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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.

4,250 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4250
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: 4,250 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of southsider


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

Poured from the tap into a pint glass.

A-Poured an orangy,coppery hazy gold into my glass. The head was a frothy off white with sticky lacing.

S-Strong aroma of piney,citrusy,piney hops with a toasty malt background. Big IPA type smell for an APA.

T-Spicy,slightly alcoholic beginning with more carbonation than expected. Lots of piney and citrusy hops more in overall presentation than bittering which is restrained enough to let the toasted biscuity malt backbone shine through.Finish is dry and a little bitter.

M-Combination of high carbonation,initial bitterness and alcohol create a buzzing sensation like a swarm of bees in my mouth. "It's not normal" is the mantra of Three Floyds and it certainly applies to Alpha King. Medium mouthfeel due to a big malt backbone clothed in generous aromatic hops.

D-A damn fine Midwest APA masquerading as a West coast IPA. My favorite American Pale Ale so far.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2011 15:09:11 | More by southsider
Photo of chicagoabbot


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at Bar Deville. Hard to go wrong with 3F's. Great pour from the bartender. Rich amber color with a hoppy but balanced nose. What a great beer. Will do a bottle review sometime too. Try it for yourself. If you can find it. I go out sometimes even when I feel like kicking back and watching a movie to drink this on-tap because 6 packs are so hard to find, even though this brewery is not far from Chicago.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 05:58:48 | More by chicagoabbot
Photo of brendanbeer

New York

4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

at the map room in chicago.

a. absolutely gorgeous golden orange, rich color. finger or two of thick sensuous white head that is always there and leaves an awesome web of lace on the glass.

s. the smell is superb, its hard for me to describe, even to myself (just wait to i get to the taste!) its really hoppy and fresh, woodsy. also sweet.

t. oh my goodness, characteristics dont do it justice. it deserves a "oh my" and a "hell yea". really bready and hoppy, the mix is incredible, the hops add this amazing sweetness and tartness that is familiar yet utterly mind-blowing. its just so good.

m. perfect amount of carbonation and silky beer texture.

d. i could drink an infinite amount of this beer and continue to be happy and curiously engaged.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2010 09:32:21 | More by brendanbeer
Photo of rpardon7


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

Had on tap at Pazzos in lexington, came to me a amber orange color with a nice fluffy white head that lingered for a good amount of time and left a small amount of lacing on the glass. The smell was fresh hops citrus lemon and perhaps some tropical fruit. Taste was just what I expected fresh citrus hops with a good bready malt backbone and a great zesty hop finish! Mouthfeel is very smooth and almost creamy, good amount of carbonation which brings out the hops in this beer even more. Drinkability is great this is a great session beer by three floyds!

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2010 19:41:07 | More by rpardon7
Photo of imagese


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

Thanks to fellow BA's for tipping me off that Pizza Port C-Bad had this on tap. One of my must haves in bottle when home in Chicago

A- Dark golden amber with thick head that hangs around and laces the glass the whole way

S- a great mixture of subtle pine and sweet caramel

T- much more aggressive on the hops than the nose. I thought this was an IPA the 1st time I had this, especially compared to other midwest ales

M- very full bodied and leaves the perfect amount of residue in your mouth

D- I down a sixer w/o thinking, and the draft pints go down as smooth

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2010 03:31:08 | More by imagese
Photo of arboristfish


4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep copper color, with a white head. This beer has a great citrus hop aroma to it. The flavor is fairly strong with citrus hops, there is a bit of a lingering citrus hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium light. Overall its a drinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2010 00:03:28 | More by arboristfish
Photo of ferrari29


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

Served at a local bar in pint glass from tap; notes written on napkin

A - Served with 1/2 inch creamy colored head (might have been bad pour); head withered away rather quickly; moderate lacing; not much carbonation; beer is a deep amber color

S - Hop aromas & tones; hints of peach and other fruits; crispy fresh smell; slight hint of malts; yeast releases flowery aroma

T - Hop taste dominate this beer; sweet and biscuit flavors hit as it rolls over the tongue and turns bitter in the back of the mouth; very small amount of bitter aftertaste

M - Crisp and fresh feel as its consumed; not much carbonation in the drink

D - Brewer manufactured this beer with hop characteristics dominating this brew; brewer did a good job constructing this beer; would have a lot more

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2010 04:15:17 | More by ferrari29
Photo of argock


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at Clark Street Ale House (Chicago, IL).

