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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,828 | Ratings: 6,407
Photo of brewintheLou
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with a 1 inch foam head that stuck around a left lacing down the glass.

Does not have a strong smell, but I think I am getting hints of a citrus smell.

Taste has a nice smooth malt at the start with a little hop bite to finish. This beer is very well balanced. Would probably be nice up higher ABV session beer.

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Photo of ATPete
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
no date on the label, received in a recent trade.

Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a mediocre small white head and minimal sticking. A mellow nose of resinous hops and pine, musty pale malts lay balanced in the nose but overall its aroma doesnt necessarily strike me as inviting. Sweet malt character, brown sugar, big notes of grapefruit and orange peel. Lively bubbles, coating medium body and a long lingering bittersweet aftertaste. Good drinkability, but i was expecting so much more from this beer, possibly i got an old bottle, and i would love to experiment with Alpha King again but until that day, im unimpressed.

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Photo of deereless
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium copper, thin layer of head - 4.00, S: Wonderfully hoppy aromas, hard to believe this is a pale ale and not and IPA, bubble gum, lemon zest - 4.75, T: Grapefruit along with some earthy hops, nicely balanced with a medium malt, slightly on the side of green, extremely flavorful - 5.00, M: 4.50, D: This is one finely crafted beer, solid all around, hopheads will delight in this brew, I would make this part of my regular rotation if it was more readily available - 4.50

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Photo of SerieDNo3
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep amber, with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly. Mild to moderate lacing.

S: Deep piney aroma

T: Tastes very strongly of pineapple, with a slight malt sweetness.

M: Surprisingly carbonated, given the small head and unimpressive lacing. Very crisp.

D: Carbonation and great flavor make this one very drinkable. A very good beer.

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

A-Brilliant copper with a medium off-white head that reduces to a thin cap and levaes nice lacing.

S-Smack of pine dipped citrus hops. The hops are without question the at the forefront of this brew. A nice backing caramel sweetness comes in on the backside.

T-Sharp, brilliant citrus hop bite with a backing of tart apple. Smooth, luscious caramel malt acts more as hop delivery system rather than balancing the hops. The malt smoothness and hop bitterness are almost in perfect sync.

M-Medium bordering on medium-light bodied with a sharp lingering hop bitterness and a nice smoothness.

D-This brew that blurs the lines between an APA and IPA is about as good in flavour as a mild ABV hop bomb can get. This stuff is absolutely lovely. I could put dwon pint after pint of this liquid nectar without any problems.

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

Pours with a beautiful creamy head. Good lacing. A light amber color, my favorite color for a hoppy ale. The smell is centennial, you know citrus, kind of pungent. There is also a bit of breadiness if you seek it out. A brilliant smell. The taste is great. A bit bitter, but talk about balance! There is a sort of nutty, biscuity malty taste under the hops. And the hops are just like it smells, refreshing bitterness with grapefruit flavor. You can also detect the tiniest grassiness in the taste, which I enjoy. You get a hit of carbonation with each drink, pretty straightforward in its delivery, which is very enjoyable. The taste lingers, and actually feels a bit sweeter after the initial bitter feeling. This could be dangerous. For an APA, 6.00 could catch up with you quickly. But it would be possible to drink quite a lot of these quickly. Too bad I can't purchase 3F in SC, but I may have some more coming from a friend.

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

A-Pours a brownish red with a 1-finger white head. Leaves good lacing.

S-Hops and thats it.

T-Opens with citrus and transitions into strong, bitter hops. More of an IPA than a standard pale ale.

M-Just the right amount of carbonation to break up this full-bodied ale.

D-Higher-than-average alcohol content and strong flavor make it easy and pleasurable to have a couple, but more difficult to take down a sixer. More of a premium beer or finisher than a session beer.

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

I poured this 12 ounce bottle into my Stone Levitation Stemmed glass. Pours a dark amber with an ever so slight chill haze. An inch tall head forms after a standard pour. The head fell to a nice splotchy coat with a 3/8ths inch tall collar and nice lace effect.

