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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.

5,018 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,018
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 841
Gots: 521 | FT: 25
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: 5,018 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smanders
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer whilst tailgating prior to a DMB concert in Noblesville, Indiana. It was a beautiful evening for a concert and a great night to sample really fresh beer.

If you were blind taste-testing this ale you'd think it were a DIPA; it's THAT flavorful. You'll smell the hops from a good 3 feet away and then you'll be pleasantly surprised that 3 Floyds balanced everything well with a copious amount of sweet malt. This is another example of a hopheads dream ale that just might win over some sweet beer lovers as well.


smanders, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark color for its style, color is somewhat of a caramel amber. The scent is initially some clear hops followed up by a pretty decent malt backbone. The taste increases on both of these, with quite a bit of hops coming through for the style. The mouthfeel is that of a medium body and moderate carbonation--fairly full-bodied for the style. Drinkability is supreme--my go to all-night beer back when I lived in Chicago.

Thorpe429, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Filled the trusty pint glass with this gem smuggled back to Vegas from Chicago. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color. Slightly off-white head with moderate retention and some lacing. Smell is a nice blend of sweet caramel malt some citrusy hops and I sweat a touch of alcohol that kinda surpirsed me. Not much, just a little. Taste was great. Quite possible the best I've had of this style yet. Amazingly smooth and well balanced blend of a dry caramel malt with some hop bitterness. A west coast, citrus kick to it as well. Mouthfeel was slightly heavier than your average APA but very smooth going down. Overall a great beer and amazing representation of this style. Could easily put away a few of these if I had more.

bunnyhustle, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of porterwoobie
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: copper/reddish color, clear, 1 finger off-white head with good lacing.

S: equal parts of hoppiness and maltiness. hop aroma is piney and kind of pungent, but in a good way.

T: a healthy dose of bitterness is maintained in this brew. some sweetness is there, but the hops overpower it quickly and remain on the palate for a while.

MF: medium to medium low bodied, average carbonation. slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: well-balanced beer. IPA like. very bold on the hops and very pleasant to drink.

porterwoobie, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of alyankus
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice golden orange with a solid head that fades into some nice lacing.

The nose exhibits very primary hop characteristics of grassy herbal notes and citrus and tropical fruits.

On the palate there is more of the citrus qualities especially a notable tangerine quality.

This is very smooth and well balanced except for a slight astringency on the finish. All in all a very good pale ale.

alyankus, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of supercolter
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of pochman...
Appearance is good, nice copper hue, slight head and lacing. Smell and taste are identical, some grapefruit and heavy hops right up front. This milds out as it sits on your palate by some sweet malt that provides some balance. Mouthfeel is good as well, medium in body, good carbonation and oily feel. Drinkability is good.

supercolter, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of jlb307
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in trade from cdflem.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Rich, deep amber color. Nice and clear with a thick, fluffy yellowish white head. Excellent retention, and a sticky film down all sides of the glass.

S: Nice hop aroma tempered with grapefruit and sweet malt. Slight hints of spice and honey.

T: Nicely balanced beer with the sweet and bitter. Finishes very clean. A little bready, and the flavor just lasts and lasts on the palate.

M: A bit thinner than most APAs I've had, I'd call this almost light in body, but definitely not in flavor.

D: This is a great beer. Perfect for summer.

jlb307, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a strong golden wonderful color with a hearty topping of bleached head.
Smell is full of fresh flowers and earthy hops.
It's hoppy flavor is amazing, very flowery with notes of some grains.
Finish is dry and clean leaving a great flowering taste on my mouth.
Drinks very smooth, highly refreshing as a wake up to the festival beer.

ThaBobfather, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of Pencible
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

**The lucky 1,000th review of Alpha King!**

This poured a hazy copper with moderate tan head. It smelled like a sweet array of topical hops including pineapple and apricot, with some orange and mango, balanced with prominent sweet honey malt. It tasted like apricot and orange, with some pineapple and mango and lots of sweet honey, and a bit of white peppercorn. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a clean, tropical bitter aftertaste. Overall this is fantastic. It meets the hype. The super clean and tropical taste meets my ideal for a pale ale or IPA. It had nice body also, and was very easy to drink. Clearly one of the top beers in its class; makes me wonder why I didn't like Dreadnaught nearly as much. I wish I could have an Alpha King every day.

