1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

4,229 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4229
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: 4,229 | Reviews: 1,646 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MetricOcean
MetricOcean

Minnesota

4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very balanced, aroma-hop-forward, well crafted American Pale Ale. The nose on this thing is fresh and citrusy, some pine, some sweetness. Taste is not aggressive but very assertive, no harsh bitterness at all. Lemon comes through strong and is followed by a subdued soft bitterness. Modest sweet cereal body ties it all together. Light alcohol flavor, but hidden enough that it could sneak up on you. More drinkable than its 6.6 ABV would suggest. Overall this is an incredible Pale Ale, and it most definitely lives up to the hype it gets. Well done. 89/100

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 21:21:19 | More by MetricOcean
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dark amber color with a nice white head with superb lacing. The smell is mildly hoppy...of the piney variety. not quite an IPA but too much to be a pale, too. The taste is definitely more like a pale than an IPA though (its like a toned down zombie dust honestly) defintely taste the cascade hops here but its not too much and i still would consider this a pale. for the style its superb. Medium bodied with mild carbonation. very creamy feel.

Overall for a pale ale this is one of the best in the world.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 19:31:19 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

A: Tawney amber; opaque. A white one-finger head that turns to medium sized bubbles. Curtain-y lacing.

S: Piney hops, light malts. Earthy.

T: A fantastic hop/malt mix. Grassy hops meet sweet malts. Spices blend in. Orange peel adds to the citrus effect. Very smooth and balanced. A dry finish. Could drink this one all afternoon.

M: Medium with medium, frothy lacing.

O: An outstanding pale ale. Wish more beers tasted like this.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 17:17:58 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of PaulyB83
PaulyB83

Michigan

4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a straight nonic glass. No bottling date, some numbers on bottom of bottle but can't tell what they mean

A- Pours a medium-deep amber with a good sized lingering slightly off white head

S- Bright citrus hops, not heavy in the bitter aroma. A malty sweetness

T- Nice medium bitter and pine hops and heavy citrus notes on the front. A lingering malty sweetness. Not to heavy on either end to throw it off balance.

M- Medium body not too lingering and refreshing enough to have a couple.

O- This my first Three Floyds offering and felt I should go with this one as it is their flagship beer. Amazing balance of not being too hoppy for a lighter bodied APA.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 01:57:33 | More by PaulyB83
Photo of K80JOHN
K80JOHN

Indiana

4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer. Three Floyds is my favorite beer maker. I love the hop flavor and aroma of this beer. I discovered Three Floyds about 10 years ago and really like most of what they brew. Alpha King is my all time best. It is awsome.

Appearance: amber cloudy
Smell: Citrus hops
Taste: Great hop flavor, but not over powering
Mouthfeel: Clean full flavor
Overall: Beautiful hop flavor aroma and taste

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 22:03:50 | More by K80JOHN
Photo of Qbdoo
Qbdoo

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my all-time favorite beers. It's both big and highly drinkable. I have trouble categorizing it as an APA because of its explosive aroma and flavors, its extreme hoppiness. Ten years ago this was moderately priced beer, but as Three Floyds has grown in renown, the price has gone up and it can be hard to find, even here is Chicago. At old prices, it's was my everyday beer. Now it's a treat. Ah, the old days!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 02:29:32 | More by Qbdoo
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours mostly a somewhat cloudy amber with an orange hue. Head is very light tan, near white (less than a finger), Retention is only ok, lacing is decent.

S - Oh my, super citrus grapefruit overload. One of the more grapefruity beers ive smelled in a while, maybe ever. Definitely pineapple and lemon zest aromas as well. Smells absolutely phenomenal.

T - Fairly mild with the hop bitternes, but its existant. Lots of sweet and citrusy flavors. Grapefruit, pineapple, and the lemon zest mixes particularlly well with the mildly bitter hops. Sweet caramel malts are undeniable (although subtle). Aftertaste is a mix of everything really (citrus, sweetness, bitterness). Nothing overpowering, very well balanced.

M - Mouthfeel is ideal, lightish bodied, well carbonated and very pleasant to drink.

