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.

5,446 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,446
Reviews: 1,705
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 887
Gots: 704 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,446 | Reviews: 1,705 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

Photo of Sean9689
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark amber color, nearly brown.

Smell - Yummy...citrius smell that I really like.

Taste - Very hoppy, I like! Not quite the typical APA tastes...more like an IPA. A distinct aftertaste makes this brew easy to pick out if given blind.

Mouthfeel - Light and chewy...this beer bites back!

Drinkability - Very easy to drink...

Photo of BacklitAvenger
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - Six pack with typically ridiculous looking 3 floyds labels on the bottles. No label on the back or neck, just the front. Into my pint glass with the handle painted 'republic of liberia'

Appearance - Shit is brown nearly. A lovely orangey brown, when held to the light it glows amber, tinged with tangerine and gold around the edges. Head retreats rapidly into foam, likely just my sedate pour. I have seen this stuff foam before at my friends. Against the light there's some floaty bits and constant bubbles nucleating and rising to sustain the foam in the middle of my glass. Don't mind the floaty bits, they're good for you.

Smell - Floral, citrus, and light light hints of malt. Can't really comment here more than that, other than to say it smells straight up like an IPA, not no APA.

Taste - Massive hops. This ain't an APA folks, this is a improvised explosive device full of hops. Comin in under the radar like, fooling me into expecting something akin to an SNPA. This has very similar hop flavors to two hearted ale by bell, and has the bitterness in the aftertaste of GL commodore perry IPA. There's a light malt backbone, it's definitely there, enough to distinguish itself from the aforementioned brews. Bready perhaps, or toast, or biscuit-like. Then the orange and grapefruit and flowery notes.

Mouthfeel - Light, crisp, refreshing, effervescent. Medium body resting on those few malt notes.

Drinkability - Other than a bit of a bitter citrus aftertaste this stuff is plenty refreshing. If you like hops, this will be right up your alley. If not, approach with caution.

The only problem here is that the malt isn't there enough for this style. While objectively I like this beer tons, it is not an APA. So I gotta go with all 4.5s here. It's three floyds, sure, but its no dark lord or behemoth, something that dominates the playing field in its respective field.

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

Bottle thanks to Mike a.k.a. MGL on here. I have wanted to try this brew for a long time.

Pours a deep orange/amber color with 1 finger head that went away quickly. Smells of very nice citrus hops, very pleasant. Couple floaties in the bottle which is no big deal. Taste is very good and goes down easily. Massive lacing on the glass. Seems like more of an IPA as opposed to a pale ale which is fine with me. I think I could get in trouble with this brew if it was more widely available around here. I really want to try a very fresh one b/c I know this one is atleast 3 or 4 months old. Another winner from FFF and a very good pale ale. I will have to keep trading for this and dreadnaught until they distribute in PA. Cheers.

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

This is a very good beer i loved it alot and was well worth the trip to chicago for it.
Apperance-light brown in color and light in the head when served slightly foamy not to much to distract you from this good beer.
Smell- Smells of well most brown and light IPA's citrusy and inviing.
Taste- This is where you really get into the good beer. It tasted amazing and really brought you to want more and more. citrus and malty hints at the same tame quite a unique beer and i can understand the cult following.

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

I got this one from SHRlsu. Thanks Stephen, I've been wanting to try this for a long time.

Alpha king has a copper colored body with a fairly lumpy beige head. Has above average retention and leaves a litte bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell is a pretty big whiff of citrusy hops with just a hint of maltiness underneath. Floral and citrus notes combine here to make this one smell excellent.

The taste is just like the smell, but the citrus flavor is stronger. Tons of biting, bitter, grapefruit hops and a little bit of a floral flavor. Just a touch of sweet malt. Actually tastes a little bit like some sort of perfume...a hop perfume anyway. That may not sound too appetizing, but this stuff is pretty good.

Mouthfeel is about what it shoud be. Full enough with adequate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer, but I don't think anyone should crack into this sucker expecting an APA because this is really an IPA. At least as far as my taste buds and nose are concerned it is anyway.

Photo of brewdoc75
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried to find this when I was in Chicago this week, but nobody had it in bottles. I was told there was something wrong with the bottling lines and it would be a few weeks. My last night there I stopped at the Hopleaf and sure enough they had it on tap.

A-Golden-yellow-orange in color. Nice white fluffy head.

S-Beautiful bouquet of hops. Floral is the best description I can give. Plenty of citrus aromas. I even get a slight grassiness, but in a good way. The malts are there too with a faint sweetness.

T-This beer slams you with the glory of the hop, but not in a bitter aspect. The beer is really not that bitter at all, but the hops do really come out. I got a lot of citrus flavors like orange, tangerine and grapefruit. Additionally there was a nice fruity, ester component. The malts added a slightly biscuty-sweet backbone to the hop flavors. Really flavorful for a APA.

M-Crisp and clean. Reasonable carbonation.

D-A really good APA. Really it seems like an IPA in the hoppy flavors, but not the bitterness. It reminds me a lot of Two Hearted Ale in its hop bouquet. Really drinkable, but the price may turn me off a bit (6 bucks a pint). Hopheads must try.