Pencible, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Based on tasting notes from 07 Aug 09 vist to the brew pub.*

The beer was presented in a standard pint glass. The color was a beautiful deep, dark amber with a nice white head that faded down to a small bit of foam that stayed til the end.
The hop aroma was very pronounced, citrusy, piney, with some caramel malts lurking around the corner. Slight bready aroma noted, but the hops were the showpiece here.
The flavor of this beer is solid, with a good malt backbone, and a bracing hop bitterness. I detected a grapefruit, pine, little caramel swirls here and there, maybe even some honey. There is a good solid mouthfeel to this brew. I would drink the King frequently if it were available anywhere close to home, but alas, Indiana is 14 hours away.
If the opportunity presents itself, get some Alpha King.

KrisPaulk77, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of Casey10
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received by trade a good beer kind of nutty flavored.

A - Copper dark brown

S - malts, biscuty, bread

T - slighty acidic, small amounts of citrus

M - Froth, again slightly acidic okay.

D - Hmm after average ratings this brew has above average drink. Why? Well it doesn't fit the categories that are used but the beer is good!!!

Casey10, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of FernMaster
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle (my one and only bottle) into a pint glass you see on those lame Sam Adam's Boston Lager commercials.
Alpha King pours a reddish amber with minimal head. I wish I had multiple bottles to see if that was the case with just this pour, but nope. The foam resides quickly after giving a good show for a few seconds and then proceeds to lace the glass as I continue to drink. The smell has a certain fruit characteristic to it and makes Alpha King smell kind of bitter. It's very reminiscent of an IPA actually in its smell, which made me check the bottle (the only bottle I have) to see if it in fact was an IPA in which in fact it was not, it's a pale ale; welcome to obvious statements by Josh. Alpha King actually has a very present hops flavor which I quite enjoy. The moderately bitter fruit taste, grapefruit, blends well with the malts that it makes me wish Three Floyd's distributed to Missouri. I really enjoy this beer, it reminds me of going to see Royal's Baseball games with my Dad when I was little kid. Except neither of us were drinking and this beer wouldn't be in the memory and the Royal's probably lost, not characteristic of this beer. Alpha King is something I could see myself relaxing with on a summer day watching a Baseball game or [fill in your favorite sporting event here].

FernMaster, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to FlssmrBrewAlum. I've been waiting to try this one for quite some time now. Pours a semi-cloudy orange-brown with a small white head. Aroma of caramel malt, brown sugar, citrus hops, and grapefruit. Flavor is initially rather tangy with hop oils and citrus and then mellows with a maltier finish. This is pretty tasty. I'd love to have this as a session beer, if only it was distributed in NY. Good stuff.

LilBeerDoctor, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of birchstick
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - a dark amber appearance with a very fluffy, one-finger head

S - some very sweet malts that are overpowered by cirtusy hops

T - starts of with some cereal malts that are balanced by some bold, grapefruity hops. I typically like hops to be more subtle in my pale ales, but the assertiveness in Alpha King's hops worked well for it. A very tasty pale ale.

M - one of the smoothest beers I have ever taken down - full and creamy. This is a mouthfeel that most stouts should aspire to achieve.

D - if you like hoppy pale ales, this one truly is the king. Very sessionable and enjoyable throughout. I will have to stock up on this stuff next time I am in Illinois...

birchstick, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of schinebd
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A cloudy brown with a thin white head that stays with the beer.

S - Citrusy hops all the way, with some breadiness underneath.

T - Follows the smell quite well. Definitely a hop-forward beer with just enough caramel malt and breadiness to keep it in balance. The citrus/grapefruit hops are introduced up front, and the finish is all bitterness.

M - As mentioned above, balanced nicely. Well carbonated and light/medium bodied.

D - Great flavor with a dry finish that makes me want more, and an ABV that allows more than one or two at a time.

Wish this was distributed to MA, as this would be a go-to. A solid "A" beer all the way.

schinebd, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of cbaird2
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

A - dark amber, a brown color - nice white 1 finger head that went down pretty quick.

