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Gumballhead - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,417 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,417
Reviews: 1,416
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.21%
Wants: 796
Gots: 504 | 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: 4,417 | Reviews: 1,416 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beveritt
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a bomber bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Medium yellow in color with a hint of copper/red. About a 1 finger head that fell leaving just a hint of white on top of the beer. Crystal clear.

Smell: Smell is pretty mild, some hops, but not really strong.

Taste: At first you get the floral flavors of the finishing hops. A nice, apricot-like flavor. The bitterness of the boiling hops comes in about halfway through the taste. Overall a good balance.

Mouthfeel: Good body. Flavors linger nicely.

Drinkability: Not a hop-bomb like some of the other offerings from Three Floyds. All in all pretty nice. I could stand to have a few pints of this.

beveritt, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%

Picked this up last week. I really enjoyed the Alpha King and Mild Pride and Joy, so when I saw the big bottle of this available in my neck of the woods, I had to give it a shot and see their take on this light style of beer. Sure, it's got the Three Floyd's strong hop presence, but this was still remarkably light. Quite a dangerous combination!

The pour was very nice - beautiful amber hue and a rich, frothy head. The lacing didn't live up to that, but I spent enough time watching things settle that I hardly noticed anyways. The taste is mildy strong and entrancing up front. The cascade-like citrus emerges and stays for the duration, but I could certianly discern some caramel in there too. There's a bit of wheat here, but it's not overt like I thought it would be. The aftertaste was strong too, but once ya have a Three Floyd's, ya learn to appreciate it and don't even realize what a damn good session beer this is! Almost no maltiness here, but seriously, are ya gonna even notice that?

Such a shame that the rest of their offerings, except for the Robert the Bruce Scottish Ale, are not to be found in my beloved Garden State. Sure, this isn't a typical Pale Wheat Ale, since they may as put the "wheat" in small letters on the bottle. It doesn't matter to me - I really enjoyed this and think that Three Floyd's has hit another home run here. Highly recommended!

JerzDevl2000, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of BretSikkink
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%

Holy hops. Wheat beer? Unlike any I've tried before.

Enjoyed on an extremely muggy day in Chicago with no A/C.

Poured nearly blood-orange with off-white head (full two fingers) from a 22-oz bomber into a 22-oz pilsener glass.

Smell of citrics, many hops.

Extremely full body, as expected with Three Floyd's. Lots of flavor, a joy to drink, especially on a hot day. My compadres were drinking Rolling Rock and all I could do was laugh. Paid $5 and I'll do it again.

BretSikkink, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of Redrover
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%

Brown bomber with the crazy label. The beer pours a hazy copper with a dense off-white head. Good lacing.

The nose is of hops. If you blindfolded me, I would guess APA instead of a wheat. Nice citrus notes with a touch of crackers.

The taste is pleasantly bitter with more citrus taste (orange & a touch of lemon) with some noticeable breadiness. Stays solid through out with a bit of sweetness that creeps in late. .

The mouth is crisp and tart. Very drinkable beer. This is not your everyday wheat beer. Seek it out!

Redrover, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of Generik420
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%

I had this on tap at the Three Floyd's brewpub and was quite impressed. I was told they use Amarillo hops in this wheat and that is one of the reasons I was very interested in trying it out. While technically it is an American wheat ale, it is unlike any other I have ever had. I tend to dislike standard American wheat ales finding them to be very bland and definitely needing the lemon wedge they are served with. This beer destroyed that stereotype. The amarillo hop addition gives this beer quite a bit of flavor. The hops have a citrusy, similar to grapefruit flavor to go along with their bite and it really makes quite an impression when drinking Gumballhead. I can find this beer in 22oz bottles, but most liquor stores want $6 / bottle, and unfortunately I just can't justify spending that kind of money. Great beer, but the limited production quantities keeps the price a little too high.

Generik420, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of smurphy77
4.88/5  rDev +15.9%

Truly innovative, which is a rarity these days. Perfect blend of two perfectly good styles to creat a fantastic, original beer.

22oz bottle pours a golden color. Hoppy flavor/aroma sings alongside the wheat flavors without drowning them out. Wish I could find this one again, I only saw it once (when I had it).

