Gumballhead | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,549 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: 1,549 | Ratings: 5,774
Photo of instrumentality
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks once again to Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora, CA for making this experience possible.

Poured into a large, rounded mug made of thin, clear glass. Hundreds of tiny bubbles of carbonation swirled to the surface and disappeared into three fingers of fluffy white rippling head that very slowly settled to one finger and stayed there, at least until I started drinking. Body was transparent, color of golden wheat.

The odor was nice and hoppy, similar to an IPA, but with hints of pine, pineapple, citrus, pear, and peach (perhaps not all of the above, but if I were to concoct a smoothie with the same ingredients, I imagine I'd come up with something similar). I had my first Dreadnaught the other day and this one's odor was every bit as complex and tantalizing.

Maybe my taste buds aren't sophisticated enough, but this one actually tasted quite a bit like Dreadnaught as well, only not quite as bitter or as fruity. The odors translated well to my palate.

I know pitting this brew against a Double IPA is somewhat of an apples-to-oranges comparison, but given that I'm a huge IPA fan, I feel entitled to say that I actually think I like this a little more than the Dreadnaught. It tastes slightly more balanced, the aftertaste is cleaner, and the slight reduction in intensity makes it more drinkable and more refreshing. I can taste the alcohol, but it's mild enough to be enjoyable, and the carbonation is just right. No skunky coating left on the tongue, either.

Perhaps a closer comparison would be between this and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. SNPA has been my staple beer for many years, and it will always have a place close to my heart (and my liver), but if all of the places currently serving SNPA on tap switched to Gumballhead, I would shed no tears. Wishful thinking...

This beer is still hoppy enough where I'd have trouble recommending it as a true summer beer to the average person, but it's smooth enough where it stands as a near-*perfect* summer beer for your humble reviewer.

However, my girlfriend, who's not a big piney hop fan, had this to say: "It's not bad, but it's too warm." That's a vast improvement over the face she normally makes when I convince her to try any pale ale or IPA.

The tough part is that $10.99 sticker on the bottle. Still, I will be revisiting this when the opportunity presents itself. And as of today, Munster, Indiana will now officially be part of my route if and when I take another drive across the country.

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Photo of taylocd
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into Weissbier vase.

A - thick head of white, loosely-packed bubbles dissipated into a thin layer over the beer; steady bubbling throughout the session; beer is a clear, deep gold color

S - first whiff seemed to have a piney aroma, but that quickly disappeared and was replaced by a less-pronounced citrus aroma

T - the citrus character was present in the flavor in grapefruit bitterness; the finish is bitter with a bit of bready characteristic, though neither taste lingers long

M - the feel was rather light and very smooth, as expected

O - the Gumballhead had much more flavor than expected for pale wheat ale and made for an enjoyable brew; at 4.5% ABV, and combined with "light feel", one could put away this beer with ease

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Photo of Beervis
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours from the bomber a deep gold with a thick white head.

Smell is hop heavy right off the bat, very flowery and grapefruity, as well as a faint sweetness.

Taste is extraordinary. Medium bodied with a huge hop bitterness and tangy sweetness. Very smooth and filling in the mouth. Malt tones aren't dominant, but are definitely there. Finishes with a bitter dry snap.

What an amazing wheat beer. This is exactly what one should expect from an American Wheat, smooth and quenching, with a bitter smack...incredible...perfect!

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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 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 HitokiriNate85
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Golden-yellow with an orange tinge. Slightly cloudy. A really aggressive pour yielded a very thin head that's already fading.

S - Amarillo hops are awesome. The smell is just incredible. Huge grapefruit notes(smells like someone is zesting one under my nose). The wheat comes through as well, but it definitely sits backseat to the hops.

T - Bitterness is handled really well with Gumballhead. It's there upfront with lots of grapefruit(lots of pith) and some light orange, but as the wheat comes into play it smooths things over and mixes to create an almost half and half finish between bitterness and sweetness.

MF - At 4.8%, Gumballhead still has a full body for the ABV. Creaminess from the wheat and the right amount of carbonation keep things just right and pointed in the direction of...

D - Amazing. Seriously, I could drink this all day without getting tired of it. Easily the best American Wheat beer I've had. Too bad Three Floyds beers aren't available anywhere close to here.

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Photo of KBoudreau66
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received via trade from tburkhart.

P- 12 ouncer poured in to a pint glass. A dark cloudy yellow color with an orange looking tint in the middle. About one finger of foamy head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer.

S- I can already tell before I even take a sip that people weren't lying when they say that Gumballhead is the hoppiest wheat beer that they have ever had. Big hop citrusy hop aroma. Lemon and grapefruit peels, pine. It also has a very sweet, candy like aroma. The wheat smell stands out, but not significantly.

T- This is a really interesting beer, that's for sure. The wheat and big hop flavors both hit the tounge at the same time. I'm trying to figure out which one stands out more, but I'm going to go with the citrusy somewhat pineapple'esque hops.

