Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha KingAlpha King

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,751 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,751
Hads: 5,996
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 933
Gots: 1,074 | FT: 29
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.66% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha King Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,751 | Hads: 5,996
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!

 1,592 characters

Photo of Jonoesh5
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Re-review of the flagship of 3 Floyds! Pours an opaque copper body with a small eggshell white head. Smells like clean, crisp hops. Nothing too different for an APA. First sip, however, is still my favorite first sip of any other beer I've had––such bitter, refreshing hops balanced perfectly with a sweet malt backbone. Arugula tartness, fresh baked bread, sweet caramel– it's all there. Mouthfeel is so creamy and smooth, neither wet or dry. Overall, Alpha King was my introduction to 3 Floyd's and remains a nostalgic beer for me. But nostalgia aside, this APA makes all the right moves to allow malts to shine among bright hops, balancing the two perfectly. Seek out this brew now!

 691 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Hero27 for this bottle.

Pours a cloudy, dark amber with some lighter orange hues around the edge. Big, dense head of dirty off-white bubbles. Nice sticky, chunk lacing rings the glass.

Aroma is of citrus, pine, and light grassy hops. The citrus is big. There is a caramel backbone to help even it out some. Smells yummy.

Wow...this is good. Nice bitter grapefruit and pine hops with a touch of sweetness in the middle. This is hoppier than many IPAs out there.

Nice creamy medium body with good carbonation. Very drinkable. It's been a long time since I had one of these. I really wish 3F would come back to MD soon. Damn good beer. This would easily become my go to beer if I could get it regularly. Thanks, Eric!

 728 characters

Photo of SwillinBrew
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got a sixer of this from Lone Hill liquor in Glendora... my initial thoughts, hot damn, this is a pale ale... halelujah.

A - A rich ambery grenadine strong color with a stucco white head that clung to my glass nicely.
S - a dose of citrus orchards with floral in the mix pleasure my olefactory senses.
T - Husky citrus flavors bordering on grassy meadows on a underlying sublte sweet malt carry this delicous brew. Just a symphony of harmonious flavor in this pale ale... it's definitely more than meets the eye.
M&Dr - nicely carbonated and medium bodied with a crisp and clean finish. I could drink this all day and just wish more pale ales were like this. Heck, this beats out many IPA's!!! Get some if you can. This is the best pale ale i've ever had.

 763 characters

Photo of schoolboy
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alpha King is alphucking good. That's a play on the sofa king fake commercial - it's sofa king good. It is amazing and worth all the praise. I have had other good, no great, brews from this brewer, but never before this gem, and now I think they deserve blind faith from this one great brew.

It is a little dark and has decent lace. The aroma is not pronounced, but it is still sublime.

The taste is amazing. Malty, for sure, but still well balanced with all kinds of hops bitterness. This is the best tasting pale ale ever. The aftertaste is sad, because the ale is going away. Otherwise, it too is sublime, with malts and hops staying on the tongue for a long time. It tastes as though the alcohol would preclude you from drinking more than one, but I think I could do SEVERAL of these, and be in heaven, so I will try to get more. But alas, they are rare, and in demand. Rightfully so.

 890 characters

Photo of trep
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber, perfect clarity, huge frothy head after an aggressive pour. Smells of grapefruity hops, flowers, a nice balance of bitter and malt, although the hops definitely are what you continue to sniff this beer for. Mmm - I love it.

Tastes just the way it smells. Hop bitterness is very present but not overwhelming. Smooth as hell. The head fades to a quarter of an inch layer of thin bubbles with nice lacing around the glass as I continue to sip on the King. I can't get over how smooth this beer is. Reminds me alot of Two-Hearted in its smoothness and balance. Finishes smooth, expectedly.

A quality beer, no doubt about it. Three Floyds should be very proud of this beer.

 695 characters

Photo of JohnG190
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks NW2285. Pours orange to brick red with slightly cloudy body. A thick, three finger off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Strong orange notes dominate the nose with a hint of pine needle and faint caramel as well. Orange hits the palate first delivering a strong citrusy taste that’s faintly tart. The next notes are sweeter - sherbet and caramel. Alpha King finishes dry and slightly bitter, with faint resin notes. Medium bodied, not quite as chewy as an IPA, but pretty close. The carbonation is lively. Overall this might be the finest example of an American Pale Ale out there. Great work 3Floyds.

 629 characters

Photo of Eric_Edwardson
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness balanced by aggressive citrus Hoppiness, this is the kind of beer you find yourself not Able to put down because the flavors become more complex as you drink the beer! My first beer from 3 floyds, and I can always tell I will now be apart of their cult following!

 314 characters

Photo of brewdude1982
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I received this bottle of nectar from the gods from a friend that trekked many miles to retrieve for myself and others since the brewery is not shipping their delicious brews nationally.
I had this beer in a bottle at 38*F and poured into a glass beer mug. It had an amazing smell of pine followed by perhaps pineapple (the true maltyness of the beer was hidden). As far as mouthful I'm gonna say slippery and then tingly as if they is a little acid on the back end.
The taste of this brew is great. Bitter that comes on slowly with a nice cool peak that changes over time, like a cool Carolina tide rolling in on a warm afternoon.
I would highly recommended this beer to anyone in the area or anyone that can beg, barter, or steal from someone that has this beer.

