Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,552 Reviews
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Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American wheat beer with a refreshing, crisp citrus finish. This delicious session beer is brewed with boatloads of Amarillo hops.

35 IBU

Added by cretemixer on 04-17-2003

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Reviews: 1,552 | Ratings: 5,786
Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours bright golden with a white head that thins and stays. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of a hop-bomb. Citrus - grapefruit, orange/nectarine, some pineapple - with pine.

The taste is of hops - citric, with some pine. Just a touch of sweet wheat cracker backs it up - just enough to hold hops together.

Full-bodied for the style. Chewy.

Purposely imbalanced, this is a super hoppy wheat ale. Drinkable despite rawness.

 421 characters

Photo of bheilman
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SwiftyMcBeers review before he was an advocator:

This is a freaking great beer. Smells like a forest after a gentle rain. Really complex taste. It's pine, grapefruit, lemon . . . it's just good. Not the best beer I have ever had, but it's in the discussion. Something worth tracking down. Keep it up 3F's

I like this beer too, but come on, I lived in Philadelphia, this isn't god's work here as Swifty might have you think. It is the best wheat beer I've ever had by far, so I'll give it that. I've had some other wheat beers and always find them too sweet and chalky. 3Fs somehow avoids those extremes and gives a very complex yet smooth beer.

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Photo of bfields4
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice pour. tight little head gives way to a hazy golden body.

smells very citrusy not quite ipa style though. Herbal and spicy smells to boot.

hmmm the taste is very interesting. very spicy, but also a little citrusy
not bitter or bold like an IPA.

very light with a good bit of carbonation. a very good summer brew. unique, but nothing that blew me away.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of ScrimshawFan, into a NB Globe.

A: Pours a slightly turbid gold with about half an inch worth of head that didn't stick around at all. A few small pots of lacing are left behind. Some bubbles lazily float up from the bottom.

S: Fair amount of citrusy hops in addition to a lemon like malt profile. Has a sort of musty/grainy smell as well. Smells like a nice hoppy pale ale with a slight twist.

T: Light and crisp, lots of citrusy hops and a very simple grainy malt profile. Nice bitterness. Wheat profile adds a nice twist and amount of depth to the beer. Not too shabby.

M: Very light and very dry. Finishes just right.

O: A nice hoppy wheat beer, that is dry with a nice amount of bitterness but still has a nice citrusy hop profile as well. I like the dry finish and how refreshing this beer is.

Thanks Casey!

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very interesting. Very, very interesting.

The cloudy light gold body is topped by a nice frothy head that shrinks back to a nice residual that laces well. The nose is full of fruit, fruit, and more more fruit from the excellent hopping. Normally not much of a wheat fan I found this beer to be excellent in its drinkability, being light and refreshing from the excellent blend of ingredients. A bit pricey, but well worth the money as a novelty experience to be savored on occasion.

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Photo of e11a627
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of expatsteve
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I should preface this review by saying that I like this beer a lot, but I feel a little conflicted about it as a wheat beer. If it were just a little cheaper, it would probably find a more regular space in my fridge--but not as a wheat beer. Thanks to Golden2wenty1, who provided this as part of Wheat/Weiss night....

Appearance: Light golden amber, with great visibility. 1/4 inch head with heavy suds cover - pours quite nicely. Low viscosity.

Aroma: Grapefruit, lemon and orange - not a hop monster, but that's nonetheless the entirety of the nose.

Taste: This beer is really a good showcase for how well FFF understand hops - nice floral developments, with a fruity grapefruit finish. I initially wrote that the mild wheat flavor is a great canvas to bring the hops out on, but the pine finish clouds out all the interesting flavors that the wheat might bring. If the hops weren't so well done, this beer might strike me as a little one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Light, a little sweet, but the hops in the finish are magnificent. The dry edge to the wheat does fight its way through here.

Drinkability: A great summer beer--one that shows how great hops can be as a cleanser on a hot day. Truly refreshing, as the wheat keeps the beer light and quaffable. But I can't help feeling that this is almost a wheat APA or IPA (the hops profile is about the same as Alpha King), rather than a APWA. I can't make up my mind if this is style-defiance, too much of a hop thing, or perhaps a little cheatery. But never let that get in the way of drinking another exceptional FFF offering.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy straw color. Aroma of fresh hay and Pacific North-West hops. This beer tasted like a cross between an American Wheat beer and an American Pale Ale. There were some clean, light grainy flavors with some soft late addition hop character. Really nice spin on a wheat beer. Just enough extra hops to match the tartness of the wheat. Bell's Oberon meets Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. A little summer in the middle of January.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to beernerd81 for this one

A-Vigorous pour produced a 1/2" white head that had average retention and left just a few wisps of lacing.

