Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Wailua Wheat | Kona Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
374 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 962
Photo of leaddog
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from ABC store in Honolulu.

Appearance- Pours a pale straw with a half finger width of bubbly white head.

Smell- Wheat, hint of passionfruit, orange, lemon.

Taste- Pretty much the same as the smell. The finish is bready wheat. Passionfruit is light and not overpowering.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with moderate carbonation. A tad thin.

Overall- A crisp and refreshing wheat ale by Kona Brewing. I would have liked more passionfruit and body to the brew. Otherwise, a refreshing brew to have on Waikiki Beach.

 528 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.08/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Gold in color. Very fizzy with no head retention. Rarely a bubble rises from the surface. 2.0

Lightly tart passion fruit aroma that is both delicate and lingering. Light wheaty presence on the back deck. 4.0

Watery flavors of weak wheat malts and a light and refreshing passion fruit essence. Very faint kiss of citrus hops with some simple finishing bitterness. 3.0

Thinner than medium body with a fizzy soda pop feel. Flavors evaporate on the palate. 2.0

Love the fruit flavor, hate the attenuation. Just average. 3.0

 523 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this offering from Kona Brewing Co. poured into a pint/nonic glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - it is a clear golden-rod color, and it maybe produced about 1/4 inch of head at the top that did dissipate quite quickly.

S - citrus like with a hint of hops.

T - the main flavor on the palate is the Lilikoi (passion fruit) with hints of light grain and citrus. The beer is crisp, clean, and slightly sweet on the finish. There is almost no bitterness whatsoever in this beer.

M - light bodied, it is very smooth.

O - I did enjoy the Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing Co. It is a very easy drinking light style summer beer. Very refreshing beer to drink on a hot summer day.

 673 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
3.42/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz, 5/22/12 bottling
Russian River pint

A: Pours out extremely light yellow. Fizzy yellow beer like. Not a lot of carbonation either. Barely a half finger of bright white head. Faded to spots quickly.

S: Smells very light and grassy and grainy. There is certainly a fruitiness in there too. Not too familiar with passion fruit but awesome it's like strawberry.

T: Drinking this really ice cold, probably how it should be really. You get a touch of hop bite initially but it's very mild. Definitely a wheat beer flavor. But you do taste that smooth fruitiness in the mid palate. It's also leads to the close. Finish is crisp and refreshing.

M: Very light and easy drinking. Summer beer for sure.

O: B- beer for me.

 720 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.87/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a straw yellow color with a mild haze and a 1/2 inch of head.

S - Smell of actual passion fruit yet very little yeast and hops. Wheat is their in the mix.

T - I actually found this quite refreshing with a natural Passion fruit flavor and a good balance a wheat. It also drinks much better than their coconut brown ale and not artificial by any means.

M - Surprised a bit by the ABV since it drinks like a light beer (around 4%)

Overall I will be glad to have this again since it is one of the better fruit based beer I have drank.

 544 characters

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.

 660 characters

Photo of MatthewWilde
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Straw yellow in color, light internal carbonation, pours almost no head, hazy throughout

S: Very strange nose, most likely from the passion fruit, floral, herbal, and citrus elements, moderately fragrant

T: Much like the nose, quite unique, tropical fruits and citrus dominate the flavor with wheat-like characteristics definitely present, flavorful, but not the most desirable taste

M: Smooth and refreshing, not surprising given its style, mild fruity aftertaste, not drying or overpowering on the palate

O: An interesting beer for what it is, but bit of a strange nose and taste, still worth a try, though

 638 characters

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.

 867 characters

Photo of TheDinger
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hit this on draft at KBC at the Honolulu Airport. Pourd a nice straw gold wheat with a decent 2 finger off white head. Decent spotting and lacing. Smell is a bit on the pineapple side, a bit too much. Similar to the Maui wheat beer, but more pineapple. Taste follows that pineapple character and it's a bit distracting from the wheat style. Would almost consider this a pineapple bomb! Too sweet and fruit forward. A good amount of carbonation, but has that juice feel and a bit acidic. Overall- A bit on the gimmick side of things. Feel they tried too hard for the Hawaii pineapple thing and made a fruit beer and not a wheat. Not going to run out and get another-

 665 characters

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

I liked this better than the wheat beer from Maui Brewing as I thought the fruit notes melded better than the pineapple Maui uses. Nothing too complex but that is typical of this style. I added a lemon slice and that helped add some acidity to the mouthfeel. Good for the Lanai or on some patio in the sun

 305 characters

Photo of BillH200174
3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The passion fruit is apparent in both the aroma and the taste. It pours a straw colored beer with a white head. As mentioned before, the aroma is dominated by the passion fruit. The taste also has good passion fruit flavor, but not as strongly as the aroma. There are also wheat flavors and a good tartness to balance the fruit. It drinks very smoothly and has a light to medium body.

