Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,549 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: 1,549 | Ratings: 5,772
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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Photo of Natural510
3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a hefeweiss glass.
Incredible head, which retained somewhat. A very slightly cloudy golden color; much closer in appearance to a lager than hefeweizen.
Not much detectible scents, other than some wheat & lemon citrus.
Taste-wise, this was a typical wheat ale; wheat, lemon, yeast with a slightly sweet kick at the end...all very subtle.
No mouth twang or anything else of note.
Drinkable in a typical wheat-ale sense, I'm not quite sure why this beer is rated so highly. I find SA Summer Ale to be more interesting.
I was disappointed, given the label & brewery's reputation. And I certainly don't know why I paid $7 for the bomber when i could've had a slew of better beers for half that amount. Will be awhile before I give Three Floyd's another try.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.27/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams glass. It has a clear golden color with a modest head that settles fast. It has a very hoppy aroma with hints of fruitiness, but dominated by the hops. The taste is strongly hoppy, but not bitter, and slightly fruity like the aroma. It has a medium-light body with moderately high carbonation.

Overall, this is a decent, drinkable beer, but it's not really what I would expect at all from a wheat beer. While I can admire the boldness of the extreme hopping of a typically neutral style, when I go for wheat beer I don't necessarily want all the hops. Three Floyds has plenty of other offerings that are fantastic (i.e. Alpha King) when I want a hoppy beer.

Oh, the artwork on the bottle and more so on the 6 pack is strangely awesome.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.28/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap pour into a pint glass at Duke's Alehouse.

(A)- A hazy orange amber. Produced some white froth and lace.

(S)- A light malt sweetness and citrus.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A mild amber sweetness with citrus and subtle wheat.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A nice balance of malt, citrus, and wheat.

(D)- An easy drinking beer. Light, mild, and straightforward with some decent flavors.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.28/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to stfun37 for this 12oz beer. It smells very lemony just as the label states. Golden yellow with some fizz at the top. This has a very strange taste some lemon but also slightly fishy, what the hell? There is something very strange about this beer that I just don't quite get.

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Photo of WettNutz
3.29/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. The hype, as with all 3F beers, is not warranted. People act like this is the best beer in the world, and its not. Its just another beer people, get over it and drink something else. If its not on the shelf, we don't have any, so don't ask. And, yes, everyone will always be out because all you crazies are ridiculous. Don't call either, the answer is always no. Stores reward people that actually take the time to come in and potentially buy something.

80 Acre is not a bad beer, its almost the exact same beer. Buy that instead. Some people think its better even. It's always in stock, and cheaper.

3F only makes enough GH for bars to have on tap, and if that if you're lucky enough to find it not sold out on tap. Don't waste your time driving from store to store looking for it. Or do if you want to spend the whole day doing so. That being said,

Poured a light yellow color.
No head, zero.
Had a pleasant piney wheat smell, but not unlike other beers
Could taste the citrus and wheat notes
Moderate carbonation

Overall, an above average hoppy wheat beer, yes. Deserving of the ridiculous hype, absolutely not.

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Photo of jordanmills
3.3/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured out gold with a little fluffy head. Smelled floral and citrusy. Tasted sweet and bitter, fairly hoppy aftertaste, a little malt. Smooth on the tounge, though the aftertaste lingers. Not bad for a Texas winter day (eg 72 and sunny out and I took down the christmas lights), but not one of my favorites.

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Photo of SiphonKing
3.32/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a white head that disapates quickly leaving a lacing on the glass. Quite clear for a wheat beer. Carbonation is high and flows through the almost straw-colored body. Aromas of spiciness, fruity esters typical for wheat beers. Taste of hops that coats the tongue followed by a spiciness, almost yeasty bite.

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Photo of tayner
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, from august i believe.. kept in cold refrigerator the whole time.

Poured golden with a HUGE foamy head that took a long time to dissipate.

smell was hops, hops and more hops.

taste was oily hops, and sort of a bitter chalky feeling like biting into an aspirin tablet. It it is this hoppy now, i can only imagine what a "fresh" bottle would taste like. the amarillo hops, to me, seem to give it a more earthyprofile rather than pithy/floral flavor which is more tolerable than some types of hops.

Almost on the verge of too carbonated, but otherwise oily coating hop make the body medium, thicker than i anticipated for a pale wheat ale

one was enough... but i can see a hophead enjoying more than one pint.

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Photo of joefuzz
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours straw gold with a decent sized head that sticks around for a while. Smells slightly of hops, the usual wheat base and some sort of lemon peel. Taste is much more malty than hoppy but I think that might be due to this bottle being a little bit older. The taste is not bad by any means but I just remembering it being alot more flavorfull the last time I tried it. Mouthfeel is light and carbonation is fairly high. Overall decent beer but im pretty sure this bottle is fairly old.

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twenty two ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Pale straw gold. White collar 2 fingers deep holds well & leaves a good bit of lace behind.

Lemony, grapefruit, & tree sap aromas.

Slightly tart, lemony, rustic, & very hoppy. I found the hops a bit overpowering in this particular beer. Light bodied, moderate carbonation.

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,772 ratings.
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