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Alpha King - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,278 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,278
Reviews: 1,685
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 868
Gots: 606 | 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:
A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,278 | Reviews: 1,685 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hike20
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a decent, but not overlarge, head. Aroma of grapefruit and pine, not as strong as some but not weak either. Definitely stronger hops than most APA's, and stronger than a few IPA's I've tasted. Kind of like getting the flavor of an IPA with a bit lower alcohol, which makes for a pretty drinkable combination. Overall a very pleasing beer.

hike20, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of Patchmaster
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a nice two finger head. Darker amber texture with some heavy lacing on the glass.

S - Malty with some citrusy undertone

T - Some great maltiness that finishes off with a citrusy mouthfeel

M - A little higher carbonation, but definitely tolerable. Somewhat of a bitterness

D - I am so lucky to have FFF at my disposal anytime I want. This is a great beer. For the price at my liquor store of $9.99 for a sixer I've reached for it many times. The hardest part is deciding Gumballhead or Alpha King!!!

Patchmaster, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of GJ40
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass. Purchased for me by OnTheRoad while in Chicago on business.

A - Amber with excellent clarity and a small beige head.

S - Lots of piney hops with a touch of caramel and biscuits.

T - Piney and citrusy hops with a nice lingering bitterness. The malts provide a nice caramel flavor. It's got all of the hops of a great west coast beer but with a complimentary malt presence that almost makes me think balance is good. This is a very complex and balanced American Pale Ale.

M - A moderate consistency and carbonation with very fine bubbles.

D - Very flavorful yet well balanced. This was my first taste of anything from Three Floyds and it didn't disappoint.

GJ40, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of hoosier3334
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer! Pours a perfect darkish-golden and smells of awesome grapefruity-ness. The hops really stand out, as in most 3 Floyds beers. Head was 1.5" and laced fairly nicely along the glass. This might be my favorite overall beer, and it's quite drinkable.

hoosier3334, May 10, 2011
Photo of tony223366
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jzmaxson27 for sending me this beer!

A: Dark copper amber color. Nice off white fluffy head. Only about one finger. Gorgeous beer... would have been a 5 with a bigger head. Nice lacing.

S: Big time citrus hops hit me up front. Getting a nice presence from the caramel malts. Can definitely tell cascade hops are present! Slight orange zest too.

T: Whoa! This is great! Huge hop presence in this "APA". Big citrus hop presence. This is followed by a nice chewy caramel malt. Some fruitiness is present in the middle with a bitter/sweet finish. There's a nice interplay on the finish between the sweet malts and bitter hops.

M: Nice medium body. Definite chewy malt presence. Great carbonation.

O: This is absolutely a unique beer. There's a definite battle between sweet and bitter going on at the finish that I enjoyed. Being a hop head I totally dig the huge citrus hop presence. Worth the accolades it receives.

tony223366, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of beerinator
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Ruby caramel. Very clear, with a nice frothy off-white head when poured vigorously from the bottle.

Aroma: Sweet citrusy aromas up front. The bitterness seems subtle in the aroma. This beer smells great. It has a nice floral sweetness that goes along with the citrus that you get when you first take a whiff.

Taste: Sweat caramel breadiness. With lingering bitterness that rolls over the tongue. The floral undertones in the aroma seem to sneak in the flavor too. The hopping isn't over the top, but it definately provides a kick that balances out the sweetness. Mouthfeel is full, but not over the top.

Notes: Great beer. An easy drinking IPA that shares some space in my fridge alongside other favorites like Two-Hearted and Red Seal. Buy a case.

beerinator, May 11, 2005
Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade with DavidEddie (thanks!). Poured to a pint glass. What is an "Alpha King"? - the label shows what seems to be a tubby version of the Hulk, sporting a golden crown and sprinkling loose hop cones into a pint of beer. All hail the Alpha King...

A: Hazy amber with a creamy/fluffy 1.5 finger head. Retains the head nicely and offers a thick lace. Bottle-conditioning means there are some floating particulates - still a very nice looking brew.