O - Overall it did not quite meet the hype (but the hype was very difficult to meet), still a fantastic IPA, doesnt hold a torch to ZD IMO, but not much does. Definitely more citrus focused than ZD.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 23:32:33 | More by MacQ32
Photo of BeerImmediately
BeerImmediately

Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nonic pint served up at the brewery - my first 3F.

Pours deep amber with a 1-2F off white head. Great lacing!

Good balance in the aromas - nice mix of earth, caramel malts, and citrusy hops.

Flavors are virtually all hop-forward. Grapefruit skin leads the way, with some orange pith, and kiss lemon zest. Could've used a touch more sweetness for my taste, but he'll, I'm a sweet tooth. MF is awesome ... Clean, and crisp as hell for the ABV.

Killer APA, no doubt

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2013 00:57:36 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

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

@ Girl and Goat, Chicago IL

Dark honey color with a thick head. Kingly lace and retention.

Immersive grapefruit and wet grass aroma. So good.

Tastes like grapefruit juice. Lots and lots of hoppy grapefruit goodness with very little bitterness. Nice carmelized malt background. Sometimes I wonder why I love grapefruity beers but don't drink regular grapefruit juice. It has no alcohol, vitamin C, and it's cheaper. Beer is beer.

My first ever Three Floyds on tap. It's not something you forget.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2013 18:47:02 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of SleepyDrunk
SleepyDrunk

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance- Dark amber. Crisp, white head.

Aroma- Strong malts up front with a distinct pine smell towards the middle with citrus notes that linger throughout.

Flavor- A pleasant bitter taste that is immediately followed with the pine up front. The citrus notes come through towards the finish balancing the beer off nicely.

Mouthfeel- Bitterness throughout, medium body, high carbonation. Wonderful finish.

Overall- This is one loaded pale ale - not for the faint of heart. Full of wonderful hop notes and a distinct malt profile. Very bitter for a pale ale, but not unpleasant. Certainly one of the better pales out there. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 02:45:24 | More by SleepyDrunk
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap into nonic pint at the brewery. Deep caramel color with a nice foamy head. Piney hop and sweet caramel aroma. taste is bitter hops with some sweet caramel finish. For me the bitterness is just too much. Its actually way too bitter for my likes; which is the norm for FFF. Huge malt and bitter profile - and lots of people like that, just not me. Good brew for sure, I just don't get the hype on this one.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2013 03:58:16 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no bottle date
New Belgium globe

A: Cloudy deep orange leading to amber. Good full finger of off white head. Sticky lacing sheeting left on the glass.

S: Earthy hops. Sweet malts. Pine. Smells bready but still fresh. Getting more earthy hops than the citrus and grapefruit.

T: Nice punch of pine hops. More middle of the road than I remembered, but its been a while. Dry finish.

M: Medium bodied.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 15:53:11 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Sensory Pils Glass

A - Pours a hazed ambered gold color, one finger of soapy white head, nice lacing.
S - Outstanding aroma, big citrus impact, grapefruit, lemon, lime, pineapple, very light fresh bread kinda malt, some pine kind dankness to it.
T - Follows the aroma perfectly, big juicy citrus hop bite up front, mild sweetness from that, midway you get some bitterness, and finishes with some more of that sweetness and pine. Almost like a orange and lime juice combo.
M - Juicy and crisp, still ultra refreshing, just enough bitterness to give that bite, but well tamed.
O - Outstanding, this one lives up to its hype by all means. Im so glad I got to try this, and that I got two bottles of it. Lives up to expectations.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 01:29:06 | More by Omnium
Photo of SFACRKnight
SFACRKnight

Colorado

4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into oskar blues shaker pint. Thanks Nathan!

Pours a nice amber with a hint of red, about an inch of fluffy off white head after a pretty normal pour. Really a nice looking beer. Getting hints of bread, biscuit, a bit of carmel and some piney hops off this one. Kind of underwhelmed on the aroma. The taste makes up for it though. Tons of hop presence from the first sip. Nice resiney pine base with citrus fruit overtones, also getting some peach through on this one. The malt comes through less in the flavor than on the nose, but the same flavors are there. Good caarbonation, medium mouthfeel. Overall, great beer. I enjoyed the hop presence in this APA, and found it very easy to drink. It isn't exactly to style, but what FFF brew is?

