Friday, January 28, 2011

Waialua - no reason to hula dance

Soda from the islands of Hawaii......Waialua Soda Works prides themselves with using the finest natural ingredients found on the island within their beverages. I admit that I was amazed to see "Hawaiian Vanilla Extract" on the label! They also use "Maui Natural White Cane Sugar" as one of the sweeteners to further flavor this alleged root beer with local flair. I can certainly appreciate the their effort to make their soda carry some of the local culinary culture. In fact it was my full hope that this brew would prove to be a merit to this particular culture.

I have always wanted to travel to Hawaii but my desire has been only a fraction of my wife's desire to go "Blue Hawaii" and never come back. So as I mentioned, it was my hope that in some way I could at least capture a small piece of that which my sweetheart and I long for... a taste of the island so to speak. What I was searching for began at the hula dancing label and quickly ended at the pop of the top. It took no time at all to know this was no Luau celebration but rather a matter for the 5-0.

It is certainly a crime in the continental states to make unsubstantial claims and I am sure that it is the same in Hawaii. Thus it should be considered that a crime has been committed, call those 5-0, because this is NO root beer. Despite the Hawaiian Vanilla and sugar, this brew isn't a vacationers paradise. No foam, very light color, the aroma reminded me of a bad cough medicine and the flavor..... it had me dancing, but not the hula!!!! The flavor is about as far away from root beer as I am from actually visiting Hawaii! It reminded me of a water-downed version of a cola that had been out dated for a year or two. Notice I said cola, the sad reality is that even for a cola it did not pan out well.

So all is not lost, to their merit they are using natural local cane sugar. This is always a plus! They do have a sweet hula dancing lady on the label that would make for a great tattoo if I wasn't married and if I was still in the Navy! The soda is in glass, always another big plus! They also go so far to use local vanilla extract, again another plus! The fact of the matter is they had much of the workings of a great brew. The problem is that they have no idea what root beer extract is, this isn't growing on the islands... if you know what I mean. But they offer many other flavored sodas which I am confident would fare much better... such as Pineapple flavor.... now that is a flavor that does grow on the islands!!! Although their brew is not worth a flight across the Pacific, I am willing to bet their other flavors are.. the good thing is that these sodas are sold in most Target stores.... so no air fare needed. Due to the disturbing flavor and lack of foam this brew rates very low however, the glass, cane sugar, hula lady and local vanilla bring it up to at least an honorable mention.... 2 Frosty Mugs.

Check out the other and far more appropriate island flavors at


1 comment:

Eric said...

Adam, I felt exactly the same way when I tried Waialua. When I finished I was like "What did I just drink? It surely wasn't a root beer."