A: Rusty amber with tightly-bubbled 1-finger off-white head with supreme stickiness and crusty lace down the glass.

S: Resiny hops with touches of pine sap and orange citrus prove too much for the staunch pale and caramel malts

T: Strongly resin hops with earthy character dominate. Orange and pine are big contributors too. Pale and caramel malts mostly provide body to the brew but do also give some sweetness. Very bitter in the finish from the resiny hops.

M: Excellent medium-full body for the style with low-average carbonation and just the right balance of stickiness and smoothness.

D: A very good APA although the resiny character is a bit overpowering in the on-tap format.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2010 03:03:35 | More by argock
Photo of robwestcott


3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

third glass in a FFF flight.

poured from tap to a 4oz taster a semi translucent light mahogany with a 1/2 finger off white short lasting head.

aroma of piney hops and not much else - except cigarette smoke from that guy next to me.

piney hops forward to the exclusion of all else. it's a hoppy beer not pretending to balance.

bitter on the tongue, medium carbonation.

very drinkable at 6abv.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2010 17:52:28 | More by robwestcott
Photo of ChrisPro


3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(rating transcribed from ratebeer)

On tap at the Three Floyds brewpub on 7/21/09.

Pours dark gold with a touch of amber and nice white head.

Solid pine aroma with just a touch of vanilla and caramel.

Mild sweetness and then bam! The hops hit hard. Great hoppy pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2010 03:45:02 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of nickd717


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

Review from awhile back transcribed from RateBeer.

Had this on tap at Three Floyds in Munster, IN. Best pale ale I've had - "Alpha King" drink this any day of the week.

Great golden-amber color with a very well-formed and clingy white had.

Great aroma of incredible citrusy C-hops and sweet pale malt.

Same on the taste - hops have piney and grapefruity character and are just "pha king" great. Not too malty, but has a good backbone.

Medium body and lively palate.

I think "Alpha King" give this a "pha king" awesome rating.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2010 17:26:06 | More by nickd717
Photo of HosP


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at local bar in town.

A: Pours darker, hazy. Leaves good amounts of lace on glass.

S: Good mix of hops with a caramel malt aroma to it.

T: Good balance between hops and malts. Hops take a little frontseat, which I like! Good smooth taste though!

M: Medium body. A little bitter aftertaste which I wasn't expecting from the taste.

D: Good APA! Don't have many options around Anderson, but a good solid beer to choose from.

I've had this in the bottle and it taste quite a bit better from the tap! I'd still pick up some bottles with limited supply in town but would prefer the tap.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2010 04:20:11 | More by HosP
Photo of salvo


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

It's probably becoming more trendy to find something wrong with Alpha King now, but this is the beer that started my obsession with craft brew. Something about its rich mouth feel and unlikely balance of malt and hops in a HUGE hop bomb of a bitter beer ... well, it just makes me happy to live in Indiana within striking distance of the brewery.

The tap is completely different from the bottle: richer, thicker, hoppier. Don't get me wrong, the bottled king is great. Off the tap it's just different.

A: Brown to red malt goodness with an inch of fine foam that dissipates to a lacy top.

S: Pine. Pine with some citrus - grapefruit if grapefruit trees were conifers. Roasted malty back fills the sinuses.

T: If I had known this taste before I may never have said I didn't care for beer. And on tap, the first taste is bitter hop pine and grapefruit that gives over to malty sweetness and the mouth-filling hop punch just lingers and crackles and fades slowly.

M: Chewy, big, and dense: it's got body and coats the mouth, fills the mouth, and satisfies with every sip.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2010 23:26:33 | More by salvo
Photo of Spica66


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

A: Cloudy, medium copper color. Short head, virtually no lacing.

