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Gumballhead - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,542 Ratings

(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 lester619
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a yellowish cloudy golden with a thick frothy head that sticks around nicely. Very clean smell. Fresh cut grass with some pine and wheat notes. Some lemon or manderine orange is in there too. Wheat beers are usually not my favorite. I usually find them kind of bland with an aftertaste that doesn't do much for me. This beer has great flavor. There is a twang from the wheat that is blended nicely by a sweet toasty caramel flavor. Very nice pine and grapefruit bite at the finish reminded me somewhat of Seirra Nevada Pale Ale. Very nice crisp bitterness in this beer. More of thick creamy mouthfeel than you get from most wheats. I've heard about how good this stuff is for years, but this is the first time I've gotten around to try it. Good stuff. The other five bottles won't last long.

lester619, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of seh410
4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to kickinthechalice for this awesome, awesome beer... would honestly drink it everyday if I could actually get my hands on it! (So maybe it's better that I can't.... lol)

Appearance: Yellowish straw color, cloudy with a very thin white head that dissipates quickly. Kind of looks like a Bud regular actually, haha...

Aroma: Smells great. Pineapple right up front , along with some tropical and citrusy hops. There are piney hops in the back, but they are much less pronounced than the fruity tropical hops in the front. I can smell a tiny bit of wheat, but the aroma is definitely dominated by that great pineappley hoppy goodness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Pineapple mixed with pine, nice slightly bitter hoppy bite and some kind of toasted wheat to balance it out. This is really good, kind of reminds me of Ale Asylum Bedlam! which I absolutely love. The mouthfeel is thin and nicely carbonated - I think it fits the style well. Overall, this is a great tasting and feeling beer.

Notes: Drinkability is definitely good. I could drink several of these, I only wish that I had that many to enjoy! For everyone who can get their hands on Gumballhead on a regular basis.... I am extremely jealous of you!

seh410, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of pmccallum86
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden color with a large bubbly two finger head.

Aroma is earthy and hoppy. Lots of floral hops and a light malty aroma as well.

Taste is of wheat malts and big floral citrus hops. Lots of floral hops here give it a very earthy taste, really good tasting wheat beer.

Mouthfeel is light, smooth, creamy and bubbly. Medium carbonation with a lighter body. Very good.

Extremely drinkable, a world class example of the style.

pmccallum86, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at the brewpub three days ago, so I assume it's fresh, into a New Glarus weizen glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear pale amber body with a finger of coarse white foam; average retention and minimal lace. Looks more like a macro lager than anything else. Pretty boring.

S: Well, it definitely doesn't smell like a macro! Huge hop assault right away, pretty evenly split between aromatic floral notes and deeper citrus ones - plenty of grapefruit. Very fresh and bright smelling, but far more like an IPA than a wheat beer (not that I mind that personally, but rating to style and all that). As hard as I try to think about gumballs, I keep smelling hops and hops alone - no wheat or yeast aromas at all, just big, beautiful, lovely hops. Ok, I'm sold. This is awesome.

T: Opens with hops (mainly citrus), with biscuity malt and just the faintest hint of spicy wheat showing up before the bitter finish rounds things out with more crisp hoppiness. Quite tasty, but not as impressive as the aroma.

M: Smooth light body with moderate, fine carbonation. Not bad at all.

D: Crisp and refreshing, if extremely bitter and hoppy for the style. I could certainly session it.

Notes: I'd call this a man's APWA if there ever was one. The name mislead me into expecting more of a hefe-type beer (presumably a hoppy one like New England Brewing's Alpha-Weizen), but this wheat IPA was a great treat in its own right. Too bad my wife hated it at the brewpub. I'd be more than happy to have it as a regularly available treat, though.


woosterbill, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of peensteen
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to HosP for sending this one my way.

Pours an nice golden orange colour with little head, well carbonated. Smells like grapefruit and lemon very citrusy with a little hop aroma behind it all. Tastes really good lots of citrus there with a sweet hop on the palate, very refreshing. Left almost no aftertaste probably the only downside of this beer, but that might be just my personal taste. Drinks really well overall. Would love to drink this again.

peensteen, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint glass. Big thanks to HosP for letting me finally try this beer.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden-orange with a finger of white head that slowly reduced into a thick film that left decent lacing down the glass.
S: Notes of light wheat, citrus and slight grassy pine. As it warms it smells a bit like the farm I volunteer at. Kind of a hay, bready, lemon mixture.
T: Light wheat taste with hints of lemon and light grapefruit hops. Other exotic fruit come through as well including mango, pineapple and mandarin orange. Hops are not bitter but fruity and sweet. Tastes like a wheat-pale ale.
M: Light bodied with creamy carbonation. Crisp with a dry finish. Creamy yet crisp mouthfeel.
D: Wheat beers are not my favorite, but this one is probably the best I've ever had. I think Anchor Summer is highly underrated, but this one is probably even better on a hot day. There is a lot more hops in this than I expected. Tastes a lot like a pale ale. Wheat is right there though to add that hay like flavor.

