Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,749 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,749
Hads: 5,987
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 935
Gots: 1,069 | FT: 29
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: 1,749 | Hads: 5,987
Photo of Spider889
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Live review from the bottle, I bought this six pack on my second trip into Chicago. I was apprehensive about having to carry this and three bombers the 10+ blocks and train transfer back to my friend's apartment, but now I am so happy I forced myself to carry the extra beer. This is one of the truly exceptional Pale Ales out there today.

I love the label art, it's bold, graphic, and impressive with shiny gold inlays on the label. The beer was poured into my Duvel tulip (I am really excited that my Lost Abbey tulip should arrive tomorrow!) The beer is a crystal clear red agate color - with glowing hues of ruby, amber, and caramel. I got a one finger white head that had really good retention, and the lacing is superb for a pale.

The aroma is mostly softer pine - sort of like the difference between a Douglas Fir and a Blue Spruce - both smell like a pine tree, but the spruce is far more aromatic. The softer fir notes are mingled with citrus - red sweet grapefruit with floral aspects similar to clover honey.

The taste is also mostly pine - but the bitterness is well in check, this is a pale ale after all. The hop character might rival an IPA though - as it is bold and complex. Resinous pine sap and crackery malt provide body and sweetness to the hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is very creamy, though the carbonation is medium to high. Visible bubbles are coming off of the etching on the glass. The finish is slightly slick, but not too bitter, nor does it overstay its welcome.

I found this beer very amiable, and incredibly drinkable. The best Three Floyd's offering I have had to date, and I think I have to include Dark Lord in that statement as well.

 1,675 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Deep cloudy amber, with a thick white head which lasts the glass long.

S: Piney hops mostly, some citrus, but also toffee malts make an appearance, very balanced.

T: The taste is exceptional. This is by far my favorite American Pale Ale, as Tony Kornheiser would say - "That's it, that's the list!" I love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but this is its superior. Delicious pink grapefruit coats the tongue, with a perfect malt backbone to hold it together. Fabulous.

M: Chewy bitterness, citrus hops abound, that extra kick of hops at the end adds to its smoothness and helps keep its body together through the finish.

D: The greatest APA that i've tried so far, it's just a shame I can't get it very often, an American craft brewing classic.

 768 characters

Photo of Biggness
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is another beer my wife brought me home :) This beer pours a dark bronze with a very light head. The smell is not overpowering but what I can catch I get nuts and alcohol. The inital taste is nutty! Beautifully nutty and the it follws with malts. A very nice beer and definatley something I could drink all night if it was more readily available on Long Island

 365 characters

Photo of number1bum
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeerTruth for this one.

Pours a slightly hazy amber with one finger of light beige head. Head diminishes slowly leaving just a thin film of lace. Some blotchy stick hugs the glass as it goes down.

You don't have to get too close to catch a whiff of this one. Awesome hop aromas of citrus, pineapple, pine and some floral notes. Smells like hop nectar and I can't wait to taste it. What else should the smell do other than make you want to drink it? Divine.

Taste is a wonderful journey of complex hop deliciousness. Starts out super fruity with some sweet malt there, as well. Then comes the pine, some more grapefruit and in creeps some hop bitterness. Finishes slightly bitter with the malt backbone coming back into the picture to provide some balance. Taste is definitely dominated by hops, but it's oh so good.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a little bit chewy. Carobnation is very subdued, and overall it's very smooth and almost too easy to drink. Awesome.

 986 characters

Photo of willjschmidt
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: A dark amber hue with some orangish undertones.

S: Lots of glorious floral and piney hops!

T: A damn good IPA (this really is an IPA, don't let the name on the bottle fool you), one of the better ones that I've had. This brew if bursting with delicious hops and has probably the most juicy fruit that I've ever encountered in an IPA. Orange, grapefruit, mango, you name it, it's in here. It's all balanced very well with a solid malt backbone and is finished off with just the right amount of bitterness.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, and goes down easy.

D: An excellent beer, eminently drinkable and thoroughly enjoyable. This would quite possibly be my go to beer if I happened to live in Three Floyds distribution area.

 774 characters

Photo of Rogorama
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Kind of a three floyds forgotten gem here. The flagship beer that we don't have too often, we forget how good it actually is. The hops are balanced absolutely perfect with a slight citrus aftertaste. the 6.66% ABV is also a nice touch from the boys (and girl) over at three floyds. Just a great beer!

 323 characters

Photo of wedge
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle conditioned APA. Pours hazy orange color - creamy medium dense head recedes into thin bubbly white sheet. Smell is fresh: citrus and fruity hops, light sweet malts. Taste is fantastic: big hops yet very well balanced with sweet malts...nice and smooth. Crisp and rich with a dry hop finish. This is a great IPA (it IS an IPA isn't it?), it should definately please the hop-heads. Very tasty indeed...too bad its so hard to find in the NE (available in RI though). Excellent.