S-Floral and citrus hops with a semi-sweet & bready malt backbone.

T-Light Citrus hops, subdued but present. Bready malt in the middle and finish, with a slightly bitter bite from the hops coming in on the back end. Not terribly complex, but very pleasant.

M-Light, crisp, refreshing. Slightly oily.

D-This one went down easily enough. A good session beer.

A very solid beer. Not outstanding, but very good.

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Photo of beerinator
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy Golden, with nice retention on an off-yellow head.

Aroma: Really Really really hoppy. Floral hops. Has some perfumy sweetness in the aroma.

Taste: A lot of hop is noted in the flavor, but the body of the wheat beer shows through. The hop flavor isn't as strong as the aroma suggests. Nice mouthfeel. Citrus flavors make this beer feel more like a hefe, but the hops keep the beer more in line with an American Pale Ale. Split personality beer.

Notes: Good beer. Not one I would suggest to a first time wheat beer drinker, simply because of the way it differs greatly from others in the category. Nice beer for the price.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, fellow BA Goz was kind enough to share a bottle of this with us yesterday at our BA fest meeting, and I finally got to try some. This is the least wheat beer like wheat beer I have ever tried, but the aroma seemed pretty consistent with what can be expected from Three Floyds. And I Iike that abv! Anyway clear golden when poured, no head (I didn't see any in anyone else's glass either). Heady hop aroma, full of spun sugar and cinnamon. Taste wise, it starts out as a typical hoppy 3F's (I am thinking about dreadnaught)...the one thing that reveals it's wheat moniker in my opinion is that it finishes light, as opposed to bitter or syurpy. Very enjoyable, especially if you appreciate candied hops.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh... Another solid beer from 3F - they can do no wrong.

This beer poured a deep golden color with a small white head.

The aroma was full of Amarillo hops with notes of sweet wheat malt in the background.

The flavor of the beer was much richer than other American style wheat beers I've tried. The maltiness had an interesting note of honey sweetness, perhaps from the atypical red wheat used in place of white wheat - as in most American wheat beers.

The hops were citrusy and well developed for a wheat beer, but not overpowering.

The mouthfeel was light-to-medium and reasonably dextrinous. This helped the beer to feel fuller than most summer seasonals, but not too heavy.

The carbonation was just right and added a good bite to this summer brew.

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Photo of bobgrave
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
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!

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Photo of chiefthreebeers
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a liquor store in Chicago. Hard to find. I heard they are having trouble making enough of it, so it peaked my interest.

Poured 12oz. bottle it into my Duvel Apero glass.

A. Golden pale color, some sentiment visible. Unique appearance for a wheat beer. I was expecting a cloudy, Hefe theme, this was a refreshing change.

Aroma of hops. Lots and lots of Amarillo I imagine.

Mouth feel is soft and flavor of hops. I don't think I have ever had hoppier wheat.

Finishes smooth with some bitterness. Sweet and sour notes with hints of honey.

Overall I found this to be a very interesting beer. Original and inventive. I figure the funky package has helped with the success of the beer. Hipsters probably gravitate towards the cartoon character smoking a cigarette on the label. Nice beer, good for a session or two.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to Vega406 for including it as an extra! Poured into pint glass.

A- Pours a translucent yellowish, slightly brownish golden with about a half finger of white head that quickly recedes. About average carbonation.

S- Fruity aromas of lemon, apricots, strawberries, peach, marmalade, grapefruit, malts, hops, grains, etc.. Slightly above average aroma strength.

T- Lemons, peaches, marmalade, strawberries, blueberries, finishes with a little bit of graininess. Lightly tart berry finish that lingers for a little while.

M- Light, smooth, very drinkable, average carbonation.

O- This was very good for pale wheat ale. Nice balance of fruitiness, hops, malts, etc.. Perfect light beer for the summer, could easily session a few of these. I think I actually liked this beer better then Zombie Dust. Glad to see FFF has this as a year round offering, just wish it was distributed around here.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a thick carbonated head. Retention is mild. Lacing is good. Has some wheat in the aroma with a hint of piney hop. Light aroma. Some piney hop with a good wheat edge. Very drinkable beer. Mild astringency at the end.

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Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Pazzo's (Lexington, KY; April 2014) and from bottle (June 2014)

Clear golden body with excellent clarity; very durable, creamy white head leaves the glass well coated with sticky lacing.

