Alternatives to the Elusive Gumballhead
Excuse me sir, do you have any Gumballhead?
This is a question us beer buyers at Binny's unfortunately have to say no to on a daily basis. Regrettably, Three Floyd's can't supply us with nearly enough Gumballhead to satisfy all of our thirsty customers. But we know from experience that there are several solid alternatives to the oft requested hoppy wheat beer.
Is it a pale ale or wheat beer? One of the defining characteristics of Gumballhead's flavor is due the fact that it showcases the amarillo hop brilliantly. The amarillo hop adds a citrusy (especially grapefruit) flavor that is both unmistakable and delightful.
Here are the worthy alternates, which encompass four different styles:
Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Like Gumballhead, this is a hopped up wheat beer. It is smooth, delicious, and deceptively drinkable. It first debuted as a summer beer in 2009, but was so immensely popular that Lagunitas turned it into a year round beer and created two spin off versions of it. The main difference between the two? A Little Sumpin' Sumpin clocks in at 7.7% ABV, which is 2.2% more than Gumballhead.
Emmett's Victory Pale Ale Even though it is not brewed with wheat, we have found that Victory Pale Ale bares some striking resemblances to Gumballhead. They share the same citrus hop character with hints of grapefruit, orange, and pineapple. They also share the same ABV.
Founders Red's Rye PA Like Gumballhead, Red's Rye PA is dry-hopped with amarillo hops, resulting in some serious grapefruit flavors. However, Reds Rye PA has a spicy and crisp element from its rye malt, and unlike Gumballhead, is not brewed with any wheat.
Goose Island Sofie Sofie is a dandy choice for Gumballhead lovers willing to go out on a limb. This Belgian style farmhouse ale is light and refreshing. It has quite a bit more complexity and funk going on than Gumballhead, due to the fact that it is fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel. Amarillo is once again the hop of choice for Sofie.
So next time you can't find any Gumballhead, don't leave empty handed and broken hearted, try one of the beers above. There are are obviously several more worthy Gumballhead alternatives; is there a beer that you think is a suitable choice to replace Gumballhead?