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Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,788 Reviews
For Trade:
Alpha KingAlpha King

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.66%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A bold yet balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. This is our flagship beer.

68 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-23-2000

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,788 | Ratings: 6,229
Photo of adamette
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, expertly poured at Chef Paul's Bavarian House in Lisle, Illinois, my favorite place to drink beer in the world.

A Golden Brown 4.0

S 75 per cent hoppy 3.0

T Mild Hoppy 4.0

M Fine, not remarkable 3.5

D Good 4.0

This was a "safe" micro brew to my taste. It was suitably complex, interesting but it was not remarkable like others that I tried that night. It was good, just not remarkably good.

That was my first review. The values that I assigned are listed above as well. Here is my updated review:

Review from notes taken while I enjoyed this beer on tap at The Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL with (among others) my two brothers-in-law Steven and Mat August 21st, 2010. Mat lives within minutes of this place and we enjoy visiting there when I am in town. Poured into standard pint glass.

A Nice lacing left on the inside of the glass from a white head over a maroon, translucent body. The maroon may be more of a nutty brown, maroon body. Good look. 4.0

S Organic hops but they are reasonably balanced with a nice, nutty sweetness. Very inviting, interesting. 4.5

T Really great session Pale Ale which is hedging toward an IPA in my opinion. Taste of the moderate hops and slightly less than moderate sweet malt with a woodsy, nutty goodness as well. A real classic American Pale Ale. 4.0

M Moderate feel with bitter hops filling it up but a solid malt background filling it out as well. 4.0

D Again, really very good with a manageable ABV of 6.0% and all of that hops goodness! 4.5

Notes: I can see now why so many people like this, a true classic American Pale Ale!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received from czoch75 via trade

A: Crystal clear amber with an off-white head that recedes leaving sticky lace

S: Hoppy and sweet. Pine, citrus with tons of caramel in there. Hints of mango

T: A blast of pine hops with just enough malt to back it all up. The finish is dry and hoppy. Very good.

M: Maybe a little undercarbonated for the style but it allows the hops to coat the palate pretty well.

D: I'd drink another. Definitely the hopppiest APA i've tried

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

Pours slightly hazy and amber from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. One finger of well retained tan head. Smells surprisingly hoppy for an APA, more like an IPA. Tastes bitter and somewhat spicy, with a good background of malt. Mouthfeel is good with a long lasting bitter finish. Drinkability is excellent as well, as would be expected with a moderate alcohol pale ale.

Not a beer to knock your socks off, but if I could get this in bulk I'd keep a stock on hand all the time!

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Photo of churchillps
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz bottle

A: A nice clear amber color. Small head, good stickiness on the sides of glass.

S: Overall, not very great. Except for something spicy - perhaps cinnamon.

T/M/D: I would elaborate, but this is standard. Nice and hoppy, but just a mundane pale ale.

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Photo of bassmantin
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-transparent vivid orange with a nice white/tan head that clings to my Sam Adams glass.

Smell is full of those great hops. This is the beer that turned me on to hops, and it continues to stand up to the best IPAs out there. There is a great citrus flavor, FFF's flagship hoppiness that is present throughout the taste. Decent maltiness in the finish, too.

I think this beer stands with the hop giants. It's not an IIPA or even and IPA (technically), but it is one of the best examples of hops out there.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on-tap at The Map Room in Chicago
(from notes)

Appeared a reddish amber, rather clear with a white head. Had nice staying power and left some good lacing.

Nose is of citrus and floral hops. Hints of tangerines and flowers. A nice burst right off the bat makes this one a winner already.

The hops really come through in the flavor. A giant punch of floral hops hits the tongue and then a perfectly sized toasted malt backbone takes over. A really bitter hop presence.

Smooth and velvety with a medium body.

The drinkability on this guy is right about where it should be for the style.

This is a great go-to...pale ale? Really? Could have fooled me. Anywho, consider yourself lucky if you can grab these on a regular basis.

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received as an extra from BA stopbarking yet another local trade. I had a chance to sample this once at Rnorgart's house once and my interest was piqued.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A. Amber brew with a fluffy head and decent lacing.

S. Nice citrusy and floral hops. Mild malt and orange smell.

T. Very well balanced. The hops are intense and pleasing without overwhelming the malt.

M. Slightly chewy and crisp mouthfeel. Very clean finish.

D. A great sessionable American Pale Ale. Definitely wish I had more than one!

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Coppery brownish in color. Nice big, pure white, THICK, foamy head. Lots of lacing, and took about 3 minutes to settle.

S: Sweet. sweet hops. Lots of flowers, sugary malts, and hints of citrus. Bread and raisins as well.

T: I received this one in a trade so maybe it's past its prime. Didn't live up to the smell, but decent none the less. Very clean, little hops.

M: Not too much carbonation, and pretty chewy.

D: Not as good as I thought it was going to be, but pretty respectable. I guess it's hard to live up to perfection every time.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to tpd975 for this one on a recent trade!

Pour medium dark cooper with a thick white head that lingers around (pale ale?).