A must try.

smurphy77, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of cbl2
3.38/5  rDev -19.7%

6/15/2005 $6.99 22 oz. 4.80% No best by date.


Pours a crystal clear pale yellow with moderate carbonation and a very thin white head on top.


Fresh citrusy hops predominate here with a mild undertone of banana.


Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasant, but IMO this beer is overly hopped, leading to a somewhat astringent bitterness that masks the subtle nuances of the wheat beer. This is a blend between an IPA and a wheat, and it does a disservice to both.

cbl2, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of hoppymeal
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%

Pours gold to straw in color with a decent white head that recedes quickly. Although the bottle reads bottle conditioned, it looks pretty clear to me. The smell is distinctive three floyds with big citrusy hops. There is some grapefruit and sweet peach aroma. Taste is also quite hoppy with the wheat adding a little sweetness to the orange and peach flavors. The wheat is barely discernible behind the citrusy hops, maybe just a little nutty flavor. A little spiciness and dryness in the finish, light to medium body. This one definitely doesn'y typify the style category, more like a pale ale maybe even an ipa, but a very good and highly drinkable beer.

hoppymeal, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%

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 Doomcifer
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%

Disclaimer: I usually despise wheat beers.

Then I tried Gumballhead, due to people constantly complimenting it. Poured a golden, light orange bubbly brew. Decent head that goes away pretty quickly with very light lacing to be left behind. A tad cloudy due to the yeast conditioning. Smelled of lemony citrus and hops. Very pleasing aroma. This is a very unique wheat beer and has much depth; something severely lacking in many wheats imo. When the beer is still very cold, you would swear you were drinking an IPA. Hop bitterness, grassiness, smacking you all over the place. When it warms up a bit, the wheat presence shows it's face and the hops bitterness becomes a little more sweet and citrusy. Mouthfeel is light, slippery, and crisp. Great beer for these hot summer days. I am highly impressed with this offering from FFF, who never fail to impress me. They pulled off the unthinkable, they turned me onto a wheat beer!!

Doomcifer, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of doubleipa
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%

A bit of a different wheat beer. Had this on tap at KClingers (Hanover). Can definitely smell and taste the hops. Great lemony aroma. Hops adds a little bit of a bite to the taste. Not my favorite wheat, but I'm glad I tried it. Actually has a bit of a hoppy finish.

doubleipa, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of Cresant
2.48/5  rDev -41.1%

Poured this 22 oz. bomber into a weizen glass. Body was a honey golden yellow color. Two fingers of chunky head subsided rather quickly.

Smelled fruity. Fresh hop aroma. As the beer warmed I began to smell the wheat.

Taste was a pleasant tart on the first swallow. Then the aspirin taste of the Amarillo hops kicked in. The hops really obscure the wheat flavor. Like sucking on an aspirin.

Not as smooth as most wheat beers. More raspy and hoppy with less wheat taste than one would expect. Mild carbonation.

Overall this beer is over-rated. I will not buy another. I have liked all other Three Floyds offerings but I would say that the FFF name may be skewing the ratings for this one. If the label said "BUD" I doubt this would rate so high.

Cresant, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4.63/5  rDev +10%

A: Pours a slighty hazy golden color with a nice foaming white head. Slight retention on the sides . Lots of bubbles coming from the bottom.
S: Huge piney and citrus hop notes dominate the nose. Subtle wheaty malt notes, but the sharp hop presence is very nice.
T/M: Very good hop presence to start off. Pine and ctirus notes come through first followed by grassy hop aftertaste. A fruityness comes through, peach maybe, after it warms. The wheaty malt backbone is noticeable, but not as big as i was expecting. No matter, as I like the hops. Very smooth and refreshing through the mouth with a dry finish to it. Light and fluffy makes this a perfect summer beer. This is the best Pale Wheat Ale available and the best I've had to date.
D: I could probably drink these all day in the sun. Smooth, refreshing, thirst quenching, all with a low abv. Three Floyds has got it figured out.

bjohnson, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%

Appearance- Pours a very bright off amber mixed with a pale light rust hue. Amidst a swarm of bubbles making their ascension to the top trhoughout the entire 22 ounces of beer. Great, thick film mainatins for as long as the bubbling. The best looking APWA yet.

