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

5,016 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,016
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 842
Gots: 521 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,016 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bruachan
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

my stop in indiana on the world tour at winking lizard

pours into my glass a rosy amber with some lacing
big shot of NW hops lend a coarse bitterness and some big citrus
not very exciting in my book; seems to lose itself in the c-hop pale ale parade. yeah, it's OK but i've got no real reason to seek this out

bruachan, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of Chico1985
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

My first of two 12 ouncers sent by BrewerDan23. Much thanks!

Pours a dark copper orange, excellent fluffy off-white head. At the end the head is about pinky size and lots of lacing is left. Very good looking beer.

Getting mostly caramel malt in the smells, unlike the taste hops seem to be in the background.

Taste is very earthy when it first hits the tongue then switches to loads of citrus and a little bit of grapefruit of tangerine. Nice fruit tastes just like Dreadnaught and Gumballhead. Bread and caramel malt are there too but hops rule on this one. As expected, very hoppy and treading on IPA territory.

Has a solid creaminess, pretty bitter but smooth and notes of tropical fruit on the way down. Carbonation is a little lower than usual for the style I'd say.

Very good but I think it'd be better if the bitterness was a little lower. Paired with some local pizza smothered in hot sauce, yum.

Chico1985, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

Had this brew serveral times over the last year but only getting around to reviewing it now care of a bottle from adamb0719. Thanks Adam! Reviewed on 12/13/10.

Pours a perfectly clear amber color that depending on how you look at it, appears more ruby or orange colored depending on the angle. A yellowish tan head appears and clings around the edges. Patchy lace clings to the glass.

Aroma is fruity with citrus notes and a toasty caramel malt suggestion that is sweet like almost brown sugar through to the back. A little spicy and herbal with grassy notes. Lightly piney with a tingle of alcohol in the nose.

Taste is toasty caramel malt, moderate herbal hoppy bitterness that is clingy and almost grassy. A good ratio of sweet maltiness to hoppy bitterness. A lingering resinous hoppy aftertaste is enjoyable with a light musty character.

Light to medium in the feel with a modest amount of carbonation. Quite a bold, herbal hop character with toasty caramel to offset the bitterness. This is a very solid brew that is easy drinking.

stakem, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of joepais
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

Thanks to Goliath for this one
Bottle poured into my pint glass produced a finger worth of head, then settled to a quick lace. The body on this brew was nice clear amber.

Aromas of sweet malt light citrus lemony hops fill my nose.

Flavors of hops, very bitter for pale, not much malt I think it is more of an IPA than a Pale Ale. Medium mouthfeel ale with great carbonation.

Very drinkable it would be very easy to drink a few of these on a nice summer day.

joepais, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

Well this sure is one great looking beer. The head came up three full fingers and lingered like crazy, creating super sticky lacing down the glass. The body is crystal clear dark amber topped by the ivory head mentioned above. Great nose that gives off plenty of hops aromas and hints of the malt body. The taste is about hops - citrusy and floral in the main, with great rind and grapefruit accents. Plenty of great bitterness it lingers on the palate like some great oily lotion to leave a creamy sense to remind you of the great taste you've just experienced. Full body and ultra creamy feel make this an exceptionally fine flavorfest.

AtLagerHeads, May 18, 2003
Photo of chugalug06
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

A - Almost a clear copper color with a very nice white foamy head. Lacing left behind looks like art

S - Super Centennial hops and citrus. Lots of grapefruit and orange

T - No bitterness at all. Very palatable and no alcohol taste at all

M - Silky smooth, great carbonation.

D - Leaves you looking for another sip, after sip, after sip, after sip....

Very good brew, definitely would recommend and search for again! Awesome label on the bottle too... Labels should ALWAYS matter, as they're an indication of how much the brewery care about their brew.

Thank you Dave for sharing!

Cheers!

chugalug06, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of vande
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

A: Golden-ruby in color with a nice thin layer of off-colored white lacing left on top..

