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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.

5,058 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,058
Reviews: 1,673
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 850
Gots: 534 | FT: 26
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: 5,058 | Reviews: 1,673 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An all around classic. Had this beer on a trip back through the midwest. Was very surpised to see how well it poured, the hoppy aroma, and the hoppy taste. I guess comparitively, the last almost decade or so since I first had it, beers have become hoppy to the extreme, but this is a classic balanced version that hopheads should still be able to appreciate. Delicious. . .

Plenty of hop character, enough malt. Its nowhere near as pungent as it seemed over a decade ago, but it still holds a special place, and is a legitimate high end pale ale still to this day.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cvaypai for sending me a bottle of this. I've had it before but never reviewed, so now I can do so!

A: A 12 oz bottle poured into my Firestone Walker pint glass. The beer is a hazy, amber color with little to no head.

S: A great citrus (grapefruit and orange) aroma fills the nose and a mild pine is present as well. There is also a bit of sweet, caramel malt smell coming through.

T: Exceptional flavor for a pale ale! Wonderful bitterness up front and on the finish. There is also quite a bit of citrus in there, but not much in the way of the malt.

M: A fairly light beer on the tongue, but certainly not a bad thing. Good carbonation and a bit of a lingering bitterness.

D: Pale ales are known for their high level of drinkability, and this one is no exception. A very nice beer by Three Floyds.

womencantsail, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

oh, how i've long waited to taste your juices! like the flowing locks of an auburned redhead, she drops into the glass, forming into a lovely finger of head. popping the cap off releases all that is holy, from 2 feet away, I know what is to become of my mouth. the grapefruit, the flowers, the pine, mostly the grapefruit. indeed there is a sweetness as well to this lass, and as she comfortably nuzzles my tongue, the flavors design to leave me in love with a pale ale? silly floyds. anyways, $4 a 12 oz? why not? in fact, i did it again.

olympuszymurgus, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of cpetrone84
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at ESPN Zone in Chicago (while watching my Steelers start one of the most embarrassing skids known to defending champions...)

A-deep reddish orange in color that pours a thin one finger of a white head that leaves a decent lacing on the glass

S-nice floral hop aroma with hints of citrus hit the nose, pale ale? great hop aroma for a pale, so far so great!

T-this is similar to this nose, blows me away for being a pale ale, more like a session style ipa. nice pine comes through up front with a floral and citrus hop taste coming to finish

M-it has a medium body, is extremely smooth, and is slightly slick on the back of the throat with a light carbonation that is placed in there nicely

D-so tasty for a pale ale and great mouthfeel, only 6% (not quite a session but damn near). i could pound cases during summer months!

cpetrone84, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Looks great. I love the crimson that's flowing with bubbles, some hanging to the side while others support a huge off-white head, which ends up leaving pretty nice lacing.

S: Lots of fruit with a solid hop background and some slight pine.

T: Perfect balance between the fruitiness and the hop bitterness, which becomes most prominent in the finish. Fruits include a little bit of citrus, melon, and maybe some berries. Very impressive.

M&D: Mouthfeel was good, medium body with solid carbonation makes for a nice drink. The drinkability is pretty high for this beer. I could sit and have a few of these and not get bored of overwhelmed.

Overall: What most impressed me about this beer is that it's one of the few top 100-borderline top100 beers that's simply enjoyable. This beer has no amazing qualities you can't find in other beers, it's just a well-balanced delightful beer with no weak points. One of the best I've had in a while...glad to be on the Wisc. border.

AdmiralDiaz, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is hazy and brown / orange, forms a thin head of small bubbles that falls away to nearly nothing leaving some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low.

Beer kind of smells like a brown ale (also looks like a brown ale). Caramel and some hops, citrusy.

Nice and smooth overall. Medium body, good hop bitterness in the back, some malt sweetness up front. Beer overall is a good pale ale. Drinkability is high, no real aftertaste, citrus hop flavors, bitterness builds as you drink, beer flavors become more pronounced as beer warms a little.

drabmuh, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $9.49 for a 6pack of 12oz bottles from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured the last bottle of the pack into a pint glass to review.

Off white head of about an inch after a standard pour. Light, pillowey head that retains well. Transparent copper color with minimal carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Superb lacing.

