Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,730 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,730
Hads: 5,880
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.96%
Wants: 921
Gots: 960 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,730 | Hads: 5,880
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a slightly hazy deep copper with a creamy beige head and nice lacing.

A sweet maltiness and a burst of spicy hops and pine await those put it to their nose.

A perfect combination that plays off the aroma. The tastes includes the balance of the malts and the bitterness of the hops with their spice and pine.

Medium bodied and carbonated.

This is an incredible APA and quickly became one of my favorites. Enjoy. (446 characters)

Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep orange with a nice frothy white head that dissipates and leaves good lacing on the walls of my pint glass. Fantastic floral hoppy nose with big scents of citrus fruit and some sweet malt lagging behind. The scent is very vibrant and fresh. Great citrus hop bite at the front of the palate with tastes of grapefruit and fresh tangerines with just the right touch of sweet biscuity malt to round everything out. Medium bodied with medium carbonation that is smooth, crisp, and clean. A good session beer that goes well about anytime you could want.

Great beer from the boys in Munster. I award them with having this in my fridge at all times. (659 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, almost amber color for this APA. Carbonation very active with about a finger of lacing. Enjoyed out of a large tulip glass.

Smell: The hops jump right out of the bottle at you. But along with the hops is a mix of various citrus flavors and sweet caramel. I enjoyed taking in the aroma of this one for a while before drinking it.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, the hops are the first thing that hits the palate. I've had many lower level IPA that do not have anywhere near the hop presence Alpha King does. But it certainly is not to be confused as an IPA, the malt character provides a warming kiss on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A crisp feel is provided which sticks around for a while after drinking this beer.

Overall: Across the board, one of my favorite beers to date. I live in an area where some effort is need to obtain this brew, but worth it every time. It is unfair to compare other APA against this beer since it is simply so much different then other of its style. (999 characters)

Photo of bjohnson
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 6 pack at Countryside Liquors in Pawtucket, RI.

A: Pours a very reddish amber color with an initial one finger cream colored head that has awesome retention. Great lace.
S: Aromas of piney hops infused with grapefruit and citrus flavors hit the nose first. Wonderful smelling pale ale, almost like an ipa. Biscuity malts also.
T: Tastes of pine hops hit the palate first, followed by a nice malty and bitter aftertaste thats just wonderful. Great tasting pale ale--to repeat, more like an ipa. Bready malt flavor hangs at the roof and back of the mouth.
M & D: Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very high on this offering from 3 Floyds. Slick but smooth mouthfeel allows you to have a bunch of these. The hop complexion makes this a very enticing ale to drink. Sessionable? Yes! Love this one--my new favorite pale ale. (840 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz poured into a pint glass

Cant believe I have tried 12 other three floyds beers before getting around to try this one.

A- Pours clear orange amber. Nice visible carbonation. A dense foamy three finger head of an off white coloration.

S- A very hoppy punch to the nose. Great sugary citrus like pinapple and mango and orange, Smells like fresh fruit. A light but delicious smelling malt backbone. An extremely fresh hop profile that somehow reminds me of candy. Smells slightly like fruity pebbles and Lysol, in a very good way. A marvelous smelling pale.

T- Tastes like it smells. It starts off with a sugary malt rush of light caramel and candy. Its followed up by a ton of fresh citrus flavors. Its all about the pinapple and mango, Lots of lemon and orange as well. The bitterness is relatively low considering the hop profile.

M- This beer is fairly bitter and sweet but also, not too hard to take down more then a few. Good carbonation to match the flavors. A bitter aftertaste but with that comes the glorious citrus flavors.

O- Embarrassed that it took me this long to get around to try this one. This is the best pale ale I know of. Its also priced well, unlike a lot of other 3F brews. If you like a hoppy pale ale and IPA's, this is the bomb. (1,264 characters)

Photo of sacfly
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color. Off white head with medium bubbles. Smell is a wonderful sweet citrus, orange and grapefruit.

First taste: hop flavors balanced very well with the malt. Just the right amount of crystal malt without being too sweet. Just the right amount of citrus and pine without being too over the top. Pine comes out more in the bitter aftertaste.

A quite tasty APA. I have waited for a long time for this and it did not disappoint. Just saw this is 7.35%ABV??? Wow. Never would have guessed. (530 characters)

Photo of brdc
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at their location, on tap.

