Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,551 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: 1,551 | Ratings: 5,784
Photo of maximum12
1.3/5  rDev -69.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Watery yellow with some small floaties & no head, reeks of wheat.

Nasty. The bitter, acrid aftertaste starts in the front of my tongue & works its way back into my throat.

Man. This is wheat beer at its unrefined. Little character, little taste, but a strong, unrelentingly battery-acid, macro aftertaste. I recently tasted the Weyerbacher Blanche & was very, very pleasantly surprised at the excellent wheat character & the lack of that...nasty aftertaste.

I hope I just rec'd a bad bottle after all the positive reviews. My first failing grade. Drain-pour.

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Photo of blindpenguin
2.18/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

Tried to order a Budweiser at this hipster bar in downtown Chicago and was informed that "they do not carry bud products" This should have been a red flag given that bud is the most popular beer in the country. Waitress suggested gumballhead which was the featured beer. It came in some stupid ass wine glass but other than that looked fine with kind of a medium amber color. All downhill from tasted like complete shit with an almost chemical after taste
I found myself forcing it down with my meal. Super hard to drink...and don't give me any of that "refined pallet" bullshit they should serve this beer in shot glasses with a chaser and no i don't live in a trailer or watch NASCAR I'm a normal person with
pretty normal tastebuds

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Photo of skolwitz
2.26/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I have read a lot of good reports about this beer so I must have had a bad bottle. It was a 22 oz. from a local liquor store.

The brew smelled like grapefruit and tasted like it too. Carbonation was OK and mouthfeel was OK too but the taste was very harsh and on the extreme sour side.

Not one I was impressed with and probably need to try again.

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Photo of Cresant
2.53/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of LCB_Hostage
2.68/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Living in PA, I haven't had the chance to try 3F products, so on a recent trip to Chicago I was psyched to finally get the chance. Unfortunately, Gumballhead turned out to be a major disappointment.

It looked fine, but after that, things went downhill. I've rarely encountered such a well-regarded beer with so little aroma or flavor. Frankly, this reminded me more of dishwater than beer. There was a subtle hint of grassiness and a little lemon on the palate, but there was absolutely none of the fabled hop character,. at least that I could detect.

I'd say I had a bad bottle, but this was on tap at a busy restaurant with a beer menu that included only 3 draughts and 3 bottles, so I can't imagine it had been sitting for any extended period of time.

All in all, a bland, boring disappointment of a beer.

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Photo of HopZen
2.76/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served into standard pint glass.

A: Hazy golden amber with 1 finger of off-white, large bubble head that simmers but stays put overall.

S: Pine and citrus hops, very potent and inviting, but not very wheat ale. Very light hint of wheat backbone as well as cloves. Nice lacing as the fluid level drops.

T: Heavy front hit of grapefruit from the hops, seems like it may be too much, but the underlying malts balance out fairly well before it nears an unpleasant bitter, well done. However, as I proceed through the pint, the malt begins to struggle to hold up its end of the bargain. Finishes up with a light lemon kick and touch of spice. Very refreshing, but missing the real character of the wheat.

M: Mild bodied overall, as appropriate, not at all watery. Carbonation is a good mid-high ground; contributes well to the crisp, semi-dry finish.

O: A very pleasant offering, once again, from FFF. I have to say, however, that the level of hops doesn't really say "wheat beer" to me but feels more like a blurring in IPA. In addition, I feel like the wheat is lost behind the potent, although balanced, hop flavors. Regardless, I did enjoy this beer and doubt it will be my last Gumballhead.

Note that my ratings are pulled down by my opinion that this blurs the line too much to be called a wheat beer.

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Photo of semibaked
2.77/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours into a pint glass.

A - Pours a cloudy brightish yellow color with a white head that produces a bit of lacing.

S - Light hops right away, some sugary sweetness and citrusy scents too.

T - Really light tastes of hops, lime zest, and water. Didn't know anything about this before I tried it, very light tasting beer.

M - Typical light beer mouthfeel.

D - This just doesn't have enough flavor for me, way to light tasting, it is nice and refreshing but definitely want more flavor.

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Photo of Chestertonian82
2.77/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

L: Hazy golden-yellow, with moderate head and lacing.
S: At times I caught a pleasant bubblegum scent. However the smell was mostly off-putting, as of rotten citrus fruit.
T: Blech! Like lemon and battery acid.
F: See below.
O: This was my first experience with a Three Floyds beer, and I was sadly disappointed. I'm normally a big fan of wheat beers, but this one had an astringent acidity that made it rather hard to finish.

