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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.

5,162 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,162
Reviews: 1,678
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 864
Gots: 572 | 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: 5,162 | Reviews: 1,678 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of treyrab
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jac5084 for bringing this out a few months ago. Reviews are from March notes. Poured from the 12oz bottle into my tulip glass...

A: Pours a glowing orange copper with a half finger off-white head. Pretty hazy as I was expecting it to be much clearer. Pretty still looking as well with not much carbonation at all in the look.

S: Smell is very sweet with a lot of caramel, toffee and citrus. The hop presence that I was expecting was not there as much as I would have thought. Rather, it smelled a tad aged with some sweet caramel balanced by some faded cascade hops.

T: Taste is fairly nice and sweet with some nice C hops that are on the verge fading. Some sweet caramel and toffee also comes into play.

Overall, for a pale ale I was expecting a more hop profile, as this was more a light barleywine.

treyrab, May 05, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my nonic pint glass. Appears a hazed deep copper color with about two fingers of sticky creamy light ecru foam. The head leaves a moderate lacing on the inside of my glass as I sip my way to the bottom. Smells and tastes of fresh fruity citrus such as lemon, grapefruit and orange peel, sweet caramel glazed biscuits, and a welcome bitterness. A few notches above medium in both body and carbonation. Excellent drinkability, this is probably epic on cask.

ClockworkOrange, May 03, 2009
Photo of TPatuto
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Reddish, Golden, Amber... somewhere in there. Translucent. Good 1/4 inch head that sticks around for a good minute or two.

S - Good hopa aroma. Citrus: orange peel, grapefruit, pine, all well balanced.

T - Hops don't overwhelm the malt. In fact theres a real good balance in this one. Hint of sweetness midway through. Good clean finish with a wonderful bitterness expected out of an APA.

M - Medium bodied. Great level of carbonation.

D - Yes. Definitely drinkable and enjoyable. Sessionable for sure. But enjoyable one at a time. A great place to start.

TPatuto, May 02, 2009
Photo of SykDoc
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Charlie's while in Munster for DLD '09 and took notes.

Poured into a pint glass. It pours an nice amber color with no visible sediment. An off-white 1 inch head forms and slowly reduces to good lacing.

The aroma is, as expected, primarily grapefruit with nice doses of pine in the background. Definitely hoppy.

The taste was exceptional with significant components of pine, as well as citrusy flavors, primarily grapefruit. And the hops shall set you free.

This was a very smooth pale ale. There is the sensation of a slight spice, which seems to come from the carbonation. It is medium bodied and has a pleasant dryness at the finish.

Overall, this is a very good beer and is well balanced. The flavors complement each other nicely and are definitely highlighted by the carbonation and smoothness.

SykDoc, May 01, 2009
Photo of MacDomer
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this one. It's one of my standbys. Shame on me. But, nevertheless, a good one to finish off the night.

Pours a hazy burnt orange-gold, with a light off-white head. Head doesn't last for long - it was a wuss pour, so chalk that up to me. The cap sticks around a while though. Great lacing. The nose is citrusy and has a fresh hoppy aroma, but it's not a hop bomb. In addition to the hop flavor, there's good malt backing, and as a result this is pretty balanced. It's smooth and drinkable.

MacDomer, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice light amber color. Really nice and surprising in a pale ale. About an inch or so of off-white head. Laces moderately. Good retention on the head.

S- This just blew me away the first time I had it. A blast of citrus hops followed by a light malt sweetness (almost caramel-y). The hops are just out of control (grapefruit, orange zest, floral hops).

T- Good stuff. Again, hoppy and fruity. A little pine that was absent from the nose comes through. Nicely balanced with the malt. Hoppier than most APAs, but just great. This will probably replace SN as my go-to APA. Not the most mind blowing beer I've had (although the nose was probably among the most appealing), but one of the most enjoyable and well put together brews I've had.

M- A little light, smooth, clean. Moderate carbonation. Slight dry finish.

D- Great--I could definitely make a great session out of this.

Totally surprised by this one. I had heard it was good, but I didn't quite understand how good it is. Thought it would be an underwhelming run-of-the-mill APA. Shame on me for doubting FFF.

LordAdmNelson, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of tr4nc3d
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky amber like color with an off-white one finger head. Great lacing left behind.

Nice citrus grapefruit smell with some floral notes, piney grassy like hops. Faint caramel/honey like malt smell.

Slight hop bitterness comes upfront, with the citrus flavor peeking through giving it a semi-sweet taste, the hops are dominating though and stay throughout the beer, leaving it a slightly dry hop finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light bodied with a refreshing taste.

