Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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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: 1,535 | Ratings: 5,696
Photo of sonicdescent
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance was quite grand, you usually have to have a phenominal head to get this high of a score from me but the insane amount of carbonation presence is something I see. The head is white and a thin crown with good lacing. The liquid is a very light gold.

Scent is an interesting lemony and hoppy concoction. I noticed a bready scent when I opened the bottle but no longer pin that down.

Taste, while I can't complain that it isn't pleasant or refreshing, I struggle to detect anything as it isnpretty subdued. Same characteristics as the scent. This would be a he'll of an intro to craft.

Mouth is where of needs to be, thin/med and fizzy.

Very east to drink and I want to try more to male sure my palate isn't fooling me into thinking this is weaker than it really is.

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

Got a sample of this from one of my distributors, and was eager to try it as we get so few 3ffloyds products.
Pours a light amber with a large white puffy head. Lots of carbonation and I had to be careful to pour slowly. Smell is a bit of grain and wheat followed by piney hops. Taste is at first one of a nice refreshing wheat, but the Amarillo hops then sneak in and turn the beer into a little hop monkey. Its almost like two beers in one. At first you think you are getting a wheat ale, but by the end you are thinking you might have gotten your glass switched with a pale ale. Mouthfeel is good with pretty hardy carbonation, but for this beer the effervencene works. Drinkability is nice as well as one could put down a few of these quite easily. Might be a bit overpriced and it would be nice if these came in 6 packs. Over all I nice offering.

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

Pale yellow with visible particulate, a dense, lumpy white head, and tumultuous CO2. Gumballhead imparts a bright wheat aroma and a modest tart flavor with a piquant edge. The taste is clean and bears a slight resemblance to lemon tea. For this reason I might recommend a lemon compliment.

Notable for its impressive lace and sustained head retention. Special thanks to cmaruschak.

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

poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip.

pours exceptionally clear, lemon yellow. reasonable head, recedes to a thin foam. reading other reviews, i'm a bit let down on the nose. some whiffs of citrus/floral hops and a bit of wheat, but a bit more would be nice.

nice smooth taste - hints again of a medley of fruits, the wheat works as a nice counter-balance. good mouthfeel, this is a great quencher.

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Photo of rrski198
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12oz bottle into an imperial pint.

A – Poured a clear golden color with a short head that didn’t last too long.

S – A nice aroma with some sticky sweetness and a prevailing hoppiness. Slight pink grapefruit. A very wafty hint of light redwood.

T – Grapefruity hops and some light grains. Very clean and crisp feeling. Bitter and crisp with some lemon and tartness. There’s a hint of sweetness from the malt that mellows the tone just a little, but it stays a bit snappy. The bitter high end hangs around for a while and pushes off any sweetness in the middle.

M – Pretty smooth even with the crispness. Feels just a bit oily. The tight carbonation and bitter bite kind of tingle and dance on the tongue.

D – Refreshing without being light, retaining its satisfaction. Not for heavy consumption, but a very drinkable beer for refreshment with some body to it.

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Photo of kbeals
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from Nesued, a highly recommended trader by the way...

A- Gusher alert! Ended up with a glass full of foam from the initial pour. (15 minutes later...) Finally got the whole beer poured, so here is what I saw. A hazy golden colored brew topped with tons of foamy white head. Good head retention and lacing, but the over the top amount of head definitely makes it lose style points.

S- Subtle hints of lemon and grapefruit along with a bit of hops. A sweet, caramel like backbone appears as the beer warms up. Relatively balanced, but the aromas are a bit muted.

T- Pretty similar to the aroma in terms of the citrus. A bit of lemon and grapefruit along with some hops. Nothing really stands out here, but it still smells good.

M- Nice light-medium body, prickly mouthfeel due to the amount of carbonation.

D- Easily drinkable. At only 4.8% this is an easy quaffer and would make an excellent summer beer. Might have to get more of this at some point...

Thanks again Dan, I hope to trade with you again in the future!

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Photo of ChanChan
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one holds a special place in my liver as it is the first true Craft beer I had a few years ago. This one was flown to me by my brother all the way from Chi-Town! So, poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Orange with a slight haze on it. The head is a couple of inches; it is short-lived and becomes minimal and soapy.

Aroma: Nice, just as I remember hoppy and fresh. Smells of peach, hops and a bit of resin.

Mouthfeel: Light with a good amount of carbonation.

Taste: Hoppy, semi fresh with a slight bitterness, the finish is not as pleasant as the aroma, mouth-feel, and initial taste!

Overall: This beer might as well be a pale ale cause the wheat beer qualities are minimal and are only detected in the finish. Most importantly though, I’ve been sitting on this one for a month so its assy and not as fresh as it should be for a wheat low ABV brew!

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into a perfect pint, courtesy of RTrain12 (thanks, Ryan!)

A - Pale gold, just a little bit cloudy. Nice, towering three fingers of head that has some decent retention. Not much lacing.

S - I had a Pliny before this one, and I have to say that the aroma is not very far off. This has some outstanding notes, including grapefruit and pine. It's very reminiscent of a west coast IPA. Very nice.