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Photo of caresville
2.79/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- golden yellow/orange with a thick frothy white head that fades fairly quickly. nice amount of carbonation with some floaties and minimal lacing.

s- kinda turns me off and almost taints the beer for me, its very light amounts of citrus and easy on pine. smells quite hay and straw with a certain funk that is not too appealing to me.

t&m- not too much going on here. i taste hints of orange, apples, pears and some grapefruit but nothing that sticks out and really challenges the taste buds. it seems quite watered down with lots of grains, wheat and corn? if i were blindfolded and had no idea what this was i would say its a better than average, very drinkable macro lager.

d- this reminds me a lot of sam adams summer ale. take that as you may... thats not a bad thing, BUT i was expecting a little bit more from three floyds. pretty average and thats about it.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.8/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy gold color beer with a huge bubbly head with average retention. Aroma of citrusy hops is overpowering and I could not discern any wheat. Taste is also totally dominated by the hops and leave very little place for the wheat. Not bad overall, I just don’t see were the American wheat fits in because I could not detect any presence of wheat in this beer.

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Photo of Heischman
2.87/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Beer/Brewery - Gumballhead\Three Floyds Brewing
City/State- Munster, Indiana
STYLE – American Pale Wheat Ale
ABV – 5.5%
DATE – 2 June 2011
SERVING TYPE – 12 oz Bottle
APPEARANCE – Golden and clear with a nice stream of bubbles coming up right in the center of the glass, very thin head.
AROMA- Very hoppy and hints of sweet fruit
TASTE – a light citrus hop flavor, a little bitter as well, but in a refreshing way
MOUTHFEEL – Good carbonation, in fact maybe a bit too much. This is a very gassy beer.
CONCLUSION – For a wheat beer this taste more like an IPA. It is not bad, but when you are expecting a good wheat flavor and instead you get a hoppy flavor, well it just throws off the whole thing. I would drink this again now that I know what to expect.

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Photo of BierManVA
2.88/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I guess I can sum up my experience of this bier in just a few words. "I don't get it" I have had this bier a few times and find the subtlty of it's flavor a real put off. Basically, except for the hops, there is little flavor to work with. Likewise the aroma.

And as a wheat ale, I don't think this bier could stand on it's own. In other words, remove the ridiculous hopping of this bier and sell it as a wheat, and no one would buy it.

The idea is interesting and I realize I am in the minority here so try it and form your own opinion.

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Photo of Vancer
2.89/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wheat ale my arse ! This was a weak IPA. Good lookin’ pour – hazy orange with sticky ivory laces. But the aroma and taste, wow, strong kick of florals! Not near enough wheat barley in this one – but the bottle does say "boat loads of Amarillo hops." Well, yeah. Tangy, crisp & tart. OK to drink – if you’re ready for an IPA.

Side: awfully high priced ($5.20 for 22oz) – I’d rather spent $6 on a sixer of Sammy/Schalfly wheat ales.

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Photo of Augustiner719
2.89/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip:

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of TheDM
2.98/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brew pours a small head of fine to medium sized white colored bubbles and a weak wheat yellow colored body. It had a mild malt-hop aroma. Its flavor contained the typical 3 Floyds hop bite that is strong initailly yet softens in the finish. My favorite Indiana brewer!

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.01/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy golden body is topped by a light white head displaying slight lace. Strong Amarillo hops nose. A gentle biscuity feel coats the nostrils. The wheat is obvious and provides a refreshing character, but there’s not much else to me. I’m not sure how well the hops mix with the rest, it is very citrusy, mandarine/lemon profile and tart, definitely not my favourite balance, but that’s probably just my preference for less abrasive citrusy hops. It doesn’t feel too fresh as it is. At the same time, the palate is globally thin, though it has a slight creamy tinge. Moderately high thin-bubbled carbonation cleans the tongue nicely though. Nevertheless, I’d get bored of having this as my main summer quencher. Give me a burgerbrau helles anywhen over 3 of these.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.01/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$1.49 / ea.

A: Bright amber body topped with one finger of loose white head that quickly dissipates leaving heavy foam lace and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Strong pine hop presence that mask any of the typical wheat ale characteristics.

T: Primarily flavored with pine hops and a dash of citrus in the background. Comes across as a weak IPA or aggressive pale ale. Typical caramel flavors associated with IPA are missing, making this primarily a vehicle for hop flavors. Strong bitter aftertaste, but does not seem to build.

