Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,822 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: 1,822 | Ratings: 6,387
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my Secret Santa iconoklatzor for this brew. Cheers.

Pours amber in color with a thin head. Citrus hops in smell. Taste is smooth and hoppy which makes it somewhere between an APA and an IPA. Very drinkable beer. I used buy this all the time when 3F distrubuted to PA. This is one of the beers that turned me into a BA.


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

alpha king pours a nice dark orange color with nice carbonation/head... the smell is great.. sweet malts,hops ,citrus,pine, and other floral/fruity smells..superb it smells and taste more like an IPA to me it starts with a malt sweetness followed by a citrus hop flavor all in perfect fills the mouth with all of the before mentioned and is so very drinkable..this is my favorite PALE ALE but not my favorite IPA.. its easy to down 3 of these quickly in fact i got to go get another. buy/try this one for sure

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

Thanks to the tall southern gentlemen for a few 6-packs of this.

A: Nice amber, fizzy head with hot aired balloon bubble to match. Negligible lacing.

S: Sweet aroma, lather on the hops.

T: Deliciousness meets balanced. Nice sweet malt, fruity with hints of pine. The sweetness is nice and after someone said peach it kind of stuck with my tastebuds. A very clean hop aftertaste.

M: This guy has a lot of carbonation that rolls off the tongue, rather light.

D: Easy to drink, could drink and did drink 3 of these no problem. So where's the distribution for this guy?

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

Dark amber/caramel color with a nice amount of lacing. Fresh lemon and pine needle aroma. Taste of lemon/lime citrus and pine sap, loads of hops yet exceptionally well balanced. Very drinkable, smooth, and refreshing. An excellent session beer. My first from FFF lived up to its reputation.

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Photo of JBogan
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caramel color with a one finger creamy head which leaves moderate lacing.

Smells of sweet malt with some citric hop notes. A nice balance.

Up front this has a sweet malty taste which lays on the tongue, but it hits you with a fair amount of bitter hop bite afterwards.

Thick and slippery mouthfeel.

This was my first beer from Three Floyds, so I didn't know what to expect. It ended up reminding me a lot of SN Pale Ale or a Firestone Double Barrel Ale with a hoppier finish. Nice beer, but I won't feel too upset that we don't get it where I live. There's a number of beers in this style we do get here which are less expensive and just as enjoyable. However, I am still glad I got to try it.

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Photo of TrojanMan
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

You know how when you're eating a peach and you get towards the pit and the flavor starts to get a little bitter? That's this beer!

Outstanding, all the way. Total class. The sweetness is perfect for the style, which is actually closer to an American IPA I would argue. Just a tiny hint of residual sugar, on par with Harpoon IPA, DFH 60min, Stone IPA and so on. The hops are *very* interesting and I can't quite pin them down, but they are in ideal proportion, just bitter enough without asserting themselves over the malt. Just a fantastic, balanced brew.

I had mine at Bierreria Paradiso in DC. First time tasting it, in fact, since nobody really distributes it around here. I was surprised they even had it. I knew right away that I needed to try it.

From the bottle, it poured a *perfect* clear, slightly translucent amber with a few rising bubbles. Wow, this looks great! Puffy head settles to a fine lace that clings to the glass after each sip. Just enough carbonation to maintain the lace over the whole pour without getting too wild.

The taste is biscuity malt and very clean, green hops. A little raisin and olive along with fresh pit and vine fruit and just a *hint* of apple and perhaps some spice as well. Towards the tarragon/juniper side, but very, very subtle. There's a flavor in the finish that I can't quite nail down...

As I said, the peach-pit flavor stands out the most, but that's not nearly all that's going on here. A little citrus, perhaps, my wife guessed Cascade hops, and maybe some green, slightly earthy flavors as well. Tough to pin down.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Sliky enough to introduce the flavors, but just a slight bit heavy in fact. Suck just a little air in through the front teeth to draw out some additional flavors and then roll that around the mouth for the full experience.

