1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,246 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4246
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,246 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present, but I doubt this was the freshest bottle of Three Floyds Alpha King that was available. Poured into a Boulevard tulip.

A - Poured an obnoxious three and a half fingers of creamy fluffy beige colored head with excellent retention that sits on top with a root beer float like appearance and a very nice looking ruby / burnt sienna orange colored body.

S - Pine needles. Fresh lemon. Oranges. Nice lively array of hop smells going on here.

T - Hoppy. Fruity. Floral. Sweet iced tea kind of taste that I have become accustomed to in pale ales and IPA's. Tastes good, but like I have said before, a lot of Three Floyds beers are way way way too over carbonated, and this beer is no exception. Very overly carbonated to the point where it is distracting.

M - Sticky, piney mouthfeel with the lingering taste of green apple sugars. I love hops, and I think this is a wonderful tasting beer, but like I said it is just too damn carbonated and bloating for my liking.

Overall, a decent tasting American pale ale, but I definitely feel this beer is over-hyped, and there are many much more subtle and complex APA's to be had. I think I would personally rather drink the New Holland Hopivore or the Grand Teton Sweetgrass APA instead. Still a decent year-round beer from Three Floyds, but being their landmark beer, I would probably choose something else of theirs like the Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf.

Three Floyds Alpha King ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 06:43:10 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of KYGunner


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

This poured an insignificant head but had a grand coloring and very fine lacing. The scent was malty or biscuity with a following of piney hops. Not too strong and very well weaved it was nicely subtle.

The taste was smooth and slightly sweet with a biscuit, malt backbone and a hoppy finish. Again, not strong or overpowering but well weaved for a clean taste.

This Ale is considered a flagship for one of the best breweries in the nation and it seems to hold true for a non-Imperial style.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 00:16:15 | More by KYGunner
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 BMMillsy


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep clear amber with a small head. Aroma is huge floral grapefruit. First taste is pine hops with a tinge of grapefruit. Even more malt than expected. Beautiful fruit flavor without much bitter, citrus and caramel malts, grapefruits but not bitter, yum. Medium slick mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Easy drinking. Solid beer, but will have to check out Zombie Dust now.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 16:43:01 | More by BMMillsy
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 ThickNStout


3.69/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from zrab11 (thanks!). No bottling date. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours deep orange with about one finger near white head that leaves a decent amiunt of lacing.

Smells like a hop sandwich- citrusy hops on sweet bread.

Assertive floral and citrus hops, drying grass, biscuit and pepper. Crisp and easy to drink.

Medium light feel with a strong dose of tight carbonation.

A right fine pale ale. It goes down smooth and easy with a good bit of bitter hoppyness balanced by sweet malts. While I won't yearn for more, I won't turn any away either.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 04:33:17 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of SkeeterBoganski


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - deep copper/amber; light foam head with some soapy elements present; nice bubbles; minimal lacing; subdued carbonation

S - subtle pine; notes of caramel malt; earthy and citrus

T - mirrors the smell; pleasant hop-malt balance; subdued grapefruit, mango, pineapple; biscuity malt

M - extremely smooth; perfect carbonation; great balance; medium bodied; awesome malt-hop combo

O - this is an extremely well-balanced beer with the right amount of hop sweet/bitterness and the perfect malt combination; great mouthfeel; extremely well-done.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 21:53:43 | More by SkeeterBoganski
Photo of MickeyBeer


4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a slightly cloudy deep amber color. About one finger of creamy white head that sticks around. Leaves some beautiful lacing.

S- A very aromatic piney smell from the hops is dominant. I love the smell of the this beer.

T- The bitter hop flavor is plentiful and hits the palate first. This beer has a complexity of other flavors such as citrus and toasted malts.

M- Very crisp mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

O- Excellent APA that I could drink everyday. If this is something that you have never had, it is a must try. It is the standard for the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 01:07:33 | More by MickeyBeer
Photo of Lemke10


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

This pours a semi-cloudy medium brown color with a slight off-white head. The aroma is mild with scents of hops with hints of grains and citrus. The taste starts off as a bold, rich pale ale and than finishes with an extra amount of crisp bitterness. This is about as perfect of a pale ale as I’ve ever have had the pleasure of drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 06:06:41 | More by Lemke10
Photo of Topher78


3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this brew and received a warm amber colored body with about a 1/2 fingers worth of an off white head that left decent lacing. The aroma was earthy (tell-tale of Warrior hops) mixed with hints of citrus. The flavor punched your palate immediately with a solid blast of bitterness followed by some earthy hop flavors and toasted malt. The body was light to medium and left your mouth dry afterwards.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 18:19:08 | More by Topher78
Photo of KFBR392


4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, almost amber color for this APA. Carbonation very active with about a finger of lacing. Enjoyed out of a large tulip glass.

Smell: The hops jump right out of the bottle at you. But along with the hops is a mix of various citrus flavors and sweet caramel. I enjoyed taking in the aroma of this one for a while before drinking it.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, the hops are the first thing that hits the palette. I've had many lower level IPA that do not have anywhere near the hop presence Alpha King does. But it certainly is not to be confused as an IPA, the malt character provides a warming kiss on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A crisp feel is provided which sticks around for a while after drinking this beer.