M- Medium bodied, but highly carbonated. Really refreshing.

D- For a beer with a big hop flavor, it is very drinkable. Hmm to bad this isn't available in Massachusetts, because I'd be capable of drinking these even when it's 95 degrees out.

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Photo of bgreg3
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Took notes on this one a few days before I had my gallbladder removed.

app. not quite clear but not very murky nice balance and the foam sticks for ages good looking beer.

smell-Strong wheat presence along with a strong amarillo hop presence, lemony zest.

Taste- good taste! strong on the amarillo hops but also strong on the wheaty yeast like flavors leaves a pretty dry crisp finish making this a fine summer beer. My friend said this tastes someone mixed beer and pinsol , fuck that this is delicious

Mf and drink-crisp finish = drinkable beer , low abv , maybe a session beer , light to medium feel that is enjoyable to swish around in my mouth.

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Photo of jj21
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber served in a Pilsner glass 2006 release
Pours a surprising clear yellow-orange. I thought there would be cloudiness to it but there was none. Nice 1 inch white head that lasted a while and left great lacing. Slightly more carbonation than your average beer. Good pop on the nose. Great grassy aromas with a touch of citrus. Flavor was outstanding. Probably the best example of the style, at least that I've had. Grass and citrus with a yeasty, hoppy finish. AMAZING. Not heavy on the pallet making this very easy to drink. This is a great beer for the warmer season coming up.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great citrus taste and smell all year round. Although I love wheat beers (this one as well), but definitely have had some better hefeweizen beers over the years.

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For me this beer falls somewhere between a 2 hearted and a hopslam. There is much more grapefruit in the smell then in 2 hearted, but less then a hopslam

Taste wise I'm getting lots of hops, but a bit of wheat that serves as a good buffer/enhancement for the citrus.

Great beer, glad to have tried it.

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

A - Looks like a mix of light fruit juices (orange, pineapple, etc.) and bourbon! Pours a 1 inch cream-colored head that leaves slight lacing. Shaping up nicely.

S - A mix of fruits, ranging from pineapple to lemon, orange and grapefruit. Hops are in the background.

T - Delightful and perhaps the best wheat beer I've ever had. Nice and light wheaty malts and citrus fruits dominate, with hops expertly weaved in the mix.

M - Light and creamy. Excellently carbonated.

D - Its a shame I can't get this more easily, as it would easily replace all my regulars as my go to beer.

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

Appearance: Head is slightly bove a finger, depending on how you pour. Carbonation at best was average throughout compared to elite wheat beers.

Smell: Smells amazing, if you havent had it you definitely need to try it.

Taste: Hops, Hops, Hops. The hops slowly subside and the body smoothes out with a very noticeable wheat flavor. I was really surprised at how the wheat flavor was so strong with the lack of it in the aroma. A hop dryness is strongly felt on the palette after drinking.

Mouthfeel: a light to medium bodied brew which certainly carries its weight. Smooth mouthfeel going on which leaves its damage on the palette after drinking, drank multiples in a row btw.

Overall: This beer shows the big differences between American and European beers. I had some european beers before this one and its hard to tell because they are basically the same style. Hops are accented much more then the yeast in the Europeans. Easy to see why this is the one of the regular beers by Three Floyds, easily drinkable which gives it an overall commercial appeal.

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

Fresh bottle poured aggressively in a duvel tulip. Clean golden yellow with a 2 inch white head that shrinks to a half inch with awesome lacing. Aroma is Amarillo hops, grapefruit, flowers, caramel, and bread. Flavor is orange, grapefruit, biscuit, lemon. Very smooth with a light and somewhat sticky mouthfeel. I don't drink many wheat beers and this is awesome. I buy it when I can.

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Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.71/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a murky dark yellow in color with a one-finger white head with little retention. Smell is definitely hop forward with nice fruity grapefruit, orange, SLIGHTLY piny hops that make for a nice nose. Maybe this is just so well balanced but I have a hard time smelling the sweet malts but I have a feeling some of the nice aroma is some nice sweet caramel malts. Taste is definitely slightly more malty. Really seems well balanced between the malts and the hops but the hops are a little more forward. Slightly too hoppy for a wheat beer by style but it still tastes like a nice APA. Mouthfeel is nicely thick with some nice carbonation to support the beer. Overall this is a really good beer but it tastes more like an APA than a wheat beer. I love the beer but just rating by style.

After seeing the style is AP wheat ale I am rerating the numbers because that is more like I would have thought this beer is.

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Photo of wdberkley
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great summer beer. This is really a wheat, but I've heard it called an IPA and a pale. Huge wheat, citrus, lemon, solid hop profile. Great after cutting the grass!

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Photo of mmahanna41
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Three Floyd's staple.... I'm very lucky to live in an area where I can find this almost anytime I want. If only I could say the same for it's cousin Zombie Dust.... But no complaints, this beer is amazing in its own right.