I had this on tap and that tasted better. I ended up buying a six pack of this and taking it home with me.

tr4nc3d, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of Buschyfor3
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

20oz draft on-tap at Rich O's in New Albany.

A: Deep amber-orange body - really dark for a pale ale. Pours a thin white head that quickly dissipates.

S: The hops are really prominent up front, giving off a tangy, citrusy aroma. I am also picking up a caramel-like sweetness, rounded out by a faint malt profile.

T: When I took my first sip, I thought the waitress might have mixed up our order and brought me Three Floyd's Dreadnaught IPA because this beer has a pungent, hop bitterness that dominates the flavor profile like what I expect from an IPA. There is a really tart, citrusy grapefruit flavor. This tart, bitterness lingers over into a malty finish that is ever so slightly sweet like brown sugar or caramel, and a touch grainy like toasted wheat bread. However, the hops dominate the flavor profile, and the aftertaste is uniquely hoppy and citrusy.

M: Very light bodied even though this beer looks dark. Medium carbonation is decently crisp.

D: 6% ABV means I could definitely finish another 20oz draft with my meal without any problems.

Really I was kind of surprised by this beer. It was alot darker and alot more like an IPA than I expected - in fact, my friend sampled the beer and remarked by calling it a half-IPA, and I think that nails this beer on the head. Not that it was bad, I was just expecting this beer to have more of a malt profile to better balance the play on hops. Not a bad beer by any means and one I would have again.

Buschyfor3, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of Yetiman420
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up tonight in the cold section at a bottle shop in Highland IN and an consuming in my Munster hotel room Dark Lord Day eve.

Poured in a clear 10 oz plastic cup. Not much head. A dark copper color - darker than what one would expect from a pale ale.

Exceptional pale ale aroma - citrus hop aroma and a touch of bread from the malt.

Flavor is clean and fruity with high hop bitterness.

Halfway through, I'm swirling to generate a head. Interesting that the head is a very light tan. A reflection on the darkness of this pale ale. Not to the point of detracting, but certainly worth noting for a pale ale.

One of the best.

Yetiman420, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of hopman333
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cannot belive I have never reviewed my all time favorite beer. Being from Chi town I remember tasting the very first batches of this beer on tap at The Hop Leaf in Andersonville. My friend's and I were blown away. Keep in mind that 10 -11 year's ago, there were no really big beer's like this. The floral and citrus flavor that is derived from this beer was mind blowing. We would drink pitcher after pitcher... And the alpha king on the tap handle looked very alluring, you knew you were in for a treat.

Forget about the look's and the lacing with this one. The only thing you need to know is the superbly balanced malt and hop ratio... Yes this is a hop bomb, however in a very gentle sort of way... The aroma just wreak's of floral and citrusy hop's galore, in addition to the Belgian Caravienna malt's that hide in the backround. It's fine touches like the different malt and hop blend's that push this beer above and beyond greatness...

Drinkability is off the chart's. I could and have drank a case of these when I'm on a bender.
Sure you will have a hangover but you will have a good time knocking them down

I'm trying to keep this review simple. This beer just kick's ass. But don't take my word for it. Go out and get some and see for youre'self. All in all, one of the best brew's ever made. Do not miss this one...

hopman333, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of cadizkyguy
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds is fast becoming my favorite brewery (Gumballhead, Dreadnaught, Miloko Plus, etc.) and I'm so happy to have regular access to all their beers (my mother lives minutes from Three Floyds and I visit her often to help with household chores). This Three Floyds offering is no different. This is what beer should taste like. If you can trade for this beer, I say go for it.

cadizkyguy, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of alovesupreme
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark orange color with a great off-white head. Very dark for a Pale Ale.
Hops and fruity esters dominate but bread is also present.
Very interesting malt profile. Very unique, unfortunately I cannot place the flavor. Lots of hops and a biscuity sweet body to keep things balanced.
A full body and a great mouthfeel with great carbonation.
An absolutely fabulous APA. Possibly the best I have yet to try.

alovesupreme, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Alpha King....is it really the king or just another beer claiming to be? Oh FFF how I love you.

A- Poured into my pint glass. Dark amber color a little hazy. Little head that went away kind of fast...maybe I just had a bad pour (doing that here a lot as of lately). Little lacing thast sdticks to the side of the glass and slowly falls into beer.

S-I can really smell a sweet malt in this beer that I poured. Not really remembering that smell from all the other times I have drank this. Nice hop smell that goes along with the malt.

T-This has a nice crisp hop taste that well...FFF is known for. Very easy going and drinkable. Nice hop finish that lingers in your mouth afterward for a few minutes.

