1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,447 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,447
Reviews: 1,706
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 888
Gots: 705 | FT: 24
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,447 | Reviews: 1,706 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KCBeerNerd
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of ChrisKayler
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Filabee
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy amber with two fingers of creamy beige head. Lace all over the place.

Smell -- Grapefruit rind, tropical fruit, some resin, caramel malt. The aroma on this beer puts most IPA's to shame!

Taste -- Massive grapefruit hop flavor, tropical fruit, pine resin, biscuit, caramel malt in spades. Big hop bitterness toward the back end leading to a finish of resin and grapefruit zest.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied, moderate prickly carbonation. Crisp.

Drinkability -- This is a pale ale for the ages. So big, but so balanced. This is never not in my refrigerator. Never.

Photo of PG2G
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of closisinthehouse
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of korguy123
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Super huge thanks to biglobo8971 for this one!

A- Slightly hazy brown/copper hue. Very short lived fluffy white head that shrinks down to a fine white ring crowning the top of the beer. Lacing is impeccable.

S- Bright floral hops right up front, pineapple, light grapefruit and tangerine. Sweet, malty and a hint of strawberries.

T- Grassy, very earthy, lemon zest, hops are still very bold in this. light bitter finish. Caramel and vanilla in the aftertaste.

M- Juicy, refreshing. The balance of this rests on the fine line of thin and creamy, I guess it's possible to be both.

D- Now this is something I would not shy away from enjoying the entire six pack; If it was more readily available to me.

I'm 2 for 2 on 3F's beers that have not disappointed!

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Type: 12 oz bottle
Glass: pint
From: Big Red Liquor in French Lick IN
Price: $11 a six pack

Appearance: deep orange, slightly coppery. pretty hazy. small off white head that fades slowly and lacing on the sides

Smell: Strong hops, mostly pine, some citrus. a strong graininess that doesn't quite take the backseat to the hops

Taste: Opens up with hops strong pine with some citrus sneaking in. The grains take over in the form of toasted malts. the two tastes are well balance and neither comes out the clear king.

Mouthfeel: a tad to sticky. lingering bitterness. medium body good carbonation

Overall: a pretty tasty hop-strong pale ale. not quite an amazing beer. I'd like a bit more citrus but another solid from a brewery that should expand to Michigan, now that they have added Ohio

Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

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

*150th Review*

"Alpha King drink this beer all day!"

Well, I would if I had easy access to it. Anyway!

Appearance: A brown/copper color with a nice, bubbly, somewhat tan head. Lacing's patchy, but it has a great, clear appearance overall.

Smell: What do I say? It has a brilliant malty and hop balance. On one sniff it smells of caramel sweetness, and on the next it smells of hoppy deliciousness. Extremely inviting.

Taste/feel: Just an awesome beer. The most dominant flavor that I get is of a quality, caramel malt on the start. The finish is super clean, and offers a burst of fresh hops. Not only is this beer pretty much perfectly balanced, it has an outstanding flavor. There's virtually no aftertaste, which makes me want to keep going back for another sip. Alpha King's a worthy flagship beer at Three Floyds, and one of my absolute favorite beers overall. I can only hope that they ship this stuff to Michigan some day soon.

Photo of juicebox
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of MaximumYuks
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Buebie
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to d0b for this bottle.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a turbulator.
2 fingers of foamy white head creat big sticky clumps of lace.
Transparent pale copper in color

Aroma of white bread, citric hops, caramel, and a touch of sweetness.

Well balanced flavor between hops and malt. Its semi sweet up front with a rush of carbonation. A good amount of pine and citris hops that take over the taste through the swallow. Lingering for a good deal of time.

Solid apa.

Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Solid copper. Kinda flat looking. Nice foam though. Pretty good.

Smell: Pretty sweet caramel and a hint of hops. Pretty good.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Kind of a flat mouthfeel. Tastes a lot like good hops tho. Well-balanced flavor.

Drinkability: Definitely a harmless beer.

Overall: I'm probably underrating this. To be fair it's pretty good.

Photo of johnyb
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Devman171
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours a beautiful golden copper, with a nice head that shrinks to a thin foam after a few minutes, with amazing lacing stretching down the glass.

Aroma is fantastic, grapefruit and other sweet light fruits, big on floral hops, and maybe a faint sweet malt backing.

Taste is equally exceptional, a burst of flavor, but not excessive or obscene, but a very balanced and even mellowing in the middle, leaving one able to sit back, swirl a bit, and ponder whats going on. My first thought at first shock and then through the rest is hops, fantastic hops. But, there is a subtle malt backing, just enough, that keeps the hops in check and from tasting raw, keeping it from being too bitter, only causing a pucker up front and toward the end.

Body is something around medium, slightly springy carbonation, but really just playing second flute to the flavor rollercoaster going on, which is completely right and good.

