Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,542 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: 1,542 | Ratings: 5,739
Photo of Xadoor
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle given to me by a friend from Indiana.

Poured a pale golden colour with a big white head that eventually settled down to a thin white layer of small bubbles. The aroma is all citrus and floral hops with a slight graininess. The hops is equally strong in the flavour with a hint of the wheat. A bit of a green, grassy finish that mellowed slightly as the beer warmed. You definitely need to be a big fan of Amarillo hops to enjoy this beer and fortunately, I am! A delicious and highly drinkable beer, particularly for the summer months.

 550 characters

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

Bombed poured into my Aventinus Weizen glass.

Appearance: Golden hazy yellow, lots of thick bubbles coming to the surface. Lacing's a bit spotty, and the head keeps recharing because this glass is so awesome, which helps.

Smell: Wonderful floral aromas of aromatic hops and citrus (acidic orange and grapefruit), along with some sweetness of the wheat malt. I'm having trouble getting my nose out, as it's pretty awesome.

Taste: An insanely well-done combination of wheat malt and hops. Like a hefeweizen versus an IPA? How were they able to do this? First a citrus-y touch of hops, balanced and delicious, then ending with the wheat malt sweetness, with a great aftaste of both of them melding well. Wowness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy at first, ending with moderate carbonation and some crisp bite at the end.

Drinkability: I paid about $6 for the bomber, and this is going down quickly because it's damn tasty and easy to drink. But overall a pretty incredible beer, and surely worth a try. Pretty complex and simultaneously easy and pleasurable to drink.

 1,079 characters

Photo of undertow46
4.84/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have heard a lot of good things about this beer, so I was excited to try it. It is fantastic! Aroma is tons of Amarillo hops (which I can't get enough of) with just a little bit of sweetness. Taste is fanatastic as well, lots of flavor from the Amarillo. Good amount of bitterness, but malt characteristics still come through. Mouthfeel is great, and this is really the only place that I can tell it is a wheat beer. Very smooth feel. This beer has held up to the hype. It sure isn't what I'd normally expect from a wheat beer, but other than that, it's hard to criticize this beer.

 584 characters

Photo of Knuckles
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was at the Harmon Brewing Co. in Tacoma last year for a Brewmaster's Dinner. It was the night they released their Harmon's Killer Brew (very bad pun in that for all you Twins fans), but the courses for the evening were paired with their beers starting at the lightest (their Blonde) and moving all the way up to their porter, finishing up with the very malty Killer Brew. The beer that accompanied the second course that evening was their Wollochet Point Wheat Ale, a beer that was so hoppy I was weirded out by the whole thing. It was delicious, mind you, and exceptionally well done, I simply didn't expect it. Gumballhead is also quite hoppy, but this time I'm prepared for it.

Appearance: Pours a deep gold with a pale white headhead that doesn't stick around long enough for me to get its phone number. Minimal lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Truth be known, I think the aroma hops are actually stronger than the bittering hops themselves. That may contribute to some of the legend this beer has for wheaty hoppiness (or whatever). I don't know if they are using Amarillos for aroma as well as bittering, but they are very strong and oh so lemony smelling. And they completely obliterate any malt nose that might be present.

Taste: That wheat malt makes a very quick appearance in between the bittering and the finishing hops, leaving a very smooth, almost creamy malt trail down the back of the tongue. It's different, but I like it. Unfortunately, the finish just isn't as hoppy as the nose would lead you to believe it will be. In that, it's a little disappointing.

Mouthfeel: I couldn't tell you why, but it's not quite right to me. It feels just a bit thin, even though I know this beer is only rolling in at 4.8%. I think it's the hop levels that lead me to want a little more body out of the beer, and maybe a slightly higher ABV. Perhaps my expectations are completely whack.

Drinkability: I have to give this a 3.5 based solely on price. This is a very good, very refreshing beer. But I bought this at Beverage Warehouse in Cleveland Heights, OH for $6.99. That's just too damn much for a bomber of a light summer wheat ale. Next time I'm in Tacoma, I'm going to stop in at Harmon (because I just HATE doing that) and pick up a bomber of their wheat and see how it stands up to the Gumballhead. I'm going to make the wild-ass guess that it will hold up very, very nicely, at $3 less per bomber..

