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Alpha King Pale Ale - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Alpha King Pale AleAlpha King Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

4,269 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4269
Reviews: 1646
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.13%


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
Ratings: 4,269 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the 3F brewpub. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A- Pours a clear amber color with a finger of super sticky tan head. Excellent lacing.

S- Lots of citrus and some pine as well as a slightly grainy, sweet amber malt.

T- Big hop profile, citrus and pine as well as a clean, freshly-cut-grass bitterness that fights against a sweet amber/caramel malt that has a bit of a grainy feel to it. Flavors are very well integrated.

M- Medium-bodied, good carbonation, has a smooth feel with a crisp, clean finish.

O- A pretty damn good pale ale. I'll have to pick up a sixer of this next time it hits my local shop.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2012 05:11:29 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of Hopdaemon39
Hopdaemon39

New York

4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap from Clevelands own Bier Markt- served in a pint glass. Had a one finger head and great retention and lacing. Poured a dark copper color with its foam being a sort of bone-white. Smell makes it immediately apparent that this is a fiendishly hoppy beer- I smell the citrusy notes that I've come to associate with cascade hops. That taste measures up to the smell- hops from beginning to end and rounded out with a nice medium light body. The mouthfeel is wonderful as well- a little oily from the hops and medium carbonation make it very drinkable. I would get this all the time if it was available to me.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2012 01:53:59 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at the Yardhouse in Glenview. Served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear amber color with some lighter straw notes around the edges. A one finger bubbly white head forms on the pour and subsides to thin film. Leaves some sticky lace behind.

S: Slighty malty with nice high hop presence. The main note is grapefruit and with a subtle floral component mixed in.

T: The taste follows the nose, but with the hops more amplified. The oaty malt provides a nice backbone for the citrus hop flavors with a slight flowery sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with a sticky mouthfeel to it. Nice bubbly carbonation though and the finish is slightly bitter.

O:This is definitely more hopped up than I remember from years past. It drinks more like an IPA than a pale ale, but is still a delicious and hoppy brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2011 15:45:11 | More by Treebs
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Growler shared by my non-BA friend Brian... He may as well be a BA, as he makes an appearance at every tasting I host!
Anyway...

Dark copper body. Small light tan head. Kinda weak retention an lacing this time around... But I'll chalk that up to the glassware!

Smells a little chalky, with some caramel malts. A good dose of hops provide some nice grapefruit notes.
The flavor has a good bitterness at the backend.

Body is medium and feels a tad undercarbed.

Overall-- still a good beer, but this is nowhere near as good as my past experiences with this one.

Serving type: growler

12-11-2011 19:42:58 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of MarkBlackout
MarkBlackout

Indiana

4.93/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love Alpha King. It was one of the first craft beers I really got into when living in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, around 2003. There was a liquor store down the street that had 3-4 craft beers and this was one of them. (Another was a spoiled sixer of Abita Turbodog I bought once. It was AWFUL. Pure soy sauce!). I loved Alpha King from the start, and still do. I drank it when I was at the brewery way back then, before the brewpub existed and it was just a well-lit factory atmosphere. Some old-timers were drinking their Light Lager offering and eating some potato chips they had brought. It ruled. Citrus, caramel malt, a bit sticky, excellent. I had it on tap at MacNiven's during lunch (a liquid lunch in my case).. to celebrate the end of my first semester at grad school. I also had Bell's Sparkling Ale, which I was less impressed by but still enjoyed. Indianapolis is a good beer city. We have lots of good options.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2011 01:10:53 | More by MarkBlackout
Photo of Koufax21
Koufax21

New Mexico

3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at 3 Floyd's Brewpub. Pours a dark amber color with 1" of an off white colored head. Smells of big grapefruit and pine. Tastes of big citrus and fruit flavors. Big grapefruit here. This has got to be a borderline IPA. I've had many IPA's that couldn't hold up to this one. Great beer. I wish I could get it where I'm at.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2011 20:58:34 | More by Koufax21
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Beautiful reddish amber color with a nice one finger tan foamy head.

S: Big citrus hop notes with some hints of tropical fruit underneath. Definitely some mango there.

