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

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,241 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4241
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
Ratings: 4,241 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of sholland119


4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
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.


Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2009 14:16:26 | More by sholland119
Photo of Wheelinb


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

Had this on tap at The Rotten Apple

Great orange color on this beer. Lots of aroma coming from the glass - citrus for sure. The flavor was ehat I expected from the appearance and smell - nice citrus flavors and tartness along with citrus hops and just a hint of sweetness. Great body and lots of flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2009 19:23:02 | More by Wheelinb


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

Clear orange copper. Thick chunky tannish head. Beautiful frosty laces.

Very hoppy Pale ale. Citrus, resin, and pine hop notes. Toasty caramel.

Big citrus, grapefruit, orange peel. Toasty caramel bread. Great lingering grapefruitty resinous bitterness.

Sticky, well balanced, med body, smooth

Very drinkable, big citrus hopped pale ale that could easily be considered an IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2009 23:26:03 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
Photo of Thorpe429


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark color for its style, color is somewhat of a caramel amber. The scent is initially some clear hops followed up by a pretty decent malt backbone. The taste increases on both of these, with quite a bit of hops coming through for the style. The mouthfeel is that of a medium body and moderate carbonation--fairly full-bodied for the style. Drinkability is supreme--my go to all-night beer back when I lived in Chicago.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2009 22:37:34 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ThaBobfather


4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a strong golden wonderful color with a hearty topping of bleached head.
Smell is full of fresh flowers and earthy hops.
It's hoppy flavor is amazing, very flowery with notes of some grains.
Finish is dry and clean leaving a great flowering taste on my mouth.
Drinks very smooth, highly refreshing as a wake up to the festival beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2009 16:30:34 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of KrisPaulk77


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

*Based on tasting notes from 07 Aug 09 vist to the brew pub.*

The beer was presented in a standard pint glass. The color was a beautiful deep, dark amber with a nice white head that faded down to a small bit of foam that stayed til the end.
The hop aroma was very pronounced, citrusy, piney, with some caramel malts lurking around the corner. Slight bready aroma noted, but the hops were the showpiece here.
The flavor of this beer is solid, with a good malt backbone, and a bracing hop bitterness. I detected a grapefruit, pine, little caramel swirls here and there, maybe even some honey. There is a good solid mouthfeel to this brew. I would drink the King frequently if it were available anywhere close to home, but alas, Indiana is 14 hours away.
If the opportunity presents itself, get some Alpha King.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2009 04:59:49 | More by KrisPaulk77
Photo of beerwolf77


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

I found this on tap at a hidden gem of a beer bar 30 minutes out of town. Lucky me. It pours a rich amber orange color with two inches of creamy off white head. The aroma is spectacular. Hops are at the forefront but sweet malt and citrus fruit are major players as well. Then I take a sip. I took a double take after I swallowed. This tastes much more like an IPA then just a pale ale. The flavor is very hoppy but, not a hop bomb at all. The malt is well balanced with the hops making for a super drinkable beer. There is a orange peel sour/sweetness that comes out as well. The mouhfeel is awfully pleasant. Medium body with a nice creamy texture. This is a top beer on my list. I spent the entire night enjoying one after another. I will be visiting my this bar again. A 30 minute drive is nothing to enjoy a drink with "the king"

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2009 17:36:34 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of MaltistLupulist


4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Birreria Paradiso in Washington, DC. This is actually the third time I had this beer in the last week (first on cask and then bottled), which is a rare occurrence in these parts unless one is Paradiso-bound.

Appearance is in a narrow amber/copper range, more or less in keeping with the style if a bit dark. (I actually thought I was doing a preliminary review of an IPA as I scribbled notes at the bar; only when I left did I realize my error.) Normally I'm pretty oblivious to anything other than aroma and taste, but I can't help but notice some gnarly lacing as I proceed.

The olfaction detects citrus and pine to an agreeable degree; I wouldn't classify the aroma as 'intensely' hoppy, but floral lupulin certainly dominates the nose. It's almost as if a game of olfactory brinkmanship is going on: were this beer any more fragrant I'd be using words like 'burst' and 'explosive' to describe the aroma, but it keeps itself in check. This is probably my favorite aspect of the beer. It's kind of delicate, actually.