Smell of awesomely complex hop aromas, floral, herbal, citrus, green and more. Some caramel and biscuit round out this really great aroma.

Big hop flavor. There is a great citrus flavor here tangerine, ruby red grapefruit. The floral hops hit next followed by some green and herbal notes. The caramel and biscuit come through and work as a nice backbone to the hops. The finish has a nice hops bitterness that linger a bit. Bitterness is quite high for an APA

The body of this beer is medium, quite firm for an APA. Carbonation is extremely lively with a tingle that carried the bitterness and flavor throughout the pallet. There is also a oily and sticky quality the coats the mouth.

Overall, this beer is very very good, and easily quaffable. I could make this a nice session.

Thanks For Reading

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Photo of Redwood21
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Scubarex for this beer via SS BIF

A: The head starts out as not very robust, but it lasts for a rather long time. the color is also very nice sort of a straw red wood color.

S: this starts with a good hop aroma that is more floral than spicy and has almost a slight malty herbal quality to it.

T: very smooth, esp when it warms just a touch. there is the level of hops you'd expect, maybe a little more than your avg apa. it has almost a sweet quality but the bitterness cuts this. it is almost a little malty as well but only to cover the hops and blend it all together. extremely well balanced.

M/D: very very very easy to drink, dominates my thoughts and makes me want another. i will be sad when this glass is gone

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

Appearance: Solid all the way round. Nice color, head, lacing.

Smell: Sprucy hop oil all the way.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Hopsmack but enjoyable, this like 90 min. IPA I may prefer in the bottle, maybe its because with the air hop aromatics take charge, to me they seemed designed for bottle drinking, since such a small portion of the beer drinking public even craft beer fans drink it from the bottle anyway. Sweet upfront a healthy dose of malt balanced by the piney hop oils, leaving you with a perfectly dry finish. A bit of toasted malt gives you a wisp of caramel but much more nutty goodness. Rolling it around on the tongue, gives it a creamy goodness that stands up to much maltier brews.

Drinkability: I'd drink more in a night but I like diversity in all things, a classic from a legendary brewer.

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

12 oz bottle.

Gorgeous clear copper, 1 finger head. Recedes and leaves ring around the edge. Leaves lacing.

Beautiful blend of hops and malt. Citrusy and floral hop aromas blend with caramel sweetness perfectly. Has legs.

APA or IPA? Does it matter? Very well balanced. Caramel sweetness up front, hangs out while the hops ramp up through the middle and balances nicely in the clean finish.

Mildly fizzy, smooth, creamy with medium body.

Too tasty to chug, but easily sessionable. Each sip begs another.

Wow, a great beer.

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Photo of wardough
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this gem at the brewery. This is a great session beer.

Great citrusy smell that is a pleasure. Awesome aroma.
Taste is sweet, followed by bitter, followed by a sweet finish. Nice taste.

Mouthfeel is good, but it needs a tad bit more carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent APA and well worth the money and the effort of finding.

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

On a recent trip to the Three Floyds brewery with bheilman and swiftymcbeer I had the chance to try this gem. I don't know if it was the excitement of being at the birth place of this brew or what but I must say this truly is the king of pale ales. Much darker in color than I would have guessed with a frothy head that left a nice stache on your face. Slightly hoppy smell with tones of citrus. Great classic pale ale flavor. Hoppy, carmely, orangy, fruity, bitter all the good stuff. This pale ale is a true pleasure to drink and I would highly reccomend it to anyone who enjoys this style.

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

A: The beer poured a hazy dark amber color with a white to slightly off white head that was very thick and dissipated slowly. The beer was a lot darker than expected for an APA.

S: Strong hop aroma with grapefruit and pine.

T: The hops were the dominate flavor, but the grapefruit was very noticeable, but balanced very well. There were also hints of the malt and pine.

M/D: Probably the best APA I have tried to date. The beer was smooth, very easy to drink, medium body and good carbonation level. Very well done beer.

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Photo of meatmallet
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper in color with a thin white head that left lots of lacing.

Smell: Lots of hopps and what seems like grapefruit.