S: Hops - sweet and juicy citrus with a liberal dose of resinous pine. Cascade and Centennial hops mostly. Caramel sugary sweetness provides balance.

T: Malt presence is sweet and full. Zesty citrus hop flavors of grapefruit, oranges and rind. A little spicy tasting and with a slight hint of toasted nuts. Very, very juicy and great balance. Bitterness is less pronounced.

M: Smooth and almost creamy. Medium mouthfeel and body. Salivation-causing hops leave you craving more.

D: Very nice beer, excellent flavors and balance - one that you could drink several of...

msubulldog25, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of SerieDNo3
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep amber, with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly. Mild to moderate lacing.

S: Deep piney aroma

T: Tastes very strongly of pineapple, with a slight malt sweetness.

M: Surprisingly carbonated, given the small head and unimpressive lacing. Very crisp.

D: Carbonation and great flavor make this one very drinkable. A very good beer.

SerieDNo3, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of porterwoobie
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: copper/reddish color, clear, 1 finger off-white head with good lacing.

S: equal parts of hoppiness and maltiness. hop aroma is piney and kind of pungent, but in a good way.

T: a healthy dose of bitterness is maintained in this brew. some sweetness is there, but the hops overpower it quickly and remain on the palate for a while.

MF: medium to medium low bodied, average carbonation. slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: well-balanced beer. IPA like. very bold on the hops and very pleasant to drink.

porterwoobie, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my nonic pint glass. Appears a hazed deep copper color with about two fingers of sticky creamy light ecru foam. The head leaves a moderate lacing on the inside of my glass as I sip my way to the bottom. Smells and tastes of fresh fruity citrus such as lemon, grapefruit and orange peel, sweet caramel glazed biscuits, and a welcome bitterness. A few notches above medium in both body and carbonation. Excellent drinkability, this is probably epic on cask.

ClockworkOrange, May 03, 2009
Photo of Axnjxn
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dark amber color with a nice white head with superb lacing. The smell is mildly hoppy...of the piney variety. not quite an IPA but too much to be a pale, too. The taste is definitely more like a pale than an IPA though (its like a toned down zombie dust honestly) defintely taste the cascade hops here but its not too much and i still would consider this a pale. for the style its superb. Medium bodied with mild carbonation. very creamy feel.

Overall for a pale ale this is one of the best in the world.

Axnjxn, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of bound4er
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 ounce bottle.

A - Pours with a slight cloudiness - nice redish amber color, good two finger head that recedes fairly quickly to an off white covering film. Plenty of lacing present.

S - Complex malt (warm bread, cracker, etc.), citrus and a funky earth / weediness that I find appealing.

T - In a word - yummy. Alpha King provides a well balanced attack of malt and citrus hops. I detect the funkiness on the nose at times on the palate - hard to put a word on the flavor - I guess a faint weediness. I really enjoy the complexity here.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, well carbonated - nothing to complain about.

D - FFF came back into our market about a year ago but I haven't seen AKPA until last week. This beer was worth the wait - it is extremely drinkable (it drinks like a mild mannered IPA) and one I will always have on hand. It is nice to try a well regarded beer and not be disappointed.

bound4er, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of benloho
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

benloho, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of AltBock
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle with a very interesing picture on the front and information about beer on the side. It said that this is their flagship beer and it was bottle conditioned.

Appearance: Poured a clear light copper color with a very small head of white foam that dissipated fast after the beer settled. But it did leave some lace around the mug though.

Smell: It had a strong aroma of citrus fruits, like grapefruit, plenty of bitter hops and some pine in the background.

Taste: It had a pleasant strong taste of spicy citrus bitter hops. That's it, nothing else but the spicy citrus fruits and the hops. Very Good!

Mouthfeel: Although that strong citrus bitter hops lingers around in the back of your mouth for a while, it still goes down nice and smooth. I still don't believe that this beer clocks in a 7.35% ABV, I sure as hell didn't feel it.

