Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,832 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,832 | Ratings: 6,422
Photo of Warfarris
2.94/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle, BOD less than 1 month old, into a beer glass. Pours very dark orange. Little head and zero lacing though the ale was carbonated well enough. The beer smells well enough, strongly of pine, but the taste doesn't translate. I immediately regretted buying the 6 pack. It's drinkable but for the price this is probably the worst beer I've ever had.

 365 characters

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

Had this delicious Midwestern classic today at the South Park Tavern in Dayton, Ohio. Pale in appearance but sporting delicious tropical fruits in the odor.

Tasty and full of citrus and late pine. Light malts accentuate the flavor. Bright and enjoyable throughout. Among the better examples of the style.

 311 characters

Photo of Extol
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - nice lacing, copper color.

Smell - piny hops and slight fruit aroma.

Taste - bitterness up front, fruit in the middle, then finishes with a nice malt flavor.

Overall - this is a very nice beer. I feel like they kept it simple and balanced.

 255 characters

Photo of OompaMentor
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Botttle poured into pint glass; hoppy- goodness and fruits greets the nose. Nice carbonation leading to creamy head that remains to the last drop; blood orange color. Citrus, Malts, hops and fruits to nose. Medium feel, well balanced with hops on front and malt sweetness on back.

 281 characters

Photo of stortore
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled 1/20/17, had 2/5/17.
Pours an amber/orange, hazy, with an inch and a half foamy head, a good amount of foamy lacing. Lots of citrus in the smell- orange, grapefruit, lemon, hint of lime, pine, some yeast, malt, a light dankness. The taste also starts with big citrus- orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon, malt, pine- especially on the finish. A good amount of hop bitterness up front, the malt tames it thereafter. A light sweetness overall. Smooth, a solid medium body, well carbonated.

Very good citrus aroma and flavor. Well balanced between the hops and malt, really feels more like a DIPA. Pretty straightforward. but really well executed. Well worth a purchase.

 719 characters

Photo of majorbase2
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, murky copper color with a nice foamy white head. Decent retention. Minor lacing. Was pretty stoked to come by this as FFF is hard to come by in my area, and found this at a place I rarely visit just a few blocks from my house.

Citrusy aroma, with some floral aromas noticeable. Can definitely detect the sweetness that is to follow.

Sweet, tropical flavors immediately greet the tongue. Hoppy, but not overly, well balanced with caramel malts. Has a very pleasant candied sweetness to it. Does an excellent job of making the sweetness taste very natural. A lot of times it will come off artificial. Fruity flavors take over as it warms, giving way to pineapple and peaches.One of the most well-balanced beers I've ever had. A touch of bitterness lingers on the tongue that quickly transform into a fruity aftertaste.

Moderate carbonation. A tiny bit syrupy, but still very drinkable. With it's medium level of hops and ABV pushing 7%, this is a dangerous brew.

I'm always keeping an eye open for FFF wherever I go (this is just my second beer from them. Narrowly missed ZD not too long ago), this reiterates that the eye is worth keeping on them. Supremely balanced and very tasty, this is a great beer for any occasion.

 1,238 characters

Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Bottled 11/28/16.

A: Pours a hazy, reddish, burnt orange, copper color with a 1/2 inch foamy, tan head with moderate retention. Thick, billowy, white lacing throughout.

S: Aromas of citrus and pine accompanied by milder notes of tropical fruit. Sweet caramel. Grapefruit rind, melons, pineapple, and tangerine.

T: Taste matches aromas well. Starts with orange and grapefruit, followed by big caramel malt notes, then a hint of pineapple and melons, and ends with piney, earthy, resinous hop bitterness, which lingers shortly.

F: Medium bodied, smooth, and crisp with medium carbonation. Slight dryness.

O: Overall, a good APA. Differs from pales I'm used to with the big caramel malt notes, but it's well done. Would definitely try it again, but would like to try a fresher bottle.

 824 characters

Photo of LeRose
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, clear orange color with a hefty off-white head that lasts forever.