Deep grapefruit tones and some tropical fruitiness dominate the nose, yet there is still an apparent maltiness. A well balanced beer appropriate to style.

Certainly well balanced with a strong malt backbone. Quite a fruity hop bouquet; I'd imagine many different hop strains went into this brew.

Medium body and nicely carbonated. A nice fruity hop finish. Nice drinkability.

ibbjamin, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of MeisterBurger
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice, rich dark amber topped by a decent head that, once settled, leaves small islands of foam and some nice head retention and spots of lace.

The aroma is dry-hopped perfection which culminates in a nice candied grapefruit flesh, with the notes of pine and grapefruit pith you would expect.

The taste is quite hoppy for a pale ale, a nice bitter c-hop with a mild toffee malt at its spine, with a slight chalkiness that helps accentuate the pine and grapefruit bitterness, which lingers in the aftertaste. This has a long finish as the resinous oils seem to cling for dear life. If this was an IPA it would get top marks but since they're calling it a pale ale probably I'd dock 1/2 a point for being unbalanced. Sorry.

It's smooth and well carbonated, medium bodied, slightly chewy--the mouthfeel really helps deliver the taste here.

Certainly there has to be levels of progression between--or a scale to measure the degrees between--an APA and an AIPA, and this one might just about tip the scales and spill all over the next category up. Tasted blind I would have pegged this as an IPA without a doubt. Not a bad thing. This is a great beer. I'd pick it up all the time if it was available to me. It's just more than a little brash for the style it claims to be is all.

MeisterBurger, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of bismarksays
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a person that usually leans toward malt over hops, this pale ale was a nice change of pace for me. Strong hop presence without being overpowering, citrus touches both in the nose and in the mouth. I strong suggest this beer as a beer for people who claim not to like hoppy beers.

bismarksays, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of caskstrength
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

tried this a couple different times, I think it was pretty fresh both times, but who really knows with these FFF bottles.

Pours a deeper copper than I expected for an IPA type beer. off white head. good level of carbonation.

smell is more malt than I expected. a rusty almost oxidized character I generally don't like in my hoppy favorites. Citrus and pine there too, balanced (too much?) with the malt/carmel/rust.

taste is good, not great. I wanted more intensely focused hops not muted so much by the malty/carmel taste. Could be a freshness issue I guess, but they were relatively new shipments. citrus there too, some pine. those flavors are as expected and appropriate.

mouthfeel is good, might actually be too thick, which goes with my criticism of the malt/sweetness in this brew.

A good APA/IPA. But a lot of better choices out there are easily available, imo. Will try fresh on tap if available, see if that's the issue for me.

caskstrength, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of botham
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

on cask at Lemmings in Chicago. this brew pairs quite well with a couple intense games of Jenga. pours a mildly hazy amber color with a single finger of super thick off-white head that retains wonderfully and leaves solid lacings.

aroma is of rich hop oils mixed with light malts and a solid smoothness that blends everything together. some mellow caramel malts show up upon a bit of swirling.

taste follows the nose with a wonderful character and a solid spiced hop quality that blends perfectly with caramel malts. a touch of crystal malt make the brew lightly sweet overall. very well balanced.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and super smooth with a solid hop character ad satisfying finish.

drinkability is solid. very well proportioned and easy drinking on cask. cheers!

botham, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of hike20
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a decent, but not overlarge, head. Aroma of grapefruit and pine, not as strong as some but not weak either. Definitely stronger hops than most APA's, and stronger than a few IPA's I've tasted. Kind of like getting the flavor of an IPA with a bit lower alcohol, which makes for a pretty drinkable combination. Overall a very pleasing beer.

hike20, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of bonkers
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA perfect pint glass. It pours a clear copper with a 2 finger head and alot of lacing. The aroma is a pine explosion. The flavor showcases the cascade hops, big and bold pine and citrus. The finish linges with a piney bitterness. Alpha King is medium bodied, well carbonated and taste like a much bigger beer. This beer taste bigger than many of the IPA's I have had and kind of blurs the lines between the two. To date this is the best APA I have had.

bonkers, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of blackearth
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a reddish amber body with an off white head that falls to a cap and leaves great lacing behind in the glass. Aroma is citrus hops with caramel malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Flavors are a hint of sweet malt that quickly gives way to a big hop flavor that last through the finish but not for too long, and then it dries out your tongue which makes you beg for another sip. Excellent drinkability!

