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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

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4,238 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4238
Reviews: 1646
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%

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: 4,238 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours darker than I would have expected. It's coppery. Head is an off-white growth. It retains quite well, keeping most of its height throughout. Consistent lacing rings.

S-Pine and citrus without a doubt. Grassy as well. Also some caramel malt and bread. Assertively hoppy upon each sniff. More IPA than anything else.

T-Chewy pine and grass with a bunch of candied oranges and grapefruits. Some caramel and bread crust. Straightforward but well built.

M-Bitter and dry. Medium bodied. Drinks quite easily. Aftertaste is moderately long lasting.

O-I have always wanted an Alpha King. Finally got the go-ahead on this one. I found it to be an above average IPA/Pale Ale hybrid but not much more than that.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2014 23:54:05 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap at Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium golden honey orange in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and significant amounts of copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/orange rind, and herbal hops over a light aroma of slightly sweet grainy malts.

T: Upfront there are light flavors of slightly sweet grainy malts with a touch of caramel malts as well. That is followed by the just shy of moderate flavors of the hops - citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/orange rind, and herbal. Light amounts of lingering bitterness are observed.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky and hints of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a wonderful beer that I thoroughly enjoyed and really appreciated trying after looking for it during my travels over the last couple of years. Definitely one I wish I had easier access to and that I could enjoy more readily. Highly recommend and definitely in my top 100 of all time.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2014 02:53:24 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Swettenham_Shire


3.54/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently on tap in the Pint Room (Dublin, OH). First time trying this pale ale from 3Floyds.

A: copper color with minimal head
S: simple citrus smell; expected more hops
T: expected better; I've had other pale ales that compare to this
M: very smooth and drinkable
O: good, but not extraordinary; maybe I just don't like pale ales that much, but being a 3Floyds brew I had to try it

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2014 20:20:57 | More by Swettenham_Shire
Photo of BeerImmediately


4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nonic pint served up at the brewery - my first 3F.

Pours deep amber with a 1-2F off white head. Great lacing!

Good balance in the aromas - nice mix of earth, caramel malts, and citrusy hops.

Flavors are virtually all hop-forward. Grapefruit skin leads the way, with some orange pith, and kiss lemon zest. Could've used a touch more sweetness for my taste, but he'll, I'm a sweet tooth. MF is awesome ... Clean, and crisp as hell for the ABV.

Killer APA, no doubt

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2013 00:57:36 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of donkeyrunner


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

@ Girl and Goat, Chicago IL

Dark honey color with a thick head. Kingly lace and retention.

Immersive grapefruit and wet grass aroma. So good.

Tastes like grapefruit juice. Lots and lots of hoppy grapefruit goodness with very little bitterness. Nice carmelized malt background. Sometimes I wonder why I love grapefruity beers but don't drink regular grapefruit juice. It has no alcohol, vitamin C, and it's cheaper. Beer is beer.

My first ever Three Floyds on tap. It's not something you forget.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2013 18:47:02 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of DrinkSlurm


3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into nonic pint at the brewery. Deep caramel color with a nice foamy head. Piney hop and sweet caramel aroma. taste is bitter hops with some sweet caramel finish. For me the bitterness is just too much. Its actually way too bitter for my likes; which is the norm for FFF. Huge malt and bitter profile - and lots of people like that, just not me. Good brew for sure, I just don't get the hype on this one.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2013 03:58:16 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of macher0


4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Winos In Bowling Green

A. Dark copper/medium copper color. Excellent lacing. Frothy egg-shell color head that sustains very well. Translucent.

S. Very nice fragrance of citrus, grass, pineapple, and resin. Very balanced. Very pleasant.

T. A very balanced taste that follows the nose. A combination of resin/grass and citrus/tropical fruits. Awesome. A nice peppery tingle on the tongue from the freshness. Moderately bitter.

M. Very smooth. High carbonation. Full bodied.

O. This serves as my standard for a pale ale. There are a few better, but many-many that are worse. Of course it is better fresh, but can hold up over time. I love the complex balance of hops: citrusy and resiny. I would keep this in the fridge 24/7 if always available. I see a 6er here and there a few times a year.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2013 21:17:53 | More by macher0
Photo of Rope


4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A copper brown, with a finger white head that leaves excellent lacing.

Light floral pine, followed by a buttery malt.

Strangely, I found it to start with the malt, move to the bitter side of the hops, then to the floral, then to the buttery side of the malt.

Not as crisp as I was hoping, there is a heavier presence than expected.

A flavorful APA that does not end the night.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2013 16:07:41 | More by Rope
Photo of magictacosinus


4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the first beer by FFF I got to try on my recent trip to Chicago. It didn't disappoint! Poured into a tulip glass at the Map Room, located on the lower west side of town. Review is from my notes.

The color is a strong orange-amber color, topped with a large 3 finger of head that eventually dies down to a small ring, yet never seems to let go. Carbonation is very light, in spite of the large head. There's a ton of lacing on the glass, which is always appealing. The color emits a syrupy, slightly viscous texture. It may be the tulip here, but this doesn't look quite like any pale ale I've seen to date.