The smell seemed a little muted to me, but caramel sweetness, copious citrus with orange and grapefruit. Malty, sweet, a bit of yeast, and I think I can smell peach or apricot.

The flavor and feel are hard to separate. This beer is luxuriously smooth in the mouth feel and the flavors are incredibly well-blended. Obvious grapefruit, some pine, orange. Caramel sweetness. Very mild bitterness, slightly dry, carbonation is on the money. Just a small taste of peppery spice that cleans things up nicely and leaves a nice, lingering taste.

This is a fantastic drinking beer, recommended, and I would enjoy it again, no doubt.

 708 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to tulip. Opaque dark orange color with a few fingers of foam that settles to swirls and leaves spotty, sticky lacing. Aroma is fruity and sweet, with caramel. Taste is big biscuit and caramel, with tropical fruit, floral hop notes. No boozy tones in aroma or flavor, but feels substantial. Feel is smooth, slick, and on the fuller side. A bit of bitter finish, a little dry, but not much.

 408 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/30...pours rich amber with heavy white foam. Laces. Malt caramel nose. Sweet. Inviting. Slightly sweet open spills into a tasty bitter backed malt. Incredible balance. Sneaky bitter finish. Outstanding, like everything 3F does.

 230 characters

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

Have had several times both on bottle and on tap. Smells amazing; just a huge pleasant hoppy kick. The big disappointment is that the taste does not live up to the smell. It is a good solid well balanced beer but no big hop flavors stand out to me. Overall a good beer just not enough stand out hoppiness for me (guessing just a personal preference).

 350 characters

Photo of kculrich
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle, dated 12/02/16. Served in a tulip.

Pours a semi-opaque burnt orange with a finger-plus of dense ivory head. Retention is good for a minute or so before settling back to thick, bubbly ring with loose sheets of lacing.

The nose starts massively hoppy, sharp and peppery, fading off into prominent peach and sweet caramel.

Taste is straight-on malt forward, sweet toasted grains and caramelized corn syrup. Bitterness is low, some spruce and citrus pith, some bubblegum, a little black pepper. Finishes with grand marnier, slightly dank and sticky.

Feel is medium bodied, thick, chewy and mouth-coating, with just better than adequate carbonation.

Overall, a better-than-decent APA.

 704 characters

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

I got Alpha King APA via a beer trade. I thought it was wonderful. This is a world class really great Pale Ale. I agree, it is world class. It made my evening.

Look: Semi-clear dark amber hue with an inch white head.

Aroma: The aroma is tropical fruit and grapefruit

Taste: Strong pine, grapefruit, citrus, bread, juicy, the hoppy bitter aftertaste is fairly short, but you do get it.

Feel: Light and juicy. It is very drinkable despite a lot of flavor.

 457 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange beer with an off white head that leaves ribbons of lacing behind. The smell is citrus, caramel, yeast and pine. Nice sweet, caramel and orange beer with a nice balanced pine bitterness. Nice medium body with good carbonation. This is a really great beer.

 266 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 4/13/15; drank 5/31/15 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaue, rusty orange/red appearance.

A rough pour yielded a big eggshell head; a curtain of tree-rung lace.

Grapefruit & caramel notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Grapefruit & caramel flavors in equal measure up front; a mildly dry finish. Well balanced & very drinkable, if a bit staid. I'd have another.

 370 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Caramel brown with a light haze, a little carbonation, and topped with 2 fingers of off white head.

Smells of peaches, mango, black tea, and a hint of pencil shavings.

Tastes of black tea, peaches, mangos, and a hint of pencil shavings. Some fruity effervescence also.

Nice, light, tingly sensation in the carbonation. Slightly flat and foamy like a UK style brew, quite chewy as well, with a tannic finish.

Really good brew, very surprising in its style which is so different from Zombie Dust. More like a UK style. Really enjoying it. My Bro gave it to me in Stratford, ON, and he picked it up at the brewery this year. Drinking it Nov 4th, 2016, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 684 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very cloudy with a light brown color. Small but lasting head. Rings of lace after each sip.

