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

Clear gold with a frothy white head. Decent retention and a fair amount of lacing. Very fragrant, powdery citrus hops (kind of like crushed up sweet tarts) dominate the aroma, with fruity and piney character as well. Aspirin bitterness with fruity hops and smooth sweetness from the malt and wheat. Fruity bitterness lingers. Moderate carbonation provides a bit of crispness while the body was a little heavier than I expected, but still light enough to make this a highly drinkable beer. The balance was great and the flavour profile was quite unique. Very enjoyable.

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

Revised 2013:

I don’t know what I was thinking when I first tried this beer. (See below to see what I mean.) This summer I worked my way through a case of Three Floyd’s goodies while traveling around the lake and I just fell in love with this beer.

This pours a golden-amber color with a vibrant aroma full of grapefruit, candy/bubblegum and a hoppy bite to it. Such an easy drinker. I loved the bitter kick and the rounded finish, with the grapefruit-forward hop profile and that subtle hint of bubblegum.

Reassessment: This one’s a winner. I’m hooked!

Old review: This poured a golden tan color. And by god—I smell bubblegum! It’s a light aroma but it’s definitely “gummy”. The flavor is hop forward with a pronounced full frontal assault… and then it turns into this smooth wheat beer finish. Coriander? Check. Orange peel? Check. And that oddly strange bubble-gum character? Check. It’s an easy drinking, hoppy wheat beer but it just didn’t do it for me.

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

poured into a pint glass


A nice golden color with a small white head. looks like your "typical" beer.


a beautiful hoppy aroma. Citrus hops, like grapefruit. very similar to how Alpha King smells. A slight pine smell. Nothing what I was expecting as I was expecting a more dominate wheat smell.


Just as the nose. Citrusy hops. I'm not getting much wheat taste to it. maybe very subtle wheat at the end but this is hop dominate. I do very much enjoy it, but not what I was expecting. Almost like a "lite" version of FFF AK.


A nice light bodied beer. a good amount of carbonation.


A very refreshing beer. One beer I would order and order over again. A great flavor, light bodied and nothing too bitter to where you can enjoy drinking 3-6 in a night. Might be a go to beer when going to a party that is BYOB.

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

Thanks once again to Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora, CA for making this experience possible.

Poured into a large, rounded mug made of thin, clear glass. Hundreds of tiny bubbles of carbonation swirled to the surface and disappeared into three fingers of fluffy white rippling head that very slowly settled to one finger and stayed there, at least until I started drinking. Body was transparent, color of golden wheat.

The odor was nice and hoppy, similar to an IPA, but with hints of pine, pineapple, citrus, pear, and peach (perhaps not all of the above, but if I were to concoct a smoothie with the same ingredients, I imagine I'd come up with something similar). I had my first Dreadnaught the other day and this one's odor was every bit as complex and tantalizing.

Maybe my taste buds aren't sophisticated enough, but this one actually tasted quite a bit like Dreadnaught as well, only not quite as bitter or as fruity. The odors translated well to my palate.

I know pitting this brew against a Double IPA is somewhat of an apples-to-oranges comparison, but given that I'm a huge IPA fan, I feel entitled to say that I actually think I like this a little more than the Dreadnaught. It tastes slightly more balanced, the aftertaste is cleaner, and the slight reduction in intensity makes it more drinkable and more refreshing. I can taste the alcohol, but it's mild enough to be enjoyable, and the carbonation is just right. No skunky coating left on the tongue, either.

Perhaps a closer comparison would be between this and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. SNPA has been my staple beer for many years, and it will always have a place close to my heart (and my liver), but if all of the places currently serving SNPA on tap switched to Gumballhead, I would shed no tears. Wishful thinking...

This beer is still hoppy enough where I'd have trouble recommending it as a true summer beer to the average person, but it's smooth enough where it stands as a near-*perfect* summer beer for your humble reviewer.

However, my girlfriend, who's not a big piney hop fan, had this to say: "It's not bad, but it's too warm." That's a vast improvement over the face she normally makes when I convince her to try any pale ale or IPA.

The tough part is that $10.99 sticker on the bottle. Still, I will be revisiting this when the opportunity presents itself. And as of today, Munster, Indiana will now officially be part of my route if and when I take another drive across the country.

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

Special thanks go out to BuckeyeNation for sending me an extra bomber of this beer. This is my last one so it’s for the review.

Gumballhead pours a golden yellow color with almost no head this time around, weird because the last time I had this it had a foamy white head.

The aroma is incredible for this type of beer. There is some sweet fruits like apple, orange, and grapefruit. Lemony hops round off the bouquet and yes, some juicy bubblegum as well! I doubted it myself but there it is.

