Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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5,921 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,921 |  Reviews: 1,569
Photo of FormatKid
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been really interested to try this beer in particular or just about anything from this brewery in general as they seem to be doing good things from what hear around. Packaging is a brown 22oz bomber with a cool crayon looking drawing of a comic book character.

Pours out a pale yellow with a tiny tinge of amber and just a smidge of haze. The head rolls up nicely and recedes somewhat quickly to a nice solid cap of foam resting on top of the brew. A few streamers of teeny-tiny carbonation bubbles roll steadily up to support the head.

Wow, the smell is a unique and very pleasant experience. The tartness of the wheat blends with the citrus of the hops which makes my first impression of the aroma that of a tart candy. Hints of sweeter fruits (banana) are present in the background, but eclipsed by the aroma of citrus and wheat.

The mouthfeel is noticeably more creamy than I would have thought, still light though, and lively with carbonation. The taste is very pleasant. The front is real light, with a taste of grain. The middle presents the “gumball” flavor, and a strong, hoppy, citrus tartness which dominates through-out the finish acquiring a resinous pine presence.

This beer is awesome, really refreshing as well. A great beer to have with lunch, lush and flavorful, but a few of them wouldn’t knock you on your ass. I only wish it were more available around here..

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful orange color, 1/2" bubbly head.

Smells like an IPA, this is a wheat beer? All I smell is grapefruit, I guess there's a little grain smell in there.

Full body, quite smooth. Definite wheat flavors blend with a crisp, flowery and citrusy hop presence. Grain flavors begin to show up in the middle along with light bread flavors. Flowery hop flavors wrap it up and leave a light bitterness behind.

A very interesting wheat beer, refreshing on hot days, but packs the hop dose I need.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface this review by saying that this is one weird beer–a pale, wheat ale. Immediately, my taste buds were expecting that typical wheat beer taste but they were totally caught off guard by the heavy duty hops. It poured a deep golden color, slightly hazy, with a fluffy, off-white head that left tight lacing behind. The aroma was nearly all hops–It smelled entirely of grapefruit, some black pepper, and a slight wheat thing happening in the background. The taste was all hops up front, big grapefruit flavors and plenty spicy. Gently sweet, delicate wheat flavors come through ever so slightly just before a mellow, barely bitter aftertaste sets in. The mouthfeel was medium with medium carbonation. Stuff is highly drinkable. Each swallow leaves you thirsting for another gulp. Good, interesting stuff. Never had a wheat beer like this before.

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Photo of stingo
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a hazy orange body with a decent head. Can smell the grapefruityness of the hops in the nose. But what a taste - the palate is almost confused - the mellow wheatiness on the front with the grapefruitiness of the hops in the back makes for a VERY good beer. Eminently quaffable, with a lighter mouthfeel one would expect from a wheat beer more so than an ale. Highly recommended (from someone who is not a hophead).

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Photo of rajendra82
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer came is a 22 oz. brown bomber with no freshness date. The body of the pour was hazy pale yellow with a tall creamy head. The aroma was very flowery hops with a touch of citrus. The taste was refreshingly hoppy and citric with a sweet fruity malt undertone. The mouthfeel was slick and soft with a perfect carbonation. Aftertaste was a bit drying after each swallow, causing you to rush to the next sip. A perfect summer session brew that melds the best aspects of a wheat beer and an IPA.

I got one bomber in trade from francisweizen, and have another one brought from Chicago by Southernbrew.

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Photo of ABV
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I recently took a trip to Shangy's in Emmaus Pa. to pick up a few cases of Avery Eleven (a wonderful brew, btw). When I came across an unmarked case of Three Floyd's, I momentarily thought (or hoped) that I had found the Holy Grail -- Dreadnaught. What it was was Gumballhead, apparently the mocking opposite of what I was hoping for, in that it's a light summery wheat beer, not a hop monster. I bought the case (at a very steep $55) anyway. Why? I guess basically on the legendary reputation of Three Floyds. I was not disappointed.

Gumballhead is one of the most drinkable brews I've ever had. It has the look of a wheat beer -- light hazy and fluffy --and the creamy texture of a wheat beer -- but this has hops -- lots of hops. The citrussy yeasty wheat character is there too, but those delicious hops are upfront, and the combination is perfection. If this is Dreadnaught's little brother then ol' Dread deserves its reputation. I even like the weirdo cartoon label. Thumbs up!