Creamy with a bit of caramel. Beautiful floral hop nose. Great balance. Lightly sweet.

Brief toasty malt but the hop kicks in quickly. Chewy body with decent carbonation. Full on flavor with interesting shifts in tastes.

 317 characters

Photo of Stooven
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Most complex relationship I have with a beer. Was the first micro I tried without being told "try this, it's good." It was good; early '00s at Sheffield's in Lakeview. Since, the quality just wavers, for whatever reason. So I always recommend with reservations. This bottle is dated 9/8, being consumed 10/25 and is as good as hyped. Acquired from a mix-a-six at a Mariano's. Yet. Yet, I have gotten cases of this directly from FFF in Munster and regretted nearly every bottle. Don't know if the formula changes ever, but oh does the quality. Keeps me from being an FFF devotee.

If anyone asks, it's a malt-forward, rich pale ale. The Replacements 'Let It Be' of beers.

 671 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap,clear copper russet , one finger off white foam cap , good lacings

Aroma of citrus , orange, tangerine

Grains with a hop note , well balanced

Dry finish , not much of a bite

Very good beer

 201 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Clear, copper hued body; fine carbonation; thick, rocky, sticky head. Big citrus aroma; oranges and grapefruit. Juicy and softly sweet flavor; cereal grains; toasty; well-balanced hop bitterness. Thick and chewy body; somewhat coarse on the palate; dry finish.

Outstanding depth and complexity going on here. Nice balance of flavors and aroma and very pleasing to the eye. A top-notch beer.

 391 characters

Photo of CraigP83
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt orange bordering on crimson w/ one finger off-white head. Smell is over-ripe tropical fruit and pine sap. Earthy flavors, more sticky pine sap with a touch of sweetness.

 175 characters

Photo of agreenman19
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - pours an evil-looking crimson red with twangs of caramel brown. Crystal clear with lively nucleation. So many tiny bubbles flying up from the bottom of the glass. Head looks awesome. Almost looks like cinnamon was sprinkled on top due to the faintly mocha toasted marshmallow color.

S - huge whiff of Juicy Juice after popping the top. Musty pine and sweet apples. Deep, earthy and malty. Slight citrus a la orange and a sweet sugariness.

T - strong punching malt flavors infused with hop oil. Wouldn't call this a malt bomb since the juicy citrus still finds a way. Hints of caramel and marmalade. Think orange jelly. Crisp dry hoppiness comes out as the beer warms and my palate develops to these flavors. Slight resin. Hell of a backbone on this beer. Holds strong through and through with robust, meaningful flavors. No half-measures here. Solid beer.

F - thick and full-bodied for a pale ale. Almost syrupy with a low-level creamy carbonation that slightly opens up as the sip progresses. Neat.

O - fantastically solid beer. Can't say it enough. So many flagships are designed to be approachable and end up weak as a result, but Alpha King delivers the full bam shapow in the best way possible. Drinkable and a great introduction to FFF but at the same time something seasoned drinkers can enjoy time and time again.

 1,333 characters

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dank, spicy, peppery hops abound! This is a legit pale ale with some definite backbone. A little heavy in the body, but otherwise a near perfect brew. Second only to Zombie Dust in his category. 3 Floyds delivers again.

 219 characters

Photo of Chestertonian82
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"Pepperiness" is the primary note of this beer, and a near-perfect note it is! Stimulating but never overpowering. Alpha Kings gets an "Alpha" from me---it is a world-class beer.

 178 characters

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

Just had a fresh bottle and I revise my initial view. Dark and malty with a complex spiced floral nose and a full hoppy flavor with a long finish. Much better!

My bottle is from 7/21/16, so perhaps some of the hoppy complexity has faded. Interesting nose but not much citrus. Also, a bit darker than I would have expected. Taste has good balanced bitterness but Maltier than is usual for a pale ale. I will seek out a fresher candidate for comparison.

 452 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,422 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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