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Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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1,807 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,807 | Ratings: 6,329
Photo of julian
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice pale amber color, almost clear but with a minimal haze. Head is a decent foamy off white color that dissipates at an average speed leaving a nice blanket on the surface. Lacing is also fairly good, leaving some sticky curtains around the sides.

S: Smells like a winner to me, citrus abound, slightly resinous, malt sweetness mixed with a nice hop bitterness. Not as aromatic and mouth watering as Gumballhead, but nonetheless still a great aroma all around.

T: Taste starts off with a bitter hop bite, but nothing outrageous...just a quick blast of resinous hops to set the stage, followed by a melody of citrus flavors and then a sweeter caramel like malt finish to round it out.

M: Carbonation, like almost all FFF beers, is always just right. Crisp, refreshing drink. This is my first meal of the day :) Goes down real easy. Smooth taste and creamy feel near the end.

D: As far as Pale Ale's go this is right up there. Maybe I'm partial to the brewery after trying most of their stuff and being thoroughly impressed, but what can I say, I like the way FFF makes beer. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of BigJim5021
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours copper colored with an off-white head and good lacing. We're off to a good start.

The smell isn't terribly strong, but some nice floral hops greet you when you take a whiff. And is that a hint of sweet maltiness I detect?

The flavor? Holy shit. This is the hoppiest APA (or any non-IPA pale ale) I've ever tasted. The best part is, it even has a touch of maltiness in the finish. The upfront, however, is all hops. Floral and citrusy, and they accompany the minor malt in the finish with some great hop bitterness. If I was blindfolded, there's no way that I would think that this was anything else but an IPA.

The mouthfeel is a touch beyond medium-bodied. It's not chewy, but it's thicker than your average pale ale. I dig it.

I'm definitely going to have to add this to the regular beer rotation from here on out. Three Floyd's continues to make a fan out of me. This surpasses Robert the Bruce as my favorite amongst their kickass brands.

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Photo of Yesac
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on trade from jwinship83 - thanks!

A - Pours a hazy copper/orange. Small off-white head that stays throughout the glass.

S - Floral aroma with strong citrus hops. Very crisp smelling.

T - Where the malts at? Hop dominance up front, but without the typical bitterness, they are sweet and crisp. Subtle malt finish.

M - Medium body, slightly sticky sweet hop aftertaste.

D - So crisp and fresh tasting, easy drinker here. Excellent APA.

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

poured from a growler. floral hop scents up front. slightly malty with bitter hop finish, more towards the citrus. very floral and slightly sweet. smooth in the mouth with light carbonation, probably because i poured it straight into the glass. very drinkable!

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Photo of maximum12
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have to admit that I'm not an American Pale Ale fan. Never found one I cared for much, but need a few bottles for a trade & figured I'd try one of the leftovers.

Poured a beautiful, almost glowing bronze with a cool swirling head, with a pungent head of wheat & hops. Mildly promising.

This beer rocks. Tastes great. There's a nice acidic bite to it with a bit of saccharine sweetness at the end that balances out very nicely.

Great, light, not filling, easy-drinking, mother of a beer. I will have this again. I'm rueing that I am going to have to send a couple of bottles of this puppy away!

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Photo of jraycee
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear amber with a small head.
Smell is over he top fruity hops, like tangelos from my christmas stocking.
Taste is great light malt base followed quickly by citrus, honeysuckle, pine bark and lingering bitterness hiding some sweet flowers.
Good mouthfeel. If it was a little less watery and slick it would be perfection. I'm stretching here cause, its close.
This beer is definitely sessionable. I think my fiance will drink all of mine though, so someone send me more! Daddy like!

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Photo of littlekidlover
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a medium amber, a little bit darker than your average APA. Had a 1 finger head that disappeared quickly, lacing was minimal. There is a walloping hop nose of grapefruit, pine, and flowery esters. My friend calls this "Kind bud beer". The taste is mostly hops, spicy, citrus, yet balanced Medium to light body with a little carbonation. Very drinkable, possibly sessionable, but I usually like to switch up my beer anyway.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from mikereaser. Thanks!

A - Cloudy orange/brown color with huge khaki head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - Burnt caramel and citrusy/tropical hop juice. The malts are much stronger in the nose than I expected from all the hop-head hype I have heard.

T - Biscuity and caramel sweetness up front. A citrusy hop taste comes through but is not as strong as I anticipated. Finishes with a somewhat grainy taste.

M/D - Medium to full bodied and very smooth. A passable beer but certainly not living up to the hype.

Not sure if something happened to this bottle, but my first FFF experience was certainly a let down. I will definitely give this one another try down the road though.

Update: Just had what I know to be relatively fresh and it was much better. Still not living up to the hype, but the citrusy nose is very clear and strong and then taste is much hoppier. A very solid bre.

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Photo of toolbrew
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with the most difficult cap to take off that I've ever had to do - I was using a lighter though. Poured a slightly hazy deep copper color with a nice off-white head. Decent head retention and some lacing on the glass.

Hoppy aroma - I can detect maybe some citrus (lemon) and some grassy notes.

