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Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,511 Reviews
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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
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Reviews: 1,511 | Ratings: 5,610
Photo of Sixpoint
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looking back, is it possible that I gave this beer such high scores???.... yes, it is.

This beer is light and refreshing in body, mouthfeel, and flavor. It's rather dry, but it has the most amazing lemon zest flavor in the aftertaste. For its potency, it has a very aggressive hoppy bite.

Forget hoegaarden and the other so-called thirst quenchers. American micros are king. Gumballhead is the best American Wheat I've ever had.

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Photo of mdavis31481
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gumballhead pours a light, hazy amber color that is more reminiscent of an IPA than a wheat beer. The slightly off-white head was rich but provided minimal lacing.

The aroma... WOW... hops, hops, and more hops. Am I smelling a wheat beer or an IPA?

I'm having a difficult time figuring this brew out. Does it want to be an APA, IPA, or Wheat beer? Perhaps some amalgamation of the three.

The first sip yields a floral hop taste that smoothes out nicely. Unlike an IPA there is no real hop attack. A gentle sweetness quickly follows the hops leaving a pleasant citrus finish.

The mouthfeel deftly walks the line between thick and thin.

This is a very nice beer, one that I would never turn down. But it would not be my first choice if a wheat beer was what my palate craved.

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

Emerged from the 22 ounce as a medium amber liquid with a thick foamy head. Smell is a nice mixture of bready malt, citrus, and hops Taste is just plain enjoyable, as the malts, citrus, and hops combine to make an excellent brew. Finish is dry, yet fruity. An excellent drinking beer.

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

A- hazy golden yellow with a fluffy white head

S- strong hop bitterness and grainy aroma with pine being the dominate scent

T- fruity/citrus flavor, spices, hops, sweet finish

M- medium mouthfeel, very smooth and creamy. carbonation is low

D- nice smooth and even flavor makes it extremely easy to drink.

overall- very different from any other wheat beer ive tried. besides the stronger hop presence there just something about the flavor that makes it very unique. $6.00 for a bomer is a bit steep, but its definitely worth it.

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Photo of hero27
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber, with the street-fighting cartoon cat "Gumballhead" on the label.

I figured it's about time for me to finally review this beer, as I've been drinking it all summer long. Graciously stocked (upon request) at HyVee Wine & Spirits locally..to my knowledge..it was the first place in Iowa to stock it. I'm quickly beginning to think that Three Floyds is the best craft brewery in America.

Hands-down, the best summer session beer I've ever had, and I really can't imagine it getting much better than this. While reading some other reviews, someone commented by saying this beer is a "delicate tribute to hops". I think that describes it just about perfectly. The hops are not overwhelming, but go so incredibly well with the pale, wheat flavor & aroma. Citrusy & delicious...one of the most well-crafted beers I've ever had, period.

If the comic book is as good as the beer, I just might have to take up reading.

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Photo of ggroller
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. bombers purchased at Shangys last night. I heard great things about this beer so I am so anxious to try this.

Cool label. I never knew that Gumballhead was a cartoon character.

Pours a golden copper. Plenty of carbonation. Not hazy at all like the bottle says or light a wheat beer should be.

Nice big pure white, fluffy head. Great sticking on the glass.

Huge hops in the nose. Love that.

Great hop taste in the mouth. The sweetness of cotton candy follows as I swallow.

Like the bottle says, "It's not normal." Certainly not a normal wheat beer. You know what, though, who cares. This is just great beer. I am becoming a huge fan of 3F. I can't wait to try all their others.

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

3 Floyd's Gumballhead

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

Appearance- caramel brown with a thick frothy head.
Smell- fruity/ citrus with a touch of wheat.
Taste- dry citrus floral hops with a mixture of wheat/ hay flavor.It seems to me this is a mixture of an IPA and a wheat. Quite unique!
Mouthfeel- smooth with little to no bitterness.

Overall- a delicious beer that went well with the veggie portobello burger.

