1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gumballhead - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,780 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,780
Reviews: 1,438
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 832
Gots: 642 | FT: 29
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 beer with a refreshing, crisp citrus finish. This delicious session beer is brewed with boatloads of Amarillo hops.

35 IBU

(Beer added by: cretemixer on 04-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gumballhead Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,780 | Reviews: 1,438 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cpn920
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale yellow with a big head. Smells predominantly of citrus and piney hops with a spicy wheat in the background. Taste is similar tp smell with the hops being the attraction and the wheat playing a supporting role. Good carbonation on a medium body beer. Drinkability is good especially in the hotter weather...a thirst quencher.

Photo of bamadog
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a mixed six pack of FFF brews from my friend Kels, and it's a great brewery. Up to this point, I had only had the Alpha King, but this is a wonderful beer here.

Appearance: A pale yellow, and a little cloudy. Huge 3 finger head formed right out of the pour and that disappeared pretty quickly to a thin minimal head on top. Strong carbonation throughout.

Smell: Very citrusy - lemon and a hint of grapefruit. Not sure if "grainy" is a word I would use for a description of the smell, but there's definitely something else in there that smells earthy to me.

Taste: Strong taste of lemon and again a bit of a bitter grapefruit is back there as well. There is also a yeasty/wheaty kind of flavor as well. Very light overall in taste as it's not a "bomb" of flavor in the mouth. A slightly bitter/hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing - leaves the mouth moise and slightly salivating for more. An excellent choice for a summer beer!

Drinkability: Rather high - the lower ABV helps with this and it's rather light in stature. Not heavy at all so I don't feel bloated or heavy after drinking it. I could easily get through a few of these with no worries.

Photo of Lynux
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great hoppy summer quencher here.

Nice clear beer with a light yellow color and a creamy head.

Smell is slightly spicy from the wheat and a great amarillo hop aroma.

Taste is a little sharp upfront with a tang from the wheat. The hops kick in with a nice fruity flavor and the finish is nice and dry.

This is great version of a wheat beer, american style. It has inspired me to brew my own american wheat and do some dry hopping with amarillo.

Photo of makdeco
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its been long over due for me to review this beer

At first glance you can smell the hops, and I say?? American wheat beer with hop smell... But this is great. I am a big time wheat beer drinker but that little kick of hops is really different and add a complex taste to this style.

I prefer it in a weizen glass over a pint glass but it will do in both if the beer bar has no clue on correct glassware

I have had it in both Bottle and on tap and really enjoy both. Great job FFF...

Photo of cadenwhitaker
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For me this beer falls somewhere between a 2 hearted and a hopslam. There is much more grapefruit in the smell then in 2 hearted, but less then a hopslam

Taste wise I'm getting lots of hops, but a bit of wheat that serves as a good buffer/enhancement for the citrus.

Great beer, glad to have tried it.

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

22 oz. bomber courtesy of thehand - thanks!! Poured into a 22 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a crisp and clear orange-bodied brew, bright and vibrant, with diffuse and slow, medium-sized effervescence. The head is slightly off white and has average retention, perhaps above average for the style, fading from a fluffy, one-finger mass to a thick sheen with a solid, bubbly collar. There's a surprising amount of lacing too, sheet-like on the far side of the sip and erratic, twisted, bubbly on the sip side.

Aroma: Light, crisp, and very well hopped. Leafy and citrusy hop notes swirl above a sweet, pale sea of roasted maltiness. Though this one definitely leans more towards the hoppy end of the balance, the notes selected work surprisingly well with the soft, sweet, and simple character of the malt foundation.

Taste: The most well-hopped APWA (is that an acronym yet?) I've ever had. Slightly spicy, tobacco-esque and piney hop notes dominate here, interspersed with lighter (though not nearly as light as they could be) tropical fruit and citrus notes, providing hints of strawberries and orange zest. It's not sticky or heavy at all though, as it's accompanied by a soft, crisp, light malt backbone, with the wheat being an obvious addition and some other roasted bready notes being slightly less obvious. A flavorful, solid array of notes, miles above most examples of the style.

