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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.

5,169 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,169
Reviews: 1,679
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 864
Gots: 575 | 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
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Ratings: 5,169 | Reviews: 1,679 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DmanGTR
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BJ for this awesome brew.

A - Wow, what can I say? I simply cannot fault the appearance at all. Beautiful deep amber hue, quite clear, with many bubbles rising from the apex of the Duvel tulip. A rich 1" off white head that left ample lacing and lasted nearly the entire 15 minutes that the beer was left in my glass. Good gracious, I don't think I've ever seen a better pale ale. Although I do question the "paleness" of this beer ;) 5.0

S - Rich caramel and honey malt with a nice juicy grapefruitiness and a very slight hint of pine. Altogether a bit subdued. 4.0

T - Holy cow I feel like I'm sucking on a grapefruit rind and chasing it with pine cones. Initial citrusy and piney goodness followed a moderately sweet malt backbone. Bitterness really shows in the finish with a lingering piney flavor. 4.5

M - Medium bodied, pretty dry finish and nice smooth carbonation. Touch of warmth from the alcohol in the finish. Hmm, I have to dock half a point for that. It's only 6%, I shouldn't be tasting any alcohol. 4.0

D - I could drink this all day. And most of the night too. 4.5

Overall - I think it would make an awesome IPA. No doubt about it. Perhaps a bit over the top for an APA. Regardless, I dig this a lot. A great beer all around and I would love to get some fresh from the tap at the brewery again. Thanks again to BJ for sending this over :)

DmanGTR, May 22, 2010
Photo of bonkers
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA perfect pint glass. It pours a clear copper with a 2 finger head and alot of lacing. The aroma is a pine explosion. The flavor showcases the cascade hops, big and bold pine and citrus. The finish linges with a piney bitterness. Alpha King is medium bodied, well carbonated and taste like a much bigger beer. This beer taste bigger than many of the IPA's I have had and kind of blurs the lines between the two. To date this is the best APA I have had.

bonkers, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of ngeunit1
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear copper-orange color with a finger of frothy slightly off-white head atop. The head fades slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma has a nice kick of fresh citrus hops. There is also a nice balance provided by the sweet caramel malts in the background. Really excellent nose.

T - Starts off with a nice punch of citrus hops and some bitterness. Not far behind is the sweet caramel malts playing catchup to provide a good balance. Through the middle, the caramel malts get a bit deeper and richer and the hop flavor stays balanced alongside. The finish is a mix of some citrus hops and bitterness with some sweet caramel malts that linger.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer is super smooth and extremely well balanced from start to end.

D - Super drinkable. Pretty much every aspect of this beer is excellently balanced. The hop profile is really fantastic from start to end and everything else just falls into place around that.

ngeunit1, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of Lunch
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz. bottle acquired in a trade as generous extra from Bulkman (Thanks man!) into my 16oz. North Coast Old Rasputin nonic pint glass at the appropriate temperature (01/20/10). First time having this American Pale Ale and I was quite impressed.

A: Pours rather darker shade of golden brown with a slight orange hue. Capped with 1.5 finger of a creamy, frothy head with decent retention that left some spotty lace.

S: Nice aroma of citrus and a semi-sweet caramel malt. Quite a fruity bouquet and very inviting.

T: Great flavor profile of citrus wrapped with a semi-sweet caramel malt with wonderful balance. A slight amount of bitterness, but overall just a well-crafted and easy drinking American Pale Ale.

M:Medium-bodied with moderate and slight creamy carbonation and a hint of lingering bitterness on the way down.

D: This is a beer that I could enjoy all day if it were available to me locally. The 6% is completely hidden, and the flavors are bold, yet refined and well-balanced.

Overall this is one of the best American Pale Ales that I have had and it certainly lives up to its reputation. Thanks again Chuck for throwing this one in the box! Recommended.

Lunch, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this six pack while lost in Southern Indiana. Out of the bottle it poured a copper color with some mandarin highlights around the edges. The off white head was fluffy, laced well and retained well too. Great looking brew. The aroma was bright and hoppy, lots of citrus, some floral notes and slightly resinous. The taste was equally spot-on for the style, first a bitter hop bite followed by grapefruit and lemon zest. Behind that was the deeper malt balance, biscuity and solid along with some pine. As I continued to sample it the hops developed more nuances, orange zest, kumquat and hemp or it's smokable cousin. Quite complex and yet approachable like that cute, late 20's, school-teacher you want to chat up at the end of the bar. The mouthfeel was smooth, medium bodied and it finishes crisp. Like the school teacher, glad I took this one home.

thekevlarkid, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer appears an orange sunburst color with a half inch of head. The head hangs out for a few minutes before leaving some decent lacing in its tracks.

S: The aroma consists primarily of hops with some citrus, followed by malt. This is more hop forward than is normal for a pale ale.

T: The beer tastes well balanced and full of flavor, with hops shining through.

M: Crisp and refreshing finish, with a solid carbonation level. An all around nice feel. Well done.

D: Really easy to drink. A great beer.

Huhzubendah, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of gibby
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Mike a.k.a. MGL on here. I have wanted to try this brew for a long time.

