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Gumballhead - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
GumballheadGumballhead

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,542 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,542
Reviews: 1,423
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.21%
Wants: 814
Gots: 543 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
An American Wheat Ale, Gumballhead is named in honor of the underground comic book cat created by Rob Syers. Initially a seasonal summer beer, now brewed year round due to demand. This beer helped redefine American Wheat Beers. Brewed with Amarillo Hops and a generous portion of American red wheat, Gumballhead has a complex hop aroma with notes of grapefruit, lemon zest, marmalade and peach. These flavors combined with low bitterness make Gumballhead a refreshing American Wheat Beer that doesn’t suck.

35 IBU

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 04-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,542 | Reviews: 1,423 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a foamy white head that has decent persistance and drops some lacing around the glass

Smell: Dominated by the fresh hop aroma from the Amarillos; powerful stuff, that, with just a modest undertone of wheat in there

Taste: As I let this warm, the beer starts out with both a citrusy and wheaty flavor that, after the swallow, is complemented by a strong lemony blast

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A most unusual but extraordinary brew

brentk56, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazed peachy amber with a hint of tangerine. The rich cream-colored head is creamyfirm, stays humped in the center as it falls and throws up a fair amount of delicate, intricate lace.

Tremendous nose, like a tropical fruit punchbowl. Pineapple is far and away the dominant aroma; it smells like I just cracked open one of Hawaii's sweetest and juiciest. Other fruit is present as well, mango especially, giving Gumballhead the most enticing non-IPA nose that I've ever experienced.

Delicious is the only word that I can use to describe the flavor. I'm surprised by the light body, but then this is a summer wheat beer. Despite the superficial similarities in bottle and label, it isn't meant to be Dreadnaught. There's more than enough flavor to go around; especially Amarillo hoptropical fruitiness and, yes, gumballs.

It isn't an overly hoppy beer in terms of bitterness. Even though it's slightly more bitter on the finish, it doesn't have that hop 'bite' that all hop lovers love. What is does have is hop flavor. Lots of hop flavor. There isn't much malt on board, just enough to hang the hops on and no more. The breezily light mouthfeel and the low ABV make me think I could drink several of these bombers very easily.

Three Floyds has hit another home run. This is a superb wheat beer; the best, by far, that I've ever had. I can't imagine a more delicious, more easy drinking, more flat-out enjoyable summer seasonal. The bomber is almost gone and it hasn't taken me all that long to write this review. Have the boys at 3F sold their souls to Old Scratch? Gumballhead met my high expectations and then some.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 04, 2004
Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's kinda silly to call this beer a Pale Wheat Ale. It's not accurate and it's not fair. It's not accurate because this beer is certainly an IPA with an American wheat / barley malt base; whereas most IPAs have a standard barley malt base only. It's not fair because this beer is hands-down a better beer than any other Pale Wheat Ale that I have ever drank. Calling this beer a Pale Wheat is misleading and completely over-hopped for it's style. The alcohols show an interesting evaporative cooling effect without much drying. The hops, although pleasantly citrus, adds a mild dish-soap flavor that becomes distracting as the beer warms. Though I can see why so many BA's rate this beer so high, I'm not going to get carried away with the hype.

BEERchitect, Jul 05, 2006
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -5%

kjkinsey, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.78/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy gold color beer with a huge bubbly head with average retention. Aroma of citrusy hops is overpowering and I could not discern any wheat. Taste is also totally dominated by the hops and leave very little place for the wheat. Not bad overall, I just don’t see were the American wheat fits in because I could not detect any presence of wheat in this beer.

Phyl21ca, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So I finally was able to get a hold of a Gumball head, not only did I find one, but I managed to score 4! So needless to say this one had better be good. Poured a nice bright golden amber with lots of haze and cloudiness and some sediment gathering on the bottom. A very fluffy large head of white formed on the top and this gradually gave way to copious side glass lace. A great aroma hear, very light with lots of floral light hop[s in the back a really nice grassy and yeast like front to it. This translated over very well to the flavor. A very light floral and bright flavor dominated by grass like flavors, punctuated with peaches, and orange hop flavors. Very light bodied with ample carbonation made this one that was not too filling, and this almost qualified as a water substitute it was so good. I thoroughly enjoyed every last drop of this. It has to be hands down the best I have ever had in the style and one of the best session ales I have ever tried. I would buy a case if they sold it here and have one for dinner every night. This was definitely a very very fine brew and I look forward to the rest of them, get your hands on this if you can!

mikesgroove, Oct 26, 2007
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%

jaydoc, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cvaypai for sending me a bottle of this in a recent trade.

