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.

4,675 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,675
Reviews: 1,664
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 821
Gots: 399 | FT: 23
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,675 | Reviews: 1,664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came from a 12 oz bottle purchased at lone hill liquor. It pours a very nice reddish copper color that is quite clear. There is an off white foam that builds up and stays in the glass for a while. Nice lacing. The beer smells great. It reminds me of the first barleywine I brewed a year ago. Malty and I'm almost positive that I'm smelling columbus hops in there. Theres a faint hint of alcohol on the nose as well.

The taste was almost as impressive. Very malty and hoppy. Fairly bitter, with a smooth sweet aftertaste. Good body to this beer, nice and heavy. Very drinkable. The heavy body and bitterness is surprising coming from the East Coast.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 05:05:27 | More by t0rin0
Photo of goindownsouth


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good IPA. This is very nice from the pour. A good copper color from the outset. A nice head that fades to a lace after a while. A great aroma of hops and some spice, this beer offers a great flavor from the first sip to the very last. The hops are so well-utilized. This is a solid IPA. Prost!

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2003 09:25:26 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of maxpower


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a glowing amber-copper color, nice thick head,decent lacing. Strong grapefruity cotten candy, hoppy aroma. Medium body, soft creamy palate, Strong citrus hoppy with some caremel flavor, good session brew, easy to down a few.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2002 15:23:12 | More by maxpower
Photo of ahq514


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pour a beautiful orange/amber color with a great head. It definitely smells of hops and citrus. Hops are much more subtle than I expected, as the smell is much stronger than the taste. Perhaps the most refreshing pale ale I've ever tried. Initial citrus and hop flavor dominate as I drink with an ever so slight sweetness, and a mild bitterness kicks in as it goes down. A perfect balance of bittering, flavor, and aroma hops are used in this brew. Lacing is evident all the way down to my last sip. Tastes like it should be around 4 to 5% ABV, but is 6.5%.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 22:51:40 | More by ahq514
Photo of Skidz


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2004 01:46:42 | More by Skidz
Photo of falloutsnow


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From: Three Floyd's Brewery, Munster, IN
Date: None on bottle, but a few weeks old from brewery
Glass: Standard US pint glass

There's no denying that Alpha King is a top-quality ale for those who appreciate hops. The beer's variety of fruit flavors and its fairly intense bitterness are heavily appealing, and are an enjoyable reminder of summer during the winter, or a suitable hop-forward quencher during the summer. This beer blurs the line (if there is any) between American pale ale and India pale ale, weakening the idea of styles and suggesting descriptors may be the better way of describing beers.

Pours a tall (3cm) head of light tan bubbles, which are small in size, creating a very frothy effect. Retention is above average, lasting over two minutes as it declines to a thin cap atop the body of the beer. The lacing the head leaves is fairly substantial and in a variety of shapes and patterns that hang across the glass' interior. The body is a copper orange color, with light bringing out reddish-orange hues. Quite hazy (50% opacity?), but carbonation is still visible, though not terribly numerous or vigorous.

Aroma of fairly pure hop pellets, mostly cascade and centennial, probably others as well. The scents are fruity, juicy citrus (orange, grapefruit), tropical (guava, mango), slightly peppery, and very expressive. This would be even better if it had a slight malt aspect to add some further dimension.

Front of palate picks up slight malt sweetness, but is already starting to notice the bitterness and hop-influenced flavors of grapefruit and bitter orange. Mid-palate finds increased hop character in grapefruit and orange flavors, with lesser quantities of mango, all atop a faintly discernible base of caramel malts. Bitterness is noticeable, but moderate to me. Flash of bitterness occurs as the beer hits the back of the palate, gradually fading to reveal more grapefruit and orange, with even a bit of mango and guava. Aftertaste is of medium-high bitterness and residual hop-influenced fruit flavors.

