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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: 5,984
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 933
Gots: 1,062 | FT: 28
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: 5,984
Photo of avylover
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Should be noted I love hops. Seemed a bit less citrousy and mellower than in the bottle. I actually prefered the bottled version to this. Not quite as grapefruity & tasty as the bottled version.

see review for bottle here


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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my Pizza Port commemorative pint glass. Pours deep orange amber with minimal white head.
Smells citrusy and grassy.
Tastes hoppy and smooth. Hops are present but not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel nice as well. I drank this straight, but I'd love to pair it with a good pizza. Very drinkable as well. The more I drank this beer, the smoother it got.

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Photo of blackearth
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a reddish amber body with an off white head that falls to a cap and leaves great lacing behind in the glass. Aroma is citrus hops with caramel malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Flavors are a hint of sweet malt that quickly gives way to a big hop flavor that last through the finish but not for too long, and then it dries out your tongue which makes you beg for another sip. Excellent drinkability!

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Photo of cetherid
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass


A nice reddish brown. a small amount of head.


the first thing I smell is hops. citrusy hops with a little pine.


slight bitterness from hops but the malt flavor smooths it out. a subtle caramel in the malts. less hoppy that I thought it would be from the initial smell. I'm (currently) not a fan of really hoppy beers like IPAs, but this seems like it would be a great starter beer to the hoppier ales. I actually enjoy this one.


about medium bodied. not thin at all. it goes down smooth.


very drinkable. could be good with both a meal and just sitting and relaxing with family and friends. i will definitely enjoy drinking this 6 pack over the weekend.

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Photo of bignick
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased at Countryside Liquors in Pawtucket, RI. Poured into a pint glass.

The highly-regarded Alpha King pours beautifully, with a hazy, reddish amber and a two finger head. This is a very tasty beer. There is a rough, brash bitterness from the hops, but it is balanced by a nice malt sweetness. Interestingly, the fruitiness is more of oranges than grapefruits. While it is balanced, the abrasiveness of the hops hurts drinkabilty just a bit.

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from the bottle. Can't tell if the guy on the bottle is a merman or a goblin of some sort.

Appearance: Pours a wonderfull bronze and honey hue. Nice head that did not grow too large and settled into a small layer of lace on top of this gorgeous liquid.

Smell: Hop and floral aromas mix right off the bat. As I keep smelling I detect very sweet apples almost like a crumb cake or struedel, very delicious. Great balanced aroma.

Taste: Very strange in that the hops are definitely there yet they are not. Balanced and yet etheral hop blend. Some slight citris rind, toast, apple mead, and an alcohol content that is superbly hidden.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium with average carbonation. Lightly syurpy and very pleasant.

Drinkability: WARNING! This beer has the potential to put you down for the night if you are not careful. I could easily drink 3-4 and not even realize it. It was a true pleasure to put this offering from FFF between my cheek and gums.


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Photo of regspeir
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (courtesy of Brundo4) into a Duvel tulip.
Pours a small one-finger head that dissaptes quickly. Color is a dark, hazy amber. Nose has some pine but prevalent bready malts and caramel. This beer is unique - nothing else I can compare it to. The hops and bitterness are forward. There is citrus in there and sweet malts that kick in part way through. By that or whatever means, the bitterness goes and is only faint in the finish. Refreshing. It has a light mouthfeel and good carbonation. At 6% and a warm day, could delve into this more, if I had the chance. Nice.

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Photo of Rainblows
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had on cask yesterday at the FFF brewpub. 10 oz pour into a nonic pint, amber colored with a beautiful whitish head that laced the whole way down. Smooth mouthfeel, almost undercarbed. Hops are almost understated yet balanced making Alpha King an easy drinker compared to Zombie Dust. One of my favorite regular bottlings from FFF, a treat to have on cask!

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Photo of DrainBamage
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy orangish brown with a quarter inch of head that thins to a trace. It smells of hops and citrusy aromas. Taste is very bitter, but has an average citrusy APA taste to it with mild malt flavors. Mouthfeel is a little acidic and is highly carbonated. It leaves a very bitter after taste in your mouth that seems to last forever. I found this brew to be a little to bitter for an APA, but a big hop lover would most likely enjoy this one.

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Photo of RocketWidget
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to BuckeyeNation for letting me sample this brew.

Pours a deep, dark red amber with moderate lacy off-white head. Smell is light, smells crisp with a little hoppyness. Taste is good, hoppy yet smooth, there is nothing to complain about here. Very drinkable, this would be a great conversion beer to recruit fine men and women to the BeerAdvocate army. Yummy.

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Photo of kmeves
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copper body topped by small beige head. Aroma is medium sweet, grapefruit. Taste is grapefruit, medium sweet, fairly intense bitterness. Still, the sweetness lends decent balance to the hops. Medium body. Nice hoppy ale. A little fruity, nice finish. Another great beer from Three Floyds.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.72/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

orange-red amber with a slight haze and 3/4 inch of foamy white head that leaves perfect rings of lace.

nose is peachy, piney, and rindy; all sorts of nice hop aromas.

taste is nice; tons of hop bitterness with a slightly fruity, peachy touch to the overall hoppy aftertaste that lasts forever. nice mouthfeel with some hop oiliness. not overly complex or interesting; mostly just straightforward hop bitterness.

on another note, shouldn't this be under IPA? how does something labeled Alpha King not make it into the IPA category?

