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

Not Rated.
Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,696 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,696
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 822
Gots: 409 | FT: 23
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: 4,696 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to seeswo for tossing a few of these my way in trade.

a – opened the bottle and filled my capt lawrence taster tulip. Beer poured a really pretty transparent but rich amber with a thin slightly off-white head. It was really majestic looking in color and as I held it to the light I could see even and steady carbonation climbing to the surface of the glass.

s – very nice malt and hop balancing act. Very even and clearly a pale ale unlike many of the pale ales which seem to walk the line of ipa. There are also some rustic and earthy elements to the smell.

t – much like the nose, the flavor is distinctly pale ale and not overly hopped out. Starts off somewhat malty and earthy then the hops jump in. there are some hops in the flavor but mostly for the finish which is a bit bitter.

m – vibrant and tingly. Pretty full bodied. Finishes just a tad bitter.

o – overall a very solid pale ale indeed with a nice malt backbone.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 02:33:37 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of AdamBear


4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to GoldenVIKE for sending this one my way!

A-dark transparent amber with a nice light tan head. very nice and dark for an APA. some lacing

S-fresh citrusy hops with a touch of grass. this is a great smelling APA. medium strength. borderlines an IPA.

T-comes in very smooth with citrusy hops that quickly become bitter. the citrus is very tangerine like. this tangerine taste lasts with a touch of corn. this forms the after-taste along with some caramel. this is a tasty and very well balanced beer. the bitterness lasts and is great.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a creamy finish.

O-overall this is a great APA that borderlines an IPA. i'm not sure where the line is drawn on this one. its definitely a tasty beer that would be a go to of mine if more readily available in my area. the tastes are strong and definitely form a lasting impression on your palate. it goes down way too quickly.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 20:45:48 | More by AdamBear
Photo of hamilton23


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

A: Pours a nice amber color with a thick, creamy beige head.

S: Some citrus hops with some caramel and malt.

T: The sweetness is well balanced with the bitterness of the citrus hops. Notes of caramel malts.

M: Smooth, drinkable, clean finish.

O: For a style I usually do not enjoy, this was one of the better beers I have had in this style. A great summer beer. I could see myself drinking a few of these at a session.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 03:48:10 | More by hamilton23
Photo of tripelhops


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

I had a 12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass
A: Color is just a bit on the darker side of a pale ale
S: a combination of citrus and a touch of pine hop aroma hits your nose, but not quite like a supper hopped IPA would
T: This beer is well balanced, the hops and caramal, neither one taking center stage, although from the aroma you;d think there would be more hops
M: smooth and easy drinking, just a touch of bitterness
D: A very easy drinking pale ale, with the hop aroma minus the alcohol and bite of a full IPA

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 17:12:00 | More by tripelhops
Photo of mwilbur


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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a clear caramel color with high carbonation producing a 1-2 inch white head. Decent retention.
S: Caramel malt, nice pine citrus hops...nice for style.
T: Wonderful balance of citrus pine hops and sweet caramel malt.
M: Smooth and slightly oily feel. Moderate hop bite in the finish.
D: A solid sessionable brew. Extremely drinkable. Very nice for style...which seems to be closer to an IPA (as numerous people have already said). Enjoyed this prior to grilling burgers...Thanks Kris!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 03:46:26 | More by mwilbur
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes on 3.15.11.

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a brown-burnt orange amber color with a small tan head.

S - malty and very sugary.

T - Tastes like wheat and bread.

D - Low carbonation and light.

O - Drinks very easily. I may have gotten an old bottle in a trade.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 23:09:05 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of Northsider


3.3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Definitely not my style of beer, but I wanted to try something different.

Pour deep yellow, with white head. Smell was that of grapefruits and other citruses.

Taste wasn't doing it for me. I'm not sure what a "good" pale ale or IPA is supposed to taste like, but this tasted like Pine Sol to me. Not very pleasant at all.

Seems like this is a hit for certain beer drinkers, but for those with my tastes it's best to avoid. Overall it's just a wacky, piney taste that somehow seems shouldn't be in any drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 21:18:29 | More by Northsider
Photo of Avagadro

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to aasher for hooking me up with this one.

A: Alpha King boasts a deep copper hue, a touch of haze, and minimal lacing. These are all nice, but this brew really needs some froth. A decent head was procured upon pouring, but didn't last more than a few minutes.

S: The bouquet is quite vibrant, with grapefruit and pineapple jumping out of the glass.