S: Pine + Citrus = Hops delight. Unmistaken sweeter malts seep through.

T: See Smell!

M: Decent. Nothing too exciting.

O: Great on draft. Great out of the bottle.

vande, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of mentor
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

12 oz bottle obtained from John’s Grocery (Iowa City) in January 2005 and consumed that same evening. Poured a finger-and-a half light cream colored head. Appears light brown-orange while the slightest hint of cloudiness. Smells of *GRAPEFRUIT* on top of a sweet...the strength of the sweet I can't tell because my olfactory sytem is kaput. Goodness, there is a cool sweetness to the grapefruit that's enticing. Tastes of *GRAPEFRUIT* and hop bitter. There is a wet sweet behind the hops, but the dry bitter of the hops wins. Did I just eat an entire field of ragweed? As the beer warms, I get a sweetness just before the potent citrus that has a toffee and melon flavor. Medium-light body and gorgeouos lacing on the inside of my glass. Oh, in case you missed it, my taste buds have been obliterated by the hop bitter. If I were drinking this after a softball game in the summer, the dryness would restore my soul. In the middle of a snowstorm, I'm only loving it.

I once had this beer on tap at the brewery and was not impressed. This bottle is way better. 3F, nice job at exploring the limits of IPA.

mentor, Jan 06, 2005
Photo of maundythirsty
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

Amber-going-on-red beer is very clear. It started with maybe half a finger of just-off-white head that went directly down the rabbit hole. Skimpy ring remains.

Aroma is a great big kick of grapefruit zest. Consider yourself forewarned.

Taste is so much a liquid version of the aroma that worried me briefly, but rolled slowly into a warm and expansive malt and then again into a tart asprin bitterness. The hops are loud enough for IPA territory.

Smooth enough, though all those flaming hops deliver a potent sting.

This one has gone over the wall a la Bitter Woman From Hell, but it's packing more balance. Crazy, but tolerably so. This goes in the pile with the hoppiest beers of which I would not mind having two.

maundythirsty, Jul 15, 2006
Photo of siege06nd
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured into my nonic pint, a glass I received courtesy of Rhettroactive. Thank the maker for Crate and Barrel Outlets!

A: A pleasing copper color. Surprising five finger head, Jiminy Christmas this poured heavy. Head is eggshell white, fluffy, and pillowy. This looks great.

S: Piney, citrusy hops. Light grain and moderate biscuity sweetness from the malt build. Very good.

T: Floral hops blend with the malt sweetness. Crisp and refreshing bitter finish. This is excellent.

M: Carbonation is spot on. Hops and malts blend nicely to produce a light, floral APA. Quite enjoyable.

O: Alpha King is a complex and enticing APA. A strong hop presence but excellent balance make this one of the best APA's this reviewer has sampled.

siege06nd, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of popery
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

From notes, 4/4/11. Pours a lustrous orange with a shiny white cap. Good lacing. The aroma is dominated by hops with bright orange-tangerine and freshly cut grass notes taking the forefront. However, there’s a nicely doughy caramel malt backbone holding up that hoppiness. This beer definitely straddles the line between APA and IPA. The taste is also much bigger than your average APA. It has marvelous balance, starting with malt sweetness and smoothly transitioning to hop bitterness in the finish. It’s very, very easy to drink. The beer has a round, full feel that never gets too heavy. Flavor fills your mouth with each sip, but it finishes clean, light and in need of another quaff.

popery, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of jerskine
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

A: opaque, copper hue with about an inch of creamy microbubble foam

S: very enticing; smells very hoppy for a pale ale, hints of other floral aromas

T: exceptional citrus taste with an immense quantity of hops hitting your taste buds; I'm not the one to go for pale ales, but this exceeded my expectations in taste

M: very smooth, very drinkable, very crisp

O: excellent pale ale; thought it wouldn't be hoppy enough for my liking, but it definitely hit the spot

jerskine, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

A- Pours a rather deep golden to amber color. A nice 2 finger frothy head forms, retains, and laces very well. Rather translucent in the glass.