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 15:35:35 | More by SFACRKnight
Photo of Whiskeydeez
Whiskeydeez

Kansas

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance- Burnt orange almost amber. Creamy white head of about 1/2in.

Aroma- I'm getting a nice malt aroma. PIne and resin comes through with a touch of tropical and citrus notes.

Flavor- A nice bitterness takes front stage. Resin and pine flavor float on top of the bitterness. My palate could have been off but I was getting that onion type hop flavor instead of any big citrus. The malt flavors were sweet and biscuity.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, mid to high carbonation. Smooth, not much for malt sweetness on the tongue. Bitterness carries through and lingers. SSticky as it warms.

Overall- Good beer, big bitterness for a pale. Good display of hops, its loaded up. It gets rather one dimensional as it warms behind the bitterness, I thought at least. Would have it again for sure though.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 20:24:26 | More by Whiskeydeez
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a deep amber color with a large three finger head.

The aroma is extremely hoppy. There's sweet caramel malt along with citrus and floral notes and pine. Very distinct of Cascade hops.

The flavor has lots of bittering of pine and grapefruit on the back. The pine and woody notes stand out more than grapefruit or citrus.

It's a simple and elegant pale ale with loads of hops in the flavor with a good amount of bittering. It's a very well balanced brew with the caramel and biscuit malt. The beer did not blow my socks off, but is quite good.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 18:06:00 | More by dar482
Photo of Farewell_Transmission
Farewell_Transmission

Ohio

4.96/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

a. Nice amber color, hints of red. Nic lacing, and a nice small head which dissipates quite quickly.

s. amazing smell of hops.

t. the taste of hops is amazing. When the glass warms a little it even brings out a little more.

m. this is really good.

o. this is a perfect beer. There is really nothing to improve other then to use different styles of hops to give a different pallet. I wish I could get this all the time in ohio, because it would be my go to bee.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 02:51:47 | More by Farewell_Transmission
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy dark copper with a dense off white head, nice lacing on the upper portion of the glass.

S - Vibrant citrus hop aroma, caramel malts, hints of pine mixed in.

T - Candy citrus, lemon and bright orange flavors, green hops, a solid background of toasted barley and caramel, bitterness starts in the middle with and pairs with the carbonation for a peppery bite. Citrus peel and oils start coming out toward the end along with apricots and general stone fruit flavors. Finishes bitter with some orange oils left on the tongue.

M - Medium/heavy body, lively/stingy carbonation.

I've been waiting a long time to try this beer and it did not disappoint. Fresh bright aroma, zesty citrus hop flavor with a spicy bitterness on the back end. Malt bill was perfect for the amount of hops used. Well crafted and highly enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 00:38:35 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, undated but of very recent vintage according to the salesperson, served in a Belgian snifter.

A: Dark red-amber, definitely dark for style, with a modest size bone-colored head that has very good retention and lacing. Lightly hazy.

Smells unique, partly due to the unfamilair Warrior hops I suppose, with a very balanced and integrated aroma that reflects both malts and hops.

T: also, nicely balanced. Less fruity, more herbal and less bitter than CPA (see below), but as tasty overall, if a bit less intense, and perhaps even more easy drinking. More generally, has the intensity and hop level of a typical IPA.

O: Excellent. I had my first Alpha King immediately after an excellent Odd Side Ales CPA, and suspected it might pale (excuse me) by comparison. Well, it’s different, but similar in both sensory properties and quality. Glad I have 5 more!

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 22:25:50 | More by chinchill
Photo of joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

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

12oz. Bottle
$7.99 6-Pack
Sam's Downers Grove

This is a constant in my fridge. Looking around on BeerAdvocate today I noticed I never took the time to review it. Here it is.

Alpha King poured a slightly chill hazed dirty copper. A 2 finger white creamy head formed on an aggressive pour. Very few, slowly rising carbonation bubbles rise to the head. Leaves some patchy lacing.

