1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

4,818 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,818
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 829
Gots: 445 | FT: 24
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 Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,818 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of haddon


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

had this on draft at Pazzo's in Lexington, KY. out of all the beers we tried, this was by far the best of the lineup. if you saw all of the offerings this joint has on tap, you would know this is saying something.

orange and gold, with a pale colored cap. lots of lacing all the way down the pint glass

The nose is citrusy hoppy. Not overpowering but just a good mix of orange peel, grapefruit and all things citrus

The flavor has a citrusy hop bite that is more characteristic of IPA's than APA's. plenty of malt to balance things out. Flavors include grapefruit and orange peel primarily.

The mouthfeel is plenty smooth, medium body with just the right carbonation. no complaints here.

Drinkability is high... nice and smooth, very well-balanced.

Alpha King does seem more like an IPA than a true APA. I ain't complaining because that's just my game! I will be looking for a clone to brew and if you know me, you know that is the ultimate compliment. well done, FFF.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2011 03:23:56 | More by haddon
Photo of Nugganooch


3.55/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another review made possible by my first trade with Shuggy. Cheers mate!

Very excited to try some 3 F's goodness for the very first time and just so happens that I actually got to sample some Alpha King at the PizzaPort Real Ale fest recently. Now sitting down with a bottle and results are sort of a let down for me.

A: Pours a much darker pale - more amber color with almost no head love. Just a dank swirling mass of a brew. Struggling lace.

S: Sweet honey malt notes with ample biscuit characteristics. Picking up some slight citrus but smell is dominant malt.

T: Taste is mostly sweet with a light honey and english biscuity malt character. Good amount of bitterness. Some noticeable spice and pine notes but any delicate hop flavors are just trumped by the abundent bready and honey malts here. Bitters do round it out and finish it up nice. ABV slighlty detectable.

M: Not a bad mix of sticky and creaminess on the palate that is bittered well.

D: Good. Malt forward for the style and lands a bit on the sweeter side.

Maybe my expectations were just too high here for a brew titled the Alpha King. As far as hops go this one is definitely not the King. Maybe back in the day this was considered hoppy? Overall a decent brew but a bit heavy on the malt flavors and aromas for the hops to really shine in my opinion. Perhaps one I will not be seeking out again any time soon with the many other options these days. Glad to have tried though.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 21:44:01 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of Prostman81


3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I waited for awhile to try this beer. In fact, probably ever since I joined this website I've been wanting to try it. APAs and IPAs are my favorite two styles, and as this was highly ranked, was on my "to-drink" list, yet I could never find it at my local liquor stores. (Too much demand, limited quantities stocked).

Finally found this and tried it. Drinkable, with good but not intense hop flavors/aromas. Lighter body.

Overall it's just an OK pale ale. Not bad, just not great. If you have the option of buying a Daisy Cutter (and I know this isn't really a fair option to many), buy the DC. Daisy Cutter is by far a top example of the APA style, and has a certain crispness to it that Alpha King can't boast.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 20:40:44 | More by Prostman81
Photo of strikertown


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Sean(Sean9689) for sending me the growler. I won his LIF, and it was received in excellent condition.

A-Not so much pale, but more of an light orange coloring with a small head that dissipated quickly to a thin lacing. Looks very enticing.

S-I am not sure if this was a cause of being in a growler for a couple weeks (I didn't drink it right away), but the aroma was faint although pleasant. Floral citrus but just not much of it.

T-This beer tastes more along the lines of an American IPA. Very bitter and citrusy hoppy. Added in was a decent malt backbone that led to some perceived sweetness. It sort of took on a pineapple flavor with the citrus and sweetness mixed together.

M-Has a solid mouthfeel that is not small and not big but rather right in the middle which makes this an easy drinker, IMO.

O-Overall I am still surprised that this is listed as an American Pale because it is similar to other IPAs I've had with decent body and a strong bitterness with citrus hops. This is a beer I could drink a whole lot of and be content.

Thanks again to Sean9689, for an excellent beer. I will definitely be seeking this out when i am in the distro area.

Serving type: growler

04-24-2011 05:19:58 | More by strikertown
Photo of nataku00


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. A clear copper color with maybe half a finger of off white soapy head initially. Head dissipates to a collar of small bubbles and some lace along the surface quickly. Light lacing when swirling the beer, but it slides quickly back into the glass. Some nice carbonation visible through the beer, ascending at a decent clip but not overly vigorous.

Nose is orange peel, juicy ripe orange flesh, and caramel malt. Some dank earthy hops come up as the beer warms further. Not strongly aromatic.