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber picked up at Vintage Cellar (Blacksburg, VA) middle of July. If there's a date on this one, I can't find it. (Dimly lit room, and loads of condensation on the bottle.)

Let's pop this puppy. Oh, wait...that's a cat on the bottle. :)

As it hits the glass, the head comes raging up, full on. Good thing I am using a 20oz! Nice, just barely off white head. Tight at the bottom, looser at the top. Subsides at a medium pace. Wet lace left behind. Underneath is a very slightly hazy, honey coloured brew. A small field of bubbles rises towards the head.

The smell is all about hops and some yeast. It's earthy, fruity hops. It's a fabulous smell. On a deeper inhalation, the wheat comes through. It's letting the hops take the spotlight, though.

The hop flavour definitely shines through up front- but it's much rounder a flavour than the smell would make you think. Not as rough and earthy, but a little woody. The wheat hits right after, and then a woody quality takes over, and finishes with some spiciness over the top. Very nice.

The body is just a slightly heavier than I would expect from the looks of this one. A tight carbonation is felt more on the finish than anywhere else...it builds as the mouthful is starting to become a memory.

I give this one top marks for drinkability. I could easily get in danger here. This one could be a constant companion on sessions.

I won't rave quite as much as some of my contemporaries will- it's a VERY good beer, but I'm not just absolutely wowwed by it as a few folks I've met have been. If I could get this where I live, a bottle would always reside in my beer closet. I'm very happy with it, and will definitely get my grubby little paws on more when the two bombers I have left are gone.

Be well

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Photo of kpantz
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Executive Summary: Smells like an IPA, but backs off nicely on the palate, resulting in a refreshing warm-weather brew.

22 oz. bomber purchased in NJ.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden hue with a fervent head that forces you to divide the pouring into two "sessions."

Smell: Amarillo hops are obvious in the nose, and it just screams "I'm trying to be an IPA!"

Taste: Lightness of a wheat...hops certainly in the flavor but without the lasting bitterness of most hoppy brews. A nice dial-down on the bitterness here.

Mouthfeel: A little thinner than I expected, but it's a nice surprise in the hot weather. The carbonation is perfect. In all, this just feels like a warm season beer.

Drinkability: Could EASILY knock back a sixer of this. Would make a great session brew. I'll have to remember this one.

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

Nice amber color with a small white head...subsided to lust a bit of lacing.

Smells all pine hopness. I mean, you could use this beer as an example of the hop odor...no problem.

Tastes like hops...strongly of hops. However, unlike most hoppy beers this has zero bitterness. I've never had anything quite like it. Very tasty and refreshing.

This was an enjoyable brew through the entire pint and a nice change of pace from the typical wheat ale.

You should try it.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gumballhead pours a decent though not overly-impressive golden amber colour with a nice sized, sticky white head on top.

The smell is an overwhelmingly pleasant combination of stuff stemming from the hops: floral notes, pine, sweetness, etc. There's also a touch of citrus in the mix as well. Wheat is mildly presnet in the background.

The flavour is more of the same: the hop onslaught is non-stop, yet it is somehow subdued enough that it doesn't really move this one into IPA territory. There is a floral flavour throughout mixed in with wheat throughout. The finish is very sweet but also has a bit of a wood flavour in it as well. It starts to get juicy then goes dry. Weird and different, but good.

The body is nice and full for the style and there's a slick oily feel to it as well.

This is a damn tasty brew overall and a great summer session brew. It far and away has the most flavour of any summer brew I've ever sampled, yet remains pretty simple and thirst quenching at the same time. Yum.

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

Served on tap in a standard pint glass.

The beer came with a beautiful white head that stuck around through the beer and left lacing on the side of glass. The beer was a just slightly hazy golden yellow. It smelled of citrous and and aromatically hoppy, and the beer tasted with the sort of flavor expected of its aroma. Its taste is just so well balanced, much less bitter than what I had expected because of the IBUs listed at the bar. The beer tasted of the citrous and hops with just enough malt. My girlfriend, like a few other reviews I have seen, really enjoyed this one as well, which doesn't mean it's a light or sweet beer but instead something very well made and balanced. This is a perfect beer for the hott summer months. I'll definitely be picking these up in the store when I get the chance.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz brown bomber.