T: Off dry, and reminiscent of orange marmalade on toast with a side of grapefruit. Delicious to say the least.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, a touch of astringency, and ever so slightly sticky on the finish.

O: As scores of other reviewers have mentioned, this would be more aptly deemed an IPA, but that's not all too bad. I can definitely see why this brew has earned such acclaim; it is quite enjoyable. My biggest complaint is that it is lacking what every IPA should have; a big, frothy, meringue-like head. Despite this error, Alpha King remains one of the best APAs I've come across.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 20:48:13 | More by Avagadro
Photo of jzeilinger


4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear, deep copper color into my tulip. The head was about 1/4 high and died down quite quickly to a micro-thin ring of lacing around the top. Carbonation is light.

S - Semi-roasted caramel biscuit malt, and light tropical fruit: mango, papaya, pineapple, tangerines.

T - Mirrors the nose. Semi-roasted caramel biscuit malt, and spicy, peppery tropical fruit consisting of mango, papaya, pineapple, and tangerines with the addition of bittersweet, ruby red grapefruit finish, some pine is thrown in the mix as well. Taste is consistent throughout the duration of the sip with all thre flavors blending evenly all the way 'till the end, then the grapefruit emrges to bitterly finish the experience.

M - Very mild pricklies on the tongue, fairly smooth, medium bodied.

O - Aroma is light, I've had this on tap in the past and it had a stronger nose. However, I'm basing this review on what's presently in front of me. I'm torn on the aroma, knowing it should be rated higher based from my previous experience. Taste isn't as bold as an IPA, but for a Pale Ale, it's bold. I would love to give a solid overall "A" score but the nose on this particular bottle really screwed the possibility up. A vs. A-, who's really keeping tabs, it won't affect the overall rating, it's definitely worth seeking out.

Worthless information to this review: Years ago when this was easier to get here in PA, I used to buy this and it was one of the beers that turned me severely steered me in the direction of hoppy beers. I will always have a place in my heart (and wallet) for this beer, it's one I will never grow tired of. It's a first class beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 18:41:46 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of zrab11


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

A- Pours a beautiful amber color with nice white head

S- Has a nice ipa aroma to it with some citrus and sweet smells

T- has a very nice citrus hops flavor throughout. Hints you with some sweet malts and goes down crisp and clean

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation

D-Over this is an exceptional APA. almost an IPA for me. love the flavors and balance. If you havent had this beer try it. its super tasty

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 03:43:23 | More by zrab11
Photo of Hibernator


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

Alpha King Pale Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a hotel room mini glass

Pours a murky orange with some brown highlights on the top. Awesome trails of sticky lacings from this beer decorate the glassware.

Awesome aroma of citrus hop bombs, sweet sugars and a floral bouquet.

This beer has a solid base of chewy caramel malt with some brown sugar sweetness. The finish is what establishes this beer from the others. A wonderful hop blast finishes this with flavors of juicy orange slices, grapefruit and pine cone.

The hop flavors are not 'over the top' as is the case with some of other similar beers on the market. Don't get me wrong though, the hops are significant and super tasty, especially for an APA.

Enough with the analysis, this is one of hell of beer. A job well done by Three Floyds. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 22:43:03 | More by Hibernator
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve lived in Indiana all my life, and, now that I’ve become a craft beer person, Three Floyd’s has become a big source of pride for me. The availability of their beer around my hometown is awesome, so it’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of it. Here’s one I’ve only had once before: Alpha King. I’m definitely glad to be getting reacquainted with this one.

A: A pale yellowish-red body with a bright white head. The foam is only around for a few minutes, then it recedes with no lacing left behind. It’s not the most inviting color, but it’s not bad.

S: Citusy hops and with a big fruity sweetness – almost like a gummy bear. It isn’t especially pronounced, but it’s still very inviting.

T: First off, there’s that great hoppy refreshment that I’ve come to love from FFF. It’s a full line-up of grapefruit, pineapple, berry, and lemon, with a dry finish. The yeast is bigger than I was expecting, filling out the body quite nicely with some rich breads. Young wheat flavors add a few more hints of sophistication in the taste, and then it ends on a cool, refreshing note.

M: Not as carbonated as I would have liked. It shows some thinness in the body; overall, though, it’s very drinkable.

O: When drinking this, I was expecting a fuller version of their Pride and Joy ale. What I got was a fruitier brew with more distinct flavors. All things considered, though, I can’t say that I think it’s a better beer – it’s about on par with P&J. The non-sessionable version of one of my favorite session brews. Great stuff!