Taking a sip, good balance of orange peel, pine needle and earthy hops with a good malt backbone. Short bitter hit on the tongue initially, but is then washed away by malt sweetness and finishes dry and clean.

Pretty easy to drink beer, light bodied and perfectly carbonated with some refreshing bubbles that cleanly remove the bitterness after your taste buds are done with it. A solid example of a well made pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 03:22:58 | More by nataku00
Photo of JackieTH


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drove all the way from Minneapolis, MN to Ladysmith, WI to purchase this. When will Three Floyds come to MN?!?

Poured into a straight-sided drinking vessel reddish-orange/amber kicking up a fluffy head that clings and leaves nice lace as the glass is quickly emptied.

Nose is solidly pine forest and orange/grapefruit citrus. Taste sneaks in a bit of sweet carmelly malt up front but with generous helpings of resin, grapefruit and floral notes it's..(wow this isn't an IPA?).

A very pleasantly dry and bitter finish with a light-medium body and reasonable ABV that makes it very difficult not to knock back all six of my stock at one sitting..

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 20:09:01 | More by JackieTH
Photo of CliffBrake

New Hampshire

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

Thanks to zrab11 for the sample.

Medium amber color with a fine head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. A pretty beer although the color seems a lot more like a red ale than a pale.

Pine and spicy hops on the nose, backed with a sweet biscuity malt aroma. Orange and grapefruit hop flavors meet the spicyness and fade to a bittersweet finish. Nicely balanced with a good complexity to the hops and just the right amount of malt backbone.

Medium bodied with a full mouthfeel and lots of lingering bitterness. Sweet in the middle but finishes dry, inviting another sip.

All in all a tasty beer that holds interest. Not my idea of an APA, but well worth checking out just the same.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 00:27:58 | More by CliffBrake
Photo of tjsdomer2


3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 03:36:23 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of jwinship83


4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at kumas corner. $5 gets you a pint glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent copper colored body with a very small bright white head on top. the head is quick to fall, and doesnt leave behind very much lacing.

S- woah, hoppy. this is undoubtedly fresh. lots of pine and grapefruit. some floral notes sneak in also. there is a moderate amount of caramel malts which adds some balancing sweetness to the mix.

T- the taste starts out with some sweet caramel malty notes and quickly moves into hop country. plenty of resiny pine and sharp, bitter grapefruit. i think i pick up on a little bit of orange zest also. light floral notes at the end.

M- the body is on the lighter side of medium. nice and bitter aftertaste. somewhat dry finish.

D- easy to drink and quite affordable. ill have another glass. check this one out if you havnt already. i think i liked it better on tap than in the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2011 02:02:07 | More by jwinship83
Photo of stxSS07


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

Poured into a Killian's Imperial Pint

A- Pours a dark orange copper with a fingers worth of head. Carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass. Sticky lacing.

S- One word. Amazing. This has the aggressiveness and complexity of a DIPA with a malt background. One of the best smelling beers I've encountered.

T- Where does the APA end and the IPA begin? This is such a fantastic take on the style. On the first sip I'm overwhelmed with hops and citrus fruits giving way to a wee bit o' malt. Fantastic.

M- Light and crisp. Very refreshing with a juicy feel that finishes with a perfect dryness that gets you ready for the next sip.

O- This is one of my "go-to" beers that also happens to be one of the best that I have encountered. I consider myself lucky to live so close to FFF that I can get this with regularity.
A fantastic beer from an awesome brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 03:10:12 | More by stxSS07
Photo of richkrull


4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a copper color with quite a bit of beige head on it. Lots of citrus and floral hops in the aroma, great smelling beer. Taste is about the same as the smell, good hop flavor with some citrus notes as well. Pretty well balanced beer. Easy to drink, light mouthfeel, this beer went down really smooth. I really really liked this beer a lot. I'll definitely be looking for it in the future.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 17:38:48 | More by richkrull
Photo of PGHeppJr

New York

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

From notes 29OCT2010

Pint from Kuma's whilst waiting to pickup a KILLER burger

A damn crisp and tasty hop forward ale, that I would argue doesn't quite fit the category it is placed in. That aside, a very enjoyable beer that I wish i could get my hands on back home.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2011 14:55:13 | More by PGHeppJr
Photo of EgadBananas


3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to injuredreserve for the share a while back and seeswo for the bottle I could actually review!

Pours a nice pale orange, with touches of yellow around the edges. A half finger of milky, creamy light beige head with stellar retention.

