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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.

5,125 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,125
Reviews: 1,675
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 865
Gots: 561 | 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
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Ratings: 5,125 | Reviews: 1,675 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillyB
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a hazy copper amber with a nice thick two finger white foam head.

Aroma is grassy, hoppy; piney, spruce, fir.
Fruity; lemon, berries.

Taste is light sweet malt with a citrusy, lemony hop aftertaste.

Nice carbonation and nice hoppy aftertaste. Very high drinkability for this one. A solid session beer.

BillyB, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve lived in Indiana all my life, and, now that I’ve become a craft beer person, Three Floyd’s has become a big source of pride for me. The availability of their beer around my hometown is awesome, so it’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of it. Here’s one I’ve only had once before: Alpha King. I’m definitely glad to be getting reacquainted with this one.

A: A pale yellowish-red body with a bright white head. The foam is only around for a few minutes, then it recedes with no lacing left behind. It’s not the most inviting color, but it’s not bad.

S: Citusy hops and with a big fruity sweetness – almost like a gummy bear. It isn’t especially pronounced, but it’s still very inviting.

T: First off, there’s that great hoppy refreshment that I’ve come to love from FFF. It’s a full line-up of grapefruit, pineapple, berry, and lemon, with a dry finish. The yeast is bigger than I was expecting, filling out the body quite nicely with some rich breads. Young wheat flavors add a few more hints of sophistication in the taste, and then it ends on a cool, refreshing note.

M: Not as carbonated as I would have liked. It shows some thinness in the body; overall, though, it’s very drinkable.

O: When drinking this, I was expecting a fuller version of their Pride and Joy ale. What I got was a fruitier brew with more distinct flavors. All things considered, though, I can’t say that I think it’s a better beer – it’s about on par with P&J. The non-sessionable version of one of my favorite session brews. Great stuff!

BarryMFBurton, May 24, 2011
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Acquired in a trade with RC0032, thanks buddy!Top ranked pale ale, here we go...

A- pours a really dark amber, nearly brown, with a robust three finger offwhite head. Head sticks around for a decent bit of time and laces really nicely

S- sweet hops, though the aroma is a little weak...some earthiness, some fruitiness. Would be a lot nicer if it were more powerful

T- a slight bit of bitterness from the hops to start, and a slightly sweet finish...it's very mild and not overwhelming at all. Real nice

M- real great body, not too thick at all. If anything, it's too thin...but with the style, I'm not complaining

D- not sure how fresh this is thanks to FFF and their lack of dating, but it's damn good...not as hoppy as SNPA, but very easy to drink. I wonder how this would taste on draught. The ABV is hidden extremely well. I can see why this is ranked so highly

bigfnjoe, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Maybe by FFF hoppy standards this is a APA, but for most brewers and drinkers, this a definite IPA. Pours a light amber in color with a slighty creamy head with good retention. Nose is quite hoppy, piney and full; inviting. Taste is well balanced, some nice malt backbone but an over the top fruity and piney hop profile explodes on my palate. Mouthfeel is quite full, perfect carbonation. A very well made beer, I could easily see drinking a lot of this.


Gaisgeil, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of spaced
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. Pours a slightly dark reddish brown with a short head that leaves a decent amount of lacing. Smell is a lot of piney and citrusy hops (not surprising). The taste is similar to the smell at first, with a delicious burst of citrusy hops, but it is soon followed by a little bit of malt sweetness. I can't discern much else from the malt except for the sweetness, but it really balances things out nicely. The mouthfeel has a bit of oiliness from the hops, which I like. The taste finishes out with more pleasantly bitter hops.

This beer tastes more like an IPA than an APA to me, but who cares, it tastes great and that's what counts, right? Whatever style this beer is, it manages to be balanced and (very) drinkable without skimping at all on the hops.

spaced, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of Greggy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice 1+ finger light tan head over a slightly hazed amber body. Sticky lacing rings the glass and a thin cap sticks around for quite a while.

S- Definite hop aroma, some nice maltiness as well. The hops are slightly grassy and piney with bits of pineapple present.

