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 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

5,030 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,030
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 842
Gots: 525 | 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: 5,030 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sideshowrob
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great APA/IPA beer. Poured a nice bubbly amber color out of the bottle into a logo'ed pint glass. A fair amount of frothy head, which didn't last too long.

Smell was alive with hops. Rather bitter aroma.

Taste was fairly complex and had some real depth to it. Definately a brew that lives up to its label. Maltheads would probably not like this brew much at all.

Good mouthfeel, lots of zest and zing to it. The reasonalble levels of carbonation give it some good pop.

A very easy to drink beer. A really good "stock" beer to have in the fridge.

sideshowrob, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of Sixpack595
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A rich copper color with a full tan head that leaves a touch of lacing. Citrus hop aroma with a bready caramel malt backing it up. Taste is quite good with alot of malt showing up as it warms. Moutfeel is full and gives the beer a nice rich feeling. One of the better APAs.

Sixpack595, Jun 29, 2004
Photo of RocketWidget
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to BuckeyeNation for letting me sample this brew.

Pours a deep, dark red amber with moderate lacy off-white head. Smell is light, smells crisp with a little hoppyness. Taste is good, hoppy yet smooth, there is nothing to complain about here. Very drinkable, this would be a great conversion beer to recruit fine men and women to the BeerAdvocate army. Yummy.

RocketWidget, Jun 27, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pale ale rocks! Pours an orange-amber color with a nice white head that retains throughout the beer. Nice lacings all over the place. This bad boy smells hoppy and a hint of citrus or fruit. I definitely tast hops, a touch of citrus, a hint of floral, and a smidgen of alcohol. This stuff goes down easy. Drinkability...are you kidding me? It's gone already? I could easily throw down a six pack of this over friends and a cookout. Pale ales aren't even my favorite style but this will be a regular in my stash. Drink it if you got it!

mattcrill, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of Gavage
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber / orange in color with a 1" head that produced some mild lacing. The aroma is very hoppy, which gets your tastebuds ready for the initial taste. The hops are all over this one, as malt and fruity tones balance this out well. This really leans towards the IPA scale with bitterness and bite, but doesn't go overboard.

The mouthfeel was smooth and the finish was too. The bitterness and fruitiness lasted a short while on the tongue. This was a medium bodied brew that had nice carbonation levels. Very drinkable and could easily be a session brew for any hophead.

Gavage, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of newyawker
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I ever had it. At Brewtopia beer festival in New York. Nice, full whiteness for a head. Big, hoppy, flower like fragrance and a brisk carbonation. Cloudy, orange-banana color. Smooth, easy drinking and yet big and hop infected neverthless. One of the best beers I have ever tasted.

newyawker, Jun 21, 2004
Photo of rastaman
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty nice stuff, quite sweet at first, then quite bitter towards the end. Rich palate, full of flavour, a soft smooth texture. Sweet malts, a nicely bitter aromtaic hops. Main flavours of lychee, pine, grapefruit (sweet). Satisfying bitterness. A slightly stronger version of an APA, Tasty stuff.

rastaman, Jun 18, 2004
Photo of oracle
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

20 oz imperial pint in a traditional english pint glass

This beer is medium to light amber with medium density white head that left little lacing.

Smell is STRONGLY of hops. with strong citrus aromas dominating.

Taste - absolutely outstanding. Strong hoppy at the front with a wonderful citrus middle. Finishes much more cleanly than a lot of other extremely hoppy beers it might be compared with. Well crafted and complex in character, this beer should be appreciated slowly.

This beer drinks clean and easy for such a hoppy ale. It seems to me to be closer to an IPA than a Pale Ale.

Overall, excellent and highly recommended.

oracle, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a nice dark red/amber color with nice sized white head. Has good head retention and leaves some lacing around the glass. Smell is dominated by the hops mainly citrus and there is some malt too it as well. The taste is all about the hops, which dominate the initial flavors. There is some malt to it and it has a nice bitter aftertaste, a very balanced taste. Has a nice think and creamy mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. A great pale ale that is very complex and makes for one of my favorite session beers.

meathookjones, Jun 03, 2004
Photo of Foxman
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a hazy coppery amber with ample sediment. Two fingers of spongy beige head swell promptly and dwindle quite slowly. Tongues of lacing lick the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, lightly toasted malt lurks, but is outplayed by the hops, combining grapefruit, mandarin orange, and a hint of mint. A fleeting glimpse of licorice flashes by before the yeast and hops linger at the finish.

Upon sipping, the hops get first dibs, with a mild piney perfume mingled with dry grapefruit and berry notes, all of which buoy a caramel malt sweetness. A muted undertone of dark toffee flits ephemerally in the middle. A citrusy sweetness establishes itself toward the end, where a dry hops bitterness lingers on the tongue and cheek. With a light touch of fair complexity, the flavor brings plenty of intrigue to the table.

A touch shy of medium bodied, the elements blend to coat well and leave a long lingering hoppy glow on the palate at the finish.

