1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

5,163 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,163
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,163 | Reviews: 1,678 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kirok1999
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hop heaven!! I once described this as grapefruit and beer mixed together to a friend, and he was startled to agree. The citrus hop note is unmistakable. The perfect malt note to balance the citrus. If you can find this fresh, it's spectacular. I can't seem to find a fresh 6 pack anywhere. Grapefruit and pine dominate. Mouthfeel is wonderful; smooth and creamy. Three Floyds can't make a bad beer. Buy anything they make, you can't go wrong.

kirok1999, Sep 03, 2005
Photo of egajdzis
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange color with a small, off white head, that left nice lacing on the glass. Citrusy hop aroma, as well as a bitter hop flavor, with some grape taste as well. Very nice malt backbone as well. This can be drank more frequently than Dreadnaught.

egajdzis, Aug 31, 2005
Photo of tjthresh
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a case from the brewery on July 3.
Amber with and off white head. Fair retention. Minimal haze.
I get some bold citrus (orange or tangerine) hops and rich breadyness for malt in the nose.
Very full flavor. Again citrus hops and robust breadiness from the malt. Maybe some caramel. Moderate body. Not a lot of ligering flavor.
SNPA is considered to be the classic example of this style. For my money, I'll take Alpha King any time.
Re-review: Since this beer is listed as a APA, I say it is the best possible APA. I rated it before assuming it was an IPA

tjthresh, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of malty
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear dark bronzy amber with a loose 1/2" off white head.

Mmmm...the nose...fresh cone of the hop in a sweet, syrupy malt glaze. Fruity notes galore, compliments of the generous amount of hops. Brown sugar in there as well.3

Bountiful flavors of fresh hops all right - very vinous. An interesting tea flavor sits boldly behind the hops. Not too much malt presence (unlike the nose). Slightly sweetened iced tea flavor with a nice offsetting bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slightly bitter, dry finish.

Drinkability is good. Very versatile and flavorful.

A hearty pale ale no doubt. I've had plenty of IPAs that can't hold their weight against this surly boy. Balsy & bold. What else would you expect from 3Fs?

malty, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of beerceller99
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The alpha king has a clear reddish yellow color with a quickly fading head. Decent smell of grapefruit, citrusy hops. Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. A good taste is of slightly bittersweet caramel malts followed by a floral hop taste to finish.
Not really what i was expecting here. Seems to be "only" a better than average pale ale.
A tasty brew nevertheless.

beerceller99, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of wedge
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle conditioned APA. Pours hazy orange color - creamy medium dense head recedes into thin bubbly white sheet. Smell is fresh: citrus and fruity hops, light sweet malts. Taste is fantastic: big hops yet very well balanced with sweet malts...nice and smooth. Crisp and rich with a dry hop finish. This is a great IPA (it IS an IPA isn't it?), it should definately please the hop-heads. Very tasty indeed...too bad its so hard to find in the NE (available in RI though). Excellent.

wedge, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deep copper color with respectable head. Smell is very hoppy, also noted is citrus with lemon domibating. Taste is hoppy, hoppy, hoppy. There is also found some sweet malty notes that mox well with the hops. Finish is dry and bitter, but moderated some by the malt. An excellent all around beer.

tgbljb, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of jakester
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a gift from my dad, the hop head. I drank it in a pilsner glass. No friggin' date on the case, bottle, or label. Get the fuck with it, guys!

Pours a slightly hazy amber/orange, with a 1" head of sticky, off-white foam. Head drops to a nice coating and a ring. Great lacing throughout the drink. Carbonation bubbles lazily rise to the surface.

Strong, citrus-y grapefruit aroma with lemon peels and orange. Caramel candy malts there in the background. Dried apricots and pear esters, as well. Smells great!