Dark golden with ruby overtones, and a white sticky head, just like from the bottle.
Nose is hoppy, fruity as expected, but the malts are quite noticeable as well, adding some sweetness, earthy/grainy features to balance it out. It feels very fresh, with a more pronounced fuitiness when compared to the bottle, which is an improvement.
Taste is very well-balanced just like the bottle; hoppy and, fruity but also at times malty and even somewhat sweet. Dry finish, but here, compared to the bottle, the fruitiness and bitterness feel a bit more noticeable, and it lingers for a bit longer.
Medium, creamy on the palate, it is very flavorful and well-hopped, but the malts are not ignored and maintain a very flavorful balance, although comparing to the bottle, the hops are a lit bit more upfront.
Impressive, even better than the bottle version. (887 characters)

Photo of DaggerEyes
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass

poured a rich copper with some amber and ruby hints, with a finger thick off white foamy head. Sticky to the sides of the glass with a moderate amount of lacing an even thin head remaining throughout.

A wonderfully aromatic brew with a wonderful floral boquet. The hops are the first to hit the nose and they are as one might expect piney and citrusy, but there is a strong malt back bone, laced with subtle sweet carmel scents which makes the smell wonderfully unique and balanced beautifully

An even mixture of sweet fruity and sligtly carmelesque malts and citric hops up front with a bitter (but not too bitter) grapefruitesque finish. a really solid, well crafted and wonderful taste

Tingles the tip of the tounge and maintins a nice amount of carbonation throughout. Great medium bodied brew with a really clean finish.

What a beer. A buddy shipped these to me and man the hype is to be believed it's some great stuff. (994 characters)

Photo of 312HopBomb
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from Three Floyds Brewery. Thanks Paul!

Poured into a Two Brothers "It's beer thirty" Nonic, it forms a tall three finger head. Color is a slightly hazed glowing honey. A dense head slowly settles leaving a full coating of lace. Top notch appearance.

A tropical citrus burst of lemon zest and orange peel greets the nose. Sweet honey malt backs this up.

Taste does not follow the nose as a more resiny hop bitterness coats the palate with some sweet orange and balanced by honey like pale malt. Some grapefruit hops appear as this warms. No apparent alcohol warming despite the 6% measurement.

Smooth. smooth, smooth. This has a high quality complex mouthfeel. Very full and flavorful. There is fine carbonation in just the right amount.

This is as close to an IPA as a pale ale gets. It's more hoppy than many IPA's.

My brother and I have been drinking this fine brew since 1996. They were at a local brew fest in Downers Grove. My brother tried Alpha King and adopted it as his favorite of all time. We have been hop heads ever since. Thanks for years of cranking out awesome beer Three Floyds. (1,117 characters)

Photo of ncvbc
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't thank jmp30 enough for sending me two bottles of this excellent beer. It easily lived up to my expectations. A nice copper color with a reddish hue that comes with a medium sized head. Moderate carbonation and a small amount of lacing left behind. Smelled excellent with the hops being very evident and a mouth watering sweetness of citrus that lingers. Tastes like heaven in a bottle if that's possible. Perfect combination of hops and malty goodness, with a bitterness that seems to come and go at the right time. Nice, smooth mouthfeel with a great texture that coats the tongue. If I had regular access to this stuff I would always have a few close by. Quite drinkable and enjoyable though for many it would be something you'd have to get used to. Almost an IPA from my experience but a damned good APA if that's what they call it.

Another thanks goes to czoch75 for a sixer that was included in a trade. (917 characters)

Photo of Vipsanius
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just got in a couple of six packs of this much heralded beer. After trying a few glasses, I found my Orval chalice to be the most rewarding (pint glass and others just didn't do it justice). The appearance is a fairly transparent amber color with a little bit of a red tint, very small off white head but with surprisingly decent lacing, however.

Floral and citrus hops dominate the aroma, which also has some sweet caramel malt, piney hop and dark fruit undertones.

The taste is as hoppy as a bunny rabbit on caffeine pills but in a very controlled and balanced sort of way. Not insanely out of control with the hops like some pale ales I've had. This is by far the widest range of flavors I've had from an APA to date. There's no one taste really dominating the others but a lot going on there. Citrus hops, floral hops, small amount of piney hops, which is good because a little goes a long way, vanilla, pomegranate (wth), honey, plum and many other flavors. Also, there's a surprising amount of malt flavors that come through and leave a very nice aftertaste.

This beer is velvety smooth going down and has just the right amount of carbonation. The alcohol is somewhat noticeable but not too bad considering the percentage.

Overall, a great and very drinkable American Pale Ale and definitely the first one I would recommend to someone interested in trying out the style. A great APA, in my mind, should also be a good session beer and this one certainly is...just be careful with the alcohol % as it can sneak up on you. (1,538 characters)

Photo of mattboyer182
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - A golden coppery color and a finger of white head.

S - Smells of citrus and piney hops. Theres a sweet balance in this beer as well. it's not all about the hops.