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 04:12:23 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of Dope


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

A: A very dark amber, darkest APA I've seen I think. Looks more like (you guessed it) amber ale. Perfect head with some nice retention.

S: Surprisingly subtle aroma. Smells a bit hoppy and wheaty but nothing strong or overpowering. Bit of caramel in there too I think.

T: Surprisingly not overly hoppy like I was expecting (but it's still there). Beautifully balanced with a nice citrus flavor. Very little bitterness.

M: Medium body with perfect carbonation to compliment the flavors.

D: Nice and light and well balanced, I could put down 6 of these without even blinking.

I usually prefer the more hoppy APAs, but this is just awesome. Overall a fantastic APA. Might be the best one I've had.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 05:17:21 | More by Dope
Photo of Mosley1212


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

Thanks to Bay01 for including this as an extra in a recent trade! Poured from the bottle into my DFH Signature glass.

A--Burnt orange color. Lots of light goes through this one. Off-white fluffy head dissipated quickly. Good retention throughout.

S--Hops are the first thing I pick up. Then comes a grainy smell--like wheat, barley, or hay. Finally, a wave of malt and caramel.

T--Not much hops, but the wheat/grain taste is prevalent. I also get a bit of sweetness of the malt/caramel. This is great!

M--Light-bodied, very little carbonation. Goes down smooth.

O--I usually prefer the more hoppy Pales, but this offers something new. It does the style well.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2011 23:04:56 | More by Mosley1212
Photo of bdo894


4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange color. Nice and pure looking.
Smells like a woody strawberry, with some vanilla and orange notes as well.
Tastes very springy. Reminds me of clover and oranges. Tangy aftertaste.
Smooth mouthfeel, velvety.
Overall a very good beer, though I'm usually more of an IPA guy. Delicious. Would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 23:12:15 | More by bdo894
Photo of ColdPoncho


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

A - Lovely amber body, medium light tan head with exceptional retention.

S - Light grapefruit hops, and a moderately complex profile of bitterness which is hard to place, but it's subtle and really great.

T - Hop forward for sure, bitter grapefruit and the rest, but there is a nice biscuity malt profile along with it. Very good.

M - Very smooth, medium-full body, moderately drying. Great feel, perhaps a bit drier than I'd prefer

O (D) - Excellent beer. It lives up to its reputation.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 02:14:54 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of Greencoat


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

A: Pours to a clear orange color with a persistent one finger beige head.

S: (I fear I may have gotten an older bottle) Nose is a fine balance of caramel malt and citrusy hops.

T: This is delicious citrus hop juice. Labeled an APA, drinks more like an IPA. I mean, this *is* an IPA. An absolutely fantastic IPA. Balanced enough to not be overbearing, but still hop forward. Medium bodied and everything I want out of a hoppy beer. So good.

M: Medium bodied, nice lively carbonation.

O: Buy this beer. Trade for this beer. /drool

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 19:33:46 | More by Greencoat
Photo of Brunite


3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden orange color with a 2 finger slightly off-white head. Great retention and lacing.

S - Reminds me of an IPA: nice citrus hop character and mild yet slightly sweet malt character.

T - The taste is just like the aroma. Very good medium bitterness with strong citrus hop character. Not as intense as a west coast IPA, though well balanced and delicious.

M - Medium bodied and well carbonated.

O - Good beer. Pushes the line between styles but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 05:03:21 | More by Brunite
Photo of SteelersX

New York

4.93/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What Amazes me about this beer is the aroma – Being a home brewer I get to know the smell of brewing very well. The mash and the boil and the addition of hops. Smells great! This beer captures all of that and retains it in the beer. This beer is unlike any beer in the world!! A nice grainy flavor and aroma. Nice hoppy flavor This is the best 6% session beer in the world Also considering Three Floyds Crazy High prices on some of the other beers, It’s also a tremendous value. Great on tap also.

This is my deserted island beer!

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 16:21:44 | More by SteelersX
Photo of DCon


4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a 6-pack of this APA from my cousin Mark when he was visiting in St. Louis, MO. Poured from the 12oz/355ML bottle in my Pint glass. Has no sign of an expiration date.

Appearance- Pours a nice brown/amber color with 3.5 finger of bubbly/frothy head. The retention lasts for a very long time and color with a nice fluffy head that leaves frothy after lacing all over the place.