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep orange with a nice frothy white head that dissipates and leaves good lacing on the walls of my pint glass. Fantastic floral hoppy nose with big scents of citrus fruit and some sweet malt lagging behind. The scent is very vibrant and fresh. Great citrus hop bite at the front of the palate with tastes of grapefruit and fresh tangerines with just the right touch of sweet biscuity malt to round everything out. Medium bodied with medium carbonation that is smooth, crisp, and clean. A good session beer that goes well about anytime you could want.

Great beer from the boys in Munster. I award them with having this in my fridge at all times.

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Photo of ridglens
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a portsmouth snifter, a little cold so allowed to warm up a little

A: Pretty beer, darker broen with jsut a hint of red glow when held up to light. pours a 2 1/2 finger head that quickly dissapaites to a thin, light brown but smooth looking layer.

S: just a little fresh hoppy small at first, but opens up a little as it warms. soon includes some grapefruity fresh citrus, with maybe the slightest hint of malty richness. hard to pul anything else out (still too cold?) not a ton here, but smells really fresh and good

T: much more than the smell. fresh citrus bitter hops, but also with a balancing sweet profile. lots of a grape-fruity like citrus (do i have grapefruit on the brain or something?) honestly more malty characteristics than i thought at first, makes this a greatly balanced beer.

M: great for the style. i love the level of carbonation. not too thin (but not what i would call "thick"), but really, really smooth. feels great

D: because of the balance and the smoothness make this beer great for drinkability. i could (and have) drank 1 or 12 without any thought of "this is getting rough/old"

a beer i get all the time, but actually under appreciated the balanced qualities. great beer from the Floyds

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Photo of wedgie9
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a twelve ounce bottle. Pours clear amber with a one finger beige head. The aromas are lightly roasted malts, hops, and prune juice. On the palate, the flavors are lemongrass, and then hoppy bitterness. There is a hint of the malt on the mid-palate, but the bitterness is the main flavor. On the palate, everything is fairly medium. The body, carbonation, and finish are all in the middle. Overall, this is a very high quality beer, perfect for sessions. I could drink this one all night long.

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Photo of kirkpjr
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber with one finger of head. Spotted lacing develops.

S: Light citrus and grapefruit hops with a nice heavy toasted malt in the background. Not in your face, but solid.

T: Huge flavors here. Citrus and grapefruit bitterness takes off, but the malt keeps right up with it. Notes of caramel and crystal malts. Extremely bold yet balanced beer. Finishes with orange and pine flavors.

M: Resinous hops, medium body, and moderate carbonation.

D: Phenomenal APA for the hopheads. Had this beer on draft in Chicago and it tastes just as good down here out of the bottle. Would love to have access to Three Floyds.

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Photo of ism
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into pint glass. Mostly copper but with a nice amber tint, topped with a 1-finger wheat-colored head that subsides to a thin layer. Patchy lacing along the glass. Wonderfully citrus-sweet nose, a mix of tangerine and kumquat, with a touch of floral scent, and caramel malt bubbling under. Moderate carbonation, and a medium body with a bit of hop oil slickness, nicely balanced malt and hops in a mix of tropical fruits. Going down is where it's at -- grapefruit bitterness emerging, with a slight pineyness, and a lingering bitter linger that lingers.

A pale ale that nearly borders on being an IPA, but balances its hoppiness with a fruit punch complexity. Good mouthfeel for the style, and definitely sessionable. I think I found my favorite pale ale.

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Photo of psuKinger
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into one my standard curved-rim pint glass. No freshness date available on the bottle. Once again, thanks to Matt for bring this 3F offering back for me to try.

A: Pours a translucent orange with a thick frothy off-white head on top, 2-fingers worth to be exact. 3F beers always have such great head retention.

S: Citrus, grapefruit, and pine collide here. It's that "bright", hoppy smell that I've come to expect from Three Floyds. And I love it.

T: Taste follows the nose. A wave a grapefruit rushes in and holds all the way through the finish. In the process, notes of pine and citrus also make an appearance. A pale-malt backbone underneath is surprisingly most prominent on the finish, but is certainly not "showcased" here. Something resiny seems to linger on the finish.

The hops are showcased. And I love that. My only complaint would be that for all the floral, citrus and flavorfull hops as are here, they really could have used a bit more bittering hops to help really drive the point home for me. As it is, this beer runs just a shade to sweet for my liking.

M: Carbonation is a bit light for my liking. As such, it sits in the mouth with a bit of *heft*. Loads of flavorful hops and sugars are left behind on the finish. Lots of tongue coating.

D/O: I love hoppy beer. This was enjoyable, and I will repeat it again soon.