T - A grapefruit, orange citrus to the hops. An Amazing bitter to it. It comes in with an awesome sweetness in the middle and finishes with a great lingering bitter.

M - Light to medium body and good carbonation.

O - Used to be my favorite APA... that is until zombie dust came out. (452 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark golden color, with a good size head that lasted through out the beer. There is a strong hoppy and grapfruit aroma. There is a strong hoppy taste, but it lacks that bite that some pale ales have, also a bitter grapefruit like taste is detectable. Not very carbonated and could use some more carbonation. Overall a REALLLY good beer, I enjoyed this one. (374 characters)

Photo of ski271
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lightly hazy reddish copper with a small, frothy/milky, off-white head with good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Heavenly citrus and floral hops over a moderate, cookie-like malt sweetness. Grapefruit, toffee, grass, some light doughy yeast, and a little bit of roses. Nicely balanced.

Taste: This isn’t an IPA? Big, dominant hops sting your taste buds right off the bat, filling your mouth with bitter flavors of fruit and herbs. Then the bitterness back off a bit to let the wonderful, solid, lightly sweet malt backbone show through. A little yeast once it warms up a bit. But the hops don’t back off for very long and come rushing back as it head toward the finish. More citrus and a very light (is that diacetyl?) sweetness. The finish is VERY long in duration as the bitterness just refuses to let go. So tasty.

Mouthfeel: Full body, dry texture, and soft carbonation.

Drinkability: I had heard good things about this beer, and being a hophead I knew I would like this. But you fellow BA’s know your stuff. This was a truly impressive brew. Very easy drinking, despite the higher alcohol (which was hidden well). I’m glad I followed the advice of this community and sought it out (thanks hero27 for a great trade), I’d definitely recommend this to a hop-hunter. The first Three Floyds offering I have tried, but I hope to remedy that soon. (1,386 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Isn’t “alpha king” redundant? Whatever.
Pours a tantalizing orange-copper with a sticky, off-white head. Good lacing.
Aromas of toffee and fruit malt mix with juicy, citrus, resiny hop fumes. Very nice! I can tell I’m going to like this.
Big, chewy malts up front; toffee, fruit, light brandy. Nicely balanced by equally big (if not bigger) hops. They enter midway through and swell into the finish with intense citrus (grapefruit) and pine sap flavors. Bitter and oily, with an almost cannabis resiny character. Big-bodied, chewy malts, and an appetizing, oily finish. A great pale ale, that’s big enough to be most breweries’ IPA. Very drinkable as well. (665 characters)

Photo of daledeee
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, you have to like hops. This is a great American pale ale. It pours a nice rusty reddish brown. Head thick enough to draw your finger through it. Good flowery bouquet on the nose. Lots of malt but way lots of hops. The finish is again hoppy. Plenty of alcohol. The web site says 5.8%. I have drank a lot of this and never get tired of it. There have been some supply issues lately.

Update: I believe Three Floyd's has given up having Schell bottle their beer. I like the new batch better. The head is stronger and the flavor is a little more balanced. I wish they would send their strong beers to Iowa. A top shelf brewer. (636 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

**The lucky 1,000th review of Alpha King!**

This poured a hazy copper with moderate tan head. It smelled like a sweet array of topical hops including pineapple and apricot, with some orange and mango, balanced with prominent sweet honey malt. It tasted like apricot and orange, with some pineapple and mango and lots of sweet honey, and a bit of white peppercorn. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a clean, tropical bitter aftertaste. Overall this is fantastic. It meets the hype. The super clean and tropical taste meets my ideal for a pale ale or IPA. It had nice body also, and was very easy to drink. Clearly one of the top beers in its class; makes me wonder why I didn't like Dreadnaught nearly as much. I wish I could have an Alpha King every day. (774 characters)

Photo of rmmm16
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber with a half inch of head. This bottle had some sediment, but most do not, I'm not exactly sure what causes this. Mainly a citrus smell, not very strong, but very pleasant. The taste is very hoppy with a good malt backing. This is a great example of an American pale ale, my personal favorite. (309 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pretty reddish amber that is crystal clear fills the glass.
It's topped with a nice solid single finger white head that melts slowly to nice sticky lacing.
Aroma is immediately fresh and clean with the smell of fresh citrus and pine hops (Centenial?).
Taste is subtle balance of sweet pale malt and bright citrus malts. A little orange peel then definate grapefruit.
Ah...this is an INCREDIBLY balance APA...but I can't help but feel it is more IPA than APA...I'm not complaining...I love it. They have made a really nice 'in your face' type of beer here.
This will go down nicely all day long. (599 characters)