blackearth, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of KeefD
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really happy to see Western Sconnie starting to get more FFF offerings. Have heard nothing but good things about this beer. Pours a wonderful amber color with a two finger, light tan head that fell into a lasting cap leaving nice lacing. Aroma is wonderfully balanced between the sweet caramel, and bready malts and the piney citrusy hops. If this is any indication of the flavor I'm in for a real treat. Oh yeah, great bitterness on this one, lots of grapefruit and pine, sweet at first, but bone dry on the finish. This is about as perfectly balanced as you can an APA, but I feel like this one is borderline IPA. Medium bodied, ample carbonation. Just an all around great APA (if you can call it that). This would slightly edge out SNPA for the standard on which all others APAs are judged.

KeefD, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful cascading largish head of light tan on an orangy/brown beer. There's a little haze but good active carbonation and ok lacing.

S: Hoppy, duh. A mild grapefruit scent. Not too strong, but good.

T: Pale Malts and hops mostly. A little heavy on the grapefruit up front. But over all a good pale.

M: Flat, unfortunately.

D: Good, better if it was more carbonated.

mdwalsh, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of singlebarrel
4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yep, I will make the drive, whenever possible to Indiana to aquire this pleasure. An assault of pure unadulterated delight on the senses.
Pours a luscious, redish amber, slightly hazy. An inviting white head that disapates to a minimum after a few moments, but that could of been my glass. nice lacing...I can't wait to smell it.
Strangely, smells upfront to me of complex malt and sweetness if that makes any sense. Of course the hops are there as well. I think my lupulin threshold is still on the mend from my recent bout with Bear Republic Mach X... I can't wait to taste it!
What a fantastic balance. the slightly bready malt interingles with the somewhat citrus, and earthy hops on your pallet in a seductive dance of the gods! In my opinion one of, if not the best "Pale Ale" I have had.
A near perfect mouthfeel, enough viscosity to be interesting but not too thick.
I could chuck these back my gullet for a fortnight.

singlebarrel, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of bound4er
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 ounce bottle.

A - Pours with a slight cloudiness - nice redish amber color, good two finger head that recedes fairly quickly to an off white covering film. Plenty of lacing present.

S - Complex malt (warm bread, cracker, etc.), citrus and a funky earth / weediness that I find appealing.

T - In a word - yummy. Alpha King provides a well balanced attack of malt and citrus hops. I detect the funkiness on the nose at times on the palate - hard to put a word on the flavor - I guess a faint weediness. I really enjoy the complexity here.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, well carbonated - nothing to complain about.

D - FFF came back into our market about a year ago but I haven't seen AKPA until last week. This beer was worth the wait - it is extremely drinkable (it drinks like a mild mannered IPA) and one I will always have on hand. It is nice to try a well regarded beer and not be disappointed.

bound4er, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of thain709
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Served with a deep copper body that was clear but not transparent...a tight, off white, one finger head was there...it feel into a spotty cap and laced nicely

S - The nose is very, very balanced...not one characteristic stands out...the citrus and piney hops battle with the sweet, caramel malts and make for a pleasant aroma

T - The taste is also very balanced with no clear domination...the hops actually hit you first...they provide a nice sweet, citrus flavor...the piney hops are pretty muted and aren't very bitter...the caramel malts and other sweet malts provide a strong backbone and a sweet finish...this beer is not bitter at all

M - Medium bodied...really smooth...sweet on the finish with minimal bitterness

D - I was really excited to finally get to try this beer...it lived up to it's hype as one of the better APA's...a nicely balanced beer...I just wish I could get my hands on this more often

thain709, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of morimech
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been wanting to try this beer for several years. Finally. Pours a dark, clear amber with a small head that settled to a thin cap. Delicate lacing is left on the glass clear to the bottom. Big, pungent, massive, are all adjectives that could be used to describe the citrus hop aroma coming from this beer. It is not all hops however, as there is some sweetness from the malt as well. The flavor features the hops well. Grapefruit and orange come to mind. Bitterness is high. I am not a big fan of the malt bill. Overlly sweet in my opinion. I have knocked the scores of other beers of having similar sweetness, so I will knock this one down as well. A very good body and carbonation. It feels substantial without weighing down the palate. Nice texture. This almost lived up to my expectations. Just a little to sweet for my tastes. The bitterness and ABV limits drinkability as well.

morimech, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to sproser for the incredible box in which this soldier was tranported.

