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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.

5,012 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,012
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 841
Gots: 519 | FT: 25
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
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Ratings: 5,012 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sideshowrob
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

A great APA/IPA beer. Poured a nice bubbly amber color out of the bottle into a logo'ed pint glass. A fair amount of frothy head, which didn't last too long.

Smell was alive with hops. Rather bitter aroma.

Taste was fairly complex and had some real depth to it. Definately a brew that lives up to its label. Maltheads would probably not like this brew much at all.

Good mouthfeel, lots of zest and zing to it. The reasonalble levels of carbonation give it some good pop.

A very easy to drink beer. A really good "stock" beer to have in the fridge.

sideshowrob, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of corby112
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

From notes:

Pours a hazy, dark golden orange/amber color with a two finger frothy, pillowy off-white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of soapy lacing are left coating the glass.

Sweet citrus hop aroma with hints of earthy pine and tropical fruit. Subtle malt backbone but the nose of this beer is all about the hops with lots of grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple.

Medium bodied and very hop forward for the style with a blast of bitter, earthy hops that are countered by sweet citrus presence and a subtle malt backbone. Hints of pine needle, grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple as well as a subtle biscuit/graham cracker flavor that provides nice balance. This beer is much closer to an IPA than a pale ale with lots of oily, resinous hop flavor and a nice dry finish. Complex, well balanced and extremely quaffable. Recommended.

corby112, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Quaffer
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Picked up at Dirty John's in Iowa City. Not available in Wichita.

Appearance. Poured a dark amber, slightly burnished copper color. An average height head caused by a relatively rough pour. It was thick and dense and left plenty of lace in its wake.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops assaulted the nose first, but was balanced well with a backbone of roasted malt. For the amount of hops present, the aroma was warm and well rounded.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth.

Taste: The citrus and pine hops of the aroma carried on into the flavor. They were nice and clean tasting. Wonderful balance was provided by a strong malt presence. Malt was a combination of sweet and roasted. The bitterness was very apparent, but I found it to be relatively low compared to the amount of hop flavor that this beer had.

This was a great beer. Very hoppy but very well balanced. I wish that it was available locally.

Quaffer, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of smanders
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

I enjoyed this beer whilst tailgating prior to a DMB concert in Noblesville, Indiana. It was a beautiful evening for a concert and a great night to sample really fresh beer.

If you were blind taste-testing this ale you'd think it were a DIPA; it's THAT flavorful. You'll smell the hops from a good 3 feet away and then you'll be pleasantly surprised that 3 Floyds balanced everything well with a copious amount of sweet malt. This is another example of a hopheads dream ale that just might win over some sweet beer lovers as well.


smanders, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of loganmule
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Pours nicely, with an opaque amber color topped by a thick resistant head.

Mouthfeel is good also, satisfyingly thick and smooth. The nose is way citrus, a promise of things to come.

This is a big beer, very flavorful...grapefruit is strong, nicely offsetting good hops and balanced malt. Great finish, as citrus and hops balance nicely.

All in all, more of an IPA than a pale, which (for me) is a good thing.

loganmule, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of JayAre46
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Big ups to smchenry75 for this extra!
A - a deep auburn rust color that is transparent with a thin film on top and ring around the edges showing ok retention.

A - this is one of the most aromatic brews for the style i've come across, big pineapple, mango, nice clean malt backbone.

T - big hop presence, resiny, sappy, transition to the sweet mango and dry bitter grapefruit, the malt shows and is subtle and clean, i can tell this is not at its peak but is still very good i would love to get this at 2 weeks old. actually able to pick up some slight ethenol.

M - medium to light, moderate carbonation, the body on this is completely appropriate for the style. slight prickly crispness

O - very good APA, dare i say that it reminds me of DR 11's little bro...i may have one tonight just to confirm or reject this thought. i would definitely get a keg of this as i said with gumball head.

JayAre46, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

I'm reviewing this again so I can review this as the beer alone, not as a pale ale.
A couple bottles provided to me by Dunt.

A- Darn purdy, especially Ryans glass. Nice dense head with aggressive lacing. This beer is a deep copper, think English pale ale, but we aren't talking pale ales here.

S- Super nice and bright hoppy nose. Nice citrus and pine melange. Some butter, crackery and caramelly malts (which helps explain this deep color. )

T- Nicely hoppy with a buttery smooth malt base. Starts hoppy with some pine and finishes sweet and citrusy.

I sucked this one down. For some reason I like this better the second time around. It helps to go into it not expecting a pale ale.

MbpBugeye, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Greencoat
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

A: Pours to a clear orange color with a persistent one finger beige head.

S: (I fear I may have gotten an older bottle) Nose is a fine balance of caramel malt and citrusy hops.

T: This is delicious citrus hop juice. Labeled an APA, drinks more like an IPA. I mean, this *is* an IPA. An absolutely fantastic IPA. Balanced enough to not be overbearing, but still hop forward. Medium bodied and everything I want out of a hoppy beer. So good.