S - hoppy, piney & floral with a little citrus

T - the hops are strong right away, but not overly bitter. The malt helps to balance the beer quite nicely at the end.

M - Much lighter than you would think by the smell and even the taste. Probably hanging in the medium range of mouthfeel, though it smells like there could be actual hops in the glass.

D - Really goes down smoothly and easily. Very delicious. Pretty hoppy, but not as bitter as many IPA's. If I didn't have to get this in Chicago, I could easily see myself drinking this very regularly.

cbaird2, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of movingtrain
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Piraat glass.

I must admit, I'm a bit nostalgic about this one. It was many years ago, when Three Floyds still distributed to Ohio that I got to try this stuff for the first time. I was just getting in to craft brews, and I knew I liked the hops. Strolling around the beer section at a local store, the wine/beer expert asked if he could help. Ultimately, he led me to this...and it changed my life.

Pours an amber color...not what I would expect from a beer labeling itself a pale ale...perhaps trying to adhere to their slogan. Has a good finger and a half head on it...but slowly falls to less than half in the glass...however sticking quite nicely to the sides of the glass.

Smells of thick, strong honey, grapefruit, cloves, cinnamon, oats/malts, pepper.

Tastes of cinnamon, citrus, raisin, brown sugar notes. Bitter on the sides of the tongue, and sweet up front. Hints of caramel and maybe a tinge of baker's chocolate in there...but not much...this one is spicy for sure...

Overall, it's not what I had remembered it to be. It's mouthfeel has a little less body than I'd expect...which is not to say that it doesn't bring the flavor here...because it does. This is a well-rounded ale, darker than the style is normally, but quite tasty nonetheless. I'm impressed, and very glad to have found this long lost love.


movingtrain, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dpodratsky3 for this tasty beverage: poured from bottle to oversized snifter.

A: Dark amber brownish color with slight haze and light head that stays for a while

N: Nose is a lot of pine, some bitter hops but mostly pine, some crystal caramel malts as well, touch of burnt brown sugar

T: Lots of darker malts surprisingly, lots of crystal malts, roasted I think, biscuit, lots of bitter hops but not overbearing, the fresh hop quality is great, slight ripe fruits, lots of pine and a little citrus, some tropical fruit like taste (strange), a nice smooth malt center that's almost chewy, its got a nice pale ale quality towards the end that makes me thing its gots some british fuggles or goldings hops as well

M: Somewhat thick and chewy on the mouth, good carbonation, slightly sticky

F: More piney and some citrus hops, but not overbearing again, pretty bitter, a little dry, more malts on the finish too surprisingly, the bitter hop lingers for a few seconds then leaves your mouth refreshed waiting for more

Final THoughts: Great IPA, great malt backbone with crystal, some darker malts that give it a slight stout/porter quality, some biscuit, but maintains a great hop with lots of pine, slight citrus, some UK pale ale quality, and some ripe fruits even, great beer, very drinkable, wish I could get it regularly.

Thanks again Dan!

jlindros, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pintr,this beer is a deep amber.smell is citrusy hops backed by a bit of biscuity sweetness.taste is big citrusy hops with a slight bit of earthiness.biscuity and caramel malt provides the back bone for this beer.medium bodied moderate carbonation,coupled with supreme balance makes this beer incredibly drinkable.

along with southern star pinebelt pale,this is probably my favorite APA.

wyattshotmaker, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of dfranks
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured Three Floyd's Alpha King Pale Ale into glass and first noticed its nice citrus smell. Hints of grapefruit which is different and nice. Amber color with a small head. I do believe I noticed the grapefruit in the taste as well. Overall a pretty good beer, nothing that I would go out of my way to get but would like to try again...

dfranks, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of GJ40
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass. Purchased for me by OnTheRoad while in Chicago on business.

A - Amber with excellent clarity and a small beige head.

S - Lots of piney hops with a touch of caramel and biscuits.

T - Piney and citrusy hops with a nice lingering bitterness. The malts provide a nice caramel flavor. It's got all of the hops of a great west coast beer but with a complimentary malt presence that almost makes me think balance is good. This is a very complex and balanced American Pale Ale.

M - A moderate consistency and carbonation with very fine bubbles.