S: Much more hops nose than I expected from an APA. Really don't get much malty or sweet smell through the amount of hops in your nose.

T: If you like Two Hearted Ale, you will love this beer. It really tastes like an IPA instead of an APA. It really, really tastes like 2H to me. I am going to have to have a side-by-side to figure out the difference.

M: Medium feel. Not a lot of hop bite at all for as much as the nose warns you might be coming.

D: Now I know why this is their self-proclaimed "flagship beer". I could easily make these go away in large quantity.

A very, very good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2010 13:05:33 | More by Spica66
Photo of mdfb79

New York

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

From 6/2/10 notes. Had at a Three Floyds tasting at the Brickskeller in DC.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch white head and light carbonation

s - Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit, pale bready malts, and some piney hops.

t - Tastes citrus hops, and smooth bready malts. Little bit of bitterness but not too much.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A good pale ale and another strong beer from FFF. Would try again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2010 23:16:32 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

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

Had this on tap at the brewpub. Pours an amber-copper type colour with a nice head. Smells of citrus and pine hops with lots of caramel malt. Taste has some sticky pine to go with an great bitterness level. Tons of grapefruit in there too. This is hoppier than many IPA's I've had, but it still has a big enough malt presense. The pint finished way too quickly.

I had this the day after Daisy Cutter and I can't decide which is my favourite APA, but they are number 1 & 2 in some order.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2010 14:50:41 | More by kwjd
Photo of samie85


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

Had this on-tap at The Twisted Spoke on 5/21; reviewed from notes.

A-Pours a dark amber color with a two finger white. Leaves minimal lacing behind (My habit of swirling, especially aromatic beers, tends to destroy lacing though).

S-Resiny pine cone aroma with orange, lemon, and grapefruit citrus hop notes.

T-Mellow grapefruit and pine bitterness upfront balanced with some caramel malt and finishes with a bit of spicy pine bitterness. A pretty subtle, balanced taste to this one.

M-It's on the low end of medium carbonated with medium body and a nice smooth mouthfeel.

D-Really nice, easy drinking pale ale. I remember having this years ago and not liking it all. I'm glad I finally got around to giving it another chance.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2010 04:26:07 | More by samie85
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz tap pour into an American Tumbler at The Lucky Monk in South Barrington, IL.

A - The tap pour comes out a hazy amber color with a thin dense, off-white head that produced thick lacing.

S - Huge aroma of American hops. Grapefruit and resins abound but are well-backed by a sweet caramel nose and malt balance.

T - A toasted malty backbone supports the huge American hop kick to the mouth. Pine and citrus are all over the place here.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth with a dry and crazy bitter finish. Still well balanced though!

D - This is one of those beers I love to have every so often, but when I do I stop at one. It's no exception from the tap.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2010 04:08:44 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of CharlatanSin


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Student Union at Wisconsin. Reviewed from notes about a week old. What a state.

A: Poured a lightish orange amber. Pretty clear. Served to me with a small off-white head that retains pretty well and leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Big citrus punch. Pineapple, zesty lemon/lime, and orange. There's a definite floral presence as well. A hop bomb for sure, without much malt to speak of.

T/M: A bit more balanced than the smell. Citrus still reigns, and it's delicious. Same fruit cocktail as the nose. The malt comes through as bready. There's also a sweetness in the back that I can't quite place. Honey? The body's medium, and the active carbonation makes this one crisp as hell. Amazing warm weather sipping beer.

D: Worth the hype. I'd call it an IPA instead of an APA were I tasting it blind, but I don't think my palate's sophisticated enough to take off for that.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2010 22:30:38 | More by CharlatanSin
Photo of homebrew311


4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: appears a bright clear golden with dense white head, the lacing it leaves on the glass indicates it is somewhat sticky

S: pine needle hops, some spruce, very pungent and resinous, followed by a significant bready malt profile

T: just like the nose, lots of pine hops on the front which are followed by notes of toast and brown bread, the finish is all hops... this one isn't all that balanced, but there is a nice malt presence. In other words, the hops take center stage and are delicious, but the finish is slightly bitter

MF: nice light crisp mouthfeel, high carbonation

D: this is a very drinkable brew, nice hop presence, crisp body and nice mouthfeel.. makes for a nice brew to enjoy on a warm day

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2010 03:30:17 | More by homebrew311
Photo of WeimtimeBier


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

Man do I love Three Floyds beer.