T- Starts out with a nice piny hop note well balanced by a nice maltiness. The maltiness is almost biscuitty but has some peachy notes to it (combo of malt and hops). The finish is the beautiful malt with the nice hopiness.

M- Nice light carbonation with very creamy mouthfeel.

D- Quite drinkable pale ale here. Some argue that this is more of an IPA. It's not my call to make but I would say it's somewhere between a pale and an IPA. Overall, I would get this again.

Greggy, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of cfrances33
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure how I haven't reviewed this one yet, but here we go. Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: Deep , mostly clear amber orange with two fingers of bread colored head. Super sticky lacing, and head hang around for most of the glass.

Smell: Caramel malts hit first, followed by some breadyness. Very malt forward nose. Some pine and light citrus hangs around in the back, but not much.

Taste: Follows the nose with a heavy caramel, followed by a resinous bitterness. To be honest, the hop profile only lends bitterness rather than flavor. Caramel breadyness hangs around on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Kind of light, but the bitterness and heavy malt backbone make this beer feel bigger than it is. Normally, I would rate lower for this attribute in this style, but the heavy caramel in the taste make the heavier body of this beer a plus.

Overall: Good, but not great. It tickles my fancy every now and then, and I would definitely stress that I enjoy this beer. However, I view it more as an amber ale than a pale ale.

cfrances33, Sep 24, 2012
Photo of heidelbeerg
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a copper orange color with a thick, rocky off white head. The smell is moslty sweet malt with a floral hop aroma. The taste is very hoppy. A little too hoppy to say it is balanced but it does taste good. Citrous hop bite is really noticeable in the finish. A nice malt flavor is detectible through the strong hop flavor but barely. The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy. Quite nice. Very good tasting pale ale although probably just a touch too heavy on the hops for this style. Highly reccomended for IPA lovers.

heidelbeerg, Dec 24, 2004
Photo of LairdChisholm
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a transparent, dark copper color with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles in the center heading towards the top. There is a one finger, off white, creamy head that has good retentions and leaves some fair lacing.

S - Sweet pine hops is what I get at first. These are followed by some citrus notes mixed with a more spruce smell. Very good nose.

T - Upfront there isn't a lot going on besides some slight lemon an citrus notes. The back end of the sip the stinging pine hops come out with a spike of orange flavor. It would be a lot better if it tasted like this all the time though.

M - Just a little too light. A little less carbonation would maybe help bring out those flavors at the beginning a little more.

D - A good staple session APA, I've had better and I've had worse, but not a bad one to try.

LairdChisholm, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

Hazy amber fluid, with a medium sized head. Lots of lacing as I drank.

Aroma was grapefruit, peaches, honey and bread.

Taste was excellent. Biscuity malt, grapefruit and honey. A very hoppy beer, but with plenty of malt to balance.

Medium + in body. Medium carbonation. Drying.

I really enjoyed it. Sessionable if you are into hops. Great balance. Easy to see why it scores well. This one falls into the category of expectations met. Not sure I would call it a Pale Ale, though....

, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of Pintofbrown
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had the "King" of pale ales in a nonic pint. Also, Three Floyd's may have the coolest bottle cap I have seen. Thanks to Geneseohawk for supplying this one.

Appearance- An orange-tinged, two-fingered foam builds quickly in the glass. It leaves a dense and smooth cap with a decent amount of big bubbles. Retention is decent and a webbing of lace stays on the side of the pint glass.

A transparent, copper- amber body has carbonation that is spread out and climbing lazily to the cap.

Smell- This has a very hoppy nose. It is a bit piney, sort of grassy, and an earthy - citrus quality that almost comes across as vinegary. The citrus is a little lemon and papaya in nature.

Taste- The grassy and citrus flavors get a second before the bitterness kicks in. Does a very nice job of giving a little bit of tongue tingle and then backing off.

The flavors are that same grassy hop and citrus-sweet quality. It is a lemon-like taste that mixes with pineapple or papaya, a musty kind of sweet.

The finish hangs mostly on the piney and grassy quality with a grainy flavor mixed in. I would like it more if the citrus flavors would sort themselves out and not be so muddled. Otherwise, it works very well.

