1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,554 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,554
Reviews: 1,718
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 900
Gots: 801 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 5,554 | Reviews: 1,718
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to yeahnatenelson for this as an extra! 12oz. Into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a khaki head, not quite half an inch that recedes to a thick, dense cap with gobs of sticky lacing. Slightly cloudy, and a decent amount of bubbles moving through the glass. Maybe a little on the dark side, but looks nice.

S: Hops, resinous, high AA hops, maybe a little more towards the citrus side, but definitely resiny, if blindfolded, this would scream IPA to me. This may fall into the one dimensional hops category, but that's okay, I like it. Just a hint of sharp alcohol, very faint, but still there. Nice on the nose here.

T: Interesting, not really what I expected, the hops are there, and a good sweet dark bread malt profile falls underneath that, I'm detecting a bit of a burnt flavor, maybe just a bit, but definitely enough to notice. Then its pretty much straight into bitterness with a few citrus and minty notes from the hops. I'm not sure what hop provides the minty flavor, but I've experienced it in a few Scandinavian beers, not sure if I like it, just seems odd. Alcohol note on the end. Overall pretty darn tasty.

M: A little towards the heavy side, finishes about right not too dry or too sweet, but there is a bit of perceived dryness from the alcohol which is a little strong. I don't know why its so noticeable in this 6% beer, but it definitely is.

D: I could drink a few of these, really a tasty beer, nice flavors, a bit in your face but I like it. Overall nice beer that could be a session if it was on draft. Glad I finally got to try it!

Thanks Nate!

Photo of mdaschaf
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to korguy123 for this one!

A: Pours a dark amber/copper with a chunky white head that dissipates down to a a small layer of bubbles on the top of the beer. Amazing lacing for the duration of this beer.

S: A lot of citrus and nice floral aroma. Also get some grapefruit and a hint of strawberries with some malt right at the end.

T: A really nice hop characteristic that plays well with a malt backbone. Very balanced between those two. Also get some lemon, a little caramel, and surprisingly a hint of mint.

M/D: Medium bodied and extremely drinkable. It may be one of the easiest beers to drink that I have ever had. This is a great beer and I need to get my hands on some more of it.

Photo of chaz410
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange amber body. It's nearly sap like in body color and has a nice finger length white froathy head.
Smells of huge pine and citrus notes, more like an ipa than a pale ale but still nicely balanced by some subtle caramel malts and some nice roasted character. Hops really play out more than anything, dominating by grapefruit and pinneapple with pine notes and some grassy notes.
Taste is similar to the smell but the intensity of the hop bitterness is much more subdued and the malt character is stronger. Still very balanced and not overpowering at all.
Very drinkable and very smooth.

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

Poured a cloudy orange, good head.

Obviously hop notes in the smell, but the maltiness surprised me.

Fresh grapefruit in the taste, accented by a roasted note that is quite like coffee.

Crisp mouthfeel.

A well balanced beer - as much roasted maltiness as I've ever seen in an APA, but it works to good effect.

Photo of camp0474
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper amber color with a frothy tan head.

S: Citrus and pine hops covering some faint but detectable sweet malt.

T: Solid balance of hops and malt. Citrus notes and the sweet malt blend well. Well balanced even with the upfront hops.

M/D: Medium body which is very drinkable. Good amount of fine carbonation. Bitterness from hops at the end.

Overall this well balanced beer is very drinkable.

Photo of NealVsBeer
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Golden brown with a tiny bit of tan head.

S - Floral and citrus hops dominate the smell.

T - Very smooth, citrus and piney hops. Well-balanced.

M - Nice and smooth. Medium-bodied.

D - One of the best APAs I've had so far. I'll drink this any day.

Photo of cetherid
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass


A nice reddish brown. a small amount of head.


the first thing I smell is hops. citrusy hops with a little pine.


slight bitterness from hops but the malt flavor smooths it out. a subtle caramel in the malts. less hoppy that I thought it would be from the initial smell. I'm (currently) not a fan of really hoppy beers like IPAs, but this seems like it would be a great starter beer to the hoppier ales. I actually enjoy this one.


about medium bodied. not thin at all. it goes down smooth.


very drinkable. could be good with both a meal and just sitting and relaxing with family and friends. i will definitely enjoy drinking this 6 pack over the weekend.

Photo of glazeman
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A: Wow, for a pale ale, I am quite surprised at how dark in color this beer is. The pour yields a dark, dark, amber colored beer with a ½ finger off-white head. The head has moderate retention and some nice lacing.

S: The nose is pretty one-dimensional with pine being the dominant smell. There's also a little bit of apple cider at the start.

T: A nice contrast in the hop profile as compared to the Bell's Two Hearted I just had. This beer is almost all piney hops whereas the prior was almost all citrusy hops. Nice amount of pine and a tad of malty sweetness at the start. Lots of bitterness at the finish.

M: A bit thin for my liking. Also the aftertaste and carbonation weren't quite as high as I would have liked.

D: Pretty good drinkability, although this beer isn't as exciting or interesting as I would like in order to drink several of them...I feel like I would get bored.