Drinkability: Let's just say I can understand why this beer is considered their flagship beer. Keep up the good work 3 Floyds!

AltBock, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of beerislove
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mynie for the bottle...

Pours a beautiful rusty color bordering on mahogony. It has a thick lasting head that leaves a nice oily slick when it finally relents.

The nose is pure citrus hops that tells your tongue what to expect. The beer is sharp up front with a great biting bitterness. But this quickly fades before it gets too far down the tongue and reveals a sweet matly backbone. To me this is the mark of a great APA in that it cuts off the hops earlier than an IPA would. The malts then fade cleanly leaving a slight citric aftertaste.

It has a nice medium body and the alternating hops and malts are perfectly done. I could drink this all day...if I had more than one bottle that is.

beerislove, Jul 09, 2005
Photo of kellyst
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep orange-copper hue. Slight haze. Medium, off-white head.

S: Spicy and citrusy american hops.

T: Delicious. Well rounded. Bitter, but not quite ipa bitter, but more bitter than a pale ale. Plenty of flavoring hops present. Lots of citrus. Good malt balance to back it all up, with a slight carmel.

D: Very high.

kellyst, Aug 29, 2007
Photo of Crosling
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dirty cedar with a white head that quickly fell.

Smells wonderfully hoppy. Citrus scents and loads of leather.

Tastes mainly of grapefruit hops with other tropical flavors. Well balanced and well hopped. The finish is full of lemons.

Excellent Pale Ale.

Crosling, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of pkalix
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

very copper pour with lots of effervescence and a super creamy tan head. a very beautiful pour and almost perfect in appearance. that's my take....
some citrus aroma, and another, unidentifiable smell... not a great smell... kind of metallic. might have been the ride from indiana....
taste is crisp, mellow and smooth. hop bitterness at the finish, citrus in the middle. some mentioned a 'bubble gum' taste; I can see that although it's not altogether distinguishable. a very nice flavor, very easy to drink with a decent abv to boot!
very smooth. very decent. been waiting a long time to try my first Three Floyds.... thank you to Mike!!!! for the opportunity.... overall, a very good beer! no date on the bottle, which sucks, but very very good....

pkalix, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of BeerFink
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Freed from the bottle, this brew cascades into an intriguing reddish orange. Very hazy appearance with a decent head comprised of tightly knit bubbles. The nose is citrous with some fruit, as well as a slight floral quality. The taste is bold yet very refined. Although generously hopped, there is some good toasted malt to even things out. Some caramel and spice add their balance to the citrous explosion of hops. Slightly thicker mouthfeel than some other pale ales also helps to counter the sharp hops bite. The toasted malt flavor sticks around with the aftertaste, blending wonderfully with the hop oils in the finish. The most striking facet of this ale is the dance between hops and malt, without one dominating too much.

BeerFink, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of MeisterBurger
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice, rich dark amber topped by a decent head that, once settled, leaves small islands of foam and some nice head retention and spots of lace.

The aroma is dry-hopped perfection which culminates in a nice candied grapefruit flesh, with the notes of pine and grapefruit pith you would expect.

The taste is quite hoppy for a pale ale, a nice bitter c-hop with a mild toffee malt at its spine, with a slight chalkiness that helps accentuate the pine and grapefruit bitterness, which lingers in the aftertaste. This has a long finish as the resinous oils seem to cling for dear life. If this was an IPA it would get top marks but since they're calling it a pale ale probably I'd dock 1/2 a point for being unbalanced. Sorry.

It's smooth and well carbonated, medium bodied, slightly chewy--the mouthfeel really helps deliver the taste here.

Certainly there has to be levels of progression between--or a scale to measure the degrees between--an APA and an AIPA, and this one might just about tip the scales and spill all over the next category up. Tasted blind I would have pegged this as an IPA without a doubt. Not a bad thing. This is a great beer. I'd pick it up all the time if it was available to me. It's just more than a little brash for the style it claims to be is all.