scottfrie, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of bristol2120
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium golden, with a substantial head, that leaves about an inch of foam, and significant lacing. Aroma features an intense hops presence, with grapefruit/citrus notes very prominent. Taste features more hops/grapefruity intensity. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and could benefit from more carbonation. The intensity of the hops in this beer is enjoyable, but it probably limits this beer's drinkability for those who prefer a more subtle approach.

bristol2120, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of Strix
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Strangely clear for a wheat beer, dark golden, but a nice head.

Some wheat in the smell, but hoppy citrus dominates. Smells fresh and fruity.

Clean flavors, wheat, light malt, light fruits, and citrus. Also something in this reminds me of Rogue's yeast. Big citric hop finish melds nicely with the flavor.

Mouthfeel crisp and quite carbonated.

Seemed untraditional for a wheat beer, but wow this was tasty. My glass just disappeared. I will definitely pick this up again.

Strix, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this beer as a surprise extra. I have been wanting to try this one for a while.

The beer pours a clear yellow color with a white head. The aroma is strong resiny hops with some wheat mixed in. The flavor is resiny and piney with some wheat. Medium bitterness. This is basically an American India Wheat Ale and it is delicious. Slightly thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a weizen glass.

Pours a straw golden color with a clingy head that starts at one finger and dissipates. Cloud is quite mild for a wheat.

Aroma is amarillos on the front. The hops dominate the aroma with no malt aromas present. Citrus hops really do dominate the nose.

Flavor opens with earthy hops. I say earthy because that is what I get from amarillo. Hop yield to citrus and grapefruit. Malt is lacking, there is nothing there for a wheat twang that I expect from a wheat beer. Lemon is the predominate flavor. Finishes sweet and hoppy, bitter and citrus.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with decent carbonation. Very refreshing with the lemony hop hit.

Overall a very refreshing hop forward beer that I would strain to call a wheat. That being said, it tastes good, and 3F has never been known for sticking to style.

wheatyweiss, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of jsanford
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle generously received as an extra from BarrytheBear. Big thanks, Barry!

A - Pale golden straw, thin white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S - Lots of wheat and hops, slight lemon and orange citrus

T - Very wheaty, almost like a box of cereal (this isn't a bad thing). Very pleasant hop taste acts as a balance to the wheat. More orange and lemon citrus. Delicious!

M - Crisp and incredibly refreshing. Carbonation is perfect.

D - ...And another Three Floyds beer blows me away! I love this, especially since I just got home from a long, hot day at work. Crisp, refreshing, quaffable...absolutely the best Summer beer I've had. More please!

jsanford, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of STEG
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an interesting yellow-orange hue into a perfect pint. Smell is hoppy with some wheat and a skunky sour apple undertone. Taste is dominated by what I'm guessing are summit hops then fades to a citrusy slightly wheaty taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth and a bit chewy. I could have a few of these.

STEG, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of Khazadum
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First visit to Little Italy's favorite wine shop, Gentile's, net me a very interesting surprise. Four sixers of Gumballhead! Grabbed two for myself and have never thought twice about it. Great beer. Third one over a week I've had so I've decided to give it a review. Twelve ounce bottle poured into a brandy snifter on a Friday night.

An aggressive pour allows this very carbonated beverage to pull a full fingers worth of apple flesh head. It doesn't dissipate as fast as other similar beers, but when it does it leaves behind a faint lacing. Each sip rocking around in the glass cause a pattern to flow down the side leaving me to believe the mouth feel would be interesting at the least. Quite enjoyable to watch. A pencil thin column of carbon dioxide rises from the center of the beverage throughout its entire life. Its body is a yellow, almost amber, hue.

Deeply inhaling upon initial pour releases strong fruit odors. Pineapples, peaches... Mangoes? Faint apples? Its quite enjoyable and hard to pick apart. Beyond the crisp fruit smells is the wheat. Malty for sure. It reminds me of fresh dough. I close my eyes and can see myself rolling out a fresh loaf of bread. However letting this beer sit just twenty minutes causes all the fruity flavors to dim tremendously. Its almost like two different beers. The bread remains and overpowers, but it now is the front runner. Hops become cleverly incorporated. At the end, just because I had to, I waited for all carbonation to seemingly leave this beverage. I thought I detected sour notes as it became more and more flat. True enough, when all the bubbles have left the beer hits a third stage. There is sour flavors to dance with the wheat. The hops try to cut in on this routine, but are quickly pushed aside. They can roam the periphery for a different partner because the wheat demands to lead the sour flavors in a waltz. I feel like I'm a child again and just watched my brew 'evolve' like in my old video games ( Who am I kidding, I still play them ).