I'm a bit let down by the flavor, given my favorable assessment of the nose: citrusy, sure, but there's a pronounced grassiness that I find mildly objectionable and that I can't get past. Is it a cross-section of intermingling hop varieties that yields said flavor component? Perhaps a single hop variety is the culprit? At any rate, this grassy, almost horsy, flavor characteristic lends itself to an unrefined quality in this beer. This isn't necessarily a negative, but I keep thinking it's a bit rough around the edges, at least taste-wise. Also, made note of a passive biscuity malt presence, all the more a background factor due to my ambivalence regarding the lupulin performance.

Carbonation is moderate, allowing for a smooth but lively interaction with one's grill.

Drinkability is on the high side: little, if any, alcohol was perceived as I imbibed.

All in all, this is a better beer than I may have indicated in this review. I seem to have fixated on one (perceived) flaw that shaped my overall interpretation of the beer, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't mind having one from time to time.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2009 05:03:50 | More by MaltistLupulist
Photo of paco1029384756


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

Pours a clear orange color with a small white head.

Scent of citrus and hops with a hint of caramel. A good, simple scent with a good hop presence.

Taste of citrus, bitter flowery hops, and a hint of caramel. Finishes fairly hoppy and lasts for a decent amount of time.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and fairly smooth with good carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2009 21:07:36 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of tronester


4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass. Red/Orange in color with a creamy tan head. Super fine carbonation bubbles. Smell is a blast of Pacific Northwest hops. Taste is well balanced, caramel malt, piney, citrus hops, and a nice bitter finish. Super creamy mouthfeel, great drinkability. An excellent APA, tastes more like an IPA though, but it doesn't matter what the classification, it's great.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2009 23:27:24 | More by tronester
Photo of jkrich


4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed this many times from the bottle; now, I tried it on tap at a local chain restaurant.

Poured a clear, copper color with a creamy off-white head with plenty of lacing.

Smelled strongly of piney, citrusy hops.

I was surprised that the ale on tap was actually far more restrained in the hoppy, bitterness of its bottled version. If anything, it was a slightly more balanced with the malt flavor lingering a little longer.

Creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation and medium bodied. It left very satisfying, rounded flavor in the mouth.

Both the bottled and tap versions are excellent with both showing slightly different characteristics.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2009 22:27:07 | More by jkrich
Photo of NeutroMan


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

On-tap at the Yardhouse @ The Glen. Reviewed from notes on 8 June 2009.

A - Hazy dark amber with a thin head that leaves good lacing.

S - Big-time floral hops and toasted grains and caramel malt. Notes of apple and grapefruit as well.

T - Blast of hops, almost overpowering. Nice dry floral hop bitterness.

M - Light to medium body with slight carbonation.

D - A great sipper. High bitterness keeps it from being sessionable.

Simply an outstanding pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2009 19:34:49 | More by NeutroMan
Photo of beerhobo22


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

Very aromatic take on the APA. Lots of citrus hop aroma, but still had some caramel malt character. A light amber appearance with good head retention. Good, clean, hop flavor with a good balance with the malt. Tasted as part of a sampler, so it was less hoppy than the IPA, but still had a good amount of hop bitterness. The bitterness didn't linger and finished clean. Had a good mouthfeel, carbonation was just right. Even with the hops (68 IBUs) it was not overly astringent and was very refreshing. A very well balanced beer and definitely their "flagship" beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2009 18:07:29 | More by beerhobo22
Photo of SykDoc


4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Charlie's while in Munster for DLD '09 and took notes.

Poured into a pint glass. It pours an nice amber color with no visible sediment. An off-white 1 inch head forms and slowly reduces to good lacing.

The aroma is, as expected, primarily grapefruit with nice doses of pine in the background. Definitely hoppy.

The taste was exceptional with significant components of pine, as well as citrusy flavors, primarily grapefruit. And the hops shall set you free.

This was a very smooth pale ale. There is the sensation of a slight spice, which seems to come from the carbonation. It is medium bodied and has a pleasant dryness at the finish.

Overall, this is a very good beer and is well balanced. The flavors complement each other nicely and are definitely highlighted by the carbonation and smoothness.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2009 01:22:51 | More by SykDoc
Photo of Buschyfor3


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

20oz draft on-tap at Rich O's in New Albany.

