1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Alpha King - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,358 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,358
Reviews: 1,689
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 878
Gots: 643 | FT: 24
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:
A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000)
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: 5,358 | Reviews: 1,689 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marksto
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium amber and very clear, with a thin head that falls rather quickly. Nose has lots of spicy hops, citrus and pine, and a noticible malt sweetness. Flavor is very nice, as it has an excellent complexity that sets aside the better APA's. The complexity seems to comes predominately from the hop character - bitterness and flavor interplay really nicely, and are multi-dimensional, with a nice carmel and biscuit maltiness lingering in the backgound.

An excellent APA, worth seeking out.

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

Deep amber and caramelly in color, thin off white cap for a head. The hop aroma jumped out of the bottle upon popping the cap. After the pour I noticed a lot of herbal and cirtusy hops, orange rind and grapefruit, as well as some floral notes. Significant biscuity and caramelly malt backbone too.

The taste had quite the bitter bite, but far from unpleasant, for a pale ale upon the first sip, definitely the alpha-acid King. Then a rush of citrusy hop flavors comes at you, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Some other fruity notes show up like pears and peaches, but its definitely more citrusy than anything. Great citrusy aftertaste lingers forever. Decent malty backbone of caramel and brown sugar, more than most American PAs, but then again there needs to be since there is more hops than in most APAs.

Overall: top shelf APA. This beer walks the line of IPA and PA as far as hoppiness goes. A bit heavier on flavors than most APAs (like thats a problem) but is still pretty much as drinkable as them. Outsanding.

Photo of RixBeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Hazy light amber color with a foamy off-white head.
No real retention and lacing.

Smell - Nice Citrus hop presence.

Taste - Sweet and Hoppy with a nice hop after taste.

Mouthfeel - Mouth filling without over doing it. If you like hops this beer will fill your mouth with the flavor and not let go till after it's down your gullet

Drinkability - I'm very glad I have many more of these!!!!

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

Appearance - Hazy light amber color with a foamy off-white head.
Decent retention and lacing.

Smell - Nice hop presence. Some sweet caramel malts as well.

Taste - Starts sweet from the caramel malts then the citrus hops take hold and dont let go. The caramel comes back into the mix later. It's a nice combination.

Mouthfeel - Medium/Thick body. Slides nicely accross the palate.

Drinkability - I wish this was more plentiful in my area.

Photo of wilwfu
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark Copper in color, smells like a good southern biscut, but earthier... coming from the hops. The taste and mouthfeel go hand in hand. It's a two stage beer, hops vs malts, with each trying to steal the stage from the other, yet the juxtaposition of the two holds it all together. It has a natural sweetness like maple syrup.

This beer is uber drinkable and is a fantastic, complex beer that will not, no matter how hard you try, taste the same everytime. That is not because it's inconsistent between brewings, but rather because the taste will conjur up different memories and imagery everytime... it's that good.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Deep cloudy amber, with a thick white head which lasts the glass long.

S: Piney hops mostly, some citrus, but also toffee malts make an appearance, very balanced.

T: The taste is exceptional. This is by far my favorite American Pale Ale, as Tony Kornheiser would say - "That's it, that's the list!" I love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but this is its superior. Delicious pink grapefruit coats the tongue, with a perfect malt backbone to hold it together. Fabulous.

M: Chewy bitterness, citrus hops abound, that extra kick of hops at the end adds to its smoothness and helps keep its body together through the finish.

D: The greatest APA that i've tried so far, it's just a shame I can't get it very often, an American craft brewing classic.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint from 12 oz amber bottle at about 35F.

Attractive pour, a little bit hazy, orangish amber, slight floaters. Leaves good lacing.

Aroma is a hit of potent hops, a bit piney, bit floral, a lot citrus.

Citrus hop flavor dominates the malts, but the beer is still bold on both counts.

Mouthfeel is slick, a bit effervescent, appropriately bitter.

This is definitely an IPA in Pale Ale clothing. A great beer.

