I’ve seen bottles of this root beer on the mainland a couple of times, but I first came across it on a previous trip to Maui a couple of years ago. I didn’t give it a great review at the time (pre-website). However, I was still excited to try it again. 

As background, the Waialua Soda Works company is located on Oahu and produces a few appropriately tropical sodas in addition to this root beer. Their sodas are advertised as natural and Hawaiian. The hula dancer in the label certainly emphasizes that message and provides a bit of nostalgia as well.

I found the root beer to be very caramel/wintergreen forward. So much so that the wintergreen (or maybe molasses flavor?) sticks to the palate a bit leaving some bitter notes. It’s not completely offputting, but it is a bit harsh in contrast to the other flavors in the beverage. It’s mostly a mild root beer, and the hula girl on the label will lull you into a euphoric state of sunkissed tranquility. 

Maybe. Or, you’ll feel a little less parched after a day on the beach in the 50th United State. I liked the root beer, and besides that bitterness I described above there’s not a lot that I would change. I’m not sure how much this root beer fits into a Hawaiian line of sodas, but it’s good enough for a 7 out of 10 on my rating scale.

To see my reviews of other Waialua sodas, click here. To see reviews of other Hawaiian products, click here.


Sampled May 2017