The Brew Site

The Session #45: Wheat Beers

Today is the first Friday of the month, which means it’s time for another round of The Session: collaborative beer blogging! This month is being hosted by, and the topic they’ve chosen is Wheat Beers:

We have the honour of hosting the 45th session which allows us to choose the topic we will all be exploring, we wanted to get back closer to the roots of the Session and pick a topic which was simple and yet gives a wide range of interpretations so we chose, simply (or perhaps not so simply), Wheat Beers.

Feel free to take this topic in any direction you like, specific reviews, historical information, or any other twist you’d like to use. Wheat beers are a pretty wide topic and actually cover German style Weizen, Heffe Weizen, etc. along with Belgian style Witbier and even Flavoured Wheat beers.

Sometimes a “back to the roots” approach is the way to go, and while I was casting about looking for the perfect wheat beer to review for this month’s Session, I happened upon the discount rack at my local Whole Foods with bottles of Kona Brewing Company’s Wailua Wheat on sale for 99 cents. I realized I was over-thinking the issue, and grabbed two bottles of Wailua—a beer I haven’t reviewed for three years—and here we are. A good old-fashioned Session review, with a notable and unique beer.

Wailua Wheat is an American-style wheat ale brewed with passion fruit, which is befitting a Hawaiian beer. (Though interestingly, the bottled Kona beers we get on the mainland aren’t actually brewed in Hawaii—they are in fact brewed by Widmer as both Kona and Widmer are part of the Craft Brewers Alliance.) It is 5.4% alcohol by volume and seasonally available from March through September (hence the discount rack).

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow, with a thin white head. Some bubbly effervescence from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Bready-yeasty tart wheat with bright, juicy, fruity aromas that are tropical and maybe even a touch catty. It’s sweetly appetizing.

Taste: Crisp and grainy from the wheat with nice subtle fruit overtones, mellow, floral, and soft. Easy drinking, tasty, the fruit here is well-paired with the wheat and not overdone, kind of pineapple-y, kind of mango-y.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, and a touch tart which lends a nice thirst-quenching quality to the beer.

Overall: This is a tasty, easy-drinking wheat beer that handles itself well when paired with the passion fruit. Worth seeking out and trying when it’s in season.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of B-. On RateBeer, it scores 2.76 out of 5, and is in their 30th percentile.