One Love

 776 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/brown with a 1 inch white, foamy head. Nice sticky lacing.

Smell - Sweet citric hops, orange, pineapple, tangerine, honey, added sugars and a caramel malt backbone.

Taste - Starts out with nice citric, sweet fruits and a nice malt backbone. Some grassy and herbal notes, along with some added sugars. Mango, pineapple and orange is present in each sip. Has a nice lemon and cherry flavor near the finish. No alcohol nor any pale malts are noticeable.

Mouthfeel - Sweet cirtic hops coat the tongue with sweetness. Palate gets more hops, along with some caramel malts. Aftertaste is mild, citric sweet.

Overall - Awesome. Pushes the edge of a pale ale. Any more hop kick and this Is a ipa. Incredibly smooth, tasty and full of flavor, theres a reason this is 3 floyds flagship beer. A totally different monster then zombie dust, but equally impressive.

 901 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured a murky auburn orange color, with an offwhite head that hung around quite a while. Ring lacing was there until the last dram. Mouthfeel is a bit surprising, as that's where I sense the first inkling of the nice malt going on here. The nose is all about grapefruit, tangerine, and spruce. Halfway through, it still looks like southern iced tea in an oldtimey pitcher. The taste is memorable. I've forgotten how long it's been since I've had such a perfect blend of subdued sweet caramel taste teased by such a wonderful sour grapefruit and bitter Mandarin orange hop balance. This one seems like a happy marriage of an excellent North American ESB with a westcoast Double IPA. Extraordinary!

 702 characters

Photo of thebarnesbomb
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorites. One of the few benefits of living in Indiana is being close to Three Floyds brewery.

A- Pours a clear, dark ruby with a thick head that lasts almost all the way down

S- Scents of fruity hops, and a bit of sweet malts

T- Outstanding. A great balance between the copious hops and the malts that keep these hops from running rampant on the palate

M- Rich, inviting, but a bit oily from the hops in the aftertaste

D- Tempted to drink the whole 6, so tasty.

 487 characters

Photo of peabody
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
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".

 571 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The head has dissipated leaving behind lacing and a good strong lacing with a slight amount of head, but the lacing is thick...maybe 2mm thick at it's weakest point. Color is dark brown to ruby red.

Smell is overwhelmingly hoppy and slightly fruity. The hops are slightly grassy. It has some lemon and raspberry to it.

The taste is primarily hops, but it also has some fruityness that ranges from lemon to strawberry/ raspberry.

Mouthfeel is excellent, it is carbonated quite well which leaves a foamy smooth feel on the tongue.

This will be a regular drink for me, it's great.

 582 characters

Photo of AdamThomas
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep dark amber with a wonderful white whip-cream head for accoutrement.

S: Tropical fruits on the 1st nose with a dominance of hops following.

T: Malt flavor with a slight carbonation. Full body beer with enough pine to balance the malt. Plenty of hops flavor to help mellow the two flavor profiles. This is a typical medium body everyday drinking beer. Perfect in every aspect.

M: Full flavor/body with slight carbonation.

O: Perfect APA. I'd be happy if more breweries cloned Alpha King. Has an exquisite combination of malts/pine/hops and citrus for a wonderful APA. Highly recommended!

 597 characters

Photo of Damian
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12 fl oz/355 ml bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to Jeager for including this as an extra in our trade

The beer poured a crystal clear, deep reddish-amber color with a two-finger, frothy, off-white head that slowly faded to a thick ring. Spotty blocks of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was intensely hoppy yet balanced. A bold, citrusy, spicy orange quality was apparent along with rich, sweet, caramel malts.

The taste was hoppy and zesty yet incredibly smooth and well balanced. Malty and a touch sweet up front with some mild brown sugar notes. Citrus fruits (candied orange peel and grapefruit) were immediately noticeable as well. Spicy in the center. The snappy and clean finish was piny and dry initially and became more intense (and more bitter) as the beer warmed.

The mouthfeel was medium/fuller bodied for the style. Outrageously creamy with a fine, medium carbonation. Silky smooth and supple on the palate.

Drinkability was simply outstanding. This is an easy-drinking yet oh-so-flavorful pale ale. What more could one ask for from a session brew?

Simply put, this is an incredibly solid and well-crafted beer. For a pale ale, it was definitely the most intense version I have yet to try (it more closely resembled an IPA than a pale ale). Overall, another winner from the folks at Three Floyds.

 1,342 characters

Photo of pezoids
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We stopped by their brewery in munster recently and was
poured an Alpha King by owner and brewer Nick Floyd. I was completely blown away. First by the intense hop and citrus aroma, then by the overall taste. I had this beer in a bottle a few years prior and it was pretty good then, but I urge everyone out there to go and see Nick and let him pour you
a fresh one. You might also be blown away.