Aroma is big with juicy citrus, light pine notes and bits of malty sweetness.

Initially bitter, with juicy citrus notes, pine and resin with a bit of maltiness. A little bit of lingering bitterness.

Feel is slightly creamy, light-medium bodied, not extremely crisp.

Drink ability is good, and overall, a wicked tasty apa!

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 01:36:44 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of bobhits


4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I’m not sure where a pale ale end and an ipa begins. This beer truly challenges this notion. Orange amber color, a middle of the road dark color, decent amounts of bubbles, good head, excellent retention, nearly perfectly clarity with just a few floaters that makes me think this was either bottle conditioned or they wanted it to look that way.

A nose of citrus grape fruit, orange, subtle alcohol ethers, and just perfect IPA malt.

I’ve had this beer on tap a lot…but wow it’s better in the bottle. Just wish we got bottles here in Kentucky (btw wtf is up with that guys?). The hops are over the top or maybe just at the top of the APA style. I think great lakes has a darn good APA but wow does this just blow it way. There is enough malt here though to say yeah, it’s an APA.

There has yet to be a day when this wouldn’t bring a smile to my face. Just an amazing beer and beyond worthy of the reviews.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 23:47:37 | More by bobhits
Photo of kscaldef


3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper amber with very little head and no lacing. A bit of sweet maltiness in the aroma as well as some tropical fruit and pine. Taste is a nice balance of mildly sweet malts and floral hops. Low carbonation and body. Quite drinkable, but nothing exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 02:40:39 | More by kscaldef
Photo of syrupjoe


4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance - Very clear copper color, lacing has a life of its own - leaves its presence very known. Each sip revitalizes the carbonation and head, as if this beer is trying to show off. I'd call it an interactive beer.

Aroma - Very floral and citrusy. Malt is not super pronounced, but it smells well balanced

Taste - I get lots of citrus fruit, but also apricot. Malt is is present, but very subtle. Low hop bitterness, but that's not to say it's unbalanced.

Mouthfeel - Great carbonation, this is incredibly smooth, crisp and drinkable. Somewhat juicy, wet finish.

Overall - One of my first experiences with FFF. Very impressed - I could drink a handful of these, and still be impressed by the flavor at each sip.

First review! It's about time.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 23:18:25 | More by syrupjoe
Photo of thebeerisgood


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

Aroma: Tropical fruit, grapefruit, citrus and big floral hops. A great first impression for this brew.

Appearance: Copper/Amber with an off-white head that leaves rows of lace clinging to the glass.

Taste: Lots of citrus and hops flavor balanced well with pale malt sweetness. As with most 3 Floyds brews, Alpha King has huge flavor and is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and a medium body, finishing dry and clean.

Overall: This is a very smooth, delicious brew and has easily become one of my favorite pale ales. With a ton of flavor, Alpha King leaves the bodies of most other pale ales in its wake. Over the course of two evenings, I killed a sixer without destroying my taste buds and keeping most of my wits about me.

Notes: Alpha King is brewed with Centennial, Cascade and Warrior hops and is one of 3 Floyds flagship brews. I've seen a sixer of this at pretty much every Citywide and Belmont in the area, as well as Martin's Supermarket.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 16:22:20 | More by thebeerisgood
Photo of jerskine


4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: opaque, copper hue with about an inch of creamy microbubble foam

S: very enticing; smells very hoppy for a pale ale, hints of other floral aromas

T: exceptional citrus taste with an immense quantity of hops hitting your taste buds; I'm not the one to go for pale ales, but this exceeded my expectations in taste

M: very smooth, very drinkable, very crisp

O: excellent pale ale; thought it wouldn't be hoppy enough for my liking, but it definitely hit the spot

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 00:57:41 | More by jerskine
Photo of chugalug06


4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Almost a clear copper color with a very nice white foamy head. Lacing left behind looks like art

S - Super Centennial hops and citrus. Lots of grapefruit and orange

T - No bitterness at all. Very palatable and no alcohol taste at all

M - Silky smooth, great carbonation.

D - Leaves you looking for another sip, after sip, after sip, after sip....

Very good brew, definitely would recommend and search for again! Awesome label on the bottle too... Labels should ALWAYS matter, as they're an indication of how much the brewery care about their brew.

Thank you Dave for sharing!


Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 00:54:01 | More by chugalug06
Photo of IchabodcraneIpa


4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle.

The color of this one is a honey golden color that has a half inch of cream colored foam as a crown but it fades to just a top dusting of foam.