A: Deep amber-orange body - really dark for a pale ale. Pours a thin white head that quickly dissipates.

S: The hops are really prominent up front, giving off a tangy, citrusy aroma. I am also picking up a caramel-like sweetness, rounded out by a faint malt profile.

T: When I took my first sip, I thought the waitress might have mixed up our order and brought me Three Floyd's Dreadnaught IPA because this beer has a pungent, hop bitterness that dominates the flavor profile like what I expect from an IPA. There is a really tart, citrusy grapefruit flavor. This tart, bitterness lingers over into a malty finish that is ever so slightly sweet like brown sugar or caramel, and a touch grainy like toasted wheat bread. However, the hops dominate the flavor profile, and the aftertaste is uniquely hoppy and citrusy.

M: Very light bodied even though this beer looks dark. Medium carbonation is decently crisp.

D: 6% ABV means I could definitely finish another 20oz draft with my meal without any problems.

Really I was kind of surprised by this beer. It was alot darker and alot more like an IPA than I expected - in fact, my friend sampled the beer and remarked by calling it a half-IPA, and I think that nails this beer on the head. Not that it was bad, I was just expecting this beer to have more of a malt profile to better balance the play on hops. Not a bad beer by any means and one I would have again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2009 05:12:21 | More by Buschyfor3
Photo of Sean9689


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark amber color, nearly brown.

Smell - Yummy...citrius smell that I really like.

Taste - Very hoppy, I like! Not quite the typical APA tastes...more like an IPA. A distinct aftertaste makes this brew easy to pick out if given blind.

Mouthfeel - Light and chewy...this beer bites back!

Drinkability - Very easy to drink...

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2009 17:20:44 | More by Sean9689
Photo of BringusKilkenney


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

This is a very good beer i loved it alot and was well worth the trip to chicago for it.
Apperance-light brown in color and light in the head when served slightly foamy not to much to distract you from this good beer.
Smell- Smells of well most brown and light IPA's citrusy and inviing.
Taste- This is where you really get into the good beer. It tasted amazing and really brought you to want more and more. citrus and malty hints at the same tame quite a unique beer and i can understand the cult following.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2009 03:24:32 | More by BringusKilkenney
Photo of brewdoc75


4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried to find this when I was in Chicago this week, but nobody had it in bottles. I was told there was something wrong with the bottling lines and it would be a few weeks. My last night there I stopped at the Hopleaf and sure enough they had it on tap.

A-Golden-yellow-orange in color. Nice white fluffy head.

S-Beautiful bouquet of hops. Floral is the best description I can give. Plenty of citrus aromas. I even get a slight grassiness, but in a good way. The malts are there too with a faint sweetness.

T-This beer slams you with the glory of the hop, but not in a bitter aspect. The beer is really not that bitter at all, but the hops do really come out. I got a lot of citrus flavors like orange, tangerine and grapefruit. Additionally there was a nice fruity, ester component. The malts added a slightly biscuty-sweet backbone to the hop flavors. Really flavorful for a APA.

M-Crisp and clean. Reasonable carbonation.

D-A really good APA. Really it seems like an IPA in the hoppy flavors, but not the bitterness. It reminds me a lot of Two Hearted Ale in its hop bouquet. Really drinkable, but the price may turn me off a bit (6 bucks a pint). Hopheads must try.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2009 13:47:02 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of Hophead101


4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had on draft at Brass Rail Beverage on 11.13.08.

Wow - couldn't believe it when I went into Cisco's place and saw 3F Alpha King. I was quite excited as I have never had this one before much less on draft.

Great head in the pour. Immediately was screaming out my name waiting for me to take my first sip. The head was very thick and bubbly and the beer had a nice brownish copper color. balanced hop smell, thought there might have been a little more. it was soft in nature, a bit piney but not overpowering what so ever.

great taste. it definitely lives up to the hype. great feel on the palate, no real aftertaste. initially a bit crisp and carbonated that blends into a wonderfully creamy and smooth mouthfeel. great hop flavor, and an over superbly balanced beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2009 03:12:27 | More by Hophead101
Photo of michdmb


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

A great IPA. All of Three Floyd's beers have a certain sweet/malty characteristic that is not quantifiable. This beer is no exception. I am a fan of IPAs, and this one keeps calling me back.