S- All citrus hops and hints of pine notes. Just like SN Pale Ale, except bigger. Not much else here.

T- Starts with a bitter hops bang. Frankly, the flavor isn't as big as in the scent. Lighter malts are barely detectable underneath the hops profile.

M- Somewhat light and very carbonated, but still heavy enough to support the hops flavor profile. Easy to drink.

Overall, a very solid beer. Between this and SN Pale Ale, they are the flagship beers for this style.

boilermakerbrew, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of amphion1065
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%

Big thanks to whitemomba for this bottle. Poured at fridge temp into a Duvel tulip.

Alpha King pours a deep copper red, almost ruby, with glints of gold. Even after a vigorous pour I was only able to muster a 1/2 finger head, but it does last for some time. Webby, sticky lacing all around.

I've had this beer on tap before, but I don't remember it smelling quite this good. Even before I finished pouring I noticed a strong piney hop aroma, crisp and bright like a great IPA. The smell only opened up as the beer warmed, revealing a resinous hop profile that I absolutely loved.

The taste is very good, if not quite the equal of the smell. Predictably, there's a strong pine flavor here, with just the slightest hint of residual malt sweetness. There's a certain "kick" missing here, a hop jolt that I never quite got from this beer. That said, the balance is excellent, and the flavors are very clean.

The mouthfeel does fall a little short: a bit more carbonation would put this over the top for me. Even with a slightly dull feel to it, Alpha King is an easy-to-drink beer with a touch of complexity, and it does a nice job straddling the APA/IPA border.

amphion1065, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of mlhyatt
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%

Poured from a bottle into tulip glass

Thanks to brewzma for this!

A- a dark red with a very frothy head. Looks almost like a cream.

S- citrus hops with a little but of pine and sweetness to it. Hints of grape as well.

T- a lot of honey taste with hints of citrusy hops and pine. Aftertaste has a strong pine taste like eating grass or flowers , but in a good way.

M- very very thick for a pale ale. Especially on the back end. Slight carbonation but nothing too fizzy in the mouth which is strange for how carbonated it was when i poured it.

O- overall, this is good. Smooth and delicious. The hops aren't over powering and the hops blend really with the malt. Not the best pale ale but very good.

mlhyatt, Apr 04, 2014
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%

Bottle shared with stillmatic2232.

Pours a dark amber, with a one inch head, and some good lacing down the glass.

Smells like spicy, earthy hops, caramelly, toasty malt, and a bit of pine.

This tastes like a very well balanced pale ale. It's hoppy, but not overwhelmingly so. There's a good malt backbone that tastes crackery and toasty, alongside a nice hoppiness reminiscent of pine, citrus, and earthy pepperiness (whatever, that's not really a word).

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation. Quite drinkable.

Not flashy, just pretty delicious.

GreesyFizeek, May 01, 2014
Photo of dill
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

I poured this from a bottle into a pint glass, looking forward to this hoppy pale ale at the end of the day. There wasn't a lot on the nose initially, but it had a nice white head on top of the golden beer. I was surprised by how creamy it was in the mouth. I was also expecting something a bit more hoppy, but what I got was just a nice American pale ale that I'd happily enjoy again.

dill, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Deep orange and garnet color. White lacing but no real head retention. Smells of sweet fruity malts with a touch of alcohol as it warms. Plain bitter taste with rich esters and malts. Bit a of caramel. Just the right carbonation and body here. Pretty tasty and easy drinking. Nicely balanced

I am, however, a little confused with this beer. It tastes very similar to Pride and Joy Mild and I wonder if it wasn't mislabeled. I bought a 6'er of P&J and found 2 Alpha King bottles in it. I figured someone had just pulled a switcharoo with a couple bottles from an Alpha King 6'er. Whatever, this is good beer.

tempest, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of benmiliron
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Paid $1.71 for a 12 oz single.

