Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,828 Reviews
Alpha KingAlpha King

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

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,828 | Ratings: 6,407
Photo of laketang
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours out orange with one finger head reduced to half

good malt sweet scent and hops give off citrus and pine and bready yeast

thick citrus to the scenses, malty pleasure on the nose of bready sweetness

chewy fruit flavor not too bitter,lingers a while

three floyds brews great beer, this is one in my opinion. if your new to three floyds beers try this one because of its availability compared to zombie dust, tho dust is better.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz., bottle conditioned. Pours a reddish orange with a creamy, 1 finger, tan head that leaves decent lacing. Looks more like an amber or an IPA. Big citric/piney/leafy hop aroma with grapefruit, mandarin oranges, and a little bit of alcohol. The beer is fairly bitter and has notes of pine, grapefruits, oranges, and other tropical fruits. The malts are there, but they're overpowered by all the hops. It's somewhat thick, coats the mouth well, and is very drinkable. Delicious but not your typical pale ale - the flavors and appearance (and the ABV) resemble an IPA.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.37/5  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.

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Photo of Ryphraph
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have tried this beer twice. The first was not as good of an experience as the bottles may have had a hard trip to the West Coast.

The score is based on the second and better experience.

I was lucky enough to get some in the Chicago area and it was much different and better to say the least. The beer from Chicago was considerably fresher and the citrus and a honey back flavor were much stronger.

I am glad I gave it a second chance.


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Photo of dbossman
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber/brown; a bit cloudy with a thin but steady cream colored head--once it dissipates it sits nicely on the top of the beer; the lacing is great

S: Sweet, malty quality backed by a mild pine and lemon hop presence; a bit subdued

T: A very well-balanced beer; the pine and citrus sit right on top of a caramel, candied sugar maltiness

F: Nice, even mouth coating; carbonation is right on

D: A great pale ale that acts more like an IPA--probably is more of an IPA--but I'll go with the APA because the hops don't quite dominate like most American IPAs; good beer

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jeager for the trade on this one.

Pours a nice amber color with a white head that dissipated fast. Nice lacing.

Smells nice and malty but not that much hop aroma. Caramel malt is the main aroma.

Taste is great. Probably one of the best pale ales I have had. Lots of great flavor and hop bitterness. Great balance between the caramel malty flavor and the dry finish of the hops.

Mouthfeel is perfect for the style.

Overall a great brew and i am glad he sent me 2 of them. I will probably trade for more of this another time...

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Photo of Treyliff
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler, poured into a tulip

A- pours a clear deep amber color with some reddish hue, small fizzy and creamy white head, eventually reduces completely, leaving a few patches of lace behind

S- fresh citrusy hop aroma up front with an emphasis on grapefruit & orange zest. Fresh grassy & leafy hop notes as well. Caramel malt aroma rounds it out with just a hint of bready notes at the end

T- citrus hoppy notes come through first with lots of orange peel and grapefruit juice, followed by fresh leafy & resinous hop flavors. Slight caramel melt sweetness kicks in mid-palate before finishing slightly bready with more citrusy hop linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp and foamy finish

O- one of the best pale ales out there. The citrus hops and caramel malt are so well balanced, that it remains incredibly drinkable, while still being packed with flavor

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Photo of aasher
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DFH pint glass

Appearance: smoothly with a light white head which stays out top of the beer and laces the rim of the glass, is amber in color and features a full bodied pour

Smell: piny and hoppy, excellent fresh hop aromas, slight bitterness

Taste: a little dry and hoppy, somewhat malty, great flavor, sweet with a mellow hoppy finish

Mouthfeel: very creamy initially, moderate body, slight carbonation

Drinkability: very drinkable Pale Ale, features great aromas and is very hoppy for a pale, drinks very smoothly

I'd definitely recommend Alpha King, in bottle or on tap

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single somewhere in VA, one of many things gathered at either Vienna Whole Foods, Norm's, or Westpark Wine & Beer.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" frothy beige head over the orangey amber brew. Head hangs around, and lacing is good. Aroma is of piney citrusy hops. Taste is all about the hops, but they aren't dissolving your taste buds, rather massaging them vigorously. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great. Another reason I wish Three Floyds would branch out their distribution a bit...

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Photo of sweemzander
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish to orange amber color that produced a nice off-white foamy head that stuck around awhile. Left some legs behind.

(S)- Fruity citrus of lemon, lime, pineapple, & grapefruit with a respectable wet pine behind it. The tiniest caramel-like sweetness in the background.

(T)- Exactly like the smell. Great citrus & pine. A respectable bitterness. I am loving how creamy the fruits are. A tiny caramel/honey sweetness in the far background.

(M)- A great carbonation level & balance. Dry, bitter, & great citrus. Great creamy citrus. Just what a pale ale should be like. . . and them some.

