1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  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 - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,348 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,348
Reviews: 1,687
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 872
Gots: 632 | 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: 5,348 | Reviews: 1,687 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours very dark for a pale ale...is a dark amber that is more reminiscent of a barley wine. The head appears a bit soapy, with large uneven bubbles, particularly a moment after pouring.

Smell is less like familiar hop bitterness than it is like pure citrus-ness. Given the very dark appearance of this beer, the smell is much lighter than I would've guessed.

The taste is extremely good. Full and sweet up front, with citrus note throughout the finish. This beer is very apparently bitter, but not in an intimidating or challenging way.

Like Gumballhead, mouthfeel is light and pleasant for such a big beer. This beer is not at all "sticky" the way many big IPAs/APAs are today.

I could drink a few of these...I should say, I would really enjoy having a few of these.

Photo of fisherman34
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled sample from trevorwideman via demcorhip. Medium amber in colour with a bit of haze. Slightly below average carbonation for the style. Dominant pine needle aroma, with some background notes of sweet citrus, both sweet and toasted malts, and even a bit of yeastiness. In the mouth, there is more pine, but more reminiscent of the wood itself as opposed to the fragrant needles. The citrus notes become more distinctive and remind me of tangerine, mandarin orange, and grapefruit. The hop flavors are substantial, but their sharpness is blunted by the equally assertive malt presence. The bitterness is about on par with the style, which is somewhat of a disappointment considering the name of the beer. Overall, this is a very well executed beer, but not the mind blowing, mouth-puckering experience I was hoping for. Something a little dryer and a little more bitter with the same amount of complexity would have garnered a higher rating from me.

Photo of Pegasus
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear light copper in color, with a small white head, thick broken lacing, and faint carbonation.

Aroma: Massive pine tar and grapefruit hops, with sweet caramel malt beneath, and a dazzling array of light fruits, including peach, melon, and orange.

Taste: Strong pine tar hops dominate from start to finish, sweet caramel malt notes struggle to assert themselves, largely failing in the attempt. The pine tar hop notes linger on and on, well past the end of the taste, with a persistent bitter note.

Mouth feel: Very soft and full, almost syrupy, with no carbonation noted.

Drinkability/notes: Superbly well-made, but quite biased toward the hops, hop-heads will surely be delighted, for everyone else, it may be a bit much.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber color with a cream colored head and has some nice lacing.

Aroma is strong of citrusy and floral hops, like something such as a IIPA. Very nice with notes of grapefruit, bubble gum and a faint caramel smell.

Despite smelling more like an IPA, the taste is more up to par with an APA. A great tasting pale ale with a little malty sweetness up front followed up by some nice citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasantly carbonated.

A very drinkable beer. I will buy this again if it is available too me. I had to go out of my way to get this and I am not disappointed. A great beer.

Photo of quasimoto
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep amber/light copper color I seem to have stirred up the yeast in the bottom. Has a light off-white head, that leaves a little lace.

S - Strong aromas of citrusy hops, Grapefruit, lemon-lime, some bubble gum and some grass. The malt just barely peeks out from the back.

T - The aromas transfer to the taste of it. Nice Grapefruit citrus hops are dominate, but then turn to a nice resiny hop flavor. The is the malt in the back ground but its gone out.

M - Actually for a pale ale it seems a little heavy. Normally they tend to be a little lighter.

D - Definitely drinkable, but a little heavy for the style.

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

3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Alpha King - Pale Ale @ 6.0%

Appearance: Slightly cloudy amber color. Darker than I expected from a pale ale. Great head with sufficient lacing throughout the entire glass. The cap almost broke my opener so this was sealed with love!

Smell: Citrusy large presence of hops. More of an IPA type smell to it than a Pale Ale. A nice sweet malt hint that I can't wait to taste.

Taste: Wow, not any typical Pale ale for sure! A huge concentration of hops. I'm getting a toffee-like hint along with big hops, piney, grapefruit undertones. A well balanced pale ale? Didn't know that this could exist. For a Pale Ale, this is superb, hell if you told me this was an IPA, I wouldn't argue. It blows many IPA's I've had, away.

Mouthfeel: The brew has a creamy feel which covers the palate with flavor from first swig. I don't know if this is a pale ale. I would classify it closer to an IPA.

