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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.

5,121 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,121
Reviews: 1,675
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 867
Gots: 558 | 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: 5,121 | Reviews: 1,675 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trbergman
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Pours a deep copper with one finger of creamy eggshell-colored head.

S - Toffee malt, orange peel, grapefruit, and pine. Incredibly lush aroma.

T - Taste basically follows from the nose. A good malty base of toffee, a bit sweet and chewy, along with plenty of hop flavor and assertive bitterness. This could be a good IPA with a little less malt - for a hophead, it makes for a great pale ale.

M - Medium bodied, almost creamy.

D - A solid beer, definitely worth drinking again. I don't mind having two or three in a sitting when the mood strikes.

trbergman, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of tjfontaine
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap several weeks ago at the Comet cafe in Milwaukee. I loved it ... I found it at an offsale in Hudson Wisconsin (chicones) and bought a six .... what a great beer a nice balance between hops and just enough malts. This might become my new go--to beer when I don't feel like an IPA or Imperiall IPA. Others have described the beer well and the nuances - I can highly recommend this beer if you like a great not too hoppy Pale Ale.

tjfontaine, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of jwhawkins81
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - Pine and citrus hops and a lot of them.

Appearance - Poured reddish yellow with a trickle of residual carbonation

Taste - Surprisingly sweet and not overly bitter at all. Smooth but this must be an older bottle since I'm not getting the hop bite that I would expect from a FFF APA.

jwhawkins81, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of McDiddyPop
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one as an extra, decided to crack it after a long night at work. 12oz poured from one of the coolest bottles I've ever seen into Stone IPA stemware.

It pours a deep copper color with a dense one-finger head that recedes to a thin cap and leaves some decent lace.

Smells like an IPA for sure. Nice piney resiny hops with a subtle sweet malty backbone.

Nice hop forward taste. Earthy, piney hops with a slightly malty finish that is quite dry.

Nice prickly carbonation and the dryness in the finish make this one pretty damn drinkable. Too bad I can't get this locally, or I would have the King over on a regular basis.

McDiddyPop, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz tap pour into an American Tumbler at The Lucky Monk in South Barrington, IL.

A - The tap pour comes out a hazy amber color with a thin dense, off-white head that produced thick lacing.

S - Huge aroma of American hops. Grapefruit and resins abound but are well-backed by a sweet caramel nose and malt balance.

T - A toasted malty backbone supports the huge American hop kick to the mouth. Pine and citrus are all over the place here.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth with a dry and crazy bitter finish. Still well balanced though!

D - This is one of those beers I love to have every so often, but when I do I stop at one. It's no exception from the tap.

BeerFMAndy, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of oregonskibum
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Deep orange to brown color with a thin off-white colored head. Head quickly disippates to a few bubbles and light ring around the edge. Some faint, spotty lacing.

S: Lots of hops, grapefruit, other citrus, a little piney. Slight spicey notes, almost earthy. Nice.

T: Citrus continues into the taste. Some biscuity, almost faintly nutty malts flavors show up in the middle that trail off as the beer finishes with a faint bitterness. Finishes just a touch on the chewy side.

M: Medium body (for a pale, light by general standards) with medium carbonation.

D: Very nice hop-centric pale ale. Could easily enjoy this on a regular basis. This APA stands up with many light weight IPAs in the market today. Will hunt down again.

oregonskibum, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Extra from brundo4...thanks!

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a single finger, eggshell white head that stuck around forever! The slow foam dissipation left behind huge chunks of lacey bubbles. The body is a cloudy amber with orange hues toward the center and yellow-ish edges.

Wow...lots of hops on the nose (citrus, orange and lemon zest). The background has a sweet malt/caramel aroma.

The palate is greeted with a hop blast...citrus as the nose would suggest, but some piney resin also present (especially toward the finish). Some of the caramel malts you smell are also present, but not to the levels I expected.

Light-medium mouth feel, slightly oily with lots of carbonation.

Very drinkable! I would say this is more of an imperial amber (think Nugget Nectar) than an APA. In fact, I rank this right there with NN!!

mgbickel, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Student Union at Wisconsin. Reviewed from notes about a week old. What a state.

A: Poured a lightish orange amber. Pretty clear. Served to me with a small off-white head that retains pretty well and leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Big citrus punch. Pineapple, zesty lemon/lime, and orange. There's a definite floral presence as well. A hop bomb for sure, without much malt to speak of.