M: Medium bodied, nice lively carbonation.

O: Buy this beer. Trade for this beer. /drool

Greencoat, May 18, 2011
Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

~ Replacing a deleted review ~

I've heard many a' men speak of this magical brew that can quench the thirst and settle the temper of a dragon...ok, so I've read a lot of good reviews on BA so I just had to get one when I got the chance.

I thought I knew what hops were but this drink has help to redefine my understanding. I could smell them when the glass was just sitting on the table. I admired the golden color and think foam, then I dove in. The hop flavor was very prominent at the tip of my tongue, then did a disappearing act, then came back to haunt the back of my tongue. It was wonderful. It wasn't overbearing and I was a bit sad when I finished my glass. I wish I could get this stuff back in Iowa.

DesMoinesMike, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of DuqTroops
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Appearance - dark orange in color - as if a little amberish

Smell - very hoppy with a scent of pine and citrus. smells a lot like an IPA than a regular pale ale.

Taste - malts and barley very light - as any PA there is much hop to the taste. one of the better PAs in a long time.

Mouthfeel - little bitterness with a moderate amount of body

Drinkability - very light and airy. I drank 3 during dinner and didn't realize it until the end (when the 6 ABV kicked in).

DuqTroops, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of rtepiak
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

america IPA style for a pale. amber IPA look with spotty lace. quite malty and backed with some hop fruitiness. grapefruit, orange peel, (both mature sweet and young bitter), and the metallic nature of green tea. mild floral jasimine. solid pale. but more an IPA. american. very plentiful approach. doesn't really pick up on the more delicate aspects of a pale. great beer but the power drill mistaken for a screwdriver.

rtepiak, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of SaucyA
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

A - A little darker than a standard pale ale, so it obviously has more malt. Almost an amber, at least in terms of color. Slightly off white, 1/2 finger head sits on the top... into a shaker pint.

S - Flowery hops, piney hops, clementine oranges.

T - A well-balanced and well rounded brew. Hoppier than most APA's but keeps a nice malt backbone to hold everything in place. The finish is very slight bitter dryness. Overall a really nice brew.

M - Could stand to be a bit lighter to up the drinkability. Otherwise good.

D - Not the most supremely drinkable brew on the planet, but a good offering from a good brewery. There's a reason it's on the top 100.

Notes: I had my buddy pick me up 2 sixxers of this when he went to Chicago for a couple weeks. He couldn't believe how much he was spending on twelve beers. I couldn't believe that he was around the block from a Binny's. I guess it's all perception.

SaucyA, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of kylehayworth
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

A: It pours a nice beige head, the color is a moderate amber, leaning a little toward the darker side.

S: Nice hop presence

T: This is very well balanced, it plays prefectly between hop and malt.

M/D: Nice crisp and creamy. This has to be a hybrid between a pale and an IPA.

kylehayworth, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of peensteen
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Thanks to HosP for this one.

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass, a nice cloudy amber colour with a small white head, slight lacing. Has a nice sweet hoppy smell, some malty caramel in there...very, very nice. Taste is out of this world. Malty up front with a long lasting bitter finish. Nice weight, not thin and not syrupy...near perfect. I absolutely loved this beer. It really lives up to its hype, this also came to me from Indiana so it was super fresh. I would no doubt have this beer again....and again, and again.

peensteen, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of Albinoh
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Deep turbid amber color, with a decent head. The smell is complex as well as the taste, very spicy, high combination of different hops. The spiciness is combined with high bitterness. I could feel it building up as the beer went down. Light body, clean with a medium to high carbonation.

This one can quench your hop thirst, with a unique and well balanced mix of hops.

Albinoh, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

On tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago.

Appearance - Clear pale orange-straw with a nice white head.

Smell - Certainly has a caramel malt presence, but is dominated with American hops. Tons of citrus and pine.

Taste - Caramel and biscuit malt with tons of hops - fruity and floral, but mostly citrus and pine. Solid bitter backbone grounds this big, malty pale ale.

This is an excellent beer. It may lean more toward the IPA style than Plae Ale; in fact, it's actually hoppier than some IPAs I have tasted.

, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Well, this is the top of the echelon for American Pale Ales. Interestingly enough, this could be classified as a IPA and no one would say differant, its 60ibus, which while not a skull crushing IPA is safely in the territory. Its hoppyness is citrus bound and packs a big punch of flavor, retains a somewhat balanced malt side, that puts it in a perfect place overall between the styles, and has a great creamy mouthfeel and neverending drinkability.

ChadQuest, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of swid
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

Beer #8 (of 13) from my beer purchase in Indiana.

Alpha King Pale Ale pours a gold-amber color into my pint glass. Atop the slightly hazy liquid sits a 1/2", off-white head, which slowly dissipates. Decent levels of carbonation, moderate lacing. The aroma is a pleasant mix of citrus/floral hop smells and sweet caramel tones from the malt. Not as complex as one can find in other APAs, however...