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice pale cloudy golden color with amber hues. A billowing head about an inch and a half high rises and recedes with a nice lace on the glass. Initial aromas are wheaty sweet, with some malts and a nice spicy piney hop tone. The flavor of this beer starts off initially sweet with the wheat and other malts giving a nice bready, malty and wheat flavoring. Carbonation to this beer is subtle and crisp with a nice light body to match and an almost creamy texture to it. Following the wheat and malty backbone this beer shows off its nice hop profile with some citrusy zing, a bit of floral notes, some zesty flavors and a final slight bitterness at the end to keep things in check. A little caramel like flavors sneak there way in towards the end of this brew also. Overall an interesting offering from Three Floyd's, that's just in a style of its own really. Definetly a great brew for the summer with a nice hop kick to any of the hop heads out there that needs a change from an IPA.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a sample of this from one of my distributors, and was eager to try it as we get so few 3ffloyds products.
Pours a light amber with a large white puffy head. Lots of carbonation and I had to be careful to pour slowly. Smell is a bit of grain and wheat followed by piney hops. Taste is at first one of a nice refreshing wheat, but the Amarillo hops then sneak in and turn the beer into a little hop monkey. Its almost like two beers in one. At first you think you are getting a wheat ale, but by the end you are thinking you might have gotten your glass switched with a pale ale. Mouthfeel is good with pretty hardy carbonation, but for this beer the effervencene works. Drinkability is nice as well as one could put down a few of these quite easily. Might be a bit overpriced and it would be nice if these came in 6 packs. Over all I nice offering.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been saving this one for my week with my best of the many great beers waiting for us both. Beer is a nice light golden color. The head starts out strong and thick, about one finger high, and fades a thick coating around the glass with a light cover over the top of the beer. There is a good malt and hop aroma, with the hops being more prevalent. The hops hit me first followed by a sweetness from the malt finishing with a second coming of the hops. Overall, a very nice flavor combination, as the hops don't linger too long, but just enough for my taste. The beer is moderately thick, but not offensively so. There is not a lot of carbonation burning on my tongue, I had expected more with the bubbling present in the glass. I am highly impressed with this beer and would actively seek it out like I had to trying to find it in the first place. This is a perfect session beer in my opinion.

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Photo of oldcrustacean
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into a 12oz pilsner glass.

Gumballhead's label portrays a pissed off cat smoking a cigarette and riding a bike. (His head is in the shape of a gumball.)

A violent cyclone of bubbles rush to the surface, each fighting for position to penetrate the smooth, delicate lacey head like molten lava from deep within this beer's delicious core. Pouring a light amber, this brew smells as good as it tastes with scents of hopped up peach and apricot. Hops? Yes hops! This isn't just any normal wheat beer.

And now for the first sip! Incredible! The master brewers at Three Floyds have clearly fused the hop vine and the peach tree in an evil lab experiment gone wrong (I mean, right)! These two flavours are perfectly balanced. A fruity sensation dominates the palate before the army of hops overtake everything in their path. Don't get me wrong -- this beer is not overwhelming, it's endlessly drinkable and I'd say damn near perfect, too.

I've been waiting for almost a year to write a beer review and tonight I came to the conclusion that Gumballhead would be fit for my first. I've recently moved to Chicago from Connecticut where we cannot find Three Floyds. Now that I'm here, I treat myself to a bomber or two of Gumball every week. I have even been considering driving the 900 miles back home so that I could stop at the brewery to pick up a keg to share with my friends. At almost $6.00 a bottle, this brew isn't cheap, but like they say -- you get what you pay for. I think I've found my favorite beer.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Perfectly clean body off amber colored golden body, with a thin head of white lace that fades quickly to a thin lacing.

Smell: Sweety smell of sugary gum; bazooka joe is suing for damages. Light hop hangs onto the end of the sweetness.

Taste: Sweet bubblegum mixed with a light hop bitterness and mostly the taste of uncut, unaltered wheat in all its sweet malted flavor. This is something different. This is incredible. The Amarillo hops are so light and sweet and give this beer such an interesting taste that it's difficult to imagine a way to improve this. The best wheat beer I've ever had. This is bliss. An absolutely excellent beer.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly light with just the right bit of body and nice active carbonation. Way too easy to drink.

Drinkability: My wallet (thin as it is) will not allow me to drink this as I should. This is an exceptional beer. I'm almost angry because I can't get more of this except by shelling out $8 for a bomber. The sad thing's so good, I know I'll be back.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured gold with a gracious head leaving lace gracefully till the end. Starring into the light streams of bubbles rose fast to feed the head on top.

The aroma was citrus but held a larger peach overtone to it. I was almost scared this was going to be too fruity.

It wasn't. Sweet malt with a fantastic citrus finish, balances very well between the two.

Nice light mouthfeel leaving a slight coating but nothing too overpowering. Very enjoyable drink, I will have this again.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured crystal clear golden straw with a white frothy head which rose up like the king of heads and fell slowly like the guy on the Wide Wide World of Sports. It licked, kicked, and laced the glass.