It may be pale ale, but there are plenty of IPA's that don't come on this capably and this strong. With a crafty balance and a sly blended complexity, it keeps the palate interested from the get-go. And with the refreshing elements in full splendor, it's absolutely, positively very drinkable. It's a whole lot better than most session beers, but the ABV is quite manageable, and damned if I can think of why I wouldn't want to have plenty of these available at any given time.

Foxman, Jun 02, 2004
Photo of xgrigorix
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle. No dates.

Deep auburn colour, topped by a dense beige head. Plenty of sticky lace is left clinging to the glass.

Big grapefruity citrus aromas wrapped around resinous pine notes. Dive in!

Hopheads delight! Big juicy orange / grapefruit flavous, along with intense pine. Fortunately theres enough sweetness / malt to hold this thing together. Medium bodied, slightly creamy, gentle carbonation.

xgrigorix, May 26, 2004
Photo of ark57
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a clear dark copper/amber with a good sized beige head and it has some lacing. The aroma has a lot of hops (mostly cirtus with some floral notes) and some malt. I get juicy grapefruit from the hops and a slight caramel maltiness in the background. It becomes slightly sweet and malty and then the hops finish up with a well balanced bitterness. It is over the top, but just a fine pale ale.

ark57, May 18, 2004
Photo of andyo
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark red, almost slightly brown. Left a real nice head that stuck around for a while. Whilst drinking this beer, I noticed a very nice lace that clung to the glass for dear life. Very nice.

This beer had a very big taste. Most notable was the floral/bitter combination, mixed with some very heavy citrus malt flavors. Great balance with the hops too. Nice crisp mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. The aftertaste was huge, with a pleasant bitter/fruity taste that lingered on my tongue till the next sip.

This is a great beer that begs to be drunk time after time

andyo, May 18, 2004
Photo of Skidz
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out deep yellow and sits a reddish-amber in the glass. Small white head stays with the whole way down, and leaves a good amout of skim on the surface.

Smells largely hoppy, with notes of raisins, prunes, caramel and a slight nutty aroma blended in an all-together earthy blend.

Tastes sweet overall with caramel and drak fruity esters making the mass of the beer. Nice hoppy finish with good bitterness to boot. Light citrus zest-like flavor picks up at the very end.

Super smooth with very mild carbonation. Easy to drink, with good taste and silky flow.

Skidz, May 13, 2004
Photo of rabidawg
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear glowing orange with a medium white head. Decent sticky and irregular lacing, with moderate carbonation. Obviously filtered.

Smell: For a beer that's dry hopped, I'm not altogether impressed with the aroma. Slightly spicy hops with a decent backbone of sweet malts.

Taste: Initial bittersweet mix of spicy hops and complex malts. Creamy in the mouth, with nice balance. Don't get me wrong, it is a bitter beer, with massive high-alpha bittering hops for a pale ale. But balance is the name of the game here. Relatively high alcohol is barely noticeable except for a warming of the face. Nice finish, with juicy citrus flavor.

rabidawg, May 10, 2004
Photo of benmiliron
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $1.71 for a 12 oz single.

This is probably the best standard pale ale I've ever had. Definitely the Alpha King; as the name implies, a seriously hopped beer here. Malt is second (but still present) to citrusy hops. Wonderful. A great session beer. I wish we could get more 3 Floyds stuff in NW Ohio.

benmiliron, May 08, 2004
Photo of yemenmocha
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Basic amber color, generous head with good retention.

Ample pine needles on the nose. Very piny. Almost all hops on the nose, maybe a tad of candied malty notes.

Flavor is predominatly of the hop flavors, especially up front. Only later on the palate do you detect the malt. Huge hoppy peak and aftertaste. This beer is all about the hops.

IPA fans will find this very drinkable (compared to other IPA's, in my view) however I find it slightly challenging. Likely I'll only drink one at a time and then move on to a different beer.

yemenmocha, May 08, 2004
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Spoils of Charlottesville Run, 4.30.04.

A lovely, slightly candied hop aroma came a-bubbling up from my Alpha King after I poured the translucent nectarine-shaded (yes, I stole that, but it's a perfect description--thanks felonious) brew.

On the front end, I'll say that my expectations for this beer were exceedingly high.

It met them.

This has "everyday beer" written all over it -- in that, it's so good, you'd be lucky to be able to drink it every day. I know I would...if I could. It's flavor is all-around brilliance, subtle yet bright, an intoxicating (beyond the alcohol) blend of sweet citrus and floral hops, melded perfectly with a touch of soft malts around the edges, giving the beer a nice, stiff backbone for the hops to layer upon.

A little more subtle than Stone IPA (expected, because it's not an IPA), but similarly brilliant, especially to be so hoppy, yet so drinkable.

I'm sold. Too bad the nearest place I know to buy one is a four hour drive away...But you know, it's almost worth it.