The first flavor is a big caramely malt base, quickly blitzed away by pretty strong hop bittering. Grapefruit and lemon taste from hops, very citrus-y. Amarillo hops? As it warms, you can pick up alcohol. Tastes great! Aftertaste is sweet and citrus-y and bitter and very long. Awesome.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with a nice bite from carbonation. Sweet, but certainly not too sweet. Good grab at the back of the throat from hop bittering. Delicious burps!

A truly wonderful, if slightly overdone, version of the style. A delicious beer worthy of an afternoon of drinking. You'd be trashed if you did, though!

jakester, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of tastybeer
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice hazy golden orange color, with decent creamy head. The smell is amazing. Refeshing fresh squeezed grapefruit and floral. Dank and fresh herbal aroma. Taste is an explosion of hoppy goodness. Finish is nice and bitter before it smooths out. Great mouthfeel. Mouthwateringly drinkable.

This is definitely more of an IPA than a PA. Great pleasant and satisfying hops. I could drink this constantly.

tastybeer, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of ski271
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lightly hazy reddish copper with a small, frothy/milky, off-white head with good retention and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell: Heavenly citrus and floral hops over a moderate, cookie-like malt sweetness. Grapefruit, toffee, grass, some light doughy yeast, and a little bit of roses. Nicely balanced.

Taste: This isn’t an IPA? Big, dominant hops sting your taste buds right off the bat, filling your mouth with bitter flavors of fruit and herbs. Then the bitterness back off a bit to let the wonderful, solid, lightly sweet malt backbone show through. A little yeast once it warms up a bit. But the hops don’t back off for very long and come rushing back as it head toward the finish. More citrus and a very light (is that diacetyl?) sweetness. The finish is VERY long in duration as the bitterness just refuses to let go. So tasty.

Mouthfeel: Full body, dry texture, and soft carbonation.

Drinkability: I had heard good things about this beer, and being a hophead I knew I would like this. But you fellow BA’s know your stuff. This was a truly impressive brew. Very easy drinking, despite the higher alcohol (which was hidden well). I’m glad I followed the advice of this community and sought it out (thanks hero27 for a great trade), I’d definitely recommend this to a hop-hunter. The first Three Floyds offering I have tried, but I hope to remedy that soon.

ski271, Aug 17, 2005
Photo of kegerator
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

an outstanding brew from Three Floyds.
Pours a vibrant burnt copper orange with a nice 2 finger head thats creamy and sticks around leaving nice lacing
aroma of pine and grass with big aromas of citrus. Grapefruit and orange with very faint hints of caramel like malt in the backdrop
taste is a huge citrus hit with big flavors of grapefruit and orange with those caramel malts making an appearance in the middle. It has a great creamy mouthfeel to it yet finishes crisp and slightly dry leaving a slight hop bitterness but not overwhelming at all. This brew is masterfully blended with great flavors.

kegerator, Aug 15, 2005
Photo of Px2GrafX
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with the typical three floyds name and beer type encircling an image of a green guy with an "A" crown, hops hair and is sprinkling hops dust over a glass of beer. (that's what it looks like to me) a small map to the brewery is printed on the label. the explanation of this three floyds' style is also printed. no sight of an abv or freshness date.

appearance: pours an ever-so-lightly hazy cherry wood red-brown with bright red-orange highlights into a pint glass. good 1" white bread colored head. excellent sticky lace. bubbles rise emphatically through this gem beauty.

smell: my first reaction is this smells like an ipa. very piney and grassy. also very lemony citrusy. some sweet caramel and fruits as well. maybe bananas.

taste: first sip is lightly malty with a ton of citrus grapefruit hop flavor. nice bitterness; not quite ipa bitter, but i love it. some caramelly bread flavors as the brew warms. always finishes a little bitter and dry with a wonderful lasting hop spicy aftertaste.

mouthfeel: crisp but medium body and smooth mouthfeel. good carbonation and pretty good swallow.

drinkability: excellent drinkability. alcohol creeps in at the end, but the aroma, taste and especially aftertaste keep you drinking 'til the end.

overall: this is another one of those beers where even though it gets good ratings, i still believe it deserves even higher. near perfect for this style. a little hoppy for an apa, so i couldn't give a five there, but that's what i love so screw the ratings! get yourself a lot of these if you're able!

