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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.

4,767 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,767
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 825
Gots: 426 | 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
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Ratings: 4,767 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afksports

New York

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

You know. For a pale ale, Alpha King isn't very pale.

But that's ok. It's amber medium body with a brilliant bubbly head is just chillin' in my glass looking at me like: "drink me, I dare you."

Challenge accepted.

It is Thursday, after all.

The smell is hop citrus and flower forward, with a hint of toasty malts in the back. The taste follows with a greeting of malt at the start and finish, and a hop kick in the middle and back. Interesting for sure.

Well-composed, affordably priced (although I got mine in a trade) and with a fun illustration on the label, I don't see what there's not to love about this 6.5% American Pale Ale from Three Floyds.

Cheers to the Alpha King!

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 02:04:15 | More by afksports
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a perfectly clear reddish copper with about two fingers of white head. The head fades into a thin white cap with exceptional lacing.

S: Very good hop bouquet going on here. Lots of citrus aromas--sweet orange, grapefruit, etc. It smells amazing.

T: There is some citrus rind up front followed by a bit of piny and grassy hop flavors. There's a light bitterness as well, but it doesn't linger around. Quite nice, all around, with the hops definitely present without being as in-your-face as an IPA.

M: Light-medium body with medium carbonation that goes fairly well with the hop flavors.

D: No real lingering bitterness and fairly smooth body mean this beer goes down pretty smooth.

Overall, one of the best pale ales I've had.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 22:54:15 | More by n2185
Photo of harrymel


3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks (again!) to Jrod1969 for this extra!
Poured to NB globe.

A: Pours a cherry orange ale with supreme clarity. A 2.5 finger peanut head falls to 0.5 finger. No apparent carbonation. Jesus, lacing like a corset!

S: Mmmm. Beautiful malts help accentuate the herbal, piney, resinous hop profiles. Goddam, this keeps me leaning in. The nose reminds me of a really good red ale, not really so much a Pale, but I ain't a hater.

T: The malts die down a bit here. Allowance for the hops to shine, provide the bitterness and balance I anticipated in the nose. There's a woodiness and oaky profiling that nearly dominate the entire palate experience.

M: Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Slight slickness initially, then dies out within seconds. Average.

D: This beer is drinkable. However, the taste puts me off a bit. Wish there were less early bittering hops to prevent such severe dryness.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 18:36:28 | More by harrymel
Photo of oline73


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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an almost clear amber with just under a finger of off white head. Some lacing remains throughout.

Smell: Not a very strong smell. Some malt and fruity notes along with mild hops.

Taste: Mostly citrus peel hop bitterness. In the background there is a little bit of malt and a very mild fruity sweetness. The finish is all hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: I like this beer and am likely to pick some up again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 00:55:05 | More by oline73
Photo of Axic10

New Jersey

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

Bottle thanks to Vdubb86. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a semi-hazy amber (orangish when held up to light) with a finger of off white foam that settles down to a thin layer.

Smell: Heavy on the hops mixed with lemony citrus and a sweet malt aroma.

Taste: Bitter hops, lemony zest, grapefruit, pine and subtle malty hints as well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: Very good drinking beer that I would buy the hell out of it were readily available to me. Another good brew from Three Floyds.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 23:52:56 | More by Axic10
Photo of Eriktheipaman


4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brown/orange with nice white head and great lacing.

The smell was great with mostly chocolate but I also picked up some sweet fruit like mango.

The taste was of slightly bready, chocolate, and carmel malt. The hops pack a great punch for a pale ale. Just the right amount of bitterness but with that fresh sweet fruit that comes through in the smell.

I was very impressed.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 17:37:55 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of LairdChisholm


4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a transparent, dark copper color with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles in the center heading towards the top. There is a one finger, off white, creamy head that has good retentions and leaves some fair lacing.

S - Sweet pine hops is what I get at first. These are followed by some citrus notes mixed with a more spruce smell. Very good nose.

T - Upfront there isn't a lot going on besides some slight lemon an citrus notes. The back end of the sip the stinging pine hops come out with a spike of orange flavor. It would be a lot better if it tasted like this all the time though.

