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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

4,443 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,443
Reviews: 1,418
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.21%
Wants: 800
Gots: 509 | FT: 26
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: 4,443 | Reviews: 1,418 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an efes tulip. Thin, white head with low retention. Clear, oily lacing. Clear body, straw/gold in color. Aroma dominated by citrussy hops, tangerine, lemon, lime, grapefruit. Taste is a lovely blast of citrus as the hops dominate. The body is soft and very palatable, i assume by the addition of wheat. A great style of beer and along with sumpin, sumpin, a awesome version if the style.

KickbacksSteve, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of Azurescens
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Hair of the Dog tulip, reviewed on 8/1/11.

A: Pours a clear golden orange with thin white head that leaves a bit of lacing around glass.

S: Citrus and herbal hops up front with hints of pale malt and some wheat as well.

T: Some hop bitterness up front that gives way to sweet hop flavors of tangerine and other citrus notes. Ffinishes crisp with cracker like pale malt and hints of wheat.

M: Crisp light mouthfeel, moderate carbonation and dry finish.

O: Nice hoppy twist on a pale wheat ale, very light, refreshing and drinkable.

Azurescens, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of augievikings
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice yellow-orange with a good head. Excellent citrus aroma - reminds me of a nice grapefruit smell. Not terribly bitter and very refreshing on a warm summer day. Nice hop balance and finishes very smooth with just a hint of bitterness. I would not actually describe this as a "wheat ale" but since I am relatively new to beer tasting, perhaps I just don't understand the style as well. I would love to have this in my refrigerator year-round as it could easily be a go-to standard beer.

augievikings, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of BStalf21
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

without breaking down every detail of this beer I wanted to rate it. It has plenty of people putting down any little particular they can identify. My local beer stores distributor no longer travles to our area and the new one dosen't carry FFF and it breaks my heart. So I just wanted to memorialize this delicious beer that there is never a bad time for and I cant get enough of.

BStalf21, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of cosmo4u
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

recieved from funyaudio in the BIF Noob 5

From the pour this beer was good, it came out of the bottle with a nice golden/orange color that was just slightly clouded from the wheat. The pour ended with a good head. This beer had a great taste to it. The beer has a soft dryness and there was almost no bitterness as the hops were very mild. You can definitely taste a citrus flavor in the beer.

The mouthfeel and after taste brings me back to a simple piece of hubba bubba or some other simple gumball. I really love the opposing forces of silky smoothness and the bite of hops.

Overall I am in love with this beer and cant wait to get more of it.

cosmo4u, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of Randyweizen
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On some level, it's a waste of time to review a beer that has well over a thousand reviews already.

And yet I can't help but put this down for the record: Gumballhead has most of the attributes that I strive for as a homebrewer when I want to make a pleasantly hoppy summer beer.

The key is in the blend of different flavor and aroma elements. There's the obvious hop flavors from the Amarillo, somewhere between grapefruit and tangerine. But this is only one egg in the basket. There's also cooked sugar candy, fig, pineapple, caramel... I don't know where in the hell it's all coming from, but it's a great blend. You can taste it all, smell it all, and enjoy its kaleidoscopic transformation as the glass warms.

My only caveat is that the finish is slightly flawed, a little like old bubble gum. The FFF website claims 28 IBUs; maybe 40 or so would give a cleaner finish without being too bitter for the masses. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

So, again, this is a great, great beer with tremendous personality. If I were to mix a six pack as a gift for a visiting German friend, there would be a 12oz bottle of Gumballhead, no doubt about it.

Randyweizen, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of rfgetz
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a suprisingly clean golden amber color, nice plume of white froth, decent lacing. First whiff is a remarkable rush of fruit from pineapple to mango to grapefruit to peach, light funky tartness from the wheat and a light whiff of simple syrup like sweetness. Taste brings the fruit to the front, but not as aggressive as the scent dictates and the tart and lightly funky wheat and yeast come into play, finishes with a touch of sweetness akin to a teaspoon full of powdered sugar. Medium bodied, surprisingly creamy and smooth. A very nice beer with a lot of positives, a little more kick of fruity hop flavor and I would be dying for more.

rfgetz, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Holland
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap into a pint glass at Binny's South Loop.

A: amber in color, this pours with a fine head that dissipates and leaves a little lacing.

S: smells of light malt, fruity esters, and - yes - candy or gumballs. About as I expected for the name, but wild for a wheat beer.

T: not as strong as the smell, but you get the same flavors with the addition of some bitter hops.

M: the bitter hops and deep color for the type make this a nice mouthfeel that changes as you drink it. I'm generally a fan of the changing beers, so this is great.

O: drinkable, delicious, and not overpowering. I'd have it again if I could ever find it.

