Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

6,490 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,490 |  Reviews: 1,844
Photo of Dirtinabottle
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Bammer21
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

I'm reviewing this again so I can review this as the beer alone, not as a pale ale.
A couple bottles provided to me by Dunt.

A- Darn purdy, especially Ryans glass. Nice dense head with aggressive lacing. This beer is a deep copper, think English pale ale, but we aren't talking pale ales here.

S- Super nice and bright hoppy nose. Nice citrus and pine melange. Some butter, crackery and caramelly malts (which helps explain this deep color. )

T- Nicely hoppy with a buttery smooth malt base. Starts hoppy with some pine and finishes sweet and citrusy.

I sucked this one down. For some reason I like this better the second time around. It helps to go into it not expecting a pale ale.

 690 characters

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of zac16125
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
No born on date but I was told this was picked up from the brewery on May 5th

A big thanks to tsauce2 for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with 2 fingers of dense light khaki colored head, that takes a while to dissipate down to a thick film which remains throughout the drink. Leaves lots of nice cobweb lacing all the way down the glass. About as pretty as you can get for the style.

S: Big citrusy hops in the form of lemon, orange, grapefruit,and mango. Some sweet caramel malt aromas, a touch of pine, and a hint of booze. Really nice.

T: Taste is more malt forward than the nose, although the hops are certainly there as well. Some citrus, lots of bitterness, and some hop spice. It's earthy, citrusy, and resiny all at once. Pineapple, lemon zest, orange and pine. A solid malt backbone is present to keep it balanced. Really good.

M/D: Relatively smooth for the style, carbonation high but not overly so, medium bodied with a drying finish. Drinkability is good, I could certainly have multiples.

O: Overall, this is just a great beer. I have no trouble seeing why it's been considered the standard of the style for a while now. It's definitely the best APA I've ever had. If I lived within the FFF distribution area this would probably be my go to session beer. I intentionally sought this out before Zombie Dust, and will have to try that one next to compare.

 1,453 characters

Photo of brbrocc
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Sazz9
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Proteus93
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Getting an opportunity to try this bit of a cult classic... shame Three Floyds don't service Virginia anymore.

A: A nice, deeper golden pour... the slightest bit of a fogginess. About a finger tall, rather creamy head with some spots of lacing.

S: Grapefruit citrus in front... a little bit of a floral aroma in there. Some mild malts bring a bit of balance (at least enough to be expected for the style)

T + M: This is amazingly clean and refreshing... something I did not expect in the least. Citrus hops, with an underlying piney flavour to the hops. A bit of a creamy malt profile in there to keep things in check... but it's a pretty relaxed enforcer, in that sense!

D: A nice job from this brewery, and a pleasure to have tried. It makes me wish it were still here even more, as it would make for a great, easy-going - though perhaps a little high to be sessionable - drink to enjoy in casual conversation on the patio.

 932 characters

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.

 1,244 characters

Photo of dgherm
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Filabee
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Oxymoron
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No one can say quite like Don King. Likewise, no one can do it quite like Three Floyds and Alpha King Pale Ale.

Alpha King Pale Ale is a fantastic example of a hoppy Pale Ale and as Don King might say it's made "Only in America." Alpha King pours a rich clear amber color with good head retention and good lacing. Although dissipates, the white froth remains till the end. Picked up a 6 pack in Cincinnati at Jungle Jim's which I would say is as wild as Don Kings hair style. But still glad they had it.

First smell is wow, cascade hopes. Almost over powerful with floral and pine, but has a sweet smell that boxes you in the nose. Pale Ales can vary, but wow. Then your mouth take a dip for your froth-tastical tasteable delight and is overcome with hop-happiness. Per the smell one would think this would knock you out faster than a young Mike Tyson. But really it has a sweet kick at first and quickly blends with a superb malt and floral arrangement which then follows with a grapefruit finish. A very impressive taste.

This is a wonderful example of an excellent "mouthful" for a beer. There are a ton of ton of different things going on from the sweetness, to the combo malt and bitter kick and of course the grapefruit lasting flavor.

I feel lucky to have 6 of these beers and not surprised that it is ranked so high in BA. Three Floyds should be a who's who in breweries and be just as well known as Don King himself.

 1,429 characters

Photo of Schlafly33
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of brauseboof
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of speedvagen
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of jwinship83
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at kumas corner. $5 gets you a pint glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent copper colored body with a very small bright white head on top. the head is quick to fall, and doesnt leave behind very much lacing.