(D)- Exactly what a pale ale should be like! The balance & complexity is simple, but smooth. The bitterness, dryness, & citrus is borderline near what I would expect from an IPA, but I have no complaints about that! Just a simple yet delightful beer to enjoy one after another. The essence of the style.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the few survivors (along with Gumballhead and Rabid Rabbit) of a shipment from IN to OK. My bottles of Dreadnaught and Panzer Wolf were not so fortunate to make it through the rough UPS ride. Sad...

A- One of the meanest looking pale ales i have seen. Pours a dark copper bordering on amber into my Spiegelau IPA glass. Creamy as can be light tan head of 1 finger. Lacing that is sticky as hell. The retention is equally impressive as a layer sticks around the whole time. Looks like I am in store for a great beer.

S- Tons of citrus notes all over the nose. Grapefruit, orange, lemon zest. Some bready character underneath. Touch of carmelized malts as well.

T- Hops all over again as the nose indicates. Toasted bread malts come through with a nice round of sweet caramel to support the hop platform. Nice amoutn of bitterness in the finish, but avoids any harsh astringency. Actually finds some way to be slightly clean and smooth.

M- Mid body makes this one a bit heavy for the style, so the drinkability is average at best. Fantastic carbonation though. Crisp and clean. Dry as expected.

O- Hoppier than most APAs, but quite enjoyable. A standard for the style. If there were no lable i would have assumed this one were an IPA.

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Photo of cbaird2
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass

A - dark amber, a brown color - nice white 1 finger head that went down pretty quick.

S - hoppy, piney & floral with a little citrus

T - the hops are strong right away, but not overly bitter. The malt helps to balance the beer quite nicely at the end.

M - Much lighter than you would think by the smell and even the taste. Probably hanging in the medium range of mouthfeel, though it smells like there could be actual hops in the glass.

D - Really goes down smoothly and easily. Very delicious. Pretty hoppy, but not as bitter as many IPA's. If I didn't have to get this in Chicago, I could easily see myself drinking this very regularly.

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Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep orange/copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, mango, lemon/orange peel, citrus rind, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible robustness, balance, and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky, and fairly creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible pale ale! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/piney hops and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of crwills
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Loved it. An awesome example of the style, although much more IPA-like than I expected.

Bought a single bottle of this from Circle Liquors in Pennington, NJ.

Poured into a standard pint glass, a very nice semi-clear amber with not much head. STRONG hoppy smell, with sinus-clearing pine and citrus.

Flavour is very bitter, but in a good way, and held up by the grapefruit and pine. A bit of soapiness, as well as a nice bitter, peppery aftertaste that is pleasant and not overpowering. Mouthfeel is great -- this is quite a dry beer and doesn't coat unpleasantly at all.

Highly recommended, and I plan to get a bunch of this when I go back.

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Photo of TheHungryHiker
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is next-to-impossible to find in L.A. Lucky for me, whilst visiting back east, I came across an outdoor bar serving this. I sat and sipped in the sweltering sun, savoring every drop, when my cell went off. Text from a friend: "Ever hear of Three Floyds Brewery?" I looked around for the spy cam...nothing. Turns out my friend came across a 6pk of Robert the Bruce as I was indulging in Alpha King. We joined forces and shared our rare finds. (See Robert the Bruce review next.)

A= Dark, deep brown with red edging, topped by a good two fingers of well-tanned head, the bubbles woven tightly together and clinging to the edge of the glass as the center slowly caved in.

S= Pine? Grapefruit? I check the label... "Pale Ale." Hmmm, what trickery is this!?! Malts, as I expected, but this is screaming IPA. The hops are jumping out of the glass.

T= Mmmm... IPA heaven. Lots of grapefruit and piney bitterness, a fair hit of malts, the slightest suggestion of clove and nutmeg and orange. All three of the Floyds must be pulling a fast one...

M= enough carbonation and alcohol to make it a thirst quencher, enough hops to make it a good IPA (err, APA), enough malts to tame the finish.

D= In a blind tasting, I would smugly proclaim "IPA, not quite hoppy enough to be from SoCal, ergo northwest coast," before crawling under the nearest rock upon discovering it to be an APA from (DARE NOT SAY) Munster, Indiana! Who would of thought?
Point is, this is one damn fine beer. A heavy-hopper from the heartland. Next time I am in Indiana, I am taking a ride to Munster and filling my trunk.
As for a food pairing, try this with traditional English Fish & Chips w/Malt Vinegar. The citrus notes and carbonation will cut through the batter coating and help play up the sweetness of the cod, and the sweet maltly background in the beer will tame the bite of the vinegar while marrying the malts together. I am getting hungry just writing about it.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Major props to BA Chaney for bringing me a bottle from the brewery- Thanks Brandon!

