Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,510 Reviews
Read the review
For Trade:

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American wheat beer with a refreshing, crisp citrus finish. This delicious session beer is brewed with boatloads of Amarillo hops.

35 IBU

Added by cretemixer on 04-17-2003

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,510 | Ratings: 5,608
Photo of Jacobob10
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 22 oz. bomber purchased at Fire Waters in Hackensack, NJ.

Pours an orangish color with a moderate head. Needs a little swirl of the glass at times to revitalize the head. Great aroma with lots of piney, citrusy hops coming through the nose. The flavor is enjoyable as well, but is not like any other wheat beer I've previously had. This is more along the lines of a pale ale or even an IPA. Not too harsh on the palate and definitely a very drinkable beer.

I'm guessing this beer is dry hopped from the large amount of hops in the aroma. If you blindfolded me and put it in front of me to smell, I'd probably guess it was an IPA. The beer bar that I was at (Fire Waters) sold this bomber for $16. A delicious brew this definitely is, but $16 it is definitely not worth. Seek this beer out, but avoid paying too much for it.

 831 characters

Photo of badbeer
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very nice golden color with a nice pillowy head that leaves a wonderful lacing on the glass, clearer than most wheat style beers. Smell is hoppy, opens with a floral bouquet and finishes with citrus smells (orange, lemon) and even has some pine in there as well. Taste is glorious, I swear I tasted some banana and bubblegum before the hops takeover mid-drink and hit you with a refreshing citrus burst. Light to medium bodied with a medium carbonation, it really could not be improved on for the style. Drinkability, umm, yeah I could have this wherever, whenever and plenty of it.

Additional information: My bottle was refridgerated since its summer release, and is still this good now, that's just crazy, I was afraid to buy it at first because of how long it was sitting there, but I'm so glad I did.

 815 characters

Photo of nickss
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As a qualifier, I must first mention that it is currently February 1, and this beer was brewed this past summer, so the quality may be somewhat diminshed... I guess we shall see.

Pours a pale orangey-yellow hue with a monstrous fluffy head... lots of lacing and it appears to be moderately carbonated.

Smells hugely of hops... an interesting differentiator between this style and normal hefes. Some cloviness is apparent in the aroma, along with citrus zest... more orange than lemon. Also, a distinct yeasty aroma is present, most likely due to the bottle fermentation.

Fantastic explosion of flavour... so much more than I would have expected from a beer of this abv. This is definitely a hop smack to the palate, but in an oh so refreshing way. Loads of citrus in the flavour, along with some distinct banana (more like the hefes I'm used to). Wow is all I can say to the flavour of this one... hop burps throughout.

Light and crisp on the tongue, as this style should be... an absolutely perfect summer beer... moderate carbonation with a hop twinge on the tongue... so nice.

I could drink this beer all day long... I can't even imagine how nice this is in the summer months. To all you bastards who can get this beer on a regular basis (and more fresh), I am supremely jealous. I can see how this brewery is consistently talked about as one of the top 5 in the U.S.

 1,385 characters

Photo of sacfly
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden color with very small particles in suspension. Head tan with a slight yellow/green tint. Large bubbles can be seen in the head and through the beer. Smell hits you almost as soon as you open the bottle. Orange citrus and more orange. In the first sip, a smooth almost creamy mouthfeel is evident. Hop taste (orange, a bit of lemon…) is evident, but not overwhelming. Very pale ale-ish with more body and smoothness. Lingering dry bitterness in the aftertaste. Very smooth and easy to drink. Very enjoyable. Still kind of expensive, but one of the cheaper Three Floyds bombers as well.

 606 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a slightly reddish orange and gold. The head is bubbly but not foamy, off-white, and lasts a minute or two before settling to a sparse covering. Clumpy ragged lace is left behind on the glass. Significant cloudiness introduced once the bottom few ounces are added.

Aroma - fresh orange aroma with fragrant pine mixed in. Awesome.

Taste - mirroring the aroma to a tee, it starts out sweet and citrusy, then gives way to some mildly bitter and intensely tasty Amarillo hops. The swallow brings some sweetness back and then finishes with a brief twang of sharp bitterness. A very hoppy wheat beer, very tasty too. I think I prefer it without the yeast though.

Mouthfeel - refreshing crispness, medium body, somewhat gassy but even the burps taste good.

Drinkability - a very good wheat beer, with or without the yeast.

 846 characters

Photo of orsulacp
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a hazy deep straw yellow with hints of orange and a small white head. I get a big whiff of orange rind some lemon and not much else. The taste is good, fruity with a hint of bitterness. The fruit is like oranges with a hint of lemon. It has a medium body, low carbonation and has a mostly dry finish. This is very refreshing and very drinkable. I think the hops got attenuated a bit too much from sitting around, I would like to try this when it is fresh.