Holland, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of Cavery
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz shared with Klym, bottle courtesy of SpdKilz; thanks for hunting this one down buddy!

Bottle was fresh from the brewery! Poured into taster tulip.

A: Mellow yellow with a watery honey look. Respectful half-finger head of foam, which is respectable considering this was a split 12oz allowing for only a slightly violent pour. Completely transparent with rogue bubbles shooting up from the bottom. Looks like a wheat beer, but the color is a bit darker than normal.

S: There really truly is a gumball note in this beer. I would describe it as those vaguely-mint if not spirimint flavored white gumballs. The note is actually not overly sweet though, as this seems to arise in a convergence of typical barley malt notes and wheat. A mild note of dried peaches and white nectarines. Really quite a delicate nose with an unusual profile.

T: Light white peach flesh with some wheat sweetness. The hops come off crunchy and dried. There's a real nice contrast in this flavor; it's like having some dried peaches on a wheat cereal. A slight transitional flavor that slowly but surely augments the peach flesh into tangerines; ending with apricot juices. Really very good. Top notch in the refreshing department.

M: Consistent soft bubbles that drink like a slightly carbonated juice. Really reminds me of pineapple juice based juice nectars. There's a medium grade to the body that is deceptive considering the lightness of feeling in the mouth. It feels light, but the tongue interprets it as sensitizing. A real hard to pinpoint fuzziness that makes the carbonation feel finer than an otter's hide. Super nice, skyrockets the drink-ability even further. The sensation is as addictive as the flavor, like a gentler version of pop-rocks.

O: This is probably the most drinkable beer I've ever had. I mean it feels like you could crush a vat of this thing. Thirst quenching fruity flavors, beautiful hop contrast, and a mouth that rivals the ambrosia of the gods. Such a treat to have a fresh offering of this beer, and to be able to drink it on a hot Southern California day. This beer is on the session ale dream team, a starter in any lineup. Seek this out, it's very well worth it. On second thought, get at least two.

Cavery, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of Klym
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. Shared with Cavery. Thanks to SPDKilz for giving this awesome throwin to cavery in a recent trade so we could both enjoy it!

A: pours a nice wheaty gold with a small white head that leaves little lacing and dies off in not too much time. A very appropriate look.

S: The nose on this one definitely changes with temperature and even by whiff. Overall, a balanced and sweet combination of hops, wheat, and even a little sugary gumball (really, distinctly bubble gum). Sometimes the gumball smell can even be a little noxious, but overall a very pleasant and enticing smell.

T: A joyous harmony of piney, sweet hops, wheat, and a little background sugariness that maybe was related to the gumball nose. The balance of the flavors is fantastic and makes this utterly easy to drink and enjoy.

M: Light body, light carbonation, no big hits in the mouth-- exactly what you'd expect and hope for with a good pale wheat ale.

O: Very highly sessionable, delicious pale wheat ale. I don't see many trumping this. Great balance and high-quality flavors compose this wonderful brew. Definitely worth picking up a bottle-- or a growler.

Klym, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of beenitty
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Recieved as extras from whitemomba, thanks Jason

Reviewed from notes from May, had this after notes as well.

A. Pours golden yellow, with good lacing and sizable off white head.

S. Fruit, hops, bit of bubble gum but not as BIG as I expected with the name.

T. Bit of wheat, hops, fruit on the end. Odd accumulation of bubble gum flavor when you've been chewing the same piece for too long.

D: Super high. I could down alot of these guys.

M. very nice, still getting that old bubblegum character here. Nice overall though, good carbonation, crisp and smooth.

Had several bottles of this and was definitely let down a bit. Would love to try it on draft to see if it can live up to the hype.

beenitty, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Marty30
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my man Danny for hooking me up(again!)
Poured into A Sam Adams perfect Pint glass,at fridge temp.

A. A clear bright yellow body with a nice pure whit 1 and a half finger head.Good lacing and carbonation.

S. Big piney hop notes followed by a kind of a crushed up berry smell of some sort.You can tell right away this is going to be hoppy.

T. Very hoppy for the style, Lots of pine and lemon up front.Then there is a sweetnness to this similar to sweet fruit.

M. Mouth is light and a little thin.Good carbonation helps things along.

Overall a great summer beer that is refreshing and very drinkable.I don'tknow if it fits the style of pale wheat ale but nice beer all together. I want more!

Marty30, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of rrski198
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wonderfully bright orange color. Nice large slow rising bubbles. Decent white head that stuck around awhile.

S: Big time pine hop aroma and a minor yeast funk. There is a sweet candy like scent as well that is quite nice (cotton candy)

T: What is the most surprising thing here is that the hops are present and let themselves be known, but the wheat is not lost. I still get the sweet and funky from the wheat side of this brew. Very nice balance of flavors.