Alpha King pours a medium copper color with a half finger coffee colored head. Good lacing on the side of my snifter glass. Fairly clear in appearance. The nose is very nice- hops, some malt, citrus fruit, a little grass. Very well blended, and pleasant smelling for the style. The flavor is almost like an IPA- much more flavor and hops than I was expecting. Big hop bite, with grapefruit, orange, pine, and a decent malt backbone holding everything together. Really big taste for the style. Fairly smooth, malty aftertaste.. but the hops are definitely still there. Feel is medium, with a nice bite, good carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, I can see why this is the #3 beer for it's style. Really well done- another winner from FFF. Cheers.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
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

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Photo of Dope
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark amber, darkest APA I've seen I think. Looks more like (you guessed it) amber ale. Perfect head with some nice retention.

S: Surprisingly subtle aroma. Smells a bit hoppy and wheaty but nothing strong or overpowering. Bit of caramel in there too I think.

T: Surprisingly not overly hoppy like I was expecting (but it's still there). Beautifully balanced with a nice citrus flavor. Very little bitterness.

M: Medium body with perfect carbonation to compliment the flavors.

D: Nice and light and well balanced, I could put down 6 of these without even blinking.

I usually prefer the more hoppy APAs, but this is just awesome. Overall a fantastic APA. Might be the best one I've had.

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Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a nice fluffy head that leaves lacing all over the place

Smell: Candyish treacle, with plenty of ruby red grapefruit

Taste: At the outset, the treacle flavor arrives and makes a statement that this is going to be a different kind of pale ale; not too long thereafter, the citrusy hops take a whack at your taste buds but there is a wonderful blending with the malt; after the swallow, the flavors are incredibly well-balanced so that the bitterness never overwhelms the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a healthy dose of carbonation

Drinkability: Very interesting beer with a big malt bill and plenty of hops, this is not for the faint-hearted

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Photo of MMansfield
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sent to me by democorhip. Thanks a billion for this one!

Appearance: Pours a murky, rusty copper colour with a frothy two finger cap, leaving lots of lace. Good retention.

Aroma: Hops galore! Big pine scents, grass and florals. Grapefruit, some spice from the hops and sweet caramel.

Taste: Hops. Piney and grassy hops with lots and lots of grapefruit. Although the bitterness is very high, its also quite sweet on the front end. Somewhat sour and medicinal in the finish, but not overly cloying.

Mouthfeel - Not too carbonated, I like that. Creamy and lots of body.

Final Statement - This is Hop Bomb!! There should be a warning on the label, not for the faint of heart. It's a delicious APA suitable for hop heads such as myself. I'd love to have regular access to this one.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass. Beige head poured about two fingers (the first of my six pack may be a little too warm - the fridge was broken at the store). Very sticky lacing, I'll need to thoroughly rinse between beers.

All manner of hop character. With the high temperature, it becomes estery toward the end, and hints of caramel emerge. Mostly just those good old Three Floyds hops.

Awesome beer - I drank three the first night properly and slammed three on the golf course and I think they would be just as tasty and satisfying in any situation.

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Photo of steelreign
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hop heads rejoice! This one will dominate you and make you beg for more of those delicious flowering cones! Hops, hops and more hops are in the aroma, predominate in the taste, and are present in the finish. Not nearly as bitter as you may expect. Very smooth and luxurious mouthfeel - I love this beer! I dare say on par with Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and then some! Recommended!

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my Pizza Port commemorative pint glass. Pours deep orange amber with minimal white head.
Smells citrusy and grassy.
Tastes hoppy and smooth. Hops are present but not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel nice as well. I drank this straight, but I'd love to pair it with a good pizza. Very drinkable as well. The more I drank this beer, the smoother it got.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber gold with a ton of white head. The head hangs out for ever and there is beautiful lacing on the glass. Smells hoppy and malty. Smells as hoppy as any IPA I've had. some light citrus and piney hints on the nose. Tastes very balanced between a solid malt profile and some great hops. Pine and citrus on the tongue. A bit of grapefruit as well. Very good mouthfeel and very drinkable. A top notch brew

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Brooklyn pint glass. Pours a hazy orangish brown. Very good looking, it reminds me of darker caramel. The head of it is probably 1/4 of an inch and quickly dissipates into various sized bubbles.

Smells like a perfect blend of piney and citrus hops. The smell is so balanced between the two. There is a little sweetness but not much.

The taste is much like the smell, delicious. A great belnd of hops at first then after a second or two later there is a bite from the hops. In the background of all of the hops is a malty sweetness. The aftertaste is a tad bit bitter but the sweetness of the matls prevail.

Mouthfeel is great for this style. The malts chalk up to a wonderful amount of thickness that most APAs don't have. It's mouthfeel is definitely it's strong suit but that's not to say that everything else isn't up to par, this is just it's best characteristic in my opinion.

Drinkability is high. The flavors are just strong enough to keep you coming back for more and the ABV allows you to pound these beers but not be abliterated after a six pack of them in one night.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,407 ratings.
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