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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.

4,932 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,932
Reviews: 1,668
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 842
Gots: 498 | 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
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Ratings: 4,932 | Reviews: 1,668 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedChrome


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

A hazy deep amber colored beer. An inch high cream head faded very slowly. Streams of tightly bunched tiny carbonation bubbles. Thick lace rings.

A gritty hops citrus aroma leaps at the nostrils. A sweet malt back had a light pumpernickel scent. Ends with a bitterness off freshly steeped English tea.

A very flavorful malt backbone. Sweet bread was blended with a nice light lemon citric flavor. The scents of tea in the smell move well into the taste.

Pleasant thickness on the tongue. A burst of carbonation up front dies over time with a shift in flavors.

A very good brew. Works well with a thick beef stew with root vegetables. A nice choice for balanced flavors. Definitely worth a try if you haven't had one before.

12-14-2008 10:56:20 | More by RedChrome
Photo of AdamBear


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Thanks to GoldenVIKE for sending this one my way!

A-dark transparent amber with a nice light tan head. very nice and dark for an APA. some lacing

S-fresh citrusy hops with a touch of grass. this is a great smelling APA. medium strength. borderlines an IPA.

T-comes in very smooth with citrusy hops that quickly become bitter. the citrus is very tangerine like. this tangerine taste lasts with a touch of corn. this forms the after-taste along with some caramel. this is a tasty and very well balanced beer. the bitterness lasts and is great.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a creamy finish.

O-overall this is a great APA that borderlines an IPA. i'm not sure where the line is drawn on this one. its definitely a tasty beer that would be a go to of mine if more readily available in my area. the tastes are strong and definitely form a lasting impression on your palate. it goes down way too quickly.

06-01-2011 20:45:48 | More by AdamBear
Photo of ckeegan04


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Received from mikereaser. Thanks!

A - Cloudy orange/brown color with huge khaki head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - Burnt caramel and citrusy/tropical hop juice. The malts are much stronger in the nose than I expected from all the hop-head hype I have heard.

T - Biscuity and caramel sweetness up front. A citrusy hop taste comes through but is not as strong as I anticipated. Finishes with a somewhat grainy taste.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and very smooth. A passable beer but certainly not living up to the hype.

Not sure if something happened to this bottle, but my first FFF experience was certainly a let down. I will definitely give this one another try down the road though.

Update: Just had what I know to be relatively fresh and it was much better. Still not living up to the hype, but the citrusy nose is very clear and strong and then taste is much hoppier. A very solid bre.

09-12-2008 22:29:17 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours a nice slightly hazy orange with a thin off-white head. Aroma is some citrus hops and sweet malts with a hint of caramel. The taste is a delightful blend of mild citrus and a hint of pine hops well balanced with sweet malts with just a hint of caramel. The beer is light bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer and would make for a decent session had I picked up more than one bottle.

08-31-2007 03:16:23 | More by atsprings
Photo of AaronHomoya


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

12 oz brown bottle.

My first Three Floyds experience was the Alpha King pale ale, and it was clear at once that this beer was truly not normal. Nice appearance, but the smell totally grabbed my attention. One of the hoppiest, citrus, floral, spicy powerful aromas ever. The taste is also very hoppy with a finish that was almost too bitter for me. This is why I think it's not as drinkable as it could be, it's a bit strong for a pale ale and the bitterness is so extreme that I don't think I could handle a session of these. A great beer, though, that I highly recommed.

05-05-2006 17:14:23 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of instrumentality


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

This is the last of a 6-pack I purchased somewhere between 6 and 9 months ago, but the first bottle I've actually reviewed. I remember thinking this beer was good but highly overrated initially, but maybe I'll appreciate it more now.

Glassware: Stone Imperial Russian Stout tulip glass.

A: A bit of foam oozed out of my bottle when I first opened it, so I quickly poured the contents into my glass before I lost anything significant. The off-white head began at about a finger and a half width, then quickly settled to a swirly lace encircled by a thin off-white halo. Beneath this is a translucent copper liquid full of tiny bubbles.

S: Even with a slightly congested nose, the aroma from this beer is fantastic: bitter pine and grapefruit mixed with sweet tangerine and slightly burnt toffee. I'm immediately reminded of 3F Dreadnaught, which also smelled amazing.

T: One sip and all of the odors I encountered hit my palate at once: pine, grapefruit, tangerine, and burnt toffee. Unlike in other beers where the flavors seem to evolve from one to the next from the time the liquid hits my palate to the time it escapes down my throat, the balance of flavors here is incredibly even throughout. I'm not sure if the beer's changed or if I have in the several months since I had the rest of this batch, but whatever it is, the change is for the better.

Over time, the bitter grapefruit flavor begins to become slightly more prevalent, but it's never overbearing.

