Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

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: 1,529 | Ratings: 5,676
Photo of Brew33
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my first FFF offerings. I was not disappointed. This beer is awesome. It looks like a run of the mill wheat. Lively carbonation, yellow in color. The aroma was awesome. All hops. I wasn't sure what to expect .... The taste was epic. All wheat with a nice hoppy finish. Extremely drinkable. Wonderful session beer. No overly sweet flavors, no banana or clove or coriander just a straightforward kick ass brew.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into an Iron Man pint glass.

Hard pour yields a fizzy white head that dies down to a layer of foam on top. Hazy golden color. Wisps of lacing down the glass.

Smells of pineapple, tropical fruits, and hints of bubblegum. Very fruitty/hoppy for a wheat ale.

Sweet pineapple and tropical fruits. Then a very distinct bubble gum flavor followed by a nice wheat flavor. Almost IPA like with some wheat used for malts. Quite interesting.

Light bodied with high end of medium carbonation, and a nice little hop bite on the end.

Incredibly drinkable. I would definitely session this... if only 3F's were distributed in California.

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Photo of Srodri10
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my very first beer review. Seeing as how I live in Chicago I have have this beer soo many times. And I must say that it is a great representation of what 3 floyds can do.

A: hazy golden yellow tinted orange

S: The aromas on the beer are of citrus and hoppy in nature

T: Fantastic! It balances complex and even somewhat sweet wheat with fabulously rich hops flavors and a hint of pine with loads of hops.

M: Carbonated with a medium.

D: Can easily put back numerous of these in one sitting...

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Photo of dogger6253
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Two inch head fell pretty quickly, may have been a bad pour or something??? Regardless, a film stays atop of the beer throughout the entire glass, coating the sides in thick chunks of lace. As for body, sort of an amber, very clear and somehow very enticing, though I'm having trouble putting why into words.

When I read "wheat beer" on the bottle, I thought I was in for a much different beer than I got. I have to say I was so pleasantly surprised too. I've been drinking a lot of wheat beers over the summer and I feel just about due for a rich, juicy assault of hops. I smell juicy, grapefruit-infested hops right out of the bottle, even with the glass a couple of feet away, the scent finds you. There are other sweet, malty characteristics to the aroma too.

Wow. I couldn't have expected this taste to be so well-rounded. I figured I was in for some wheat flavor, and I knew there had to be heavy hops, so I didn't know what was coming. My first instinct is to pay note to the wheaty base, very calming and smooth. This moves into the hops, they kind of come through toward the back of the tongue. Grapefruit and lemon are key in the flavor, pine coming through a bit and an almost rosemary-like taste.

Overall, sweet and refreshing. Very crisp flavors.This is exactly what I needed to drink. There isn't much for carbonation, and the body is moderately heavy. I'm going to be getting some more of this down the road. I wish it was available in my area, it'd be a terrific session beer IMO.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this after a meeting at The Crane Alley in Urbana. Hazy blond body topped by two pillowy fingers of white head; nice durability and lacing. The smells are rich and lively--plenty of citrus, ample spice, definitely veering toward sweet. I get orange, tangerine, and peach with pepper and coriander--lovely.

After such a nose, anything less than an excellent taste would be a letdown. Thankfully, Gumballhead does NOT disappoint. It's very fruity yet not cloying or syrupy. Light and smooth, this is a terrific representative of the style. Its exquisite texture is reminiscent of German wheats such as Ayinger and Erdinger, though a bit fuller in flavor. Gumballhead compares quite favorably, which says a lot.

Gumballhead left me highly impressed. I figured this would be a good APWA. Not only was it great, it was also one of the very best offerings I've ever had from Three Floyds. Tremendous.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I drank this in a pint glass from a tap.

The beer is a dark gold yellow with a light white head. There is decent but minimal lacing.

There is a not a strong aroma coming from the beer but you detect slight smells of citrus and flowers.

After the smell I wasn't expecting much, but boy was I wrong.

The taste is great, its lkight but sweet with a very subtle bubblegum finish.

This is a great summer sessional beer that I could drink all night a long.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle into Sam Adams glass on 8/15/08.
Thanks to brewslut for bringing these back to me from a recent trip to Great Taste.

A - Clear light golden body with half a finger of creamy white head that receded into a thin veil of retention and left a good bit of lace around the glass. Cyclone of tight, swirling carbonation bubbles permeate the body.