Mouthfeel: Wonderfully light and thin, this one just feels refreshing. It's almost like air on the tongue, given the combination of the soft and plentiful carbonation and the body of the beer itself.

Drinkability: A very impressive brew. Leave it up to 3Fs to sit around and think "How can we make the American Pale Wheat Ale more interesting? I know. Let's toss in a boatload of hops." Well, it worked, and the result - though perhaps not the more stylistically accurate APWA out there - nonetheless manages to combine some of the best elements of a wheat ale (a crisp, low in abv%, and refreshing brew) with those of its more highly-hopped cousins (flavor, improved head retention and lacing). You're looking at the best of both worlds here, and if you want a great lawnmower beer, Gumballhead may just very well be your brew.

Photo of chiefydawg
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright brassy yellowish liquid, which is clear-looking until you look closer and realize there are tiny micro particle sediments in there. Thin, light-colored head grips the glass rim immediately and does not let go. Sheeting all the way down.

>Deep sniff< Ahhhh... the beer that made me go buy Amarillo hops. Seriously this beer has the freshest hop smell ever! Grapefruit juicy, fresh, citrusy, piney, leafy. Like I opened up a bag of Amarillos. Wait, did I catch some crisp wheat in there? Nah, must have been a different hop dimension.
(Note - that incredible initial hop burst is what it is: a burst. Within a couple minutes it settles into a fragrant, fresh smelling beer, but nothing like the first hit on the nose.)

Well, I do get the wheat in the mouth upon the first sip. Still nice hop flavor, but the wheat definitely steps up. Not as bitter as one would think after sniffing, but bitter for wheat beer nonetheless. As it warms, there's a bit of sweetness that has been there all along I suspect, but was harder to find with the cold, carbonation, wheat and hops. It is actually a tasteful sweetness that balances everything. I wouldn't quite say caramel at the end, but something of a baked wheat bread or a Bob Evans roll. Which contradicts that light puckering of the wheat and hops at the last sip.

The idea of a hoppy American Wheat is, in my opinion, long overdue. FFF busting this out was brilliant. Refreshing yet more complex than I expected, even as I started this glass, I would love to have a case of this so I could have some sessions without having to ponder so much. More hoppy wheat beers for the summer please!

Photo of everetends
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from hwwty4 and I am very grateful for his generousity on an unprompted package. Served this one up in my DFH shaped pint, seems all my pale ales, IPAs and DIPAs grace this glass.

A: Jesus Christ is this beer active. A very careful pour yielded a huge amount of head. This head is crisp white and is a good 3 fingers once I get this guy to calm down a bit so I can get the whole bottle in the glass. The head is incredible in the retention department. Takes forever to fall an has a wonderful rockiness to it. Lace all over the glass in big, foamy ass streaks that stick and don't let go. Now that we are past the head I will describe the beer in the glass. A really nice, golden honey color sits with a really nice haze to it. Held to the light it is a nice pale yellow. Lots of carbonation moving around in here, keeping this one moving slightly. This is a good start for this brew.

S: Smell is actually a decent amount of hops presence. Lots of citrusy, tropical fruity goodness in this aroma. Slight banana coming out from the wheat presence but it is pretty tame. The wheat really doesn't come over too well in the nose, but the look tells me its there. That hoppy goodness is just covering it up. Otherwise, very good in the aroma department.

T: There's my wheat. I knew it was there and what do you know, you can taste it. Nice wheaty, grainy taste that is damned good when combined with those hops flavors. Lots of lemon, lime and grapefruit coming out from those hops. Mixed with the ever so slight banana flavor, you get a nice tropical fruit salad type flavor coming out. There is a slight salt and pepper taste here in the background. Really nice beer.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit thin for me. Just seems a bit watery for the style and doesn't really have any stick to it. Aftertaste is pretty clean not leaving much in the mouth. The carbonation is nice and high, making this sucker crisp and easy drinking.

D: Overall, this beer is quite good. My only real gripe is that the nose doesn't have the balance between the wheat and the hops that I would like, but it makes up for it in the flavor for sure. The feel is a bit thin, but thats great if you need an easy drinking summer brew. The ABV is light and further adds to the drinkability of this sucker. Very nice.

