As I sat in my living room surrounded by good company and empty beer bottles I was hit with a desire for something different to drink. Up to this point during our tasting we had consumed rye IPA’s, Red, Imperial Reds and Ambers and my tastebuds were crying for something special. I needed a refreshing beer, something floral and fruity. I wanted something with panache and pizzazz, something that could maybe change how I felt about fruit beers in general.
I wanted a revelation.
Wailua by Kona Brewing Company was not the beer I was looking for, but that does not mean it was bad. Different is a good word for it. Hell I would even call this beer a little weird. Tasting like a mixture of an American lager and Starbucks Passion Fruit Tea, this beer is something that made my wife, myself and our friend all stare at it out of complete and utter confusion.
The beer poured a clear pale gold color with half an inch (and this was an aggressive pour) of white head. The head dissipated in less than a minute which really bummed me out. I believe that the head of a beer really adds to the drinking experience, but from this style you simply can not expect the head to stick around. The beer smelled of sweet grass with a pinch of malt and a lot of funk- a funk that was amplified in the taste.
Honestly even while writing this I am not sure if I truly enjoyed this beer. The sheer levels of funk that permeated this ale did not exactly ruin the beer, but honestly I have never been a fan of funk in my beers. The pleasant passion fruit flavor that came after the funk did elevate the tasting experience slightly for me, and I swear this was brewed with a few bags of Tazo Passion tea. The fruit really does add a unique taste that makes the funk rather bearable.
What I did find rather pleasant was the addition of Millennium hops, a rather unique strain of hops that I was able to pick up on from taste alone (which impressed me because I have no idea was certain hops taste like). The hops add a pleasant bitterness to the end of the beer that reduces some of the funky aftertaste and give it a clean finish. This is truly a warm-weather beer, something to drink while grilling or after some yard work. Or while doing yard work. Or if you feel kind of warm.
Or if you are drunk and surrounded by food and friends.
Of if you are a beer blogger.
Or if you use beer blogging as an excuse to drink at ten in the morning without getting judged by your friends and coworkers.
Kona Brewing Company releases Wailua Ale Seasonally. It has an ABV of 5.4% and a 14.5 IBU count. Drink it cold.