M: Light body and heavy carbonation. Crisp with just slight hop oil smoothness.

D: The flavors are good, though seemingly out of style, and the body crisp and refreshing. Good session selection, but someone looking for a wheat beer may be a bit confused.

O: Solid flavor, but not the interpretation of the style that I am looking for.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
3.11/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Okay I am not all that familiar with the style of an American Pale Wheat Ale. I was told this was very flavorful. I must say that this is completely false. This beer has very little citrus, hop, or what backbone. It is like drinking beer flavored air. I did notice that warming the beer to 55 degrees or so brings out some great aromas.

The presentation is great. It is lightly hazy with a great head that goes away quickly at just about any temperature it seems. The aroma is great. It is much more in the class of an american pale ale than a what beer.

I will say that you could drink this beer all day with no problem. But I do not think I would want to.

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Photo of champ103
3.13/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A buddy brought me back a couple of bottles on a recent trip to Chicago land. I have had this several times before as well.

A: Pours a bright, slightly cloudy yellow/orange color. A bubbly white head rises with good retention initially, then recedes to nothing. Not much lace is left behind either.
S: At first husky wheat with some lemon zest. Then some soapy hops come in towards the end. Not much else is going on.
T: Similar to the nose. Husky wheat, lemon, and orange rind. Soapy and oily hops finishes everything off.
M/D: A medium body and crisp. Though very odd in the mouth. Very powdery, soapy, and oily. Seems strange to me. Easy enough to drink. Not one I am coming back to again and again though.

Give me Oberon, or Live Oak Hefe for that matter any day. I don't know if I keep getting old bottles, but this is nothing close to the better wheat beers out there. Let alone the far superior Hefes.

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Photo of livewire78
3.13/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the movie See no Evil, Hear No Evil there are the lines, "Who are you?" "Just fine thanks." Something got misunderstood and was out of place. That's what happened here.

Poured a somewhat cloudy hazy yellow. Decent head with average lacing.

Smelled of lemon, and bitter hops. Isn't this supposed to be a wheat beer? Where are all the typical wheat aromas?

I know this beer gets a lot of praise and I know that on this site hops = good but this is where it fell short for me. Three Floyd's is known for having hoppy beers but taking a good base wheat beer and dumping in a shitload of hops doesn't make it taste good. There were some of the tastes that make a wheat what it is but this was dominated all over the place by an overbearing hops presence. Call it a wheat pale ale or maybe an IPA but for a wheat it was out of place.

On the plus side the mouthfeel was about spot-on for a typical wheat. Just smooth and crisp enough.

The question is can I drink it? Sure, and I can have a lot. It tastes OK but not good and definitely not great. I don't mind boatloads of hops, just keep them away from wheats.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.13/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BJ for this!

Poured a mildly hazy light coppery orange with a short lived white head. A band of lace adorns the glass but not much remains. Kind of a weak smell. Slight citrus hints and wheat. Tangy and fizzy with a decently strong citrus body but light in other flavors. Mild wheat twang and bitterness in the finish. Light bodied, crisp, and refreshing. Not much else here. A decent lawnmower beer though.

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Photo of Windigstadt
3.14/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear, pale straw color with a frothy white head that you expect from a wheat beer.
S- The nose is pretty much all hops, and Pacific Northwest hops at that. Notes of grapefruit rind and pine resin stand out with just a hint of honey sweetness in the background.
T- Much like it smells, a resiny hop flavor greets the palate as you take your first sip. For just a moment you get to taste the sweetness of the malted wheat, but that quickly gives way to a bitter finish reminiscent of citrus rind. A very clean beer; whatever estery/phenolic contributions the yeast brought to the party (maybe a smidgin of clove?) were completely overrun by the hops.
M- A tad thin, but what you'd expect from an American wheat.
D- Very sessionable at 4.8% ABV.

Overall: I should start out by noting that I'm not a big fan of American wheats (without some kind of yeast contribution--like a Hefeweizen--or spicing--like a Belgian Wit--they just seem kind of pointless), and I'm not a big IPA fan, so it's not surprising that I wouldn't like what's basically a scaled-down wheat IPA. That being said, I've given plenty of IPA's good reviews and my mediocre rating of this beer isn't the result of my personal preference. Rather I think this beer is too one-dimensional. If you want to make a hoppy wheat beer, go nuts. However, I think it needs a bit more malt body to stand up to the hops. If you're a hophead looking for a lawnmower beer, this is for you. But if you're looking for any semblance of balance or complexity, skip this one.