Pours a deep orange/amber color with 1 finger head that went away quickly. Smells of very nice citrus hops, very pleasant. Couple floaties in the bottle which is no big deal. Taste is very good and goes down easily. Massive lacing on the glass. Seems like more of an IPA as opposed to a pale ale which is fine with me. I think I could get in trouble with this brew if it was more widely available around here. I really want to try a very fresh one b/c I know this one is atleast 3 or 4 months old. Another winner from FFF and a very good pale ale. I will have to keep trading for this and dreadnaught until they distribute in PA. Cheers.

gibby, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of gueuzedreg
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Nice golden ruby color, minimal head, vanilla lacing with low legs. Semi-transparent, this beer has a very nice ruby red to dark golden honey hue to it.

S- Whatever hops they used in this one, they did a great job of getting the aroma out of it. Low to medium malt, but it is in the background. Some pine

T- The hops have taken more of a back seat in the taste, which I approve of. The mild backbone steps up. Kinda watery, but that is minimal and waay in the back. Taste is the highlight for me.

M- Subtle creaminess, the carb works well with this one. I am kinda new to the midwest pale game, but they must have been working on this one for awhile. Very well balanced.

O- Another great pale from FFF. Cheers Kristine and Brian!

gueuzedreg, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of jera1350
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark shade of amber red with a tight one finger head of tan suds on top. Sticky rings of lace on the glass.

Robust smell of citric hops and sweet caramel malts. Smells great. By the nose, I'm guessing this is going to have a big hop profile, but a solid malt presence as well.

I was correct. Nice balance of piney hops and caramel malts. Finishes nice and clean. The sweetish malts cleanse the tongue of the moderate hop bite.

Nice beefy medium bodied beer. Very smooth with some soft carbonation throughout. Dry on the finish. Almost a chewiness to it.

This is drinkable as hell. Would make a great session beer. Lots of flavor going on and not overly hoppy to cause a lower drinkablility. Well balanced and tasty. If I had access, I would buy this often.

jera1350, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of nickss
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark for a pale ale... looks almost like an IPA. Pours a deep copper hue that is almost brown with a 1/2" head. The head could be alot better, but the bartenders pour wasnt exactly aggressive.

Big citrusy hop aroma. Lots of lemon with some resin in the backbone... the aroma, too, is IPA-esque.... very nice.

Huge hoppy citurs flavour... reminds me alot of Dale's Pale Ale, if maybe a touch more bitter. Very nice, and significantly more hoppy than your typical PA.

Decently thick body with a crisp feel.... quite nice.

This is one hop bomb of a PA, but still maintains its drinkability. An absolutely fantastic pale, and one I expect will be a regular in my fridge.

nickss, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz., bottle conditioned. Pours a reddish orange with a creamy, 1 finger, tan head that leaves decent lacing. Looks more like an amber or an IPA. Big citric/piney/leafy hop aroma with grapefruit, mandarin oranges, and a little bit of alcohol. The beer is fairly bitter and has notes of pine, grapefruits, oranges, and other tropical fruits. The malts are there, but they're overpowered by all the hops. It's somewhat thick, coats the mouth well, and is very drinkable. Delicious but not your typical pale ale - the flavors and appearance (and the ABV) resemble an IPA.

mmmbeer, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of jrallen34
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer poured amber in color with a weak small white head and poor lacing.

It smells hoppy with citrus and spice, but the hops are a sweer smelling hops.

This is an IPA at its core but incedibly drinkable. Its sweet but hoppy and bitter.

jrallen34, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Student Union at Wisconsin. Reviewed from notes about a week old. What a state.

A: Poured a lightish orange amber. Pretty clear. Served to me with a small off-white head that retains pretty well and leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Big citrus punch. Pineapple, zesty lemon/lime, and orange. There's a definite floral presence as well. A hop bomb for sure, without much malt to speak of.

T/M: A bit more balanced than the smell. Citrus still reigns, and it's delicious. Same fruit cocktail as the nose. The malt comes through as bready. There's also a sweetness in the back that I can't quite place. Honey? The body's medium, and the active carbonation makes this one crisp as hell. Amazing warm weather sipping beer.

D: Worth the hype. I'd call it an IPA instead of an APA were I tasting it blind, but I don't think my palate's sophisticated enough to take off for that.

CharlatanSin, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of StaveHooks
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy dark copper with a dense off white head, nice lacing on the upper portion of the glass.

S - Vibrant citrus hop aroma, caramel malts, hints of pine mixed in.

T - Candy citrus, lemon and bright orange flavors, green hops, a solid background of toasted barley and caramel, bitterness starts in the middle with and pairs with the carbonation for a peppery bite. Citrus peel and oils start coming out toward the end along with apricots and general stone fruit flavors. Finishes bitter with some orange oils left on the tongue.

M - Medium/heavy body, lively/stingy carbonation.

I've been waiting a long time to try this beer and it did not disappoint. Fresh bright aroma, zesty citrus hop flavor with a spicy bitterness on the back end. Malt bill was perfect for the amount of hops used. Well crafted and highly enjoyed.