 2,427 characters

Photo of ElGordo
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in New Jersey of all places on my swing through the northern states last month. Pours a hazy golden color without a whole lot of visible carbonation. A whispy white creamy head recedes to just a bit of lace after a few minutes. Aroma is hops, hops, and more amarillo hops, with a subtle sweetness mixed in (almost honey, but not quite). The palate is an enjoyable blend of an unfiltered wheat character with some assertive, sharp hop flavor. Bitterness comes through mid-palate, but smooths out on the finish. A bit of an astringent character strikes somewhere along the line, too, providing a bracing effect. Body is nice, crispy and not too light, with decent carbonation. Very drinkable, even during a cool fall evening. Wish I could score some more of this stuff here in NC.

 797 characters

Photo of zjungleist
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very light cloudy straw-yellow in color, with a foamy but short lived yellow-whilte head. Smells grassy/hoppy, with hint of some good yeast. Taste is fairly complex, with wheat up front, followed quickly by lingering herbal hops, a little baking soda taste of carbonation, and some bitter lemon peel aftertaste. It is odd how the hop taste just hangs on, and then the odd soda taste chimes in. The mouthfeel is nice, and it has refreshing light carbonation.

It's good, but it has an extemely long lasting flavor, almost to the point of being cloying. It is like an odd combination of a summer brew and a winter warmer. Personaly, I would go for something either more refreshing or more potent.

 698 characters

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

Appearance is very good, despite a very small head... a hazy straw/golden wheat. Looks great.

Smell is wonderful. Sweet hops abound. Some spicy cinnamon-like notes in the whiff as well. A touch of lemon and citrus. Sweet.

Flavor is right on. A subtle hoppiness at first that flares up at the back of the tongue into a very nice hoppy flavor. Citrusy. Smooth. Excellent.

Finishes very dry. Very good.

 410 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I’ve had this beer in my beer closet for most of the summer, I might as well take it a taste of it. The color is a hazy darker yellow with some cloudiness but you still are able to gaze through the glass. A frothy head that disappears quickly and limited lacing. The aroma is strong in the hops especially for a wheat beer. A slight citrus orange smell with some pine action going on.

The taste is strong hopped for a wheat. Not a big surprise from Three Flyods. A piney somewhat grassy taste at the top and then blends with a sweeter orangey malt backing. Hint of lemongrass and grapefruit are good descriptive words for the taste. The tang of the hops remains throughout the aftertaste and leaves a metallic or chalky taste. The body is light with limited carbonation, which is ok per style.

To me, wheat beers are supposed to be smooth and easy drinking. This is hoppy with bite. A like that it is very unique in taste, but I think per style it’s off, so thus down on the drinkability.

 996 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

Photo of gmcfarre
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Bomber poured into traditional pint glass. No freshness date.

A - Rich, cloudy orange color. Not too much head when properly poured. Most of it faded quickly but a nice thin layer stayed caked on top.

S - Florals, citrus fruit (lemon, orange), hoppy spices

T - Mostly hoppy bitterness, tastes more like a pale ale than a wheat. Florals predominate, with presence of fruit, spice and a hint of bubblegum (especially in the head)

M - Full, smooth as floods your palate, then bitterness attacks and almost overpowers. Ever so lightly carbonated.

D - Nice summer session beer, but a bit too bitter for my taste.

 629 characters

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

presentation: 22oz. bomber with a brightly colored label. crayon colored oval with the comic character gumballhead the cat in the center. three floyds logo is at the bottom of the oval with gumballhead wheat beer around the top of the oval. three floyd's interpretation of their wheat beer is on the right of the label along with some basic info about the comic and a web link. a map to the brewery is below this explanation. no freshness date or abv displayed.

appearance: pours a bright yellow-orange with even brighter yellow highlights in a stein mug. nice 2 inch white fluffy head. good retention and lacing. very clear with bubbles rising methodically.

smell: lemony, orangey and grainy. floral and lightly spicy hops. excellent bouquet. faintest touch of bubblegum while sipping.

taste: nice citrus hops and bitters. oranges and lemons with a blurry flavor of lightly sweet wheat malts. hops are king here. finish is a touch dry with a light bitterness and a lingering touch of sourness.

mouthfeel: crisp clean medium body. there is a very light residual layer left on the tongue. very smooth rolling in your mouth and swallows just as smooth. excellent mouthfeel for a wheat beer.

drinkability: are you kidding me? excellent drinkability. perfect summer session brew. alcohol is nowhere to be found. bitterness isn't over the top. very aromatic and flavorful.

overall: this is what i'm talkin' about! a nice change of pace from traditional hefes, without the bananas and cloves. very drinkable, smooth, aromatic and flavorful. what more can you ask for? nice session brew. i'll take this any time.