Mouth feel- There are no real complaints here. It is a big medium body and very creamy. A very easy drinking experience.

Overall- The citrus qualities inherent in the beer are a little muddled. If they had as much zing as the grassy and piney hop notes this would be a really great beer. It is still good as it stands, thanks to the hop profile and the mouth feel.

Pintofbrown, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great extra from a generous BA knocks off an unlisted want. A vigorous pour yields a 1 finger head. Dark reddish brown with minimal lacing. There is a nice floral hop aroma with a trace of citrus. The taste is well balanced, with a small and sweet malt backbone balancing out the astringent hops. The beer is medium bodied with good carbonation, and I want another.

HopHead84, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of bearrunner44
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Cloudy, brownish-amber color. Bubbly, slightly filmy head, the color of pancake batter. Once the bulk of the head dissipates, a millimeter or two remains perched on top.

Aroma- Sharply acidic hops sting the nose; piney grapefruit aroma all the way. Agitation reveals a sweet, bready hop profile.

Taste & Mouthfeel- Quite a hop bomb! They're brash and assertive, filling the taste buds with citric flavor. The malt is smooth, sweet, and slightly toasty, but it's only in there to help take a little of the edge off the hops. The leftover head and ample carbonation lends the beer a light, slightly airy mouthfeel.

Verdict- The sole purpose of this beer is to serve as a hop delivery system. The strength of the hops might rub some drinkers the wrong way. I appreciated it, though.

bearrunner44, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of phisig137
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper amber color, with a thin head that quickly disappears.

Aroma is nice, but a bit odd. I get large amounts of hops on the nose, but also a bit of coffee, which seems wierd.

Flavor is very well balanced. Good malt flavor up front, with a nice hoppy finish, and a very solid hoppy bitterness. Dry at the end, and begs for another sip. Mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is good for the style.

I personally think that this is right on the border between pale ale and IPA. It's bitter enough to be an IPA, but has the alcohol of a pale ale. Quite enjoyable either way, and would make a relatively nice session beer... if you drink it a bit slow.

phisig137, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Krl2112 for the bottle

Appearance: Frothy 1 finger head lingers for a bit. Dark amber beauty rules the day.

Smell: Roasted malts and some hops are prevalent.

Taste: Nice bready taste upfront rolls off into some nice tart hops, with a smooth finish. There may be some bitterness, but it blends really well into a smooth, pleasant finish that cuts off nice and dry.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation that attacks and coats the tongue in an exceptional way.

Overall: Better than your typical pale ale, it just has that extra magic in the hops. Sessionable and tasty.

PsilohsaiBiN, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of mz3frs
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RockerD for the bottle!

A: Pours a clear deep orange-red, 1 finger head with some lacing 4.5

N: Alight hop aroma, 'fresh' and floral 4

T: Follows nose up front, medium bitterness, orange rind, a bit spicy with a bit of caramel malt background 4

M: Medium, not too dry not too sweet. Very drinkable! 4.5

O: Drinkable with a good hop flavor and malt backbone. Sad I can't get it around here. 4.5

mz3frs, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of whartontallboy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a very deep coppery amber with a decent sized head of big bubbles that left a fair amount of lacing in my glass. Very hoppy aroma offset with some citrus notes. Hoppy flavor with a certain orange rind twang, although there's also some nice spice and grapefruit in there, too. Medium-bodied smoothness that goes down with the faintest malt notes before a hop aftertaste and bitterness kicks through. A very nice pale ale that I'm glad made an appearance on my living room tour of top American micro hop juices.

whartontallboy, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of budsboy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, mahogony brown with a thick, fluffy and sticky tan head.

Woody, piney smell, nearly all hops. Sweet carmel and a sugary toffee smell as well.

Bitter and hoppy, pine and wood ash. Sweeter malts are in there, and a wallop of warming alcohol comes near the end. Woody flavors are more pronounced as it warms, but its still a hop bomb. Piney flavor lingers.

Slick and full in the mouth. Oily and smooth generally.