This is probably the best standard pale ale I've ever had. Definitely the Alpha King; as the name implies, a seriously hopped beer here. Malt is second (but still present) to citrusy hops. Wonderful. A great session beer. I wish we could get more 3 Floyds stuff in NW Ohio.

benmiliron, May 08, 2004
Photo of EagleTalon
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Amber color and generous off-white head, some lacing. Aroma is very much an American hops extravaganza--extraordinary blend of citrus and pine. Flavor is on the big side for an APA, strong malt balanced with hop bitterness. Caramel and biscuits in the flavor as well. Finishes with an astringent bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with alcohol warmth and a bit of astringency. I'll have another. Wish it was available in OK.

EagleTalon, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

This beer poured a clear copper color with a thin head that dissipated quickly. The smell is very hoppy – and has a fresh cut grass type aroma. The taste is bitter and very hoppy with just enough malt to counter the hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy. If you are in a mood for hops, this would be highly drinkable. I love pale ales, but can usually only drink one or two before it gets too bitter. I’d have to say, this is the best one I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.

barefootbrewer, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of Rastacouere
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

It pours a hazy amber body and despite being poured straight, it doesn't make such a big head. What is there is there to stay though and never leaves until the last sip. The smell is deep hops, especially citrus cascade, a great sniff for sure. In mouth, you receive the same treatment, tasty malt balanced with loads of hops bring you to a piney bitter aftertaste, but not before passing through a flower field where grapefruits fall from the sky. In my opinion, this would have won a lot from a thicker body, it was thin to medium and a little lacking to support such intensity (or I had too full-bodied beers recently). On the other hand, while it was one of the most tasty, it was also one of the most drinkable APAs I've had. Thanks Egajdzis!

Rastacouere, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 6/18/11
*From notes

A BIG thanks does NOT go out to siege06nd for this one (wink, wink).

A: What am I drinking here, a Boston Lager? If I didn't know any better, I'd think so from the look of things. A good pour yields a two finger head and some reasonable lacing.

S: Wheat, earth and citric juicy hop oil. Impressive.

T: A good balance between the mild toasted barley and fresh, juicy hops.

M: Proper carbonation. The bubbles aren't to loud and the overall weight makes this easy enough to put back.

O: FFF's Alpha King is one hell of a nice APA. I had no idea it was packing 6.5% ABV, as the alcohol isn't detectable. I could easily put a sixer of this back in a sitting. Highly recommended, the balance of flavors is spot-on.

Rhettroactive, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Cummins9110
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

A very good APA

A - A deep gold almost brown beer, cloudy and thick, cannot see through glass poured into

S - Smells of citrus and floral notes, sweet malts

T - first taste is a creamy maltiness that leads into the citrus and slight floral aroma, going fast into the bitterness at the end, the tast that lingers in your mouth is a floral taste

M - Mouthfeel is a creaminess and then the bite at the end, leaves the palate dry and wanting a nother drink but not parched

Cummins9110, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of NODAK
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Has a fairly piney aroma....quite hoppy for an APA. Smells quite a bit like a west coast IPA.

Pours a very amber color, clear, with a nice fluffy head.

The immediate taste upfront is of pine tree hoppiness, though it isn't all that powerful as I'd have thought compared to the aroma. In the middle, there's a spicy malt character that doesn't quite match the malt but is definitely there. The bitterness definitely comes through in the end though, as a resiny pervasive bitterness that goes through the finish and lingers a while. More bitter than your standard APA...perhaps on the level of certain IPA's.

I enjoyed it quite a bit, as I was in the mood for a hoppier beer and this definitely fit the bill, especially for style. I was also impressed with how thick this beer was for the style.

NODAK, Jun 28, 2011
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,016 ratings.