Beer is medium-bodied with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is at first slightly fizzy, then softly foamy as it moves across the palate. Closes quite dry, with modest stickiness lingering across the palate.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 06:27:57 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of TheSixthRing


4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a clear amber color with an off-white, 2 finger head. Great retention, giving way to a thin layer of microbubbles across the surface. Lacing is fair, spotty in parts, with good stick.

Smell - Hits on a multitude of hop character, though all closely knit; citrus, pine, floral and a touch of soap. A malt presence is faintly detected.

Taste - Hoppy upfront, hitting on the aforementioned characters in the aroma with a great and tight harmony. Balanced out nicely with a sweet caramel malt that hits mid-taste and rides into the finish, though the hop flavor never relinquishes it's control. Mild orange pith bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with light but lively carbonation. Smooth, near creamy, with an easygoing finish.

Overall - A well-balanced pale with a great flavor profile and fine drinkability. This one did not disappoint. Right up there with some of the better West Coast hoppy pales, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 05:49:33 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of DougT


4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful amber color with a 3 finger rich, creamy,off-white head that sticks to the glass. Nice lacing.

Smells thick of hops, like standing in a hop field. The name is apt, smells of high alpha hops. If you love hops you would love that smell. Personally, too much, I can't get past all the hops. I can't smell the beer.

Taste is not as bitter as the smell suggests. More balanced. A little yeast, some malt, somewhat woody, and then the hops comes on in the end. Not overpowering. Very pleasant.

Medium body, smooth, zesty. Nice effervescent tingle. That's beer!

I am not a huge hophead. In fact I don't like most IPAs. This is an APA. But I do like this one! The smell of hops is a bit thick, and the aftertaste is a bit to hoppy for me, but that's the style. It absolutely represents the style well. There are times when I'm in a hoppy mood. I usually turn to an Imperial Stout, but those are quite heavy. This is a little lighter, a bit more drinkable. I could have another.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 03:53:28 | More by DougT
Photo of zookerman182


4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into my dogfish head IPA glass.
Appearance is a clear amber color with two finger big bubble head.
Aroma is great. Pine, floral, slight citrus.
Flavor is pine, hop bitterness and floral with a perfectly balanced malt backbone.
If I can describe this beer in one word it's "balanced".
Mouthfeel is medium with a slight lingering bitterness.
Overall I could drink 6 of these and not co plain one bit.
Paired excellently with my grilled chicken dinner.
Perfect end to the day.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2014 01:19:25 | More by zookerman182
Photo of dar482

New York

4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a deep amber color with a large three finger head.

The aroma is extremely hoppy. There's sweet caramel malt along with citrus and floral notes and pine. Very distinct of Cascade hops.

The flavor has lots of bittering of pine and grapefruit on the back. The pine and woody notes stand out more than grapefruit or citrus.

It's a simple and elegant pale ale with loads of hops in the flavor with a good amount of bittering. It's a very well balanced brew with the caramel and biscuit malt. The beer did not blow my socks off, but is quite good.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 18:06:00 | More by dar482
Photo of BWED


4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler at B's Po Boy, Fountain Square, Indianapolis, IN

A- Caramel chestnut with a slight haze in the body. Yellowish/light tan head, with some great rings of lacing.

S- Dry citrus rind. Slight caramel maltiness.

T- Snappy citrus, dry hop. A little sweetness, caramel to backup the hop character.

M- Medium body. Carbonation is smooth. Dry finish, bitterness is moderate and pleasant.

O- A great ale. I've been lucky enough to be able to drink this beer a lot, and I have finally reviewed it.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 12:28:12 | More by BWED
Photo of nuggetnectar01


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a one finger head.

Caramel, malts, some floral notes, citrusy.

Slightly sweet upfront with a mild bitter hop taste that follows.

Fresh, Crisp, and refreshing with decent carbonation.

I could guzzle down quite a few of these, there delicious.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 21:07:09 | More by nuggetnectar01
Photo of Stigs


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in a trade with user BigDank...served in pint glass.

review #2, fresher bottle I believe...