Smell- The strongets hop presence in any wheat beer is in this beer. That is sooo different and I like it. Lots o' Amarillo hops and wheat is an awesome aromatic experience.

Taste- Starts out with mainly hops and a little malt/wheat mix, hard to tell the difference at first. Then the hops settles a little and mixes well with a kind of wheat and crystal lightly toasted crystal malt flavor I've never experienced before.

Mouthfeel- The best bitter tasting APWA I've ver head. very complex palate for a wheat beer. Lots of surprises that were very pleasant.

scruffwhor, Jul 21, 2006
Photo of Matthew
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%

22 oz bottle, bought at the brewery on my journey from CT to OR. Pours a color somewhere between an orange and a yellow, light. Nice medium sized white head, leaves a decent covering over the top of the beer.
Bigger hop presence than initially expected, nice fruity, piney, slight citrusy hoppiness thats pretty pronounced with some sweet maltiness there too.
Slight hoppy bittering effect, mostly piney flavor with a nice wheat crispness that makes this beer pretty well balanced.
The mouthfeel is very nice, light and the adjective fluffy comes to mind and I would suggest appropriate. Carbonation is on the lighter side.
This beer is very very drinkable. A great beer to session with great flavor and is nice around the edges. An all around great beer.

Matthew, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of Mdog
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%

Appearance: Clear gold, lots of carbonation, big head.

Smell: Strong citrus aroma.

Taste: Lots of grapefruity hops throughout, with a wheat aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp.

Drinkability: Really good stuff.

Picked this up a couple weeks ago in Council Bluffs. It lived up to my expectations--hoppy yet light. Too bad 3F doesn't distribute in Minnesota otherwise this could be a constant session beer for me.

Mdog, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of danielocean03
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into two weizen glasses. Appearance is a hazy golden brass-hued amber color with a thin head with a constant ring of white lacing that clings to the glass. Aroma is sweet and hoppy, citrusy notes mainly grapefruit, no real wheat or grain smells present, although may very well be the source of the sweetness I can't quite put my finger on. Taste is very similar to the smell, wheat is exceptionally well hidden behind the hoppiness, and can only taste any wheat in the aftertaste. Tastes much like a milder version of an IPA, maybe a hoppier APA, nothing like any other wheat beer I've had the pleasure of sampling. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, lighter end of the carbonation spectrum. Finishes dry and crisp with a slight grassiness from the high amount of hops in this beer. Overall, a very enjoyable and delectable beer that I will definitely purchase again. Yet another fine offering from the good folks at FFF's.

danielocean03, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%

Everything about this beer screams quaffable. It is my one word for this review. Tasty and simply delicious will follow it up =)

Appearance: pours a golden orange color with a smidge of amber dropped in the mixture. It has large bubbles of carbonation rising to fuel a relatively moderate thick white head that fades to a frothy halo. Lacing is minimal but notable.

Smell: It has a juicy aroma of diluted grapefruit (only very mildly pine) with plenty of wheat yeast and sweet -wet bread aroma. A light maltyness lies beneath the grapefruit. Clean.

Taste: The flavor is fantastic, with a grapefruit kick up front that is bold but not harsh as it is immediately followed by sweet juicy apple (almost a bubblegum attribute) and a perfect balancing malt character. It has tones of pine hop flavor (with citrus elements) but with no harsh bites. WOW! How do they do that. Call it an American Pale Wheat Ale if you like but I have never had one like this before. It is hard to describe this taste because I find it more similar to other IPAs I have had, than to any APWheatAles that I am familiar with. The only thing similar is the slight hint of bubblegum esters. But by the time you get to the fantastic finish, which is quite bitter and leaves grapefruit & apple lingering in your mouth, you have almost forgotten about any wheat beer qualities; in my experience.

Mouthfeel: Tight carbonation bubbles combine with the hoppyness to create a prickly sudsy creamy feel that goes down remarkably easily.

Drinkability: This is not even in the same league with any American Wheat I have ever had to date. The hoppy wheat spiciness was completely unique tasty and (Im going to use the word) quaffable! I could drink this all day on a humid summer Saturday while painting the new fence ;-).

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Jul 15, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%

Thanks once again to Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora, CA for making this experience possible.