Photo of Macky20
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have several bottles of this thanks to generous extras in trades, this is a great beer, so keep 'em coming!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. One finger head that is a bit splotchy, and somewhat thin. Amber color with a reddish tint.

Smells primarily of a pine, citrus (grapefruit is what I'm picking up on) and an extremely attractive hop bite.

The taste is the best thing about this beer (good thing right?) Even though this doesn't seem like a high IBU beer (probably so for a Pale Ale though)... there is a hop explosion that immediately calms itself right after hitting your taste buds. The aroma acccurately represents this beer... and it has everything, regarding tastes, that I love in my IPA's.... and again, this is a Pale Ale. Pleasant bitterness left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is appropriate, if anything a bit thin. You can almost always tell by the pour and the head what it will feel like in the mouth (I'm no professional, but just from my own experience) When the head was a bit thin, I expected the feel in the mouth to be a bit thin also. It is nothing that dramatically changes the beer IMO though.

Drinkability is fantastic... low ABV... hop kick of an IPA, goes down pleasantly and smooth. It's probably a good thing I can't get these in NC... It would certainly be one of my "go to's" during football season!

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

Thanks to HosP for this one.

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass, a nice cloudy amber colour with a small white head, slight lacing. Has a nice sweet hoppy smell, some malty caramel in there...very, very nice. Taste is out of this world. Malty up front with a long lasting bitter finish. Nice weight, not thin and not syrupy...near perfect. I absolutely loved this beer. It really lives up to its hype, this also came to me from Indiana so it was super fresh. I would no doubt have this beer again....and again, and again.

Photo of magnj
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From my mental notes.

A - Deep amber body, 1 finger head.

S - Mildly hoppy aroma of the more earthy variety, classic pale and caramel malts detectable.

T - Well hopped for an APA but still appropriate, earthy hops, well balanced. Not real sweet but rather a bit bready malt-wise.

M/D - Medium to full body, easy to drink, but I can find similar examples of the style locally.

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

Drank from a bottle poured into a Samuel Adams special Boston Lager Glass.

A: Pours a deep copper, vaguely cloudy. A nice creamy head with a slight reddish tint, about one finger length. Nice lacing as well.

S: Pine and hops aroma. There is a twist of citrus in here as well.

T: It starts smooth, then a wave of citrus hops washes the tongue.

M: Its finish is soothing and mildly bitter, making you anticipate the next sip. Smooth and balanced. This is where I think this qualifies as an APA and not an IPA.

D: At 6% ABV, the Alpha King is not asking for trouble, and I will hold council with him again soon.

Photo of btorsdog
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wish I had access to this ,but no Ohio distribution means RoadTrip! Anyhow...
Beautiful pour looks like a Red Rocket Ale, Nice!
Taste is somewhat strong for an APA but it gets tamed down with a nice malt sweetness, oh yeah LOTS of HOPS, excellent!
Smell was citrus and floral like (almost passed up smellin this in Rush to taste it!)
mouth had somewhat of an alcohol sting to it , not bad but slightly distracting.
drink was preety good for me,went down real nice like , just tell youself it's an IPA and all is GREAT!

Photo of robwestcott
3.55/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

third glass in a FFF flight.

poured from tap to a 4oz taster a semi translucent light mahogany with a 1/2 finger off white short lasting head.

aroma of piney hops and not much else - except cigarette smoke from that guy next to me.

piney hops forward to the exclusion of all else. it's a hoppy beer not pretending to balance.

bitter on the tongue, medium carbonation.

very drinkable at 6abv.

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

A: Amber/brown; a bit cloudy with a thin but steady cream colored head--once it dissipates it sits nicely on the top of the beer; the lacing is great

S: Sweet, malty quality backed by a mild pine and lemon hop presence; a bit subdued

T: A very well-balanced beer; the pine and citrus sit right on top of a caramel, candied sugar maltiness

F: Nice, even mouth coating; carbonation is right on

D: A great pale ale that acts more like an IPA--probably is more of an IPA--but I'll go with the APA because the hops don't quite dominate like most American IPAs; good beer

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

This is next-to-impossible to find in L.A. Lucky for me, whilst visiting back east, I came across an outdoor bar serving this. I sat and sipped in the sweltering sun, savoring every drop, when my cell went off. Text from a friend: "Ever hear of Three Floyds Brewery?" I looked around for the spy cam...nothing. Turns out my friend came across a 6pk of Robert the Bruce as I was indulging in Alpha King. We joined forces and shared our rare finds. (See Robert the Bruce review next.)

A= Dark, deep brown with red edging, topped by a good two fingers of well-tanned head, the bubbles woven tightly together and clinging to the edge of the glass as the center slowly caved in.

S= Pine? Grapefruit? I check the label... "Pale Ale." Hmmm, what trickery is this!?! Malts, as I expected, but this is screaming IPA. The hops are jumping out of the glass.

T= Mmmm... IPA heaven. Lots of grapefruit and piney bitterness, a fair hit of malts, the slightest suggestion of clove and nutmeg and orange. All three of the Floyds must be pulling a fast one...

M= enough carbonation and alcohol to make it a thirst quencher, enough hops to make it a good IPA (err, APA), enough malts to tame the finish.