I love the smell of a fresh Alpha King. Big piney hops that make my eyes and mouth water along with a squeeze of orange juice. A solid caramel maltiness in the background, just enough so the hops don't run wild.

This beer is considered a pale ale but drinks more along the lines of an IPA. Caramel maltiness starts things off and is quickly taken of by a strong pine needle mouth puckering hoppiness that lingers through till the finish. The finish is even a little more bitter as the caramel sweetness disappears.

Body is on the lighter side of medium. Sluggish carbonation lets the brew work it's way through at it's own pace. Hop bitterness gives the tongue a beating.

This is an incredibly easy drinking beer. Every sip makes you want another. The lighter body makes it easy on the stomach.

The best pale ale I have yet come across. It helps that it's more along the lines of an IPA. An absolute classic and one of my favorites.

Reviewed: 3/28/07

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 22:10:39 | More by joe1510
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

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

I've had this on-tap in the past, but this is the first time having it bottled. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy amber; small off-white head and great retention; decent lacing. The aromas are full of caramel malts, juniper, blueberries, grapefruit, lemon zest, and the slightest amount of booze. I don't know why, but I'm picking up alot of blueberries in the flavors as well, which is cool. The flavors have a very solid bitterness to this one, which seems to outshine the caramel malts. The malts are strong though. Lots of subtle grapefruit and citrus going on. There's alot of body to this one; it's on the fuller side of medium-bodied; active carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's pretty easy to drink.

This is a very nice beer. It blurs the lines between and APA and an IPA, but I have no problem calling this is an APA. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 20:51:42 | More by BB1313
Photo of DonFrap
DonFrap

Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle into a Funky Buddha snifter. I love the smell of this beer, it's super hoppy, but with a bit of balance to it. It's very dark for a pale. Nice 2-3 finger head, great retention and lacing. Very citrusy taste, but doesn't live up to the smell. A very good pale, not in my top 10, but still very good.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2013 02:58:16 | More by DonFrap
Photo of JohnG190
JohnG190

New York

4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks NW2285. Pours orange to brick red with slightly cloudy body. A thick, three finger off-white head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Strong orange notes dominate the nose with a hint of pine needle and faint caramel as well. Orange hits the palate first delivering a strong citrusy taste that’s faintly tart. The next notes are sweeter - sherbet and caramel. Alpha King finishes dry and slightly bitter, with faint resin notes. Medium bodied, not quite as chewy as an IPA, but pretty close. The carbonation is lively. Overall this might be the finest example of an American Pale Ale out there. Great work 3Floyds.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 22:26:02 | More by JohnG190
Photo of BWED
BWED

Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler at B's Po Boy, Fountain Square, Indianapolis, IN

A- Caramel chestnut with a slight haze in the body. Yellowish/light tan head, with some great rings of lacing.

S- Dry citrus rind. Slight caramel maltiness.

T- Snappy citrus, dry hop. A little sweetness, caramel to backup the hop character.

M- Medium body. Carbonation is smooth. Dry finish, bitterness is moderate and pleasant.

O- A great ale. I've been lucky enough to be able to drink this beer a lot, and I have finally reviewed it.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 12:28:12 | More by BWED
Photo of Chibeerguy1
Chibeerguy1

Illinois

4.84/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Most nights i pour from a bottle into a Teku glass

A: Amber reddish hue. Perfect head two fingers right to the brim of the glass, lots of lacing, really brings out the aroma. Love the artwork, metallic, shiny and tons to look at. I think Ive spent more time admiring the art on 3F bottles than on almost any other beer

S: Very nice hop forward aroma, you can tell its well balanced as well

T: Outstanding. A high quality traditional IPA but a little bit more than that.

M: Very smooth taste, perfect amount of bitterness without going overboard. Just the right amount of carbonation.

O: This is probably one of my favorite go to IPA's from my area. I have had this beer many times and I like it more every time I try another IPA from the next up and coming brewery. 3F knows APA's and there is a reason this is almost always in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 20:45:03 | More by Chibeerguy1
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 4,229 ratings.