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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.

4,245 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4245
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: 4,245 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WillCarrera


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

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


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 MarkBlackout


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

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


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 osusullins


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 dhollar2


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


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


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.


Serving type: on-tap

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


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


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 cpz28


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

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


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


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
Photo of jwinship83


4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at kumas corner. $5 gets you a pint glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent copper colored body with a very small bright white head on top. the head is quick to fall, and doesnt leave behind very much lacing.

S- woah, hoppy. this is undoubtedly fresh. lots of pine and grapefruit. some floral notes sneak in also. there is a moderate amount of caramel malts which adds some balancing sweetness to the mix.

T- the taste starts out with some sweet caramel malty notes and quickly moves into hop country. plenty of resiny pine and sharp, bitter grapefruit. i think i pick up on a little bit of orange zest also. light floral notes at the end.

M- the body is on the lighter side of medium. nice and bitter aftertaste. somewhat dry finish.

D- easy to drink and quite affordable. ill have another glass. check this one out if you havnt already. i think i liked it better on tap than in the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2011 02:02:07 | More by jwinship83
Photo of PGHeppJr

New York

3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 29OCT2010

Pint from Kuma's whilst waiting to pickup a KILLER burger

A damn crisp and tasty hop forward ale, that I would argue doesn't quite fit the category it is placed in. That aside, a very enjoyable beer that I wish i could get my hands on back home.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2011 14:55:13 | More by PGHeppJr
Photo of kaips1


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

Alpha king on tap into a pint glass

A-nice amber color, white 1 finger head, lots of life non stop bubbles but not crazy 
S-heavenly, lots of citrus and hops
T-same as the taste, if not better
M- lively.wet finish 
O-amazing, get this if you can, no way this is just a pale ale cause it kicks all other pale ale asses

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2011 22:00:34 | More by kaips1
Photo of Preismj


4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a: hazy amber, a bit dark. Nice half inch head that sticks around for the whole drink. nice stickiness to it as well...great lacing.

s: hops! pine tree scent up front with a citrus in the background. Made my mouth water.

t: very hoppy in the front of this brew. A very strong bitterness up front, like chewing on a pine tree. Hits you hard, hits you fast, then fades into a citrus sweetness that washes it all down. Left my palette wanting more.

m: creamy, rich and full bodied. Mild carbonation. The aftertaste of sweet citrus left my mouth watery and salivating. This was what I noticed most about this beer...really made me want another sip.

o: Very good beer. Similar to others out there, though there is nothing wrong with that. I would have liked a stronger presence of the citrus in the finish, though the sweetness you get as it all washes away made this a great beer to start the night with. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2011 14:32:10 | More by Preismj
Photo of b3shine


4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good draft. When I put it in the pond of pale ales, I rate it towards the top. Yet the hoppiness almost warrants it being amongst ipa's, in which case I'd put it towards the middle of its peers. How you review it depends on if you wanna group it with the label's title or your or your palate's.

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2011 01:58:58 | More by b3shine
Photo of TheDudeRules


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

From a tap to my brandy snifter.

Pours a very nice copper color. Grapefruit, pineapple, citrus and hops spews from my glass. Very nicely carbonated. As much fruit as I took in the smell, it was lacking in the taste. This isn't a bad thing. It was just slightly citrus and tropical tasting with a pretty dry finish.

A really well balanced beer here. Very sessionable in this guys opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2011 04:41:47 | More by TheDudeRules
Photo of Kelly88


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

Had on tap at keystone in Covington.

A- bronze copper appearance. Very dark for a pale ale. Nice half inch white head That fades to a bubbly cap. Lacing is sticking after each sip.

S- grassy woody hops are the main event with the slightest suggestion of lemon in the nose.

T- the taste mirrors the nose with the herbal hops taking the lead. A dash of soapiness is there But isn't distracting.

M- light to medium bodied is eight in line with style. Maybe and Just maybe a touch more carbonation. Overall great feel

D- I could down multiple pints because of the mouthfeel and taste. Glad I had this great beer on Tap.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2011 22:45:16 | More by Kelly88
Photo of TriGuy20


4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Kuma's Corner, poured into pint glass.

A: Copper and Orange with a nice off white head and a lace that sticks fairly well to the glass.

S: mmm big hops! Pine/ Grapefruit/ Biscuit/ Malt/ Yeast/ Bitter orange/

T: Grape fruit and pine upfront with a nice yeasty mid palate followed by a nice long hoppy bitterness. Nice long finish.

MF: This beer has some good carbonation to it and feels medium bodied on the palate.

D: This beer is so fun to drink would have no problem drinking several of these.

This was one of the first craft beers I fell in love with and sometimes I forget about this beer, however, it never disappoints. Well done!

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2011 21:06:31 | More by TriGuy20
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,245 ratings.