Any shortcomings Alpha King may have in the aroma are made up for in the taste. All the various flavor elements come together so very, very well. The citrus, pine and floral flavors from the hops mesh wonderfully with the caramelized flavors from the malt, with just a hint of sweetness coming from the alcohol itself. The amount of balance among all the tastes here is outstanding. The mouthfeel is quite full and "wet", the fullness is probably a bit too much for an APA. Finishes crisp, with a pleasant citrus/bitter aftertaste.

Overall, this is a beer I'd love to have again; it's insanely tasty and drinkable. However (like so many other great beers), I'll have to leave Nebraska to do so...

swid, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of htomsirveaux
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%

12 oz. bottle received in trade.

Head is foamy, large, orange tan in color. Mild carbonation. Deep copper and russet in color, slight haze. Aroma is sweetly citrus, oranges and some grapefruit, along with some spicy pepperiness. Caramel malt and citrus fill the mouth, good bit of hop bitterness throughout. Alcohol is noticeable, not too strong though. Finishes with a lingering taste of candied orange peel. Reputation is well deserved.

htomsirveaux, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of mscudder
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%

Served in a pint.

A - Copper hue with a thick frothy head. Retention and lacing were both superb.

S - Pale malts, citrus, touch of lemon and mild hops.

T - Lots of malt for balance and a ton of citrus hops. Noticed some grapefruit and slightly sweet tones as it closed.

M- Medium body with good carbonation.

O - Really enjoyed this one. Could throw back a few with ease if the time were right! Sadly, I notice I am in GA, and this is outside of their distribution.

mscudder, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of Hammer35
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%

Appearance: Deep amber color with off-white head and small beading. Great carbonation, pretty good head retention and excellent lacing.

Smell: Big aroma of juicy citrus dominates.

Taste: Slight malty sweetness with a lot of citrus and a nice, clean hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, excellently carbonated feel. Seems to thicken up a bit as the beer warms.

Overall: Excellent APA with everything that should be there. Citrusy, slightly malty and plenty of hops! Clean, crisp and refreshing.

Hammer35, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%

It's a game of maneuver- to threaten with the strength and hops of IPA but to balance like American Pale Ale, Three Floyds knows this game all too well. With the allure of citrusy hops to captivate the senses, yet the sweeter balance to balance the bite; this full-bodied pale ale doesn't know what it wants to be, but I know exactly where to put it!

While its near-toffee sweetness coaxes the tastebuds, its creamy body wraps around the tongue with sultry effect. While nutty like peanut brittle, an overcast of grapefruit captures the nose for a balanced sensory perception is every bit what its heady amber shades suggest.

Balancing exceptionally well across the middle, an even-keep taste of deeply caramelized malt slowly gives way to the rise of citrusy grapefruit pith, peel and pulp. While its body drifts from fuller pale to drier IPA, a resinous tone transpires in the form of wintergreen and sap.

Its closing taste is dedicated to the grapefruit rinds and resinous pine bittering that's been foreshadowed in the taste thus far. Dissipating sweetness leads to a snappy toasty-dry finish with a mild crusty bite with a drift of citrus underneath.

So, is it a balanced IPA that makes the perfect ale or is it a hop forward pale ale? Regardless, this could be the epitome of American ale period.

BEERchitect, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of PaulyB83
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a straight nonic glass. No bottling date, some numbers on bottom of bottle but can't tell what they mean

A- Pours a medium-deep amber with a good sized lingering slightly off white head

S- Bright citrus hops, not heavy in the bitter aroma. A malty sweetness

T- Nice medium bitter and pine hops and heavy citrus notes on the front. A lingering malty sweetness. Not to heavy on either end to throw it off balance.

M- Medium body not too lingering and refreshing enough to have a couple.

O- This my first Three Floyds offering and felt I should go with this one as it is their flagship beer. Amazing balance of not being too hoppy for a lighter bodied APA.

PaulyB83, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of srbeatty
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%

srbeatty, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of bsp77
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Slightly hazy orangish-amber with off-white head and light lacing.

Smell: Centennial and Cascade goodness – grapefruit, orange and a sharp spiciness over some light toasted malt.

Taste: Grapefruit comes through even more strongly in the taste, and is borderline tart. Orange and toasted malt round out the flavor profile, with a lingering spicy and bitter finish. Somewhat of a Lagunitas-type profile. And yes, Lagunitas is almost a style unto itself.

Feel: Fairly full-bodied for a Pale Ale, with moderate carbonation and a very dry finish. Pretty oily and sticky.

Overall: Big, sticky Pale Ale that is firing on all cylinders. Maybe could use a titch more balance, but this is a great example of a beer pushing against the boundaries of its style.

bsp77, Nov 18, 2011
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,012 ratings.