M: The hops are bitter and spicy and kick at the begining, the sweetness comes in and then goes real quickly leaving a thin finish. Wish this beer had a little bit more body but its average for the style.

O: Much hyped and not dissapointed. This beer wouldn't be in my top 10, however, it is a real bright star in a usually forgetable style of beer.

rrski198, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of Mosley1212
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my DFH Snifter. Thanks to Bay01 for hooking me up with this glorious beer.

A--Poured a vibrant yellow, like straw that appeared crisp. There was a stark-white head that was foamy and lasted for a while. Head reformed with agitation.

S--Obviously the wheat was present. There was also some rye present. Then came a sweet smell of citrus. I'm thinking there was lemon peel? Maybe some grapefruit.

T--A little bit of fruit on the front end. Some apricots and lemon. Then comes the wheat and the rye. Very earthy.

M--Crisp and clear. Lot of carbonation. There is also some hoppy goodness. It's a bit of a hop bomb, which is pleasant.

O--This is a clean, crisp wheat beer. It could also serve as a hop fix when I need it. I wish this was available to me. Thanks again, Bay01.

Mosley1212, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of sonnmr31
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a light yellow color, almost clear

S - Standard citrus note. Smell hoppy for a wheat beer

T - Taste more like a pale ale than a wheat beer.

M - Good balance of hops and the wheat makes it smooth. Real easy to drink.

O - Perfect beer for the summer

sonnmr31, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of siege06nd
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What do you know, my first review. Take it easy on me...

A: Poured into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Pours a nice golden straw color, nearly crystal clear. The gold fades to a nice pale yellow around the edges of the glass. The color on this is very nice. About a half inch cream white head from an aggressive pour, quickly recedes to a quarter inch and lingers. Good lacing on the sides of the glass. This beer looks refreshing, indeed...

S: No big surprises here...the standard citrus notes. Obvious orange and faint traces of lemon. As it warms, I pick up a slight floral hop presence. The smell on this is fantastic, can't wait for a sip.

T: Pretty good, yet slightly disappointing. Hops make their presence known nicely, but the citrus notes are not as pleasant as the smell led me to believe. The faintest of lemon until the hops take over. Don't get me wrong, this is by no means an aggressively hopped beer, but it's definitely more pale than wheat. Expected a little fuller orange and clove presence, even for a Pale Wheat. Nevertheless, it is crisp and refreshing, exactly as it should be.

M: Well balanced. For a style that can frequently degenerate into a lowest common denominator approach, this beer is surprisingly flavorful and reasonably complex. All of this while maintaining an incredibly light balance.

O: I haven't had a lot of this style, but I have to think this is one of the better examples. It is very well balanced and nuanced for a wheat beer. Personally, the taste was a little bit of a let down from the smell, I expected more citrus notes. Nevertheless, if I lived in Indiana, this would be a staple in my fridge during the summer months. A very good beer, I'm grateful to have tried it.

siege06nd, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of starrdogg
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer really isn't much to look at, a clear light yellow with a bit of a white head. Just looking at it, it could be a Bud Light for all I know.

S: WHOA! I was not expecting that at all. I stuck my nose in the glass and got a burst of fresh citrusy hops! There are definitely some underlying wheat-beer-type notes, but hops are first and foremost and it smells great.

T: I gotta say, I'm pretty impressed here - it's light and refreshing and yet deliciously hoppy at the same time. It's not often that a beer can straddle those two things at the same time. If I didn't know better, I'd think I was drinking an IPA - citrusy hops are really the predominant flavor, and it's got a bit of that grassy/wheat flavor on the back end.

M: The light body on this is what seems to set it apart from most other beers this hoppy, making it easy to drink. Finish is somewhat dry.

O: This beer isn't quite what I expected at all, but it was a great surprise and I can see why people go crazy over it. It's a fantastic summer beer that packs a ton of flavor.

starrdogg, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Janderson91
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

100th review!! Extra graciously sent to me by SpdKilz, thanks to him for the opportunity. No bottling date of course from FFF. Enjoyed on 07/15/11.

A - 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pour is what you'd expect from the style. Hazy pale straw yellow color with a one finger white head which recedes very quickly. Leaves no lacing down the sides.

S - Wow, this is where this beer really excels. After drinking a few sixers of Oberon already this summer, that's the type of aroma I was expecting. Instead, I'm slammed with big grapefruity hops, this smells like an IPA. Mango, orange, lemon, and that classic wheat sweetness is also present.