M - Just a little too light. A little less carbonation would maybe help bring out those flavors at the beginning a little more.

D - A good staple session APA, I've had better and I've had worse, but not a bad one to try.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 02:49:10 | More by LairdChisholm
Photo of nhindian


3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Victory tulip. Bottle provided by UMNbeerhunter, thanks Joe!

Hard to determine a date for this as Three Floyds refuses to code their bottles...

A - A steady pour yields a dark orange beer with 1-fingers worth of creamy head. The head has low retention, quickly dissolving into speckles dotted on top of the beer. I can't seem to see much carbonation in this beer, but it does lace nicely.

S - The smell is mild and not over-the-top. Light hops release a faint aroma of pine and citrus, but there is also a strong malt presence in this beer as well. Subtle notes of baked bread.

T - In the taste, the hops aren't as pronounced, and there is actually a tight balancing act between the hops and the malts. The first word I first used to describe it were 'unoriginal'. It's a taste that isn't reflective of other Three Floyds beer and is just a bit bland. The finish is moderately long and a bit bitter.

M - The mouthfeel is medium heavy with good carbonation despite the absence of streams in the glass. Leaves a slight coating in the mouth but little to remember it by besides the bitter finish.

D - Drinkability is moderate. As I look back on the notes, I describe it as inoffensive but not very inspired or worth seeking out. A standby in Three Floyds rotation, it wouldn't be hard to find something comparable in local shelves.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 23:07:21 | More by nhindian
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A delightfully well balanced and easy to drink American Pale Ale.

Cloudy amber pour, subtly hopped aroma followed by a well balanced, malty sweetness. The finish is pleasantly bitter, but not "over the top". Unfortunately there's not a brew date on the bottle, so I can't tell whether the sweetness is a result of design or of age. The bottle was recently purchased from a reputable shop, but I expected more hops on the finish from such a flagship APA...

Look forward to trying it again at the earliest possible opportunity!

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 00:02:32 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of corby112


4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a hazy, dark golden orange/amber color with a two finger frothy, pillowy off-white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large chunks of soapy lacing are left coating the glass.

Sweet citrus hop aroma with hints of earthy pine and tropical fruit. Subtle malt backbone but the nose of this beer is all about the hops with lots of grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple.

Medium bodied and very hop forward for the style with a blast of bitter, earthy hops that are countered by sweet citrus presence and a subtle malt backbone. Hints of pine needle, grapefruit, citrus peel, mango and pineapple as well as a subtle biscuit/graham cracker flavor that provides nice balance. This beer is much closer to an IPA than a pale ale with lots of oily, resinous hop flavor and a nice dry finish. Complex, well balanced and extremely quaffable. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 08:15:44 | More by corby112
Photo of MayLattimore

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay there is not much I can add to the reviews already given. This is a great APA. I give it 4s to 4.5s across the board. It's an A beer. If you can find it, drink it. Watch dating however. I really liked it and wish I had picked up more than one bottle from the store.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 23:01:21 | More by MayLattimore
Photo of BradDurbin89


3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First, I was lucky enough to trade for this beer.

It is quite dark orange in color and unfiltered with a small head after standard pour.

Great smell of citrus and big hop nose.

This beer has a huge hoppy bitterness and a crazy hop flavor that covers the whole mouth. The bitterness lingers. It is good.

The beer has a nice mouth feel and slightly higher than expected amount of carbonation.

This is a good beer, and I enjoyed it very much. I'd wouldn't have more than one is a session, but I will definitely have another one of these beers! Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 03:57:23 | More by BradDurbin89
Photo of OakedCanuck


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

12oz bottle into pint glass.

This beer pours a dark orange with hints of brown in the middle. Quick head leaving decent lacing. It has a musty orange bitterness smell with lemon citrus. Taste is very bitter, a very good hop bomb. Powerful orange and grapefruit with grassy undertones. This beer leaves a tackiness in your mouth with some malty sugar stick. A good beer and I would definitely like more!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 19:24:16 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

A: This beer appears an orange sunburst color with a half inch of head. The head hangs out for a few minutes before leaving some decent lacing in its tracks.

