Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,543 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: 1,543 | Ratings: 5,742
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!

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

First off, this is one of the ugliest labels I've ever seen.

Bright and clear yellow gold body, clearer than I expected, minimal haze. Good size fluffy white head. A doily of lace at the rim, and some stretches down the sides.

Dear God, it doesn't matter what style Three Floyds brews, it has a nose full of hops. Bananas and cloves no, grapefruit and pine yes.

Taste is! Absolutely delightfully fruity, light and refreshing. pineapples and oranges and lemons and I'm not sure what else, but all of it is a wonderful surprise. Each mouthful ends with a surprising subtle hop wash, which intertwines with the fruits in a clean but memorable aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is at least medium, but still wonderfully refreshing on a hot afternoon. Drinkability? Now that I have discovered this, I'm thinking a case for next summer.

Simply a delight, and now one of my two favorite wheat beers (with Ramstein Winter Wheat - which it has absolutely nothing in common).

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh bomber of Gumballhead is always a refreshing sight in my fridge. Pours a brilliant golden orange color with a creamy arid two finger head on top that leaves sticky lacing on my pint glass. Aroma is a blast of lovely tropical Amarillo hop goodness. Fresh cut, juicy pineapple slices, oranges, mangoes....herbal, oily, resinous. Underneath is a crisp, fresh wheaty lemony body. Still the most lush, aromatic American wheat beer that has ever graced my nostrils. Yum.

First sip brings a rush of vine ripened lovely hoppiness. Sublimely fruity with notes of pineapple, orange, lemon, and just a hint of herbal pine resin as well. A nicely creamy wheat grain background...sweet with a hint of astrigent husk on the back of the palate. Mellow bitterness throughout makes this the ultimate summer quencher. The best American wheat beer hands down...brilliantly hopped and just so damn tasty.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full. Rolls over the palate smoothly...being light enough to still be refreshing. This is probably my all time favorite summer brew as I could drink it by the case no problem. I wouldn't mind seeing this in six it would be a bit more convenient. All in all...this is a great wheat beer.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

hazy light orange with a white head. very piney floral mildly citrusy hop aroma dominates. hints of grainy wheat peak through on occasion. on closer inspection the hops have an almost asprin like smell as jason said in his review. it really is a good description of how it smells, in a good way of course. the taste is very similar to the aroma, though not nearly as bitter as the smell would let on, very mild in fact. hints of wheat and caramel show themselves particularly as it warms, but are clearly backseat to the hops. a faint woody character develops as the temp rises. the mouthfeel is where this really shines. it has a light airy quality with delicate carbonation that is very light without being watery in the least. dry and very sweet at the back of the mouth at the same time. it makes you want to drink it faster just to feel it in your mouth. as a result it has excellent drinkability. i could drink this all night long. this is a really superb summer beer, but i would drink it any time of year. really a very unique experience, especially the mouthfeel.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: golden/yellow, slightly hazy, bubbly white head that laces the glass

smell: lemons, pine and citrus, quite hoppy

taste: near perfect hop composition, lemon, grapefruit, wheat flavors. A wonderfully refreshing summer brew.

mouthfeel: citrus on the tongue, refreshing

drinkability: if it werent for the price you could drink this all night long

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Photo of blackie
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Produces a one finger white head when poured. The color of the beer is golden.

Smell of wheat malt with a huge backbone of spicy green hops. The hops are floral and there are hints of grapefruit and mango. A really good smelling wheat.

The carbonation is on the lower end of the high range. Body is thin.

As on the nose, there is a huge hop presence in the flavor of this wheat. Many of the wheat characteristics are covered by the hops. The first flavors are of fresh green hops and a slight tropical fruitiness. The finish is a lingering bitterness. This is the most hoppy/bitter American Pale Wheat I've ever had.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looking back, is it possible that I gave this beer such high scores???.... yes, it is.

This beer is light and refreshing in body, mouthfeel, and flavor. It's rather dry, but it has the most amazing lemon zest flavor in the aftertaste. For its potency, it has a very aggressive hoppy bite.

Forget hoegaarden and the other so-called thirst quenchers. American micros are king. Gumballhead is the best American Wheat I've ever had.

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Photo of mdavis31481
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gumballhead pours a light, hazy amber color that is more reminiscent of an IPA than a wheat beer. The slightly off-white head was rich but provided minimal lacing.

The aroma... WOW... hops, hops, and more hops. Am I smelling a wheat beer or an IPA?

I'm having a difficult time figuring this brew out. Does it want to be an APA, IPA, or Wheat beer? Perhaps some amalgamation of the three.

The first sip yields a floral hop taste that smoothes out nicely. Unlike an IPA there is no real hop attack. A gentle sweetness quickly follows the hops leaving a pleasant citrus finish.