 467 characters

Photo of jaluria
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this for the first time over the holidays and was blown away! This is an incredible beer. I'm not a big fan of wheat beers, but this beer changed my perception of what wheat beers can be.
In my Jever goblet (courtesy of Dan from the Buy-Rite on Oak Tree Rd. - Thanks!) this beer looks like a mild pilsener with a golden hue that flutters due to the intense carbonation. Aromas of grains, alcohol, tropical fruit, and lemons was just wonderful. The taste was incredible with a crisp lemon-lime like flavor that flows into a hop bitter finish. The smoothness of this beer lends itself to being had in the warmer months with a refreshing character that is absolutely addictive. I just wanted more and more of this beer after my first few sips.

 745 characters

Photo of sinistrsam
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this bomber into two tulips and observed a slight cloudy, light-golden body, with a small head. Very little carbonation, no sediment.
It had a wonderfully floral hoppy nose, with hints of honey, some wheat, alcohol and plenty of citrus; orange and mild lemon.
The taste was exceptionally complex, with a smack in the face of hops at first, piney, sweet, floral and clean, which faded into a wheaty dry aftertaste. It was only mildly carbonated, and left a clean, dry taste after each sip.
I know this is billed as a wheat, but I got a mostly hoppy ale feeling from this beer. Don't get me wrong, it was right up there with some of the best pale ales and IPAs I've had recently, but not much of a wheat. Overall, extremely complex and 100% unique.

 759 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, paid $5.99 for it down the road from the brewery in Munster. Brewed with red wheat and amarillo hops amongst many other things. Pours out to a beautifully hazy golden, having a frosted glass appearance. Forms a modest off-white head with average retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is moderate-mild like most other 3F's brews. The aroma is full of orange, imparted from the citric nature of the amarillo, but I'm not getting much in the way of MJ resin that I typically do for this hop variety. Mouthfeel is puckery with a slight citric acidity imparted by the hops and I'm guessing the red wheat. The finish is slick and it's medium bodied. The taste begins with a distinct strong pang of mandarin oranges and pine sap, followed by a touch of cereal sweetness which is quickly overpowered by a firm citric bitterness towards the end. Lingering notes of burnt orange peel in the aftertaste.

Quite the interesting beer here. A wheat IPA of sorts with a ton of orange flavor. I bet this would be a great summer beer with brats on a hot sunny day.

Re-review 1/24/13-The carbonation seems much higher than my prior review, closer to 3.0 carbs. Although it says it's bottle conditioned on the label, my beer was very clear with no sediment in the bottle. The carbonation really helps with the head, forming a peaking, rocky light yellow head with awesome retention and great lacing. The nose is still full of grapefruit and mandarin oranges, like a fruit salad or biting into a grapefruit. Wonderful nose. Light bodied, easy to drink, clean, very crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. Finishes bone dry. Medium firm bitterness. A really nice brew. I wish we got 3F up here in northern michigan.

 1,703 characters

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber purchased from Once upon a Vine

A: Pretty dark golden brew. 1" white head. Poured into a mini-hefe glass from nashoba valley.

S: As soon as i open the bottle, I was hit with a wave of floral hops. Typical citrus that you expect from a wheat beer.

T: This is one helluva hoppy wheat beer! Yeah, thats about it. Tasty.

M: Effervescent!! This dissipates quite quickly off your tongue - it is quite dry. Very intruiging.

D: My new favorite summertime brew. I could drink these all day long.

 515 characters

Photo of BitterBrian
4.89/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found some singles at Blue Dog Lansdale.

Pours a hazy gold with a fluffy white head. Head left somepretty thick lacing after it disappeared.

This is one of the best smelling beers I have ever had. Very bright wheat, a little grass and citrus - Grapefruit. Lots of it. My nose would prefer I didn't drink this so it could keep smelling, but I have to drink it.

Tastes of a very flowery hopped wheat beer. very clean and very delicious. If it weren't so hazy and had that hint of sourdough, It could be an IPA. It is a great beer.

Drinkability: This is now one of my favorites. What a beer! A case is quite an investment, but if I get the chance to splurge - this will be on the list.

Note: Goes well with baked pork chops.

Edit: After drinking again on multiple occaisions, I had to bump the drinkability and taste up to 5. This beer is simply summer in a bottle - The best drinker I have had to date

 919 characters

Photo of Higravity
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have got to hand it to 3F for this one. A big beutiful light amber with a good head that leaves lots of lace. Smells wheaty with traces of honey nicely blended with the big citrus and slight pine smell of Amarillo. The taste is damn close to perfect as the full wheat flavor is a touch sweet and well meet by the hops. A great mouthfeel full and direct even at such a low alcohol content. Very drinkable, just sorry to see this go until next year as this was my last bottle.