The aroma is filled with toasted graininess, oranges, plums (?!), and loads of dried citrus loaded underneath the beer. The graininess and lightly sweetened malt character definitely seems to be the focus here, but I've heard here and there that FFF is known for their wild hopped concoctions regardless of the style. Indeed, the hops here have a slight dried character atop the malts, but rather than remaining as a stereotypical "citrus" profile, they seem to meld with the malt backbone to provide juicy fruits from plums (still bewildered there), apricots, maybe a light dash of melon. Pretty awesome stuff in that respect.

The flavor consists of an initial malt creaminess and thickness, only to end in a citrus dry finish with all of the aforementioned fruits. This becomes ever more present as it warms up, but there is, from the very beginning, a syrupy, sticky texture that enhances the fruit profile. It's jammy at the finish, maybe a little floral, but it's definitely an orange-based, lightly caramelized malt combo that works in a very balanced manner. The beer is also very well carbonated, which further promotes balance and gives this its juicy texture.

What perhaps may be the most "normal" of easy to find FFF offerings, it's still quite different from pale ales that I'm used to. This isn't your cascade-focused pale ale here! The maltiness is very hearty, and combined with the very pleasant range of hops, it's far more juicy and zesty as a result. I really enjoyed this – its balanced nature could make this *the* go-to pale ale in my fridge year-round if I could only get this out West. Glad I got to try it at least!

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2013 04:18:46 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of Fux


4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden copper with a small foamy white head
S: Smell is hoppy, fruity, with oranges, mangos. There is also a solid malty base, mainly biscuit, toasted bread aromas.
T: Taste is also very hoppy, with floral flavors. Also sweet and loads of exotic fruits.
M: Sharp attack on the palate. Very good carbonation very well balanced by the sweetness. Finishes dry, very refreshing.
O: A very nice pale ale. Refreshing, also tasty and well balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2013 21:51:20 | More by Fux
Photo of smakawhat


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a sampler 4 oz. taster at Pizza Paradiso Dupont. Way overdue for reviewing this one.

A good basic amber copper, with light light tan to off white color and leaving a solid collar. Good lacing on this drink while finishing, and fairly crystal clear very nice.

Aroma jumps out. Wonderful juicy orange with a nice sweetness. No hop bitterness noticeable, with a little white grass. It's very pleasant and inviting.

Palate is rich and full on first sip. Wonderful mix of mild wood hop and orange and tangerine citrus. Light hints of grapefruit with a spritzy hop feel and character. Palate is juicy matching the hinted bouquet.

Juicy. Full. Stupid easy to drink, and full of flavor. A great touch of juice and spicy finish quality. This is either way better on tap, or I had an old bottle cause this is nothing like I remember it.

Old review - bottle (4)(4)(3.5)(4)(3) ---

Poured into a pint glass resembling a really nice golden/brown color body that is clear. Cream off/white head with fairly tight bubbles and some minor visible carbonation. Real good head retention.

Standard bouquet but a good one. Simple citrus grapefruit with a sweetness and hop aroma. Very nice.

Upon drinking first comes a very hoppy front more in the standard of an American IPA, with a good finish. I keep forgetting this is suppose to be a pale ale but it sure doesn't feel like one. This is quite an okay drink but nothing here I would desperately want to have for an APA.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2013 23:34:24 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Rogorama


4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2013 20:03:05 | More by Rogorama
Photo of elNopalero


4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours a golden amber. There’s’ an orange marmalade aroma and a bready toasted biscuit note which contrasts with the hop aroma. I find a similar orange marmalade flavor that’s dryly bitter with pine and orange peel on it. Nicely carbonated with a bitterness that lasts.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2013 10:03:23 | More by elNopalero
Photo of SerialHiker


4.79/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This thing is awesome, a total must have...a perfectly balanced pale ale, yummy caramel malts, delicious citrus hops...fluffs up so nicely on the palate...can't believe I'm here at the brew pub...one ff the tap is all i need, this would go so well with a round of disc golf...having a bit of a beergasm...

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2013 20:41:44 | More by SerialHiker
Photo of GameFreac


4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Wino's in Bowling Green, KY. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden orange color with 2 fingers of a white head.

Smell: Smells of sweet hops, malt, pine, and grapefruit.

Taste - Taste mirrors the nose. Everything is so balanced.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the style.

Overall: The best pale ale I've ever had. So good.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2012 20:48:31 | More by GameFreac
Photo of barczar


3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy caramel copper color with a dense quarter inch tan head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is heavily pine and citrus pith, with caramel malt sweetness and floral hop notes.

Bready, toasted malt forms the backbone of the beer, with underlying grapefruit pith and spruce flavors adding intrigue. Mint surfaces at the finish, with grassy and herbal tones. Bitterness is slightly dominant.

Body is moderate, with slightly high carbonation and a somewhat dry, crisp finish.