Photo of number1bum
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeerTruth for this one.

Pours a slightly hazy amber with one finger of light beige head. Head diminishes slowly leaving just a thin film of lace. Some blotchy stick hugs the glass as it goes down.

You don't have to get too close to catch a whiff of this one. Awesome hop aromas of citrus, pineapple, pine and some floral notes. Smells like hop nectar and I can't wait to taste it. What else should the smell do other than make you want to drink it? Divine.

Taste is a wonderful journey of complex hop deliciousness. Starts out super fruity with some sweet malt there, as well. Then comes the pine, some more grapefruit and in creeps some hop bitterness. Finishes slightly bitter with the malt backbone coming back into the picture to provide some balance. Taste is definitely dominated by hops, but it's oh so good.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a little bit chewy. Carobnation is very subdued, and overall it's very smooth and almost too easy to drink. Awesome.

Photo of jaxon53
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recieved from brandoman63 from the brews-n-tunes summer '07 tour. Served slightly chilled in a pint glass from a twelve ounce bottle. Poured a deep copper orange , almost brown color. A thick, tight, two finger off-white head formed with a rather easy pour. Awesome nose on this one, very bitter hop aroma, grapefruit, pine, pineapple, with a nice balancing malt aroma to it. Taste was more of the same. Piney hops, mild citrus fruit notes, and somewhat grainy. Very well balanced in my opinion, mild carbonation, and some well hidden alcohol. Mouthfeel was full bodied, thick, and pleasant. Drinkability was great. An easy beer to sit down and enjoy.

Photo of TexIndy
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got in a care package from my now favorite brother-in-law along with Dreadnaught and Expedition Stout. Poured from a 12oz bottle with no dating system. Was a hazy copper color with a few bits of yeast floating in there. Had a decent head that settled to a thin film with good lacing. The smell was very hoppy and citric (either grapefruit or tangering). Really had more of a IPA smell than an APA as mentioned in other reviews. Definitely set the table for what to expect. The taste was also really good and more along an IPA than APA line. Good hops, good citric but had a slightly too bitter finish for me. Overall, an excellent beer and recommend trying. (4, RB, T, Y)

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

thanks to malcontent for the opportunity.

A: pours a dark copper orange color with a 1.5 finger beige head. Good lacing. 4

S: citrus notes, and a good hop profile. the malt is quite evident too. 4

T: A very refreshing pale ale. there's a lot of malt to make up for the hoppiness. 4

M: the hops sting quite a bit. medium body. good carbonation. 4

D: I could drink a lot of these. But I wouldn't because they're so hard for me to get that I only drink one at a time.

Personally, I think dreadnaught kicks this one's ass in taste. This is still a very nice and refreshing pale ale though.

Photo of mdm46410
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This beer poured a hazy, dark amber/copper color with a minimal tan head that faded slowly, leaving a bit of light lace. The aroma is something to behold. It consisted of grapefruit, peach, and roasted malt. Just a beautiful, big citrus/floral hop experience. The flavor is more of the same. Nice hop bitterness, balanced out by the roasted malts and some citrus sweetness. The beer has minimal carbonation with a medium to full-body. It doesn’t get much better than this. A must try from Three Floyds!

Photo of BeerTruth
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nchrist13 and tpd975 for this one!

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a somewhat murky burnt copper with a very generous two fingered off white head that takes a good while to die down to a nice lacing. Stickiness is very good, stays all over. Smell has alot of grapefuit, pine, and floral aromas in the nose. Extremely crisp odor. Flavor is so balanced. Starts off with the grapefruit then the pale malt comes through and blances it out so well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. So clean in the mouth. Drinkability is amazing, this is a pale ale? I'm thinking more like an IPA but who cares about labels, this beer is amazing.

Photo of zeff80
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a burgandy/amber color with a small, short-lived, white head. It left very nice lace.

S - It smelled strongly of citrus. Also, notes of grass, malt and sweetness.