The smell of this one is a nice citrusy hop smell that is pretty inviting on the nose.

The first time I tried this one I wasn't really sure about it, but after this second try ( while sober) I can see why people praise three floyds. The flavor of this one was a citrusy sweetness at first that is overtaken by the maltiness fairly quick. But shortly after that both flavors give way to the nice hoppy goodness of a nice slightly bitter hop frenzy. This also fades away to a nice sweet finish that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The mouthfeel of this one was light and refreshing to me with a perfect balance of carbonation to tone out the king.

Overall I'm sad I only bought one of these, but I would definitely seek this one out actively again. A great citrus pale ale that I could enjoy any time of the year.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 19:19:50 | More by IchabodcraneIpa
Photo of Scotchboy


3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from brew3crew, not sure on the age. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Dark orange bordering on copper, with lots of carbonation and some good off-white head lacing.

S: Ok smell, hop forward with some hints of fruit and floral notes. Grain and malt underneath, not too sweet but its there.

T: Again, not loving it but its above average, especially on the hop side. The floral hops are up front with some juicy fruitiness, and there is some bitterness on the front as well but overall it mixes well and the malt backbone mellows it out.

MF: Average mf but good carbonation. Besides that, its light and more wet than dry on the finish.

O: Pretty good pale ale, but I'm underwhelmed (though I had high expectations). Not something I'd search out again but nice to try once. Hope my bottle was fresh and an accurate representation of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 18:01:58 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of Aircow86


4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served chilled, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a burnt orange color with a finger of head. Head is a little less than I expected, also less lacing than expected.

Smell: Centennial hops, baby. As Centennial is my favorite hop, I deem this a very good thing. Further whiffs reveal strong citrusy, hoppy aromas reminiscent of an IPA.

Taste: Again, up front hop punch. Citrus hop flavors dominate, but give way to a solid backbone of sweet malt. What flavor for an APA.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, lots of carbonation. A surprisingly full and satisfying mouthfeel for a pale ale.

Overall: This is absolutely one of my all-time favorite beers. Three Floyds works such wonderously hoppy magic that really raises the bar for the style. I could drink this beer every day.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 01:14:40 | More by Aircow86
Photo of kaips1


4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alpha king on tap into a pint glass

A-nice amber color, white 1 finger head, lots of life non stop bubbles but not crazy 
S-heavenly, lots of citrus and hops
T-same as the taste, if not better
M- lively.wet finish 
O-amazing, get this if you can, no way this is just a pale ale cause it kicks all other pale ale asses

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2011 22:00:34 | More by kaips1
Photo of madvermin


4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ChadQuest for sending me this awesome pale ale, I've been waiting a while to try it along with all the other FFFs stuff he sent.

Pours a deep orange, a lot darker than most pale ales out there. A billowing three-finger off-white head emerges, is rocky and thick, leaves incredible checkered lacing, and retains beautifully for just the right amount of time.

Nose is a balanced deal, with good amounts of grapefruit and orange to go with a nice solid malty backbone. Doesn't smell sweet, just full. Citrus smells good, but it feels restrained - I think it will come out more in the taste.

And boy does it do that. Orange, grapefruit, resin, pine and malt combine for a phenomenally complex pale ale that never gets messy. The initial citrus flavor lingers while the hoppy planty parts do their work, all while malts keep the beer grounded and never get too sweet. This is a very strong and different pale ale, but it definitely fits the style in its balance. The finish is slightly acrid which I don't like, but the rest of the beer is great.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a rough ended as mentioned in the taste, but overall it's a crisp and juicy beer. This isn't its strong point, but I think it traded this for the taste and nose. Drinkability is quite good on the other hand as the beer is well balanced and only slightly harsh at the end. I think I get the fervor around this brewery after having this and some of their other beers - everything is phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 07:29:46 | More by madvermin
Photo of kbrinson


4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first BA review...

Appearance is a burnt Amber with a one 1-2 finger head with decent lacing.
Smells of citrus notes as advertised, but by no means overpowering.
Taste - has the bite of other hopped pale ales, however a much smoother finish.
Mouthfeel - Coats well. Very smooth.

I've been on BA for over a year now and have had several Alpha Kings. In an effort to temper my bias i've tried several other APA's to compare. Honestly, they don't measure up. It's a great beer from a great brewery. I truly am fortunate living in Indiana. If you can buy it, do so, if not, buddy up with someone and trade for it.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 20:25:23 | More by kbrinson
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,818 ratings.