Again, I'm going to say that this is more IPA than PA and that the complexity of flavor is really a little too deep for me to pin down after just one bottle. I'm reviewing it anyhow because I think it's more than worthy of a try by anyone who likes beer.

This one is a bit of a wild card. It's not really East or West Coast style IPA and, for that matter, it's not really American in some ways. A little more biscuity than I'd expect and the hop profile is excellent, but just that little bit unfamiliar. Great beer and I'd highly recommend it.

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one hell of a find at Lone Hill Liquors in Glendora. I bought two and am definitely looking forward to the other one on a hot day.

A - Orange-brown color with bright golden at the bottom. Light off-white colored head which has very good retention, and plenty of lacing. This is one fine-looking beer.

S - Plenty of hops but with a honeyed background. A lot of citrus, smells like an IPA.

T - Not quite the floral bouquet of a IIPA, but lots of hops, although balanced well with the malt. Some citrus, especially grapefruit, and some sweet pineapple on the exit.

M - Smooth, not a lot of carbonation, and nice creamy texture in the aftertaste.

D - I wish I had a six pack of this stuff. One is not going to do it.

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Photo of YankChef
3.34/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into uk size sam smith pint glass

appearance: very slightly hazy amber/reddish with an initial 1/2 inch head that drifts down to a wisp that just covers the top of the beer and leaving some attractive lacing.

Smell: At first i get some nice grainy malty aromas of barley and then of course there are the hops which are predominant. Little bit of citrus and floral notes here as swell a little bit subdued actually, maybe its too cold.

Taste: There is a slight upfront flavor of the malt and then it is all hops, pretty intense for the style actually. Even tastes a little boozy? citrus punch from the hops, very dry beer with not too much sweetness.

Overall: this is the 6th ive had of this 6-pack that i had imported from indiana (not all at one time) and i can honestly say that this one didnt do it for me. I would take a dales pale, snpa, or a anchor liberty ale over this any day of the week and all of those beers are cheaper and easier to get. A let down

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Photo of scifan
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to stubone for this one got it as an extra in a trade. I'm excited to try my first FFF.
Lovely amber color with a small head that fades quickly,its also slightly cloudy.
Lots of sweet caramel malts and some also lovely citrusy, piney hops that blend together nicely.
Taste just like it smells I get alot of sweet maltiness on the front and a blast of hops at the end for a crisp clean finish. It's almost a little too sweet for me, but its still nice a nice brew.
It feels a little slick in the mouth. I guess I was expecting a little more from FFF.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear auburn amber body with minimal head but some good lace. A very citric hop smell hit me in the nose first, along with a minor mix of sweet malt. A great pale ale taste - medium-boded with a mix of hops for a dry, citric taste and blended with sweet malts for a balanced beer that lights up the palate as it goes down smooth (almost buttery) and finishes with a nice dry backbite. A solid beer to have anytime.

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Photo of Hophead101
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had on draft at Brass Rail Beverage on 11.13.08.

Wow - couldn't believe it when I went into Cisco's place and saw 3F Alpha King. I was quite excited as I have never had this one before much less on draft.

Great head in the pour. Immediately was screaming out my name waiting for me to take my first sip. The head was very thick and bubbly and the beer had a nice brownish copper color. balanced hop smell, thought there might have been a little more. it was soft in nature, a bit piney but not overpowering what so ever.

great taste. it definitely lives up to the hype. great feel on the palate, no real aftertaste. initially a bit crisp and carbonated that blends into a wonderfully creamy and smooth mouthfeel. great hop flavor, and an over superbly balanced beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.32/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange color with a small white head that disappeared rather quickly. Nose is sweet, malty, citrus and floral and pretty malty too. Taste is malty, some citrus and hop bite. Mouthfeel is ok. Malty, citrus and kind of blah. Nothing spectacular. Overall an average Pale for me.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of Hexxed.

A: Pours a hazy, burnt orange with yellow highlights when held to the glass. Head is 2 fingers of fluffiness, which recedes into clumps and finally a film on the top as I wait. Patches of lacing down the glass.