 384 characters

Photo of nmbr0ne
3.02/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into snifter from 12oz bottle.

Appearance: Very clear, pale yellow body with a finger-thick white head. Dissipates to nearly no lacing.

Smell: Grass. Slightest bit of fruitiness including a little bit of passion fruit. Very little amounts of citrusy hops.

Taste: A little lemony. It tastes bready. A slight bitter finish. The passion fruit is only slightly recognizable.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light, and a lot of carbonation. A little refreshing. Lawn-mower beer.

Overall: Decent beer. Not that much flavor, but refreshing nonetheless. A little watered down for my taste.

 580 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
2.95/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Wheat ale brewed with passion fruit.

A: Bright corn-golden rod with a crisp clarity and a fine light misty rise of effervesce. Dull ivory colored head is sponge cake in texture, thin and quick to dissipate leaving no window dressing.

S: The aroma of passion fruit is clearly evident. Sweet guava juice, and some pineapple-orange scents come compliments as well.

T: The flavor is passion fruit, again very distinct, with pineapple-orange support. Crisp flavor, very clean, sweet tropical juice like flavor. Fruity with a light tart finish and a clean American yeast.

M: light with a soft effervesce and laid back attitude. Lacks the snap and crispness of higher carbonation expected per style.

O: Overall drinks more like a Hawaiian tropical fruit drink rather a beer, much less a wheat. Alcohol is non-evident. Refreshing on a hot Hawaiian day im betting, very easy drinking, enough so for the female non-beer drinkers to indulge in. Listed as an American pale wheat, but is more suited as a fruit/herb beer if you expect a wheat beer by style. Light and refreshing for the beach setting, fruity, and one that is a nice break from beer to keep things light with a soft beach breeze. Not a bad flavor if you like passion fruit, but not really close to a wheat beer if being picky and rating by style. Still worth a sip in the right setting. sure as hell beats the hell out of a corona on the beach.

 1,407 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bottle of this from the Dole Plantation on the north shore of Oahu.

A- pours pretty clear with just a bit of sediment floating around. Foamy and fizzy white head that dissapears to next to nothing after about a minute. Color is similar to apples juice.

S- sweet grains, grass, tropical fruit, slight bready wheat, earthy.

T- Passionfruit, a bit of citrus with a wheat backbone. The wheat lingers on the palate, a bit too much IMO. Finishes a bit try with o notes of hops.

M- Good balance of carbonation, very drinkable for a Spring seasonal. Light on the palate, but not watery.

Overall, this is a refreshing brew that I think would pair well with seafood or just to have on the beach on a hot day. Nothing really stands out, but it's still pretty good.

 771 characters

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

Appearance - pale straw color with very little white head

Smell - ginger, orange, citrus, mango

Taste - wheat, mango, citrus, orange rind

Mouthfeel - ample carbonation, bitter upfront& in the finish, not a well balanced beer at all

Overall - so many other good wheat beers out there, I cannot recommend this, matter of fact I found this beer to be undrinkable. Glad i didnt pay for this. Avoid

 397 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
2.49/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 12/13/11

Dated July 21, 2011 (this edition of "whoops" dedicated to Jeff)

Clear, golden yellow color - moderate light depth. One thumb cap of white foam is fizzy and doesn't more than a thin layer. Lace is very sparse.

The passion fruit addition jumps right out at the nose - dank, tart and ripe. Over time it is joined by toasted wheat and yeast. Suggestions of grass and hay. While it smells pretty good, the flavor of this beer is pretty disappointing. The fruit is very much subdued and watery. There is a prominent, generic grassiness throughout; wheat and grains are at a minimum. Tastes very artificial and musty. Light body; very thin with an annoying coating feel which pairs with a hollow dirtiness. Carbonation is pretty much average.

I'm not enjoying this one at all. The aroma lifted my spirits but I think I was just psyching out myself since passion fruit would make for a killer hop aroma. Oh well...

 961 characters

Photo of unclejazz
3.23/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am a fan of Kona's flagship lager, so I was excited to see this limited release. This was a great deal from a wholesaler at less than two clams a bottle.