Holy crap, what a bouquet! Intense hops, then more hops, a faint buttersweet maltiness and more hops. Flavor is even better, its like drinking hop juice, there's also a hint of fresh mellon, a very intense floral note, generous citrus, slight spice.

And to top it off, its not overpowering like some hoppy ales tend to be, its incredibly well balanced and drinkable.

Man candy.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a deep amber color with a thin head that has little to no retention. There is some lacing but it is also very thin.

Smell is of malts and some citrus, mixed with a little piney notes. There are also some soft floral notes that combine with the maltiness to produce an interesting nose. It makes me want to take a sip.

The taste does not disappoint. It is the epitome of an American Pale Ale. It has a lovely subtle malt taste that transitions to a nice clean hoppy bitterness. No buttery mouthfeel to hint towards the English style.

A tasty beverage! Easy to drink and quite enjoyable. This one can be consumed all night.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sephiroth for this one, also. Poured from bottle into a snifter- pours a deep amber color with good sized creamy white head. Tons of lacing. Tons of piney hop aromas, without even taking a good whiff of this one! It comes right out. Great bite right off the bat. Grainy, piney bitterness. A hophead's delight. medium body with a lingering bitter flavor keeps this beer on the palate for a while. More bite and flavor that any PA I have had in a while. Kind of like a Sierra on steroids. I Like it a-l-o-t...

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Photo of abankovich
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheodorHerzl for helping me get my hands on this.

Poured into a snifter a very nice, deep amber color. A thin head was present upon pouring but dissipated very quickly. Nice lacing is present though that is definitely clinging to the sides of my glass.

Smell, I love the smell of Pale Ales and this one doesn't disappoint Definitely bitter with some floral notes and a little citrus. Also noticed a little caramel after it warmed up for a few minutes. Some toasted notes are also present.

The first taste that hit my tongue was definitely very bitter, but refreshing. The bitterness seems to stay throughout each sip actually, with hints of that caramel and some citrus. Some taste of alcohol is also present.

Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied. Leaves my mouth feeling a little dry afterwards.

Drinkability is fantastic, especially after this one warms up a bit. At first it was a little overpowering compared to what I was expecting. 5 minutes after the first sip though, things mellowed out and are very smooth going down.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Three Floyds Alpha King
12oz. brown bottle

Poured into a snifter. Alpha King pours a reddish amber color, with an off-white head that drops quickly. Really nice lacing. Great hop aroma..very floral, citrusy and piney. Taste starts with an iced tea, malty background, with a very nice hoppy twang that reminds me of centennial and cascade. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little dry. Light mouthfeel as well. I could drink a ton of these if only Three Floyds was in Florida. Very nice American Pale Ale.

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Photo of timtim
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

seems like enough has been said, but i have to shout out to this nice, hoppy, citrusy and slightly piney pale ale. great pale ale for the hop head, and nice malt backbone as well. seems this brewery has developed somewhat of a cult following, and they deserve it. never had anything below par by them. please keep 'em coming three floyds. cheers.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

701 reviews as of this writing. I'll leave the usual review behind and note some of my impressions. Wow, that's one piney / grassy hoppy beer. Smells stronger regarding the piney note than the taste, taste lends more of a grassy note. Nice that they decided to stay a lower ABV APA than a DIPA.

I can see why hopheads would love this beer! Not my cup of alpha.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of the classic Three Floyds hoppy brew.

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color with a creamy bubbly head and nice lace.

Hoppy nose of pine, peach, and grapefruit with a little soft bread, straw, and light malt.

Taste has just enough malt to hold the middle, with a piny resin on top. A little juicy citrus turns to full bitterness at the finish with hints of hay and grains.

Mouthfeel is medium/full for a PA, a little oily and somewhat dry at the finish. Good carbonation.

Very sturdy for a Pale Ale, with strong flavor and big bitterness. Very drinkable.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A -A really deep, very attractive dark color that looks like a mix between orange and cooper. Maybe a color one could call rust. There is a nice creamy slightly dirty looking head as well that sits on top of this one and leaves some nice lacing.

S - A nice hoppy, floral and citrus smell coming of it, rather fragrant as one can smell this one coming from miles away. There are also a few light notes of pine mixed in there as well which just adds even more to the hop dominance of this beer's nose.

T - The taste is just great and the citrus and pine hop aspect of this beer are the first tastes that hit your mouth. I would have to say the citrus seems to lean a bit more towards the orange aspect in my opinion. However, the hops are not at all overpowering and would not call this a hop bomb as all of a sudden there is a nice hit of sweet malts that come in to relieve your tongue from the hoppy onslaught. This is one superbly balanced beer as you are given a nice dose of both hops and malt without being blown away by either. hits you as first but not at all overpowering. Really a great beer that I just love.

MF - The mouthfeel is also great as it is super smooth and the carbonation is just right as there is a light carbonation that comes in and goes well with the hops and the body is there but not too thick or syrupy which makes this one really easy to drink as well. The after feeling is a light tingle that sits in on the mouth and because of the malt, I don't find myself feeling like I want to pucker to combat the hops bitterness.