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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 livewire78
3.13/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the movie See no Evil, Hear No Evil there are the lines, "Who are you?" "Just fine thanks." Something got misunderstood and was out of place. That's what happened here.

Poured a somewhat cloudy hazy yellow. Decent head with average lacing.

Smelled of lemon, and bitter hops. Isn't this supposed to be a wheat beer? Where are all the typical wheat aromas?

I know this beer gets a lot of praise and I know that on this site hops = good but this is where it fell short for me. Three Floyd's is known for having hoppy beers but taking a good base wheat beer and dumping in a shitload of hops doesn't make it taste good. There were some of the tastes that make a wheat what it is but this was dominated all over the place by an overbearing hops presence. Call it a wheat pale ale or maybe an IPA but for a wheat it was out of place.

On the plus side the mouthfeel was about spot-on for a typical wheat. Just smooth and crisp enough.

The question is can I drink it? Sure, and I can have a lot. It tastes OK but not good and definitely not great. I don't mind boatloads of hops, just keep them away from wheats.

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Photo of jlh8643
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear straw gold with a tight white head that sits on top of a clear straw colored brew. The amarillo aroma is just wonderful. A citrisy, spicy flavor accompanies a grainy maltiness. The finish is a little dry and crisp with the amarillo featured in the end. A great warm weather drinker.

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Photo of pbr85
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared a bomber with jslot, paired it with some refried beans cause i was hungry like that
A: Hazy yellow color with a small white head.
S: Smells alot like lemonade, with some spices in the background.
T: Spicy like a cat. Its pretty good. Lemony too.
all the other stuff is pretty good

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Photo of Jettanbass9
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this in a trade with mrkanable... thanks buddy! he even went out of his way checking out 7 or 8 places to get a fresh 6'er... great trader!!

A - hazy, straw yellow with a thin laced head. by looks alone this beer looks light, balanced and quaffable... the perfect summer brew? i could definitely add it to the list.

S - tons of Amarillo pine, citrus, grapefruit, orange and tangerine zest. there is a light candy like aroma that lingers between the hops... very pleasant. Very little malt character but what am i to expect in a 4.8%, hoppy, sessionable beer?

T - rather dry on the palate, citrus, pine and zest like acidity. a slight caramel like sweetness linger in the background. balanced bitterness, very quenching. hops are the focus here... there is very little malt character, however, the balance between hop bitterness and flavor reaffirm the type of beer this is.

M - light and dry. mild carbonation.

D - ya kiddin? absolutely... this stands up to just about any pale ale out there. this beer is very light and enjoyable, it may be pretty expensive but this beer is definitely worth it every once in a while. Great warm weather brew!

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Photo of larsee01
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Hoegaarden glass

A--Creamy head lingers over a bubbly golden brew. Surprisingly clear! Lots of rising carbonation. Tremendous sticky lacing!

S--Grapefruit and spruce from the hops. These guys love their hops! Not used to a hoppy wheat beer, but it smells like that's what's in store for me.

T--Pronounced floral hoppiness to begin, but followed by a balancing malt sweetness and breadiness. Tart bottle yeast says hello. Surprisingly low hop bitterness...a bit at the end. Fine by me. This is a very complex beer. I'd liken it to biting into a garden of herbs and wildflowers. Unlike any wheat beer I've encountered. Did I say that before? Interesting but balanced.

M--Crisp, clean, fresh. Some hop oilyness, but smooth lingering mouthfeel.

D--A heavy, heady beer for 4.8 ABV. Not a pounder, but why wouldn't you want to slowly savor this? Refreshing nonetheless.

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Photo of bstave
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle thanks to mattboyer182 poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint glass.

A- Straw colored with big fluffy white head. Head dissipates fairly quickly with no signs of lacing.

S- Citrus hops and some bready malt.

T- Taste follows nose. I am getting nice citrus hops up front and then goes down very smoothly with the classic wheat taste to it.

M- VERY SMOOTH! Nice carbonation for this style of beer.

O- Wish I had more than one, but thankful for the opportunity to try it. As mentioned by others, this one cries for the warm summer months. Nice work!

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Photo of yeastsipper
3.57/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

If there is one positive of working in Indiana, it is getting access to some good beers I don't get at home. I had wanted to try Gumballhead for a while, mainly for the name, but whatever.

Pours a somewhat sickly yellow with a decent head. Smells of lemon and lime, some wheat, and a nice little floral aroma. it smells more of flowers than bubble gum to me, but I can see the resemblance. Some mild hops as well.

Taste is good if not noteworthy. A little liight up front, until the wheat kicks in. This is followed by a pleasant hoppyness, which reminds me of the CL Xtra tripel actually, only a much more mild version. There is a nice light lime finish.

Mouthfeel is really nice. Perfect carbonation and texture. Very drinkable,but I think more than 2 might start getting boring.

Solid stuff

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Gumballhead from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.21 out of 5 based on 5,774 ratings.
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