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Photo of tapman
3.17/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent brew from the 3Fs, I expected more from this one, but its still a winner.

Honey colored. The head was white and thin. The lacing was also thin and light. It is so clear that I'm wondering how much filtering this brew goes through and why do the ingredients need to be filtered away, or is it might be purely cosmetic.

There is a Medium hoppiness to this brew mixed with wild flowers. The bottle says it is made with red wheat and I could see how the extra sugar in the red wheat could have influence on the sweet aroma of this brew.

The taste is sweet, like hoppy apple juice. Sure beats the hell out of some lunar based thin wheat macros out there, but there are many better wheat beers out there. If I had been blindfolded I would never have guessed. Still, this brew is interesting and very refreshing.

The carbonation is light to put it nicely. Carbonation reminds me of a macro, thin and snow white. Looks like sparkling apple juice.

On a hot day I could guzzle three or four of these 22ozers without thinking about it, but it pales to complex ales and robust weisbiers. Next picknick I go to will include at least one of these.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.19/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

We landed this beer in a trade. Thanks to my boy Scott for living close to the brewery! If I miss anything from Indiana, it's the brewing companies we had access to. From Upload in the Indianapolis area, to Three Floyds near Chicago, Indiana is filled with some great breweries. This is our last beer from Three Floyds… sad. I do have two more bottles in the fridge thanks to Scott. I hope he is reading… this blog post pretty much makes him famous!

This beer is one of their more popular offerings, and is on tap pretty much everywhere in the Hoosier state. It is a good example of the style the way the style was supposed to be enjoyed. It's loaded with fruit and has a nice spicy finish. This is a great beer. I say that and I pretty much hate wheat beers. If you are ever in the Circle City, order a Gumballhead. You're welcome!

In the Glass: This looks like a typical wheat beer. It does have more carbonation than I remember. Oh, and the head was REALLY thick on this. I blame the travel this bottle had from Indiana. Beer trading has become so fun for us, I sometimes can't control myself. I will take a thick head over a spilt beer. Not much lace here, but the head, as it dwindles, remains thick and somewhat sticky. I could smell this as I was pouring it… let's drink!

Nose: Well, we will smell this first. It does smell like a wheat beer, but there is a subtle spiciness toward the finish. Spice if what I remember about this beer. The last time I had this beer was at Scotty's Brewhouse in Indianapolis. I miss their wings. Man they had good wings. The BBQ are the BOMB! Anyway, back to the beer.

Flavor: I don't like wheat beers, but I would drink this in a heartbeat. It has a nice fruity flavor with a drying finish leading to an almost cracked pepper finish. This does get better as it heats up, but nothing worth waiting for. The low ABV also helps this beer as I could drink a ton of this before I even realized it. Another great lawnmower beer.

Mouthfeel: I do think this beer was affected by travel, but not a bad thing. There are WAY too many bubbles going on here, but as it heats up and as it sits in the glass, the bubbles are backing down. Not much in terms of mouthfeel. Just a nice, cold, wet wheat beer. I would call this more pale than wheat, though. The hops are obvious. I would like to see a Stone Brewing Company take on this beer. They sure do love their hops in California.

Aftertaste: The hops really come out in the finish. They use Amarillo hops in this beer, but that doesn't mean much to me. I should take a class on hops so I know the main differences. I am sure that would help me in my journey to becoming a Certified Cicerone. Anyway, the beer is easy to drink and leaves a much better finish than most wheat beers. Bless you, hops!

I am going to miss you, Three Floyds. Or is it 3 Floyds? If you are ever in Chicago, the brewing company is only 20 minutes outside of the city. It is WELL worth your time. The brewery is small, located in an industrial park, and you would never know a place like this could produce such great beer… but they are worth it. Oh, and Dark Lord. The beer is good, but Dark Lord Day is HUGE. We haven't been, but ask anyone that knows craft beer. I am sure he or she has heard of Dark Lord and/or Dark Lord Day.

Cheers, people!

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Photo of Trilogy31
3.21/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice crystal clear old gold with a finger full of head that leaves sticky curtains on my spiegelau tulip. The nose consists of bready malts, some sweet pastry and lemon peel piney hops. Taste is very lemony followed by crisp bittering hops and malts, refereshing taste if not one dimensional. Drinkability is high as a sessionable beer though not too thought provoking.

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,784 ratings.
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