Sweet and crisp taste with a nice hop finish.

Goes down very well. Get a sharp attack on the roof of the mouth that dissipates quickly, but then comes back slightly as an aftertaste.

A very drinkable beer. I have enjoyed this one many times and only wish they distributed to Michigan.

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Photo of PatronWizard
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Stan the Man at Lone Hill Liqour. Was fairly excited to try a pale ale that made the BA Top 100.

Light copper bronze. Big bubbled frothy white head sits atop a sea of tiny replenishing bubbles. This one is lively.

Not too strong in the nose, but hops are there alright.

Great pale ale. I may have been drinking too many DIPAs lately to fully appreciate this little guy, but definitely good.

Could drink a ton of these.

Overall: great pale ale

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange and hazy with good head. Not much lacing.

S: Sweet and hoppy; very typical

T: Syrup like taste with a light bitter finish. Couldn't pin-point out any distinct flavors...but perhaps a honey like sweetness.

M: Light body and carbonation; just about perfect for this type of beer.

D: Could drink all night if needed.

Overall: A good beer...not great. One of the better pale ales I have tasted.

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Photo of Nesued
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After having reviewed Avery's Maharaja, I thought my taste buds were primed to pay my respects to the Alpha King. I picked up a six-pack on a trip to Indy, and have been holding them for...heck, I don't know...

Appearance - Light amber in coloring, no haze. The carbonation is very fine, supporting a slight ring. Lacing is minimal.

Smell - After reading several reviews, I was expecting the typical "grapefruit/hop bomb" nose. Not the case with this one. Minor citrus nose. Slight grassy and "fresh feel nose" is about the best I can describe.

Taste - Starting from the end, nice dry finish. Well done. This could have hindered the acceptance of this brew, but thankfully the need for balance was well considered. Good malt sweetness middle adds to the profile with little hop "stickyness" hindering the taste. The initial presentation was again well balanced. I hang on this word (i.e. "balanced") for the simple reason that it is far easier to err on the side of a hop-bomb than to present a well-balanced offering.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and mellow, considering the potential. Very nicely balanced with the typical hop bite absent. Kudos to those who understand the role malt plays in the overall profile.

Drinkability - What shall I do with my remaining 5 bottles? Drink them seems in order. Very nice offering and approachable for someone who isn't a hop-head. Nicely balanced and well presented.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clean copper color with a white head. In the the aroma, big citrus/ grapefruity hops. In the taste, sweet, grapefruity hops and a nice balanceing maltiness. A small bite and medium mouthfeel, with a citrus/ grapefruity hops in the aftertaste. Big hops and mellow for a pale, easy to drink.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Hopleaf in Chicago.

Really enjoyed it. My first impression was that it reminded me of a "hopped UP" Pete's Wicked Ale from the old days. (It's been a while since I've had Pete's and this is meant as a compliment)

Came with a thin but fairly creamy head that did show some resilience. Mostly clear with an Orange Amber color. Very nice lacing.

Aroma was of Citrus and some other fruits. Pineapple maybe??

Taste was excellent and very well balanced. Deep flavor and one that was nicely complex. A lot going on here with the different fruit flavors. The finish was surprising dry but did work with the flavor profile. Nice hop assertiveness but not overly done for an APA.

Light to light/medium body and very drinkable. I was in Chicago on business and wanted to sample a few local brews. If not for that, I would have enjoyed several of these throughout the night.

I'll be back for more of this one

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Photo of tayner
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of buckeyenation, thanks!

Medium nut brown color with a very sticky white head and lots of lacing

Smell is sweet malt and hops of a citrus grapefruit pith in nature.

taste is green. Lots of hot hop oils, bitter, grassy, and pretty unbalanced. Not enough malt backbone to stand up to the hop making it, IMO, a pale ale hop bomb.

mouthfeel is oily but very well carbonated. even with the great carbonation this one was still pretty mouth coating.

It was easy to drink, would have been more enjoyable if it had a bit more maltiness to balance it some.

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Photo of jwc215
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours dark amber with a thin white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of mega alpha hops - citric/piney/earthy/leafy. This is an APA?? Smells like an IPA - vey hoppy - and nicely done, to boot (to say the least).

The taste is citric/piney with balancing sweet malt (hoppy APA/more balanced IPA border). Some acidity. Rounded bitterness comes through in the finish.

The body is slightly thinner than expected - still, it's pretty chewy and medium bodied. Smooth.

A hop-head's version of a pale ale, for sure! And nicely done, Firm malt backbone keeps the hops tied in nicely. A goodie!

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Photo of thethrone
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep copper with small white head which quickly disappeared into a thin ring.

S - Smells of pine, and caramel malt. Also a hint of fruity sourness creeps in at the end.

T - Subdued hop flavor, with a malty backbone.

M - Medium body, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation.

D - I get the impression that the bottle I had didn't hold up as well as most, since it is missing the same hoppy profile most others are talking about. Still a great brew, but I would be curious to try it again fresh for comparison.

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Photo of everetends
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle thanks to Goliath. Poured into a shaped pint glass.