Drinkability: This beer puts SNPA to shame. It is an APA on steriods and holds a very solid complex hoppy, malty, bitter-sweet masterpiece together. I could drink this all night. Too bad its not readily available in SoCal. I got this in a trade from Northertimber.

In all, this beer would rate as one of the best Pale Ales that I've ever tried. The folks at 3 Floyds are amazing and I can't wait to try Dreadnaught someday. Thanks Chris for this one!

Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-amber pour, with a good head of foam.
Smells of sweet citrus, and piney hops.

Tastes malty with a hoppy zing upfront, and an almost smoky grain note in the aftertaste. Very balanced, not heavy-handed with the hops, just right. Feels "round" in the mouth, not too rich, but there's a fullness there. Velvety and smooth.

Wish I had more than one, oh well...

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

Copper red. Extra fine beige head settles quickly to an incomplete cap.

Resiny, citric hops lead the nose. Caramelly, bready malt lies underneath providing more than ample support. Excellent balance, and complexity. Very nice indeed.

Even better in the mouth, where a medium body conveys that magic FFF juicy hop flavor. Again, there is excellent balance between the big maltiness and even bigger hop load. Finishes with a long, lingering hop bitterness. Major league.

Mild, extremely fine carbonation from the bottle conditioning gives a lush mouthfeel. Liquid velvet. Perilously drinkable. Amazingly this is probably my third favorite of the regular FFF line-up, but that speaks to the quality of Pride & Joy and Robert the Bruce rather than to any problems with this beer. Top notch stuff.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade with DavidEddie (thanks!). Poured to a pint glass. What is an "Alpha King"? - the label shows what seems to be a tubby version of the Hulk, sporting a golden crown and sprinkling loose hop cones into a pint of beer. All hail the Alpha King...

A: Hazy amber with a creamy/fluffy 1.5 finger head. Retains the head nicely and offers a thick lace. Bottle-conditioning means there are some floating particulates - still a very nice looking brew.

S: Hops - sweet and juicy citrus with a liberal dose of resinous pine. Cascade and Centennial hops mostly. Caramel sugary sweetness provides balance.

T: Malt presence is sweet and full. Zesty citrus hop flavors of grapefruit, oranges and rind. A little spicy tasting and with a slight hint of toasted nuts. Very, very juicy and great balance. Bitterness is less pronounced.

M: Smooth and almost creamy. Medium mouthfeel and body. Salivation-causing hops leave you craving more.

D: Very nice beer, excellent flavors and balance - one that you could drink several of...

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

Slightly cloudy off-orange in color. Decent tiny tan head that maintains superior retention. Near sugary lines of patching will retain until the sunlight of tomorrow is upon us. The nose is largely citrus hops, a sinus cleansing dose; pine cones and grapefruit, crossing the IPA side here! Bold and big…are the hops, citrus and piney in flavor. To get technical, my seasoned taste buds can quickly pick up on the centennial and cascade hop offerings; warrior hops, hmm. Massive flavor of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and orange peels. There is a moderate caramel malt backbone, yet it is certainly second fiddle to the three letter h word. Full bodied and loaded with flavor. The best APA on the market, search for it, find it, secure it. World class! A liquid-hops-induced delight!

Photo of ndekke39
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness date. Pours a nice reddish-orange color, with a small, off-white head. Very good retention. Sweet and hoppy aroma, smells like a cross between an IPA and a Scottish Ale. Piney hops, touch of caramel. Excellent aroma of toasted barley that comes out as the beer warms to room temperature. Taste is dominated by the hops, but the barley balances it nicely. Good, creamy mouthfeel. Very easily drinkable beer. This is my first time trying a Three Floyd's offering, and I will definitely sample more.

Photo of flexabull
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours bright orange, slightly hazy, a small head with a little lacing.

Aromas are quite nice. Citrus and pine like hop notes. A touch of sweetness is present in the smell too.

Mouthfeel is good on the first sip, a very full well rounded beer. This reminds me a bit more like an IPA than a standard APA... but so what... it's good.

Flavors are sweet and creamy up front, with a nice touch of hoppy citrus on the finish.

Another East Coast beer that I have tried that would lend itself well to sessions. Not over the top, just well done. A nice beer, thanks for the opportunity MuenchenerKindl.