 481 characters

Photo of AylwinForbes
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We have had the Alpha King all over, in bottle and on-tap, at the brewery and other places, but I don't think we had it from the cask before. What a fantastic beer! Nice dark amber with a good froth in the glass. The smell is full, hoppy and floral. On the palate, all the good things of Alpha King are emphasized in this super-smooth and drinkable brew, floral hops, fruit, length. I was reminded of Fuller's London Pride and Brakspears (RIP) in particular as examples of a complex fruity bitter.

 497 characters

Photo of cameraman
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was incredible. Poured into a pint glass, an amber color with a small head that forms and laces very nicely. Several aromas come through from citrusy, floral, and earthy scents, with a slight scent of malt. The taste is amazing, very well balanced. It starts with some malt and barley flavors, then the hops begin to announce themselves midway to the end of each taste. The mouthfeel has the consistancy of skim milk, watery, but it does have some body to the texture. Overall, this beer is incredibly drinkable, great taste, wonderful aroma. This beer surpasses one of my favorite beers in this style in SNPA.

 620 characters

Photo of thydarkprevails
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How have I not reviewed this? This beer helped me discover craft beer and began my love of three floyds. 12 oz bottle into a duvel tulip. Pours a clear copper with a 2 inch off white head that shrinks slowly. Very nice lacing. Aroma is grapefruit, toffee, grass, and mild citrus. Flavor is bright citric hops. Grapefruit, caramel, mild toffee, and a mild creaminess. Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Flavor lingers and alcohol is invisible. This is THE go to beer at any respectable pub I go to. Amazing.

 503 characters

Photo of jawlessbody
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a not quite hazy, not quite clear honeycomb color with a 1.5 finger slightly tan head.

Smell: Citrusy, mostly oranges and pineapple but just a hint mango. Bits of malty sweetness and piny hops can be detected as well.

Taste: Very balanced. Aggressive, but not harsh hoppiness washed down with a sharp, citrusy malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but not sharp. Very smooth going down, with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Holy shit, I'm impressed. This might be the best beer I've ever had.

 510 characters

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

man, i loved this via bottle but on-tap this shit is even better. deep orange amber in color with slightly more clarity than the bottled version, the freshness from drinking it at the 3f pub took this over the top for me. even via bottle this has a thick, creamy off-white head that cannot be denied, leaving globs of lacing even after the beer is gone. citrusy hops dominate the nose with nice, rich, bready malts mixed in. subtle floral and pine notes as well, along with some caramel and honey. nice amount of sweetness at the front and with plenty of hop bitterness clearing it out leading to a long, complex, crisp/bitter finish. medium in body, this beer just leaves you wanting more and more. almost drinks like a dipa but at 6% you can have several of these. this is a must-try beer. if you ever have the misfortune of being in munster go get this stuff fresh. and when you're done, inhale the bouqet left behind-an absolute grapefruit bomb remains in the bottom of the glass.

 984 characters

Photo of EPseja
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Smuggled a 6-pack of these babies home from Indiana after my Godson's Baptism. They sat around for a few weeks (miraculously) during which time I had the fortune of getting a couple of fantastic pints on tap at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL during another trip.

Served in a pint glass at recommended temperature.

A - Massive, bold, oily head forms after a flurry of activity during the pour. Malty, burnished copper colored, clear body. Lace seems to cling for dear life to the glass during consumption. Incredible.

S - Clean, crisp, straight up sweet floral hoppiness. Not as citrusy or piney as others, although the notes are there. Mouthwatering and amazing for this style. Go Amarillo hops!

T - Incredibly balanced. Mild malts up front, quickly crushed by a hop sledgehammer. Clean sweetness in the middle, and a medium bodied finish that leaves a spicy, but ghostly hop spirit lingering in the mouth. For as strong as this beer is, the alcohol is virtually non-present.

M - Rolling and oceanic. Opens up slightly in the mouth upon sipping, simmers down in time for the swallow. No residual carbonation or out-of-character dryness in the finish. I tried to find a flaw but could not.

D - Extremely well crafted, although a touch acidic. I could definitely drink this all day on any spring or summer afternoon. Unfortunately, this perceived seasonality keeps it from the perfect drinkability rating.

 1,409 characters

Photo of Phocion
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back by my amazing girlfriend a couple weeks ago after visiting her parents in Indiana. Let's hope it's still fresh.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint. Gold with just the slightest hue of red and a finger of frothy nearly-white head with decent retention. Ample but not particularly sticky lacing.