Flavor Profile
The first sips are delightful. Fresh and fruity. Nothing like the aroma of the brew, but they are there. However, just like the carbonation. Letting it sit too long or taking too long to enjoy will cause all these flavors to slip away leaving nothing to be mad at. It takes almost the entire bottle to be detected but the heat of the booze is felt in my throat and chest, not in my mouth. Throughout the entire tasting, the finish is wheat malt. Not strangling, but faint tones tickling random areas of my tongue. As the carbonation seeps away, the wheat and hops do battle like chess champions. Calm, calculated, and anything but predictable. Sometimes its the hops that claim first move, sometimes its the wheat. Either way, its a hell of a ride.

Oral Sensations
The body is great for a wheat beer. I've had some misconceptions about pale ales, and definitely about this pale wheat ale. It is highly carbonated, but you can only tell from the visual stimuli. Its thick enough without stepping outside of its boundaries. The other areas of tasting this beer push rules possibly, but it plays this one like a How-To manual.

The key component of this beer is the carbonation. I've never noted how critical it was in the tasting of craft beer before today. Its departure and arrival into my glass ring in different experiences. Hell, if you weren't careful you may ruin this beer by deflating it too fast. There is no doubt in my mind that this beer is perfect for drinking regularly. I'd buy it again and again if there wasn't so much more to try in the world. The hype of a beer lived up to my expectations for once.

Khazadum, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of rwf08
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in hefe glass.

A: Pale straw in color, clear. White head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Pungent floral and pine hops. Faint wheat in the back.

T: Hops with faint wheat malt in the back. The hops are kind of over powering and leaves a strange after taste in the mouth.

M: Thin with high carbonation.

D: Easy drinking and good taste and lots of hops. This is a hop delivery medium with some good wheat in the back. Nothing wrong here, except the appearance.

rwf08, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of e11a627
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Yellow-gold color. Light, translucent.

S: Instant hop aroma, some sweetness.

T: When sipped cold it tasted like a total wheat beer with hardly any hop finish. Very smooth. Once gumballhead warmed up a little bit it was COMPLETELY different - Tasted more hops and could hardly taste any wheat. I got the best of both worlds.

M: Very smooth. No hop tingle after swallow - doesn't stay with post-swallow.
D: Once it warmed up it tasted more like a Pale Ale and not a Wheat Pale. Very interesting and delicious! Goes down so smooth this could be a session beer and/or have a few of them in a night.

e11a627, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Gumball head is an absolutely crystal clear golden hue with massive amounts of bubbles emanating from the depths of the glass in rapid ascension. There is an average sized white head that fades after a few moments, leaving a nice trail of lacing in its wake.

S: Fresh, delicious hops and wheat. This beer is really fresh, and smells like it. Very enticing.

T: If you like wheat beers and IPAs, this is a match made in heaven. This beer is very refreshing and tastes fantastic. The wheat / hop balance is perfect. There is more of a hop presence here than in most pale ales, which I find to be delightful. The wheat aspect adds that "not normal" feel to what basically tastes like a single IPA.

M: Very smooth with a nice hop bitterness in the finish. Clean and fresh.

D: Chuggable. It's no mistake that this is the highest rated American Pale Wheat Ale on Beeradvocate.

Huhzubendah, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of Beerisheaven
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle recently sent by the one and only maximum12, a legendary trading pal and beer savant from the great state of MN. It must be officially summer now since I have had my Gumballhead.

A - Still love the label on this one. Have to say that first. Pours a pale yellow with a white simmering head.

S - Mmm, I know what this one is just by the smell. The classic citrus hops with some pine and lemon. Classic 3 Floyds stuff.

T - Great. A really interesting blend here of the hops and wheat, probably with the hops winning this war though. Great citrus and lemon flavor on top of the summer wheat. I don't think anyone does this style beer better.

M - Crisp and slightly tart.

D - The perfect summer quaff. Just great.

Thanks Corey for sending me this one. This will be the closest I get to Sheffields in Chicago this year after spending 4 hours or so in the bleachers. I'll miss the 8 or so Gumballheads at Sheffields this week, but I will still feel that I was there by having this.

Beerisheaven, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of LacquerHead
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first had this on tap at Nick's on Wilson and the bartender told me it was a pale ale, however, when I purchased a 6pck at the store I discovered it was a wheat beer!
(Review based on 12oz bottle from 6pck)

It pours a slightly hazy light amber. The head did not quickly dissipate and eventually formed a nice thin lace.
I could smell the hops and citrus, for me it was lemon. The taste was pleasantly bitter and combined well with the citrus background. The grainy wheat flavor would crop up now and again. Overall the pale quality blended nicely with wheat.