M: Upon entry, there's a burn of alcohol and grapefruit. This is followed by...an absence of the burn of alcohol and grapefruit. Not much else going on here...and it makes what's left feel almost watery. Slight bitter aftertaste.

D: This is beer is very easy to drink. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has been my go-to beer for yaers, but this one is less bitter and has a much more complex and soothing flavor. Too bad I'll probably never see this beer on tap in California, let alone matching the overwhelming availability of SNPA.

03-07-2007 04:14:55 | More by instrumentality
Photo of woosterbill


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

On-tap at the brewery into an imperial pint.

A: Clear deep amber body under an inch of frothy ecru head. Good retention, plenty of lace. Very nice.

S: Caramel drizzled on grapefruit. Simple and terrific.

T: Grapefruit hops dominated, finally being balanced with a nice touch of caramel malt on the back end. Hugely bitter finish. Long, slightly astringent aftertaste. Way too big for the style, but it's still a great beer.

M: Lively, slightly prickly medium body. Pretty standard.

O: I love this beer, but can't for the life of me figure out why it's called an APA - it's way too strong, way too malty, and way too bitter. I'll take Zombie Dust and its crispness over the sheer hugeness of Alpha King any day.


07-29-2011 23:07:07 | More by woosterbill
Photo of dmfrench


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

An aggressive yet grounded grapefruit IPA.

A: Inviting, light, burnt orange hue with a yellowish, fleeting half finger head (on other occasions, the head was more developed)

S: Restrained yet persistent citrus hops.

T: First, a pretty huge burst of oily/grapefruit hops, but there's a solid biscuit malt foundation.

M: Very enjoyable... excellent carbonation...a bit grainy.

D: Very drinkable for such powerful flavors.

06-12-2009 01:36:20 | More by dmfrench
Photo of BitteBier


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

A bold copper color and complete clarity stand out on the pour. An average amount of tight, off-white foam that falls away quickly but retains a bit of lace. The first note in the nose is a hoppy bite, but it rests atop a caramely malt base. Even more strongly hopped in the taste, though again the malt base waits patiently underneath and asserts itself more noticeably as your palate adjusts to the hops. A nice mouthfeel that balances between clean and oily. While this more resembles an IPA than a pale, I'm not complaining.

08-09-2006 21:43:30 | More by BitteBier
Photo of PatronWizard


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

Thanks to Stan the Man at Lone Hill Liqour. Was fairly excited to try a pale ale that made the BA Top 100.

Light copper bronze. Big bubbled frothy white head sits atop a sea of tiny replenishing bubbles. This one is lively.

Not too strong in the nose, but hops are there alright.

Great pale ale. I may have been drinking too many DIPAs lately to fully appreciate this little guy, but definitely good.

Could drink a ton of these.

Overall: great pale ale

09-09-2008 19:19:02 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of rajendra82


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%

The body is hazy amber with a 1 ½ inch thick creamy white head with medium carbonation. The aroma is citric with the fragrance of grapefruits and orange rinds. The taste is crisp and refreshing grapefruit juice with a nice hop bite to it. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than an IPA, but is right on the money for an APA. Nice sessionable beer with no noticeable faults as long as you can tolerate hops. Very nice bonus in a box of trades, thanks to eyedrinkale.

08-24-2004 02:22:35 | More by rajendra82
Photo of SFACRKnight


4.06/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into oskar blues shaker pint. Thanks Nathan!

Pours a nice amber with a hint of red, about an inch of fluffy off white head after a pretty normal pour. Really a nice looking beer. Getting hints of bread, biscuit, a bit of carmel and some piney hops off this one. Kind of underwhelmed on the aroma. The taste makes up for it though. Tons of hop presence from the first sip. Nice resiney pine base with citrus fruit overtones, also getting some peach through on this one. The malt comes through less in the flavor than on the nose, but the same flavors are there. Good caarbonation, medium mouthfeel. Overall, great beer. I enjoyed the hop presence in this APA, and found it very easy to drink. It isn't exactly to style, but what FFF brew is?

08-29-2013 15:35:35 | More by SFACRKnight
Photo of BillyB

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Appearance is a hazy copper amber with a nice thick two finger white foam head.

Aroma is grassy, hoppy; piney, spruce, fir.
Fruity; lemon, berries.

Taste is light sweet malt with a citrusy, lemony hop aftertaste.

Nice carbonation and nice hoppy aftertaste. Very high drinkability for this one. A solid session beer.

06-04-2006 19:31:15 | More by BillyB
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

I’ve lived in Indiana all my life, and, now that I’ve become a craft beer person, Three Floyd’s has become a big source of pride for me. The availability of their beer around my hometown is awesome, so it’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of it. Here’s one I’ve only had once before: Alpha King. I’m definitely glad to be getting reacquainted with this one.