Yup, this is still fresh. Initial aroma is mostly grapefruit and other citrus along with a slight hint of pine. Slight caramelized malts providing just a bit of balance.

When this first hits your mouth, it's significantly less bitter than the nose would lead you to believe. Slightly sweet grapefruit followed by a hint of floral hops. Reasonable amount of toffee/brown sugar/bready malts, although (as expected from a pale) the hops continue to dominate. Nice, dry finish. Every sip is a massive bouquet of flavors, this thing is very complicated.

Slightly chewy and with moderate carbonation. Very silky and smooth mouthfeel.

All in all, this could easily be one of my new favorites. I'm pretty glad 3F doesn't distribute in my state because this could be dangerous. Oh well, it might be a good excuse, after eight months, to visit the girlfriend's family. Two thumbs up. My big toes, too.

 1,215 characters

Photo of beaker30
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a beautiful copper color...

Smell is so citrus, so awesomely hoppy. I love IPAs and this reminded me of some of my favorites. I am a huge fan of Pride & Joy Mild Ale, so I expected some more hops out of this. I was not disappointed. Bitter, citrus and a just a hint of something sweet.

I could guzzle this right down, but the ABV is keeping me from doing that. This is going to be one of my new favorites.


 427 characters

Photo of jjboesen
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A recent trip to Birreria Paridiso provided me the rare opportunity to quaff this powerhouse.

What a beer! It begins with a quick head and a thick slathering of lace amids a cloudy body of amber. The nose is overwhelmed by an extreme floral blast with small chards of orange and banana. All of which is superceded by a hop explosion on the palate, one in which no taste bud walks out alive.

Alpha King is wonderfully structured in that it can provide a worthy platform for heavy hops and mild malts - they're there, but are timid.

This is one true beer that challenges all your senses - I think I heard it too. It is magnificent too behold and hold.

It may be good to be the king, but it's great to drink an Alpha King. See It. Drink It. Love It.

 750 characters

Photo of NastyCanasta
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice clean looking dark amber color with a thick cream colored head that left a nice lacing aorund the rim of my pint glass.

Very pleasent smell. The head did not disappear rewarding my nose with both a pleasant citrus and "green" smell (reminds my of pine trees).

Very hoppy taste not real over-powering. I did not taste the alcohol at all
Very well balanced..

My mouth came alive when I drank this. Very fresh feeling. Highly recommended.

Great with beer can chicken.

 490 characters

Photo of Newglarusguy
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my mug stein, ah what a beautiful thing.

Appearance: This ale pours a wonderful deep orange cloudy expierence.

Smell: Glory, wonderful, superb, it smells of citrusy hops predominatly Cenntennial, Cascade & Warrior Hops.

Taste: Excellent, nothing like it around I've tasted, and I've tasted plenty of APA's before but anyway it tastes of again citrus hops a dinty hint of malts in there to balance the equasion of this fine brew, but this is definently a hop lovers brew I tell you what.

Mouthfeel: It's like everything you've ever asked for in a ale, great taste, great smoothness and all of the above it's like premium heaven washing around your mouth.

Drinkability: Near perfect and that's all there is to it.

 759 characters

Photo of lovindahops
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally a Three Floyds brew in my hand! Thanks to livewire78 for making this east coast/mid west trade happen. Trading is the best

A- pours and impressive golden orange with the fluffiest head of rocky foam around. The lacing is almost equivalent to marshmallows all over the glass. The haziness of the brew is very amazing. Not many APAs look like this

S- a nice slap of grapefruit, earthy scents, and caramel malt flavors. There is a major balance to the scent. There are some orange and tangerine themes present as well. Again, just a big balance in the smell department

T- incredible! The citrus flavor and caramel malts contribute to massive flavor. It's bitter and tasty all at the same time. The quality of the brew is outstanding. The flavors are all over the place and it makes alpha king delicious

M- creamy with good chewy flavor. It paints your mouth with flavor

D- Alpha King was who I thought it was! This is the best APA on the planet. There are so many flavors and balance in the brew. It's definitely sessionable and tasty. I swear if this brewery could ever get to Syracuse, I would drink mountains of this stuff! I will get to Munster somehow this summer

 1,178 characters

Photo of TrojanMan
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

You know how when you're eating a peach and you get towards the pit and the flavor starts to get a little bitter? That's this beer!

Outstanding, all the way. Total class. The sweetness is perfect for the style, which is actually closer to an American IPA I would argue. Just a tiny hint of residual sugar, on par with Harpoon IPA, DFH 60min, Stone IPA and so on. The hops are *very* interesting and I can't quite pin them down, but they are in ideal proportion, just bitter enough without asserting themselves over the malt. Just a fantastic, balanced brew.

