Kona Brewing Co. has released Wailua Ale, a summer seasonal made with passion fruit, for the first time in Ohio.



“Although the seasons don’t change for us in Hawaii, I have heard that many mainland beer drinkers who enjoy a good light summer brew will often set their summer calendars to when they see Wailua Ale on shelves and taps,” Kona President Mattson Davis said in a prepared statement. “Passion fruit is a staple in our gardens and Hawaiian farmers markets, and we eat it year-round in jams, as an ice cream topping and as a popular shave ice flavor. It was a great day when we discovered passion fruit also worked so well in craft beer, and I am stoked to share this distinct taste of Liquid Aloha with the mainland.”  



The beer -- named after Maui's Wailua Falls -- was first brewed in Hawaii as Liliko'iWheat in 1998. It became Wailua Wheat in 2007 when demand increased and distribution began on the mainland, and is now called Wailua Ale. It will be available on draft and in stores through September.



The beer is 5.4 percent alcohol by volume and is made with Millenium hops.



Wailua Ale is the first brew in the Aloha Series to be bottled in new packaging that the company says helps the environment. The 12-ounce bottle is now embossed with a Hawaiian island chain and “Liquid Aloha” lettering, and has a slimmer shape. The new bottle is 5 percent lighter and eliminates "another 2,718 tons of [carbon monoxide], which is equivalent to taking 514 cars off the road for a year," Kona says.