Now that I'm finding places in WI to get 3 Floydss, I think i'm going on a 3 Floyds addiction. I mean, if this is their pale ale, what is Dreadnaught IPA going to be like? I grinning with anticipation. Very nice beer, very impressed with 3 Floyds.

Photo of rdooley
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of craftbeerasian
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Denzo
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

OK, so this isn't your typical Pale Ale. At over 7% with a big hop and malt profile that would make many IPA's look like a wee small beer, it's not what you see every day in this category. This puppy is balanced! Dark amber colored with a thin, bubbly head and a nice balance of juicy, citrusy hops and sweet malt in the nose. Flavor comes at you in layers, which makes this baby so interesting and complex. Starts rich and malty, with darker notes of fruit and dare I say, a bit of sweet chocolate? Then come the piney, grapefruit hop flavors, giving way to a dry, sweet malty finish. Wowzers. Balanced. Not a hop bomb, not the "best tasting" beer ever, but wow. An awesome beer. One I want to drink all night. This is there with HopDevil on drinkability, and I think due to the balance, actually surpasses it. Great stuff.

Photo of drseamus
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice darker amber fairly reddish body topped with a very nice thick foamy white head. Perhaps a touch dark for a pale ale in general, but a picturesque beer none the less. Good citrusy aroma but it could be stronger. The flavor is wicked smooth and tasty. Good amount of citrus flavor and a bunch of malt with some caramel. I could drink this stuff all day long. This is a great beer to go with the quesadilla I'm eating right now.

Photo of zac16125
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
No born on date but I was told this was picked up from the brewery on May 5th

A big thanks to tsauce2 for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with 2 fingers of dense light khaki colored head, that takes a while to dissipate down to a thick film which remains throughout the drink. Leaves lots of nice cobweb lacing all the way down the glass. About as pretty as you can get for the style.

S: Big citrusy hops in the form of lemon, orange, grapefruit,and mango. Some sweet caramel malt aromas, a touch of pine, and a hint of booze. Really nice.

T: Taste is more malt forward than the nose, although the hops are certainly there as well. Some citrus, lots of bitterness, and some hop spice. It's earthy, citrusy, and resiny all at once. Pineapple, lemon zest, orange and pine. A solid malt backbone is present to keep it balanced. Really good.

M/D: Relatively smooth for the style, carbonation high but not overly so, medium bodied with a drying finish. Drinkability is good, I could certainly have multiples.

O: Overall, this is just a great beer. I have no trouble seeing why it's been considered the standard of the style for a while now. It's definitely the best APA I've ever had. If I lived within the FFF distribution area this would probably be my go to session beer. I intentionally sought this out before Zombie Dust, and will have to try that one next to compare.

Photo of Reaper16
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a "Wow, this is dark for an APA" shade of caramelized sugar-looking brown with lighter orange at the bottom of my tulip, near the stem. The eggshell-white head provides a pretty contrast. Though the foam quickly recedes to a small ring, the lacing makes a uniform wall down the glass.

"Oh, f***." Pardon the curse word, but that's exactly what I said when I first brought my nose to the lip of the glass. The pungency of the hops in this beer make for a very IPA-like aroma. Grapefruit abound, with generic sour fruit scents following behind. There is malt sweetness present, but I can't help but linger on the hop aromas.

I had some concerns based on the smell of this beer. I was worried that it was going to be one of those really-balanced IPAs masquerading as an APA. After many swallows, I'm not sure what to think. Yes, the hoppiness of the beer is the defining characteristic; grapefruit, grapefruit and an astringent, grassy quality hit the tongue hard. There is a juicyness that hints at orange in addition to the grapefruit... I'm not sure that explains my meaning well. Beyond the aggressive hop flavors there is a quick shot of flavor on the sides of the tongue that feels like a squirt of pure juice. But this beer is not all hops. The grainy quality on the back end and the malt sweetness that asserts itself at all stages of the drink (once you get used to the grapefruit rush) provide some welcome balance. Don't get me wrong -- this is very hoppy -- but I'm not sure that it goes beyond the realm of APA, despite what some objectors may say.

Mouthfeel is perplexing, actually. Some drinks I find it a touch too thick, other times I don't notice it at all. I'm going to score it as "good" because it is never prohibitive, no matter what I may think of it at the time. I have never thought anything regarding this beer's drinkability other than how excellent it is. I am a hophead, and this is the kind of beer that keeps me coming back for more. I had to be careful not to consume the entire glass before I could finish this review.

Alpha King is superb. It has supplanted Schlafly Dry-Hopped APA as my favorite beer in the style. It has tremendous hop flavor -- enough that I would take an Alpha King over a number of fine IPAs. This beer makes me weep bitter tears over the fact that Three Floyds does not ship to Missouri as of yet.

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,447 ratings.