D - Drinkability is really high on this as I could see myself buying this and just drinking one after another. It could possibly be the beer of choice for those nights when one just wants to drink beer after beer instead of sipping along. I also have to add that if I were ever stuck on a deserted island with only one beer this is the one beer that I would hope is with me since I do not think I could ever tire of this one as it just brings you everything you want in a beer and does it greatly.

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Photo of Lothore
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep, sunset orange with a small head.

S- Smell is absolutely perfect. Sweet, floral tones with a huge aromatic pineyness.

T- Taste is milder than expected from the ipaesque nose but good none the less. Starts off with a huge hit of piney hop flavor but mellows quickly into sweet maltiness and very little if any hop bitterness.

M- Creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Theres something different about the three floyds mouthfeel that I can't put my finger on. At first with Dreadnaught I thought it was lack of carbonation but now im thinking it may be to creamy for a pale ale or ipa.

D- This would be an absolutely excellent session beer. One of my favorite pale ales to date. Has all of the hop flavor but none of the bitterness which makes it pretty drinkable.

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Photo of JDV
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DrBayern for this amazing pale!

Pours a rich, cloudy honey/amber color, with a big lasting, and lasting, and lasting beige head. Never seen anything less than a rich stout hold onto a head the way this did. Smell is huge bold hops, citrusy, and fruity sweet caramel and is just mouthwatering. Taste is very nicely hopped, but not overdone at all. A great flavorful sweetness really rounds this beer out, and a nice satisfying bitterness, and full mouthfeel make this one of my all time favorites. A must try if you like American Pales.

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Photo of PhxHorn
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Goddamn, this is one of the best beers I've ever had. It pulls down my pants and taunts me. Thanks to Louisdog for the trade. Pours a deep orange color, lots and lots of white foam that leaves an opaque layer on the glass. Smells strongly of citrus. Tastes of citrus, some malt, and a solid amount of bitterness. Outstanding balance of flavor. Close to IPA territory, and in fact I've had IPAs that were less intense. Strong but not too much carbonation, and I was done with it before I realized what had happened. Jesus, how do those Floyd guys do it? And by the way, which one's Pink?

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Photo of rbowser
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first thing that hits you is the fresh and pungent citrus hops. This, as the title implies, is a Northwest hop festival in a glass or bottle.

It pours with a small but firm head that dissipates quickly and has a amber hue. Take the time to smell the hops before you drink this one, it really has a beautiful aroma that seems like it came right from some grassy field.

It also has a subtle taste not from the base malts, hops, or the crystal malt that gives it its amber hue. My guess is 3 Floyds uses a small amount of a speciality malt that provides a bit more depth and background flavor without overwhelming the simplicity of this IPA.

As the name suggests, this is a bitter beer, but it has the smoothness of my guess, Centennial hops, which is firm but very drinkable. It is also very clean, in the West Coast tradition, with no noticeable esters or yeast flavors that would be typical of an English IPA.

This is a very clean, super example of a West Coast style IPA that is highly drinkable. If I could get this locally, I would be stocking it up.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheodorHerzl for the chance to try this.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours amber with yellow highlights. Little to no head, some light lacing on top.

S- A sweet nose lots of hops. Notes of grapefruit and orange. I actually get an almost hard candy smell.

T- I get a good malt backbone w/ some nice hops character. I nice caramel with citrus notes. This is a really tasty beer. I am not getting blown away w/ hops like I thought I would. This is a very balanced beer.

M- This is a pretty thick pale ale but it is nice on the palate. Lower carbonation than I would expect though.

D- I could definitely have a couple of these. I think I should road trip to Munster, IN!

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Photo of Drew966
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alpha King Pale Ale pours a hazy orange with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is citrusy hops. The flavor is also dominated by citrusy hops, and the malt is up to the job of balancing this beer nicely, but stays in the background. This is a hoppy beer, but it's not a as strong as a DIPA type beer, I think I could session this beer all night. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of MMAJYK
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Copper in color and semi transparent. Nice, thick pillowy sheets of lacing and 3/4" of head.

S- Grapefruit and sweet caramel malts.

T- Nice bitter hops blended well with deep caramel backbone.

M- Medium to thick with high carbonation.

D- Very high. Almost a perfect score here.

Overall- This was a quick review while taking a break from brewing. My friend had some in the fridge and I have been dying to try it. Very sweet and a nice offering all the way around. Glad I finally got to give it a go. I would definitely seek this one out.

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Photo of spointon
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was my third or fourth occasion to sample this fine brew and thought it was time for a review.

I poured it aggressively from a bottle into a pint glass, yet it only produced about a 1/4 inch tan head that was gone in under 2 minutes. The color is a brilliant clear orange amber with barely noticable carbonation release. Decent lacing down the glass.

The smell is of course hops over the top, but there are also fruity esters and possibly a bit of not-unpleasant coppery scent.

The taste of this beer is very good. It is pleasantly bitter at first, but a hint of malt creeps in midway before a dry finish. Altogether a great taste sensation with this beer.

Mouthfeel is fine and good with low carbonation.

Drinkability is excellent. A classic example of american hoppiness. Too hoppy to compare to most other american pale ales, this one holds its own next to the best american IPAs such as Mad Hatter.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,788 ratings.