 398 characters

Photo of 1fastz28
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another beer that i could have sworn that i have tried before, but i guess i was wrong. pours a great looking cloudy light amber color with a decent amount of sediment floating around. looks really really good, smell is great too, has a full nose of hops to it and is a real treat to the nose. taste is very good, the only thing keeping this one from a 5 is that it is a bit watery, just a tiny but, but enought to be noticeable. other than that, this beer is nearly flawless and a textbook pale ale.

 500 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz bottle(room temp) a ruby red with a medium sized head of foam that dissipated slowly. Lots of lacing.

The smell is a bit on the light side but I note some citrus tones from the hops.

The first sip is so darn tasty! Hop bitterness is there and it's offset by an ample dose of malty sweetness making for a nicely balanced flavour that is a real delight. Subsequent sips caress my palate even more with the finish being as good as I've ever had in any beer. Man, the drinkability of this APA is oustanding!

Bottom line: Alpha King Pale Ale, in my book, is *the* APA that all others should be judged by. Simply fantastic!

My thanks to Bditty 187!!!

 674 characters

Photo of legalpete19340
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured mahogany with less than a finger of head that disappeared almost immediately.

S: Pineapple, apple cider, pronounced grain and malt.

T: Wow. Lots of pineapple and tropical fruit, but the malt holds it back from being overly sweet. The middle comes and goes with a long bite of bitterness and aspirin. When you expect the end to bite, it doesnt. Its smooth and smacks of rye bread and oily hops.

M: Just the perfect type of medium with a little fizz.

O: Best pale ale of my life. So easy to drink and every sip was enjoyable. This is a legend.

 555 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I swung by the stellar Neil St. Piccadilly this morning for some wares, since I hadn't done any ardent sampling in weeks. Great timing on my part. In addition to nabbing what should be some nice winter beers and more, it was a treat to see that they had some Three Floyds selections. I hadn't tried a new pale ale in quite some time, and this was just what the beer doctor ordered.

Alpha King made a magnificent first impression on the eyes and nose. Two pillowy fingers of white froth lay atop a clear burnt orange body, coating the Ommegang glass with decorative lacing--beautiful. I'm not kidding when I say that, after opening Alpha King, I stood at the counter in my kitchen and sniffed the bottle for a full minute. When I judge a beer's aroma, I do so out of the glass, but it starts for me out of the bottle. Holy crap! It's flush with citrus hops, loaded with tangerine and orange, and doesn't fade as it warms. Wow.

It's listed as a pale ale, but is at least as much an IPA given the heavy hop taste, that bitter flavor, that I love. Yet it's also smooth and creamy as a good pale ale. Both styles are represented well, incorporating fruit and hop bitterness, all with some malt heft. Very nice, even with a slight flattening near the end.

This is not to be missed, a fabulous pale ale that I'd contend is more IPA than APA. Regardless, hop lovers shouldn't be disappointed after enjoying this, a genuine treat and the best in what few Three Floyds wares I've had the good fortune to sample. It won't be the last time. Outstanding.

 1,544 characters

Photo of JDK
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to the Anderson's in Lima, OH for getting this back in stock for me!
Poured a cloudy amber color with a 1 finger head that slowly disappeared.
Nice lacing that clung to the sides for quite a while
Sweet hoppy smell with light citrus
Medium mouthfeel, not overly carbonated and has a nice lingering grapefruit aftertaste.
Very good ale overall, definately one of my favorites!

 388 characters

Photo of mophie
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, now this is what an APA is supposed to be. Golden orange color with a thick white head that lasts throughout. Floral aroma and knock-you-on-your-ass grapefruity hoppiness. Delightful. Now I am a huge Sierra Nevada fan, but this definitely tops their pale ale. Nicely done!

 278 characters

Photo of williamherbert
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cleary and glassy amber/orange color. Nice but brief foamy white head. Looks like triaminic.

Serious pine-oil hop aroma. Bitter but also flowery sweet. Really perfect. West Coast hops are sweet smelling and inviting. Perfect sweet-bitter balance.

Major blast of bitter, woody hops and a splash of alcohol. A little burn on the way down. Very strong. Hop flavor is sweet at first, then bitter. Slaps with the bitter, but mellows out at the end.

Remains on the tongue after the swallow. Thick and a tiny bit fizzy but goes down smooth. It's a superior beer.

 558 characters

Photo of kmo1030
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cloudy dark copper color. a little hard to coax a good head out of this, but i got an adequate one. it quickly dissipates leaving some sticky lacing. ridiculously grapefruity piney hop aroma with a slightly spicy malt character. this taste is as excellent as i could have hoped for. it kicks you in the teeth witha boat load of fruity hops, that are then backed up by a light caramel slightly fruit malt flavor. really achieves a non "hop water" taste that many very hoppy beers have (not that i am not a fan of that sometimes too, but for a beer to achieve greatness it's needs some balance). fizzy medium sticky resinous body that really adds to the experience. a really excellent beer that i'm really glad i had a chance to pick up.

 735 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,751 ratings.