Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,545 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: 1,545 | Ratings: 5,757
Photo of sloejams
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been wanting to try some Three Floyds for a long time and this was one of the most intriguing I've heard of. Thankfully, this fine summer beer was easy to find in Chicago - so I made the most of it there and even brought some home.

Gumballhead is deescibed by the brewers as, "a highly dry hopped American wheat." It has an interesting color, a lot lighter than what I was expecting - but more accurate to what a wheat looks like. The aroma was sweet, a bit lemony with a dose of hops. The tastes follows that but with a wheat balanced finish.

It's a very unique taste and is quite delicious. The sweetness is different but very welcome. I sure wish I could get this in LA.

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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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Photo of beckje01
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden slightly seethrough with quater inche head

S- A strong floral smell with a very crisp note

T- Hoppy yet not to much the wheat sstill comes through giving a very nice blend

M- Very active

D- Goes down well for being so hoppy the 22oz if enough for one sitting IMHO.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden honey-colored body, topped by a prodigious white head. A candy-like sweet smell really reminds you of gumballs. Go figure! The taste is amazingly different than many IPAs. A citrus/orange/tangerine flavour greets you before the sweetness of the malt hits you. Then a nice bittering hop bite comes through at the end of the swallow. A really interesting beer. Mouthfeel is medium, with low carbonation. Drinkability is fantastic.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A splurge purchase for the "Weiss is Neiss" Madison Style Session.

Pour: crystal clear, orange-golden yellow body under a finger of loose white foam that fades to a spotty skim.

Nose: is this a pale wheat ale or Alpha King? Bright floral hops dominate with a light, dusty wheat note in the finish identifying this as a PWA.

Taste: burly citrus and leafy, herbal hops bristle, over a suggestion of caramel malts. This is an APA with a slightly husky, mildly sour wheat finish.

Feel: light, crisp and zippy on the tongue.

Drinkability/Overall: another hoppy Three Floyds rendition of anotherwise mild style. A cheater for the style, but still tasty and drinkable enough. Now the price tag is a whole other story, I still don't know where they get off charging $8-9 a bottle for this stuff, especially after it was $5 last year.

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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 johnniemarg
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy golden honey color with a 2-finger offwhite head.

The smell is hoppy citrus and some pine.

The taste is a very smooth and mellow for such a hoppy brew. Very interesting idea hopping up a wheat beer. I can't really make out any flavors other than the hops, but the wheat really smooths this out.

Body is full and typical of a wheat beer.

I'm not a big fan of wheat beers, but this one I enjoy. Thoroughly drinkable. At 4.8% abv, this is a great (all-day) session beer I suppose, but I prefer a stronger brew. Easily the most flavorful beer I've had under 5% abv.

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Photo of grub
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Viggo for sharing a bottle of this one with me.

pour a light yellow colour with a big white head. the head drops slowly but leaves lots of lace.

aroma is hops. pine and a bit of citrus.

taste is a blast of hops, with a nice level of bitterness. pine and grapefruit. bit of apricot. nice malty backbone, especially as it warms a little.

mouthfeel is good. it feels like a pretty light beer, not overly thick or anything.

drinkability is good. relatively low ABV makes it easy to go through the bottle. wish i had a bunch of these.

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Photo of expatsteve
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I should preface this review by saying that I like this beer a lot, but I feel a little conflicted about it as a wheat beer. If it were just a little cheaper, it would probably find a more regular space in my fridge--but not as a wheat beer. Thanks to Golden2wenty1, who provided this as part of Wheat/Weiss night....

Appearance: Light golden amber, with great visibility. 1/4 inch head with heavy suds cover - pours quite nicely. Low viscosity.

Aroma: Grapefruit, lemon and orange - not a hop monster, but that's nonetheless the entirety of the nose.

Taste: This beer is really a good showcase for how well FFF understand hops - nice floral developments, with a fruity grapefruit finish. I initially wrote that the mild wheat flavor is a great canvas to bring the hops out on, but the pine finish clouds out all the interesting flavors that the wheat might bring. If the hops weren't so well done, this beer might strike me as a little one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Light, a little sweet, but the hops in the finish are magnificent. The dry edge to the wheat does fight its way through here.