A - one finger of loose yet soapy off-white foam, spotty lacing as it falls to a thin layer. the beer is a little hazy (chill?), bold amber color.

S - big whiff of citrus hops followed quickly by some caramel and brown sugar malt. lightly spicy with a smooth lightly sweet finish.

T - very short flash of citrus, grass...turns quite bitter but without a whole lot of character. malts are definitely there, caramel, nuts, dough, tiny bit of dark chocolate. bottle #2 brings a boat load more of pine and grassy hops, insane balance.

M - nicely carbonated, good oily feel and a light body to aid session-ability. wonderfully creamy, coats the mouth.

D - on second thought, this is easily one of the better APA's out there. great bold (grass, pine) hop flavors yet quite balanced.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 00:24:36 | More by Stigs
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to sproser for the incredible box in which this soldier was tranported.

Pours a totally clear amber ruby color with an off white head that retains very well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is some rock candy like malt and pine forward hoppiness, seems quite balanced.

Hmmm. A nice pale ale for sure. A good balance of caramely malt sweetness and hop bitterness. At first it doesn't seem that bitter, but it creeps up on you as you reach the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty much ideal for the style, carbonation is dead on.

Drinkability is very solid, could easily put away a sixer (or two) of these. The hoppiness might turn off some n00bs as far as slamming a million of these, but for a tried and true beer geek, this one is quite sessionable.

Overall a very nice pale ale. Pretty well balanced, but hop forward, very sessionable, pretty much what you want in a pale. Would love to have regular access to this one, a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 04:39:25 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of FernMaster


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle (my one and only bottle) into a pint glass you see on those lame Sam Adam's Boston Lager commercials.
Alpha King pours a reddish amber with minimal head. I wish I had multiple bottles to see if that was the case with just this pour, but nope. The foam resides quickly after giving a good show for a few seconds and then proceeds to lace the glass as I continue to drink. The smell has a certain fruit characteristic to it and makes Alpha King smell kind of bitter. It's very reminiscent of an IPA actually in its smell, which made me check the bottle (the only bottle I have) to see if it in fact was an IPA in which in fact it was not, it's a pale ale; welcome to obvious statements by Josh. Alpha King actually has a very present hops flavor which I quite enjoy. The moderately bitter fruit taste, grapefruit, blends well with the malts that it makes me wish Three Floyd's distributed to Missouri. I really enjoy this beer, it reminds me of going to see Royal's Baseball games with my Dad when I was little kid. Except neither of us were drinking and this beer wouldn't be in the memory and the Royal's probably lost, not characteristic of this beer. Alpha King is something I could see myself relaxing with on a summer day watching a Baseball game or [fill in your favorite sporting event here].

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 02:37:39 | More by FernMaster
Photo of MMAJYK


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Copper in color and semi transparent. Nice, thick pillowy sheets of lacing and 3/4" of head.

S- Grapefruit and sweet caramel malts.

T- Nice bitter hops blended well with deep caramel backbone.

M- Medium to thick with high carbonation.

D- Very high. Almost a perfect score here.

Overall- This was a quick review while taking a break from brewing. My friend had some in the fridge and I have been dying to try it. Very sweet and a nice offering all the way around. Glad I finally got to give it a go. I would definitely seek this one out.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 20:00:05 | More by MMAJYK
Photo of morimech


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been wanting to try this beer for several years. Finally. Pours a dark, clear amber with a small head that settled to a thin cap. Delicate lacing is left on the glass clear to the bottom. Big, pungent, massive, are all adjectives that could be used to describe the citrus hop aroma coming from this beer. It is not all hops however, as there is some sweetness from the malt as well. The flavor features the hops well. Grapefruit and orange come to mind. Bitterness is high. I am not a big fan of the malt bill. Overlly sweet in my opinion. I have knocked the scores of other beers of having similar sweetness, so I will knock this one down as well. A very good body and carbonation. It feels substantial without weighing down the palate. Nice texture. This almost lived up to my expectations. Just a little to sweet for my tastes. The bitterness and ABV limits drinkability as well.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 19:31:22 | More by morimech
Photo of krembl