Smell- Has a nice mix of hops throughout a nice candied/fruit aroma. Grassy hops have the most influence when it comes down to it. (Also, have a hint of a Chai Latte- black tea, honey, or sugars). Great aroma!

Taste- Has a great upfront hop taste once again, not too bitter, and well-balanced (huge hops but nice malts as well). Theres no telling the ABV's in this beer and I dig this! Theres nothing worse than a Pale Ale or APA that has too much of an alcohol taste or aroma to it. The citrus hops play a good part into this beer while the grassy hops are in the aroma.

Mouthfeel- Light- Medium Bodied, Medium Viscosity, Forever hops on the palate. Just what I needed after a long day!

Overall- One of the best APA's I've had yet! I haven't been exposed to many APA's in general, but this just became my #1 on my list. Thanks Mark! The drinkability was pleasant, and such great characteristics with this beer. I would recommend this to anyone trying new styles or need a good APA. Haven't seen this one around St. Louis before and glad to have had the opportunity to have a cousin out of town who gets good beer in Indiana. Cheers Mark!

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 01:25:04 | More by DCon
Photo of Retsinis


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

Have had this beer twice now. Once when a friend (Bigturo) brought a bottle back with him from his vacation in Chicago (with a short trip down to Indiana)and shared it with me. The second time, is when another friend (thanks Skuter) got a bottle in a trade, and split it with me. This review is from notes compiled from both tastings.

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. The beer pours a golden orange, with a copper amber hue. A frothy off white head rose a good inch in a half, then slowly settled leaving spotty lacing.

S: I pick up scents of grass, pine, and a sweet caramel malt.

T: Flavors of pine, mild citrus fruits, earthy grains, and a light caramel bread malt provides a nice back bone. The hops circle back for a dry crisp finish.

M: Medium to high carbonation, with light to medium body, pretty smooth, with a mildly bitter dry finish.

O: Good. Always a great treat to try some Three Floyds beers, being so far from them. Hope to see their Brewery some day.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 04:50:07 | More by Retsinis
Photo of GoldenVIKE


3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pretty weak head disappears quickly, but nice full amberish orange color. -attractive beer.

S-nice mix of hoppiness, floral, and acidic/citrus notes.

T-starts with the hops followed by a combination of pine/citrus and a faint but pleasant alcohol bite. finish is sweet. bitter all the way through--perhaps a little too bitter.

M-feels like a well-built beer.

O-this is a nice, well-built, and very drinkable beer with a nice "green" hoppy flavor that goes down easy and doesn't overpower. (except for maybe being a little overly bitter) I'm not a huge fan of super hoppy beers, but when I get a craving for some hops, this one is on my short list.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 04:35:08 | More by GoldenVIKE
Photo of hopsbreath


2.9/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to sweemzander for a bottle of this. Thanks to steamhead for the twelve ounce Alpha King glass I poured this thing into.

A: Good clarity, caramel-orange, two finger white head that dissipates but still maintains a full cap, moderate lacing. 3/5

S: Sweet and caramel/malty with some stone fruit. Classic signature Three Floyds citrus hops here. 4/5

T: Nice and bitter with a solid sweet sugary malt back bone is the core of this beer. Grapefruit meat and pith add some character. 3/5

M: I wish this were drier. It's big, full, and sticky with moderate creamy carbonation. SNPA kills in the mouthfeel category for me and in comparison, this APA is lacking. 2/5

O: I prefer my Pale Ales to be a little more stripped down and simplistic with subtle nuances (again with the SNPA). This is trying a little too hard to be great and forgets to be good first. 2/5

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 03:55:59 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of bristol2120


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, with a solid, lasting, off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing. Beer is a very deep copper red. Aroma has strong citrus/pine notes, with some evidence of herbal tea in the background. Taste also has floral hoppy notes, with an understated burnt caramel presence as well. Mouthfeel is just a bit thin. Overall, a very enjoyable take on the style; another winner from FFF.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 04:41:24 | More by bristol2120
Photo of vkv822


4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.
extra sent by iadler!

Pours a slightly hazy amber orange with quite active rising carbonation and a thick off white head.

The aroma is of strong citric fruits that blend quite nicely with a caramel malt backing.

The taste is sweet, with caramel, biscuit malts, with a pleasant citric hop blend.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with pleasant carbonation, though not nearly as active as the appearance leads to believe.

This reminded me more of an IPA in the nose, though the hops and malts did balance out a bit more in the taste. A very well done APA overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 03:38:05 | More by vkv822
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,696 ratings.