Poured into a large, rounded mug made of thin, clear glass. Hundreds of tiny bubbles of carbonation swirled to the surface and disappeared into three fingers of fluffy white rippling head that very slowly settled to one finger and stayed there, at least until I started drinking. Body was transparent, color of golden wheat.

The odor was nice and hoppy, similar to an IPA, but with hints of pine, pineapple, citrus, pear, and peach (perhaps not all of the above, but if I were to concoct a smoothie with the same ingredients, I imagine I'd come up with something similar). I had my first Dreadnaught the other day and this one's odor was every bit as complex and tantalizing.

Maybe my taste buds aren't sophisticated enough, but this one actually tasted quite a bit like Dreadnaught as well, only not quite as bitter or as fruity. The odors translated well to my palate.

I know pitting this brew against a Double IPA is somewhat of an apples-to-oranges comparison, but given that I'm a huge IPA fan, I feel entitled to say that I actually think I like this a little more than the Dreadnaught. It tastes slightly more balanced, the aftertaste is cleaner, and the slight reduction in intensity makes it more drinkable and more refreshing. I can taste the alcohol, but it's mild enough to be enjoyable, and the carbonation is just right. No skunky coating left on the tongue, either.

Perhaps a closer comparison would be between this and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. SNPA has been my staple beer for many years, and it will always have a place close to my heart (and my liver), but if all of the places currently serving SNPA on tap switched to Gumballhead, I would shed no tears. Wishful thinking...

This beer is still hoppy enough where I'd have trouble recommending it as a true summer beer to the average person, but it's smooth enough where it stands as a near-*perfect* summer beer for your humble reviewer.

However, my girlfriend, who's not a big piney hop fan, had this to say: "It's not bad, but it's too warm." That's a vast improvement over the face she normally makes when I convince her to try any pale ale or IPA.

The tough part is that $10.99 sticker on the bottle. Still, I will be revisiting this when the opportunity presents itself. And as of today, Munster, Indiana will now officially be part of my route if and when I take another drive across the country.

instrumentality, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of orfeu
4.8/5  rDev +14%

Review #200.

Peachy gold, miniscule carbonation streams, dense, crater-pocked snow-white foam. Honeyed orange blossom and otherwise variegated citric aromas mix with melon and berry scents. Fierce yet subtly melded hop flavors of orange rind, peach nectar, sugared nasturtiums, etc. I honestly don't taste much in the way of wheat, but there's some sort of sturdy but definitely understated malt bill going on here. The cool thing about this beer is that the hops are definitely the star of the show, so the malt just gets out of the way, playing a strong but demure supporting role. But the hops are anything but brash. They're just all summery floral and the like. Light and airy mouthfeel, goes down substantially enough but remains devastatingly refreshing. I am so goddam jealous of those of you out there with regular access to this beer (not to mention other Three Floyds offerings). I had to drive to freakin' New Jersey to get this bottle! Aah, but it was worth it. Excellent beer.

orfeu, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.8/5  rDev +14%

This beer is exceptional. It pours a nice dark golden, with no haze, but also very little head. The nose is very nice- some nice crisp hops and some pronounced fruitiness. The taste is amazing, some nice hop bitterness and spiciness up front followed by a surge of juicy fruitiness that tastes almost like a gumball, followed by a nice clean but full wheat finish. The mouthfeel is rich for a wheat beer and a little less crisp than some, as it coats the mouth a little, but still quite good. I could drink this all night. The flavor keeps pulling you back for another swallow. Unique!

Georgiabeer, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of blsfreak
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%

This is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The taste is amazing, the smell is great, it has a amber color that looks inviting...I have nothing bad to say about this beer...Is is such a shame it is a seasonal beer, I could drink this year-round. It is nice to know there is a keg at the bar waiting for me to get off work, makes my day!

blsfreak, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of Realale
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%

Incredibly clear pale gold. Disturbingly clear really, particularly for a wheat beer. Bright white, extremely fine head settles pretty quickly to a complete cap, leaving good lace.

Nose is Amarillo. A whole heaping hell of a lot of it. Very intense, but not particularly interesting. No sight of any malt, wheat, yeast, or anything else. Some peach, some fir, some pine tar, and a lot of green leafy hoppy goodness.