MeisterBurger, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of everetends
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle thanks to Goliath. Poured into a shaped pint glass.

A:Poured a nice caramel/copper color that had a beautiful inch and a half of head. The head had great retention, lasting almost the entire beer. Big time, sticky lacing.

S: Smell is of citrus/earthy hops, sweet, bready malt, and a touch of medicinal alcohol.

T: Taste is an amazing balance of citrus hops and sweet bread malt. This beer has nice tones of grapefruit and orange, but the malt adds a nice sweetness that balances this sweet heart out. There is also a touch of medicinal, herbal, metallic flavor, but is welcome and not at all unpleasant. So nice.

M: Medium in body. Carbonation is a bit low but that is the only gripe I have. Smooth and easy drinking. After taste of grapefruit and a just a touch of alcohol heat on the back of the throat.

D: This beer is truly great. I am now a fan. Great balance to this beer and that is what I like in my APAs. Damn near perfect.

everetends, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of Kelly88
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at keystone in Covington.

A- bronze copper appearance. Very dark for a pale ale. Nice half inch white head That fades to a bubbly cap. Lacing is sticking after each sip.

S- grassy woody hops are the main event with the slightest suggestion of lemon in the nose.

T- the taste mirrors the nose with the herbal hops taking the lead. A dash of soapiness is there But isn't distracting.

M- light to medium bodied is eight in line with style. Maybe and Just maybe a touch more carbonation. Overall great feel

D- I could down multiple pints because of the mouthfeel and taste. Glad I had this great beer on Tap.

Kelly88, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass. Thanks to Dev (buckeyesox) for the opportunity!

Pours a hazy, almost murky dark-copper, thin off-white cap on top that actually grows due to the laser etching on the bottom of the glass. Nice lacing and persistent cap raise this one up a notch.

Nose is nice - big sweet citrus and caramel. Fairly one dimensional, but very pleasant.

Reviewed at around 45 degrees and up. Taste is very hop forward, but at the same time, not at all tiresome. Up front, you get a nice smack of citrusy, piney hops, just a bit astringent, over a big biscuity malt body that just a bit sweet, but not overly so. Plenty of backbone and balance in this one. Finish is bitter, dry, of an IPA level or just a bit under, slightly astringent, but definitely not overwhelmingly so. This would absolutely be one of my go-to beers if I could get it regularly. Color me impressed.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly crisp carbonation. Well done - carbonation is active, but never gets in the way of the flavor.

This is a beer that I could drink till the cows come home. Love it.

JohnQVegas, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mason (BitterPachyderm) for this delicious 4-pack.

A: Somewhat hazy dark amber with a gorgeous 2+ fingers of white head that's bubbly and frothy. Great retention and sticky lacing.
S: Caramel malts and an inviting piney, floral hop kick. A bit of brown sugary sweetness.
T: Tons of herbals and florals right away. Really delicious hops, but also not out of balance. Caramel and slightly toasted malty sweetness. Residual but only slightly bitter herbal notes. Slightly smoky with warmth. Dark fruit esters and bready malts also pull through later in the session.
M: Lighter to medium body with lower carbonation.
D: This is a tasty pale ale. I wanted another pint of this brew right away!

washburnkid, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of Lothore
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep, sunset orange with a small head.

S- Smell is absolutely perfect. Sweet, floral tones with a huge aromatic pineyness.

T- Taste is milder than expected from the ipaesque nose but good none the less. Starts off with a huge hit of piney hop flavor but mellows quickly into sweet maltiness and very little if any hop bitterness.

M- Creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Theres something different about the three floyds mouthfeel that I can't put my finger on. At first with Dreadnaught I thought it was lack of carbonation but now im thinking it may be to creamy for a pale ale or ipa.

D- This would be an absolutely excellent session beer. One of my favorite pale ales to date. Has all of the hop flavor but none of the bitterness which makes it pretty drinkable.

Lothore, Mar 01, 2008
Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,278 ratings.