T/M: A bit more balanced than the smell. Citrus still reigns, and it's delicious. Same fruit cocktail as the nose. The malt comes through as bready. There's also a sweetness in the back that I can't quite place. Honey? The body's medium, and the active carbonation makes this one crisp as hell. Amazing warm weather sipping beer.

D: Worth the hype. I'd call it an IPA instead of an APA were I tasting it blind, but I don't think my palate's sophisticated enough to take off for that.

CharlatanSin, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of Kaiser81
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dmahaffa

12 oz bottle poured into my Delirium Tremens snifter glass.

A - Pours a murkey burnt orange color with 2 fingers worth of head. I'm estimating how much head, as I poured vigorously and there is a lot. It takes a while for the pillowy head to die down, and lots of lacing is left on my glass.

S - Zesty lemons up front. It almost smells like lemon zingers with that little sweetness on the back end. Nice.

T - Citrus and grapefruit start up front with a touch of sweetness on the back end. I can't isolate what the sweetness is, but it's there, just hard to find. There's a good amount of lingering bitterness as well.

M - Light to medium body with heavy carbonation. My tongue becomes quite prickly as it swirl in my mouth.

D - I could drink a lot of this. Another good beer from 3 Floyds.

Kaiser81, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish to orange amber color that produced a nice off-white foamy head that stuck around awhile. Left some legs behind.

(S)- Fruity citrus of lemon, lime, pineapple, & grapefruit with a respectable wet pine behind it. The tiniest caramel-like sweetness in the background.

(T)- Exactly like the smell. Great citrus & pine. A respectable bitterness. I am loving how creamy the fruits are. A tiny caramel/honey sweetness in the far background.

(M)- A great carbonation level & balance. Dry, bitter, & great citrus. Great creamy citrus. Just what a pale ale should be like. . . and them some.

(D)- Exactly what a pale ale should be like! The balance & complexity is simple, but smooth. The bitterness, dryness, & citrus is borderline near what I would expect from an IPA, but I have no complaints about that! Just a simple yet delightful beer to enjoy one after another. The essence of the style.

sweemzander, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of Ryan011235
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 4/6/10

Alpha King is a rather dark shade of copper, nearly to the point of ruby depending on how the light catches it. Highlights of rust & burnt brownish-orange are apparent around the edges. The poured resulted in a one finger cap of foam that has since receded to a thin layer of bubbles - swirling fleshes it out a bit, though retention is pretty thin. Lacing is ok despite being spotty & hit-or-miss.

Upon opening the bottle I was greeted with a burst of potent citric hoppiness. The citrus aroma is in fine form once in the glass with notes of grapefruit, lemon zest & orange rind. This is rounded out by complementary wisps of floral hops & pine. While the hops are undoubtedly the feature there is also a reasonably support malt bill with a touch of caramel sweetness, sugar cookies & a hint of fresh, toasted bread.

The nose sets a high bar & Alpha King doesn't disappoint. While it's tilted in the direction of hoppiness, there is still a prominent malt profile, though the latter seems intended to stay in a supportive role. Citrus hops are apparent from the start - grapefruit rind & lemon zest mostly. Piney bitterness is more appreciable to taste. Caramel & toasted bread make up the discernable aspects of the malt profile. Overall, it's well integrated & darn tasty.

Medium body with a decent bit of resin stickiness & grit. Moderate carbonation seems appropriate & accentuates the grittiness; fine by me. Residual notes of bitterness & toasted caramel linger well after the finish.

This beer is an impressive effort to blend high amounts of alpha hops into the APA style. I have no hesitations about buying more next time I am within the Three Floyds distribution area; in fact, if I lived in said area this would occupy space in my fridge on a regular basis. Recommended.

Ryan011235, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of RJay
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Amber color with a fairly thick off white head that dissipates slowly and leaves a beautiful lacing.

Aroma - Citrus and grapefruit with a touch of caramel.

Taste - Lots of hops with a lingering bitterness that is well balanced with the caramel malt.

Mouth Feel - Smooth with a decent amount of carbonization, finishes a little dry.

Drinkability - MMMM Hops! Probably not a beer I would session but it sure is a great beer.