T: Great juicy citrus hops upfront tempered by some slightly bready malts and finished off with a nice peppery hop resin bite. A bomb pale ale. I would love to get more of this stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2011 23:15:57 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing a cask-conditioned Alpha King from Three Floyds.
Score: 95

Drinking a fresh, cask-conditioned pint of one of my absolute favorite brews of all time.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark reddish-brown amber with three fingers of foamy cream-colored head that sticks around quite some time. Falls somewhere between opaque and translucent, but closer to opaque. Excellent lacing. 5/5

Smell: Roses. Floral, grapefruit and citrus hops. A little honey. Lots of malty, hoppy sweetness in the aroma. 4.5/5

Taste: Huge grapefruit citrus bitterness. Malty-sweet backbone. Hints of berry flavors too. Absolutely refreshing. Finishes with sweet oranges and hops bitterness. Yum! 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, medium-plus carbonation. Finish is surprisingly dry for such a malty mid-palate beverage. 4.5/5

Overall: Alpha King is one of my favorite beers of all time. The cask-conditioned version of this brew is much maltier and less hops-aggressive than the bottled version that I have had a thousand times over. How do I know? I had a side-by-side taste test at the bar. This is one to seek out!

Recommendation: If you have not had a six pack of this stuff, go buy one already. For those who have had Alpha King before, I absolutely recommend seeking out the cask-conditioned version. I am about as big of a hop-head as they come -- I have a well-known soft spot for IIPA's -- but cask-conditioned Alpha King's creamy malt-for-hops tradeoff is absolutely divine. Alpha King is the best year-round American Pale Ale (sorry Sierra Nevada!).

Pairings: Medium-cooked hamburgers. Particularly the ones they serve at Kuma's Corner in Chicago. Also probably pairs well with an earthy salad with feta and walnuts. Could really add some kick to spicy foods.

Cost: $9.99 for a six pack, or $7 for a cask-conditioned 16 oz pour.

Serving type: cask

11-26-2011 05:47:07 | More by jegross2
Photo of Beerdregs
Beerdregs

Minnesota

4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler the night before the XV party last weekend.

A: amber color with a orange hue. Carbonation was muted after a week in the growler but still grew a 1 finger head after an aggressive pour. As I am drinking it leaves a modest lacing down the glass.

S: Smells of piney grapefruit. Don't pick up any malt but don't fault them on this based on their hop forward reputation.

T: resinous citrus hop flavor with a modest but good balance of malt sweetness backing it up. Does not have an overly aggressive back of the tongue bitter.

M: This is a growler so again the carbonation is somewhat muted. I enjoy this though as it makes a somewhat dry beer a bit more slick.

O: This is my favorite pale ale style. This is the brewery that started the midwest craft revolution and for good reason. This is a wonderfully balanced beer and hopefully someday will be a session beer that I can enjoy at my local watering hole here in Minnesota!

Serving type: growler

11-19-2011 21:20:49 | More by Beerdregs
Photo of osusullins
osusullins

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my go-to beer. I can't express how much I love this one. Whether you want to call this an APA or an IPA it suits either label. Just pure hoppy brilliance.

The beer pours a beautiful deep orange with a nice white head.

The nose is almost all hops. Lots of pine with some subtle grapefruit. As a hop-head, the smell just makes me want to dive right in, and I usually do just that.

The taste does not disappoint the nose. Hops is what you smell, and that is exactly what you taste. Tons of pine and citrus bitterness. Some malt shows up on the back end, but the palate is pretty hop fried by that point. lol.

This is the flag ship beer of my favorite brewery. I love this beer. Top 10 favorite of mine definitly. Thanks, FFF.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 04:03:14 | More by osusullins
Photo of titosupertramp
titosupertramp

Tennessee

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinking thanks to BaconIsLife.

A: Dark copper with two fingers of white head. There's a lot of lacing around all sides of the glass.

S: Citrus, pine and sweet caramel malts. Man, this is a great smelling beer.

T: Man, this is a great tasting beer. The citrus and pine are pretty well balanced. The bready, caramel malts put up a decent fight, but are soundly outmatched. Love it.

M: Creamy mouthfeel. Bitter and dry.

O: I like Alpha King a lot. If you're after a hopped up pale ale, this has to be high on your list.

Serving type: growler

10-15-2011 01:02:11 | More by titosupertramp
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear dark copper color. Nice fluffy head with good retention. The beer has a punchy nose offering pine, flowers, citrus and ginger(?).

