Avery Liliko’i Kepolo

Where in Town: Yes! Organic Market, 4100 Georgia Ave. NW

Price: $12.99/4-pack

Big Kahuna

More than a decade ago, Boulder, Colo.’s Avery Brewing Company helped open my booze-preferring palate to the rich complexity of craft beer—initially through its hard-hitting Dictator and Holy Trinity series ales such as The Reverend, a 10-percent alcohol Belgian-style quadruple. Lately, though, I’ve been most interested in Special Projects Manager and “Barrel Herder” Andy Parker’s wood-aged brews. Of his many winners, one of my favorites happens to be a Belgian wit brewed with passion fruit called Liliko’i Kepolo, which Parker created in homage to the fruit beers of Hawaii. The name, Hawaiian for “passion fruit devil,” is far from the most bizarre among Avery’s lineup. Take Dépuceleuse (don’t ask me how to pronounce it), supposedly French slang for a woman who deflowers men.

Tropical Delight

I love everything about Liliko’i Kepolo—its glowing gold color, frothy white head, and each aspect of its delicious, exotic flavor. The luscious, juicy brew is most aptly described as passion fruit in a can. Beyond that, birthday cake and subtle notes of coriander are followed by orange peel, most detectable in the beer’s tart, almost salty finish. The only difficulty I have is making Liliko’i Kepolo last, despite the hefty price tag—at 5.4-percent alcohol, it’s easy to pour one after another. Long a favorite at the brewery’s taproom, Liliko’i has rarely appeared outside of Boulder. I scored my first taste in D.C. at SAVOR three years ago and have been pining for an unlimited supply ever since. Thanks to Avery’s new production facility, which opened last February, cans of Liliko’i Kepolo are now distributed widely and available year round. Mahalo!

Photo by Tammy Tuck