M- Just goes over all your tastebuds smoothly neither overcoating them or undercoating them. Very easy going feeling with not having to bite into it or pucker up.

D- I find this beer to be an fantastic everyday drinker. FFF has never steered me in a terrible direction. I could easily and have many times before drink a sixer of this brew.

alleykatking, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of youngblood
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into pint glass. Bright amber with orange hinting at the sides of the glass. Nice fluffy white head, very strong looking.
S - Very citric, lots of lemon/lime/orange in this one. Bit of florals and some strawberry hanging in the back? Slight malt sweetness coming through as well.
T - Strong hop flavor cuts through the malt sweetness with some nice citric juiciness. Getting a little bit of bread from the malt, but the hop oil is really pushing this brew.
M - Leaves mouth semi-dry, but the body has a slightly chewy nature to it.
D - Easy to kick back.

youngblood, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of jfunkk79
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a Three Floyd's tasting with a fellow ba. Thanks twelvsies!

Pours a dark amber with nice lacing on the head. Very nice hop on this one and really well balanced. Def on the hoppy side for a pale but very tasty and easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel with some maltiness to balance it out.

jfunkk79, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of twelvsies
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down my favorite beer out of the Three Floyds haul I just received (thanks Josh, aka alleykatking). Rich amber in color, great head and lacing on the glass. This beer is just perfectly balanced. Some might push this beer into the IPA category, but I believe it's right where it belongs as a pale ale. It's darker than most IPAs, and while yes it is very hoppy, it's not super bitter or dry. It really has an excellent "hop efficiency", yes I just made that up. Basically I mean that the hops used in this beer seem like they go a long way and the utmost flavor is achieved from the ingredient, therefore it's not overloaded with extra hops or clouded by other ingredients trying to balance out the hops. Fruity, ripe, delicious fresh hop taste. A nice malt backdrop. Wish I had more...

twelvsies, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass. Thanks to Dev (buckeyesox) for the opportunity!

Pours a hazy, almost murky dark-copper, thin off-white cap on top that actually grows due to the laser etching on the bottom of the glass. Nice lacing and persistent cap raise this one up a notch.

Nose is nice - big sweet citrus and caramel. Fairly one dimensional, but very pleasant.

Reviewed at around 45 degrees and up. Taste is very hop forward, but at the same time, not at all tiresome. Up front, you get a nice smack of citrusy, piney hops, just a bit astringent, over a big biscuity malt body that just a bit sweet, but not overly so. Plenty of backbone and balance in this one. Finish is bitter, dry, of an IPA level or just a bit under, slightly astringent, but definitely not overwhelmingly so. This would absolutely be one of my go-to beers if I could get it regularly. Color me impressed.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly crisp carbonation. Well done - carbonation is active, but never gets in the way of the flavor.

This is a beer that I could drink till the cows come home. Love it.

JohnQVegas, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of kinnaird
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this bottle in a trade from alleykatking. Thanks Josh!

A beautiful off-white, 1 finger head results from a fairly vigorous pour into a tumbler from the bottle. A gorgeous hazy copper, with a slight orange tint body is revealed when I hold it up to the light.

A strong citrus, pine smell is given off making my mouth water. There's also a touch of sugary caramel malt that conveys to me that there's probably some good body to back up all of those hops.

Mmmmm. There is definitely a malty, caramel body taste to hold up to the substantial hop presence. This is no SNPA and I like it! A balanced bitterness rounds out the flavor profile of this delicious brew.

The smoothest body I've ever tasted on an APA.

Excellent drinkability. With a moderate abv and lots of great aromas and tastes, I'd be happy with a bunch of these at a barbecue with no need to switch it up.

This is definitely no West Coast APA and I really dig it. I look forward to the day that FFF could meet their current demand enough to possibly bring this to California. Recommended.

kinnaird, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of Vonerichs
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy bronze color with a nice thick, two finger, off-white head. There is a slight lacing.

The smell is citrus and floral hops and a tinge of sweet malt.

I absolutely love the taste of Alpha King. What a fantastic hop profile of mainly citrus, then floral hops. There is just the right touch of malt for a slight balance and it compliments the hops extremely well.

This is a very smoothe pale ale, almost chewy. The finish is slightly bitter, but again the malts keep it from being over-the-top bitter.

These go down extremely easy and this is a beer I can enjoy all year round, even in the hot summer months. For such a big hop profile it is quite refreshing.

Overall, this is one of my favorite brews that's available year round. Every time the "favorite beer" discussion comes up, Alpha King certainly gets a mention from me.