Photo of cagocubs
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a transparent light gold with a thin white head that dissapates quickly. The smell is impressive as you are bombarded by the hops loaded in. Has a very nice citrus smell like lemon. Wheat taste comes up front followed by hops and citrus accents. Nice citrus aftertaste. Fairly light body with great coating and exceptional drinkability. This is one of the best Wheat beers I've had in a long time. I'm glad I have five more left!

Photo of biggred1
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy, golden colored body with lots of suspended yeast in the glass. Decent rocky off white head that settles into a thin skim of suds. Smells of lemons and pineappley hops, with just a touch of banana. Tastes like your typical summer brew on steroids, Lemon zest and puckering hops mix with tropical fruits. Finishes dry.Medium light mouthfeel, highly drinkable.

Photo of GruvisHops
4.93/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: 12 oz. brown bottle with the Gumballhead the cat comic character well in focus in the center of the label. A solid 1/2" of frothy white head rests on top of a beautiful, slightly hazy, golden liquid and leaves excellent lace on the glass as it slowly fades.

S: Amazing! The Amarillo hops really come through as they lay down the typical citrus grapefruit aroma. The label doesn't mention it, but this beer screams dry-hopped. It just has that distinct hop aroma that can only come from dry-hopping... very sappy and tangy.

T: The sweetness from the wheat comes through at the beginning, but quickly vanishes and takes a backseat to the hops. Did I mention I think this beer is heavily dry-hopped? There's no mistaking that dry-hop flavor at this point. I LOVE IT! The hops aren't so much bitter at this point, as much as I would say tart (if that makes sense) being balanced by the tropical fruits and somewhat hidden malt profile. The lemony finish as stated on the bottle hits the nail on the head with more citrus on the back of the tongue. The hop flavor really lingers on the tongue after each swallow. You'll get no complaints from this hophead as far as that is concerned.

M: Light-Medium

D: With the low ABV and tremendous flavor, I would call this a very sessionable beer for a hophead. I'm drinking this as slow as I can to still be able to call myself a beer geek, but I feel like I'm damn near chugging it.

Notes: I'd say this is a shoe-in for my favorite wheat beer of all time.

Photo of Redwood21
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you again Scubarex for this fantastic brew in my SS BIF box

A: the color is a gorgeous copper straw color that almost shimmers with a perfectly white head that doesnt evolve into anything massive but as a decent residual staying power

S: mildly hoppy in fragrance with a slight fruity spice and some malt but nothing that stands out too prominent good or bad

T: light and crisp very easy to drink there is an obvious wheat background that is the support of this beer with a subtle fruity hops that balance it out. you are not burdened by the unfortunate banana taste of a classic wheat beer, and for that i am very grateful this is probably the most sessionable beer ive had to date. its not big or flashy but it nails a style and niche al the same

Photo of Buebie
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle courtasy of d0b. This is my first three floyds beer.

Poured from a brow 12oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Nice 1 finger of white sudzy head sits there for a bit, settling with globby clump islands of bubbly retention.
Sticky bits of lace leave a few nice looking rings.
Color on this is a chill hazed golden darker yellow.

Lots of musty orange and grapefruit rind like hop aroma.A bit of a floral pedal kick and grassy hops as well. Somthing dusty.
Its sweet aswell, very nice for a wheat beer.

Crisp clean feel with a thin smoothly carbonated feel.
This isnt watery, its just so thin and easy drinking. The hops add another dimension with a dry bitter lingering of dust and sugar free grapefruit.
I get the faintest spice kick just into the swallow like most traditional wheat beers. Which then disappers just as quick.

I really dislike wheat beers. This is the first one that I would pay money for.
The hops make it drinkeable. Adding another dimension to the brew.

Photo of MasterSki
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this many times, but most recently was on-tap at Whole Foods (!) in Lakeview. This was from the bottom of the keg, as they barely managed to fill my glass before running out.

A - Looks like filtered apple juice (i.e. transparent), but with a creamy off-white two-fingered head that dissipates very, very...very slowly. Seriously, great retention and attractive lacing here. Not much visible carbonation, and significantly darker than most wheat beers I've tried.