StaveHooks, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the few survivors (along with Gumballhead and Rabid Rabbit) of a shipment from IN to OK. My bottles of Dreadnaught and Panzer Wolf were not so fortunate to make it through the rough UPS ride. Sad...

A- One of the meanest looking pale ales i have seen. Pours a dark copper bordering on amber into my Spiegelau IPA glass. Creamy as can be light tan head of 1 finger. Lacing that is sticky as hell. The retention is equally impressive as a layer sticks around the whole time. Looks like I am in store for a great beer.

S- Tons of citrus notes all over the nose. Grapefruit, orange, lemon zest. Some bready character underneath. Touch of carmelized malts as well.

T- Hops all over again as the nose indicates. Toasted bread malts come through with a nice round of sweet caramel to support the hop platform. Nice amoutn of bitterness in the finish, but avoids any harsh astringency. Actually finds some way to be slightly clean and smooth.

M- Mid body makes this one a bit heavy for the style, so the drinkability is average at best. Fantastic carbonation though. Crisp and clean. Dry as expected.

O- Hoppier than most APAs, but quite enjoyable. A standard for the style. If there were no lable i would have assumed this one were an IPA.

Bosoxfan20, May 24, 2013
Photo of themind
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Three Floyds beer and I am impressed. This beer poured a dark, unfiltered looking brown. The aroma was subtle but the taste..boom! this beer is a hopslam! has some bitterness and crisp carbonation. Alpha King is a high quality pale ale that has you begging for more...to bad I only had one.

Bottom Line: Great beer...period!

themind, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of Craftnscotch
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

Craftnscotch, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of Ryphraph
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have tried this beer twice. The first was not as good of an experience as the bottles may have had a hard trip to the West Coast.

The score is based on the second and better experience.

I was lucky enough to get some in the Chicago area and it was much different and better to say the least. The beer from Chicago was considerably fresher and the citrus and a honey back flavor were much stronger.

I am glad I gave it a second chance.


Ryphraph, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of dbossman
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber/brown; a bit cloudy with a thin but steady cream colored head--once it dissipates it sits nicely on the top of the beer; the lacing is great

S: Sweet, malty quality backed by a mild pine and lemon hop presence; a bit subdued

T: A very well-balanced beer; the pine and citrus sit right on top of a caramel, candied sugar maltiness

F: Nice, even mouth coating; carbonation is right on

D: A great pale ale that acts more like an IPA--probably is more of an IPA--but I'll go with the APA because the hops don't quite dominate like most American IPAs; good beer

dbossman, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of Leftofthedial
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

Leftofthedial, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of profzoom
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I'd forgotten how much I liked this beer. It reminds me so much of my senior year in college, where my favorite local bar often had Alpha King on tap. Ah, those were the days...

Anywho, on to the review. This brew pours a lovely golden oaky color with a medium-sized head. The smell is absolutely to die for, a sweet and complex aroma of hops, hops, hops! The taste is similarly divine, a sharp, spicy bite with the sweetness of a flower garden. It's a relatively intense experience, and probably not everyone enjoys this fine ale as much as I, but this is one brew I'll be coming back to over and over again.

profzoom, Sep 28, 2004
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cloudy copper in color with minimal head. Unmistakable aroma of grapefruit over sweet malt that develops into a honey candy smell. The taste is very balanced and smooth with a nice dry finish. There is more carbonation than I would have suspected from the almost non-existent head. This is as drinkable a beer as any I’ve had. It is about to be added to my list of beers to always have on hand.

CDBeerDisappear, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of machostacos
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from chilled 12oz bottle into tulip glass.

A: A rich hazy amber-orange (beautiful color!) with a small beige head that sticks around, leaving nice lacing.

S: A wallop of citrus hops - it's like sticking your face in a grapefruit-pine-forest. Sweet caramel malts shine through on the end.

T: The is the most IPA-ish APA I've ever had, which is likely why it scores so consistently high with reviewers (though that's certainly not to say it isn't delicious enough to earn such ratings.) Strong citrus & pine hop presence with the perfect amount of bitterness supported by a hefty caramel malt backbone that keeps the finish perfectly bittersweet. Wonderful.

M: Medium-light body with great carbonation. Slightly oily. Delicious and refreshing.

D: This is one hell of a beer. 6.5% ABV is a tad high to be truly sessionable. However, it wouldn't be difficult in the least for me to polish off a sixer of this on my own.

machostacos, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of dangelop
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

dangelop, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of blackie
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a low, white head that soon recedes. The beer is a clear, burnished copper color.

smell: Fresh, green, floral hops greet the nose...accompanied by a well balanced caramel malt sweetness. Some aromas of tropical fruits and light estery notes are also present. Great balance.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is towards the lower end of the medium range. The body is medium and slightly slick.

taste: Awesome taste...one of the more exciting and interesting APAs I've had the pleasure of sampling. Fresh tasting, green, resinous hops give the beer a great hop flavor, but are used liberally enough to stay true to the style. A moderate bitterness balances the sweet caramel-like malt flavors.

drinkability: very good, and easy to drink as a result, though the full body limits drinkability somewhat

Brought back a bottle from my trip to Madison, WI

blackie, Jan 16, 2006
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 5,169 ratings.