Px2GrafX, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of DrJay
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear coppery red topped by cream coloured foam. The head was a bit on the thin side, but it stayed around throughout and left some decent lace on the glass. Intense citrus hop aroma, but still soft like low alpha hops were used for finishing. Also a bit grassy with moderate maltiness that doesn't hang around for long. High bitterness, again soft from the use of lower alpha acid hops, with lots of citrus and floral character. Low malt sweetness. Very dry, hoppy finish with plenty of citrus. Medium body and moderate carbonation with a soft, smooth texture. Very tasty beer with a lot of hop character that isn't overpowering. Highly drinkable and something I'd love to find on tap. Thanks Viggo.

DrJay, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of jimbotrost
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at Charlie's Ale House in Munster, Indiana on 8/4/05. Pours a brilliant deep copper color with a medium size white head, compact. Nose screams hops, yeah, Northwestern Hops, yeah again. The flavor is dry and malty, and is dominated by the hops just waiting to attack. Finish is full of hops, the beer is full of hops, this is good stuff.

jimbotrost, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of SwillBilly
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Nice dark amber, with creamy 2 finger head that slowly dissapates leaving thick lacing on the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Slightly sweet, fruity, hints of grapefruit possibly apricots and hops.

Taste: If the label didn't say Pale Ale I would swear that this was an IPA. Starts out slightly sweet, malty, finishing with a big hop finish. Extremely balanced. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: Outstanding Pale Ale. I could make a session out of Alpha King, but the 7% abv would put me on my ass. Great beer if you plan on only drinking a few or a lot if you feel like getting shit faced.

Overall a great Pale Ale bordering on a great IPA. Seek this one out and enjoy.

SwillBilly, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of KarlHungus
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a blood red color with a creamy white head. The aroma is strong and citrusy. Utterly mouth watering. The taste is very hoppy for an APA, not good, none the less. It starts out sweet and finishes hoppy. The aftertaste of this beer is excellent. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, a very good over the top APA.

KarlHungus, Aug 10, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass from a chilled bottle, it pours an amber or maybe even a rust color with a nice white surface layer (nice clingage to the glass) along with a slight haze when peering through the glass.

Aroma is mainly of cascade hops with a slight sweet citrus aroma. Mostly a pine smell coming from this ale. Nothing very outstanding or different, but just a nice blend of hops and sweetness the way that pale ales should be.

Taking a sip, I notice a lot of pine flavor from the cascade or centenniel hops. A very slight grapefruit flavor also pokes through on the body, but the finish ends up a little smooth and maybe a bit dry due to the abv. However, this is what a pale ale SHOULD BE!

High amount of carbonation up front on the sip, but the smoothness comes through throughout the tasting (sip) as it spends more than a second or so in my mouth. The ending may be a slight reminder that the avb. is over 7%. However, wonderfully done!

Overall, I could drink this all day long! Refreshing, tasty, and just enough alcohol that helps make this ale truly special. I now know what all the hype was about!

Fish113d, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of rousee
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BA Beerguy (Frank) for the sample--

Pours differing shades of color throughout the glass-a dark rusty top 2/3 and the bottom third is a lighter peach/apricot shade.

The smell is an extremely balanced pale ale. It is somewhat hoppy but the nutty character of the malt is also noticed. Taste is a standard ipa/apa taste of (I am guessing cascade or centennial) hops. There is some cedar-like woodiness in the taste as well. I love cedar.

The only problem here is this beer is a great example of how this style should be done properly but it doesnt stand out as being the best for the style. Overall, not many knocks on this and I am glad to see that 3 Floyds appears to be all they are cracked up to be.