Hoppiness is sufficient, and sweetness is a definite plus for this beer. Both are balanced to perfection. I have had Alpha King on tap and in bottle, and both are consistently good.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2009 08:12:27 | More by michdmb
Photo of CaptainIPA


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

P: Served on-tap @ Nessun Dorma on 1-21-09.

A: Dark, blood-orange amber with an impressive white head and gorgeous lacing that sticks.

S: Citrus fruits, floral hops, and subtle hints of malt.

T: Aggressive hop character with more than enough mellow malt flavor to smooth things out. Juicy citrus hops judiciously balanced with suggestions of caramel, honey and biscuit. Finishes with a genius amount of hop bitterness: biting, but not overwhelmingly assertive.

With a taste profile more akin to an American (West Coast, at that) IPA, Alpha King is one of the hoppier APAs I've had the privilege of experiencing.

M: Medium-bodied with a creamy, yet moderately chewy mouthfeel. Slightly salty on the palate.

D: At 6% ABV, Alpha King is more than accommodating. Drinkability? Ermm...let's just say I had more than three.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2009 15:05:26 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of ryrust5301


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the map room in Chicago

Appearance - A hazy copper color with some orange highlights to it. Head is thin and an off white in color. It sets up camp and sticks around for the long haul with a nice touch of lacing.

Smell - Hoppy but does not get carried away. A honey malt helps to give the hops a little more character, and something to prop themselves up against.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Hops are citrusy and somewhat biting, with a grapefruit flavor to them. Malt is of a sweet caramel honey flavor and once again provides a good anchor. A smooth and wonderful feel to it that doesn't crush the palate.

Drinkability - This beer is legendary and is a staple at the map room at all times. Was excited to try it, and thought it was good enough to have earned it's respect. I wasn't awwed, but would have no problem having this as a fixture in my house.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2009 06:39:39 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of Tucquan


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

Had this in Warsaw, Indianna at the Downtown. It was on special for $1.00/pint, which is unbelievable.

A - The beer pours a beautiful copper color with a 2 finger, tan head.

S - The smell is bold with aromas of tropical fruit,citrus, pine, roasted malt and floral hops.

T - The taste is quite complex and delicious with citrus, yeasty bread and mild caramel; marvelously balanced by moderate bitterness. The aftertaste is quite nice with lingering sweetness and bitterness.

M - The carbonation is high and the mouthfeel medium.

D - I really enjoyed this brew and would seek it out again. It's one of the finer American Pale Ale's although I tend to like the bigger shot of bitterness you get from IPAs.

Notes: Had this on-tap again on 2011-06-29 at the Chicago Street Pub in Joliet, IL

I still agree with my comments above but will add this beer doesn't have a bright citrus taste but it leans in that direction. It sits somewhere between the APA and IPA camp.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2009 18:14:47 | More by Tucquan
Photo of dakid618


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

From keg into pint glass. Half finger of soft white head. Good lacing on glass. Smell is very much citrus hops. Taste is great! Citrus hops and biscuitlike malt are perfectly mixed. Light dry mouthfeel is perfect. The most drinkable pale ale I've ever had. An absolute amazing beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2009 23:31:38 | More by dakid618
Photo of Deuane


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

A-Brilliant copper with a medium off-white head that reduces to a thin cap and levaes nice lacing.

S-Smack of pine dipped citrus hops. The hops are without question the at the forefront of this brew. A nice backing caramel sweetness comes in on the backside.

T-Sharp, brilliant citrus hop bite with a backing of tart apple. Smooth, luscious caramel malt acts more as hop delivery system rather than balancing the hops. The malt smoothness and hop bitterness are almost in perfect sync.

M-Medium bordering on medium-light bodied with a sharp lingering hop bitterness and a nice smoothness.

D-This brew that blurs the lines between an APA and IPA is about as good in flavour as a mild ABV hop bomb can get. This stuff is absolutely lovely. I could put dwon pint after pint of this liquid nectar without any problems.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2009 22:47:29 | More by Deuane
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,241 ratings.