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

Pours a peached copper/amber with a bumpy almond head that retains very well and leaves thick sheets of lacing. Smells primarily of juniper and grapefruit. There is some toasted grain in the background along with malt sweetness. Pretty much the same lines in terms of flavor, although I never expected the hop flavors to be this pronounced and bitter. There's a slight nuttiness to the malt as well. Mouthfeel is incredibly soft and of sturdy body. If I had more than one of these, I could drink them all night.

Photo of ddarden
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured dark copper with a small off white head that fell pretty quickly. Dark for a pale ale. The smell is all hops...grapefruit and pine, but more citrus. A small amount of malt comes through, but the smell is definitely about the hops. The first sip yeilds a very balanced hop punch and nice malt. The hops are predominate in this brew and are very citrusy. This is a bit over the top to be classified as a pale ale, this is definitely a very nice American IPA. As the grapefruit flavor dies down, a nice doughy malt flavor comes through and then ends with a nice bitter. Mouthfeel of this beer is medium and nicely carbonated. I will have to say this is another great beer by 3 Floyds and I would drink it very regularly if it was available locally. This beer tastes like the Dreadnaughts little brother. Excellent beer but I think it is mis-catagorized as an APA.

Photo of trevorwideman
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, thanks to demcorhip for this as part of a really great trade.

Pours with a 1/4 inch of head, dissipates to a thin lace that hangs out for the duration of the glass. Deep blood orange colour, unfiltered with mild carbonation. As I put the glass to my nose I began to laugh because the nose was everything and more than I expected, this just smells insanely good. Tons of sweet and spicy oily hops, mild citrus, but more floral and fruity. There's a hefty malt backbone there as well. nothing hidden here, just pure flavour that is extremely inviting.

Taste is just wow. It's times like this that I'm most thankful for my sense of taste. Enormous hop presence, grapefruit, orange, licorice, herbs with a lovely light caramel/honey backbone and some toasted malts. Bitterness is pleasant and not overbearing, that said, it's still a hophead beer, the balance definitely leans towards the juicy hops. Sticky and a little oily in the mouth with a dry finish that goes on forever. This is absolutely the hoppiest APA I've ever had, and it's welcome. I'm feeling a very lucky man to be drinking this right now, it's like an elixir to cure all my ills.

Photo of rrg1gb
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured into pint glass, dark amber color with fair amount of carbonation and only a little bit of head with poor retention

S - strong, citric aroma, dominated by hints of grapefruit

T - American hops dominate all of flavor, dry & snappy, bitterness tastes just like its aroma - grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit

M - It's still the hops that dominate the pallet from beginning to end. If there's an malt flavor, it's taking the backseat.

D - This is good, but it's darker and much more bitter than any other APA I've had. It should almost be an IPA. It's still good, but doesn't seem to fall under the characteristics of its style.

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

Pours out clear Ice tea color with just a little white suds and very little lacing.
Smell is very complex. Plum and cherry and cinammon and carmel. The hops and the alcohol are in the back but very detectable.
Taste is wonderful. Plum and grapefruit and coffee and caramel with spices. Then the Pine. Man, this is the most Piney brew I have had to date. MMMM these are great hops.
Mouthfeel is a little oily but after the alcohol leaves the piney feel stays with you for quite some time.
6% means you should limit yourself but the flavor says "gimme one more please".

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

Pours a dark dirty orange color with a medium sized off white head that has pretty good retention.
Big fresh and pungent aromas of grapefruit, peach, and pine. Sweet maltiness is also very present in the nose. This is really a great smelling beer.
Big fresh hop notes up front characterized by citrusy fruit sweetness surrounded with nice bready malt backbone. Hints of pine and a bitter bite is in the trail end of each sip.
Very drinkable. Tasty and pretty well balanced, the hop profile is nice and pronounced, if I had better access to this beer it would be a regular in my fridge.

Photo of HopsHops
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


To me this is just about as good as it gets...

I'm on my second one and i just got home about 20 minutes ago

i poured it into my big mug...it sticks to it great, thin but nice head,

not too strong not too weak, hoppy bitterness is there which i absolutely love...it isnt sticky but this stuff is great i could drink it all night....3 floyds is the shit...wow....this stuff is probably the best pale ale ive ever tried... there was sediment in the bottom of my mug for f**k sake....i apologize for my language on this one i just want people to know i am serious about this review...the color is beautiful....this will be my main from now on i reckon ....I love it ..its too good i will drink too much of it tonight im sure...GREAT JOB FFF

Photo of Osiris9588
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date, but there is a map guiding one to the brewery in Munster, Indiana upon the label. It pours a clean amber color, the off-white head standing creamy and froth, about two fingers tall--a slight cap forms in the center as it shows outstanding retention and leaves behind beau coup sticky lace.