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper with two fingers of off-white head that seem to last forever. The smell is mostly sweet, caramel malts, with just a bit of floral hop aroma.
The flavor is of sweet malt at the front of the palate, very smoothly fading into a floral, medicinal bitterness that lingers in the back of the mouth.
The mouthfeel is fairly light, with a medium carbonation that suits the style well. This is a very nice pale ale. I've always been happy when people send it as an extra.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 00:10:07 | More by krembl
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 Oz bottle to a heavy pint glass. Very nice semi cloudy, golden toasted amber liquid with good carbonation. The creamy head is a two finger off white puff of thick foam. It fades slow to a slight lace.

The smell is sweet carmely malt flooded with a generous amount of hops, not over dome for the style. Some fruity grain notes.

The taste is delightful. Lightly caramelized malts, making a small impassion over the smooth rush of a very nice bitter hops display. Just edgy enough to please the crowds, but not over done. The grape fruit taste is noticeable but smooth and enjoyable.

The mouthfeel in quite good, rich creamy think and coating, good body with a nice bite.

Drinkability is very high as this beer is better balanced that most of it's peers. Prost MK

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 00:11:36 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of emerge077


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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...

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 00:28:32 | More by emerge077
Photo of theghost3


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to XaulZan11 for this extra/want.

Pours a cloudy, deep copper with a 2-finger light head. Medium lacing.

Smell is orange & grapefruit hops. Slightly piney with some caramel malts. The smell is very subtle. Flavor is juicy, sweet oranges, slightly bitter grapefruit, caramel and biscuity malts. Slight taste of butterscotch. Taste is much more apparent than the smell. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and smooth. Carbonation is a little low but this isn't flat by any means; just right.

This is a very drinkable APA. The flavor and smell aren't in your face, but that's OK for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2010 02:22:23 | More by theghost3
Photo of eric5bellies


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Miamilice for this one.

Drank from my Stella Tulip

A - Pours a hazy Red Amber colour with an off White two fingered head that retains well and laces.

S - Pine aromas and some significant malt.

T - Plenty of malts up front followed by some serious grapefruit and melon flavours. The finish is long and slightly bitter.

M - Medium body and carbonation.

O - A very enjoyable and slightly different APA

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 12:22:47 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of jmccullough108


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Aroma: impressive citrus, oranges, slight mango, pineapple

Taste: bitterness up front, citrus undertones that lingers well

Overall: 4.5/5 - fantastic pale ale that actually lives up to the hype. Wish this was available to me regularly.. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 22:41:56 | More by jmccullough108
Photo of blammasterj


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing my final beer of the six pack: no tears in my beer, but it's definitely fairly sad. Pours a hazy dark copper with a thick eager bubbly head that is decidedly large for the style.

The aroma is overwhelmingly hoppy: resin, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange juice, pine needles. Behind that is a nice sweet bready, maltiness. This has to be one of the best aromas for a so-called pale ale. Three Floyds has proven that they exceed all of the hype around their brews, but I am still astounded at how wonderful and potent all of their beers smell. For a guy who could just sit and smell a beer over and over this is quite a treat.

The flavor is a bit more balanced than the aroma, but still hop dominated. The hops come in spicy before fruity or bitter, but those two follow closely behind with a nice salvo of grapefruit, lemons, oranges and bitter pine. Not to be outdone are the caramel malts that round off some of the heavy hops and lend a subtle sweetness to the finish.

The mouth is full and very thick for the style while the head hangs around and leaves nice spots and legs of lace around the glass. Just an overall fantastic beer that does everything right and will sorely be missed.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 17:15:26 | More by blammasterj
Photo of flexabull


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2006 04:48:21 | More by flexabull
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,675 ratings.