S: The aroma consists primarily of hops with some citrus, followed by malt. This is more hop forward than is normal for a pale ale.

T: The beer tastes well balanced and full of flavor, with hops shining through.

M: Crisp and refreshing finish, with a solid carbonation level. An all around nice feel. Well done.

D: Really easy to drink. A great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 17:29:26 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

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

Massive thanks to aasher for this as an extra in a past in-person trade. Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a two and a half finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger very slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, chocolate, citrus, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty excellent brew. Very well balanced and complex. Not too much missing on this one. If you haven't tried this before, get off your ass or trade for it. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 12:57:58 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Tncapehart


4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A dark orange beer. Cloudy and murky. Obviously unfiltered and a good sign of hop presence. Head drops fast but still leaves lacing on the glass.

S- Smell of citrus comes through. Pungent but pleasant hop variety is present. It's nice but I suggest warming it up before opening to get the full aroma.

T- This is where it gets good. A hop bomb! Bitterness plus a complex hop flavor cover your mouth. It coats your mouth and lasts well after your sip. To the point where you want another taste to get a fresh coating.

M - Medium mouth feel with a good amount of carbonation.

D - A good beer to enjoy over a long period of time. Not one to drink many of, but one to savor and make last a while.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 02:26:00 | More by Tncapehart
Photo of tsatem


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

Poured from a growler into a pint glass, thanks to calbertb2

A - Copper with a slight reddish tint and a nice two finger head, which stays around a little while but leaves some lacing as soon as it recedes. Some floaties as well.

S - I get pine off of this first with some citrus behind that. Lots of hops, with malt sweetness supporting it the whole way. Surprising hop presence for a pale ale and not an IPA. Nothing extraordinary, but it smells great - very well balanced.

T - I get more malt here than in the nose, but the hops immediately follow. Very close to the nose otherwise. Again, a little more hoppy than I would expect a pale ale to be. Very well balanced resulting in a kind of sweet, slightly bitter malty finish

M - A little bit flatter than I was expecting from the pour, but generally agreeable. Definitely very smooth with a nice lingering finish that continues to ask for another sip.

D - Extremely drinkable, had no problem finishing most of a growler by myself. The finish leads me to keep drinking more and more. There's nothing too special about it, but when I finish my glass I realize how good it was and pour another. I'd definitely like to get some more of this. One of the better American Pale Ale's I've had, holding its own with a lot of IPA's.

Serving type: growler

01-20-2011 00:43:42 | More by tsatem
Photo of kirkpjr


4.43/5  rDev +4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 00:43:26 | More by kirkpjr
Photo of Urbancaver


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

Pours a beautiful amber gold with a ton of white head. The head hangs out for ever and there is beautiful lacing on the glass. Smells hoppy and malty. Smells as hoppy as any IPA I've had. some light citrus and piney hints on the nose. Tastes very balanced between a solid malt profile and some great hops. Pine and citrus on the tongue. A bit of grapefruit as well. Very good mouthfeel and very drinkable. A top notch brew

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 00:03:24 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of TriGuy20


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

On draft at Kuma's Corner, poured into pint glass.

A: Copper and Orange with a nice off white head and a lace that sticks fairly well to the glass.

S: mmm big hops! Pine/ Grapefruit/ Biscuit/ Malt/ Yeast/ Bitter orange/

T: Grape fruit and pine upfront with a nice yeasty mid palate followed by a nice long hoppy bitterness. Nice long finish.

MF: This beer has some good carbonation to it and feels medium bodied on the palate.

D: This beer is so fun to drink would have no problem drinking several of these.

This was one of the first craft beers I fell in love with and sometimes I forget about this beer, however, it never disappoints. Well done!

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2011 21:06:31 | More by TriGuy20
Photo of southsider


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

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

A-Poured an orangy,coppery hazy gold into my glass. The head was a frothy off white with sticky lacing.

S-Strong aroma of piney,citrusy,piney hops with a toasty malt background. Big IPA type smell for an APA.