D= In a blind tasting, I would smugly proclaim "IPA, not quite hoppy enough to be from SoCal, ergo northwest coast," before crawling under the nearest rock upon discovering it to be an APA from (DARE NOT SAY) Munster, Indiana! Who would of thought?
Point is, this is one damn fine beer. A heavy-hopper from the heartland. Next time I am in Indiana, I am taking a ride to Munster and filling my trunk.
As for a food pairing, try this with traditional English Fish & Chips w/Malt Vinegar. The citrus notes and carbonation will cut through the batter coating and help play up the sweetness of the cod, and the sweet maltly background in the beer will tame the bite of the vinegar while marrying the malts together. I am getting hungry just writing about it.

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

Thanks to korguy123 for this beer!
Tasting notes from 8/10/10
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Cloudy amber colour with an orange glow and one finger of thick cream coloured head.

S - Bitter hops up front with grapefruit and tangerine notes and a nice sweet caramel backbone. The nose is more of an IPA than a pale ale.

T - Follows the nose but the malts are more present in the palate and dominate the flavour with a sweet caramel taste. The hops are there too with a nice citrus flavour but they are not dominant enough to get any specific flavours out of them. If I tasted this blind I would bet money that it was an IPA.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - An excellent beer but there are definitely better out there

Photo of dmamiano
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bit darker than expected.Deep brassy with an expected haze
the smell was off the charts...deep underlying maltiness back by a wollap of hops.
caramel malts....seeming ly carmalized to perfection.
taste was very big. Would have bet this one was a lot larger than the 6% abv indicates.
thick, lmost chewy malts..overhopped for just the right balance.
Mouthfeel superb.
Wow....nuff said

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

A - Pours with a nice two finger head. Darker amber texture with some heavy lacing on the glass.

S - Malty with some citrusy undertone

T - Some great maltiness that finishes off with a citrusy mouthfeel

M - A little higher carbonation, but definitely tolerable. Somewhat of a bitterness

D - I am so lucky to have FFF at my disposal anytime I want. This is a great beer. For the price at my liquor store of $9.99 for a sixer I've reached for it many times. The hardest part is deciding Gumballhead or Alpha King!!!

Photo of ChrisPro
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(rating transcribed from ratebeer)

On tap at the Three Floyds brewpub on 7/21/09.

Pours dark gold with a touch of amber and nice white head.

Solid pine aroma with just a touch of vanilla and caramel.

Mild sweetness and then bam! The hops hit hard. Great hoppy pale ale.

Photo of nickd717
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from awhile back transcribed from RateBeer.

Had this on tap at Three Floyds in Munster, IN. Best pale ale I've had - "Alpha King" drink this any day of the week.

Great golden-amber color with a very well-formed and clingy white had.

Great aroma of incredible citrusy C-hops and sweet pale malt.

Same on the taste - hops have piney and grapefruity character and are just "pha king" great. Not too malty, but has a good backbone.

Medium body and lively palate.

I think "Alpha King" give this a "pha king" awesome rating.

Photo of punkrkr27
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper pour, with a one-finger, white head. The aroma has loads of sweet caramelized barley with peppery, spicy, piny hops to balance. The flavor follows through from the nose and adds a few notes of mango and toast also. Creamy medium body with a slightly aqueous finish.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 8-5-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Pours with one finger of foam, cloudy amber color, nice lacing ring with a decent amount of carbonation present

S - Hops, orange peel and roasted malts

T /M - Smooth at first but finishes with a piney bitter taste along with noticeable citrus taste to it

D - Pretty drinkable APA, and easily have more than one in a sitting. I would for sure get this brew again and I would recommend it

Photo of Pdiddey3d
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to GDBEERMAN for hooking me up with this one.

A - Pours a nice hazy amber, almost orange. About one finger of head that reduces to slim halo after a couple minutes. Very minimal lacing.

S - Very pleasant aroma. Picking up mostly grapefruit but there are some hints of malt and some hops but the citrus prevails.

T - Great balance of citrusy hops and a smooth maltiness. Leaves some bitterness on the tongue int the finish but nothing too overwhelming. It surprises me that this is not an IPA with the nice amount of hops in here.

M/D - Very smooth. great carbonation, perfect balance. This is a bit on the hoppy side for an APA but it goes down easy and I would say this is a sessionable beer. Wish I had more than one to enjoy.

Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Chico1985 at our last tasting, another good beer he traded for.

A- Clear red with an off-white head that has decent retention. Good cloud atop the ale that leaves a coat of fine lace.

S- Slight citrus and pine above a caramel malt, sweet backbone. Almost like a lighter version of a Barleywine. Grapefruit. Could use some strength.

T- Once again, the malt and hops remind me of a less aggressive version of a Barleywine. Citrus/zest/grapfruit hops for the most part over a malt profile that is a bit nutty, toasty and slightly sweet. Close to an IPA but more malty.

MF- Light creamy body with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter on the palate.

DB- Unique flavor for a pale ale. Good hop presence lends nice citrus flavors. Really felt like a small Barleywine IPA hybrid.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,554 ratings.