1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,698 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,698
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 822
Gots: 411 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
3 Floyd’s flagship beer, Alpha King is a big American pale ale that pours a deep amber with a creamy head. This ale is brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Warrior hops giving it an intense citrus aroma and a crisp hoppy finish.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,698 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nearly bronze beer, a thick and opaque sort of orange-brown. An almost white head rises to about one finger and has good retention, and the lacing evidences fantastic stick as this beer makes itself known the entire way down.
I expect a hop-forward APA and it's no disappointment. Lots of citrus juice hops bitterness is rounded out by a solid malts support that doesn't detract. A bit of citrus peel without the bitter rind aspect, more like the zest grated off for desserts and the like, complements the grapefruit aroma further complemented by caramel malts. It all works together here.
The taste follows suit precisely. This is one of the few beers in which I can't taste anything coming out that wasn't in the smell and isn't diminished in anything that was.
The mouth feel starts off silky smooth and is completely balanced by a crispness that doesn't bite but never lets go. Semi-dry, with a medium body and light carbonation, this is as easy-drinking a beer as I've had.
This is great stuff and one of the best out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 16:19:12 | More by Brenden
Photo of GDBEERMAN
GDBEERMAN

Colorado

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into mug.

A: Pours a deep copper haze, a thick body is shown by the appearance. The head retreats to a thick foamy layer. Good lacing is left on the glass.

S: A deep contrast on piney hops and earthy malt aroma.

T/M: A thick cream mouthfeel, shows a blast of hops. Finishing with a malt balance. A hoppy APA, also one that has good complexities. Notes of orange and a distinct hop/malt battle. The brew has a mellow, smoothness as it warms.

D: This is a beer that I could drink everyday, not only does it do justice to the classic APA style, but it pushes the limits of the brew and has you questioning whether it is more of an IPA than APA. Great all around brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 20:05:25 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of hammer09
hammer09

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of this to try, and I've been thanking him ever since. This is an excellent beer!

The Alpha King poured a nice, deep amber with very little head. Lacing was minimal with a fine amount adhering to the glass. Not as cloudy as I expected from a bottle conditioned beer. Carbonation was minimal with only a few visible bubbles.

Smell exhibited a very pleasant hop aroma with citrus accents. I was quite surprised at the hoppiness; this is more characteristic of an IPA than a pale ale.

Taste was very bitter, but good, with a strong hop presence in the beer also. Slight citrus flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel was crisp and dry. Amazingly, the Alpha King was well carbonated considering that visual observations indicated otherwise.

This beer is very drinkable and I will definately add this to my "must drink again" list. Depending on its local availability, I will most likely pick up this beer whenever I see it on the shelf at my local retailer.

Overall, a solid, very drinkable, very enjoyable beer. However, I still can't figure out why this is classified as a pale ale and not an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2006 03:54:54 | More by hammer09
Photo of zoso1967
zoso1967

Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TCGoalie for bringing this back from the brewery for me.

Pours a very nice clear copper tinged amber with a parchment head. The head is tightly packed and frothy with great staying power. This beer leaves some of the sickest lace I have ever seen. On some sections of the pint it manifests itself as a sheen of bubbles stuck to the glass, not the lines you usually see with a hoppy beer like this. Insanity I tell you!

The aroma is super hoppy with tons of grapefruity goodness. It also has some marmalade like notes to it and a very nice caramel malt sweetness. Clean, simple and exactly what I want in an APA.

The flavor is even more dominated by hops than the nose. Loads of ruby red grapefruit, some orange zest and a touch of pine. There malt is sugary sweet and not as caramely as in the aroma. I find that there is just enough malt to hold up the hop load. This beer has some ridiculous bitterness, but manages to stay away from being too resinous. Once again, this beer strikes me as having a fairly straight forward profile, but the flavors are amazing. As hoppy as I find this beer, I still would call it balanced.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, and it has a very nice smoothness to it. The finish is dry and laden with hop oils, yet it seems to stay just shy of crossing the line.

This is an amazing session beer if you are a hop head. So much hop flavor and aroma in a nice drinkable package. This is only the third FFF beer I have tried and so far they are three for three. Probably one of the best American Pales that I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 14:17:03 | More by zoso1967
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amazingly dark ruby beer that pulls up a bleached white head. Sticky lacing on the glass, none inside of the pitcher.