The taste is crisp and refreshing, and now I know I’m drinking a wheat beer, but it's quite a subtle wheat flavor. I’m glad they have this one in six packs now, and I may have to trade for one or two six packs to enjoy the summer days.

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

Bright brassy yellowish liquid, which is clear-looking until you look closer and realize there are tiny micro particle sediments in there. Thin, light-colored head grips the glass rim immediately and does not let go. Sheeting all the way down.

>Deep sniff< Ahhhh... the beer that made me go buy Amarillo hops. Seriously this beer has the freshest hop smell ever! Grapefruit juicy, fresh, citrusy, piney, leafy. Like I opened up a bag of Amarillos. Wait, did I catch some crisp wheat in there? Nah, must have been a different hop dimension.
(Note - that incredible initial hop burst is what it is: a burst. Within a couple minutes it settles into a fragrant, fresh smelling beer, but nothing like the first hit on the nose.)

Well, I do get the wheat in the mouth upon the first sip. Still nice hop flavor, but the wheat definitely steps up. Not as bitter as one would think after sniffing, but bitter for wheat beer nonetheless. As it warms, there's a bit of sweetness that has been there all along I suspect, but was harder to find with the cold, carbonation, wheat and hops. It is actually a tasteful sweetness that balances everything. I wouldn't quite say caramel at the end, but something of a baked wheat bread or a Bob Evans roll. Which contradicts that light puckering of the wheat and hops at the last sip.

The idea of a hoppy American Wheat is, in my opinion, long overdue. FFF busting this out was brilliant. Refreshing yet more complex than I expected, even as I started this glass, I would love to have a case of this so I could have some sessions without having to ponder so much. More hoppy wheat beers for the summer please!

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Photo of cafemondegar
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a low head that died quickly. The color is somewhere between orange and gold, but I've saw it only in artificial light so I could be off. What strikes you about the smell is the sweetness more than anything else. The smell makes you treat the beer as you would a sweet beverage and you tend to twirl it around the tip of your tongue - and you'll notice the sweetness is there all right. Reminds me of wine made from litchi fruit. Eminently drinkable for its taste, mouthfeel (it does tend to leave your mouth ever so slightly dry) and low abv. This one is another hell of a beer coming out of Three Floyds.

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

One finger white smooth head that unfortunately disippates quickly. Straw wheat golden body that is slightly hazy.

Oh boy. Resiny hops, grapefruit, lemon zest, and sweet malt. Fantastic smelling beer.

Grapefruits, spritz of lemon. Light and sweet up front. Flavoring hops appear midtaste and ramp up in bitterness before the lemon/citrus finish dries the palate with ever so slight grassiness. This is a beautifully built beer.

Carbonation is pretty prevalent throughout. Light body. Very refreshing mouthfeel.

Drinkability/Overall Impression
This is about as drinkable of a beer as you can get. Light and refreshing on the palate and the flavors are so well crafted and played against each other that the glass doesn't spend much time on the table. Definitely a summer staple. Well done FFF.

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Photo of richkrull
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up based on the interesting name and label and I'm glad I did.

Poured a golden color with a good amount of white head on it. Smell was very good citrusy wheat with some floral notes. Great tasting beer, well balanced wheat and slight malt taste coming trough. Light bodied beer and very easy to drink. This one went down very smooth. I'll definitely buy this again and probably have in my fridge pretty regularly.

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Photo of gamblor21
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it at a festival on tap.

Great hop flavor but not to overpowering. Would compare it with Hop Goddess, or 60min IPA

Would love to drink again, but almost impossible to find outside of Illinois or midwest area

Smooth finish no strange or overpowering after tastes

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber

Pours a a hazy sunset yellow. Slight head that fades fast with some lacing. Looks like a nice wheat beer.

Smell is pure amarillo hops. From using them myself, I can spot them a mile away. Smells more like an IPA than a wheat. Making me drool.

Taste is very unique! The refreshing citrus of the Amarillo followed by a very lemony aftertaste. This is absolutely delicious and very refreshing.

This is one smooth beer. It just feels good in my mouth.

I could drink this a lot. I wish I had been able to find more than 1 bomber. What a treat!

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Photo of themind
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a quality brew! I am impressed as this is a year round brew and is of the highest quality. The beer goes down smooth and is very drinkable. You could pound these things all day long. The drinkability is amazing! highly recommended!

Bottom Line: Great beer!