The aroma was hops. Critrusy with grapefruit and other dry hop aromas.

The flavor was not as expected. It had a nice wheat mouthfeel, but a sweet maltiness and pleasant bittering. The bitterness is in check and there is no real hop flavor so all the hops were bittering and aroma. Nicely done without being harsh at all.

The finish was dry with pleasant hop bitterness lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium to medium light. Very refreshing.

22 ounce bottle. (Thanks to Skidz I now have another bottle for the stash so I can rate this one!)

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Photo of necoadam
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Funky looking label. As is the beer I might add. But damn does this taste good. Poured out a golden/orange color with some carbonation visible and stays with you until the end. Some lacing left on the glass when you're done with it. Smell is mostly hops to my surprise. Some sweet aromas come in as well along with some citrus notes that you can taste quite a bit of. Taste is where it's at. Hops alone with some pine flavors hit the palate first with some wheat in the middle and finally blends in with some grapefruit like flavors in the end and lasts into the aftertaste. These just blend in so well it's amazing. The aftertaste isn't all that powerful with just a wheat aftertaste along with that grapefruit taste. It just makes you want to sip more and more. A damn fine brew.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The name is fitting, as it is a bit reminiscent of gum. Also hoppy for a wheat beer, which is not uncommon for US versions. Give 'em credit for doing something unique, and definitely worth trying. Overall, it can't hold a candle to the real thing, but a good brew nonetheless. Thanks to the BeirReise for the sample.

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Photo of CSquared
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle

Appearance: Pours a deep gold with a beautiful white head and light lacing. Beer is filtered and then bottle conditioned.

Aroma: Aroma is suprising, but very nice. Piney hops are notably present (says Amarillo). Wasn't expecting that from a wheat beer.

Taste: Wonderfully hoppy (like an American Pale) with a distinct lemony/citrusy finish. Slight sweetness tames the hops just a bit.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth with no bite. Bitterness lingers just long enough to cherish this awesome beer.

Drinkability: Exceptional! I could drink this beer year round, but this is a wonderful summer ale. I would keep this stocked in my fridge if I didn't have to drive to Virginia to get it. A unique beer unlike anything else I've tried.

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Photo of frazbri
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber of Gumballhead

Poured a nice golden color. Short white head that decreased in fairly short order. The nose was full of floral hops with a citrus twist. Nicely carbonated and slightly chewy.

Hops alert! You know the hops are in the glass before you taste it. I tasted flavors of apricots, lemons and yes, gumballs. If you ever wondered what the spawn of a Bavarian Hefeweizen and an IPA would be, this is it.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The body is a hazy yellow in color that’s kind of dirty and tinged with a slightly orangish hue. The head came up well enough after I worked the pour. It settles nicely though leaving some cool lava pits on top of the liquid.

Smell – Yeow! That is one sharp, hoppy nose. I wasn’t expecting that. The huge Amarillo and pine sap caught me completely off guard. I almost dropped my glass on the floor. I’m sure there’s some wheat in there that I’ll find at the taste, I just can’t get there from here.

Taste – Ah, there is a bit of bubblegum to this after all. The wheat flavor is light, but it manages to avoid getting stomped by the hops. The hops come out much smoother on the tongue. Nicely done.

Mouthfeel – I can’t believe how smooth this is after getting my first whiff. I thought this was going to be brutal, but they have expertly blended the flavors here. There’s some nice, light carbonation, a good dryness at the finish, and a fluffy character that keeps one entertained.

Drinkability – This is a class act. The style is kind of new to me, and it certainly is no German weizen, but this was a very refreshing offering by Three Floyds that left me wanting more.

Comments – Big thanks to feloniousmonk for sending this one all the way to Seattle. I’ve found a new standard.

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Photo of maxpower
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy amber-orange color with a huge creamy head that leaves a thick sticky lacing in my glass. Hoppy aroma of grapefruits and candy, flavors of pine and citrus, never had a wheat beer taste like this before. Medium body with a somewhat sticky mouthfeel, finishes bitter.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazed peachy amber with a hint of tangerine. The rich cream-colored head is creamyfirm, stays humped in the center as it falls and throws up a fair amount of delicate, intricate lace.

Tremendous nose, like a tropical fruit punchbowl. Pineapple is far and away the dominant aroma; it smells like I just cracked open one of Hawaii's sweetest and juiciest. Other fruit is present as well, mango especially, giving Gumballhead the most enticing non-IPA nose that I've ever experienced.

Delicious is the only word that I can use to describe the flavor. I'm surprised by the light body, but then this is a summer wheat beer. Despite the superficial similarities in bottle and label, it isn't meant to be Dreadnaught. There's more than enough flavor to go around; especially Amarillo hoptropical fruitiness and, yes, gumballs.