S- woah, hoppy. this is undoubtedly fresh. lots of pine and grapefruit. some floral notes sneak in also. there is a moderate amount of caramel malts which adds some balancing sweetness to the mix.

T- the taste starts out with some sweet caramel malty notes and quickly moves into hop country. plenty of resiny pine and sharp, bitter grapefruit. i think i pick up on a little bit of orange zest also. light floral notes at the end.

M- the body is on the lighter side of medium. nice and bitter aftertaste. somewhat dry finish.

D- easy to drink and quite affordable. ill have another glass. check this one out if you havnt already. i think i liked it better on tap than in the bottle.

 909 characters

Photo of sposter4
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of soupyman10
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE 05-30-2008 - 4.5/4/4.5/4/4
Got a sixer of these recently to refresh my memory on the deliciousness. Nose is mild, but again the flavor is huge. Strong on floral hops mixing in nicely with a toffee malt...not necessarily as sweet as some APAs - much more focused on a complex bitterness than the general fruity "fun" of most APA. Incredibly lemony, given that lack of sweetness. Nonetheless, it's a unique and interesting brew.

ORIGINAL - 4.5/4/4.5/4/4.5
Finally got my hands on one of these after a friend went down to Indiana to grab a slew of Three Floyds stuff. Appearance is a deep orange color with a nice bit of white head on top that disappears nice and slowly. Nose is strong on crazy fruity hops, strong caramel hops. A good dose of spiciness in there too. Taste is likewise, only stronger. Powerful from both ends, with a nice balance to the hops and malt. How an APA should taste. Feel is solid, well carbonated. I loved this one. I'd drink about a hundred of these at a time if I had the opportunity (and the tolerance).

 1,040 characters

Photo of rdooley
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of EdgarGerik
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jp32
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bold, bronze in color with a small, cream-colored head. A slight haze caused by bottle conditioning (atleast thats what the bottle told me).

A boldly citrusy aroma. Hops, hops, and hops.

Similar to the smell, the flavor is huge on citrus hops. A bit piney. Really an outstanding flavor. Good stuff, real good stuff.

Excellent, ok heck, perfect mouthfeel for this beer. Just a touch over medium-bodied with superb carbonation. Hoppy, clean, and refreshing.

Great drinkability here, but like most pale ales in my diet these days, a couple in a row may be the max.

 574 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From: Three Floyd's Brewery, Munster, IN
Date: None on bottle, but a few weeks old from brewery
Glass: Standard US pint glass

There's no denying that Alpha King is a top-quality ale for those who appreciate hops. The beer's variety of fruit flavors and its fairly intense bitterness are heavily appealing, and are an enjoyable reminder of summer during the winter, or a suitable hop-forward quencher during the summer. This beer blurs the line (if there is any) between American pale ale and India pale ale, weakening the idea of styles and suggesting descriptors may be the better way of describing beers.

Pours a tall (3cm) head of light tan bubbles, which are small in size, creating a very frothy effect. Retention is above average, lasting over two minutes as it declines to a thin cap atop the body of the beer. The lacing the head leaves is fairly substantial and in a variety of shapes and patterns that hang across the glass' interior. The body is a copper orange color, with light bringing out reddish-orange hues. Quite hazy (50% opacity?), but carbonation is still visible, though not terribly numerous or vigorous.

Aroma of fairly pure hop pellets, mostly cascade and centennial, probably others as well. The scents are fruity, juicy citrus (orange, grapefruit), tropical (guava, mango), slightly peppery, and very expressive. This would be even better if it had a slight malt aspect to add some further dimension.

Front of palate picks up slight malt sweetness, but is already starting to notice the bitterness and hop-influenced flavors of grapefruit and bitter orange. Mid-palate finds increased hop character in grapefruit and orange flavors, with lesser quantities of mango, all atop a faintly discernible base of caramel malts. Bitterness is noticeable, but moderate to me. Flash of bitterness occurs as the beer hits the back of the palate, gradually fading to reveal more grapefruit and orange, with even a bit of mango and guava. Aftertaste is of medium-high bitterness and residual hop-influenced fruit flavors.

Beer is medium-bodied with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is at first slightly fizzy, then softly foamy as it moves across the palate. Closes quite dry, with modest stickiness lingering across the palate.

 2,276 characters

Photo of polishkaz
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,490 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.