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a hazy orange color. The head is large, billowy, and recedes slowly into thick lacing. The aroma is of citrus, banana, clove, and wheat. The taste has more wheat, and clove than the aroma, with only a touch of citrus. There is a slight bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is perfect for a wheat beer. It is meiudm bodied, with high carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is one of the best American wheat beers I have had. I would like to drink this more often.

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Photo of necoadam
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Funky looking label. As is the beer I might add. But damn does this taste good. Poured out a golden/orange color with some carbonation visible and stays with you until the end. Some lacing left on the glass when you're done with it. Smell is mostly hops to my surprise. Some sweet aromas come in as well along with some citrus notes that you can taste quite a bit of. Taste is where it's at. Hops alone with some pine flavors hit the palate first with some wheat in the middle and finally blends in with some grapefruit like flavors in the end and lasts into the aftertaste. These just blend in so well it's amazing. The aftertaste isn't all that powerful with just a wheat aftertaste along with that grapefruit taste. It just makes you want to sip more and more. A damn fine brew.

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Rock solid juicy smell of various tropical fruits.

Smell is similar to nose, but with more nuance. Mouthfeel is great. I feel like there are so many beers that I describe as 'good summer beer', which often feels similar to describing an NFL quarterback as a game manager. This is a great summer beer, which makes me question all the other beers I've called solid summer beers.

You heard it her first. Gumballhead is the Russel Wilson of beer.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden orange color with a creamy smooth head.

Scent of bitter hops, apricot, citrus and grain. A simple and effective scent.

Taste of apricot, grain, hops and citrus. Again, there isn't much complexity, but this is one of the best Wheat Ales available.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with a nice bite of carbonation.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- 1" white head. Golden clear color. Thin lacing.
S- Light (floral and citrus) hops, malts, and maybe a bit of fruit.
T- Some light wheat taste and some floral taste. Maybe a hint of fruit also. Light on malts and one other flavor I can't put my finger on.
M-Medium body with medium carbonation. Crisp, bit sticky/chewy but clean.
D- Very good! This is an excellent brew. Goes down very easy and could drink a lot of this especially with it's low ABV. Would be perfect on a very hot summer day.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was please to share this beer with my bro tenderbranson69 since it is not something that is readily available in PA and I made a clone based on Drew Beechum's gumballhead thoughts on I poured the 12oz chilled into the tulip.

A - A lightly cloudy golden w/ amber hues. 2 fingers of thick white head w/ microfoam of off white collects and clings tenaciously

S - A crazy mango and tangelo nose w/ odors of lemony floral acccenting. The hints of wheat are mild w/ pineapple and lots of amarillo which give a mild orange blossum aspect. The mild spice adds a hint of ginger and candied grapefruit to the aroma

M - The texture is great in this beer, so clean yet has a resiny texture. the moderately high carbonation is completely spot on for an American wheat and the mild nutty textures w/ light hop acidity make this feel what I consider great. The toasted notes of malt are there with light spice in the finish

T - The taste has a mild sweet fruit flavor w/ slight grapefruit and lemony citrus notes. The hops provide a floral resinous taste which has mild acidity, but hardly any bitterness. The orange rind elements from the amarillo sink in and light spice edge as the glass continues to be drained. The very refreshing lemony and mild wheat nuttiness is there w/ gentle astringent aspect. The flavor of wheat and citrus blends well w/ an amarillo taste w/ the red wheat adding to the complexity w/ hops resinous quality noticeable in the finish

D - A fantastic wheat w/ a great amount of flavor- hoppy, yet clean w/ lemony bright citrus and just highly drinkable qualities. The beer is so easy to drink at 4.8%, with such quaffability. I could drink this year round if only it were available.

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Photo of Mdog
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear gold, lots of carbonation, big head.

Smell: Strong citrus aroma.

Taste: Lots of grapefruity hops throughout, with a wheat aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp.

Drinkability: Really good stuff.

Picked this up a couple weeks ago in Council Bluffs. It lived up to my expectations--hoppy yet light. Too bad 3F doesn't distribute in Minnesota otherwise this could be a constant session beer for me.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle
Pours a cloudy golden straw color into a Schneider Weiss wheat beer glass. A very nice, 2 finger, dense white head tops this one. Carbonation abounds and crawls its way up the sides of the glass.
Smell is very pale malts, wheat, banana, clove, of couse some bubble gum, and hops.
Taste is very crisp. Banana, wheat, clove dominate. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of this beer I think is how hoppy it is. Hops are very nice and do their best not to dominate the other intricate flavors of the beer, which they do not.
I must admit, I don't normally like American Wheat Beers, but this is outstanding! A fine example. I would try it again if I had access.

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