Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,552 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: 1,552 | Ratings: 5,786
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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Photo of chugalug06
3.39/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very nice murky yellow/orange color. Pours a strong white soapy/foamy head. Head holds nicely too, lingers for a few minutes, and leaves very interesting lacing on glass.

S - Very "plain" not much scent at all. Slightly "grassy" and lemony. Not overly citrus or fruity.

T - Tastes like a great pale. Very light citrus flavor, with a kick of malt. A little lemon and orange flavor... Drinks like a Wheat, but tastes like a Pale.

M - Very smooth relaxed. Dry and slightly bitter. Light bodies with moderate carbonation.

D - Very easily drank. Would be outstanding in summer months under the hot sun. Or around a BBQ with great friends...

Glad I tried it, but it didn't know live up to it's reputation; at least IMO.


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Photo of Kanebanger
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden yellow color, veiled like a wheat beer with almost no head

S: Citrus, floral, but overall very very faint.

T: Citrus, with a very small amount of bitterness.S eems to be some other fruits, beside the citrus. Like the smell... not very strong taste.

M: Medium to thin body. Small to medium amount of carbonation.

D: Definition of a session beer. Could put back quite a few on a hot summer day. Overall I really don't think it lives up to the hype of one of the best wheat beers out there.

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Photo of hopsbreath
3.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from robwestcott. Thanks a lot this was a want for me!

The pour showed off a thin white spritzy head that dissipated down to nothing quickly. The color was clear pale gold just like a wheat ale typically looks like. No lacing was evident.

Smell was OK. This was definitely hop forward for a wheat beer and had a good amount of sweet tropical smells going on. Candy like banana aromas came through as well.

Taste followed the smell. A lite amount of honeydew was apparent in addition to the afore mentioned smells that were also in the taste.

The mouthfeel on this was not to my liking. This reminded me of champagne in the sense that the carbonation was huge and scrubbing. It's a personal preference I know, but I prefer a smoother body without the carbonation being to over the top prickly.

This was a very crisp and refreshing drink. My wife's comment was that this would be good with barbecue and I think she hit the nail on the head. If you brought some of this to your next outdoor dinner with friends, I believe it would go over well in spades.

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Photo of cbl2
3.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6/15/2005 $6.99 22 oz. 4.80% No best by date.


Pours a crystal clear pale yellow with moderate carbonation and a very thin white head on top.


Fresh citrusy hops predominate here with a mild undertone of banana.


Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasant, but IMO this beer is overly hopped, leading to a somewhat astringent bitterness that masks the subtle nuances of the wheat beer. This is a blend between an IPA and a wheat, and it does a disservice to both.

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Photo of Telix
3.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: From the bottle it poured pale golden and extremely clear, with a nice-sized big bubbly head that quickly dissipated. A steady but moderate stream of bubbles arose from the nucleation points in the Sensory glass. I value clarity but this almost looked like a plain-jane industrial lager.

Smell: A slightly resinous and bitter hop aroma balanced by a light sweetness, not too strong but present enough to warrant a mention.

Taste: The ale is light on the tongue and very clean, with not very much sweetness. The decent amount of hop bitterness and the CO2 levels deliver a bright crispness and bitterness, and a very slight biscuit flavor is revealed in the mid- to end-palate.

Mouthfeel: The slightly high levels of carbonation and bittering hops leave the palate feeling a bit buzzy with a bit of dryness. It's decidedly un-sticky but also a bit bracing and slightly spicy.

Drinkability: It's definitely a low ABV thirst-quencher, but to call it a true wheat beer, even an American wheat, is almost a stretch of the definition. It tastes more like some saaz-hopped pilsners or APAs I've had than anything else. While an unfair comparison due to the ABV, an American wheat like Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' blows it away while having many of the same features.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.44/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery.
Outstanding amarillo aroma. Straw yellow served with no head. It was hard to get a good look at it becasue 3F serves their beer in a plastic cup. I love the flavor of amarillo hops. Very bitter for the style. I thought it was kind of harsh to drink. Overall, I wouldn’t expect any less that this from these guys.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.44/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gumballhead pours golden and bright with a nice bubbly head the proudly sits atop and laces well.

The scent is of strong hops, piney and floral but as strong as the hops are there seems to be little to no fruit aroma.

The taste is as one dimensional as the scent. Strong piney hops with an underlying of floral hoppiness, there is very little else. Im expecting orange, lemon or grapefruit and taste nothing but piney resins. Despite the use of Amarillo hops I get a progressive muskiness which seems uncharacteristic.

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Photo of tewaris
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dvelcich (Dan) for this extra!

5.5% ABV
28 IBUs
12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a Samuel Adams "perfect pint" glass. I was assured of its freshness by Dan.

Appearance 3.5/5
Cloudy golden orange with tiny head that was almost a collar, and yet, left some lacing.

Aroma 3.5/5
Perfumy wheat malt and breadiness. A little weak, but inviting.

Taste 3/5
There's not much to taste and this one is certainly not complex at all: slightly sweet, slightly bitter, some flavor that's tough to name. Perhaps fruity and strangely enough, slightly astringent. It needs a drier finish.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Thin as it should be but not watery. I noted some astringency in taste which, frankly speaking, was not unpleasant. Very refreshing, but a drier finish will help this one.

Drinkability 4/5
Lower the alcohol by 1.5% ABV and we'll talk. Very good! Now that I am done singing praises, I have to say that 3 Floyds has done a pretty good job of making their mediocre beers look awesome. I have had Dark Lord on one occasion and that too is contributing towards my opinion.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - golden orange color that pour a crisp head that left my pour quickly.

Smell - grapefruit and citrus upfront with some malt wheat flavors on the back end

Taste - mildy bitter and easy to drink, but missing a punch of something just a light hoppy beer for me

Mouthfeel - extremely easy to drink, crisp, leaves a slight bitter flavor on your tongue

Overall - great beer to have a few of and easy to drink. Not the best wheat/ pale I have had.

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Photo of HoboAGoGo
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at the brewpub with a mildly cloudy body, orangish deliciousness floated about. The nose was slightly floral, but very hoppy. A good amount of typical wheat smell, which I admit I don't care for too much, but the hops masked the smells I usually don't like in a wheat. Amarillo hop bite on top of a subtle, fruity beer was good, the hops stayed in my mouth to prevent that overly fruity aftertaste in most wheats. Fascinating, a wheat I was able to finish!

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,786 ratings.
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