T - Spicy, peppery, pale wheat beer-like up front. Then come the grapefruit hops and I love it. Finish is incredibly balanced with the wheat sweetness and some citrusy spice and fruity hops. Leaves a lingering toasty malt flavor and some lemon zest. What an excellent beer.

M - Mouthfeel is quite good. More creamy than expected.

O - Another great one from FFF. These guys have to be considered one of the best American breweries. Great job.

Janderson91, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of Viciousknishs
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a hazey golden color with a solid finger and a half of white sticky head. The head retention is great with some coating lacing.

S- Man this is on hoppy mother of a wheat brew. The Amarillo lends a citrus lemon peel and green leafy hop aromas. The wheat has a touch of spice and a dry cracked grain aroma. Finishes with an earthy tone.

T- starts off with a malt foundation with the wheat bringing a dry character. The hops add a great flourish of lemon and leafy cut grass flavors. Slight dusty character on the back end with the wheat adding a heft on the dry finish.

MF- smooth creamy mouthfeel with a medium body and average carbonation.

D- very drinkable with an assertive hop character. Bravo on breathing some life into a simple style.

Viciousknishs, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of titosupertramp
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pale gold in color, clear and clean. Finger of white, dense head that leaves behind a fair amount of lacing and a thin film.

S: Good amount of hops here. Tropical fruit and citrus with what seems like just a little pine. I'm not familiar with wheat beers at all, but I suppose the non-hop smell can be attributed to that.

T: Hops right off the bat with what is almost a spicy quality in the end. I don't really get the tropical fruit that I did in the nose which is a little disappointing, but this still a very tasty beer.

M: Medium bodied with bittering hops and dry finish.

O: Very drinkable beer that would be perfect at a BBQ or on the lake. I like this beer and glad I tried it. With that said, when I'm back in Three Floyds territory, I'll probably reach for something else.

titosupertramp, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of iadler
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a orangish gold with a one finger head that dissipates fairly quickly. No sighs of lacing.

S- Grass, pine, grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest and wheat.

T- Similar to the aroma with some nice citrus hop bitterness with a fair amount of wheat providing some sweetness and balance. Pine and grass notes are noticeable too. Finishes slightly dry with some lemon.

M- Medium carbonation and body. Crisp mouthfeel and very drinkable.

O- Have had plenty of times on draft and bottled and while it's certainly a good brew, especially for a hoppy wheat, I think this beer gets hyped up a bit too much. Certainly a refreshing brew for summer, but not one of my favorites from FFF.

iadler, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of drtacks37
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As a rule, I do not usually enjoy wheats very much. This beer is the biggest exception to that rule.

It looks like a wheat. Light yellowish with some hazing. Nice strong lacing with a heavy head.

The aroma is where it starts to get interesting. Light maltiness with a sweet honey, citrus and hop aroma. In fact, the hop smell could cause one to think that this might be an IPA.

Then that fine flavor! A well balanced wheat with a great hop kick. This is probably a wheat that would scare off a Blue Moon drinker. But the strong citrus flavor makes an orange unnecessary. The complex flavors and aromas make this beer a must for anyone who enjoys good beers.

drtacks37, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of PCampbell
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a hazy light gold with a good amount of head and a fair amount of lacing.

Has a big citrus smell to it, with notes of grapefruit, lemon and a little bit of wheat. Has a huge citrus hop taste to it, backed with just a little bit of malt sweetness. It tastes just as it smells of grapefruit, lemon zest and citrus hops. Has a light mouthfeel to it with a good amount of carbonation.

A very tasty wheat pale ale, worth drinking if you can get it.

PCampbell, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of RickS95
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like an ordinary American macro lager. I wouldn't guess it to be a wheat ale. Good thick white head with crazy lacing.

Smells great with lots of citrus, mainly peach, with some flowery notes in the background.

Has a strange taste. It's sweet and tart from the peach like a fruit beer, but piney like a pale ale in the finish.

I don't see this as a wheat ale. It's definitely a pale ale, but it's clearly not a wheat ale. Has a crisp mouthfeel throughout with some hoppy bitter in the swallow.

This ended up being a much better beer than it initially appeared. I'm glad I bought a six pack instead of a single.

RickS95, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of RoamingGnome
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass..

A) A clean yet hazy light amber color. There wasn't much head and it didn't stick around long.

S) This smells great. Makes up for a somewhat average appearance. It is a delicious combination of citrus, pine and a bit of wheat.

T) As it smells... Wonderful... For me, this is the perfect balance of wheat and hops.

M) This is light and amazingly easy to drink. It is very smooth, with just the right amount of bitterness to the finish.

O) I have enjoyed drinking this beer the past few summers. I highly recommend you get a six pack today!

RoamingGnome, Jul 10, 2011
Gumballhead from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 4,443 ratings.