A- Light amber gold tint with a puffy soft half inch head that held.

S- Smelled of soft citrus and grapefruit and some pine. No mango tropical flavors like the IPA dreadnaught. Not to aromatic and in your face but still a good hop presence. Sweet malt behind that.

T- Tasted some piney citrus. Nothing dominated the hop base. There was also some earthy tones to it. Good malt backbone with caramel straw flavors. thick malt profile is enjoyable.

M- Medium body and a good malt to hop ratio. Heavier malt mixes with the acidic hop well. Good steady carbonation keeps it crisp.

D- Drinkable and enjoyable. Nothing overpowering but no more then two.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2010 05:38:36 | More by WeimtimeBier
Photo of dickroop


4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this long-sought, much-heralded beer at Bigby's Pour House in Addison, IL. What a find, and not just a bottle but on tap.

Served clear, coppery with puffy 1-finger head. It had outstanding lacing that draped down the sides of the glass, foreshadowing a rich experience.

A powerful nose, with grapefruit rind, some floral aspects, but most of all sawmill pine resin. It was resin so fresh that you could believe you were next to a pine tree in the woods or in the mill.

Hops overwhelm malt flavor - you know it's there, expressed as sweetness, but I was hard pressed to dissect the flavor. Sips produce a clean bitter finish, followed by a grainy, bitter aftertaste.

Carbonation produces a lively mouthfeel that leads the way to enjoyment of hops. Some stickiness.

Drinkability is good, a great flavor treat.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2010 02:09:29 | More by dickroop
Photo of cpetrone84


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at ESPN Zone in Chicago (while watching my Steelers start one of the most embarrassing skids known to defending champions...)

A-deep reddish orange in color that pours a thin one finger of a white head that leaves a decent lacing on the glass

S-nice floral hop aroma with hints of citrus hit the nose, pale ale? great hop aroma for a pale, so far so great!

T-this is similar to this nose, blows me away for being a pale ale, more like a session style ipa. nice pine comes through up front with a floral and citrus hop taste coming to finish

M-it has a medium body, is extremely smooth, and is slightly slick on the back of the throat with a light carbonation that is placed in there nicely

D-so tasty for a pale ale and great mouthfeel, only 6% (not quite a session but damn near). i could pound cases during summer months!

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2009 23:40:54 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of thain709


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Served with a deep copper body that was clear but not transparent...a tight, off white, one finger head was there...it feel into a spotty cap and laced nicely

S - The nose is very, very balanced...not one characteristic stands out...the citrus and piney hops battle with the sweet, caramel malts and make for a pleasant aroma

T - The taste is also very balanced with no clear domination...the hops actually hit you first...they provide a nice sweet, citrus flavor...the piney hops are pretty muted and aren't very bitter...the caramel malts and other sweet malts provide a strong backbone and a sweet finish...this beer is not bitter at all

M - Medium bodied...really smooth...sweet on the finish with minimal bitterness

D - I was really excited to finally get to try this beer...it lived up to it's hype as one of the better APA's...a nicely balanced beer...I just wish I could get my hands on this more often

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2009 23:00:28 | More by thain709
Photo of DesMoinesMike


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

~ Replacing a deleted review ~

I've heard many a' men speak of this magical brew that can quench the thirst and settle the temper of a dragon...ok, so I've read a lot of good reviews on BA so I just had to get one when I got the chance.

I thought I knew what hops were but this drink has help to redefine my understanding. I could smell them when the glass was just sitting on the table. I admired the golden color and think foam, then I dove in. The hop flavor was very prominent at the tip of my tongue, then did a disappearing act, then came back to haunt the back of my tongue. It was wonderful. It wasn't overbearing and I was a bit sad when I finished my glass. I wish I could get this stuff back in Iowa.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2009 19:33:33 | More by DesMoinesMike
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,250 ratings.