The mouthfeel deftly walks the line between thick and thin.

This is a very nice beer, one that I would never turn down. But it would not be my first choice if a wheat beer was what my palate craved.

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

Emerged from the 22 ounce as a medium amber liquid with a thick foamy head. Smell is a nice mixture of bready malt, citrus, and hops Taste is just plain enjoyable, as the malts, citrus, and hops combine to make an excellent brew. Finish is dry, yet fruity. An excellent drinking beer.

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

A- hazy golden yellow with a fluffy white head

S- strong hop bitterness and grainy aroma with pine being the dominate scent

T- fruity/citrus flavor, spices, hops, sweet finish

M- medium mouthfeel, very smooth and creamy. carbonation is low

D- nice smooth and even flavor makes it extremely easy to drink.

overall- very different from any other wheat beer ive tried. besides the stronger hop presence there just something about the flavor that makes it very unique. $6.00 for a bomer is a bit steep, but its definitely worth it.

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Photo of hero27
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber, with the street-fighting cartoon cat "Gumballhead" on the label.

I figured it's about time for me to finally review this beer, as I've been drinking it all summer long. Graciously stocked (upon request) at HyVee Wine & Spirits my was the first place in Iowa to stock it. I'm quickly beginning to think that Three Floyds is the best craft brewery in America.

Hands-down, the best summer session beer I've ever had, and I really can't imagine it getting much better than this. While reading some other reviews, someone commented by saying this beer is a "delicate tribute to hops". I think that describes it just about perfectly. The hops are not overwhelming, but go so incredibly well with the pale, wheat flavor & aroma. Citrusy & of the most well-crafted beers I've ever had, period.

If the comic book is as good as the beer, I just might have to take up reading.

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Photo of ggroller
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. bombers purchased at Shangys last night. I heard great things about this beer so I am so anxious to try this.

Cool label. I never knew that Gumballhead was a cartoon character.

Pours a golden copper. Plenty of carbonation. Not hazy at all like the bottle says or light a wheat beer should be.

Nice big pure white, fluffy head. Great sticking on the glass.

Huge hops in the nose. Love that.

Great hop taste in the mouth. The sweetness of cotton candy follows as I swallow.

Like the bottle says, "It's not normal." Certainly not a normal wheat beer. You know what, though, who cares. This is just great beer. I am becoming a huge fan of 3F. I can't wait to try all their others.

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

3 Floyd's Gumballhead

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

Appearance- caramel brown with a thick frothy head.
Smell- fruity/ citrus with a touch of wheat.
Taste- dry citrus floral hops with a mixture of wheat/ hay flavor.It seems to me this is a mixture of an IPA and a wheat. Quite unique!
Mouthfeel- smooth with little to no bitterness.

Overall- a delicious beer that went well with the veggie portobello burger.

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber picked up at Vintage Cellar (Blacksburg, VA) middle of July. If there's a date on this one, I can't find it. (Dimly lit room, and loads of condensation on the bottle.)

Let's pop this puppy. Oh, wait...that's a cat on the bottle. :)

As it hits the glass, the head comes raging up, full on. Good thing I am using a 20oz! Nice, just barely off white head. Tight at the bottom, looser at the top. Subsides at a medium pace. Wet lace left behind. Underneath is a very slightly hazy, honey coloured brew. A small field of bubbles rises towards the head.

The smell is all about hops and some yeast. It's earthy, fruity hops. It's a fabulous smell. On a deeper inhalation, the wheat comes through. It's letting the hops take the spotlight, though.

The hop flavour definitely shines through up front- but it's much rounder a flavour than the smell would make you think. Not as rough and earthy, but a little woody. The wheat hits right after, and then a woody quality takes over, and finishes with some spiciness over the top. Very nice.

The body is just a slightly heavier than I would expect from the looks of this one. A tight carbonation is felt more on the finish than anywhere builds as the mouthful is starting to become a memory.

I give this one top marks for drinkability. I could easily get in danger here. This one could be a constant companion on sessions.

I won't rave quite as much as some of my contemporaries will- it's a VERY good beer, but I'm not just absolutely wowwed by it as a few folks I've met have been. If I could get this where I live, a bottle would always reside in my beer closet. I'm very happy with it, and will definitely get my grubby little paws on more when the two bombers I have left are gone.

Be well

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Photo of kpantz
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Executive Summary: Smells like an IPA, but backs off nicely on the palate, resulting in a refreshing warm-weather brew.

22 oz. bomber purchased in NJ.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden hue with a fervent head that forces you to divide the pouring into two "sessions."

Smell: Amarillo hops are obvious in the nose, and it just screams "I'm trying to be an IPA!"

Taste: Lightness of a wheat...hops certainly in the flavor but without the lasting bitterness of most hoppy brews. A nice dial-down on the bitterness here.