S: An overpowering aroma of grapefruit hops with a hint of pines. A noticeable floral component and a presence of caramel malt. Very pungent and pleasing.

T: The first flavor is grapefruit bitterness and tanginess, which lingers throughout the taste. The middle flavor brings the caramel malt sweetness to the front, with some floral notes. The finish is all grapefruit and pine hops, with a bitter, but not unpleasant, aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied and good carbonation for the style.

D: Very drinkable. Great aroma, taste, and finish. I would definitely have this again.

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

In classic Three Floyd's style, this beer sits outside the box of the traditional style the claim. Therefore, I will be rating this beer as if it were an IPA because I feel it much better fits that category.

Appearance: This beer pours a deep copper bronze with a light slightly brown lacing for a head. It is quite clear with only a slight haze showing when the glass is swirled.

Smell: This beer smells freaking amazing! There is a deep floral hop spice along with a rich caramel malt backbone. There is a definite hint of fresh orange and lemon zest to nicely round out the nose. I would describe the aroma of this beer as fantastically full. Meaning, I can take huge, deep breaths of the beer and be extremely pleased and excited to take the next drink.

Taste: There is a nice balance between a bready malt sweetness and a rich floral, grassy, spicy freshness. As the flavor builds there is a definite character of chewy bread crust and bitter lemon peel. As you swallow the beer finishes there is a distinct, but not unpleasant, lingering bitterness along with a mild alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a medium full body that coast the palette without being overly full or viscous. The beer has a medium to low carbonation and a dry finish that make the beer quite refreshing and drinkable.

Drinkability: This beer is drinkable to the point that it could get you in trouble. It's in that danger zone of having an extremely nice aroma, complex flavor, and full body without being exhausting on your palette. There is an alcohol warming letting you know that it's a big beer, but without a shocking enough warning to make you want to stop drinking after quite a few pints. ;)

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I think this is a fantastic representation of an IPA. It has a good hop component without being harsh and a nice malt character to create balance for the strong hop presence. The beer has amazing layers of flavor and aroma. The fact that this beer is also so drinkable makes it a nice addition to any wonderfully packed beer fridge. Alpha King is absolutely delicious and a must buy, in my opinion, for IPA lovers.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz undated bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours clear dark copper with a one inch head of dense white. Within minutes the froth subsided to a skim coat on the surface of the brew, allowing plenty of torn ropes of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with floral, citrusy hops. Tangerines, grapefruit, and peach skins. A hint of apricot and spruce follows through.

Medium bodied and crisp with a snappy, juicy mouthfeel.

Tangy, zesty hops and light malt start the palate. A decent mix of grapefruit and tropical fruits with a hint of pine. Orange, apricot, and pink grapefruit.
A kiss of malt follows through along with a firm, drying bitterness.

Finishes with lingering fruit and a smooth bitterness.

Easy drinker. I've had several over the years, including a bunch when they were distributed in Mass. way back. Without knowing how old the bottle is I'd have to assume that this is much better fresh.
Pretty tasty as it is although nothing too special.

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

Another great beer from my favorite brewery.

Nice coppery color with a light head that sticks to the glass.

Nice hoppy aroma and some sweet caramel malt.

Taste is just the way I want my APA's. Big hop bite with some slightly toasty sweet malt flavor.

This is a great sessional APA on the verge of an IPA.

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Photo of chuckd123
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have now had 4 bottles of this beer, and it has to rank near the top of my sessionable beer list. I'm a big IPA/DIPA fan, and this could easily be one instead of a pale. Very fresh hop aroma and taste, and drinkable given the moderate abv%. Mouthfeel is good, nothing special, but a great overall example of the pale ale style. For what it's worth, I generally avoid PA's in favor of an IPA, but this one blows away most other pure PA's (think SNPA) I've had due to the more present hop aromas and flavor. Great beer by FFF.

