Kona Brewing Company — Limited Release Wailua Wheat Ale — 5.4%

A Taste of the Islands #1
Since this was my first trip to Hawaii, I was very keen on trying everything the islands had to offer, and of course, the local brews were near the top of the list. Nothing like sitting on the beach watching the moon rising over the warm ocean with a nice cold craft brew, a ukulele, and thou (well, not thou, but you get my drift).

The first sixer I grabbed was Wailua Wheat, a limited release from Kona Brewing on the big island. We can get Kona’s usual offerings pretty easily in Northern California, and I enjoy their Longboard Lager as a go-to session beer. Although I usually don’t care for fruit flavors in my beer, Lost Coast’s Tangerine Wheat Ale a particular exception, I was intrigued by this wheat ale brewed with passion fruit. I figured, “When in Rome,” right?

I was a little disappointed to find that Wailua was a filtered wheat, which for me knocks points right off the top. The beer poured with not much of a head but with a subtle spicy yeast nose. I have to admit that I don’t really know what passion fruit actually tastes like, but I didn’t detect much flavor beyond a pretty pedestrian filtered wheat.*

Grade: C+

* I have since come across Wailua Wheat on the mainland and found it to be surprisingly sweet. Maybe I found all the passion fruit that wasn’t in the beer I had on the island. Strange.

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