A:Poured a nice caramel/copper color that had a beautiful inch and a half of head. The head had great retention, lasting almost the entire beer. Big time, sticky lacing.

S: Smell is of citrus/earthy hops, sweet, bready malt, and a touch of medicinal alcohol.

T: Taste is an amazing balance of citrus hops and sweet bread malt. This beer has nice tones of grapefruit and orange, but the malt adds a nice sweetness that balances this sweet heart out. There is also a touch of medicinal, herbal, metallic flavor, but is welcome and not at all unpleasant. So nice.

M: Medium in body. Carbonation is a bit low but that is the only gripe I have. Smooth and easy drinking. After taste of grapefruit and a just a touch of alcohol heat on the back of the throat.

D: This beer is truly great. I am now a fan. Great balance to this beer and that is what I like in my APAs. Damn near perfect.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pulled from a cask at the Map Room and served in an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is an impeccable looking dark copper brown with a thick and creamy one inch head that fades into a cap about halfway though the session and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.

S: Smell is very subtle and very unlike Alpha King from the bottle, this beer seems like an almost entirely different animal. Mild pine and citrus with a good amount of sweet brown sugary malt greet the nose, you can already tell this beer is going to be something special.

T/MF: First sip is a bit unassuming but all that follow are pure hoppy and malty goodness. Super fresh pine and grassy lemony nuttiness, just about the freshest livest thing that has ever passed my lips. Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy with just the right amount of hop bitterness and carbonation to hold everything together.

D: Insanely drinkable, one of the freshest cleanest tasting "Pale ales" I've had in recent memory. Alpha King is a must try from the cask.

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Photo of bosco7
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a copper color with a creamy off white head.

Smells of grapefruit, pine, orange, strawberry, and some caramel. Very pungent.

Starts with sweet caramel and a slight nutty malt flavor. Fresh hops soon take over the palate. Lots of orange, grapefruit rind, pine resin and hop leaf flavors. Finish is bitter but far from being extreme.

So damn drinkable, unlike a lot of American IPAs there is no harsh lingering aftertastes, yet has more hop flavor than those same IPAs. This is a beautiful beer (especially if you get to try it out of the serving tanks at the brewpub). If I could get this beer where I live, it would be in the fridge at all times. Highly recommended.

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

Thanks to alemechanic from The Brewing Network's forum for hand delivering this beer to California.

The BJCP classifies this beer in the American IPA category and I evaluated it against those guidelines.

Appearance was a light amber, slightly hazy. Formed a white head that thinned out but hung around. Should have been more prominent.

Lots of resiny/grassy hop character with some citrus-kicking in at lower intensity. Hop bitterness was medium and lingered on into a dry finish. Clean malt component felt balanced. Missing out on the mid-high to high bitterness level. Varied hop character was very pleasing on the palate.

Medium-bodied, moderately carbonated. Smooth. No hop-derived astringency.

This is a fairly well-balanced American IPA with a variety of hop flavors - fruity, resiny, piney, all balanced by a clean malt backbone. Only points for improvement are a bit more head retention and increased bitterness. Despite this, I could drink it all night long. Delicious.

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Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with Beereality, much obliged.

Pours a dark copper color with a frothy one finger head that diminishes into a thin layer of bubbles. The lacing is very good.

The smell isn't very strong, but it shouldn't be expected to be. The most prevalent is the bitter smell, then there's a little bit of floral scent and malts. There's certainly nothing unpleasing about this smell.

The taste is pretty good. The bitter smell overrides everything else, but it's not too much. There's also some malt sweetness. Not much other hop flavors, but it goes down smoothly.

The mouthfeel is good, it's got a good thickness and the carbonation is just right.

This beer is very drinkable. It's not too overpowering in any department, although it is a bit bitter. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Definitely recommended, I'm upset I can't buy this as my everyday beer.

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Photo of cnally
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours with a light amber hue. It has absolutely great coloring and density. The smell is almost sweet, setting the stage for the surprisingly sweet taste as well. You can taste the hops - but is not an overwhelming amount. The feel is crisp and light. There is no dry texture here. This beer is delicious and more drinkable than your average pale ale.

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Photo of mrsoul12
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is like hops in a bottle. This beer has the aroma and hop flavor of a double IPA with the drinkability of a pale ale. BIG BIG hop aroma. A little out of balance and could use some more residual sweetness to even things out, but overall very good.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.79/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle > imperial pint glass

Deep, clear amber color...not at all pale. 1/2" deep crown, dark cream color and very dense.

Amazingly citrus and sweet fruit aroma, oh yeah, pineapple, strawberry and tart green apples. Smooth, buttery scented malt, overall sweet and citric hop scent. Really nice.

This is a clean, hearty and spicey hop bite right off. Big earthy flavor's of dry wheat, corn husks and recently tilled earth. The malt is crispy and clean with an herbal bite. citric acid and dried leaves in the finish. displays a nice subtle lingering bitterness. Medium bodied, nice bite and a mellowing smoothness.

Easily drinkable Pale ale with a solid complexity.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,329 ratings.
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