D - Very flavorful yet well balanced. This was my first taste of anything from Three Floyds and it didn't disappoint.

GJ40, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of Reaper16
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a "Wow, this is dark for an APA" shade of caramelized sugar-looking brown with lighter orange at the bottom of my tulip, near the stem. The eggshell-white head provides a pretty contrast. Though the foam quickly recedes to a small ring, the lacing makes a uniform wall down the glass.

"Oh, f***." Pardon the curse word, but that's exactly what I said when I first brought my nose to the lip of the glass. The pungency of the hops in this beer make for a very IPA-like aroma. Grapefruit abound, with generic sour fruit scents following behind. There is malt sweetness present, but I can't help but linger on the hop aromas.

I had some concerns based on the smell of this beer. I was worried that it was going to be one of those really-balanced IPAs masquerading as an APA. After many swallows, I'm not sure what to think. Yes, the hoppiness of the beer is the defining characteristic; grapefruit, grapefruit and an astringent, grassy quality hit the tongue hard. There is a juicyness that hints at orange in addition to the grapefruit... I'm not sure that explains my meaning well. Beyond the aggressive hop flavors there is a quick shot of flavor on the sides of the tongue that feels like a squirt of pure juice. But this beer is not all hops. The grainy quality on the back end and the malt sweetness that asserts itself at all stages of the drink (once you get used to the grapefruit rush) provide some welcome balance. Don't get me wrong -- this is very hoppy -- but I'm not sure that it goes beyond the realm of APA, despite what some objectors may say.

Mouthfeel is perplexing, actually. Some drinks I find it a touch too thick, other times I don't notice it at all. I'm going to score it as "good" because it is never prohibitive, no matter what I may think of it at the time. I have never thought anything regarding this beer's drinkability other than how excellent it is. I am a hophead, and this is the kind of beer that keeps me coming back for more. I had to be careful not to consume the entire glass before I could finish this review.

Alpha King is superb. It has supplanted Schlafly Dry-Hopped APA as my favorite beer in the style. It has tremendous hop flavor -- enough that I would take an Alpha King over a number of fine IPAs. This beer makes me weep bitter tears over the fact that Three Floyds does not ship to Missouri as of yet.

Reaper16, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of dpodratsky3
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Awesome, large, bubbly head that laces the side of the glass all the way down. A cloudy, dark amber color.

S: Super hops! Very pungent, very floral, and a hint of citrus.

T: Just like the smell a very strong hop presence. It gives way to some citrusy notes and a nice maltyness than balances out the heavy load of hops. Overall a very balanced beer, especially considering how hoppy it seems at first.

M: Medium bodied, with a crisp combination to go along with the hops.

D: A pint goes down easy, but not a beer than makes you want to have too many too quickly. The malts balance out the bitterness and make it much easier to take another swig.

Notes: Definitely a beer for hop lovers, one of the hoppiest, although most balanced ales I have had. Reminds me of sweetwater 420, but with much better balance with the malts. A go to for a hop fix.

dpodratsky3, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of Albinoh
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep turbid amber color, with a decent head. The smell is complex as well as the taste, very spicy, high combination of different hops. The spiciness is combined with high bitterness. I could feel it building up as the beer went down. Light body, clean with a medium to high carbonation.

This one can quench your hop thirst, with a unique and well balanced mix of hops.

Albinoh, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of azorie
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well its a damn fine APA, I for one am glad its not a Dales clone, meaning its not really an IPA in a APA wrapper.

A: Looks like it could be an Oktoberfest beer by the pour, its amber cooper colored with a nice rich creamy head that lasted about 5 minutes.

S: wow nice, fruity pine, grapefruit hops hits you at first. Those 3 hops blend quite well but not so overpowering its in the IPA range.
I get bread from the malt, and yeast, some clove like highlights also.

T: wow I can tell I am going to wish I lived closer to this place soon. This knock Dales PA, in the dirt, too bad I have to mail order to get this. ok its hoppy but balanced perfectly to style.
Its got a very bread and clove like front end and that is complemented by those hops.

M: medium body, crisp. has a bite.

D: well I only bought 2 but I wish I had bought more.

azorie, Aug 09, 2009
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,018 ratings.