 476 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a weizen glass.

Many thanks to nisjer05 for picking this one up.
Very clear bright golden yellow color, with a one inch fluffy white head, that decipates quickly with lots of sticky lacing. Slight piney,citrusy smell with a hint of wheat and maybe lemon. This brew reminded me of lemon flavored ice tea, with a slight hopey bitterness at the end. A medium-light bodied feel with little carbonation.
I would consider this a good session brew. Low alcohol content and a light bodied feel makes for easy drinkin'. I will plan on heading to Toledo sometime soon to pick up some more of Three Floyds brews.

 639 characters

Photo of IceAce
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice golden body filed with medium-sized CO² bubbles floating lazily toward the stark white collar of foam. Clarity is outstanding while the lacing clocks in 'round 10%.

This brew is an interesting and complex mixture of tastes which begin with a tart hop sting upon entry which eases into a smooth wheaty midtaste. While the label refers to the finish as "lemony", thisa taster finds it to be a wonderful juicy fruit hop bite instead.

As it warms the nose begins to take on a beautiful Belgian tone. Many thanks to Brewfan for this bomber!

 547 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very cloudy golden, medium white head forms, lots of sticky lace. Smell is pine and citrus hops, some floral, wheat and caramel. Taste is caramel, some pine and citrus, grassy malt and a clean bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, medium carbonation, very tasty and unique take on an American wheat, 3F style.

 331 characters

Photo of thetachibro
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

into my weizen glass it pours a beautiful golden honey color with a nice two in pure foam head that leaves nice lacing down the sides of the glass. A beautiful looking beer. Smells of honey and wheat and mild fruit. A very nice taste as well. You can definatley tastet the honey and wheat. Mouthfeel is superb very light and crisp. I'm sorry i waited this long to crack this one open. I have to say one of my favorites

 418 characters

Photo of Franchise
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy golden color, with a thin almost tan lace. The smell is of wheat, lemon, honey, some grass essence. The taste is very smooth, kind of sweet from the honey and a little tart from the lemons. It really goes well together. This is a great wheat ale one that I could drink all year around.

 310 characters

Photo of SurgeonGeneral
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving temp: 45F Serving Glass: Weizen Glass

Aroma: Lots of hops in this brew. Strong floral & grassy notes with a sugary sweetness there too. I finally get that asprin like quality that some people have mentioned plague Amarillo hops. Doesn't really detract from the beer though.

Appearance: Cloudy blonde with a bone white head and great lacing. Just like a Wheat Beer should look, with the exception of what looks to be relatively low carbonation for the style.

Taste: The hops obviously hit me first and linger for a long time atferwards, too. Reminds me of several citrus fruits, most notably orange. The sweetness kicks in next and gives balance to the moderate bitterness of the beer. Sweet like sugary candy. Finally, I realize that this is indeed a Wheat Beer. A little bit of fruity yeastiness peeks through at the end and just a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and lively carbonation is here, along with a thicker feel to it than I expected out of a Wheat Beer. Still light and refreshing, however.

Drinkability: I really could drink this brew all day, Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring.. Interesting (very hoppy) interpetation of this style.

 1,171 characters

Photo of Xadoor
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle given to me by a friend from Indiana.

Poured a pale golden colour with a big white head that eventually settled down to a thin white layer of small bubbles. The aroma is all citrus and floral hops with a slight graininess. The hops is equally strong in the flavour with a hint of the wheat. A bit of a green, grassy finish that mellowed slightly as the beer warmed. You definitely need to be a big fan of Amarillo hops to enjoy this beer and fortunately, I am! A delicious and highly drinkable beer, particularly for the summer months.

 550 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bombed poured into my Aventinus Weizen glass.

Appearance: Golden hazy yellow, lots of thick bubbles coming to the surface. Lacing's a bit spotty, and the head keeps recharing because this glass is so awesome, which helps.

Smell: Wonderful floral aromas of aromatic hops and citrus (acidic orange and grapefruit), along with some sweetness of the wheat malt. I'm having trouble getting my nose out, as it's pretty awesome.

Taste: An insanely well-done combination of wheat malt and hops. Like a hefeweizen versus an IPA? How were they able to do this? First a citrus-y touch of hops, balanced and delicious, then ending with the wheat malt sweetness, with a great aftaste of both of them melding well. Wowness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy at first, ending with moderate carbonation and some crisp bite at the end.

Drinkability: I paid about $6 for the bomber, and this is going down quickly because it's damn tasty and easy to drink. But overall a pretty incredible beer, and surely worth a try. Pretty complex and simultaneously easy and pleasurable to drink.

