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.

4,810 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,810
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 830
Gots: 440 | FT: 24
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,810 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of merryjoulton


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange hue that has a nice head at first. Then it fades to a prisitne white foam around the edges that laces tightly to the glass. Smell is tight and sticky, very well constructed concoction of piny, sticky, citrusy sweet hops and a binder of nice malt. Taste is a perfect blend of bitter hops and sticky goodness that is balanced by the sweet malt character. Mouthfeel is full with a superb drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2010 03:39:03 | More by merryjoulton
Photo of strikertown


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Sean(Sean9689) for sending me the growler. I won his LIF, and it was received in excellent condition.

A-Not so much pale, but more of an light orange coloring with a small head that dissipated quickly to a thin lacing. Looks very enticing.

S-I am not sure if this was a cause of being in a growler for a couple weeks (I didn't drink it right away), but the aroma was faint although pleasant. Floral citrus but just not much of it.

T-This beer tastes more along the lines of an American IPA. Very bitter and citrusy hoppy. Added in was a decent malt backbone that led to some perceived sweetness. It sort of took on a pineapple flavor with the citrus and sweetness mixed together.

M-Has a solid mouthfeel that is not small and not big but rather right in the middle which makes this an easy drinker, IMO.

O-Overall I am still surprised that this is listed as an American Pale because it is similar to other IPAs I've had with decent body and a strong bitterness with citrus hops. This is a beer I could drink a whole lot of and be content.

Thanks again to Sean9689, for an excellent beer. I will definitely be seeking this out when i am in the distro area.

Serving type: growler

04-24-2011 05:19:58 | More by strikertown
Photo of brewintheLou


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with a 1 inch foam head that stuck around a left lacing down the glass.

Does not have a strong smell, but I think I am getting hints of a citrus smell.

Taste has a nice smooth malt at the start with a little hop bite to finish. This beer is very well balanced. Would probably be nice up higher ABV session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 22:56:34 | More by brewintheLou
Photo of throwitallaway


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from thickerfreakness. Thanks dude! Decanted from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours an amber color with a one-finger head that fizzles away quickly. Aroma of resiny hops, citrus hops, and big, sweet caramel malt. Taste starts with a pleasant resiny bitterness, then the citrus kicks in, and finally it finishes with caramel and bready malts. Nice medium body, with a quite high drinkability. Honestly this tastes more like an IPA to me, but I'm a hophead, so I'm quite into this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2008 22:13:34 | More by throwitallaway
Photo of herman77


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark orange almost a brown. Awesome color. Light khaki colored head that forms a cap and collar. Very good clarity. Nice spider web lacing.

S: Great aroma! Tons of citrus, oranges and grapefruit. Nice big whiffs of toffee/carmel malt as well. A hint of pine hops as well. Very nice.

T: How is this a APA? Its a hoppy IPA no doubt. Pretty much every hop taste imaginable hits you right off the bat. Pine, Grapefruit, citrus, floral, grassy and even slight earthy hops. There is some carmel malt as well, but its not nearly as prevalent as the hops. Long bitter, hoppy finish that grows more bitter by the second. As it warms, it becomes very smooth. I can see why hopheads go crazy over this stuff.

M/D: Medium body, pretty slick feeling over the mouth. Carbonation is spot on, not too much, not too little. Very good drinkability even though its pretty damn hoppy. The malt balance makes me coming back for more.

Best "APA" I've had

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 23:26:52 | More by herman77
Photo of kmeves


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copper body topped by small beige head. Aroma is medium sweet, grapefruit. Taste is grapefruit, medium sweet, fairly intense bitterness. Still, the sweetness lends decent balance to the hops. Medium body. Nice hoppy ale. A little fruity, nice finish. Another great beer from Three Floyds.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 17:49:27 | More by kmeves
Photo of abcsofbeer


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale orange color, clear, with ample carbonation. The head is very nice, off white and bubbly. There is lots of sticky lace all over the glass. Aroma is abundantly citrus with
a great deal of hops throughout. The taste is grapefruit and nicely bitter in the aftertaste. A fine APA, I must say. Very refreshing and good for quenching the thirst.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2004 01:02:49 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of gbarron


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle, no freshness dating that I can find.

A - light copper, orangey/golden. Head is creamy, off-white, coverage is excellent. Leaves nice lacing.

S - great aroma on this one. Strong hop presence - pine, resin, citrus, grapefruit. Little bit of alcohol. Malt in the nose as well - can smell some malty, bready sugar. Very, very well balanced nose.

T - forceful bitterness, but not overwhelming. Bitterness hits the tip of your tongue and goes all the way to the back of your mouth. Hop flavors of citrus, grapefruit, NW American hop variety. Some malt here - toffee, bread. But hops win out. A little bit of warming alcohol, but very slight.

M - very smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation appears average. If you let this beer sit out and warm up a little bit, carbonation calms down.