Nice malty backbone well-balanced with loads of hops. The flavors are IPA-like. Some biscuit and cookie, but predominantly citrus. Very very dry with a good biting finish.

It's hard to find anything wrong with this beer, unless you just don't like hops. If I could get this stuff all the time (I can't), it would probably be one of my regular go-to beers. It's a big, bold, flavorful, hoppy-as-heck American pale ale.

Serving type: growler

09-17-2011 17:44:06 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a growler of this as an extra from Sean. Thanks homey, I owe you for this. Poured into a pint glass. Pours amber with a finger of creamy beige head that seems to be lasting nicely with some sticky lace along the collar.

Hints of caramel come through in the aroma with some candied orange in the the finish. Real nice citrus hop aroma in the finish. The flavor mirrors the aroma on this one, a little bit of caramel on the pallet with candied orange and canteloupe rounding it out.

The body is light and the carbonation holds up nicely in the growler. Overall this one is pretty rock solid. Glad to have a growler of this bad boy.

Serving type: growler

09-16-2011 03:22:20 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ben for sharing! Poured into a pint glass. There is a white fluffy head on a copper colored slightly hazy body.

The aroma has nice melon and a bit of hoppy spice.

The tast starts nice dry and with some cucumber and pine. The finish is nice and crisp. There is only a bit of light malt sweetness.

This is very nice and drinkable with good crisp carbonation.

Serving type: growler

09-16-2011 03:22:03 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of dhollar2
dhollar2

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this in bottles and on tap at Three Floyds in Munster, IN. Pours a dark amber with an off-white head. Smells of piny, citrus hops and caramel malt. Taste is of high-alpha citrus hops with assertive bitterness and is beautifully balanced by rich caramel malts. It's really more of an IPA than an APA, but I like to give 3Floyds the benefit of the doubt. I love this beer. It's been my go-to for years and is a must-try for anyone.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2011 17:45:52 | More by dhollar2
Photo of vande
vande

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden-ruby in color with a nice thin layer of off-colored white lacing left on top..

S: Pine + Citrus = Hops delight. Unmistaken sweeter malts seep through.

T: See Smell!

M: Decent. Nothing too exciting.

O: Great on draft. Great out of the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2011 23:34:28 | More by vande
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery into an imperial pint.

A: Clear deep amber body under an inch of frothy ecru head. Good retention, plenty of lace. Very nice.

S: Caramel drizzled on grapefruit. Simple and terrific.

T: Grapefruit hops dominated, finally being balanced with a nice touch of caramel malt on the back end. Hugely bitter finish. Long, slightly astringent aftertaste. Way too big for the style, but it's still a great beer.

M: Lively, slightly prickly medium body. Pretty standard.

O: I love this beer, but can't for the life of me figure out why it's called an APA - it's way too strong, way too malty, and way too bitter. I'll take Zombie Dust and its crispness over the sheer hugeness of Alpha King any day.

Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2011 23:07:07 | More by woosterbill
Photo of BierGartenok
BierGartenok

Oklahoma

4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Floyds / Growler and bottle. WOW! Enough cannot be said about this gem. Definitely one of the best pale ales Ive ever tasted. So balanced and wonderful. Aroma contains some fruit hints and hop character. Appearance beautiful golden brown/red. Taste amazingly balanced, the hops and malt are mated in the smoothest fashion. On the palate it is almost medium bodied with sweetness and hop covering your tongue. Overall I must say Three Floyds is an amazing craft brewer who has hit the mark with this and all their amazing beers. Definitely one of the best!

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 15:35:04 | More by BierGartenok
Photo of


4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago.

Appearance - Clear pale orange-straw with a nice white head.

Smell - Certainly has a caramel malt presence, but is dominated with American hops. Tons of citrus and pine.

Taste - Caramel and biscuit malt with tons of hops - fruity and floral, but mostly citrus and pine. Solid bitter backbone grounds this big, malty pale ale.