A little too high on the abv to be considered very drinkable but plenty smooth though. They do a good job of hiding the alcohol actually as this doesnt taste real strong (abv-wise that is).

rousee, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of DrainBamage
3.1/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy orangish brown with a quarter inch of head that thins to a trace. It smells of hops and citrusy aromas. Taste is very bitter, but has an average citrusy APA taste to it with mild malt flavors. Mouthfeel is a little acidic and is highly carbonated. It leaves a very bitter after taste in your mouth that seems to last forever. I found this brew to be a little to bitter for an APA, but a big hop lover would most likely enjoy this one.

DrainBamage, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of Tim460
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle a deep amber color with 1/2 inch head. Smells of citrus and floral hops. A slight hint of malt till the hops kick in. Tastes almost like an IPA with the big hop flavor. Very Nice! Has a medium body and goes down smooth. The hoppiest of the APA's I've tried yet. An awesome beer that I plan to go back to many times in the future.

Tim460, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of RedHaze
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a thick 1.5 inch head with a lot of good lacing.

Great grapefruit and hop smell to it.

Fruity citrus and hop flavor with just the right amount of malt. This is one damn good beer.

Wish that this was sold this in my area. I had to order it from John's Grocery In Iowa City. I have a feeling that I will be ordering more of this in the future. The more I sip it, the better it gets. Wish I could get other Three Floyds brews after this one.

RedHaze, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of yelterdow
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All of a sudden, this "rare" find is available in North Jersey! Purchased at Frontier Liquors in Hackensack ($8.99/6-pack) and I'm in the mood tonight for some good beer.

Served at just under fridge temperature in a pint glass.

Appearance- Glows a crystal clear copper/amber with a juicy two finger head that stands tall. Even after falling to a quarter-inch topper several minutes later, the lacing is sticky and dense. Terrific structure that remains throughout, I cannot imagine a more perfect APA.

Smell- Citrus and pine sap come forth immediately, but there is a sweet maltiness that counters and balances their performance with class. The aromas meld perfectly together, and grow even more integrated with time. Another perfect 5, without reservation.

Taste- Loads of grapefruit combined with bitter, pine tree and floral notes. Aggressive bitterness in the back of the mouth that begs for another taste, to be timed with the fantastic hop burps that result.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick, smooth, almost creamy. By far the best APA I have ever had, and this is number three for the evening. The hops never overwhelm, just perform. Awesome color, cling-for-dear-life lacing, super drinkability... FFF has wowed my ass. Great job, this is a must-stock always.

yelterdow, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to highclassdrinker for the trade.

This was a clear amber ale with a two finger head. Looked very enticing.

Aroma was of sharp grapefruit hops, and not much else. Incredible.

Taste was moderately bitter grapefruit hops, balanced by well by medium malts (caramel?). Pretty darn good.

An excellent pale ale.

connecticutpoet, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07/30/05- Received from a purchase at Archers Liquors.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dating. Poured into my Shipyard pint glass.

Appearance- Darker golden color. Nice 3/4 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Huge and I mean huge grapefruit hops. That's about all I can detect because the hops overpower everything else.

Taste- Wow, this is one damn good Pale Ale. Starts off with a huge fruity blast of hops and finishes with a nice smooth semi dark malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, heavier mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I actually felt some of the alcohol kick in at the end of the brew. Not sure if I could session more than a couple of these. But, an amazing hoppy pale ale that I would buy again in a second if I could get my hands on it out here. Hands down one of the top two or three Pale Ales I've had. Maybe the best.

GClarkage, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of cypressbob
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

7.3%abv

Pours with a coppery body, small dense off tan head, not particularly great retention

Smell, tonnes of thick aggressive piney hops, cascade primarily. Lemony, some thick creamy malt, slightly musky

Taste, creamy with a ballsy strong malt backbone. Dirty strong hops, really lasting on the palette

Mmmm...one of those really big tasty american ales, i'd have thought this would be an ipa

cypressbob, Jul 28, 2005
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,163 ratings.