A: The pour on this beer is quite unassuming. A pale golden color with a small white foam that dissipates quickly to a thin layer. The lacing, however, is quite nice.

S: Things start to get much better in the aroma. A nice, bright citrus hop aroma with a fair amount of pine to go along with it. Not much malt or wheat to speak of in the nose.

T: Like the nose would indicate, a solid hop presence. The grapefruit is front and center with a mild pine on the finish. The malt and wheat provide a bit of sweetness in the middle of the tongue.

M: A light, crisp beer with fairly high carbonation.

D: This would be a nice one for the summer months. A refreshing beer, no doubt, and low alcohol would make this a staple in my fridge (could I easily attain it).

womencantsail, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of kylehay2004
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the brewery.

A: Single finger head with nice retention and lacing on a clear golden body.

S: musty wheat, pale malts and breads. Subtle spiciness.

T: very nice combination a wheat and maltiness. The hops are really nicely added to this one providing citrus and slightly floral notes.

M: light body and moderate to high carbonation. Crisp and refreshIng.

Overall: very flavorful almost like a sessionabke pale ale. Very unique for the style. Certainly a memorable brew.

kylehay2004, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gumballhead turned out to be much nicer than I thought it'd be. The pour was a hazy yellow color with a nice looking fluffy white head on it. The smell of the beer was hoppy, wasn't expecting that but I like it a lot. The soft aromas of grains and wheat are also in there. The taste of the beer has a wheat flavor upfront that is quickly kicked away by a rush of citrusy hop flavors. Kind of reminded me of HopSun from Southern Tier but on a better scale. The mouthfeel was smooth and yet had a good tingling finish. Overall this beer is a very nice release from 3 Floyd's. I'd buy this if they'd only distribute to PA again.

Knapp85, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy peach with a thinner head than expected that was gone pretty quickly,oh man the aromas!Loads of Amarrilo hops give it a big piney aroma intermingled with some citrus and clove like wheatiness,man what a combination.The different refreshing flavors of this beer are just awesome, definent hop profile of grapefruit and pine along with a wheat beer -lemon and spice make this a one of a kind.Damn now I see why this beer is so highly regarded and Amarillo hops are a big favorite of mine.

oberon, May 18, 2005
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5%

JAHMUR, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -5%

largadeer, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass.

Thanks to hannydawg for bustin' out this bottle!

For whatever reason, I just don't trust that yellow guy on the label. Anyway, the beer behind him pours a clear golden sunlight-blonde topped by a nice finger of white foam. The nose comprises orange zest, pine, orange peel, light grapefruit, light raspberry, banana, light cardamom, and some nice honey-dripped biscuit in the background. The taste doesn't really change this recipe all that much, but it does come across to me as a slightly watered-down, slightly wheated-up version of the smell, which does take away from the tastiness imbibed by my 'strils. It still tastes pretty damn good, but not as good as it could have, if that makes any sense. The body is a nice light, with a light moderate carbonation and a crisply-finishing wet feel. Overall, a very nice (if sort of elusive) APWA, one of the best things regularly put out by the Floyds.

TMoney2591, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +1%

SocalKicks, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Map Room.
Fresh keg, 2007 batch released a week ago.

Pours a hazy amber, nice cap of foam. Tiny streams of carbonation.

Aroma of a floral and juicy citrus hop combination. Not as amped up as other 3F offerings thankfully. Sample at the brewpub seemed much more grassy and herbal in the nose.

Taste is light, big hop presence, slight bitterness. Wheaty in the middle with a nice residual sweetness. Aftertaste of mango, or apricot from the distinctive Amarillo hops. Bubblegum doesn't figure in much to me.