The nose is dominated by citrus and spicy hops, resulting in an overall fragrant, floral aroma. Its smell is quinessentially IPA--though it's not categorized as such .

The flavor is dominated, yet certaintly not overwhelmed by, hops. Some citrus, various spicey notes, and slightly sweet malt play into the complex, yet well-rounded and balanced taste.

The mouth begins somewhat velvety, then moves into the dry hoppy bitterness undercut by lemony notes and peppery spices. I could drink this all night, by itself or with almost any entree. A damn fine ale fo sho.

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

Poured a clear, deep copper color with a medium yellow head.

Smells like citrus, mainly grapefruit. Followed by a sharp pine hops.

The front taste is quite mellow compared to what I was expecting from the smells and style. A thick bready front dominates the rest of the flavors. In the middle, it really blows up nicely with citrus and grapefruit zest. It ends with a big transition to the pine tartness in the aftertaste that lingers into an enjoyable bitterness.

Carbonation is perfect. It has a silky feel, almost creamy without being foamy, and quite light.

Drinkability is high with the thinness of the beer. Also, if one attacks this as an IPA, it's a little bit more mellow than some others. An interesting beer.

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

12 oz. bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A: Reddish-copper in hue, a bit hazy. Full white head gives plenty of lacing, spotty around the glass.

S: Sweet malts, cocoa, raisin/fig. Oily hop scents--orange and pine--mix beautifully with the manifold malts. One of the best-smelling brews I've ever encountered.

T: Endlessly unfolding malt flavors--baker's chocolate, raisins/figs, sweet bread and biscuit. Intertwining hop, oily pine, slick citrus tastes. Incredibly complex and flavorful. Seems like an IPA base with many interesting and complementary additions.

M: Light feel, slight drying, clean through the aftertaste. Smooth.

D: An excellent beer, well-crafted. Three Floyds deserves their reputation, and it's even better that they are located in my parents' hometown.

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

Had this beer numerous times, both bottle and tap. I decided now is the time to let you all know how I feel about this beer.

Appearance- Good two finger head that drys to a thick foam in my impy pint glass. No bubbling, but some standard, English, lacing. Great, slightly hazy, deep amber, tan hue. A little sediment is noticeable too.

Smell- Smells like a hop Christmas tree. Citrusy, resiny hops burst into my nostrils with hints of pine and holly. Awesome.

Taste- Greeted with the normal citrusd peel, but more emphasis on grapfruit zest and some malts. Bread and hop water, yeah. Could only taste some very faint pine at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel- A little dry but still very cleansing with its normal astringency.

A beer that will always have a place in my fridge. Abd you should make room in yours.

Bow down to the King of Kings.

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

I have tried this beer twice. The first was not as good of an experience as the bottles may have had a hard trip to the West Coast.

The score is based on the second and better experience.

I was lucky enough to get some in the Chicago area and it was much different and better to say the least. The beer from Chicago was considerably fresher and the citrus and a honey back flavor were much stronger.

I am glad I gave it a second chance.


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

This beer is brewed not far from my house and until now I have been too intimidated to review it. Perhaps it says something of my developing palate that I loved it and can fully appreciate this one.

His Highness, the Alpha King, arrived in a pint glass lightly hazed and deep amber in color. His crown was a creamy tan finger of sudsy foam. The lacing was delightfully thick and sticky.
The smell was all about his Majesty’s hops. Primarily scents of green leafy hops, grapefruit citrus, pine resin, and light florals were noted with sweet caramel malts and light fruity esters rounding out the nose.
The taste was piney, grapefruit citrus acidity with a solid sweet malty backbone and a moderately assertive bitterness with a pleasant dry finish. Hoppy, but still well balanced.
There was moderate carbonation, a medium body and slick, oily mouthfeel.

Long live the King! This is assertively hopped, well balanced and highly drinkable. I will visit the kingdom again, soon.

Alpha King from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,348 ratings.