T - It tasted very hoppy (Cascade). Also, a good dose of bitterness. The roasted malt flavor was outstanding, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This truly is an outstanding tasting APA. I was surprised at the lackluster appearance, but maybe that was a fluke.

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

The cap actually took a bit of effort to pry off, it was on there pretty well, and released quite a large hiss when it did come off. It poured a deep orange, almost clear, but ever so slightly hazy. The head picked up quite some steam in the last 1/3 of the pour, forming a couple finger, semi-rocky head, though it did dwindle down into a cap fairly fast. Good lacing was left on the glass as well.

The aroma was of fruity citrus, plain and simple. The hops exert themselves very nicely. The taste is a punch of juicy berry and citrus at the beginning that transitions ever so nicely into pine at the end. No lingering bitterness present here.

The mouthfeel was ok. This bottle was well carbonated but the carbonation only exerts itself on the very tip of the tongue at the start of each sip. Towards the back end it feels a bit too smooth, if that's possible, but still good overall. Just a fantastically flavorful pale ale without being too over-the-top for the style. I was leery about the hype, not having tried anything from Three Floyd's before, but this was superb.
4.5 / 4.5 / 5 / 4 / 4.5

Just had another bottle last night. I'm not as big on this beer now as I was when I originally had it. It's good. It's pretty tasty, but it's more like an interestingly hopped amber ale. Easy to drink though.
Ratings adjusted to:
4 / 4 / 4 / 4 / 4.5

Photo of tpd975
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yet another thanks to my brother for smuggling this baby across state lines and into Florida.

A: A lovely rusty amber color with a nice 2 finger head that disappers to nearly nothing. Left lacing all the way down the glass; Beautiful.

S: Hops are yelling at me from the bottom of this glass. Grass, Pine, and citrus come wafting from this pint.

T: This brew is dominated by hops and pine. It has a slight citrus finish that makes it very refreshing.

M: This baby is pretty hoppy for a regular IPA. The mouthfeel is medium but the finish is oh so refreshing.

D: Yep! This baby goes down like a champ. I get as much as I can via the brother pipeline on his trips to Florida, but not enough to make it regularly sessionable. If it were this would be my session beer.

Overall: Come on its 3 Floyds you know it has to be great. What I like about this beer is it pushes the edge for IPA's. It has enough hops to push it on the verge of a DIPA without going too far. The taste is wonderful and they go down sooo smootly. I proclaim this beer sessionable and great!

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bold, bronze in color with a small, cream-colored head. A slight haze caused by bottle conditioning (atleast thats what the bottle told me).

A boldly citrusy aroma. Hops, hops, and hops.

Similar to the smell, the flavor is huge on citrus hops. A bit piney. Really an outstanding flavor. Good stuff, real good stuff.

Excellent, ok heck, perfect mouthfeel for this beer. Just a touch over medium-bodied with superb carbonation. Hoppy, clean, and refreshing.

Great drinkability here, but like most pale ales in my diet these days, a couple in a row may be the max.

Photo of tapman
3.58/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I get that the 3Fs make decent brews, but why the hefty price tag for the big bottles? Oh well, as for their more affordable Alpha King...

Pours rusty-red and orange hues towards the lighter bottom of the glass. Not much head at 1 finger, but the lacing sticks with it pretty well.

The aromas are citrus and grass with hints of pomegranate for that not-too-sweet fruitiness.

I believe the hops I'm getting are cascade, the most abundant American hop unless I am mistaken then please tell me. Earthy/grassy tartness with a bit of an alcohol sting. There is a sea-saltiness that compliments the bread-like malt back.

The carbonation is crispy. Overall the beer is creamy and smooth with a stingy finish.

Quite decent. I could enjoy 2-3 of these before the taste buds need a break from being worked so hard. I look forward to trying the $17 bottles one day, but for now this will do just fine.