A-not too much of a head but very carbonated. Looks like a sparkling ale but a bit more on the orange side of gold. its just a bit cloudy

S-the many fruity aromas of passion fruit, orange, pineapple and a bit of a Brut champagne odor.

T-whoa, this does have ome passion fruit notes, but they feel forced and then just like that they are gone. bitterness throughout gets in the way of any other flavors.

M-the carbonation also gets in the way of flavor, otherwise not so great. the more of this i drink the more the passion fruit just kind of lurks in the background. its just seems to get was away with all the carbonation. Fizz fizz fizz...

O-this one may have to be filed under acquired tastes. It might be a better warm weather beer than a choice for mid-december. i would try again, but maybe on draft to get a truer taste.

 988 characters

Photo of confer
3.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review was left over from the Hawaii trip six months ago. Just found the notes on Nov. 28.
A- Gold with a small white head.
S- Must add that I'm not a huge fan of American wheat beers and I don't like passion fruit either. However together in the beer they got it right. It smells very sweet and tropical.
T- Like I said they got it right the mix of the wheat and passion fruit is at a very good level.
M- Feel is very light and refreshing.
O- This beer is great for hot hot Hawaiian and Pennsylvanian day. My wife loved the stuff. I have to go to Maryland to get it.

 573 characters

Photo of dankster
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From Island hopper varity pack.

Pours clear golden with small head

Smells is very fruit forward with wheat and barley behide it

Taste is pretty good. better than i expected. super clean and easy to down. not as much fruit taste as it smells.

Mouth is thin and bit watered down. not much else to say.

Overall a great summer brew that would be easy to kill a sixer. if you like wheat beers i say give it a shot.

 414 characters

Photo of beerman207
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this in a grocery store while traveling in Tennesee. What a crazy state with their ABV laws. Slim pickings in terms of what you cn find.

A: Pours a nice yellowish color with an orange huh. The head doesn't last very long

S: Nose is wheat with some lemon zest and some sweet bread

T: Taste is quite nice and refreshing. This is one I'd like to have in summer. The sweetness that hits in the finish is definately coming from the passionfruit. Very nice

M: Carbonation doesn't overpower and is easy to drink

O: Not a bad offerig from Maui. Love this brewery.

 566 characters

Photo of TippySelenoid
3.57/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in plastic glasses.

It looked ok I guess. It was a hazy gold with a fair amount of lace.

It's very wheaty smelling with a fair amount of citrus.

This beer is citrusy. It's got a good amount of wheat malts that give it a sweetness.

It was medium to light bodied with decent carbonation.

This beer was ok. It was all you could drink, which was nice. OK for watching hula girls.

 409 characters

Photo of iSip
2.38/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Kona Wailua Wheat: OK. Light golden color with a thin white head. Strong aroma of fruit. This got me suspicious. And the flavor reveals a lot of fruit. Check the bottle, and sure enough, Kona adds passion fruit to their wheat beer. Not a bad combination. But I could not tell if there was a great wheat beer hiding under the passion fruit or not. I am not against adding a spritz of lemon into a wheat beer, but I would rather do that myself and not have the brewer do it for me. So I must qualify my low rating. As far as wheat beers with fruit added go, this Kona offering was pretty good. But compared to wheat beers in general, my preference is no additives, or let me do the adding…..

 691 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a clear, golden straw with half a finger of frothy white head.

Smell. Toasted wheat with a little passion fruit and papaya.

Taste. Nice lightly toasted grains and tangy, just barely sweet tropical fruits. Very light bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel. Light body, medium carbonation.

Overall. Real easy drinker here. Nothing offensive but maybe more of a fruit beer than a wheat beer.

 406 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.82/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden, with ample head and no lace.

Nose is unusual and appealing. Grains, wheat, and a hint of fresh fruit, including what seems to be a little citrus.

As for the flavor profile, the passion fruit comes out prominently in the mix, with a tangy character right up front. Wheat is also evident.

Overall, a subtle and tasty brew. Worthy of a try.

 355 characters

Photo of soju6
2.9/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a light golden color with a small head that fades quickly with no real lacing.

S: mild grain aroma with light citrus and bit of sweetness.

T: Mild fruity flavor, bit of fresh grain and a fairly dry finish.

F: Light body, fairly smooth a bit too sweet and seems to linger.

O: Not a real fan of wheat beers and the passion fruit doesn't win me over.

 360 characters

Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing Co.
3.34 out of 5 based on 962 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!