A: A pale yellowish-red body with a bright white head. The foam is only around for a few minutes, then it recedes with no lacing left behind. It’s not the most inviting color, but it’s not bad.

S: Citusy hops and with a big fruity sweetness – almost like a gummy bear. It isn’t especially pronounced, but it’s still very inviting.

T: First off, there’s that great hoppy refreshment that I’ve come to love from FFF. It’s a full line-up of grapefruit, pineapple, berry, and lemon, with a dry finish. The yeast is bigger than I was expecting, filling out the body quite nicely with some rich breads. Young wheat flavors add a few more hints of sophistication in the taste, and then it ends on a cool, refreshing note.

M: Not as carbonated as I would have liked. It shows some thinness in the body; overall, though, it’s very drinkable.

O: When drinking this, I was expecting a fuller version of their Pride and Joy ale. What I got was a fruitier brew with more distinct flavors. All things considered, though, I can’t say that I think it’s a better beer – it’s about on par with P&J. The non-sessionable version of one of my favorite session brews. Great stuff!

05-24-2011 04:12:23 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of bigfnjoe


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Acquired in a trade with RC0032, thanks buddy!Top ranked pale ale, here we go...

A- pours a really dark amber, nearly brown, with a robust three finger offwhite head. Head sticks around for a decent bit of time and laces really nicely

S- sweet hops, though the aroma is a little weak...some earthiness, some fruitiness. Would be a lot nicer if it were more powerful

T- a slight bit of bitterness from the hops to start, and a slightly sweet finish...it's very mild and not overwhelming at all. Real nice

M- real great body, not too thick at all. If anything, it's too thin...but with the style, I'm not complaining

D- not sure how fresh this is thanks to FFF and their lack of dating, but it's damn good...not as hoppy as SNPA, but very easy to drink. I wonder how this would taste on draught. The ABV is hidden extremely well. I can see why this is ranked so highly

01-07-2011 01:21:24 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of Gaisgeil


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Maybe by FFF hoppy standards this is a APA, but for most brewers and drinkers, this a definite IPA. Pours a light amber in color with a slighty creamy head with good retention. Nose is quite hoppy, piney and full; inviting. Taste is well balanced, some nice malt backbone but an over the top fruity and piney hop profile explodes on my palate. Mouthfeel is quite full, perfect carbonation. A very well made beer, I could easily see drinking a lot of this.


06-18-2006 21:20:38 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of spaced


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. Pours a slightly dark reddish brown with a short head that leaves a decent amount of lacing. Smell is a lot of piney and citrusy hops (not surprising). The taste is similar to the smell at first, with a delicious burst of citrusy hops, but it is soon followed by a little bit of malt sweetness. I can't discern much else from the malt except for the sweetness, but it really balances things out nicely. The mouthfeel has a bit of oiliness from the hops, which I like. The taste finishes out with more pleasantly bitter hops.

This beer tastes more like an IPA than an APA to me, but who cares, it tastes great and that's what counts, right? Whatever style this beer is, it manages to be balanced and (very) drinkable without skimping at all on the hops.

09-05-2006 05:54:39 | More by spaced
Photo of Greggy


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

A- Pours a nice 1+ finger light tan head over a slightly hazed amber body. Sticky lacing rings the glass and a thin cap sticks around for quite a while.

S- Definite hop aroma, some nice maltiness as well. The hops are slightly grassy and piney with bits of pineapple present.

T- Starts out with a nice piny hop note well balanced by a nice maltiness. The maltiness is almost biscuitty but has some peachy notes to it (combo of malt and hops). The finish is the beautiful malt with the nice hopiness.

M- Nice light carbonation with very creamy mouthfeel.

D- Quite drinkable pale ale here. Some argue that this is more of an IPA. It's not my call to make but I would say it's somewhere between a pale and an IPA. Overall, I would get this again.

03-26-2010 20:49:50 | More by Greggy
Photo of cfrances33


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Not sure how I haven't reviewed this one yet, but here we go. Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: Deep , mostly clear amber orange with two fingers of bread colored head. Super sticky lacing, and head hang around for most of the glass.

Smell: Caramel malts hit first, followed by some breadyness. Very malt forward nose. Some pine and light citrus hangs around in the back, but not much.

Taste: Follows the nose with a heavy caramel, followed by a resinous bitterness. To be honest, the hop profile only lends bitterness rather than flavor. Caramel breadyness hangs around on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Kind of light, but the bitterness and heavy malt backbone make this beer feel bigger than it is. Normally, I would rate lower for this attribute in this style, but the heavy caramel in the taste make the heavier body of this beer a plus.