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Photo of joefuzz
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours cloudy amber with a decent sized head...great lacing.

Smell is a hop bomb for a APA, awesome sense of grapefruit, pineapple and fresh apples

Taste is great piney hops upfront that mellows out as you sip leads into a very bready malt profile

Mouthfeel and carbonation are session beer all the way, light and easy drinking with a lower than normal carbonation

Overall this beer is amazing....a hop heads session beer. I really wish I could get this regularly

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Photo of cproioi
2.88/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The body is an almost caramel color, or reddish brown, with a white head that dissipates to create a cover just slightly over the top of the beer leaving decent lacing. The aroma is full of citrus hops and a rather large malt sweetness which is basically a non-descript fruity flavor. The taste follows the aroma nicely. Big citrus hops flavor with a fruity malt backbone. The beer had a medium body that gives way to a long dry finish. Very nice beer to drink could be a little thinner for the style giving it a more refreshing hot day beer character.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 10/12/10. Thanks to TCGoalie for this bottle.

A: AKPA has an amber color when not held to light and a ruby-orange color when held to light. I find it to be a beautiful hue. A light khaki head sits at a finger and a half from a medium pour into a snifter. A full-covering film retains nicely, with scallion-like circles residing in it. Sleek, stringy carbonation bubbles move at a mezzo pace up the glass. The lacing is so good - sticky with fine hieroglyphic patterns all over the glass.

S: Big citrus aromas of orange, grapefruit, and a hint of lime blend with a subdued caramel malt presence and a dry, biscuity yeast scent. A dry, piney hop aroma also emanates from the beer.

T: Those dry, piney hops ride my palate for the length of the sip, supported by grapefruit and an inkling of caramel. The caramel sweetness and an orange flavor linger on my tongue past each swallow, then are trumped by grapefruit and pine hop dryness that has serious staying power. I am pretty astounded by how dry and bitter AK is. It is certainly the the king of PAs in term of bitterness, so much so that it almost tastes like it was aged in oak barrels.

M: In a word: puckering. The feel is medium bodied overall with just about the right carbonation. The bitterness sort of turns the MF into a one-dimensional feel.

D: I will be seeking this out again. This is the second Three Floyds beer that I have imbibed, and I am blown away so far. I knock this down just a notch because the bitterness detracts from session-ability a little bit, which I find to be a key component of a pale ale.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Scored one of these at Gerst Huas in Evansville IN.

A - caramel. brown caramel. A little dark for the style. But a great 1 and 1/2 finger head that lasts.

S - mmm. The best part. Citrus. Strong citrus. But still balanced.

T - Strong hops. This is where I get confused between Pale Ales and IPAs. This one is right in the middle! It leaves a strong after taste of hops, but during tasting it still had a well balanced malt profile. Citrus hops with some rough (but not overpowering) cut grass.

Mouthfeel was absolutely great.

Overall, I think this should be classified as an IPA. I dont normally like IPAs, but this was good!

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Photo of smanders
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer whilst tailgating prior to a DMB concert in Noblesville, Indiana. It was a beautiful evening for a concert and a great night to sample really fresh beer.

If you were blind taste-testing this ale you'd think it were a DIPA; it's THAT flavorful. You'll smell the hops from a good 3 feet away and then you'll be pleasantly surprised that 3 Floyds balanced everything well with a copious amount of sweet malt. This is another example of a hopheads dream ale that just might win over some sweet beer lovers as well.


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Photo of stoutfiend27
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle thanks to beerad666 poured into nonic

a-rusty copper color...little to no head at all..sort of disappointing...oh well

s-citrusy hop nose...malt backbone...a little lackluster imo and i was really looking forward to this

t-more like the smell..cirtusy and a little piney hops and bitterness with a little to big of a malt backbone for me

m-good mouthfeel...was oily and had nice carbonation and prickly

d-a couple a night and then i would probably move on to dales pale ale or something

overall a nice pale ale but i think its lacking in a few departments

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Photo of Mississipping
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter (thanks Urbancaver!)

A: Pours a very nice hazy resin color with a small one finger beige head that slowly settles to a ring with great lacing.

S: Lots of hops up front, with citrus (mostly grapefruit) and caramel. A bit of pine and grass emerge as it warms slightly. Absolutely fantastic aroma.

T: Much like the smell, hops in the fore, with a sweet maltiness to balance it out almost perfectly. Citrusy and earthy, again as it warms, making this quite complex and very, very well balanced. I'm impressed with this one for sure.

M: Medium bodied, slightly sticky, and fairly low carbonation ... overall, it's creamy. Nice lingering bitterness and slightly drying.

D: Although this is an excellent APA, I wouldn't say that it's especially easy to drink. It's a big APA, with more body than most, which makes it a sipper, but I'd say sipping is very easy to do. I only had one bottle of this, but was perfectly satisfied with it and may had ended it there if another one was in the fridge. Lower drinkability doesn't take away from its quality, however, and I'd love to get a few more of these.

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