RJay, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of vdoz3
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A "stand up pale ale" according to the supplier from whom I received this in a trade. Thanks Ben! 12 oz bottle poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass, enjoyed with dinner (roast beef sandwich)

A - more like an amber in color (reddish orange), totally clear with a minimal head but some nice lacing trailing the level down the glass
S - a sweet (caramel?) malt presence is fighting the floral hops for representaiton in the nose
T - a very nicely balanced brew with both the malt and the hops into a clean finish, leaving behind maybe a hint of hop bitterness
M - well carbonated, like a good pale ale should be, although the aftertaste is a little sticky and dry
D - definitely enjoyable, would probably go through a few of these on a summer day

vdoz3, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: appears a bright clear golden with dense white head, the lacing it leaves on the glass indicates it is somewhat sticky

S: pine needle hops, some spruce, very pungent and resinous, followed by a significant bready malt profile

T: just like the nose, lots of pine hops on the front which are followed by notes of toast and brown bread, the finish is all hops... this one isn't all that balanced, but there is a nice malt presence. In other words, the hops take center stage and are delicious, but the finish is slightly bitter

MF: nice light crisp mouthfeel, high carbonation

D: this is a very drinkable brew, nice hop presence, crisp body and nice mouthfeel.. makes for a nice brew to enjoy on a warm day

homebrew311, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of kylehayworth
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It pours a nice beige head, the color is a moderate amber, leaning a little toward the darker side.

S: Nice hop presence

T: This is very well balanced, it plays prefectly between hop and malt.

M/D: Nice crisp and creamy. This has to be a hybrid between a pale and an IPA.

kylehayworth, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of beer1018
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass with a two finger tan head that quickly goes away. Copper collored with small groupings of bubbles. Smells of grassy citrus hops. Taste is mostly bitter hops with a slight malt flavor towards the end. Mothfeel is wattery with a light resin coating the mouth, nothing too thick. One thing i notice is the bitter hops taste stays in my mouth awhile after drinking it like when you eat garlic. Not a world beater but this is still one of the better apa's i have had. Recommended

beer1018, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of drizzam
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my good BA friend Jdostal for hooking me up with this brew!

A - Pours a hazy amber in color, with minute particulate floating around in the body. All of this is topped by a one-finger off white head (leaning towards a very pale tan) that retains well and leaves nice lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Citrus hops abound in the nose. Maybe a bit of malt hanging around in the background.

T & M - This is a hop lovers extravaganza! According to the Three Floyds website, this beer boast 66 IBU's, but it seems like it is much higher. Citrus hops are prevalent but are balanced out just slightly with a bit of caramelized malt. Medium bodied with a bit of a coarse finish and a bitter hoppy aftertaste.

D - This is a brew that any hop lover will rejoice in. Very tasty indeed, and I'm glad my friend gave me this sample to enjoy. Thanks Jason! I would certainly recommend this to anybody that can get their hands on it. Would love to try more from Three Floyds.

drizzam, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of ZorPrime
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was sent to by BigBry in a recent trade.

Color: The beer is copper color and veiled.
Head: Nice head made of different bubbles size. It is a soapy looking head.

Aroma: Intense and hoppy. wow, more like an IPA than Pale Ale. The hops are citrusy with some grapefruits and piny notes.

Taste: Again, it is hoppy and intense. Presence of caramel malts too. The finish is very dry and with a strong bitterness. Again, the taste lingers for a good time in the mouth. Nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body with the presence of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good.

A nice Pale Ale from FFF. I wish I could buy this one more often now.

ZorPrime, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of ShogoKawada
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz extra from mikey711. Thanks! Into tulip.

A- That's a damn dark pale ale if I do say so myself. Penny copper brown. Nice sandy head that's mostly white. Large bubbles, nice lacing, head settles to a 1/2 cm and just stays there.

S- Hops! Sweet, sugary malt and fruity, mildly piny hops. Big citrus component. Hmm... west coast hops with an east coast malt bill.

T- Good hop bill here, malt is a bit too much for me. A bit sweeter than I would have liked. Still very tasty.. esp. for a pale ale (drinks like an IPA). Hops are flavorful and don't have too much bitterness. Lots of sugary sweetness... like frosted hops.

M- Again, too much malt. Maybe I'm just not being kind to this beer, but it borders on too sweet. Good carbonation though.