S - Hops! Sweet citrus, apple? (Not sure if I've been subconsciously influenced by my previous comment about apple juice). The taste of wheat is further in the background - it's definitely not the typical banana/clove wheat beer combo. Not overly complex, but quite strong and refreshing

T - Again, sweet citrus with a tiny hop bite at the back of the palate - I'm getting tangerine, lemon, and pineapple. The wheat character is very subdued and mostly comes out in the lingering aftertaste.

M - This is the part of the brew that most evokes wheat rather than American Pale Ale or IPA. There's some grittiness in the quality. Otherwise it's creamy and smooth, with a strong medium bodied texture.

D - I could drink a whole bunch of this, and I probably will in the summer.

Very odd having a beer while grocery shopping, but I hope that Whole Foods adds more options to match their also-awesome wine tasting station.

Photo of cadizkyguy
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my new favorite brew. I picked up a six pack at Strack Van Til's in Munster, IN the day after Christmas and I was pleasantly surprised at this offering from Three Floyds. I had always heard about its merits but was afraid to try it, I guess, due to its name. But I'm glad I picked up a sixpack. There were two sixpacks on the shelf and when I went back the next day the other one was gone. Still, I'm gonna enjoy this brew and won't sit on it too long. I'll be visiting family in the Chicago area after New Year's and will definitely look for this beer again. I have a couple places where I might find it. Anyway, the beer is an excellent american wheat beer. Taste, mouthful and drinkability are perfect 5s and I don't think it's just me because it gets high marks with others here on beer advocate. If you have the chance to try this Three Floyds offering, go for it. You won't be disappointed.

Photo of BMoney575
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 12-27-08

Pours very cloudy yellow color with lots of little yeasty floaters. A white head fades quickly, with thin rings of lacing.

Smell is lots of citrus hops, very fresh with a sweet-and-sour kick. Surprisingly complex but light and astoundingly good.

Taste is very light, with a subtle bready malt, followed by a huge grassy hop flavor and sizable bitterness. The aftertaste is very fruity and smooth, and not at all adjuncty.

Mouthfeel is great, thicker than other wheat beers, and better for it.

Drinkability is awesome, a hoppy, full flavored beer that you could session anytime.

Overall, a fantastic beer, probably the best wheat beer every made.

Photo of Stonebreaker
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pretty standard.

Smell: Are those amarillo? with that citrusy grapefruit/piney smell, I'd bet my left testy, wait is that the bigger one?

Taste: A hoppy wheat brew. The end.

Mouthfeel: A little thin.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, perhaps the strongest aspect of the beer. A decent beer from those Munster guys.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the many beers I got in Secret Santa 08 from hwwty4. Thanks once again Bill.

A pale, hazy yellow body with about a finger of very white head. The head doesn't last long and doesn't leave any lacing behind.

Very nice smelling beer here. Hops are definitely noticeable with grapefruit, lemon, and other citrus flavors coming in. A touch of wheat and even some sweet pale malts come through also.

The first thing you notice is a hop bite that tastes citrusy, mostly like grapefruit with some lemon. Next a mix of yeast and wheat come through. The wheat provides a slight twang while the years has some banana tones and some bubble gum tones. Nothing very noticeable on the yeast but its there. Finishes wheat-like with some pale malts and more hops. Some bitterness there. The overall effect of this beer does tastes a little bit like a gumball. Right in the middle when the citrus hop flavors mix with the wheat, the yeast and just a touch of malt I can definitely see the similarities between this and a gumball.

Taste is a little bit creamy with medium carbonation.

Pretty drinkable beer. Definitely an interesting one that I am glad I got a chance to try.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle:

A: The beer poured a hazy golden color with a nice thick white head. Nothing special, but the color was a bit darker than other Pale Wheat Ales I have tried.

S: A little lemon with some grain and hops noticeable.

T: Better than I expected. I am not a big fan of the Pale Wheat, but this one was surprising. Most Pale Wheat Ales I have tried to date lack any real flavor. This one had a really nice balance of the grapefruit/lemon, hops and some wheat. Very well done for the style.