S - Huge citrus notes for a wheat beer with lots of grapefruit and lemon. Nice malt presence as well with bready notes.

T - Tangy citrus hops mingle with crusty bread maltiness and some grain. Lemon zest is apparent. This almost has the tartness of a Berliner Weisse, but with quite the hop presence for a wheat beer. Flavor finishes with a bready malt aspect that ties everything together.

M - Light body with medium carbonation and a smooth, crisp finish. Mild bitterness on the palate with a bit of a tart character.

D - Man, another awesome creation from FFF! This brew boasts superior drinkability and tons of fresh flavors and aromas that will keep me coming back for more. I'm glad I have a couple of these on hand, as I will definitely be revisiting this gem very soon!

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Photo of Zorro
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 OZ Bomber provided by Thaichile.

Pours a near clear orange colored ale with a bit of a white head. This truly looks like an AIPA in the glass.

Smell is mild sweet malt with a great deal of biscuit and cracker in it. There is a mild faint hop scent here that doesn't seem to quite make it up to pale ale strength. Faint citrus and pine but nothing too noticeable.

Taste is slightly sweet with a damn good citrus hop flavor in my mouth with a faint melon and lemon and tea after taste. Definitely sweet and strong on the hops, this is like Dreadnaughts little brother in a good way. There is a biscuit malt flavor here but this is most certainly a hops beer and one that I really dig.
Yummy tasty strong hops that is what makes this beer. This gets a 5, as there isn't another American Wheat beer in the same class, Sierra Nevada should taste this and fix their wheat beer.

Mouthfeel is good without being too thick for a summer beer.

This is in my book the ultimate lawnmower beer and simply the best American Style Wheat Beer by at least a factor of two, nothing else comes close. Only real defect is that the hops hide from your nose, but that might not be what you need in a summer beer. Best wheat beer in the USA, all the other brewers could learn a lot from this beer.

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Photo of kegerator
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

enojyable. is this really a wheat beer? didn't taste any of those flavors at all. if i was giving style points it would probably not get very good ratings but it was dam tasty.

pours a hazy yellow with hints of coppery orange and a 1/2 inch head thats fairly creamy and sticks around for a while.
smell was nothing major. smelled citrusy/floral hops and thats about it.
taste was outstanding. nice creamy mouthfeel that finishes crisp and slightly dry. taste was slightly fruity up front with hits of lemon from the hops on the finish.
nice beer but to me it was more of a pale ale then a wheat.

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

It's kinda silly to call this beer a Pale Wheat Ale. It's not accurate and it's not fair. It's not accurate because this beer is certainly an IPA with an American wheat / barley malt base; whereas most IPAs have a standard barley malt base only. It's not fair because this beer is hands-down a better beer than any other Pale Wheat Ale that I have ever drank. Calling this beer a Pale Wheat is misleading and completely over-hopped for it's style. The alcohols show an interesting evaporative cooling effect without much drying. The hops, although pleasantly citrus, adds a mild dish-soap flavor that becomes distracting as the beer warms. Though I can see why so many BA's rate this beer so high, I'm not going to get carried away with the hype.

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4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a small wine glass, shared other 2/3 of this beer.

A: The golden hue, has a deeper copper, than most wheat beers. Good lacing with slight head retention.

S: WOW. . now the Gumballhead namesake makes sense. This beer has a very distant smell, and it is extremely pleasing. The aromas would have made me think that this was an IPA. Great to drink out of a wine glass or other type of aroma capturing glass.

T: The taste did not bring as much flavor as the aroma, but the taste of light hops and wheat, are very pleasing. The grapefruit really stands out.

M: A bit more on the creamy and silky side of mouthfeel, more along my lines than other wheat beers.

D: Great drinkablity, one that I Will go back for. Also a wheat that I would recommend. I have to go and get another to send to my good friend so he can have his wheat beer expectations bended.

Notes: Highly Recommended. Thanks Bliss in Wauconda, IL for the great singles selection.

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Photo of russpowell
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from joe1510, cheers Joe!

Pours an effervescent honey with 3+ fingers of fluffy eggshell white head. Average head retention & good lacing

S: Lemons, white pepper, apricot & breadyness

T: Lemons, white pepper, breadyness, fruittyness & grainyness up front. Honey malt, passion fruit & nice grapefruitty & lemony hops as this warms. Finishes bready with nice citrus hops & honey

MF: Medium bodied with light carbonation & some syruppy qualities

Drinks really easy, but the complexity draws you in as well; One of the better American Pale Wheats out there!