Thin side of medium in the mouth. The palate seems to belong to another beer alltogether. Neat trick to have a nose so hoppy, with a somewhat balanced palate. Disappointingly, there's not a whole lot going on in the palate, but at least it's balanced. There's a light maltiness of the crisp, crackery variety, and a lingering graininess balanced nicely by good light hop flavor. Finish is quick, but leaves a fuzzy feeling on the tongue.

Pretty highly carbonated, and it comes across a bit harsh, as if they've monkeyed with the mineral treatment. Definitely easy to knock back a few of these, and a fine companion to bright summer day. Kudos to FFF for making a moderate-alcohol beer with a big hop presence, but I'd prefer more malt to balance it out.

Realale, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of westweasel
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%

Poured from a 22oz. bomber bottle.

The appearance is a bright yellow/gold, straw-like color. It has about a 1/2 inch, bright white foamy head. The aroma is wonderfull. It is the clean, crisp, grapefruity smell of Amarillo hops. The scent is so strong that it was obviously dry-hopped.

The taste is also great - a light but hoppy flavor. The main taste is definitely grapefruit. It is somewhat bitter, but without being overpowering. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing with a somewhat dry finish.

This is an extremely drinkable beer, especially on hot summer days. Very enjoyable. It is the only beer I can think of where a little burp after drinking tasted as good as the beer did going down.

westweasel, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of bditty187
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%

Faintly hazy or am I being susceptible since I read the label? The liquid *is* rather clear. Tawny-gold in hue; it is a lovely color. White foam, at the apex the head was two fingers tall. Head retention wasn’t very impressive as after only a moment or two all that remained was a thin, soapy cap. I’d expect a wheat beer to have better head retention. The subsequent lacing was so infrequent it is really pointless to note it. Overall, the appearance is fair teetering on average.

The nose is very hoppy. The first time I smelled this beer I thought it was sinfully one-dimensional, all I could smell was dank weed. It got boring quickly. This go-around, under better conditions, I still smell some bud but the undercurrents of citrus and pine/flowers really round out the hoppy aromas nicely. I don’t detect any maltiness nor are there any signs this is a wheat beer. This disappoints me greatly. What is the point of touting this as some hoppy-ass American Wheat Ale if I can’t smell the wheat? If I want a hoppy beer from 3F why not just get some Alpha King? The hophead in me is happy, it is very inviting and I can’t wait to take a sip. The side of me that likes wheat beers is sad. The part of me that likes complexity and depth in the nose is worried the palate will get boring. Needless to say I am conflicted about the bouquet.

Again, the first time I had this beer I couldn’t detect even a hint of wheat. I was so bummed. All I could taste was marijuana and a kiss of pine. Boring. I was ready to right this beer off. I couldn’t wait to rip this beer once I opened another bomber to review it. Well, the palate does show the slightest bit of wheat at the end, near the swallow. This does save the day but 90% of the flavor profile is hops and nothing but hops. I love hops but what is the point of brewing a hoppy wheat beer and completely hide the wheat? It almost seems this is some kind of overzealous backhanded smack against all the insipid American Wheats on the market. The hop profile consists of bud, citrus, pine, and a splash of flowers. I get a hint of orange peel too. It is vaguely fruity at the finish. That is about all this beer has to offer. It is a hop bomb… a not very bitter hop bomb. Wow. That’s it? I am totally lost as to why this beer is so esteemed.

Medium in body, soft prickly carbonation, the mouthfeel is quite pleasant really.

I like the fact this beer is so flavorful (but not complex) and low in alcohol. This is a true session beer aside from the fact it is almost $7 a bomber. I like this beer on face value. I think this beer is very lame once I deconstruct it. I can’t help but think what is the point? If I want an American Wheat beer I want, well, wheatiness to be prevalent. Likewise, if I want a hoppy beer I know where to look (APA, IPA, etc…) plus it’s not very bitter. So, Gumballhead is a wheatless American Wheat with tons of hops? Why? See, now I am just ranting and going of the point. This is a very drinkable beer. Enough said. I am happy I finally tried it. I purchased by bombers in Council Bluffs, IA.

bditty187, Jul 06, 2006
Gumballhead from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 4,417 ratings.