This is an excellent beer. It may lean more toward the IPA style than Plae Ale; in fact, it's actually hoppier than some IPAs I have tasted.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2011 17:18:40 | More by
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Washington House, Sellersville, PA

Great. I wish this beer was more obtainable, but I hardly ever see it in my area. Need more soon. Pours a hazy golden amber with a fluffy white head that retains well and leaves some nice lacing. Pleasantly hoppy aroma with lots of citrus and pale malts. Delightfully light on the palate, with a great balance of light, sweet malts, and crisp, citrus hops. Finishes crisp and just dry enough. Light-medium mouthfeel, and extremely drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2011 20:45:13 | More by Rifugium
Photo of NODAK
NODAK

Tennessee

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Has a fairly piney aroma....quite hoppy for an APA. Smells quite a bit like a west coast IPA.

Pours a very amber color, clear, with a nice fluffy head.

The immediate taste upfront is of pine tree hoppiness, though it isn't all that powerful as I'd have thought compared to the aroma. In the middle, there's a spicy malt character that doesn't quite match the malt but is definitely there. The bitterness definitely comes through in the end though, as a resiny pervasive bitterness that goes through the finish and lingers a while. More bitter than your standard APA...perhaps on the level of certain IPA's.

I enjoyed it quite a bit, as I was in the mood for a hoppier beer and this definitely fit the bill, especially for style. I was also impressed with how thick this beer was for the style.

Serving type: growler

06-28-2011 02:11:21 | More by NODAK
Photo of cpz28
cpz28

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The King and I:
I've had this beer a million times. At nineteen, it was my introduction to micros. Why I'm just reviewing it now, at 26, is beyond me.

A- Clear, red-orange with a nice white head atoo

S- American hop dankity-dank, a senses slap, deep citrus and pine backed up by malt sweetness. Divine. The hops, oh, the hops.

T- Initial bitterness is sharp, forward and appropriate. It fades into slight caramel and dark fruit sweetness and comes back bitter, hoppy and with a faint,but necessary alcohol indication. If you want to talk about balance, this is it. This is a perfect beer. It has everything you could ever want in a beer. AK exemplifies how to have huge hops in a beer backed up by malt that is not a sweet mess.

M-Carbonation is the money shot here...and it's spot on. Very full bodied without being heavy.

O- I'd say this is the quintessential American Pale Ale, but it's more of an IPA by style. I don't care what it is; it's good. In a sea of breweries with hype surrounding them, FFF is truly not a pretender. This is their flagship beer, and boy, does it ever represent what they stand for...big hops, big malt, big beers and shattering of style guidelines. FFF always does what they want to, and other breweries try to emulate or jealously choose to ignore what they're doing. Bow Down!

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2011 22:40:53 | More by cpz28
Photo of bs870621345
bs870621345

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a few hours after dreadnought....like a scaled down version of it.

Pours a clear orange amber color with minimal head. No lacing at all.

Smells like pine hops and caramel sweetness. Not a whole lot of smell.

Taste is citrus and pine burst and a more bread like sweetness. Not nearly as sweet as dreadnaught...really good taste.

Mouthfeel is a little too thick, but nice carbonation.

Overall it's a good beer...much move enjoyable than dreadnaught.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2011 22:11:09 | More by bs870621345
Photo of zrab11
zrab11

Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful amber color with nice white head

S- Has a nice ipa aroma to it with some citrus and sweet smells

T- has a very nice citrus hops flavor throughout. Hints you with some sweet malts and goes down crisp and clean

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation

D-Over this is an exceptional APA. almost an IPA for me. love the flavors and balance. If you havent had this beer try it. its super tasty

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 03:43:23 | More by zrab11
Photo of haddon
haddon

Kentucky

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this on draft at Pazzo's in Lexington, KY. out of all the beers we tried, this was by far the best of the lineup. if you saw all of the offerings this joint has on tap, you would know this is saying something.

orange and gold, with a pale colored cap. lots of lacing all the way down the pint glass

The nose is citrusy hoppy. Not overpowering but just a good mix of orange peel, grapefruit and all things citrus

The flavor has a citrusy hop bite that is more characteristic of IPA's than APA's. plenty of malt to balance things out. Flavors include grapefruit and orange peel primarily.

The mouthfeel is plenty smooth, medium body with just the right carbonation. no complaints here.

Drinkability is high... nice and smooth, very well-balanced.

Alpha King does seem more like an IPA than a true APA. I ain't complaining because that's just my game! I will be looking for a clone to brew and if you know me, you know that is the ultimate compliment. well done, FFF.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2011 03:23:56 | More by haddon
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,269 ratings.