Pours a totally clear amber ruby color with an off white head that retains very well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is some rock candy like malt and pine forward hoppiness, seems quite balanced.

Hmmm. A nice pale ale for sure. A good balance of caramely malt sweetness and hop bitterness. At first it doesn't seem that bitter, but it creeps up on you as you reach the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty much ideal for the style, carbonation is dead on.

Drinkability is very solid, could easily put away a sixer (or two) of these. The hoppiness might turn off some n00bs as far as slamming a million of these, but for a tried and true beer geek, this one is quite sessionable.

Overall a very nice pale ale. Pretty well balanced, but hop forward, very sessionable, pretty much what you want in a pale. Would love to have regular access to this one, a nice beer.

AKBelgianBeast, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours an awesome cloudy rich brown/dark orange color with a 1 finger off-white head. Not a whole lot of lacing though...

S - Has a very nice mix of maltiness and hops, which is unusual for a pale ale in my opinion. Very nice crystal malt base aroma with hints of caramelized specialty malts. Hops are citrusy and not too overbearing and pungent. Nice blend of aromas!

T - The taste is more on the hoppy side but not overbearing at all. You can pick up on the malt flavors, since it has a heavier body, in the middle and starts and finishes with a clean grapefruit/lemon flavor.

M/D - Solid medium body with minimal carbonation so it makes for a very smooth beer. Very velvety on the palate which mimics a more expensive beer! No trace of alcohol taste/burn and overall easy to drink!

I'm usually not crazy about APAs but this one is the exception to my rule. Awesome hop/malt balance with fresh hop flavors and a smooth body to accompany it!

VaTechHopHead, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: Steve's (University Ave, Madison, WI)

Another beer from Three Floyds. Will they make something that I dislike? Doubtful.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber and copper color with about a finger of cream colored head. The head completely disappears after just a minute. Not much lacing on the side of my snifter, the beer that rides along the glass of the snifter quickly descends into the pool below.

Smell: I can see why this is a highly rated APA. People love their hops, and I'm one of them. A bold hop character shines through the nose, including earthy notes like grass, soil and pine and some citrus notes too, including a drop of orange peel.

Taste: First up, some sweet caramel malt to uphold the hop character. After the initial malt sweetness comes the hop character. It's not as strong as I was expecting from the nose, but it's an APA, so I can't really be upset. Some earthy notes shine through, the same ones listed in the nose. A little bit of grapefruit is showing itself on the aftertaste along with some bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, some hop oils are coating my teeth. Carbonation level is medium, making it easy to drink right after the pour.

Drinkability: An easy to drink beer that I wouldn't mind keeping around all the time. It's a fairly hoppy APA from my experience, which is always fun. It's similar to the Ale Asylum APA in hop character.

Ek0nomik, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of GilGarp
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to BuckeyeNation for this one! I'm having it tonight to celebrate OSU over PSU in the big game today!

No date code. Pours a hazy copper orange color with thin white head that settles quickly leaving just a little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet citrusy hops. Hard to tell if it's really fresh but it's nice.

Flavor is sweet up front with big citrus and grass hops coming through. Very bitter and strong for a pale ale but I'm not surprised. I figured the best pale ale on BA would be a hop bomb. Caramel sweetness is just enough to begin to balance things out.

Mouthfeel is smooth other than the bitterness. Medium bodied and medium-low carbonation.

A very good pale ale.

GilGarp, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of rowew
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, nice looking metallic label. I don't see a date or an ABV.

Appearance: Orange in color, a bit of haze. Thin head, but its got good retention and lacing.

Smell: Lots of hops - floral and piney. Just a bit of sweet malt aroma there too.

Taste: Very nice hop flavors, bitter - but not overly so. Highly drinkable, medium bodied.

Overall impression: Great beer - could definitely drink quite a few of these. Nice hop flavors, close to balanced but tilted enough towards hoppy to satisfy any hop head.

rowew, Nov 05, 2009
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,058 ratings.