Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,541 Reviews
Read the review

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,541 | Ratings: 5,730
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!

 571 characters

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!

 877 characters

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.

 1,013 characters

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.

 668 characters

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

 435 characters

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.

 660 characters

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!

 589 characters

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.

 974 characters

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!

 543 characters

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.

 766 characters

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.

 793 characters

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!

 638 characters

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.

 455 characters

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.

 997 characters

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.

 568 characters

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.

 988 characters

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.

 831 characters

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.

 2,485 characters

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.

 740 characters

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!

 1,648 characters

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.

 618 characters

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.

 831 characters

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.

 430 characters

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

 270 characters

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!

 568 characters

Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,730 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!