RockyTopHeel, May 06, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was first introduced to this beer, I was warned that it wasn't for everyone, and at the very least took some getting used to, after all "it's not normal." I'd already had an affection for the hops, and, well, it was love at first sniff and sip.
Years later, after the bloom of fresh infatuation has mellowed, how does the beer compare, especially after this tongue has met so many others, with abundant charms? That is what we seek to discover...
Perfect crimson-tinged nectarine hue, hazy, and blessed with a beautiful bed of froth up on top, leaving delicate lace, enticing the eye. Aroma makes matters worse for the thirst, big fruit, fresh hops, peachy, melon, orange, and, yes, mango, and more, a bountiful bouquet that keeps the nose happy and hoppy. Man, but I need a taste, though!
An explosion in the mouth, the hops are a bursting throughout, but so well buttressed by malt, that any bitterness is mellow and well smoothed out, after an initial bite, at least. Like chomping into a ripe tangerine, juice splashing on the corners of the mouth and dripping down the chin. Though hoppiness flows freely, and bitterness peeks through time and again, the mouthfeel is actually soft and luxuriant, body is medium, and the overall effect is a constant joyride for the palate. A lively and rewarding ale, and a real American classic, a jewel in the craft-brew crown. Count yourself lucky if you can grab these with ease.
Ah, I once had it on-tap around here...those were some fine days...
Thanks to jables for the reunion, after too, too long!

feloniousmonk, May 04, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amazingly dark ruby beer that pulls up a bleached white head. Sticky lacing on the glass, none inside of the pitcher.

This beer doesn't have the rich maltiness found in the bottle. The nose and taste is not the citrusy grapefruit bouquet of the bottle, its a rich cherry-like blend of large up-front hops.

The mouthfeel was not as pleasant as the bottle, but a damned good experience nonetheless.

GreenWBush, May 01, 2004
Photo of wailingwench
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I initially have a problem with anything from Indiana. Syracuse vs. Indiana, 1987, Keith Smart, need I say more? This beer almost made up for those last 3.4 seconds. Randomly tried at The Raven, Oswego, NY.

Foam Factor: Cloudy yellow with some orange highlights. Thick yellow tinted head present throughout.Mesmerized by the dry hops that were floating in it. They captivated me and commanded me to drink more. Of course I complied. A beer that talks to me is a beer worth drinking.

Skunk Factor: Bold and complex. Hops initially overpower. As Alpha warms, floral, citrus, and a hint of something pine chime in.

Tongueland: Tongue was happy. Blunt and bold hop offering at first, but like the aroma, taste became more complex. Finished rich, dense, and well balanced at the end.

Bender: At 7%, whoo hoo. I had the intention of just trying one of these before going with Black Forest for the night. Well, I never made it to the Forest as I detoured staright into Hopland. In addition, I was on my way home to Buffalo. This beer convinced me to get a hotel room and stay over so we could become better friends.

wailingwench, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of Ellbert
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Orange with brown highlights. A yellowish head crowns this brew. A beautiful sight. What is this... floaties... bits of hops... you can't get much bette.r

Smell: It smells like fresh hops. There is little malt in the smell but the hops just smell so inviting. They over-take the aroma and invite you in. Very citrusy.

Taste: This is not as apealing as the smell but it is good. If you like sharp fresh hops this is great. The hops are upfront... They seem to overpower until halfway into the brew. As it warms up it balances more. The malt decides to play more of a role and steps up to the plate to hand it to the hops. The hops linger and leave an oily coating on your tongue. There is a little caramel in there towards the end. The alcohol is not evident.

Mouthfeel: Rich and dense. The hops impart an oily smoothness that coats your mouth. The malt adds body to the beer and the hop oils strengthen it.

Drinkability: This is not for the faint of heart. It is very blunt with the hops in aroma, flavor, and even appearance with the hop floaties.

Ellbert, Apr 24, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a foamy white head. The smell is a strong citrus hop. The taste is fairly hoppy, but at over 7% the malt shows up quite a bit as well, and a lingering bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, I could have a few of these.

Ahh, a not bad pale ale at all, and I appreciated the chance to give it a try, and I might well have it again.

beergeek279, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.58/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep hazy copper with a creamy dense tan head. Lacy.

Smell: Citrusy hops, floral and sweet

Taste: Bitter and tart citrus. Smooth lightly sweet malt. Floral.

Mouth: Long hoppy finish, medium bodied.

Drink: Tasty and quite drinkable.

Overall: A bit unbalanced for a pale ale but it does have character. The malt profile could be more steadfast and while it is nicely hopped it doesn't have much to complement it. All in all though a good brew.

ViveLaChouffe, Apr 15, 2004
Photo of Quaffer
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at Dirty John's in Iowa City. Not available in Wichita.

Appearance. Poured a dark amber, slightly burnished copper color. An average height head caused by a relatively rough pour. It was thick and dense and left plenty of lace in its wake.

Smell: Citrus and pine hops assaulted the nose first, but was balanced well with a backbone of roasted malt. For the amount of hops present, the aroma was warm and well rounded.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth.

Taste: The citrus and pine hops of the aroma carried on into the flavor. They were nice and clean tasting. Wonderful balance was provided by a strong malt presence. Malt was a combination of sweet and roasted. The bitterness was very apparent, but I found it to be relatively low compared to the amount of hop flavor that this beer had.

This was a great beer. Very hoppy but very well balanced. I wish that it was available locally.

Quaffer, Apr 13, 2004
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,030 ratings.