This beer doesn't have the rich maltiness found in the bottle. The nose and taste is not the citrusy grapefruit bouquet of the bottle, its a rich cherry-like blend of large up-front hops.

The mouthfeel was not as pleasant as the bottle, but a damned good experience nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2004 03:15:36 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of villainchiwwin
villainchiwwin

Maine

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

murky amber-brown color with a nice slightly beige head and touches of lacing.
spicy, floral and piney nose with some malt also noticable beneath the hop aromas-->faint brown sugar/caramel.
taste held sweet malt at first with medium-bodied smoothness then the hops attack with some crispness and briefly floral/bitter raw hop oils -- citric fruit too; grapefruit, orange, lemon, and pine. sweetens somewhat in a semi-dry finish.

this is a great, hoppy american pale ale for sure. very solid, tasty, and luscious brew. could session it but it's complex and packs enough hop-power to sip and savor 1 at a time.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2006 16:11:30 | More by villainchiwwin
Photo of kdmorse
kdmorse

California

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer. After moving to California, I started to miss the classic beers of the Midwest. The West Coast is known for hops, but Three Floyds does this Pale Ale just right.

Fruity, beautiful and complex all-around. One of the best Pale Ales I've had. Hits the spot and is easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 20:22:16 | More by kdmorse
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark color for its style, color is somewhat of a caramel amber. The scent is initially some clear hops followed up by a pretty decent malt backbone. The taste increases on both of these, with quite a bit of hops coming through for the style. The mouthfeel is that of a medium body and moderate carbonation--fairly full-bodied for the style. Drinkability is supreme--my go to all-night beer back when I lived in Chicago.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2009 22:37:34 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of bgramer
bgramer

Washington

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass with a copper head that has orange highlights. The white head was about a finger thick - nice lacing on the glass. There's a strong orange grapefruit aroma with a roast malt and caramels. There's definitely a hops presence, but this is very balanced and clean with a crisp finish.

This is a great session beer. I'd like to always have a 6-pack handy in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2008 18:49:41 | More by bgramer
Photo of DeaconBluez
DeaconBluez

Alabama

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

received via trade from maltygoodness

awesome amber color. there is a great citrus hop to the taste and smell. great fruit esters. built like an american pale should be built. taste is very crisp, not too much carbonation. man i love the citrusy/leafy/piney taste to this. a very sessionable beer from well known american micro brew. wish this beer would make it down south. i could drink this bad boy daily

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2006 23:56:03 | More by DeaconBluez
Photo of drinknewbelgium
drinknewbelgium

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours dark with a great head that lasts with the entire beer smells citrus and hops tasts citrusy with strong hop content with the perfect balance feels full and goes done smooth could drink these all night

exceptional beer drink one if you can get your hands on it

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2007 23:47:53 | More by drinknewbelgium
Photo of JayQue
JayQue

Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great APA. Of course it would be a great IPA also. A citrusy hoppy delight. Thanks to woodchopper who supplied this one in a recent trade. As I work my way through the top 100 beers of fame, I find myself really enjoying the trip.

This one pours a clear reddish amber with a medium size off white head. Head retention is pretty good. There is thick lacing on the glass.

Smell is awesome. A strong blast of citrus hops, you don't even have to put your nose near the top of the glass.

Taste is as robust as the best IPAs. This beer reminds me of a slightly more subdued version of Celebration Ale, one of my all time favorites. There is a balance of caramel malts here as well, but hops are in the forefront.

Mouthfeel is rich and crisp. The level of bitterness is just right.

A great APA, I would love to have this readily available in my area.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 23:28:41 | More by JayQue
Photo of jgasparine
jgasparine

Maryland

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bluejacket74 for hooking this up!

A- Poured from the bottle with a 3/4" light-tan-colored head, which was nicely retained and produced some very nice lacing. The body was almost completely opaque, and a dark amber color.

S- Rich vienna (and crystal?) toasty malts in near-perfect balance with some earthy and piney hop aromas. Simple yet rich and elegant!

T- The toasty malts are up front, and quickly met with a wave of those piney hops. Crackerlike throughout. The finish is slightly dry and features a mild hop bitterness that lingers wonderfully. Absolutely delicious.

M- A medium body accented by a creamy carbonation, that fills out the mouth wonderfully. No astringency.