Poured a bubbly hazed light copper/gold with a thick, clingy froth.

Strong citrus aromas, along with an herbal note and an undertone of wheat sweetness.

Surprisingly thick in body for the style, creamy with an oily finish from the massive hops. Speaking of massive hops, this dude was loaded down with Amarillo, one of my new favorites. Like other beers brewed with Amarillo hops it had a nice citrus taste that was hard to pin down, but not your average "grapefruit and pine" flavor. Sweet wheat malts made a showing, but were clearly outdone.

What a great summer beer, hell, anytime of the year beer. I gave some buddies dough before they went on a trip to 3F's, and I was surprised with Gumballhead. I'm not generally a fan of wheat beers, (I tend to find them cloying); I would drink this any time.

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

This poured with very little head at all and was a clear, golden yellow in the glass. The nose was very fruity, sweet like a stick of JuicyFruit gum or a gumball (!). The sweetness carried through on the palate, although it had a light mouthfeel. The finish was citrusy, like lime or lemon, giving way to a faint taste of dill. I found it to be just a bit too sweet for my liking, even sweet for the style.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beauty in a big Weizen Glass, hazy orange yellow with a 1/2 inch head that stubbornly sticks to the glass. Nothing but champagne bubbles firing up from the depths of the glass. Smell is sweet wheat with a mild freshwater odor over the top. Taste is surprisingly sugary, with a hop bite ever present. Oily hoppy finish, then a longer finish of sugary hops. Strange, yet tasty. Mouthfeel is medium with a cohesive body. The flavors are separate and blend like rainbow colors do...distinct, but you can't see where one begins and the other ends. A nice quaff, but more than a couple might cause a bit of sensory overload for the palate.

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Photo of antzman
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How do you classify this great wheat beer. It really does not fit into any regular parameters that you judge a wheat by, but boy, was it fantastic. This poured with a thin white head that clung to the glass, with a pale yellow hue and some cloudiness. The Amarillo Hops jump out at you. The aroma is pure wheat. The first sip is all wheat, but then some subtle grapefruit is tasted. This was an awesome beer, right on par with the other fine beers out of Three Floyds.

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Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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

Ths is probably the most interesting take on the staple pale wheat ale I've come across. Lots of grassy, piney strong hops going on here. Pours a clear gold/amber in color with a thick fluffy white head with great retention, lacing abound! Nose is quite hoppy, very floral and piney, smacks of summer. Taste is powerful especially for the style, quite hoppy but very well balanced, not over the top by any means, very, very tasty. This is the most un-wheat-like wheat beer I've ever come across.

This didn't totally wow me, but this would make a spectacular session beer for certain. I wouldn't mind some more on occasion.

(Edited: 6/8/06)

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Photo of dwvarner77
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a transparent deep golden color with a copper highlight, active carbonation visible. Tall ivory head falls but maintains a nice lacing on the glass, with solid retention.
Aroma is strongly citrus hop, woody or grassy undertones; smells like it's dry-hopped. very nice.
Flavor is refreshing; slight malt, good citrus hop flavor that's not overpowering; great balance here. the woody and grassy flavors there in the aroma present themselves in the flavor and kind of linger in the aftertaste, with a hint of the bitter on the back and sides of the tongue. Grapefruit and pine flavors hint themselves in as well.
Active carbonation persists, partnering with the crisp flavor for a tingling, refreshing mouthfeel. Highly drinkable, particularly for hot days and nights. Quintessential summer brew, in my opinion.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bomber.

Pours a crystal clear orangey copper with a frothy snow white head. Quite lacy. Smells of citrusy hops and lightly of sweet wheat malt.

