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: 971
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 Oakenator
3.11/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pale, fizzy yellow with a finger of head at pour. Some traces of carbonation remain on top through consumption. No lacing really present.

S: Strong wheat nose - really nice. Faint citrus.

T: One dimensional. Refreshing for a warm day - wheat presence but not much else going on here.

M: Light as expected. Carbonation disappates quickly.

O: Alright.

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Photo of Hefeweizen
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not really overly thrilled with the mixture of fruit in a beer, so I was not sure what to expect. The passion fruit was not dominant over the wheat so it was not a bad choice. Probably will not buy it again; but I enjoyed the taste of a newly found beer.

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Photo of LukeH
3.81/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Light golden color. One finger of head. No lacing

S: Tropical fruit mainly, a small amount of banana and wheat.

T: The first taste is malt, wheat, followed by the taste of fruit and a small amount of sweetness, finishing with some faint hops. Alcohol is well masked

M: An appropriate amount of carbonation for the style. Medium-light body.

Overall: As far as "fruit" beers go, this one gets it about right. The fruit is present, but without tasting like a "flavored malt beverage"; it mainly adds some depth to the taste of a pale wheat beer. A good summer brew.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden yellowish orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid three fingers of white head with good retention. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A fruity and fairly tart wheat driven aroma with good hints of citrus fruit. Wheat upfront with hints of grains, biscuit, cracker, and yeast. Solid hints of tropical fruit including hints of the passion fruit along with pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, and kiwi. Also some floral hints. Smells crisp and very wheat and citrus forward. Pretty decent aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a wheat and tropical fruit driven taste with citrus esters. Crisp wheat upfront with tasting notes of biscuit, grains, crackers, and yeast. Juicy and tart tropical citrus fruits including notes of passion fruit, lemon, pineapple, grapefruit, orange peel, tangerine, and kiwi. Light floral hop taste as well. Taste is moderately sweet and fairly tart. Decent.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, creamy, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty decent summer wheat ale. Nice tropical fruit esters. Not much to it other than the wheat and fruit, but it tastes good.

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Photo of matjack85
3.04/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I bought this at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making them $1.67 each. 12oiz brown bottle with a freshness date on it, but mine was so faint I couldn't make it out. The store marked it as a "new arrival" so I figured it must be pretty fresh. Billed as a wheat beer with passion fruit added.

Crystal clear golden color, so it's obviously filtered. 1 finger white head that hangs around awhile, but unfortunately leaves zero lacing.

Smells like wheat with a touch of tropical fruit in it.

Pretty simple - mild wheat flavor with passion fruit added. Low herbal bitterness (14.5 IBU's) from the millenium hops, and that's about it.

Very light bodied with medium carbonation. I was afraid it might be syrupy or sticky from the passion fruit but it's not. It's actually kind of watery.

There's nothing wrong with it, but it didn't wow me either.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

The embossed bottle advertises this stuff as "liquid aloha", and I hope it keeps that promise. This stuff pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises successive blasts of dry, funky wheat, with only a mild twinge of papaya (well, I guess it's really passion fruit, but it seems like papaya to me...maybe mango...you get the point) on the sea floor. Given some time to breathe, though, the fruit comes through stronger, sharper. The taste is basically a low-budget rehash of the smell, with the wheat replaced by straight barley-like grain and the fruit with an analogous powder, not unlike a tropical Kool-Aid mix. Suffice it to say, this direct-to-video remake is hardly a replacement for the original, which, in and of itself, wasn't exactly a classic. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, I applaud the general idea behind this beer, but the execution leaves quite a bit to be desired.

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Photo of sajaffe1
3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a glass tankard

A- This ale is bubbly, clear and yellow. Looks a lot like a typical American adjunct lager.

S- This smells like pineapple, which I like and a blend of other tropical fruits. Must be the passion fruit. There is also a bit of wheat on the nose.

T- This is pretty fruity tasting and fairly sweet. There is some noticeable wheat and hops, which remind you this is still a beer.

M- Slightly above average and a bit like an AAL but better.

O- Not bad if you like a sweeter beer and/ or want to try something new. Good, but not great.

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Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured this into a tulip glass, it has a nice golden color body with a small thin white head that lays down to a thin lace. The aroma is weak, but does have a slight aray of wheat and fruit.
The taste has a refreshing wheat flavor upfront and then the passion fruit comes in on the middle to back of the tonuge. It is not too sweet, but has a slight bitter to it. The mouth feel is really good, rolls off the tongue nicely and overall a really good beer.