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to seeswo for hooking this up in our big IP trade yesterday! Cheers!

Pours a golden straw color, with a big spongy bright white head. Retention is killer, and the lacing left behind is wonderfully soapy and sticky. Clarity is up there.

Aroma is beautiful! Big piny, woodsy, crisp hop aromas with tinges of sweet citrus, an almost caramel-esque malt backbone, with some back end notes of glazed bread crust.

Nice resiny hoppyness co-mingle with some doughy, bready notes, and a pleasant backing malt character. The finish lingers nicely with a touch of bittersweet notes.

The feel is lightly crisp, a bit slick and almost velvety. Very smooth, and clean. Body is light.

Overall, I don't think there could be a better APWA. This particular style, to me, is probably the most boring and uninteresting styles, but this is definitely not a boring APWA! Kudos FFF!

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Gumballhead pours a decent though not overly-impressive golden amber colour with a nice sized, sticky white head on top.

The smell is an overwhelmingly pleasant combination of stuff stemming from the hops: floral notes, pine, sweetness, etc. There's also a touch of citrus in the mix as well. Wheat is mildly presnet in the background.

The flavour is more of the same: the hop onslaught is non-stop, yet it is somehow subdued enough that it doesn't really move this one into IPA territory. There is a floral flavour throughout mixed in with wheat throughout. The finish is very sweet but also has a bit of a wood flavour in it as well. It starts to get juicy then goes dry. Weird and different, but good.

The body is nice and full for the style and there's a slick oily feel to it as well.

This is a damn tasty brew overall and a great summer session brew. It far and away has the most flavour of any summer brew I've ever sampled, yet remains pretty simple and thirst quenching at the same time. Yum.

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Photo of gunnerman
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Rhoadsrage on a awesome trade! I have been wanting to try this one for quite some time and missed it when it was in Ohio. Poured into a wheat glass pours a yellow red with a fluffy head that leaves nice lace on the glass. Smell is exceptional with citrus, tangerine, pear, orange, beautiful smelling beer. Taste is very impressive with low carbonation and a smooth taste of hops that are not overpowering but sweet and done right. Malt finish on the backend and a high drinkability. Overall this was a very impressive beer and one that went higher than my expectations. I have never been dissapointed with Three Floyds, can't wait to make a trip to the brewpub.

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Photo of AlyssaW
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- A nice golden color. The clearest wheat ale I've had. Very small head.

S- very hoppy, citrus smell.

T- Does not taste nearly as hoppy as it smells. There is more citrus with a light grapefruit and wheat undertone.

M- Light and refreshing. Highly carbonated.

O- My new favorite wheat ale. The mix of hops, citrus, and grapefruit is the perfect combination and no one ingredient overpowers another.

Serving type: 12oz bottle

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Photo of drtacks37
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As a rule, I do not usually enjoy wheats very much. This beer is the biggest exception to that rule.

It looks like a wheat. Light yellowish with some hazing. Nice strong lacing with a heavy head.

The aroma is where it starts to get interesting. Light maltiness with a sweet honey, citrus and hop aroma. In fact, the hop smell could cause one to think that this might be an IPA.

Then that fine flavor! A well balanced wheat with a great hop kick. This is probably a wheat that would scare off a Blue Moon drinker. But the strong citrus flavor makes an orange unnecessary. The complex flavors and aromas make this beer a must for anyone who enjoys good beers.

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Photo of Mako82
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a brandy snifter

A - Golden in color, fairly clear, white fizzy head that did not last long

S - Strong smell of citrus hops, subtle malts in the background, slight floral/piney smells, faint smell of wheat

T - An explosion of greatness! For a wheat beer taste plenty of citrus hops, but doesn't have the bite of an IPA. The citrus taste lasts well into the aftertaste, which is then followed by slight bitterness. Taste follows the nose

M - Medium carbonation and body

One of my favorites! Definitely a beer I look for when I am out. And the bottle label is pretty badass!

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Photo of phiberoptik
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a nice fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. I poured it into a wine glass due to my lack of proper glassware.

The smell... I could bathe in this easily, then spray it on me as a cologne. Tons of hops, sweet fruit, and a hint of yeast.