Vonerichs, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of ahalloin
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from my last bottle from a case of Alpha King brought "across state lines" by a friend. I have had this at the brewery a few times now as well.

Pours a hazy dark gold color with a wonderful glow of slight orange as light penetrates the brew. The head formed from a rather slow pour is a very light tan color taking up about two fingers width at the top of the glass. The head receded to about a 1/4" while I typed this with some clingy lacing stuck to the upper rim of the glass.

I could smell the bouquet of hops and malt as I poured. Since this is a pale ale(not an IPA), the hops shouldn't be totally dominant and they aren't in A. King. The malt profile is spectacular with hints of caramel, toffee, and scotch ale malt (possibly?). Their is a slight hint of lemony citrus from the hops in the aroma as well.

The flavor has a nice sweet malty nose full of toffee and candy sweetness giving way to a bitter back end where the hops reign. The back end of the flavor and the aftertaste are all grapefruit. Acidic, with a slight citric burn to go with it.

The mouthfeel is very good with a lower carbonation. This beer is very smooth to drink.

Drinkability, I find to be exceptional as is evidenced in my score of 5. This beer is very sessionable and also a good start for someone just getting into real craft beers.

ahalloin, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of mjl21
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade with alleykatking...thanks Josh!

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. No bottling info is given and no abv info is given.

A-Pours a semi-hazy amber that veers toward the darker side of the amber spectrum. When poured a small white head disappears very fast to a small ring. The head dissolves into a cool spotted print in the middle of the glass. Nice spotted lacing is left as this goes down.

S-Not nearly as citrusy as I was expecting. Would say I get more sweet malt and grassy/floral/earthy hops in the nose.

T-Get some citrus hop flavor and grassy hop flavor along with a lot of sweet caramel malt.

M-Light to medium bodied with lighter carbonation. Is very smooth and the hops leave a pleasant level of lingering bitterness.

D-Goes down easily.

All in all I thought this was a pretty good beer. I think I was expecting more hops than were delivered. I would love to try this fresh on tap to use as a comparison. If this were available in CA I would definitely pick it up due to its relatively low abv and the fact it goes down easily and does not fill you up fast.

mjl21, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of naproxen
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: I was taken aback by the color. When I think pale ale, pardon me for being old school but Sierra Nevada is the first that comes to mind. That is not at all what poured into my glass, it is really more of an IPA colorwise. ALmost a medium golden brown, hints of brighter gold and a touch of garnet. I expect there to be a real nice body to this as it is just about opaque as well. I love that the lacing marks the glass as I sip this like a geological diagram of sediment.

Aroma: Again..pale ale or IPA?? There is truth in advertising when FFF put on the bottle a note about the citrus hops. I get some sweetness as well at the end and little bit of grassy goodness.

Taste: I may have found my favorite IPA, I mean pale ale. It hits the tongue with a quick bite of bitter that is replaced by a more grassy and citrus character. I don't get too much malt on this, but at the same time I don't get the feeling that this is really unbalanced either.

Drinkability: yes please.

naproxen, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of schroederm
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a snifter:

Pours a murky dark amber. Head dissipates quickly, leaving cool visible cascading carbonation on the sides of the glass. A little icing (as in cake) smell. Bit of pepper, dark fruit. As far as the smell is concerned, this is a very unique pale ale, missing generic aromas. In the taste, lots of citrus - much more bold than any pale ale I've had. It's however a touch watery, but makes up for that in its carbonation. Alpha King is extremely drinkable, fairly gentle on the palate. Very inviting.

Overall: This is closer to an ipa than a pale ale, but it really defies classification. Another Three Floyds winner.

schroederm, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jeager for the trade on this one.

Pours a nice amber color with a white head that dissipated fast. Nice lacing.

Smells nice and malty but not that much hop aroma. Caramel malt is the main aroma.

Taste is great. Probably one of the best pale ales I have had. Lots of great flavor and hop bitterness. Great balance between the caramel malty flavor and the dry finish of the hops.

Mouthfeel is perfect for the style.

Overall a great brew and i am glad he sent me 2 of them. I will probably trade for more of this another time...

PeprSprYoFace, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of Rainne
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brown that glows orange in the light, clear. 1 finger head stays around for a minute or two. Leaves a little lacing.

S- Hops right away, floral and citrus.

T- IPA, that's what the taste is. Straight up hops with the grapefruit and floral tastes all in there. A little toasty malt doesn't even convince me it's not an IPA. Dry finish with hops bitterness.

M- A little fizzy, body is medium. Smooth and crisp.

D- Uh, yeah. Definitely drinkable.

Rainne, Mar 20, 2009
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,162 ratings.