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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 BlurryVisi0n
3.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clearest gold,looks something more of a lager with light bubbles on the body and a white head that is thinly framed bout 1/4".

Smell: Light light hop scent.

Taste: Definitely your "Fruit/Vegetable" beer, lightly sweet barely bitter

Mouth: Light and smooth but not nothing worth bragging about.

Overall: This is definitely for the summer or for the beer drinkers that are looking for something abstract. With it's sweet after taste and light feel it is pretty much for everyone. Salud!

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.28/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear, pale yellow. Small white head makes a brief appearance then is gone completely, not even a faint island or ring behind. Not surprisingly there is no lace left behind. I can see all the way to the bottom of the full glass. Some bubbles from nucleation sites on the bottom.
Smell is a faint whiff of malt and supposedly passionfruit but it is so indeterminate that I have only their word to prove it. Weak is generous terminology.
Taste is at least present. Malt, passionfruit (a favorite in our house), some hops and a slight spice note are much more along the lines of what I expected. Balance is pretty good. Some warming oddly after a few swallows.
Medium-bodied with a light, sharp effervescence up front. Drying with a clean finish. Not a lot to recommend this brew to anyone I'm afraid. Too bad, as their Pipeline Porter is very good and the Longboard is one of few lagers I can drink anytime.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.32/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kona's Wailua Wheat is summer seasonal wheat ale brewed with passion fruit. According to the label, "Wailua is Hawaiian for two fresh water streams mingling. This was just the inspiration we needed for our Aloha Series wheat ale brewed with tropical passion fruit. A refreshing, citrusy, sun-colored ale with the cool taste of Hawaii." Date on bottle is June 06 12, making this beer about 3 months fresh, a hair better than last time I reviewed it!

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle to my Kona pint glass. Served in the low 40'sº Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Very crisp, fizzy head of a near white tone that recedes at a hasty pace, leaving only a mild surface cover, surprisingly disappointing quality for a wheat ale. Beer color is a mildly hazy full yellow. There's no remaining lacing to be seen throughout the entire drink. A casual level of carbonation streams throughout the glass. Appearance is alright, but the head quality is an unfortunate setback to the beer. 2.5

(Smell) Mild cereal wheat malts with some huskiness and perhaps some light syrupy fruit presence make up the brunt of the aroma. There isn't a lot of diversity to the flavor, but the wheat and fruit are at least able to be gathered and smell appetizing. Potency is overall mild but the end result is pleasing. 3

(Taste) First wave is mostly pale and wheat malts, slightly sweet with a tropical fruit character that really comes through most in the finish, initially as tart, but with a growing mild sweetness. The flavor balances well, but the overall body is lacking and where the wheat presence could have been amped a notch to pair with that passion fruit, it has a fairly thin profile. It's not a bad wheat beer and the fruit, while an enjoyable essence in this beer doesn't have much to cling to. Overall its enjoyable if you like session summer beers, but I've had much better. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) A prickly level of carbonation pokes the tongue most of the way through the beer. There's a light body here and alcohol is tucked away well. Finish is mildly dry. The texture is one of the best parts of the beer, although the body is too shallow to be a good match for the energetic carbonation. 3.5

(Overall) It's interesting what one year can do for your tastebuds. Last year, I criticized the passion fruit, complaining that the fruit was too faint and underdeveloped. My complaint this year is of the wheat malt presence is a more likely culprit for shallow flavors. The very light body has this beer drinking deceptively easy but a more robust malt presence could really help pair with that fruit profile as well as improve the (still) dismal head quality. Not as bad as I recalled from last year but there's still lots of work to do with many summers left ahead of us, I hope to see some improvement still in this beer! 3.5

Kona Brewing Company's
Wailua Wheat

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
2.01/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bombee into standard pint, served cold.

A: super pale straw colored and very clear looks almost Kölsch-like. No head retention, pretty pathetic for any beer especially a wheat. No cap or ring, looks refreshing but kinda weak.

S: smells like wheat beer but also has that offputting AAL smell, like a bottle of Bud. Getting a bit of fruit, couldn't say if it was passionfruit or not though. No hops.

T: wheat beer for sure but with all sorts of weird about it. I can pick out a little fruit but it is faint. An unappealing aftertaste like a domestic macro. All the flavors are light, this beer is almost watery tasting.

