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.

1,749 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,749
Hads: 5,990
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 935
Gots: 1,072 | 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: 1,749 | Hads: 5,990
Photo of mattcrill
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

 540 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 578 characters

Photo of newyawker
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 296 characters

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.

 298 characters

Photo of oracle
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

 645 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 532 characters

Photo of Foxman
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

 1,442 characters

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.

 429 characters

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.

 399 characters

Photo of andyo
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
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

 595 characters

Photo of Skidz
4.12/5  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.

 570 characters

Photo of rabidawg
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

 656 characters

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.

 307 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 541 characters

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 1,038 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
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!

 1,558 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 406 characters

Photo of wailingwench
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

 1,121 characters

Photo of Ellbert
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 1,072 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 428 characters

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.

 468 characters

Photo of Quaffer
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 912 characters

Photo of soper2000
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle with green hop god?

This beer makes me proud to be a Hoosier. It pours a gorgeous copper color with a cream head protecting it's hoppy citric body. Smell is wonderfully full of citrus notes backed by some bitter hop scents. First taste makes me question why this is called a pale ale, i guess an IPA by any other name... This beer is massively hopped but it's balanced well by fruity esters. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. This beer suffers a tad in the drinkability department as the high alcohol content takes it's toll. I also love being able to get this beer at almost ever liquor store in Indiana

 627 characters

Photo of mjohn27603
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Looks copper in the glass with a dense foamy and biscuit like head. Smell is simply wonderful. Lots of green hops smell. I want to take in deep breaths of this beer. Taste is great. So much hops it leaves the end of my tongue numb. Lots of hops taste without being very bitter. Piney notes seem most present. I've had more citrus notes in IPA's. Maybe even a slight peppery taste on the initial sip. Ends very pleasantly with a nice lingering hops aftertaste. How many times can you write the word hops in a review? As much hops as is here it doesn't make you gag with bitterness. Very assertive but not too unbalanced. A very unique and well done pale ale.

 671 characters

Photo of masterbruewer
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper amber color with a thin off-white head that faded quick and left decent lacing.

The smell is hoppy and bitter. Maybe a little pine and citrus.

The flavor is tart and citrusy with a floral taste to boot. There's almost a perfumy candy flavor, for lack of a better description. That flavor pushes the border of off-flavor but is actually kind of nice and distinctive.

The mouthfeel is punchy and assertive. The hops and carbonation let your mouth know this is a real ale. But the punchiness quickly dissolves into a solid shot of distinctive flavor.

If you like the pale, hoppy ales, you'll like this one. It's highly drinkable for the style.

 668 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,749 ratings.