D- A quaffable brew that presents a bucketload of hops in balance with a bucketload of malt... yet somehow maintains a low 6% ABV!? Thanks again Brian for hooking this up- I need to get a couple cases of this stuff!!

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2010 01:40:59 | More by jgasparine
Photo of normZurawski
normZurawski

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rate the taste here on the basis of the category of American Pale Ale. It clearly is exceptional in its category, and stands head and shoulders above Sierra's like brew. To say the taste is anything less than explosive is not giving it a fair shake, IMO. The taste is strong, yet balanced, loaded with flavor on the sides and back of the tongue. The obvious downside is that most people just aren't always in the mood for a pale ale, and if that's the case you shouldn't reach for this beer (thus the 4 I give it for drinkability). That's not a statement of the beer, so much as the beer drinker and knowing their mood.

Either way, I was shocked to see this in the liquor store down the road, having no idea this was distributed in NJ. When I went to the liquor store to get a few bags of ice for a NYE party and came back with ice plus a 6 pack of this and a Dogfish Head Raison that I had run out of, I was forced to go with the explanation that this is the top ranked APA and I couldn't pass it up. While dubious, the wife understood. In any event, the high ranking is well warranted and I'm damn glad I got this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 02:39:34 | More by normZurawski
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

OK, so this isn't your typical Pale Ale. At over 7% with a big hop and malt profile that would make many IPA's look like a wee small beer, it's not what you see every day in this category. This puppy is balanced! Dark amber colored with a thin, bubbly head and a nice balance of juicy, citrusy hops and sweet malt in the nose. Flavor comes at you in layers, which makes this baby so interesting and complex. Starts rich and malty, with darker notes of fruit and dare I say, a bit of sweet chocolate? Then come the piney, grapefruit hop flavors, giving way to a dry, sweet malty finish. Wowzers. Balanced. Not a hop bomb, not the "best tasting" beer ever, but wow. An awesome beer. One I want to drink all night. This is there with HopDevil on drinkability, and I think due to the balance, actually surpasses it. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2005 02:52:36 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of mikeys01
mikeys01

Colorado

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle from a 6 pack I picked up in Indy a few weeks ago. I've been dying to try some of the 3 Floyds beers and I have not been disappointed in the least. The alpha king pours out a subdued orange/light copper color, topped with a healthy head that's just a bit off white. The carbonation in my Alpha King was very present, not lacking at all as I have heard some say in the past. Aroma is a curious blend of grapefruit citrus and pine resiny hops, with just a bit of sweetness and malt creeping in. Taste is very boldly hoppy, but surprisingly malty as well. Much more balanced than I expected, the bitterness of the hops blends well into a caramely malt sweetness and a bit of piney hop flavor is left of the back of your tongue with the nice crisp finish. Very drinkable IPA, well crafted.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2003 00:40:33 | More by mikeys01
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, hoppy smell, with traces of caramel and malt as well.

T: Tasted primarily of hops, with a nice citrusy backbone and tinges of caramel, malt and biscuity flavors. Much hoppier than most APAs, but it doesn't matter because this beer tastes so good.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a silky smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: A thorough enjoyable, well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 13:10:57 | More by avalon07
Photo of drgonzo3705
drgonzo3705

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep amber color with a thin off white head that leaves nice lacing in the glass.

S: Big caramel malty nose with a good dose of hops thrown in to balance it out.

T: A lot more balanced than the nose led me to believe. Again the caramel malt is up front and the hops are right there with it. Very nicely balanced APA here.

M: Medium body with good amount of carbonation and a nice slight hop bitterness.

D: Very good. I could enjoy a nice evening with a few of these. Good brew here!

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 00:59:04 | More by drgonzo3705
Photo of jimbotrost
jimbotrost

Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at Charlie's Ale House in Munster, Indiana on 8/4/05. Pours a brilliant deep copper color with a medium size white head, compact. Nose screams hops, yeah, Northwestern Hops, yeah again. The flavor is dry and malty, and is dominated by the hops just waiting to attack. Finish is full of hops, the beer is full of hops, this is good stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2005 13:46:10 | More by jimbotrost
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at ESPN Zone in Chicago (while watching my Steelers start one of the most embarrassing skids known to defending champions...)