Taste is basic but does it well. Delivers crisp what malt followed by huge amount of hops (amarillo according to the bottle) and some lemony flavor throughout. Three great tastes that taste great together. Crisp and bright mouthfeel. Tasty. I can see why this has such a following, especially for a summer beer.

With the name, I thought this beer had captured the bubblegum flavor of a true hefe and that's what they were pushing. Boy, was I wrong but still a great beer. It's almost as if they thought to themselves, "Hey, it's hard for us American brewers to make a true German style wheat so let's not try. Let's do something original." And it is a true original.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a bomber, this ale showcases a light blonde to gold color with some cloudiness. Bubbly white head on top that leaves some nice sticky patches of lacing. Hops are apparent in the nose with lots of citrous bubbling up. Also a hint of fruit, as well as a dose wheat, pale malt, and yeast. Crisp flavor showcases the "boat loads" of amarillo hops. Hops are immediately prickly on the tongue, and are complimented surprisingly well by the big wheat flavor. Lemons and orange peel jump out, assisted by some tangerine and maybe even a bit of apple. Yeast is not unnoticed in the flavor, although it is subtle. Toasty malt is also there, setting some solid ground for the hops and wheat to tread upon. Carbonation is about perfect, mouthfeel is full and unwavering. Really quite the wheat beer, especially in the summertime. Would be a seriously kick ass offering for a BBQ.

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Photo of HopHeadKen
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many of Three Floyds Brews state on their label 'Its Not Normal' and this Wheat Beer is no exception. It must be the 'Wheat Cousin' to some American Pale Ale.

This is a Big Hops Beer, with Crisp Clean Citrus Amarillo flavor.

Clear yellow color and creamy white head with decent staying power.

If Imitation is truely a sincere form of flattery, then I would like to clone this beer as a homebrew. I could drink 3 or 4 of these a day in the summer.

Suprizingly enough, even my wife likes this beer; and she really doesn't like hoppy beers. That is not to say, this is a 'girly beer' but rather that it has good balance and smoothness for all the hops it contains.

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Photo of weeare138
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a cloudy pale golden color with a 2 inch white head that lasts for a moment. Huge bits of chunky lacing with small bits of carbonation can be seen.
Smell is of rich, blended red wheat with an array of citrusy hops jumping out of the glass. There are bits of ripe pear, and melon with a touch of vanilla deep in the aroma when the last remnants of the yeasty brew are poured out.
Taste is an interesting blend of full wheat and hops with yeast, pears, and citrusy hops. Refreshing at first but a tad chewy and filling.
Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied of the creamy wheat and bitterness that has a strange but pleasant feel. Creaminess mixed with bitterness that seems to overlap rather than clash makes this unique brew an excellent choice to try if for nothing else.
Drinkability is good but more than one in a sitting would be more than enough for me with the heavier body and the other choices you can find.

Finger licking good.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to weeare138 for this extra bonus...quite generous.
Pours a light copper color...a touch cloudy w/ a half finger of bright white head.
Smells somewhat sweet...lemons and oranges mostly, but very subtle...very enjoyable.
Taste is nice...a decent dose of hops but my no means overbearing. Wheat beers are not my first choice for beers, but I can definitely get used to this style during the warmer months.
Medium bodied w/ a bit too much carbonation for me. Fairly bitter in the finish w/ some lingering effects.
Drinkability is average...finishing this bomber is no sweat, but I would work my way to something else if given the chance.
Glad to be trying one more beer from Three Floyds...so many great offerings.

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

Pours from the bomber a deep gold with a thick white head.

Smell is hop heavy right off the bat, very flowery and grapefruity, as well as a faint sweetness.

Taste is extraordinary. Medium bodied with a huge hop bitterness and tangy sweetness. Very smooth and filling in the mouth. Malt tones aren't dominant, but are definitely there. Finishes with a bitter dry snap.

What an amazing wheat beer. This is exactly what one should expect from an American Wheat, smooth and quenching, with a bitter smack...incredible...perfect!

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,511 ratings.