 1,079 characters

Photo of undertow46
4.84/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have heard a lot of good things about this beer, so I was excited to try it. It is fantastic! Aroma is tons of Amarillo hops (which I can't get enough of) with just a little bit of sweetness. Taste is fanatastic as well, lots of flavor from the Amarillo. Good amount of bitterness, but malt characteristics still come through. Mouthfeel is great, and this is really the only place that I can tell it is a wheat beer. Very smooth feel. This beer has held up to the hype. It sure isn't what I'd normally expect from a wheat beer, but other than that, it's hard to criticize this beer.

 584 characters

Photo of Knuckles
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was at the Harmon Brewing Co. in Tacoma last year for a Brewmaster's Dinner. It was the night they released their Harmon's Killer Brew (very bad pun in that for all you Twins fans), but the courses for the evening were paired with their beers starting at the lightest (their Blonde) and moving all the way up to their porter, finishing up with the very malty Killer Brew. The beer that accompanied the second course that evening was their Wollochet Point Wheat Ale, a beer that was so hoppy I was weirded out by the whole thing. It was delicious, mind you, and exceptionally well done, I simply didn't expect it. Gumballhead is also quite hoppy, but this time I'm prepared for it.

Appearance: Pours a deep gold with a pale white headhead that doesn't stick around long enough for me to get its phone number. Minimal lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Truth be known, I think the aroma hops are actually stronger than the bittering hops themselves. That may contribute to some of the legend this beer has for wheaty hoppiness (or whatever). I don't know if they are using Amarillos for aroma as well as bittering, but they are very strong and oh so lemony smelling. And they completely obliterate any malt nose that might be present.

Taste: That wheat malt makes a very quick appearance in between the bittering and the finishing hops, leaving a very smooth, almost creamy malt trail down the back of the tongue. It's different, but I like it. Unfortunately, the finish just isn't as hoppy as the nose would lead you to believe it will be. In that, it's a little disappointing.

Mouthfeel: I couldn't tell you why, but it's not quite right to me. It feels just a bit thin, even though I know this beer is only rolling in at 4.8%. I think it's the hop levels that lead me to want a little more body out of the beer, and maybe a slightly higher ABV. Perhaps my expectations are completely whack.

Drinkability: I have to give this a 3.5 based solely on price. This is a very good, very refreshing beer. But I bought this at Beverage Warehouse in Cleveland Heights, OH for $6.99. That's just too damn much for a bomber of a light summer wheat ale. Next time I'm in Tacoma, I'm going to stop in at Harmon (because I just HATE doing that) and pick up a bomber of their wheat and see how it stands up to the Gumballhead. I'm going to make the wild-ass guess that it will hold up very, very nicely, at $3 less per bomber..

 2,427 characters

Photo of ElGordo
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in New Jersey of all places on my swing through the northern states last month. Pours a hazy golden color without a whole lot of visible carbonation. A whispy white creamy head recedes to just a bit of lace after a few minutes. Aroma is hops, hops, and more amarillo hops, with a subtle sweetness mixed in (almost honey, but not quite). The palate is an enjoyable blend of an unfiltered wheat character with some assertive, sharp hop flavor. Bitterness comes through mid-palate, but smooths out on the finish. A bit of an astringent character strikes somewhere along the line, too, providing a bracing effect. Body is nice, crispy and not too light, with decent carbonation. Very drinkable, even during a cool fall evening. Wish I could score some more of this stuff here in NC.

 797 characters

Photo of zjungleist
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very light cloudy straw-yellow in color, with a foamy but short lived yellow-whilte head. Smells grassy/hoppy, with hint of some good yeast. Taste is fairly complex, with wheat up front, followed quickly by lingering herbal hops, a little baking soda taste of carbonation, and some bitter lemon peel aftertaste. It is odd how the hop taste just hangs on, and then the odd soda taste chimes in. The mouthfeel is nice, and it has refreshing light carbonation.

It's good, but it has an extemely long lasting flavor, almost to the point of being cloying. It is like an odd combination of a summer brew and a winter warmer. Personaly, I would go for something either more refreshing or more potent.

 698 characters

Photo of Fugazme
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very good, despite a very small head... a hazy straw/golden wheat. Looks great.

Smell is wonderful. Sweet hops abound. Some spicy cinnamon-like notes in the whiff as well. A touch of lemon and citrus. Sweet.

Flavor is right on. A subtle hoppiness at first that flares up at the back of the tongue into a very nice hoppy flavor. Citrusy. Smooth. Excellent.

Finishes very dry. Very good.

 410 characters

Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,510 ratings.