the sixer. It's not perfect, but it's good value. I'd probably get it on-draught. Pretty respectable work from Kona.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a pale yellow color ale with a medium size poured a white foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of light wheat malt with some light fruity notes. Taste is a mix between some light wheat malt with some light passion fruity notes. Body is light with average carbonation. Pretty bland offering with limited fruity notes.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pretty big white head on this lightly hazy pale golden colored beer.

Aroma is strong lemon with some light orange coming through with maybe some grain/wheat trying to be noticed.

Still a strong lemony taste but the wheat and or maybe other grains do make there presence know while drinking this beer.

A light bodied beer with a slightly dry aftertaste makes this beer very easy drinking but doesn't leave any remarkable impressions.

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Photo of zeff80
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a cloudy, gold color with a white, one-finger head. There was no lace.

S - You can really smell the passion fruit. There is a subtle aroma a wheat underneath the fruity smells.

T - It tasted very sweet. Mostly the passion fruit flavor with a little wheat.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A very light-bodied beer.

D - It was good, but it seems like it belongs in the Fruit/Vegetable class of beers.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a weizen glass. Color is a pretty cloudy yellow with a bit of an apricot tint to it. White head falls pretty quickly, though was fairly large to start. The nose is mostly wheat but does have a subtle aroma of passion fruit. The taste is more so just light wheat and grain with a subtle fruitiness. Fairly light feel. I wish they would have gone for a bit more o the passion fruit flavor and played around with some sort of light hopping, or added in a more-flavorful yeast.

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Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Me and my wife shared a few bottles of this last night and I gotta tell ya I was pleasantly suprised.Poured a hazed kinda peachy color with a tight but thinner white head atop,toasted wheat malt mainly in the nose,the passion fruit is faint but noticeable.Flavors are a mix of toasted wheat malt and passion fruit,the passion fruit shines through more on the palate making for a refreshinging brew.Its not complex but as refreshing as all get out,in the summer here in NC I would have no problem drinkin this.

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Photo of jlindros
3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this more for my wife to try, as I'm trying to get her into beer. She's from Brazil and loves Passion Fruit so I hope this will tickle her fancy.

A: Pours a very white bubbly lose 1/2 finger head that is pasty white into my new SN 30 anniversary goblet/tulip glass. It is super clear golden yellow almost watery color.

N: Hmm, lots of wheat and pale malts to start. A light citrus and banana aroma, with hits of floral hops and touch of tropical fruit (perhaps passion fruit) with a hint of mustiness. Very light though.

T: Starts with some wheat flavors, pretty light. It adds a slight creamy malt but not very much at all. More pale malts, but still light. A slight toasty flavor. Some fruity and slight English earthy bitter hop presence which is very light. With that is a slight fruitiness, again is hard to really label it as passion fruit, but its a nice touch. The fruit maintains semi light and isn't too heavy. Lots of wheat though.

M: Lighter body but not too bad, lighter carbonation.

F: Lots of lingering wheat and some pale malts. Not much else for flavor in general on the finish. A slight lingering fruity taste, which is more juicy than anything, and hard to pick out any specific fruits. A slight bitter and tangy fruity hop characteristic. A bit watery and not much there on the finish. I would have liked a little more carbonation as well, but it may have lost some in the trip over here. This would be a great hot summer day beverage though, just needs more flavor and more to it.

So far 0/2 on the Kona beers, but I haven't tried their really good ones yet, so lets see how the rest do. Also, my wife does not like it at all. "No sweetness and no passion fruit".

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/22/09 at Triple P Sports Bar in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale gold color with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of wheat, lemon, light malts and some hops.

T: The taste is full of wheat and lemon up front. There's a decent hops presence for the style. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice refreshing beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, pale yellow body with a very thin ring of white bubbles.

Smell: Well, you got your passion fruit, but that's about it.

Taste: Light wheat malt and sweetness, then it's pretty much all passion fruit that's only interrupted by a faint, floral hop character and bitterness. Maybe one has to be throwing it back in Hawaii to truly enjoy this one.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: I don't know about the rest of you, but I could most definitely use a heft to the underlying wheat beer. As it stands, it's a bit one-dimensional and one-bottle-that's-it-al.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
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!

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Photo of russpowell
3.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent clear gold with 4 fingers+ of puffy white head. Above averag lacing & below average head retention

S: Passion fruit & or mango

T: Slight tartness, honey then loads of fruittyness up front. Lemony hops & dryness+ tartness follow. Finishes fruitty, with slight lemon hop bite & dryness

MF: Medium bodied & sticky. Moderate carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks pretty easy for the style, just not a fruit beer guy at all. Would pair well with Kaliua Pig or Poke IMO. I can get this here, why not black sand porter???

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.94/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this one up at the total wine in Greenville a couple weeks ago with the rest of the lineup and this one had been sitting in the fridge waiting for me. Twelve ounce bottle was served right out of the fridge. Served cold in a pint glass. Consumed on 08/05/2008.

The pour was nice with a very hazy bright golden yellow coming through immediately. Nice white puffy head on top quickly faded leaving behind a broken crown and some nice carbonation.

The aroma was odd. Very light and almost non existent at times. What was there seemed a touch artificial to me to be honest. Light grain and some off fruit notes, not very appealing at all. The flavor was a little bit better, but still very weak in my eyes. It started with a nice rush of light grain, some mild fruitiness as well. Light touches of peach and passion fruit I guess highlighting it, but leaving quickly with only a touch of light grass like flavor in the finish, which was itself short-lived. Very light body on this one, almost non existent to be honest, with a big carbonation profile. This would be session ale in the hottest of weather, however for a normal drinking day, I would pass.

Overall not terrible, average I would say. Just not enough depth for me and now wow factor here. Still though a decent effort.

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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 smcolw
2.29/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

There's very little head, which is bizarre given that this is a wheat beer. No lace. Slight haze to the light gold color.

I do not like the smell. It is very sour and there is an element of urine in it. I am repulsed by it. There's also a stale grapefruit smell.

The flavor is far more mild than the negative nose. The predominant taste is a citrus sourness. The swallow has a touch of hop, but it is mostly tart. The aftertaste is short lived. The body is predictable and the carbonation is comfortably on the high side, but it can't save this beer.

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Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing Co.
3.34 out of 5 based on 982 ratings.
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