Overall: Across the board, one of my favorite beers to date. I live in an area where some effort is need to obtain this brew, but worth it every time. It is unfair to compare other APA against this beer since it is simply so much different then other of its style.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 18:04:49 | More by KFBR392
Photo of AlphaRanger

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

12oz bottle poured into a Lagunitas jelly jar style glass

A- Slight hazy copper/amber color with nice creamy 2 finger head. Excellent retention and lacing throughout.

S- Beautiful citrus and floral right up front with the perfect balance of malt to complement.

T- WOW! HUUGE hop flavor. Tasting everything I was smelling. Citrus notes lending a slight sweetness and the perfect amount of bitterness. Also a robust somewhat earthiness flavor as well. A nice malt finish to round it all out. Very slight at the end.

M- Med. carbonation. Hops nicely coat the tongue without feeling oily and heavy. Very smooth and refreshing.

O- I've waited YEARS to try this beer. It met AND exceeded my expectations. Hands down one of the finest beers I've had. I loved everything about it including the awesome artwork on the bottles and 6pk carrier! This would easily be my go to APA if I was in the region I purchased these in.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 00:50:42 | More by AlphaRanger
Photo of whendeathsleeps


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

Not sure why I haven't reviewed this yet.

A- Pours a beautiful translucent amber color, two finger billowy head, awesome retention, nice lacing throughout, this beer is straight up beautiful.

S- Juicy orange and grapefruit, pineapple, earthy pine, a little malt sweetness.

T- Grapefruit upfront, more pineapple, caramel sweetness, biscuity malt provides great balance. Every sip flip flops these flavors around, great complexity.

M- Smooth, nice carbonation, excellent. Perfect for the style.

O- Perfect balance, great mouthfeel. Hard to find any faults with this beer. I suggest everyone try it.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 00:30:40 | More by whendeathsleeps
Photo of chicagoanbeerone


3.38/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very smooth hoppy but less hoppy then zombie dust tatse way better then pride and joy a mild pale ale but not to mild. malty and bitter describes this pale ale also a light hint of citrus hops but overall a good beer i would have this once in a while but gumball and zombie are still there best beers on the market

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 17:59:56 | More by chicagoanbeerone
Photo of MDDMD


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

A-red amber color with a nice cream-colored head and good lacing

S-biscuit malt, grapefruit, lemon, hints of caramel

T-light roasted malt, hints of caramel, grapefruit,slight earthiness, nice bitter finish

F-medium body With moderate carbonation, smooth and crisp

O-a tasty pale ale with a nice malt presence and good hop balance, easy drinking

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 02:57:47 | More by MDDMD
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Krl2112 for the bottle

Appearance: Frothy 1 finger head lingers for a bit. Dark amber beauty rules the day.

Smell: Roasted malts and some hops are prevalent.

Taste: Nice bready taste upfront rolls off into some nice tart hops, with a smooth finish. There may be some bitterness, but it blends really well into a smooth, pleasant finish that cuts off nice and dry.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation that attacks and coats the tongue in an exceptional way.

Overall: Better than your typical pale ale, it just has that extra magic in the hops. Sessionable and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 04:49:22 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of Thedaver4220


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

12 oz. Bottle poured into my Maudite tulip

Alpha King pours a deep red/amber color with nice creamy, fluffy head. The nose is pungent hops with a touch of sweetness. It's got a nice medium body with just enough malt to keep the hops in check, but the hops really do want kick your ass. It's got nice zippy bit bite on the back end. Alpha king is a personal favorite of mine and a for sure go to.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 07:33:38 | More by Thedaver4220
Photo of yamar68


3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy but lively bronze body, with a milky finger of well-retaining and lacing head.

Mellow pineapple and mango, orange juice, bitter pine qualities, sweet bread, balanced but straight forward.

Sweet malts are the first thing I notice on the tongue... some citrus peel or lemon zest beneath that. Dries up pretty quickly on the finish. Not as pungent a hop profile as I was anticipating. Definitely makes for an easy drinking beer though.

Big thanks to brew33 for giving me the chance to try this out!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 04:53:21 | More by yamar68
Photo of brewdude1982

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I received this bottle of nectar from the gods from a friend that trekked many miles to retrieve for myself and others since the brewery is not shipping their delicious brews nationally.
I had this beer in a bottle at 38*F and poured into a glass beer mug. It had an amazing smell of pine followed by perhaps pineapple (the true maltyness of the beer was hidden). As far as mouthful I'm gonna say slippery and then tingly as if they is a little acid on the back end.
The taste of this brew is great. Bitter that comes on slowly with a nice cool peak that changes over time, like a cool Carolina tide rolling in on a warm afternoon.
I would highly recommended this beer to anyone in the area or anyone that can beg, barter, or steal from someone that has this beer.

One Love

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 02:54:01 | More by brewdude1982
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

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

Thanks to IrishHockey for this awesomeness! Poured into a 3floyds tumbler (also thanks to IrishHockey). No freshness date.