T - Very much a letdown after the nose. There's a bit of the hops, but not much. Some sweetness, in the cotton-candy area, and some notes of yeast and bread. No alcohol detected at all.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth.

D - I could drink this all day, all night, and all the next day. Off the charts.

O - While it's an outstanding everyday brew, the flavor is a bit lacking and leaves me wanting. Still very good.

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Photo of fear025
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma:Hops come across cleanly in the nose, grapefruit aromas.

Appearance:Light amber in color, lots of fluffy white head.

Taste:Nice hoppyness in the first taste, not overwhelmingly bitter. There's a slight refreshing fruityness in this beer. The aftertaste, even from the first sip is nicely nutty.

Mouthfeel:Easy drinking, mild body, slightly cream, good carbonation.

Drinkability:This is a great sessionable IPA. There's not a huge amount of complexity in this beer, but it's got lots of drinkability.

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Photo of blackenmn
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip pint:

Appearance and Smell:Poured a pretty translucent yellow/orange with a thin white head which liked to cling to the glass a bit. A thin white film kind of just sat on top of the brew after the head dissipated. Plenty of carbonation present. Smelled of sweet pineapple, citrus, with a bit of toasty wheat, and yeasty scent present. Really appealing heavy fruit scent to this.

Taste and Mouthfeel:Pretty light bodied brew. Carbonation helped keep it from seeming to thin. Tasted of bitter-sweet grassy citrus, and a bit of very subtle lemon and bread. Really pleasant hoppy aftertaste to this, it was pretty sticky on the mouth. The taste and feel really underwhelmed me after smelling this thing.

Drinkability:This seems pretty close to an ideal summer sessionable beer. Definitely a beer you buy 6 of instead of a single. This beer smelled nothing short of great, and I loved how a thin head stuck around all the way down on this. I'd probably get another six of this sometime in the summer, overall i wouldn't go out of my way for this myself though. Just the extremely sweet scent made the subtle flavors pale in comparison a bit too much.

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Photo of xcrunner78
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell of hops, musky and sweet. Good clear golden pour and a slight head. Extremely nice hop character for a wheat beer. Bitter hop profile in the beer with a citrus/sap finish. Nice crisp carbonation very smooth. Nice to sit and drink to quench the thirst on a hot summer day.

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Photo of tsatem
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Growler into a pint glass, thanks to calbertb2.

A: Big, creamy looking wheat-y head. The color is kind of a pale, quite clear yellow and really not all that appealing. Lacing is pretty great.

S: Lots of hops here! Not exactly what I was expecting. The wheat brings out the earthy notes in a really nice way - I get a lot of grass and pine, all with a grain-like backbone. Lots of citrus as well, mostly grapefruit - great balance between these two aroma groups. Smells like summer on a farm, which is really nice.

T: Everything is a little bit more muted here than it is on the nose. I generally don't love beers like this, but this is super refreshing on a really warm day. Everything is in the same order as the aroma - the bitterness is really subdued by the earthy notes, and the hop tastes are more earthy than citrusy, though the grapefruit flavor is still present.

M: A little bit thin. I was hoping for something more from the aroma. This makes for a really crisp, light beer however.

D: The drinkability of this is phenomenal. I'm enjoying it outside on a 75+ degree day and I'm sure I'm going to have no problem finishing the growler by myself. I'm not a huge fan of wheat beers, but this is really hitting the spot.

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Photo of everetends
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a Bomber into a mug.

Apperance: Pours a slightly hazey yellow/orange. Small one finger head with scattered beading. Not much head retention but a nice collar is formed.

Smell: This has the aroma of citrus hops and I will say that I was not expecting that from a wheat beer. A little hay and an ever so gentle suggestion of bananna. Smells pretty fresh.

Taste: The citrus that I smelled have now changed to a very grassy hop flavor. I am also tasting some sort of mineral quality. Very modest malt bill that is only mildly wheaty. This has a bitterness that hangs around like im drinking an IPA. This is interesting but not true to style IMHO.

Mouthfeel: Thinner side of medium and very pleasant. Has an almost powdery or chalky feel on the palate. Leaves an oil slick on the back of my tongue.

Drinkability: This beer has to score very high on drinkability because of its full flavor. This offering is a good beer, just not good for a wheat.


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

Poured into Weizen Glass (straight down to maximize head)

A: Poured dark yellow/golden, looked cloudy-orange held up to light. Super frothy/soapy head with great retention and sticky lacing all the way down.

S: Seemed more overall citrus aroma than overall lemon. Hops of course with something my young palate cannot place. Intriguing though.

T: What is that? I can't seem to tell, but coincides with the smell. Back to more of a citrus/orange taste instead of lemon. Sweet, then bitter.

M: Sticky, slight carbonation with some chalk to it.

O: Tried this beer according to reviews on this site. It was drinkable and I enjoyed it to an extent. Will have again in the future. (Must not be my style...hopefully will change as I become more experienced.)