Man, this is good sh*t. One of the most hoppy, aggressive pale ales I've had. Another one of those beers I couldn't believe I hadn't reviewed already.

budsboy, Jun 13, 2006
Photo of tewaris
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dvelcich (Dan) for this extra!

66 IBUs
12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a Samuel Adams "perfect pint" glass. I was assured of its freshness by Dan.

Appearance 4.5/5
Poured clear and deep amber, to the extent of seeming light brown; there was sediment in the bottle that might have caused the beer to a look a little murky. Moderate off white head with moderate retention and fantastic lacing.

Aroma 4.5/5
There is a great balance between malts and hops in the nose that is almost reminiscent of Arrogant Bastard, although weaker. Smells like sweet candy at times with malts upfront, and at times like a typical IPA, with strong hop presence. The malt aroma is toasty and caramelly, the hop aroma is classic American hops: piney and herbal...

Taste 4/5
Like the aroma, the balance is excellent. Even though the malts are certainly more prominent than AIPA's, the flavor is still dominated by hops; however, the malts add a definite sweetness. Riding on this sweetness is a zesty bitterness from the hops, that stays even after the medium-long finish. The finish is the only downside, taste wise, and is a tad too sweet.

Mouthfeel 3.5/5
Medium body, medium carbonation; this ale seems to coat the mouth at times. This beer cannot be called refreshing, and is a little too big for its own good.

Drinkability 4/5
I would like to have a more drinkable Pale Ale. Yet, I will seek out this one again because styles aside, this is a very good beer. However, as I said before, is reminiscent of the quintessential American Strong Ale to me.

tewaris, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Hopfist
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great "affordable luxury" pale ale. The name alone tells you what to expect. What the name doesn't say, the label surely does. A king made of hops. This quite heavily-hopped pale could easily be one dimensional without that heavy dose of malt for balance. This beer won't change your life, but it's a great introduction to the brews and philosophy of Three Floyds. Hop first, compromise never.

Hopfist, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of calicaliente
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange color into my glass with a nice white head that lasts a long time and forms very nice lacing on the glass.The aroma is malty sweetness along with a good amount of citrus, pine and grapefruit tang. Hoppiness is present throughout the taste but a bit too sweet for my taste. Overall very nice.

calicaliente, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of Sarlacc83
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Apex for Gigantic Beer Week.

A: Nearly red with a thin white head. Fairly translucent.

N: Good nose with a pure pineapple and pine nose. A hin tof mango, some earth, and plenty of malt shining through.

T: Well balanced while leaning towards the hoppy side. Lots of biscuit, and plenty more of the pine. Showcases the hops well.

M: Dry with a round mouthfeel. It's quite light and very easy to drink.

O: Cleans out the palate while remaining easy to put back. I would have this any time, and I'm really glad I was able to try it on tap. It's strange how good Three Floyds is with APA and yet their DIPAs are at best, average.

Sarlacc83, May 12, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. I had been wanting to try this for quite some time.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the citrus hops with some bready malt and sugar notes.

The flavor is bread and oranges. The orange is both juicy and pithy and is very well done. Low bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to BuckeyeNation for this one! I'm having it tonight to celebrate OSU over PSU in the big game today!

No date code. Pours a hazy copper orange color with thin white head that settles quickly leaving just a little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet citrusy hops. Hard to tell if it's really fresh but it's nice.

Flavor is sweet up front with big citrus and grass hops coming through. Very bitter and strong for a pale ale but I'm not surprised. I figured the best pale ale on BA would be a hop bomb. Caramel sweetness is just enough to begin to balance things out.

Mouthfeel is smooth other than the bitterness. Medium bodied and medium-low carbonation.

A very good pale ale.

GilGarp, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours a dark clear amber with a short finger of white head with decent retention. Nose is big and hoppy, the bitter floral variety, some citrus, and sweet malts. Taste starts off with a sharp bitter hop bite and transitions nicely into tropical fruits and caramel malts Alcohol is mildly present. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, though a little on the thin side. This is a tasty APA. Didn't wow me, but a solid bitter hopped pale ale.

Golden2wenty1, Oct 17, 2005
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 5,125 ratings.