A- Pours a copperish amber color with a 3/4 inch beige head that retains very well before resolving to a thick, solid sheet of surface foam. Jagged spikes of lacing.

S- Light, biscuity malt with some mildly citrusy hop character. A quick dash of caramel plus some trace astringency from the hops/alcohol.

T- Lightly toasted malt flavor with a nice dose of hops to back it up. Clean and slightly fruity with a small amount of lingering bitterness. There's a bitter/sweet balance that tips slightly toward the bitter end of the spectrum. Very drinkable.

M- Solid body with a touch of creaminess and subtle prickle from the hops. Medium carbonation.

O- Obviously not as impressive of a hop profile as Zombie Dust but it's still very satisfying. Definitely wins points for balance and overall smoothness.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 01:30:50 | More by Immortale25
Photo of WrathsU


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Ruddy brown or caramel colored body is brilliantly clear. Slightly khaki and cream head is long lived and lacing is good.

S - Big cascade hop smell to me, which is to say grainy and slight citrus. Decent malt backbone to it, there are no huge citrus/tropical fruit smells to it at all. Perhaps a slight orange characteristic in there somewhere.

T - Huge cascade notes with the signature grapefruit taste. Very similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which isn't a bad thing at all. This one tastes a bit sweeter with some more orange characteristic to it and the malt bill is more present. A really nice bitterness level throughout and a pretty dry finish considering how relatively sweet it is.

M - Medium bodied with a good level of carbonation and no alcohol burn.

O - A really good pale ale. If this was around my area of living it would be a staple alongside SNPA. Overall it's nothing PHENOMENAL or revolutionary, but it's a damn good drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 23:56:53 | More by WrathsU
Photo of gtermi


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

A: This beer pours a dark amber body with a thick white head that tanks a little bit of time to fade away. As the beer fades, there is a little bit of lace left on the glass.

S: The smell of this beer is absolutely fantastic. For a Pale Ale, this beer really has a ton of hops. The hops give it a nice spicy aroma, with a little bit of pine. Behind the hops, I start to pick up on the malty sweetness.

T: Just like the smell, I pick up tons of hops, but the hops are absolutely delicious. They has a slight peppery taste at first, but then it turns into a delicious fruity flavor. As the beer lingers, the hops tend to fade a tiny bit and leave me with just a sweet malt flavor.

M: The beer has a good amount of carbonation and isnt very crisp. The beer goes down with ease and just has a fantastic mouthfeel.

O: This is such an amazing pale ale and probably one of the best I have ever had. 3F sure loves using their hops in Pale Ales, but I personally think that is whats amazing about this beer. This beer though isnt near as good as Zombie Dust.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2012 05:23:08 | More by gtermi
Photo of AmitC


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

Wow. This is some excellent stuff. 3Floyds is awesome.

Poured into glass from a six ounce bottle. Little head which soon dissipates. Good amount of bubbles. Nice amber color. Translucent. Cloudy. Adequate amount of lacing around the glass as well.

Smell is divine. Pure, raw citrus hops. Centennial written all over it. Bliss. I love it. It increases your expectations from this IPA. It might not be very complex, but it is awesome. Unlike many other APAs, the intensity persists.

Taste : Well more malts here. Not to say it is sweet. It is still bitter. However not so much as the nose suggests. Good balancing act here. Citrus hops upfront. Felt very deeply. However won't burn your tongue or throat. Ends with more balanced taste and this hides its bitterness.

Mouth feel : Doesn't leave anything to be desired. Good.

Overall an excellent stuff from 3Floyds. My second beer from them. First one was at the pub, on tap, the name of which i do not seem to remember. It was an IPA as well. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 01:48:11 | More by AmitC
Photo of tobelerone


3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of Hessian. Pours deep amber, close to clear, with a finger of quickly settling off-white head. A little patchy lacing clings to the glass in spots. An initial burst of fragrant citrusy hops is followed by a sweet caramel and bready malt aroma.

The flavor flips it around a bit, with a big and sweet maltiness full of sugary caramel hitting first, followed by citrusy orange, grapefruit and pine hops and a lingering bitter aftertaste. There's a suggestion of aspirin on the tongue mingling with a bit of sweetness; the finish is only semi-dry.

Medium bodied with moderate, smooth carbonation. Fuller mouthfeel than is customary for this style.

Maybe my bottle wasn't as fresh as it could be and like many Three Flours beers I'd love to revisit them down the line. But this one hit me with a tantalizing blast of hoppy aromas as soon as I popped the cap of the bottle and unfortunately went down hill from there. I found it overly sweet, more assertively bitter than flavorfully hopped, and drinking bigger than it should. Lacks subtlety of any kind and has more alcohol presence than I'd like, both characteristics I've encountered before with this brewery 's beers. Not bad, but I clearly am in the minority here in not being a huge fan of this.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 23:29:15 | More by tobelerone
Photo of IrishHockey


5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that got it all started for me. I love this beer. From the grapefruit, hoppy taste, to the citrus smell. This beer is my kryptonite. I can't go into the brew pub, or local shop and not walk out with a six pack of this. Seek it out. This beer is a gem.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 14:04:17 | More by IrishHockey
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,246 ratings.