Mouthfeel: A little thinner than I expected, but it's a nice surprise in the hot weather. The carbonation is perfect. In all, this just feels like a warm season beer.

Drinkability: Could EASILY knock back a sixer of this. Would make a great session brew. I'll have to remember this one.

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

Nice amber color with a small white head...subsided to lust a bit of lacing.

Smells all pine hopness. I mean, you could use this beer as an example of the hop problem.

Tastes like hops...strongly of hops. However, unlike most hoppy beers this has zero bitterness. I've never had anything quite like it. Very tasty and refreshing.

This was an enjoyable brew through the entire pint and a nice change of pace from the typical wheat ale.

You should try it.

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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.

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

Served on tap in a standard pint glass.

The beer came with a beautiful white head that stuck around through the beer and left lacing on the side of glass. The beer was a just slightly hazy golden yellow. It smelled of citrous and and aromatically hoppy, and the beer tasted with the sort of flavor expected of its aroma. Its taste is just so well balanced, much less bitter than what I had expected because of the IBUs listed at the bar. The beer tasted of the citrous and hops with just enough malt. My girlfriend, like a few other reviews I have seen, really enjoyed this one as well, which doesn't mean it's a light or sweet beer but instead something very well made and balanced. This is a perfect beer for the hott summer months. I'll definitely be picking these up in the store when I get the chance.

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

22 oz brown bomber.

Poured a bubbly hazed light copper/gold with a thick, clingy froth.

Strong citrus aromas, along with an herbal note and an undertone of wheat sweetness.

Surprisingly thick in body for the style, creamy with an oily finish from the massive hops. Speaking of massive hops, this dude was loaded down with Amarillo, one of my new favorites. Like other beers brewed with Amarillo hops it had a nice citrus taste that was hard to pin down, but not your average "grapefruit and pine" flavor. Sweet wheat malts made a showing, but were clearly outdone.

What a great summer beer, hell, anytime of the year beer. I gave some buddies dough before they went on a trip to 3F's, and I was surprised with Gumballhead. I'm not generally a fan of wheat beers, (I tend to find them cloying); I would drink this any time.

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

This poured with very little head at all and was a clear, golden yellow in the glass. The nose was very fruity, sweet like a stick of JuicyFruit gum or a gumball (!). The sweetness carried through on the palate, although it had a light mouthfeel. The finish was citrusy, like lime or lemon, giving way to a faint taste of dill. I found it to be just a bit too sweet for my liking, even sweet for the style.

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

A beauty in a big Weizen Glass, hazy orange yellow with a 1/2 inch head that stubbornly sticks to the glass. Nothing but champagne bubbles firing up from the depths of the glass. Smell is sweet wheat with a mild freshwater odor over the top. Taste is surprisingly sugary, with a hop bite ever present. Oily hoppy finish, then a longer finish of sugary hops. Strange, yet tasty. Mouthfeel is medium with a cohesive body. The flavors are separate and blend like rainbow colors do...distinct, but you can't see where one begins and the other ends. A nice quaff, but more than a couple might cause a bit of sensory overload for the palate.

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

How do you classify this great wheat beer. It really does not fit into any regular parameters that you judge a wheat by, but boy, was it fantastic. This poured with a thin white head that clung to the glass, with a pale yellow hue and some cloudiness. The Amarillo Hops jump out at you. The aroma is pure wheat. The first sip is all wheat, but then some subtle grapefruit is tasted. This was an awesome beer, right on par with the other fine beers out of Three Floyds.

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Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Beerguy for the sample ...

A- Shimmering weathered golden hue, thick foamy head sticks like a champ.

S- Beautiful aromatics from the hops. Powdered aspirin, mandarin orange and lemon zest?

T- Big on hops, lots of that aspirin like bitterness from the Amarillo hops. Oily yet very sharp. Malt sweetness struggles to break through the hop barrier, enough comes by to keep things somewhat balanced. The crisp character of the wheat actually intensifies the sharpness of the bitterness which becomes a tad bothersome IMO.

M- A bit more body than I thought there was going to be, lining of crispness in the middle.

D- I could see having a pint or two if I needed a quick hop fix.

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

Ths is probably the most interesting take on the staple pale wheat ale I've come across. Lots of grassy, piney strong hops going on here. Pours a clear gold/amber in color with a thick fluffy white head with great retention, lacing abound! Nose is quite hoppy, very floral and piney, smacks of summer. Taste is powerful especially for the style, quite hoppy but very well balanced, not over the top by any means, very, very tasty. This is the most un-wheat-like wheat beer I've ever come across.

This didn't totally wow me, but this would make a spectacular session beer for certain. I wouldn't mind some more on occasion.

(Edited: 6/8/06)

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,742 ratings.
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