Overall, a fairly complex pale ale. Balanced to the extremes. But it's a little too bitter for my tastes. Just not my style.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2012 21:56:50 | More by barczar
Photo of The_1084

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep copper, almost amber color. Had about a 1.5 finger head that had nice retention and left a good amount of lacing. Lots of activity visible in this beer.

S - Presents the aroma of citrus hops with hints of pineapple, grapefruit, and apple.

T - A strong taste of citrus fruits with grapefruit leading the way from start to finish.

M - A crisp beer with a clean finish and moderate carbonation; could easily drink several of these in one sitting.

O - One of the better pale ale's I have drank and would gladly drink more of these in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2012 23:17:37 | More by The_1084
Photo of TheRealBigC


4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite the hoppy pale ale. Alpha King is a pretty appropriate name, as it has the properties to be the top APA out there. There is enough malt to balance the beer out, and a touch of citrus, but it's clearly all about the hops which absolutely dominate the palate. So, it can be a little pungent and I recall not wanting to take big sips, but at the same time I could easily have a couple of these in a sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2012 23:59:06 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of socon67

New York

4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First Three Floyds, on tap at the Map Room in Chicago.

A - Amber pour. Decent foam retention and lacing is impressive as it webs the glass.

S - Scents of fresh tropical fruit and oily hops. For an APA the scent of fresh hops is more typical of a DIPA.

T - Crisp flavor that brings out more of the sweet fruit flavor than the bitterness of the hoppy bite. Makes this so well balanced that I felt this is what makes this a top shelf beer.

M - Easily sessionable, and with such a crisp feel and smooth balance, you would want to drink plenty of these. Can't imagine better.

O - Easily the best american pale I've had. Three Floyds gets plenty of hype but a beer like this makes the attention justified. Loved this one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2012 16:22:47 | More by socon67
Photo of spark3148857


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Three Floyds:

AP: Amber with mahogany tones, creamy off white head.

AR: Pungent hops, some citrus with a heavy dose of earthy and piney aromas.

TS: Slight citrus hops but most bitterness comes from earthy and piney flavors, dry.

MF: Great smooth mouthfeel that coats the mouth.

OV: A well crafted APA verging on IPA that brings lots of great hop bitterness to the table.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2012 03:01:51 | More by spark3148857
Photo of MortarPestle


4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber with an off-white head that provided excellent lacing down to the bottom of the glass.
Aroma: A big nose of citrus and florals, the malt fights it way through.
Taste: The flavors of grapefruit and juniper are everywhere, nice malt sweetness to balance the hops, with a big hoppy finish.
Drinkability: Nice balance of flavors and paired nicely with a traditional Hoosier tenderloin.
Notes: Served on tap in a pint glass. Dark atmosphere made it a little difficult to judge appearance.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2012 01:52:58 | More by MortarPestle
Photo of kylehay2004


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes over Thanksgiving 2011. Ordered this as my fish and chips arrived at the brewery.

A: two finger off white head on a copper and crimson body with nice lacing

S: grass, citrus and floral which comes across as very fresh with some caramel malts in the background.

T: Follows the nose well with grassy and pine hop bitterness with citrus (mostly pineapple) hops flavors on a bready and caramel malt body.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. Fairly standard for the style.

Overall: Its fairly clear that FFF has this genre locked up however this is may actually be an IPA or one in disguise.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2012 00:34:06 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of soju6


4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Served a rich copper color with a good head and lots of lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus with some caramel and fresh grain.

T: Taste of citrus and caramel with some fresh grain. A nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: medium body, smooth and somewhat creamy. Very nice balance

O: Excellent beer, a very solid pale ale. Definitely good for more than one. Well worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2012 03:34:14 | More by soju6
Photo of AnnArborJoe


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Numerous samples: tap and cask at FFF, bottle, growler.

A - Clear amber, sticky head lots of lacing.

S - light on the malty, complex hop aroma (mostly citrus, some pine).

T - bold hops, slight hint of sweet from the malt. Complex flavor from the hops with a perfect amount of contribution from the malt.

M - medium bodied, good carbonation, clean and crisp.

O - excellent. Perfect APA.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2012 15:47:51 | More by AnnArborJoe
Photo of zeledonia


3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Nova Wine Bar in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Clear medium amber with really dense 1-finger yellowish tan head. Good retention, great lacing. A bit of visible bubbling.

Smell is excellent. Crisp grassy hops with some solid grapefruit and pine character. Has a really nice snap to it that is quite refreshing. Light bready malt fills in the gaps. This is the kind of beer that I sniff and can't help but say "Mmmm".

Taste is much more bitter than anything else. A bit disappointing given the smell. Malt support is there, slightly bready but mostly providing a base. I don't get much from the hops other than the bitter kick. Hopped up, more like an IPA than an APA in my opinion. Finishes bitter and crisp, fading slowly. The smoothness of the finish is what saves it for me. I want more variety in the flavor.

Medium-light body, carbonation is average. Body works just fine with the beer.

I find this to be a good, hoppy pale ale. I wish the taste had more than the heavy dose of hop bitterness. But I could smell it all day, and I definitely don't mind drinking it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 03:51:09 | More by zeledonia
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Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,238 ratings.