Photo of mugglesandhops
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra on a trade I think. This is the first beer I have had from Three Floyds and it did not disappoint. Pours a dark redish orange color with a moderate head that faded to a faint layer of bubbles that rested on the top of the beer. Smelled of sweet citrus/floral hops with some bready malt smells in there too. Taste was awesome, sweet, citrusy, grassy hops, sharp bitter hop finish. Medium bodied. Very drinkable. Awesome beer.

Photo of natasharai
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured with 2 fingers of tan frothy bubbly head that dissipated to a thin layer over 3 minutes leaving nice lacing. The beer is orangish gold and transparent.

Smell: Pretty light, fresh malt smell and small crisp citrus hops

Taste: Refreshing slightly sweet malt, a fresh cut grass taste, then the hops pop up, refreshing citrus/flower hops with some bitterness to them.

Mouthfeel: Very well carbonated, medium body, very refreshing

Overall: VERY easy to drink, very refreshing, good flavors! really well rounded with good malt and hops! Not too overly sweet or bitter.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass straight from the fridge and allowed to warm for 15 minutes in the glass. This beer is a very dark pale ale. I was expecting something, well, a little paler. I still like the look. Huge swirling bubbles almost like fresh brewed tea are at the top.

The aroma is strong and hoppy. There is a tea like aroma (this could be sight imposed). I can also detect earthy tones, cut grass, and dried fruit.

The taste is light and there is a great balance between hops and malt. Carbonation is a little light but it's in line with the style. This is the first pale ale I've had that actually leaned more toward malt than hops. There is a residual sweetness in the finish with a playful hop bite.

The mouthfeel is a bit too light for my liking. I would prefer a little more body. I do like this beer but between body and appearance I can't give it an "A".

I would drink this for the rest of the day if 1)it wasn't so expensive 2)I still lived in Indiana 3)I didn't like the variety I now enjoy. This is a fine beer and one I wouldn't mind having again in the near future.

Photo of JohnWaynes44
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours rust orange and opaque. Creamy head, dissipated quickly to small lumps. Smells nice. Sweet malts, aroma is heavy with earthy, nuts and hops. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts. Sugar is prominent, hops linger through finish and well after. Mellow feel, not sharp or fizzy. Sticky and smooth...I love this brew. Proud to call this my favorite local brew. This bottle was awesome. Best from the tap. With tournament time coming, pitcher of Alpha at Chumley's in Broad Ripple are a sure bet.

Photo of cbros
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type- 12 ounce bottle poured into my new Surly Pint glass. No born on or freshness date on bottle.

A- Pours a dark amber color white a light tan head and small head that disipates about half way down. No carbonation activity present in the beer.

S- Smells of citrusy hops and a biscuit malt undertone.

T- Nice hoppy flavor for a pale ale. Smooth, not bitter for the amount of hops present. Finishes mellow as the malt takes over. Good combination of hops and malt so that you aren't drinking a hop bomb of a beer.

Got this in the Educators BIF and I think that this is a solid pale ale. Most others I have tried have been a little hop weak in my opinion but this beer does not fall into that category. I think that it almost boderlines on an IPA, with its hop presence but it obviously falls short. A very solid pale ale that I wouldn't mind having around here.

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

Thanks to my Secret Santa iconoklatzor for this brew. Cheers.

Pours amber in color with a thin head. Citrus hops in smell. Taste is smooth and hoppy which makes it somewhere between an APA and an IPA. Very drinkable beer. I used buy this all the time when 3F distrubuted to PA. This is one of the beers that turned me into a BA.


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

alpha king pours a nice dark orange color with nice carbonation/head... the smell is great.. sweet malts,hops ,citrus,pine, and other floral/fruity smells..superb it smells and taste more like an IPA to me it starts with a malt sweetness followed by a citrus hop flavor all in perfect balance..it fills the mouth with all of the before mentioned and is so very drinkable..this is my favorite PALE ALE but not my favorite IPA.. its easy to down 3 of these quickly in fact i got to go get another. buy/try this one for sure

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

Thanks to the tall southern gentlemen for a few 6-packs of this.

A: Nice amber, fizzy head with hot aired balloon bubble to match. Negligible lacing.

S: Sweet aroma, lather on the hops.

T: Deliciousness meets balanced. Nice sweet malt, fruity with hints of pine. The sweetness is nice and after someone said peach it kind of stuck with my tastebuds. A very clean hop aftertaste.

M: This guy has a lot of carbonation that rolls off the tongue, rather light.

D: Easy to drink, could drink and did drink 3 of these no problem. So where's the distribution for this guy?

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

Dark amber/caramel color with a nice amount of lacing. Fresh lemon and pine needle aroma. Taste of lemon/lime citrus and pine sap, loads of hops yet exceptionally well balanced. Very drinkable, smooth, and refreshing. An excellent session beer. My first from FFF lived up to its reputation.

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

Caramel color with a one finger creamy head which leaves moderate lacing.

Smells of sweet malt with some citric hop notes. A nice balance.

Up front this has a sweet malty taste which lays on the tongue, but it hits you with a fair amount of bitter hop bite afterwards.

Thick and slippery mouthfeel.

This was my first beer from Three Floyds, so I didn't know what to expect. It ended up reminding me a lot of SN Pale Ale or a Firestone Double Barrel Ale with a hoppier finish. Nice beer, but I won't feel too upset that we don't get it where I live. There's a number of beers in this style we do get here which are less expensive and just as enjoyable. However, I am still glad I got to try it.

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,446 ratings.