A-deep reddish orange in color that pours a thin one finger of a white head that leaves a decent lacing on the glass

S-nice floral hop aroma with hints of citrus hit the nose, pale ale? great hop aroma for a pale, so far so great!

T-this is similar to this nose, blows me away for being a pale ale, more like a session style ipa. nice pine comes through up front with a floral and citrus hop taste coming to finish

M-it has a medium body, is extremely smooth, and is slightly slick on the back of the throat with a light carbonation that is placed in there nicely

D-so tasty for a pale ale and great mouthfeel, only 6% (not quite a session but damn near). i could pound cases during summer months!

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2009 23:40:54 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of dogfooddog
dogfooddog

Panama

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle served around 50f....pours with a very large head into a pint glass. interesting variant on pale ale, as normally they are not hop-bombs.

Nose is overwhelmingly hops, surprise surprise. The taste starts out with a dominant hop note (don't know which variety), the background of the beer almost invisible at first. Eventually some of the pale malt fades into the aftertaste, but this is without a doubt a hop bomb, as intended.

At 6% sessioning this might be a bit short-lived, but it is a very enjoyable hoppy beer, typical of the quality I have found in 3 floyds' products.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 23:50:47 | More by dogfooddog
Photo of BigDaddyWil
BigDaddyWil

Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer in Toledo. Thank God, I can pick up Three Floyds in Ohio!!!!
No freshness date.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Another fantastic offering from Three Floyds!!!! They're beers rock!!!
Pours a super clear orange color, maybe light amber. About a one finger thick white head forms, and disappears quickly. Tons of sticky lacing around the glass. Beautiful hop aroma, with lots floral, citusy and piney smells too boot. Reminds me of softer version of Dreadnaught. Maybe Dreadnaught "light". Big hop taste up front with some malty backbone, not overly bitter, just right. An medium bodied brew, thats easy too drink. WIth a low abv a definite session brew that can be enjoyed all night long. Another winner from Three Floyds, and once again my only disappointment, is that its not sold here in Michigan. Bring me some Three Floyds dammit!!!

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2006 02:12:46 | More by BigDaddyWil
Photo of hunteraw
hunteraw

China

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fine beer, though not for the faint of heart!

Appearance: we were sitting outside and it was pretty dark, but copper color with a good head.

Smell: huge hops aroma that you can smell as it pours and from surprisingly far away. delicious and tantalizing. citrus.

Taste: So good! Lots of fresh hops flavor here, obviously very bitter, but not at all harsh. Again, citrus. An APA done right - actually, I thought this was an IPA.

Mouthfeel: very good mouthfeel, better than the IPA I'd had earlier.

Drinkability: Just keep it coming

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 23:20:59 | More by hunteraw
Photo of dgugliuzza
dgugliuzza

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mild amber in appearance with two fingers thick tan head. Soft and pillowy head that latches onto the sides of the glass and doesn't let go. Plenty of carbonation as well.

Tropical fruit aromas such as pineapple and mango dominant this brew. Has a nice sweet malt backbone to go along with the beautiful balance of piney and citrusy hops.

Tastes of tropical flavors and bitter hops followed by a lightly sweet maltiness. Again, the blend of piney and citrusy hops prove to be excellent in smell as well as taste.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that is a bit oily. Feels very smooth and goes down even smoother. Perfect amount of carbonation. This is one of the more drinkable and smooth pale ales that comes to mind.

Overall this is an exceptional pale in every facet. Incredible piney, citrusy and bittersweet flavors. Has sufficient maltiness to balance out the hops. This one is worth seeking out pretty much any time.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 23:41:35 | More by dgugliuzza
Photo of swizzlenuts
swizzlenuts

Wisconsin

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pale ale is poured out with a dark copper colour and a good centimeter head that sticks around for a little bit. The beer is slightly muddy looking as well. The nose on the beer has citrusy hops and a fruity malt backbone.

The initial hit from this beer is the hops with their citrus and slight piney flavours. The beer is really balanced. It has a great fruity malt back bone and is a great addition to the hops. There is a pleasing bitterness to the end of the beer; the bitterness comes across a bit strong at first, but settles out quite nicely after more drinking. The mouthfeel is creamy and a bit thick, perfect for a pale ale. The drinkability of this beer is just absurd...

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2008 01:27:10 | More by swizzlenuts
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,698 ratings.