Very smooth and easy drinking. Can't wait for the six-packs...

emerge077, May 17, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hazy, deep amber-orange body reveals golden highlights at the base of the glass and teems with tiny effervescent bubbles. The off-white head is full and densely creamy; and displays excellent retention and leaves wide swatches of lacing about the glass. The nose is loaded with bright, fresh hops that are citrusy and lightly spicy with hints of pine over a delicately sweet, wheatish malt. The body is medium; and its lightly zesty effervescence leaves a lingering tingle on the front of the tongue as the rest of the beer fades smoothly away with a light creaminess. The hops displayed in the nose are clearly carried over into the flavor, dominating upfront but blending most exquisitely across the middle in a wash of sweetish, wheat-accented malt. The bitterness is held in check as it should be (@20 IBU's perhaps); yet the hop aromas and flavors shine! It finishes with some lingering malt sugar and piney and spicy hops that fade to a dull residual bitterness by the time you're ready for another sip. An extraordinary American wheat that's well worth seeking out.

NeroFiddled, May 03, 2004
Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

red wheat beer, not as common a style as it should be, and this one is executed well. thanks to claystation for this one, what a champion he is! this pours a slightly hazy sunset red color, pale, with almost two inches of off white head with lovely lacing. the nose is quite hoppy for a wheat beer, which is welcomed. citrus aroma on that, with a slightly sweet red malt base, the what makes the whole thing feel summery. flavor is interestingly hop forward. oranges and lemon zest are detectable, and the wheat malt is unique in the sense that it has some real oomph to it, really flavorful and not lost in the hoppy shuffle this beer has going. yeast is not the standard hefe stuff I expected it to be, but a mildly peppery soft flavored strain that lets the other flavors do most of the talking. finish is balanced, but bitterness does dial up a bit. excellent carbonation and a medium body that makes this much more of a beer drinkers beer than some others. three floyds gets so much hype from the beer community, sometimes I think their stuff doesn't live up to it very well, but this is a fine example of twisting a style to be something else entirely, and its outstanding. this one is worthy of the praise.

StonedTrippin, May 12, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Beerguy for the sample ...

A- Shimmering weathered golden hue, thick foamy head sticks like a champ.

S- Beautiful aromatics from the hops. Powdered aspirin, mandarin orange and lemon zest?

T- Big on hops, lots of that aspirin like bitterness from the Amarillo hops. Oily yet very sharp. Malt sweetness struggles to break through the hop barrier, enough comes by to keep things somewhat balanced. The crisp character of the wheat actually intensifies the sharpness of the bitterness which becomes a tad bothersome IMO.

M- A bit more body than I thought there was going to be, lining of crispness in the middle.

D- I could see having a pint or two if I needed a quick hop fix.

Jason, Jul 15, 2005
Photo of WVbeergeek
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Honey golden hue a huge massive off white cream in color big chunky mountainous texture very resilient leaves heavy streaks of random lacing. Aroma: Amazing absolutely one of the most pleasant and alluring hop profiles I've ever come across from an American wheat ale, who could have guessed that. Deep buttery pinecone scented hops as the label describes "loads of Amarillo hops" with a touch of banana ester, man this hop profile is kickin'. Taste: Heavenly, layer upon layer of this orgy of wheat, vanilla, and banana along with such a generous helping of Amarillo hops. Really hoppy flavored yet not that bitter extremely balanced, it's easy to say there's no other beer drinking experience like this out there. Mouthfeel: Creamy silky yet rediculously smooth going down, medium bodied with an even carbonation, a pure hop nectar. Drinkability: A dream come true for people who love both hoppy beers and wheat infused ales. If you don't like American wheats give this a try nothing like any other example of the style. Let me thank CRJMellor for this beauty I've been salivating to try this one.

WVbeergeek, May 23, 2004
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -5%

nickfl, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from FtownThrowDown, so a big “thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is mostly of lemon with some wheat and quite a bit more hops than you usually get in this style.

T: Citrus sweetness and a significant hops flavor hit you first. If the label didn’t have “wheat beer” on it, I’d swear this is an IPA. The wheat character comes out a little bit after the hops & citrus fade, but it’s not very pronounced. After-taste is lemony sweet with a little bit of hops bitterness.

M: Very crisp & very smooth, medium-to-high carbonation, medium body, clean finish.

D: Extremely tasty, not very filling, quite easy to drink, with the low ABV, this is a beer that you can just keep on drinking and drinking. As a huge Dreadnaught fan, I think the best way to describe this beer is “Dreadnaught Lite”.

TheManiacalOne, Oct 15, 2006
Gumballhead from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 4,542 ratings.