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with the typical three floyds name and beer type encircling an image of a green guy with an "A" crown, hops hair and is sprinkling hops dust over a glass of beer. (that's what it looks like to me) a small map to the brewery is printed on the label. the explanation of this three floyds' style is also printed. no sight of an abv or freshness date.

appearance: pours an ever-so-lightly hazy cherry wood red-brown with bright red-orange highlights into a pint glass. good 1" white bread colored head. excellent sticky lace. bubbles rise emphatically through this gem beauty.

smell: my first reaction is this smells like an ipa. very piney and grassy. also very lemony citrusy. some sweet caramel and fruits as well. maybe bananas.

taste: first sip is lightly malty with a ton of citrus grapefruit hop flavor. nice bitterness; not quite ipa bitter, but i love it. some caramelly bread flavors as the brew warms. always finishes a little bitter and dry with a wonderful lasting hop spicy aftertaste.

mouthfeel: crisp but medium body and smooth mouthfeel. good carbonation and pretty good swallow.

drinkability: excellent drinkability. alcohol creeps in at the end, but the aroma, taste and especially aftertaste keep you drinking 'til the end.

overall: this is another one of those beers where even though it gets good ratings, i still believe it deserves even higher. near perfect for this style. a little hoppy for an apa, so i couldn't give a five there, but that's what i love so screw the ratings! get yourself a lot of these if you're able! (1,592 characters)

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Hero27 for this bottle.

Pours a cloudy, dark amber with some lighter orange hues around the edge. Big, dense head of dirty off-white bubbles. Nice sticky, chunk lacing rings the glass.

Aroma is of citrus, pine, and light grassy hops. The citrus is big. There is a caramel backbone to help even it out some. Smells yummy.

Wow...this is good. Nice bitter grapefruit and pine hops with a touch of sweetness in the middle. This is hoppier than many IPAs out there.

Nice creamy medium body with good carbonation. Very drinkable. It's been a long time since I had one of these. I really wish 3F would come back to MD soon. Damn good beer. This would easily become my go to beer if I could get it regularly. Thanks, Eric! (728 characters)

Photo of SwillinBrew
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got a sixer of this from Lone Hill liquor in Glendora... my initial thoughts, hot damn, this is a pale ale... halelujah.

A - A rich ambery grenadine strong color with a stucco white head that clung to my glass nicely.
S - a dose of citrus orchards with floral in the mix pleasure my olefactory senses.
T - Husky citrus flavors bordering on grassy meadows on a underlying sublte sweet malt carry this delicous brew. Just a symphony of harmonious flavor in this pale ale... it's definitely more than meets the eye.
M&Dr - nicely carbonated and medium bodied with a crisp and clean finish. I could drink this all day and just wish more pale ales were like this. Heck, this beats out many IPA's!!! Get some if you can. This is the best pale ale i've ever had. (763 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alpha King is alphucking good. That's a play on the sofa king fake commercial - it's sofa king good. It is amazing and worth all the praise. I have had other good, no great, brews from this brewer, but never before this gem, and now I think they deserve blind faith from this one great brew.

It is a little dark and has decent lace. The aroma is not pronounced, but it is still sublime.

The taste is amazing. Malty, for sure, but still well balanced with all kinds of hops bitterness. This is the best tasting pale ale ever. The aftertaste is sad, because the ale is going away. Otherwise, it too is sublime, with malts and hops staying on the tongue for a long time. It tastes as though the alcohol would preclude you from drinking more than one, but I think I could do SEVERAL of these, and be in heaven, so I will try to get more. But alas, they are rare, and in demand. Rightfully so. (890 characters)

Photo of trep
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber, perfect clarity, huge frothy head after an aggressive pour. Smells of grapefruity hops, flowers, a nice balance of bitter and malt, although the hops definitely are what you continue to sniff this beer for. Mmm - I love it.

Tastes just the way it smells. Hop bitterness is very present but not overwhelming. Smooth as hell. The head fades to a quarter of an inch layer of thin bubbles with nice lacing around the glass as I continue to sip on the King. I can't get over how smooth this beer is. Reminds me alot of Two-Hearted in its smoothness and balance. Finishes smooth, expectedly.

A quality beer, no doubt about it. Three Floyds should be very proud of this beer. (695 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks NW2285. Pours orange to brick red with slightly cloudy body. A thick, three finger off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Strong orange notes dominate the nose with a hint of pine needle and faint caramel as well. Orange hits the palate first delivering a strong citrusy taste that’s faintly tart. The next notes are sweeter - sherbet and caramel. Alpha King finishes dry and slightly bitter, with faint resin notes. Medium bodied, not quite as chewy as an IPA, but pretty close. The carbonation is lively. Overall this might be the finest example of an American Pale Ale out there. Great work 3Floyds. (629 characters)

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,730 ratings.