Drinkability: A great summer beer--one that shows how great hops can be as a cleanser on a hot day. Truly refreshing, as the wheat keeps the beer light and quaffable. But I can't help feeling that this is almost a wheat APA or IPA (the hops profile is about the same as Alpha King), rather than a APWA. I can't make up my mind if this is style-defiance, too much of a hop thing, or perhaps a little cheatery. But never let that get in the way of drinking another exceptional FFF offering.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours with a hazy dark golden color. There is little head, but an interesting lacing pattern left on top of the beer once poured. Taste is phenomenally balanced. A perfect mix of strong hops and malts, with a wonderful kiss of wheat throughout. Maybe its just the name getting to me, but there is also a hint of bubblegum to it, like some hops are known to have. I must say that the wheat is the most impressive part. Its hard for many beers to balance the hops and wheat, but this succeeds wildly.

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Photo of Jaynuze
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thin light head, light golden in color with very little haze.

S: Notes of apples, grafpefruit, and freshly cut grass.

T: Apple, grapefrut, honey, and citrus with a light bubblegum aftertaste. Fresh tasting and very crisp, a satisfying light hearted Heffe.

MF: Full and creamy, dry and fruity.

Overall, this is one nice Heffe. Refreshing for those warm summer days and smooth for those cool summer nights. Believe the hype, this one is a keeper!

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Photo of beveritt
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Medium yellow in color with a hint of copper/red. About a 1 finger head that fell leaving just a hint of white on top of the beer. Crystal clear.

Smell: Smell is pretty mild, some hops, but not really strong.

Taste: At first you get the floral flavors of the finishing hops. A nice, apricot-like flavor. The bitterness of the boiling hops comes in about halfway through the taste. Overall a good balance.

Mouthfeel: Good body. Flavors linger nicely.

Drinkability: Not a hop-bomb like some of the other offerings from Three Floyds. All in all pretty nice. I could stand to have a few pints of this.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up last week. I really enjoyed the Alpha King and Mild Pride and Joy, so when I saw the big bottle of this available in my neck of the woods, I had to give it a shot and see their take on this light style of beer. Sure, it's got the Three Floyd's strong hop presence, but this was still remarkably light. Quite a dangerous combination!

The pour was very nice - beautiful amber hue and a rich, frothy head. The lacing didn't live up to that, but I spent enough time watching things settle that I hardly noticed anyways. The taste is mildy strong and entrancing up front. The cascade-like citrus emerges and stays for the duration, but I could certianly discern some caramel in there too. There's a bit of wheat here, but it's not overt like I thought it would be. The aftertaste was strong too, but once ya have a Three Floyd's, ya learn to appreciate it and don't even realize what a damn good session beer this is! Almost no maltiness here, but seriously, are ya gonna even notice that?

Such a shame that the rest of their offerings, except for the Robert the Bruce Scottish Ale, are not to be found in my beloved Garden State. Sure, this isn't a typical Pale Wheat Ale, since they may as put the "wheat" in small letters on the bottle. It doesn't matter to me - I really enjoyed this and think that Three Floyd's has hit another home run here. Highly recommended!

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy hops. Wheat beer? Unlike any I've tried before.

Enjoyed on an extremely muggy day in Chicago with no A/C.

Poured nearly blood-orange with off-white head (full two fingers) from a 22-oz bomber into a 22-oz pilsener glass.

Smell of citrics, many hops.

Extremely full body, as expected with Three Floyd's. Lots of flavor, a joy to drink, especially on a hot day. My compadres were drinking Rolling Rock and all I could do was laugh. Paid $5 and I'll do it again.

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Photo of Redrover
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown bomber with the crazy label. The beer pours a hazy copper with a dense off-white head. Good lacing.

The nose is of hops. If you blindfolded me, I would guess APA instead of a wheat. Nice citrus notes with a touch of crackers.

The taste is pleasantly bitter with more citrus taste (orange & a touch of lemon) with some noticeable breadiness. Stays solid through out with a bit of sweetness that creeps in late. .

The mouth is crisp and tart. Very drinkable beer. This is not your everyday wheat beer. Seek it out!

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Photo of Generik420
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Three Floyd's brewpub and was quite impressed. I was told they use Amarillo hops in this wheat and that is one of the reasons I was very interested in trying it out. While technically it is an American wheat ale, it is unlike any other I have ever had. I tend to dislike standard American wheat ales finding them to be very bland and definitely needing the lemon wedge they are served with. This beer destroyed that stereotype. The amarillo hop addition gives this beer quite a bit of flavor. The hops have a citrusy, similar to grapefruit flavor to go along with their bite and it really makes quite an impression when drinking Gumballhead. I can find this beer in 22oz bottles, but most liquor stores want $6 / bottle, and unfortunately I just can't justify spending that kind of money. Great beer, but the limited production quantities keeps the price a little too high.

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Photo of smurphy77
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly innovative, which is a rarity these days. Perfect blend of two perfectly good styles to creat a fantastic, original beer.