M: super light and despite having the watery feel of a crummy AAL it is super gritty and not smooth at all. Leave the mouth dry and is only a little refreshing. If I wanted a watery session brew I would get a Full Sail Session Lager.

O: very unimpressive. Super light and all that but has nothing really going for it other than what little wheat flavor it has.

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Photo of gottabetweed
2.62/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a pale yellow, clear. Minimal head and little lacing.

Smell is grapefruit, lemons and I guess that is passion fruit.

Taste fruit up front. Thin body, nothing to back up the fruit.

Mouthfeel is full with a good carbonation level.

Overall, leaves me wanting. Lack of body makes for a very light beer.

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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 Darkmagus82
2.93/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer was served as a light golden color with a one finger white head. The head faded fast to give only a light amount of lacing.

Smell – A very light citrus and peach aroma mixed with some wheat malt smells as well. Overall the aroma is light.

Taste – I did not get a lot of the passion fruit that is supposedly in the brew. Instead the taste begins with some wheat malt and a little bit of light fruit sweetness (peach maybe). As the flavor advances some hop flavors begin populating the taste. They are almost entirely of a lemon and grapefruit nature bringing a bitterness to the brew. At the end a lemon citrus flavor is left on the tongue, leaving a slightly sour bitter taste that lingers on.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the lighter side with a carbonation level that is rather average.

Overall – Ah… nothing to hot here, just a sorta run of the mill wheat.

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Photo of vicsju1991
3.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass
A - clear yellow, small head dissipatesquickly
S - nice and fruity,
T - this si a really tasy bear, I assume the taste is passion fruit since thats what its made with, it tastes liek a vacation is the ebst way i can put it
M - crisp and easy to drink
O - very cool beer, very different orm my normal beers

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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 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 malprep
2.51/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Kona Brewing's Wailua is a light, sweet tasting beverage. It's description makes a first time taster long for Hawaiian relaxation in a secluded part of an island with good friends. Instead, its overall experience is too much like a domestic that can be found in millions of bars in our 50 states. Would I grab it off the shelf before an InBev or MillerCoors product - possibly - but not for $1 to $2/beer more than the others.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours a slightly hazy yellow color with a head that fizzles out as soon as it hits the glass. This is one of those beers that looks the same leaving the body as it does going in. Not even a halo of carbonation or a trace of lacing.

S - Smells of corn malts, lemongrass, and some light tropical fruit esters. The adjunct aromas dominate, which is certainly a disappointment. On the bright side, the fruits do not smell very artificial I would expect in a beer "brewed with passion fruit" to be.

T - A drastic improvement over the aroma. Starts with a lemon burst followed by a bite of grassy hops. The passion fruit comes in on the back end, but does not linger.

M - Crisp and clean with a nice tingly carbonation. Perfectly refreshing as the style should be.

O - Recently, I have been trying to escape from my "highly rated beers only" tendency. I try to grab some cheap and interesting singles that I wouldn't normally buy. This one falls into that category. I was unimpressed by the look or aroma, but the taste is pretty good. Kona does a good job here of giving it a touch of fruit flavor without making it cloyingly sweet or artificial. I could definitely enjoy a few of these on a hot day. If you are looking for a light, refreshing, beach beer with good flavor then consider trying this one.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: This beer pours a light, golden straw color. Has a weak 1 inch head that dissipates quickly, leaving some soapy lacing.

S: Strong passion fruit aroma, something like a kiwi and strawberry. This is followed by a wet wheat and adjunct malts.

T: Strong strawberry/ Kiwi, sweet flavor up front. Slight barley malts and adjunct style rice flavor in the back that follows with a dry, bread finish.

M: Fresh, clean, and spunky flavor with slight carbonation. Something of an acquired taste.

O: Never had a beer like this before. Has a lot of tropical fruits and a hint of wheat, malt and barley. A unique mesh between an adjunct lager and a tropical Saison. Something good to try once, but I dont think I would seek this out!

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a bright, crystal clear yellow with a white finger width head, poor retention, and a resulting lace that's spotty.

Smell - Bright aromas, tropical fruit, peach and passion fruit, with an underlying wheat tone.

Taste - Follows the nose. Very light passion fruit flavor, with a bit of wheat underneath. A touch of citrus on the back end. Simple. Underwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Almost watery light, with very little carbonation.

Overall - Not impressed at all. There are several dozen other summer releases that blow this away.

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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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Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing Co.
3.34 out of 5 based on 971 ratings.
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