The taste is actually more subtle than the smell. The sweetness in the nose turns to a faint bitterness on the tongue. The hops are very prominent but there is still that light sweetness from the wheat.

Gumball Head is a bit thin and the carbonation is very light. If I had to knick it on something... it would be how light it is on carbonation and body. The good news is, its not filling at all so you can enjoy this without worry.

I kept thinking how does a brewery in middle of no where Indiana make beer that people arrange their day around trying to get... now I know. This is the perfect balance of a wheat beer and an IPA. This is an everyday beer and I wish I had access to it more often.

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Photo of seanorear
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very refreshing lighter beer with a distinct hop smell and flavor. It is golden yellow with a white that has good retention (most likely from the wheat in the beer). It is very aromatic for a light beer and has a floral and citrusy smell. The first taste will tell you that it is highly hopped, but what makes this beer so good is that they are late addition hops. This is not an overly bitter beer and the majority of the hop is in the smell and flavor. It finishes cleanly and is best served by the pitcher. Great beer to try!

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Photo of MacDomer
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had a few of these over the past few months, finally time to review.

A - Pale yellow, golden color, clear beer. A bit simple in that regard. The head is nice, lingers for about half the beer, and has awesome sticky lacing.

S - Awesome. I could keep my nose in the glass for minutes! Grapefruit and pine. A hit of wheat. Fresh lemon.

T - Pronounced floral hoppiness to begin, followed by a hint of malt, and then the wheat/bready/yeast notes...a nice tartness and some oily hops to finish. Each sip is nuanced, and delicious. Lemon and grapefruit abound!

M - So crisp, smooth, and fresh. Perfect carbonation level.

D - Very high. It's hard for me to have only one of these. Great with food, great by itself, too. A delicious brew. A hop lover's wheat beer.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served in a Three Floyds pint glass.

Pour: Nearly clear yellow orange with two fingers white head, that recedes to a film and leaves decent lacing. Some carbonation bubbles come up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Grassy, floral hoppiness, mixed in with a nice citrus hoppiness. A definite wheat breadyness comes through in the backbone,

Taste: Really nice grapefruit bitterness up front, that intertwines with a honey breadyness. A nice clean sweetness.

Mouthfeel: I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I think this is the most drinkable beer of all time. Bitterness makes you savor every sip, but its so light and refreshing you immediately want more.

Overall: The first American craft beer that made me get into all of this. An amazing beer I wil always come back to.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

C. Hazy
H. Straw yellow
N. Citrus Hops strong almost like an IPA

Comments taken from my blog Dosbeerigos

YESS finally Three Floyds Gumballhead! This beer so many people have told me about for such a long time. "Dude this is the best beer" "Man you have to try this beer". Honestly it was good, not great. For a beer it sort-a threw a curve ball. The nose was strong Hops like an IPA, and then you take a sip of this and realize that it is a wheat beer. Sweet notes take over then the hops come back for a nice visit at the end. Good beer, and as the bottle says "its not normal." Worth a try if you can land a bottle, GREAT SUMMER BEER!

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Photo of crumpsbrother
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 once bottle into glass tulip.

A - Golden straw, a bit hazy, nice two finger head with good lacing. A really nice looking pour.

S - Doesn't smell like your typical wheat beer. Lemon and orange citrus notes with a very strong hop aroma.

T - Definitely drinks like an American pale ale. Strong citrus and floral taste up front followed by hoppy bitterness. Very refreshing.

O - I really liked it. Excellent summer beer that will satisfy any hop head.

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Golden-yellow with an orange tinge. Slightly cloudy. A really aggressive pour yielded a very thin head that's already fading.

S - Amarillo hops are awesome. The smell is just incredible. Huge grapefruit notes(smells like someone is zesting one under my nose). The wheat comes through as well, but it definitely sits backseat to the hops.

T - Bitterness is handled really well with Gumballhead. It's there upfront with lots of grapefruit(lots of pith) and some light orange, but as the wheat comes into play it smooths things over and mixes to create an almost half and half finish between bitterness and sweetness.

MF - At 4.8%, Gumballhead still has a full body for the ABV. Creaminess from the wheat and the right amount of carbonation keep things just right and pointed in the direction of...

D - Amazing. Seriously, I could drink this all day without getting tired of it. Easily the best American Wheat beer I've had. Too bad Three Floyds beers aren't available anywhere close to here.

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,529 ratings.
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