T-Spicy,slightly alcoholic beginning with more carbonation than expected. Lots of piney and citrusy hops more in overall presentation than bittering which is restrained enough to let the toasted biscuity malt backbone shine through.Finish is dry and a little bitter.

M-Combination of high carbonation,initial bitterness and alcohol create a buzzing sensation like a swarm of bees in my mouth. "It's not normal" is the mantra of Three Floyds and it certainly applies to Alpha King. Medium mouthfeel due to a big malt backbone clothed in generous aromatic hops.

D-A damn fine Midwest APA masquerading as a West coast IPA. My favorite American Pale Ale so far.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2011 15:09:11 | More by southsider
Photo of wschmit


4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Clear, vaguely orange, brandy-like body with some effervescence underneath a pretty fluffy, ivory head. Sticky, thick lacing around the rim as the head diminishes.

S: Big hope nose up front--all the great hop notes there, from flowery to citrusy, even a touch of pine. After the hops comes a complex malt sweetness, with soft residual maltose mingled with toffee, fruit.

T: The taste reflects the nose pretty well. The hops are a bit more long-lasting, but more muted, too--pine dominates citrus or floral-ness. The malt appears throughout the sip as well, and is neither cloyingly sweet nor bland and boring. This is almost certainly too hoppy for a mere "Pale Ale" tag, but who cares...

M: Medium body, a bit flat carbonation. Very smooth, eminently quaffable.

D: Pretty damn high. Admittedly, I'm biased--I cut my craft beer teeth on Alpha King and Gumballhead, but this brew really is tops in the $10/six pack Chicago market. It trumps many other beers in the style, for sure. Great hop and malt complexity for an acceptable price.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 19:02:44 | More by wschmit
Photo of bevenson


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

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Copper and crystal clear. Off white head that hangs around for a minute before falling to the sides. One of the best looking beers I've seen in a while.

S - Strong grapefruit and pine aroma. Hop aroma is very fresh and crisp. Bready, toasty malt in the background with thankfully little caramel.

T - Bold hop bitterness. Grapefruit and pine hop flavors. Bread crust flavor is just strong enough to back up the hops. Clean yeast character.

M - Medium to thin body. Moderate carbonation, dry finish and smooth.

D - A very easy drinking pale ale. Hits the malt/hop balance just right, which isn't easy to do. Would've liked a little more body to the beer. Well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 04:00:36 | More by bevenson
Photo of Tifore


4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved from Josh (Alleykatking). Thanks buddy. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Unibroue Tulip.

A - Copper red in color as I pour with a very slight tinge of haziness in the glass. Still can see through it but its not crystal clear. Forms a nice 3 finger head as I pour and I have to stop pouring the last ounce or so because the head is coming out of the glass. The head is a tan / light off white color and looks pretty sticky but only some stays as the rest fades.

S - Smells of citrusy hops, pineapple, grapefruit and some orange. This beer has a nice malty smell to it as well which I like to smell in it. I smell some cinnamon or some spice in it as well. Intriguing.

T - Really smooth citrusy hops come through and stay there as the malt comes through after and add a nice smoothness to the beer. A very nice combination of flavors and complexities in this one, I really like the taste of this one. The flavor is so much bigger than the smell.

M - Good carbonation and a very crisp mouthfeel make this one nice and refreshing to go along with the nice flavors.

D - A very drinable beer, not something I'm reaching for first in the fridge but definitely a old standby that I could always rely on. Bummed out that FFF doesn't distribute to Ohio. That needs to happen again.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 00:39:00 | More by Tifore
Photo of edmonan


4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, though transparent, amber, with a thin off white head. The head dissipates quickly taking the most potent aromatics with it.

The aroma is very subtle with a distant, deep, earthy hop smell. Hints of

There is a malty opening that is obscured almost immediately by a bitterness that crescendos and then settles into a background flavor. This flavor slowly decays, setting off different notes as the drink is consumed.

The mouthfeel is a little anemic, with a lingering aftertaste.

This is one to savor.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 03:28:30 | More by edmonan
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,767 ratings.