D- Moderate. I'll have to revisit this at some point, maybe my head's just not in the game. Good stuff, not great stuff though.

ShogoKawada, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of backfat
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice copper with highlights of straw and a light tan/white one finger head. smells of citrus/lemony hops and a light caramel malt. juicy and fantastic. i had an argument with a fellow BA over who would win in a fight between this beer and bell's two hearted. it had been awhile since i had them both, but i swore by two hearted up and down. we had a side by side. my opinion was shifted. with balance, flavor, and being FFF hopped up as much as an IPA, the king takes the cake. chewy viscosity and a lingering pleasantness. FFF has me floored again. surprise

backfat, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of Greggy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice 1+ finger light tan head over a slightly hazed amber body. Sticky lacing rings the glass and a thin cap sticks around for quite a while.

S- Definite hop aroma, some nice maltiness as well. The hops are slightly grassy and piney with bits of pineapple present.

T- Starts out with a nice piny hop note well balanced by a nice maltiness. The maltiness is almost biscuitty but has some peachy notes to it (combo of malt and hops). The finish is the beautiful malt with the nice hopiness.

M- Nice light carbonation with very creamy mouthfeel.

D- Quite drinkable pale ale here. Some argue that this is more of an IPA. It's not my call to make but I would say it's somewhere between a pale and an IPA. Overall, I would get this again.

Greggy, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of lbaker
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(a)Pours a ruby-esque dark carmel with a deep tan medium foam head. Leaves good lacing, perfect carbonation. (4/5)

(s) Hopheads World-wide, get a good sniff of this brew. Heavy on the hops but a perfect citrus balance. Not your traditional APA, this stuff puts some of the strongest IPA's to shame. (5/5)

(t) Taste delivers what the smell promises. Hints of orange, lemon...like a gumballhead on juice who just 5lbs of hops for dinner. (4/5)

(m) Good amount of bite, works the palette nicely. Not too sweet with the citrus and not too overpowering on the bitterness. (4/5)

(d) I would say the most I would have of these in one sitting would be 3...but for as much bite and punch this packs its suprizingly drinkable. (4/5)

lbaker, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of tippebrewcrew2
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds
Alpha King
American Pale Ale

L= 4.5 Beautiful pour. Dark ruby orange with medium sized bubbles. Off-white, well sustaining, frothy head with good lacing.

S= 4.5 big whiffs of citrus and piney sweetness.

T= 4.0 It's more malty then I thought it would be. Upfront sweetness followed by tart citric bitterness that smoothes out and plays a dance between sweetness and bitterness for a long finish.

F= 4.0 Lively and bitter on the tongue makes for a dry feel.

D= 4.5 (non-session) This is an amazingly well balanced beer. Different flavors in each sip. The peaks are mellowed out with the valleys and makes for a great drinking experience. Good beer, Great brewery. Good job FFF

tippebrewcrew2, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of ChadQuest
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is the top of the echelon for American Pale Ales. Interestingly enough, this could be classified as a IPA and no one would say differant, its 60ibus, which while not a skull crushing IPA is safely in the territory. Its hoppyness is citrus bound and packs a big punch of flavor, retains a somewhat balanced malt side, that puts it in a perfect place overall between the styles, and has a great creamy mouthfeel and neverending drinkability.

ChadQuest, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into SA Perfect Pint.

A- Where they get the pale ale from beats me. A nice deep amber with hints of orange around the edges. With a little bit of cloudiness, this beer pours a nice finger worth of head that recedes quickly but leaves a little bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- A big burst of pine and citrus hops right out of the bottle. A little bit of a sweet scent to go along with some faint grassiness. The alcohol barely makes its self known, but it is there.

T- The taste is a little more toned down than the nose but still is very good nonetheless. A sweet orange with a pine bite make this not your average pale ale. A little bit of a malt backbone compliments a hint of yeast.

M- When they call it a pale ale I am expecting a little more carbonation and maybe even just a tad bit lighter of a body. Medium bodied, it reminds me more of an IPA without the bite.

D- There is a good amount of flavor but it never really affects the palate. Like I have mentioned before, this reminds me more of an IPA than an APA. You can't tell the amount of alcohol in here and I have no problem knocking back a few of these in a sitting.

Wisconsinality, Mar 24, 2010
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,121 ratings.