D - very, very tasty brew. Very nice on a warm spring day. Refreshing hop content livens up your tastebuds.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 22:21:05 | More by gbarron
Photo of lackenhauser


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BUCKEYENATION for the trade sample. I had tried this ages ago and was not impressed. Poured a nice coppery red color with a damn nice head that remained the whole way down the glass. Wonderful aroma-citrusy,almost spuce like. Big hoppy flavor up front-almost thirst quenchingly bitter if thats possible. Good body-well balanced to the hoppiness. A killer pale ale-more towards an American India Pale to me but a great beer all around. Funny what a second chance will do.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2004 19:38:59 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of livewire78


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours the color of copper tubing. Creamy lacing that settles into a rather unremarkable head.

Smells of intense citrus, and a pine cone dunked in a malt bath. Oooh yummy.

I was expecting this to be rather one-sided on the hops end because its a FFF brew but was surprised at how prevelant the malt is in the taste. Make no mistake the hops dominate but the malt is definitely up there with it. Very citrusy like the nose and the pine isn't as intense.

Mouthfeel is decent. Not slick and oily enough for me but not watery either.

I always have some of this on hand so I guess its my idea of drinkable. This one for me blurs the line between APA and IPA but its good either way. Trade with ME to get it though.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 19:20:33 | More by livewire78
Photo of TechMyst


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml. bottle. Hazy orange. Upon first sense of aroma I thought this was an India Pale Ale. This is highly hopped. If I’m not wrong the Warror hop has high amounts of alpha acids and the Centennial is lower. But this is where is must get part of its name, yes? Bottle conditioned. Finely crafted. More on the grassy side than citrusy side for me. Nice long lasting bittering finish. No sweetness here. I thought pale ales would try more of a balance between sweet and bitter...this is all hops...I’m not complaining, but why is this not in an (American) India Pale Ale style? Very good beer though.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2006 05:27:51 | More by TechMyst
Photo of expatsteve


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange amber in color, with 1/4 head that thins to a light sudsy skin. Medium visibility. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Kiwifruit and mild grapefruit. Sweet malts underneath, and some orange and honey notes. Great fresh aroma.

Taste: Nice balance - pine and grapefruit hops bristle on the front and middle palates, while sweet cantaloupe and honey notes develop alongside this and control the aftertaste. Fruity developments as it warms - kiwi, orange and sweet citric bursts.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than it looks, which keeps this really drinkable; no bitterness in the aftertaste - just a hint of toffee malts.

Drinkability: Great pale ale, though the fruitiness is more reminiscent of an IPA than it is an APA (which I tend to think have heavier malts). Nonetheless, this is a fairly unique flavor that displayed a lot more balance than I thought I'd find in a FFF pale ale. Refreshing and sessionable brew.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2006 03:32:35 | More by expatsteve
Photo of Hojaminbag


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one from SHRlsu. Thanks Stephen, I've been wanting to try this for a long time.

Alpha king has a copper colored body with a fairly lumpy beige head. Has above average retention and leaves a litte bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell is a pretty big whiff of citrusy hops with just a hint of maltiness underneath. Floral and citrus notes combine here to make this one smell excellent.

The taste is just like the smell, but the citrus flavor is stronger. Tons of biting, bitter, grapefruit hops and a little bit of a floral flavor. Just a touch of sweet malt. Actually tastes a little bit like some sort of perfume...a hop perfume anyway. That may not sound too appetizing, but this stuff is pretty good.

Mouthfeel is about what it shoud be. Full enough with adequate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer, but I don't think anyone should crack into this sucker expecting an APA because this is really an IPA. At least as far as my taste buds and nose are concerned it is anyway.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 13:54:21 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of genog


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got to sample this on tap at the Map Room.

Poured a light ruby red amber color with a great sparkling body and sudsy light colored hear. Smell was very grainy with spicy citrusy hops that jump through. Taste is a balanced IPA with plenty of hops present as well as a strong grain bill. Some lemongrass comes through as well making this a really smooth mouth feeling. Drinkability is really high and this is one of my favorite sessionable beers if only it was more available in Ohio.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2008 14:53:23 | More by genog
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another extra from bgramer; an unbelievably generous trader (thanks Brendan). Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a translucent copper red; excellent clarity. Tight, off-white head approached the rim of the pint before reducing its volume in half within about 30 seconds. Cap eventually settled into a thin semi-consistent skim with strands of watery lacing spattered around the walls of the glass. Aromas of floral, piney hops immediately hits the nose. Taste consistent with nose with a strong grapefruit character that leaves a lingering bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied with a distinct tingle across the tongue. This is an excellent representation of the APA style and I can see why it is a Three Floyds flagship brew, as such, I tried to be true to the style in my rating; however, a little too hoppy for my preference. If you are a fan of the style, this is definitely a brew to measure all other APAs against.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 16:08:19 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Gobzilla


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured an amber brown with yellow highlights and a thin head that left very little lacing.

S: booze malts and mild hop aromas with hints of citrus fruit and caramel.

