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

5,029 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,029
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 841
Gots: 524 | FT: 26
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: 5,029 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EagleTalon
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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
Photo of vwcraig
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from an AleSmith pint glass. Poured a dark amberish color with a thick and rocky tan head. Looked fairly translucent with some suspended particles. Great smells of citrus and grapefruit. Light pineyness as well. Smells refreshing and very clean. Bready malt smell thrown in too. Bittering hop up front along with a caramel and bready taste. This is an excellent drinker. Mouthfeel on lighter side and bubbly. Head retained until the end of the glass. Finished with just enough bitterness. Drinkability is great with this one and I only wish I could find it local for $9 a sixer like some people.

vwcraig, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of Dantes
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Package: 12 oz. longneck, crowned brown bottle (and draught). No date information or ABV indicated. Typical 3F mascot, much like Alpha Klaus. Blurb describes this as a classic American Pale Ale and as bottle-conditioned.

Cost: $8.99 per 6-pack at Shop-Rite

Presentation: Poured into a Shaker pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: Pours a typical amber, with a slight haze and some particulates in the body. The head is barely off-white, sticky, and medium-loose in texture, resolving down to an opaque skim with little lacing.

Smell: A vibrant, citrus hoppiness erupts from this cascade powerhouse. Definitely has the aroma of an IPA, as it lacks any real malt or biscuit in the nose. Promises a no-holds-barred hop-attack.

Taste: Assaults the palate with a phalanx of hop-warriors marching across the tongue. The hops lean more toward the grapefruit side of the spectrum rather than the piney; but there are some Pine-like notes. As it warms, the malts begin to peek out just a bit, likely scared by the hoppy centurions. Not very complex, but pretty good. Not much else to describe, as this all about the hops. I do seem to remember preferring the draught for its better balance. Finishes crisply and short.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy on the carbonation and a bit thin on the palate. The limited number of draught samples I’ve had were much better in this respect.

Drinkability: Nice but not amongst the best of its kind. Maybe I’m not enough of a hop-head, but I prefer a little balance, especially in something called a pale ale. Still, I’ll be buying this on occasion, especially since Brutal Bitter has become so expensive.

Backwash: I was amazed and thrilled when this showed up in my very average local store. I didn’t even know it was coming to NJ. I’m also hoping that this appears in draught at my local watering holes. It’s been some time since I’ve had this (I bought a case about 18 months ago at Shangy’s). Somehow, I remember those examples as being more pleasantly drinkable, with better balance, and a fuller flavor. Perhaps these are very fresh. Also, although the Bros. don’t like this, I have to review this as an IPA rather than a Pale Ale. If I were honest, I’d have to rate this low as a Pale Ale, as it really doesn’t deliver those flavors. I noted at the time of my Ithaca Pale Ale review that it couldn’t possibly compare to SN’s Harvest and 3F’s Alpha King and I think that still stands. Still, this is fine beer that I’m happy to have in NJ.

Dantes, Mar 08, 2005
Photo of ruckus232
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

!2 Ounce brown bottle

Appearance: Clear amber coloring with great white lacing

Smell: Really nice floral and fruit aromas which has a very refreshing smell (if you can have a refreshing smell)

Taste: Very nice citrus taste with strong hoppiness but not an overpowering amount which I really enjoy for that reason

ruckus232, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sephiroth for this one, also. Poured from bottle into a snifter- pours a deep amber color with good sized creamy white head. Tons of lacing. Tons of piney hop aromas, without even taking a good whiff of this one! It comes right out. Great bite right off the bat. Grainy, piney bitterness. A hophead's delight. medium body with a lingering bitter flavor keeps this beer on the palate for a while. More bite and flavor that any PA I have had in a while. Kind of like a Sierra on steroids. I Like it a-l-o-t...

DrDogbeer, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of ONUMello
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a FFF pint glass
A: Burnt orange color; 1.5 finger head that lingers
S: Floral hops with some citrus and a malt backbone.
T: Malt-forward, yet with a nice hop bite. A bit earthy. I'm having a hard time picking out specific notes, but it tastes very good.
M: Medium bodied and incredibly balanced. Rich malt but the hops make their presence known; pleasant & lengthy finish.
O: A very good beer, and one that I wish were available in Ohio as it would definitely be a go-to summer beer.

ONUMello, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of nickapalooza86
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber

Smell is citrus, pine, caramel malt,

Taste is bitter citrus and pine up front, malt is there with caramel mostly

mouthfeel Light, Is medium, average carbonation, finishes clean with slight bitterness,

Nice apa, would buy more if it was dated.

nickapalooza86, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of cetherid
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass

A.

A nice reddish brown. a small amount of head.

S.

the first thing I smell is hops. citrusy hops with a little pine.

T.

slight bitterness from hops but the malt flavor smooths it out. a subtle caramel in the malts. less hoppy that I thought it would be from the initial smell. I'm (currently) not a fan of really hoppy beers like IPAs, but this seems like it would be a great starter beer to the hoppier ales. I actually enjoy this one.

M.

about medium bodied. not thin at all. it goes down smooth.

D.

very drinkable. could be good with both a meal and just sitting and relaxing with family and friends. i will definitely enjoy drinking this 6 pack over the weekend.

cetherid, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear auburn amber body with minimal head but some good lace. A very citric hop smell hit me in the nose first, along with a minor mix of sweet malt. A great pale ale taste - medium-boded with a mix of hops for a dry, citric taste and blended with sweet malts for a balanced beer that lights up the palate as it goes down smooth (almost buttery) and finishes with a nice dry backbite. A solid beer to have anytime.

clayrock81, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color, quite clear except for a few large floaties. Forms a thin beige head that does not stick around too long. An immediate aroma of American hops wafts from my glass. Notes of lychee, grapefruit & other citrus fruits are in the nose, it smells slightly sweet & nectar like, there is a hint of caramel malt here as well. Ooh, quite bitter; this beer finishes with a drying intense bitterness. Overall this beer is only slightly sweet, it has a light body & is focused entirely on the hop component. The hops are over the top, but perhaps it is missing some hop flavor. There is lots of bitterness, but it feels like it is missing some balancing hop nectar flavor. Underlying the hop attack there seems to be some nuttiness, as well as some caramel notes. This beer is all about the hop attack, not much malt here, so if you don't like hops stay away. Luckily I do like hops so this beer is just fine. Perhaps a bit too unbalanced for an everyday drinking beer, but every once in a while is nice.

Gueuzedude, Feb 04, 2004
Photo of RedChrome
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

RedChrome, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of AdamBear
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

AdamBear, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of ckeegan04
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ckeegan04, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of atsprings
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

atsprings, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

AaronHomoya, May 05, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

instrumentality, Mar 07, 2007
Photo of woosterbill
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of dmfrench
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

dmfrench, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of BitteBier
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

BitteBier, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of PatronWizard
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

PatronWizard, Sep 09, 2008
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,029 ratings.