It is very drinkable and refreshing. If you ever find yourself in the Chicago area pick yourself up a 6pck or find a bar that offers a pint. This is one worth trying.

LacquerHead, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 6-27-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - 1 finger of foam, cloudy yellow in appearance, decent lacing ring with a fair amount of carbonation present

S - Strong aroma of wheat and hops, some lemon citrus notes as well

T /M - Lighter bodied and very smooth, wheat and hops are the big ones here, a little malt back bone but very light

D - Pretty decent brew, very drinkable and easy to have more than one in a sitting. So far I have not been happy with anything from Three Floyds. I recommend this just as much as any of their other brews!


FreshmanPour77, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of beerhan
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The fact that this is a wheat beer blows my mind. This is the one beer that truly builds up to the hype that surrounds it. Best wheat beer ever is a complete understatement. When I smelt this beer A smile came on my face and I was content with just sniffing it all night but then came the taste. I felt like I was punched in the face with the most intense hops of a strong IPA until they mellowed out and I was left with one of the most pleasant tastes ever. Hook me up to an IV of this and I'll be good forever. Three floyds please distribute in Ohio again because I will be honest, I hate going to Indiana. It is the flattest drive and bores me. We are good neighbors and your beer should probably come over the border in an easier manner.

beerhan, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of HosP
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am lucky enough to have this on tap at a restaurant in town. Along with being able to pick up bottles pretty readily in town as well, this becomes a staple in the fridge!

A - Pours bright gold

S - Smells very citrus with some pine hints

T - Very crisp beer. Citrus taste with more hops than one would expect from a wheat beer. Tastes very close to an IPA.

M- Medium body.

D - I could drink this all day every day and be more than happy.

HosP, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of jgasparine
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Bluejacket74 for this one...

A- Poured from the bottle with a thin stark-white head, which quickly evaporated with some very faint traces of lacing. The body was a hazy pale yellow color, with some faint carbonation observed from the sides of the glass.

S- A potent nose- comprised of grapefruit juice aromas over a base of tart wheat. I suppose this combination is the impetus for the beer's name... as this gives the impression of a gumball-like aroma. While not too complex, this nose is rich and alluring... particularly on a hot summer day.

T- Wow. Up front you get pale crackerlike malt, which is followed by a huge spike of juicyfruit-like hops. The tang of wheat then hits the palate midway. In the finish, the mild bitterness of hops and initial crackerlike malt linger on the tongue nicely. A mini-rollercoaster in the mouth; delicious and refereshing. I want more!

M- Thin body with a slightly abrasive carbonation. Under normal circumstances, this form of carbonation would be a detractor, but it works well here with the bitter and tart flavors- invigorating the palate, and massaging every corner of the mouth!

D- Incredibly drinkable... nay... quaffable!! I could easily put a 6-pack of this down in a sitting... and it's f-ing addicting! Do they put crack in this beer!?

jgasparine, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
2.85/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip:

Appearance: aggressive pour yeilds almost no head and has poor head retention. Thought this was a wheat beer? Sunset orange color with almost crystal clear visability. Odd.

Smell: Smells hoppy, surprizing. Also has a faint cheerios wheat aroma. actually quite nice given its a wheat beer and it smells like an APA

Taste: Taste is going to be average on this one. Too hoppy for a wheat beer for me. No balance and almost tastes like its gone bad. Nothing desirable about this on a wheat beer level. Has a bitter aftertaste. Some wheat characteristics like grassy undertones.

Mouthfeel: Undercarbonated and flat almost. Has little characteristics of a wheat beer to me. leaaves a bitter astrigency on the finish.

Drinkability: Its alright. Basically this is your average brewpubs pale ale being called a american pale wheat ale. Nothing great.

Augustiner719, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy golden sparkling color with a very minimal head. Very strong hop aromas on this brew. A whole lot of fruitiness as well. Not just citrus fruits either. I'm picking up a lot of grapes and apple scents. The taste is definitely fruity. I get a lot of green grapes and apples on my palate, along with some very subtle hops. I nice sweet, fruity taste lingers on the back of my tongue. The mouthfeel is very delightful with a very crisp and refreshing bite. Extremely drinkable. Great summertime beer.

DovaliHops, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I obtained a 12 ounce bottle from enelson. I poured into a weizen glass, hazy yellow with a sticky 2 finger white head. Lots of floral hops on the aroma. The beer is floral and fruity, very assertive hopping. It finishes with a lingering fruitiness. It was light in body, and high in carbonation. This worked for me, it drinks more like a APA than a wheat beer.

bonkers, Jun 25, 2010
Gumballhead from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 4,542 ratings.