T: nice mild piney sweet hop flavor with bready notes with hints of booze and citrus. The final taste is that of ice tea.

M: medium body with light carbonation and a sweet mild bitter finish

D: pretty decent pale ale from FFF I'm glad I have more on the way. I'm itrested to see how it taste a little more fresh.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 23:55:34 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of SheepNutz


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep bronze color with one finger of head. There is a good amount of lacing left down the sides of the glass. The smell hints at pineapple and grapefruit, with a good dose of hops as well. A very full smell. The taste starts a little sweet and malty, but ends with a fury of hops. This brew reminds me of Burning River, because both are pale ales that have lots of IPA characteristics. The body is fairly thick and strong for a pale ale. The drinkability is really good for a 7.25% brew. A fantastic pale that works anytime!

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2003 06:07:20 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of JBogan


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caramel color with a one finger creamy head which leaves moderate lacing.

Smells of sweet malt with some citric hop notes. A nice balance.

Up front this has a sweet malty taste which lays on the tongue, but it hits you with a fair amount of bitter hop bite afterwards.

Thick and slippery mouthfeel.

This was my first beer from Three Floyds, so I didn't know what to expect. It ended up reminding me a lot of SN Pale Ale or a Firestone Double Barrel Ale with a hoppier finish. Nice beer, but I won't feel too upset that we don't get it where I live. There's a number of beers in this style we do get here which are less expensive and just as enjoyable. However, I am still glad I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 01:42:06 | More by JBogan
Photo of Wetpaperbag


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade from bulldogp04, thanks a ton!

A- The golden copper color beer left a pillowie head that dissipated quickly and left a slight bit of lacing around the edges.

S- The smell is fruity, with a strong note of pineapple. The hop smell is a good benefactor in the smell of the beer. Reminds me of HOTD Fred.

T- The taste is a mixture of hop character and a bread malt character. The pineapple smell is a light subtle taste. I like this brew and am enjoying it quite throughly.

M- The hops do tend to dry out the tongue just a tad. Light carbonation, which I think is a plus.

D- Very much so, would be a great thing to have on a hot summer day by the lake, like I'm doing now.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 02:19:50 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz undated bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours clear dark copper with a one inch head of dense white. Within minutes the froth subsided to a skim coat on the surface of the brew, allowing plenty of torn ropes of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with floral, citrusy hops. Tangerines, grapefruit, and peach skins. A hint of apricot and spruce follows through.

Medium bodied and crisp with a snappy, juicy mouthfeel.

Tangy, zesty hops and light malt start the palate. A decent mix of grapefruit and tropical fruits with a hint of pine. Orange, apricot, and pink grapefruit.
A kiss of malt follows through along with a firm, drying bitterness.

Finishes with lingering fruit and a smooth bitterness.

Easy drinker. I've had several over the years, including a bunch when they were distributed in Mass. way back. Without knowing how old the bottle is I'd have to assume that this is much better fresh.
Pretty tasty as it is although nothing too special.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 21:35:19 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of beergeek279


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a foamy white head. The smell is a strong citrus hop. The taste is fairly hoppy, but at over 7% the malt shows up quite a bit as well, and a lingering bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, I could have a few of these.

Ahh, a not bad pale ale at all, and I appreciated the chance to give it a try, and I might well have it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2004 03:56:04 | More by beergeek279
Photo of Drew966


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King Pale Ale pours a hazy orange with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is citrusy hops. The flavor is also dominated by citrusy hops, and the malt is up to the job of balancing this beer nicely, but stays in the background. This is a hoppy beer, but it's not a as strong as a DIPA type beer, I think I could session this beer all night. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 23:03:39 | More by Drew966
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper/amber colored beer with a slight haze. Small creamy beige head, with a good lace. There is a strong hop boquet with both spicey notes and citrusy notes. The hops in the flavor are quite assertive but not overpowering. There also seems to be a hint of smokey malt in the background.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2005 21:15:21 | More by ybnorml
Photo of GabrielM

New Mexico

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by SuperNova777 in '10 Secret Santa BIF. Thanks again, Josh! Poured into a tulip.

A - really nice deep caramel brown with plenty of off-white head on top.

S - Hops, a little bit of malt sweetness, spice, caramel.

T - hops right up front with a nice bite, which are quickly smoothed over by some malt action. A little hop bitterness on the finish, which is welcomed.

M - feels good. That's it!

D - I wish I had more of this so I could (try to) session it.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2010 23:17:29 | More by GabrielM
Photo of kbutler1


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form bottle into my favorite tulip glass. A: Poured a nice reddish brown color with offwhite tan head. About a finger of head.
S: Hops right off the bat with some sweet undertones
T: smooth upfront transitioning to the bitter hops afterward. Not as balanced as I would have thought.
M: Good mouthfeel
D: A very drinkable APA that goes well on a nice warm day...or any day for that matter!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 22:58:57 | More by kbutler1
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,810 ratings.