M/D: The beer was light and easy to drink. Overall, I was very surprised and I enjoyed the beer. I may have to give it another shot just to see if it will grow on me. Very good beer.

Photo of NCSUdo
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle

A: Golden body, slightly hazy, under a small white head. Some lace and retention.

S: Citrus aroma with a bit of wheat backing it up. Very simple.

T: As the bottle says, zesty. A lemon citrus mix. Wheat is apparent as well, mild bitterness and a sweet, vinous character. Again, simple, but good.

M/D: Light bodied, carbonation is about right. Drinkability is exceptional. Overall, a very simple beer, bordering on average. But entirely drinkable in large quanties.

Photo of flexabull
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of seanpachefddfa, thanks again!

Pours a bright and light gold color with a nice fluffy white head. Looks good.

Aromas are of lemon zest, pine like hops, and some light sugars.

Taste is very crisp with lots of carbonation feel. A touch of cream and sweet malts are hidden underneath all the hop and wheat flavors. Very zesty, tart, with some lemon, and a mineral like hoppy bite on the finish. There is almost a medicinal aspirin like bitterness, and some spicy yeast flavors as well. A lot going on here for such a beer of this style and alcohol level.

Mouthfeel feels good, carbonation seems high, but it's fits this beer nicely.

Drinkability is really good. This is a very flavorful session ale. Would be a staple in my fridge during hot Northern California summer days if it was available here. Excellent thirst quenching brew!

Photo of bobgrave
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was recommended to me by a co-worker and I am very glad he did.

I am a fan of wheat beers that incorporate a flavorful hop blend. This beer is an excellent example IMO.

The carbonation is light, but not like a usual wheat. The smell is very nice and I truly did not expect this nose from a wheat. Strong cannabis smells with citrus grove coming through.

The flavor is big with this one. IMO this has the taste of cannabis. At least the flavor ties to the smell from concert air.
Strong grapefruit and citrus notes creep in after the initial weed hit. A very drinkable beer.

I would also like to note that I gave one of these to an old burner friend of mine and he said the flavor of the beer really brought back the old days for him.

This is not over the top on the hops, but more than you would expect.

Try one!

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

A- This looks tasty, nice clear yellow. The head is very white, light and fluffy. Almost like a foam you would find on a fancy dish.

S- The hop smell is very fragrant, nice citrus smell, prominently with grapefruit.

T- This has a nice, great sweet hop taste, with a great grapefruit taste and orange as well. The hop bite is not as strong. I guess if there was to be a light IPA this one would be it. The beer itself is light, but still has a great hop kick.

M- Very light feeling in the mouth, very tasty.

D- Easy to drink, and could be a regular if it was sold out in the PNW.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Though I just got a package containing this today (I knew I would love it so its fine!) I am reviewing the Gumballhead I recieved from my SS, raznug.

A- Body is a nearly transparent blonde that pours with an approximately 2 finger white head. Head fades pretty quickly to a thick collar but leaves some traces of lacing all the way down the glass.

S- First thing that comes to the nose is a big dose of citrus hops. There is a big sweet, bready yeast backbone and a touch of pine to go along with it.

T- Some grapefuit flavor upfront with a small amount of yeast backbone. The taste gets really interesting for the finish where a big grapegruit juice flavor comes through along with a distinct sweet wheat flavor, a touch of pine, and a touch of bitterness. What lingers is some Citrus hop resin, some grapefuit and other citrus flavor, and a touch of sweet yeast.

M- Medium to high carbonation and nice, light, very drinkable body. Pretty smooth.

D- This beer is awesome. I knew with how much I love UberSun that I would really like this. Ubersun, hopsun, and gumball head are all similar...but gumballhead seems to offer a similar punch to ubersun without the extra ABV associated. I'm really happy I have 3 bottles of this!

Photo of Poser
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours straw yellow. Decent head and retention. Pine and peppermint or watery orange aroma. Slick going down. Malty sweetness holds together surrounded by a hop domination. Texture is a sharp lemon string but also a slick mango. I'm going to give it to them on the mouthfeel just because I'm still trying to figure it out.

Like some others, I'm a little confused by it's style classification.

Gumballhead from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 4,780 ratings.