Photo of ChrisA
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unfortunately for Alpha King I drank this right after I had my first Bell's Two Hearted. It's very difficult to go from a tremendous IPA like that to a Pale Ale. Since I love the hops, I was disappointed in the taste of Alpha King. In retrospect, It was probably much better than I realized and actually stood up well for being an APA. As far as pale ales go, this should be a solid offering. But why drink Pale Ales when you can drink IPA's?

Photo of letsgopens
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pale ale pours a light golden amber with nice pearl head that diminishes relatively quickly with decent lace. Fairly standard, but a bit more textured than many brews of this style.

A nice bite and appetizing hoppiness greets the nostril once the head has receded. Light fruits, citrus, hops, and pine.

Flavor-wise, this ale is clean and refreshing with a nice, very pronounced hoppiness and a bit of alcohol. Some fruit in the finish, lemon and other undistinguished citrus tang and spicy pine.

Bright and refreshing, but retaining some nice body, with natural carbonation. A great pairing with fish or chicken on the grill this summer. Another success from the fine folks at Three Floyd's.

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

Having read about 3 Floyds and not finding it where I live, I was very happy to have finally tried this. Alpha King Pale Ale is the first of this brewery's beers I am trying.

Great copper color, and capped with a nice 1 finger head that quickly subsided.

Wonderful floral aroma, inviting me to take a drink.

Full flavor, great mouthfeel. The malty sweetness is there for just a second before the hops lets you know what this beer is all about -but in a balanced way.

This beer is really good...I wish I had another...

Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: A vigorous pour reveals a creamy, two-finger head that caps a cloudy, copper-colored body. The head gradually recedes to a clumpy skim that provides a decent amount of lace.

S: Piney! Pine forest aroma right off the bat that plays host to the perfect amount of caramel malt and a pinch of sweet, juicy, pineapple.

T: Fresh cut pine boughs mixed with the perfect amount of sweet caramel malt, a toasted bread quality, freshly mown grass, pineapple, and a hint of tangy red apple.

M: Juicy and oily at the very beginning that turns dry and spicy towards the middle and continues on into the finish. There is a delicious lingering bitterness, on the tongue, that sticks around for ages.

D: To me, this is just about as close to perfection as you can get in an APA. Perfectly balance between smell, taste, and mouthfeel. An absolute joy to drink. This is so good it should be illegal.

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

The best part of the FFF label is the little map! Alpha King appears rusty copper, a thin cap of foam quickly dwindles to nothing. No lacing. Smell is floral hops and some sugary malts. A very subtle blend. Taste is a spicy hop blast. Some piney ether as well. Just enough sweetness to temper the hops. A touch of full sweetness gets cleaned up by a great full hop blast. Extremely drinkable, refreshing even.

Photo of oakbluff
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Born on date- who the hell knows? Pours out a cloudy copper with minimal head - some soapy lacing. Smell is nothing to write home about- some fading hops. Taste- quite spritzy which surprised me given the lack of head. Grassy hops with a soapy aftertaste. Malt is solid- tobacco and solid caramel flavours. Its quite tasty, but doesn't blow me away. Maybe its the age- I can't imagine I have a bottle at its peak of freshness. First time trying, so I risked the purchase in my excitement not knowing its age. The hops are there, just in weird muted kind of way. given the rep of FFF, I was expecting more. Truthfully, pass the SNPA, as this pale ale doesn't match the benchmark classic american pale that is Sierra Nevada. I would love a chance to try fresh on tap or bottle. Until they date these suckers, I can't cut any slack.

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

A- Thin tan head on a pretty clear dark orange/brown body.
S- Pine and grapefruit hops, simcoe hops come through pretty strong (or another type that smells damn close to simcoe). Hints of grapefruit too. Sweet malt body comes through too.
T- Follows the smell. Big hop bite comes out nicely. Pine and light fruity hops blend well together.
M_ Medium/full body with medium/low carbonation.
D- I think it is very tasty. Hops come through very nice but it doesn't totally cut out the malt body.

Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,358 ratings.