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Photo of sirpsycho
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured a nice amber, nice slightly off-white head that left lacing. Aroma was very inviting, nice citrus and pine notes. Flavor is slight hoppy, again nice citrus and pine flavors, very subtle, not over the top. Will be having this one again.

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

A: Dark copper, thin off-white head... decent lacing.

S: Grapefruit and citrus hops up front. Some floral notes and some caramel malt sweetness. No alcohol in the nose.

T: Deliciously balance between citrus hop bitterness and caramel malt sweetness. The finish is a blend of caramel lingering and a slightly bitter bite. Up front is mostly citrus hop notes.

M: Smooth, light-medium body. Semi-dry finish. Crisp and clean.

D: Great session brew for sure. Shame this isn't in my neck of the woods.

thanks beergynt for the trade!!! good thing i got a six pack, these will go quickly!

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Photo of mikereaser
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a murky dark rust color with no foam, just a few bubbles

S - citrus and pine hops abound leaving just enough room to notice some sweet malt

T - citrus and piney hop flavor though not overpowering, not bitter, just nice and tasty

M/D - nice mouthfeel and carbonation as well as a really great taste, definitely one I wish I could still get locally

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Photo of michdmb
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A great IPA. All of Three Floyd's beers have a certain sweet/malty characteristic that is not quantifiable. This beer is no exception. I am a fan of IPAs, and this one keeps calling me back.

Hoppiness is sufficient, and sweetness is a definite plus for this beer. Both are balanced to perfection. I have had Alpha King on tap and in bottle, and both are consistently good.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a sixer of this in a trade with slater1313. Poured into a pint glass.

4.5 A: Clear orange amber. Two fingers of dense head with good retention and plenty of lacing.

4.5 S: Lots of raw hop aroma. Citrus and floral in nature, the hops block out most of the malt character, but there still is a bit of fruitiness to it.

4.0 T: Lots of hop flavor now. It actually tastes like I'm drinking liquified hops (though not mindblowingly intense). I guess what distinguishes this from an IPA is that, for as much hop content there is, there is relatively little bitterness compared to the total amount of hops used. Anyway, this beer is mildly bitter with citric and mild piney hop flavor. Malt character takes a background seat to the hop flavor. This beer is pretty damn good, but it lacks some complexity from the malt perspective. Malts lend a pinch of fruitiness and there is definitely some crystal malt present.

3.5 M: Medium body and a little lighter than I think it should be. Very smooth, but slightly undercarbonated.

4.5 D: I can deal without the complexity in the malts because the hops taste so damn good. Therefore, this beer is extremely drinkable.

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Photo of beeragent
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Poured a medium copper, forming a 1/2 inch white head. Light lacing on the glass.

S - Intense hop aroma. Very floral. Not much else is detectible due to the high hop profile.

T - Strong citrusy hop taste coats the palate. A hint of light malt in the middle, before ending with a sharp hop finish.

M - Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation.

D - This is a great example of a pale ale! It really doesnt get any better than this. Outstanding flavor and high drinkability. If this wasnt such a rarity for Texas, I would easily drink the entire six pack in one night. Highly recommended!!!!

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my last one since i picked up 12 of them in Indiana this summer. I will say, that I think the time didn't do it any favors. I think this beer is everything you'd want in a APA in 6-pack form that isn't overly expensive. It has a honey filled hop aroma. piney, citrus hops are very present. The taste is damn good! It has a sweetness that is great to cut the hop bitterness. What a combo. You could drink a good number of these without killing your taste buds for later in the evening!

Cheers to FFF!

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Photo of bort11
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an over sized pint glass. Mild white head that retains foam cap on the surface. Thin lacing. Color is a warm honey amber with good clarity.

Smell is a sweet honeyed bread malt with a floral/pine hops. Extremely balanced aroma. It shifts from honey to hops. Taste exemplifies balance. Honey malts and citrus/pine hops. Finishes with a little bit of black pepper.

Great quaffability. i wish I had grabbed a full six pack.

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,387 ratings.
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