It isn't an overly hoppy beer in terms of bitterness. Even though it's slightly more bitter on the finish, it doesn't have that hop 'bite' that all hop lovers love. What is does have is hop flavor. Lots of hop flavor. There isn't much malt on board, just enough to hang the hops on and no more. The breezily light mouthfeel and the low ABV make me think I could drink several of these bombers very easily.

Three Floyds has hit another home run. This is a superb wheat beer; the best, by far, that I've ever had. I can't imagine a more delicious, more easy drinking, more flat-out enjoyable summer seasonal. The bomber is almost gone and it hasn't taken me all that long to write this review. Have the boys at 3F sold their souls to Old Scratch? Gumballhead met my high expectations and then some.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy yellowish amber topped by a frothy white head. Shifts to a film pretty fast and leaves specks of foam on the glass.

Smell: Pungent and powerful aromas of piney and grapefruity hops. The wheat malt is not all that present, but you pick up the occasional twang of clove. It's all about the Amarillo here, though.

Taste: Nice wheaty malt flavor that gets whallopped by bitter piney and citrusy hops. Juicy and succulent.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with spritzy carbonation and lingering hoppy aftertastes.

Drinkability: Not all wheat beers need to be light and "wimpy." A nice mix of a Pale Ale/IPA and a wheat ale. Take the light body of a wheat beer and chuck in the small scale sensual assault of hops from an IPA and you have this. Schweeeet.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in the 22 oz. bomber into a hefe glass. The color is a hazy golden with a solid white head. The smell is a strong grapefruity-like hoppiness. The taste is a strong hops presence, yet the wheat tanginess amazingly isn't covered up, and both meld together quite well, and the aftertaste is the clove-ish wheat. Mouthfeel is fairly carbonated. Drinkability-wise, this could well be the ultimate wheat session beer.

Wow...probably the best wheat beer in the world!! I have no idea how a beer like this can be so well hopped and still manage to let the wheat's mellow character shine through, but somehow 3F manages it. I'm glad we have another bottle to enjoy, and if and when 3F makes it to Western PA, this will be one of my personal favorites.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a slightly hazy medium orange color with two fingers of head. There is a little lacing left on the glass. The smell is fantastic, with a slight bit of wheat malt hiding behind a large dose of fresh citrus hops. It smells like a wheaty IPA. Very strong aromas. The taste is weird in that it starts with sharp hops on the tongue, and ends with a wheaty finish. Still crisp and refreshing. The mouthfeel is very thick and heavy, great for a wheat beer. The drinkability is fantastic too, at only 4.8%. A great summer beer!

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Photo of avylover
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is no doubt a brew that i've bought into the hype on. Of course Three Floyds always deliver, but I've never sought out a 4.8% wheat beer like I did this one. UPDATE, after a few tries, this beer just got better and better. eventually, it lived up to the hype. read on..

The appearance is decent. Looks like a hazier version of your average macro lager. There is a decent white head here. Aroma has my attention. It's sweet & full of citrousy hop aroma, almost as if there were citric acid in there, The taste is quite good for a beer that is not too strong. Full of citrousy flavors mixed with the usual hefe tropical tastes make this a wiiner. Initial grainy wheat flavors are spruced up by some fruity hops, ending with a decently bitter & fruity aftertaste. This one actually gets more complex as I go along. The Mouthfeel comes off rather thin, but 'fluffy' at times. Drinkabilty is good, and this a great low ABV session brew. My current flavor of the month. Love the taste, and love the low ABV.

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Photo of marc77
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Hazed dark auric hue. Thin, but well retained cream white head leaves sparse lace. Pine sap and lemon atop grainy, tart wheat with a splash of light lovibond caramel malt. Bubblegum hints. Clean and enticing aromawise. Flavor is a facsimile of the aroma. Pine dominates, although there's a juicy honeydew melon presence that melds well with the stately wheat presence. Bitterness is well above the norm for the typically insipid style, and is within range for an APA. Wheat lends a slight tartness that adds to the impressive thirst quenching nature of this brew. Not deep maltwise, nor is it intended to be. The assertive hopping has elevated what would be a prosaic American wheat to a very respectable level. Thinnish in mouthfeel, but with a light viscosity that feigns richness. Finishes slightly soapy, with trace lemon Pine Sol hints, but otherwise squeaky clean. American wheats have their limitations, and Gumballhead overcomes one typical banality-- lack of any noteable hop presence. Any other alteration would have overly bastardized the style. It retains the effortless drinkability of American wheats, yet adds savourability. Truly unique.

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 5,921 ratings