Aroma: moderately strong but somehow gentle mix of hops. Hints of light bread, honeysuckle, and fruits.

Flavor: Some complexity from the hop (mix). Some bisquity malts in the background.

Feel: light bodied but not at all watery, thanks in part to the crisp, medium-high carbonation that seems just right

O: another excellent selection from FFF

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Photo of PhiloPsych
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale orange with very little head. Not a lot of aroma. Crisp mouthfeel with a very nice bready, wheat flavor. Not yeasty with banana flavors--not anything like a Hefeweizen, really. The hops add to the flavor without disturbing it--without taking over. Instead, they add a nice balance to the bready wheat. This is a nicely constructed beer. It would be easy to drink at least a bomber by myself, though I am sharing it today. Cheers!

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Photo of Quaffer
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer was a glowing, hazy amber-orange color. I was quite a bit darker than I was expecting it to be. The white head rose up easily and became dense as it quickly dissipated. There was a very heavy bead that sustained a nice, thick cap of sticky foam over the beer for most of the drink. Tons of lacing.

Smell: Juicy, citrus hops dominated the aroma. Not something that I am used to smelling in a wheat beer. There were some light undertones of wheat, lemon, and roasted malts, but the hops by far overpowered these.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a bit of chewiness to it. Very smooth for the style.

Taste: It took a few drinks to get used to the idea of a hopped up wheat beer. Sour lemon and citrus hops kicked in first. The hops were present more in the flavor than in any bitterness, though they did provide some of the latter. Sweet grasses and roasted malts arose in the middle. The finish was when the wheat really kicked in. Big and chewy, it lingered well into the aftertaste where it mingled with a mild hops bitterness and the aforementioned sweet grasses.

Very nice and very different. It took some time to wrap my head around the concept of a wheat beer with this much hops presence. Not much time, though :-)

Thanks for the bottle, Rob!

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Photo of barczar
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light golden with a frothy ivory head that lingers.

There's a wheat/grain sweetness, which juxtaposes the resiny hop character. Fairly floral, as well.

Herbal hop character and wheat are prevalent. There's a hint of resiny bitterness in the aftertaste, and the malt backbone is somewhat crackery.

Carbonation has a bite, body is moderate.

Not my favorite fff beer, by far. Nothing special as far as I'm concerned. Just lacks character.

Further review shows modest grapefruit character, but the finish sneaks in too early.

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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.

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Photo of zjungleist
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very light cloudy straw-yellow in color, with a foamy but short lived yellow-whilte head. Smells grassy/hoppy, with hint of some good yeast. Taste is fairly complex, with wheat up front, followed quickly by lingering herbal hops, a little baking soda taste of carbonation, and some bitter lemon peel aftertaste. It is odd how the hop taste just hangs on, and then the odd soda taste chimes in. The mouthfeel is nice, and it has refreshing light carbonation.

It's good, but it has an extemely long lasting flavor, almost to the point of being cloying. It is like an odd combination of a summer brew and a winter warmer. Personaly, I would go for something either more refreshing or more potent.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
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!


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Photo of Another6Pack
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden-copper pour. Fluffy white head with big bubbles that lasted just a few minutes before receding into a small thin ring.

Smells like a summer wheat with a noseful of hops. Like Oberon met Alpha King.

Taste has the characteristics of both a well-made wheat and a better pale ale, with a leaning towards the sweetness of a wheat. The idea that Gumballhead could be the offspring of Oberon and Alpha King sticks here too.

Mouthfeel is just a tick above average for the lower carbonation that doesn't seem to completely match up. Could be the smell and taste tricking my mind into thinking this should be a little bit more dry and crisp than this one offers.

Overall a very good and unique creation by the folks at FFF. Well worth trying - and having again and again if you can get it.

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Photo of devilben02
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I ordered this one on draught with little knowledge about it other than the reputation of the brewery. I certainly enjoyed it, but I never would have guessed that this was a pale wheat due to the hop character that is much more amplified than is typical for the style.

The color is a slightly hazy golden yellow with a thin cream-white head. The hops come through in the aroma with a dry citrus scent that lays on top of an underlying fruit sweetness. That same balance is evident in the flavor as well, with a lemony hop flavor contrasting with a light fruitiness. This one is fairly light bodied, which combined with the light but pleasant flavors makes this one an easy drinking selection.

Overall, the Gumballhead drinks like some kind of hybrid between a wheat ale and an American pale ale. The hop flavor and aroma don't overpower, though, but merely makes you stop and think about what you are drinking.

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,786 ratings.
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