Overall: Good, but not great. It tickles my fancy every now and then, and I would definitely stress that I enjoy this beer. However, I view it more as an amber ale than a pale ale.

09-24-2012 21:13:24 | More by cfrances33
Photo of heidelbeerg


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours out a copper orange color with a thick, rocky off white head. The smell is moslty sweet malt with a floral hop aroma. The taste is very hoppy. A little too hoppy to say it is balanced but it does taste good. Citrous hop bite is really noticeable in the finish. A nice malt flavor is detectible through the strong hop flavor but barely. The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. Quite nice. Very good tasting pale ale although probably just a touch too heavy on the hops for this style. Highly reccomended for IPA lovers.

12-24-2004 00:52:10 | More by heidelbeerg
Photo of LairdChisholm


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

A - Pours a transparent, dark copper color with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles in the center heading towards the top. There is a one finger, off white, creamy head that has good retentions and leaves some fair lacing.

S - Sweet pine hops is what I get at first. These are followed by some citrus notes mixed with a more spruce smell. Very good nose.

T - Upfront there isn't a lot going on besides some slight lemon an citrus notes. The back end of the sip the stinging pine hops come out with a spike of orange flavor. It would be a lot better if it tasted like this all the time though.

M - Just a little too light. A little less carbonation would maybe help bring out those flavors at the beginning a little more.

D - A good staple session APA, I've had better and I've had worse, but not a bad one to try.

02-09-2011 02:49:10 | More by LairdChisholm
Photo of

4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

12oz. bottle.

Hazy amber fluid, with a medium sized head. Lots of lacing as I drank.

Aroma was grapefruit, peaches, honey and bread.

Taste was excellent. Biscuity malt, grapefruit and honey. A very hoppy beer, but with plenty of malt to balance.

Medium + in body. Medium carbonation. Drying.

I really enjoyed it. Sessionable if you are into hops. Great balance. Easy to see why it scores well. This one falls into the category of expectations met. Not sure I would call it a Pale Ale, though....

12-19-2006 15:14:31 | More by
Photo of Pintofbrown


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

I had the "King" of pale ales in a nonic pint. Also, Three Floyd's may have the coolest bottle cap I have seen. Thanks to Geneseohawk for supplying this one.

Appearance- An orange-tinged, two-fingered foam builds quickly in the glass. It leaves a dense and smooth cap with a decent amount of big bubbles. Retention is decent and a webbing of lace stays on the side of the pint glass.

A transparent, copper- amber body has carbonation that is spread out and climbing lazily to the cap.

Smell- This has a very hoppy nose. It is a bit piney, sort of grassy, and an earthy - citrus quality that almost comes across as vinegary. The citrus is a little lemon and papaya in nature.

Taste- The grassy and citrus flavors get a second before the bitterness kicks in. Does a very nice job of giving a little bit of tongue tingle and then backing off.

The flavors are that same grassy hop and citrus-sweet quality. It is a lemon-like taste that mixes with pineapple or papaya, a musty kind of sweet.

The finish hangs mostly on the piney and grassy quality with a grainy flavor mixed in. I would like it more if the citrus flavors would sort themselves out and not be so muddled. Otherwise, it works very well.

Mouth feel- There are no real complaints here. It is a big medium body and very creamy. A very easy drinking experience.

Overall- The citrus qualities inherent in the beer are a little muddled. If they had as much zing as the grassy and piney hop notes this would be a really great beer. It is still good as it stands, thanks to the hop profile and the mouth feel.

02-05-2012 00:11:46 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of HopHead84


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

A great extra from a generous BA knocks off an unlisted want. A vigorous pour yields a 1 finger head. Dark reddish brown with minimal lacing. There is a nice floral hop aroma with a trace of citrus. The taste is well balanced, with a small and sweet malt backbone balancing out the astringent hops. The beer is medium bodied with good carbonation, and I want another.

10-23-2008 03:53:20 | More by HopHead84
Photo of bearrunner44


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%

Appearance- Cloudy, brownish-amber color. Bubbly, slightly filmy head, the color of pancake batter. Once the bulk of the head dissipates, a millimeter or two remains perched on top.

Aroma- Sharply acidic hops sting the nose; piney grapefruit aroma all the way. Agitation reveals a sweet, bready hop profile.

Taste & Mouthfeel- Quite a hop bomb! They're brash and assertive, filling the taste buds with citric flavor. The malt is smooth, sweet, and slightly toasty, but it's only in there to help take a little of the edge off the hops. The leftover head and ample carbonation lends the beer a light, slightly airy mouthfeel.

Verdict- The sole purpose of this beer is to serve as a hop delivery system. The strength of the hops might rub some drinkers the wrong way. I appreciated it, though.

02-22-2006 09:19:18 | More by bearrunner44
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,932 ratings.