 1,627 characters

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

The beer pours a nice gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a wonderful hop scent that really refreshes along with a good malt aroma. It has wheat, pale, and some light crystal malts; very complex aroma. The taste is great. It has a smooth pale and wheat malt flavor with loads of hops all the way through. This is probably the most hops I've ever had in a wheat beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is best American wheat beer I've ever had. I love a hoppy wheat ale.

 586 characters

Photo of Vancer
2.89/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wheat ale my arse ! This was a weak IPA. Good lookin’ pour – hazy orange with sticky ivory laces. But the aroma and taste, wow, strong kick of florals! Not near enough wheat barley in this one – but the bottle does say "boat loads of Amarillo hops." Well, yeah. Tangy, crisp & tart. OK to drink – if you’re ready for an IPA.

Side: awfully high priced ($5.20 for 22oz) – I’d rather spent $6 on a sixer of Sammy/Schalfly wheat ales.

 440 characters

Photo of ithacabaron
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright yellow, but not very cloudy. I'd like a little more haze in my wheat beers.

Aroma is smooth, thin, pure amarillo apricots and preserved lemon. Not a lot of malt, not a lot of anything at all, actually.

Taste is more the same, sweet, with tangerine sugar and mellow peach nectar. Pure sunshine, but still, so thin, so soft -- there really isn't much to this.

Mouthfeel is decent, but neither pillow soft, foamy and plump, or overridingly active. Nothing to write home about.

Drinkability is fine, you could probably throw a six-pack down -- but who would want to? IIf I want refreshing summer drinking, I'll find a good Hefe, or, hey -- a glass of seltzer water, which this isn't all that far off from.

All in all, a disappointing brew from the folks at Three Floyds. Well, I guess I can't say it's disappointing, because it is what it wants to be -- a very quaffable, inoffensive, less than challenging American Wheat...but such a thing doesn't really catch my fancy.

Not bad, but nothing I'll be seeking out again any time soon.

 1,063 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.01/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy golden body is topped by a light white head displaying slight lace. Strong Amarillo hops nose. A gentle biscuity feel coats the nostrils. The wheat is obvious and provides a refreshing character, but there’s not much else to me. I’m not sure how well the hops mix with the rest, it is very citrusy, mandarine/lemon profile and tart, definitely not my favourite balance, but that’s probably just my preference for less abrasive citrusy hops. It doesn’t feel too fresh as it is. At the same time, the palate is globally thin, though it has a slight creamy tinge. Moderately high thin-bubbled carbonation cleans the tongue nicely though. Nevertheless, I’d get bored of having this as my main summer quencher. Give me a burgerbrau helles anywhen over 3 of these.

 768 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
4.76/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been holding on to this one for a while but finally decided to break it out. 22 oz bomber.

Nice golden color with a thin white head. The only real knock i would have on this beer is that the appearance dosn't blow you away. Not much carbonation and just dosn't look lively. Having said that, the smell more than makes up for the lack of appearance. Awesome floral smell to go along with a piney hops. Taste is just as awesome. Great wheat malt flavor that is matched with an amazing amount of hops. Mouthfeal is smooth and light, no bitter bite which is surprising for the level of hops. Drinkability of this it great. I would highly recomend this. I wish I could get it easily in PA. Good thing my brother lives in Indiana.

 732 characters

Photo of Bumpon10s
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served to me on-tap at the Map Room in Chicago>

Apperance: A great golden color that had considerable head and lacing.

Smell: I can STILL smell it, it was so good. Lots and lots of great hops with a bouquet of flowers.

Taste: One of the hoppiest and most floral brews I've had. It was a very smooth hop that totally covered the little alcohol it had.

Mouthfeel: Ultra smooth, like silk in your mouth, what a wheat ale is.

Drinkability: Smooth, clean, hoppy and low ABV; you could really lose track of how many you've had of these, you'll enjoy it that much.

 575 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber. This beer pours out a slightly hazy golden color with an inch of white head. The aroma is an unusual mix of juicy fruit and hops. The flavor is a wheat body, with more hops than I've ever had in a wheat beer. Hops are juicy and piney. Resultant burps taste like bubblegum. Drinkability is fantastic. One of the most unique wheat beers I've had, and also very good.