Anyways this was my first review.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a Spiegelau wheat glass from a 12 oz bottle on numerous occasions. Look is gold with a thick foamy white head and sticky lacing. Smell is fresh cut pine, pink bubblegum, grapefruit, orange blossom, lemon, and hints of wheat. Taste is crisp pine, bubblegum, bitter citrus and some sharp wheat malt flavors. Feel is light to medium in body with a crisp feel and finish.

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

Yellow and clear with a somewhat fizzy head that dissipates after a bit and leave spotty lacing, but is otherwise not bad looking.

Smell is grainy with some yeastiness, earthiness, and zesty citrus.

Taste is pretty good, with a nice wheat/yeast combo and some citrus, hops, light spices and a touch of breadiness.

Feel is light and slick, easy to drink and refreshing.

Drinks pretty well. I like wheat beers for everyday drinking, especially for sporting events because they're light and easy to drink and of moderate alcohol. This one fits right in.

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

Reviewed From Notes

A: dark golden, billowy head, recedes to a minimal cape, some lacing

N: light floral and significant grapefruit kicker, I know this bottle isn't the freshest, but the beer has managed to hold up well

T: very little bitterness, wheat and estery in a pleasent way, wheat not overpowering, which I prefer in this style (as opposed to a huge wallop of wheat). This beer reminds me more of Nebco's Alpha-Weizen than it does of New Glarus's Dancing Man Wheat (in that its not exclusively wheat centric).

M: light and sunny on the palate, I can see this being a popular in the summertime.

O: this is a damn good beer and one I would go to consistently in the summer if I had the option.

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

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a filtered clean golden color,1-finger head, minimal lacing.

S-Citrus hops all the way, grapefruit, lemon, and floral. No yeast or wheat in sight, or smell.
As it warms, the hops fade some to reveal a sweetness, maybe that's the wheat.

T- Citrus hop flavors, Bittersweet, like a halved grapefruit laced with sugar. I do not pick up the wheat.

M- Light and sweet, but this isn't coffee. It counters the sweetness with a hop finish. Easy drinking.

O- On its own, I enjoyed this beer. But a Pale Wheat Ale aka German-style hefe? Not IMO.
At just 28 ibu, the citrus hops dominate, which I like, although that trait doesn't marry with the style.

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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.

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

Pours a light orangey-brown with a thin head and lots of carbonation. Nose is lightly hoppy, some light malty syrup, not really any hefeweizen or yeasty elements.

Taste is hoppy and grassy with toasty malts. Sharp hops up front, bitter and dry, not real sweet. Biscuity malt follows, supplying some sweetness to offset. Pine-resin flavors without the typical heavy, oily mouthfeel. Trace of lemon late on the palate, maybe some honey.

Mouthfeel is medium and clean, crisp, well-carbonated. Not a lot that would characterize this as a weizen, hefe or otherwise (maybe I've been misinformed). Good beer, but if I were tasting it blind, I'd call it a light pale ale. A refreshing summer beer, nonetheless.

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

This poured a slightly hazy bright gold with a bit of white head. It smelled like fresh peaches and persimmons, with some grassy hops and fresh wheat and wild onions. It tasted like unripe peaches, with wild onion and fresh wheat and honey. It was watery with some carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a strange beer. It didn't taste as sugary sweet as the name suggests. It was clean and mostly enjoyable, with decent body, so it was pretty easy to drink. This beer was fun to try once, but I have no real interest in ever having it again. And I really don't understand the hype over it - this is a B+ beer at best. If you want an exceptional American Wheat Ale, try Little Sumpin' Sumpin'.

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

This ale poured a light golden amber with a thin creamy head, with nice lacings. Nose is caramel, some wheat and nuttiness, with big grapefruit and piney hoppiness. The taste is one hoppy wheat beer, with more on the hops than the wheat. Good mouthfeel, well carbonated light bodied beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.84/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a highball shaker.

A - Pours a pale lemon yellow with a two-finger head of fluffy, almost sudsy eggshell-white foam that slowly collapses, leaving a thick, Swiss-cheese-like ring around the glass and a thin layer of foam across the surface. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a muted lemon-lime color and somewhat cloudy.

S - Ruby red grapefruit with some citrus zest follow by juicy fruit notes like mango, peach, and pineapple. As it warms, there's marmalade on light toast in the background. Nose is on the subtle side, but luscious.

T - Lightly toasted wheat bread to start quickly followed by citrus hops featuring rind bitterness. That's followed first by some soft floral notes and then by peach in the finish that ends cleanly with hints of grapefruit - these start to linger toward the end of the glass. The wheat foundation has a pleasantly surprising presence and provides nice backing for the featured hops; there's just enough candy sugars in the profile to balance the hops without it being sweet.

M - Rather fizzy with medium carbonation. Body is somewhat light and moderately thin. Well-integrated, high-quality components. Crisp on the swallow with a short finish that's neutral-to-dry. Over time, the hop bitterness accumulates on the tongue, prolonging the finish.

O - A pretty taste-forward take on the American wheat style that provides enough foundation to balance the hops but still keep the beer on the lighter, refreshing side. A good summer beer for when flavor is most important rather than just quenching a thirst.

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,696 ratings.
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