22oz bottle pours a golden color. Hoppy flavor/aroma sings alongside the wheat flavors without drowning them out. Wish I could find this one again, I only saw it once (when I had it).

A must try.

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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 hoppymeal
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours gold to straw in color with a decent white head that recedes quickly. Although the bottle reads bottle conditioned, it looks pretty clear to me. The smell is distinctive three floyds with big citrusy hops. There is some grapefruit and sweet peach aroma. Taste is also quite hoppy with the wheat adding a little sweetness to the orange and peach flavors. The wheat is barely discernible behind the citrusy hops, maybe just a little nutty flavor. A little spiciness and dryness in the finish, light to medium body. This one definitely doesn'y typify the style category, more like a pale ale maybe even an ipa, but a very good and highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a foamy white head that has decent persistance and drops some lacing around the glass

Smell: Dominated by the fresh hop aroma from the Amarillos; powerful stuff, that, with just a modest undertone of wheat in there

Taste: As I let this warm, the beer starts out with both a citrusy and wheaty flavor that, after the swallow, is complemented by a strong lemony blast

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A most unusual but extraordinary brew

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Disclaimer: I usually despise wheat beers.

Then I tried Gumballhead, due to people constantly complimenting it. Poured a golden, light orange bubbly brew. Decent head that goes away pretty quickly with very light lacing to be left behind. A tad cloudy due to the yeast conditioning. Smelled of lemony citrus and hops. Very pleasing aroma. This is a very unique wheat beer and has much depth; something severely lacking in many wheats imo. When the beer is still very cold, you would swear you were drinking an IPA. Hop bitterness, grassiness, smacking you all over the place. When it warms up a bit, the wheat presence shows it's face and the hops bitterness becomes a little more sweet and citrusy. Mouthfeel is light, slippery, and crisp. Great beer for these hot summer days. I am highly impressed with this offering from FFF, who never fail to impress me. They pulled off the unthinkable, they turned me onto a wheat beer!!

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Photo of doubleipa
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bit of a different wheat beer. Had this on tap at KClingers (Hanover). Can definitely smell and taste the hops. Great lemony aroma. Hops adds a little bit of a bite to the taste. Not my favorite wheat, but I'm glad I tried it. Actually has a bit of a hoppy finish.

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Photo of Cresant
2.53/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 22 oz. bomber into a weizen glass. Body was a honey golden yellow color. Two fingers of chunky head subsided rather quickly.

Smelled fruity. Fresh hop aroma. As the beer warmed I began to smell the wheat.

Taste was a pleasant tart on the first swallow. Then the aspirin taste of the Amarillo hops kicked in. The hops really obscure the wheat flavor. Like sucking on an aspirin.

Not as smooth as most wheat beers. More raspy and hoppy with less wheat taste than one would expect. Mild carbonation.

Overall this beer is over-rated. I will not buy another. I have liked all other Three Floyds offerings but I would say that the FFF name may be skewing the ratings for this one. If the label said "BUD" I doubt this would rate so high.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a slighty hazy golden color with a nice foaming white head. Slight retention on the sides . Lots of bubbles coming from the bottom.
S: Huge piney and citrus hop notes dominate the nose. Subtle wheaty malt notes, but the sharp hop presence is very nice.
T/M: Very good hop presence to start off. Pine and ctirus notes come through first followed by grassy hop aftertaste. A fruityness comes through, peach maybe, after it warms. The wheaty malt backbone is noticeable, but not as big as i was expecting. No matter, as I like the hops. Very smooth and refreshing through the mouth with a dry finish to it. Light and fluffy makes this a perfect summer beer. This is the best Pale Wheat Ale available and the best I've had to date.
D: I could probably drink these all day in the sun. Smooth, refreshing, thirst quenching, all with a low abv. Three Floyds has got it figured out.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a very bright off amber mixed with a pale light rust hue. Amidst a swarm of bubbles making their ascension to the top trhoughout the entire 22 ounces of beer. Great, thick film mainatins for as long as the bubbling. The best looking APWA yet.

Smell- The strongets hop presence in any wheat beer is in this beer. That is sooo different and I like it. Lots o' Amarillo hops and wheat is an awesome aromatic experience.

Taste- Starts out with mainly hops and a little malt/wheat mix, hard to tell the difference at first. Then the hops settles a little and mixes well with a kind of wheat and crystal lightly toasted crystal malt flavor I've never experienced before.

Mouthfeel- The best bitter tasting APWA I've ver head. very complex palate for a wheat beer. Lots of surprises that were very pleasant.

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,757 ratings.
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