 381 characters

Photo of battlekow
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle of this with murrayswine at his store, straight out of the fridge.

Gumballhead is a beautifully clear golden color, with an ample white head. Really nice-looking. It smells sweet when you open the bottle--"cotton candy"--but the hops quickly assert themselves in both scent and taste. I was surprised at how hoppy it was; Gumballhead is certainly the hoppiest wheat ale I've had. Despite this, it does have a tasty toasted malt finish. Pretty good, but intensely hoppy.

 488 characters

Photo of AltBock
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber with a picture of a comic character on the front.

Appearance: The best way I could describe the color is, it wasn't a pale yellow but something like a golden amber color instead. It had a one inch head of foam that left some lacing. You could also see all the carbonation bubbles racing to the top.

Smell: You can smell plenty of grapefruit, lemon, and of other citrus fruits that I couldn't put my finger on.

Taste: There was tons of citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruits. After all those citrus flavors you get a wheaty taste. If thats not enough you get a hoppy aftertaste after all those citrus and wheat flavors. This is one taste you'll never forget.

Mouthfeel: It was light, carbonated, and easy to drink. It was hard to believe that this beer has only a 4.8% alcohol content.

Drinkability: This beer would make an excellent session beer, if it wasn't so expensive. This is one beer that everyone should try for themselves. You will not be disappointed. Keep up the good work Three Floyds!

 1,028 characters

Photo of beerceller99
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'll sum this up at the start; I could drink this brew every day, all summer long. Low abv+great taste=all day drinking !
The gumballhead has an orange yellow color with a quickly fading white head. Great, intense fresh floral hop smell. Light medium body with a smooth mouthfeel. Great taste mimics the smell with big hop flavors followed by a malty, grainy sweetness to finish.
Excellent beer here.

 403 characters

Photo of rdailey76
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I usually reviews the beers as I sample them, but I never can tear myself away from this beer to do it, so I am going on memory, which will serve me well in this case.

Pours a beautiful golden color with a nice fluffy white head after I swirl that last few ounces out of the bottle. The flowery smell is what draws me in at first. Citrus, sunflowers and spring...nothing better. The taste is really unlike anything else I have ever had. I guess sweet comes to mind, but not overwhelming. Hoppy, which makes this wheat really unique in my mind. My only knock on this is that I wish it had a little more depth to it. I find myself wishing it was a little more creamy I guess. Why oh why can't they make this in a six pack. One bomber rarely makes it a day or two in my fridge. Truly enjoyable and my favorite summer brew.

 822 characters

Photo of mentor
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice IPA, but with a touch of a heavy grain, which must be the wheat. Highly hopped with a smooth bitterness and a supporting sweet and fruity ester profile.

Pours a finger and a half nearly white head (yellow hints) over a cloudy dark straw colored liquid. Smells citrus and pine. Grapefruity pith is gentle in a bath of orange oil and faint hints of fresh pine needles. No sign of rough grassy that many hoppy beer have, it's smooth, perhaps even a bit sugary. Tastes mostly hoppy but with enough underlying sweet to carry them well. Hops start with a tang and pine followed by a grapefruit kick and refreshing orange. Hop bitter is clean and in line with the intensity of the hop flavors and the sweetness. Although beneath the hops, the sweetness is a rich sugary treat, like some crazy kids candy. Some lighter fruity esters (apricot and peach). Md body and highly carbonated.

 894 characters

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

Thanks to Beerguy (Frank) for all these 3 Floyds samples. All of them have been great. Sorry it took me so long to get to this one.

I guess I don't know much about American Pale Wheat Ales because this reminds me of an IPA or a IIPA. It pours a beautifull honey-orange color. The color actually varies through the glass. Minimal head, limited lace. Smell is extra-killa maltiness with some fine IPA type hops (Cascade, Centennial, Warrior ?) Impressive. Taste is almost the same as the nose although I get an extra woodiness in the taste too (Amarillo?).

This thing is 4.8%?? Holy Shit, bring it on by the caseload please.

 629 characters

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

Poured a golden color with a small white head and some lacing. Sticky sweet hop, some lemon, and wheat aroma. Citrus and bitter hops, balanced nicely by a sweetness and the wheat. This is one of my favorite wheat beers, I'd love to have this on draft in my basement!

 266 characters

Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,739 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.