Kona Wailua Refreshes
Mike Stuart | June 14, 2013
A warm June day after a long work week pairs well with a beer that refreshes. That’s what I experienced with Kona’s newest seasonal release, their Wailua wheat ale brewed with passion fruit.
BITTERNESS: 14.5 IBU
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME: 5.4%
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 12.0° P
MALTS: PALE (PREMIUM 2-ROW), WHEAT
Poured into a standard shaker pint glass, it produced a relatively small but attractive bone-white head. It didn’t stick around too long but that didn’t really matter. The aroma was of heavy biscuit and some slight floral and fruit notes. The color is a bright golden, almost light lager type of color.
The first drink brought forward lots of biscuit flavors with a little wheat backbone. The wheat also adds a little bit of body and creaminess to the mouthfeel. You then get just a hint of the floral and citrus flavors. However, these flavors became more pronounced in the aftertaste in between drinks. Overall, it drinks like a solid pale lager with a very clean and crisp finish.
I thought this was a good beer, but not a great one. I would have liked to see the passion fruit and citrus hop flavors be a bit more pronounced rather than feeling like an afterthought. I’m not sure what the brewers had in mind with the recipe but I think they would be well served to have the non-malt flavors punched up a bit. That being said, it works as advertised as a great hot weather thirst quencher. This has lawn mowing and pool sitting written all over it. Definitely a solid summer beer.
FULL DISCLOSURE: The kind folks at Kona Brewing Company sent me two bottles in the mail for free. I’m always happy to review beers if you want me try them and give my honest opinion.