I had mine at Bierreria Paradiso in DC. First time tasting it, in fact, since nobody really distributes it around here. I was surprised they even had it. I knew right away that I needed to try it.

From the bottle, it poured a *perfect* clear, slightly translucent amber with a few rising bubbles. Wow, this looks great! Puffy head settles to a fine lace that clings to the glass after each sip. Just enough carbonation to maintain the lace over the whole pour without getting too wild.

The taste is biscuity malt and very clean, green hops. A little raisin and olive along with fresh pit and vine fruit and just a *hint* of apple and perhaps some spice as well. Towards the tarragon/juniper side, but very, very subtle. There's a flavor in the finish that I can't quite nail down...

As I said, the peach-pit flavor stands out the most, but that's not nearly all that's going on here. A little citrus, perhaps, my wife guessed Cascade hops, and maybe some green, slightly earthy flavors as well. Tough to pin down.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Sliky enough to introduce the flavors, but just a slight bit heavy in fact. Suck just a little air in through the front teeth to draw out some additional flavors and then roll that around the mouth for the full experience.

Again, I'm going to say that this is more IPA than PA and that the complexity of flavor is really a little too deep for me to pin down after just one bottle. I'm reviewing it anyhow because I think it's more than worthy of a try by anyone who likes beer.

This one is a bit of a wild card. It's not really East or West Coast style IPA and, for that matter, it's not really American in some ways. A little more biscuity than I'd expect and the hop profile is excellent, but just that little bit unfamiliar. Great beer and I'd highly recommend it.

 2,369 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Clark Street Ale House.

A-Pours a clear copper amber with a thin white head and good sticky lacing.

S-Piney sweet hops with a strong malt backing.

T-Sweet malty front, then a malty and hoppy finish. Lots of flavor throughout. Sweet and citrus hops and a malt backbone that stands up to the flavor, all in great balance. Does not get much better than that.

M-Medium bodied with carbonation a little light but sufficient.

D-My favorite pale ale ever, or at least so far. It lives up to its well earned rep.


 523 characters

Photo of uwmgdman
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This APA pours brilliantly clear very deep copper color with a clingy, white, soapy head. The aroma is intensely hoppy, loads of pine and good burst of citrus. Alpha King? Yes. The flavor is highly hoppy, citrus rind, floral and slightly piney. After the burst of hop flavor chewy, bready malt emerges and that is finally wiped clean by moderate hop bitterness. The beer finishes perfectly balanced between dryness from the hops and sweet, bready malt, very smooth and well rounded. The carbonation is medium-low and body medium. Overall this beer is incredible, deliciously hoppy, tremendous nose, and yet somehow a wonderful malt flavor emerges. One of the best APAs you can buy. Very highly recommended!

 706 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden cloudy peach amber glowing hues with sticking thick meringue tan head cap that stuck to the glass and the walls like it was painted on with a roller.

Superlative scents of pine and resin goodness. If anyone died in the name of beer aroma, this would be the official funeral beer. Coniferous scents shoved up the nose goodness. Lupalin glad injection. Breakfast cereal high.

First swigs: Citrous grapefruit true and orange meets pine cone resin glop. Hop soup. Sizzle hop acidic addiction fix. Bright clean fresh pastry sugar hoppy cool. Liquid sap. Sticky thick bite.

Crisp well carbonated feel. Invisible ABV %. Gimmie more.

Last swigs: Clean pine resin and grapefruit thickness. Reminiscent of Avery IPA but this requires a paint stirrer to get moving.

 774 characters

Photo of maddamish
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ap: Dark brown in color. There is a nice head when poured. Lacing through out.

Smell: Mango, orange and hop notes. The aroma in this beer is superb.

Taste: There is a tropical Orange/Mango thing going on here. It is slightly fruit punchy. I cannot believe that there are Pale Ale's like this. The hops are strong but complex. I could drink a lot of these and have a different experience each time.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and wonderful.

Dr: Yes

Notes: If you pass this up on the shelves at your local beer store... you are crazy. Simply one of the best pale ale's ever made.

 573 characters

Photo of thetomG
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can't believe I've waited until now to review this one seeing as its my de-facto go-to everyday pair with anything beer. Alpha King is that good.

Aroma: caramel, roasty, floral, grass, citrus

Appearance: hazy, amber

Taste: medium sweetness, medium bitterness

Palate: medium body, a bit sticky but not too thick, average carbonation, long and mild bitterness in the finish

Overall: Truly outstanding. I can drink this one ANYTIME. Based upon its near constant availability (in my area at least), amazing aroma, and delicious flavors this is my favorite beer on the planet.

 576 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,749 ratings.