Taste: Heavy on the hopps. Sweet and and citrusy with a nice bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is good and the aftertaste is pleasant.

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

A hazy deep amber colored beer. An inch high cream head faded very slowly. Streams of tightly bunched tiny carbonation bubbles. Thick lace rings.

A gritty hops citrus aroma leaps at the nostrils. A sweet malt back had a light pumpernickel scent. Ends with a bitterness off freshly steeped English tea.

A very flavorful malt backbone. Sweet bread was blended with a nice light lemon citric flavor. The scents of tea in the smell move well into the taste.

Pleasant thickness on the tongue. A burst of carbonation up front dies over time with a shift in flavors.

A very good brew. Works well with a thick beef stew with root vegetables. A nice choice for balanced flavors. Definitely worth a try if you haven't had one before.

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

Thanks for the trade beereality!

Pours a deep amber color with quarter inch head and slight lacing which lasts till the end. This one doesn't appear to be filtered, at least not very tight.

As expected, strong hop aroma of citrus and pine. Much like your typical west-coast style pale.

A nicely balanced pale from Three Floyds. Not nearly as bitter as I expected from the aroma.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, and the carbonation is just right...natural for sure. I could drink a few of these and be just fine.

This being my first beer from 3F I am very impressed and am anxious to try their others. If you ever have a chance to try this beer I highly recommend it.

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

Coworker drove home a few cases for me from a recent extended Chicago business trip. I'm down to my last one (only one today) so I think I should review.

A - nice glowing amber color with a creamy, very light beige head

S - Juicy! Grapefruit, orange with a slight floral note. This is my kind of hop scent - it lets you know exactly what's coming... not exactly a "hop bomb" but a citrusy hop explosion of some sort.

T - Did I say Juicy? Take that juice and add a strong balancing malt backbone with elements of vanilla and caramel.

M- Much prefered this from the bottle over from cask - probably personal preference but the increased carbonation was a plus for me.

D - A guy can dream. During said recent trip to Chicago, this was my go-to beer. As a 300lb guy, this easily qualifies as sessionable at 6%. Not only could I drink it at every chance possible, I craved it. Case of a beer living up to the hype.

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Photo of kkosmoski
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Longneck served into an American pint. Fill level on the bottle was very high - almost right at the top of the opening. Shows a hazed light amber in the glass with a light covering of white head that is dying fast. Smells of strong flowery hop, dark caramel, toffee, orange, and pine - hops dominate the nose. Big, bright flowery hop flavor to start complimented with some orange peel, moving into pine and finishing with caramel and lemon. Medium carbonation and body, and a nice drinker for fans of the humulus lupulus. A very hop forward pale with a higher than average caramel malt character. I would have to say one of the finer examples of an American Pale.

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Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this from draft at the Trion in New Haven.
It's suprisingly dark for a "pale ale" and this coupled with the intense hoppy aromas let's you know you are dealing with a serious brew. Taste is burly with sharp flavors up front and smooth on the finish. For some reason this reminds me of Stone's Ruination, and yes, I know the styles are different. Maybe it's just the up front machismo that both of those beers deliver. Whatever the case, this is a fantastic beer. Of the 3F's that are available all the time, I put this right behind Gumballhead. On tap, this actually gets the slight edge, the Gumballhead seems to shine a little brighter out of the bottle. Either way, that is a potent one-two punch from the crew up in Munster, one that can stand up to any brewer in the nation.

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Photo of pumarocks
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draft at the Beer Cellar in Indy. This is a serious beer. It has a significant hoppiness that made me think it was an IPA rather than an APA. It has a citrus flavor with spiciness and a dash of sweetness. It smacks you in the mouth before it is done with you. I will be visiting Three Floyds the next time I am in Chi-town. A very very good brew.

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

I got this brew from SirSketch, Thanks Zach!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - murky orange/amber color with a huge beige head of glass sticking foam.

S - pine and citrus hops fill the nose.

T - the hops steal the show here, citrus bitterness bites hard with just enough malt to balance things out before one more bitter bite on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a mild carbonation feel.

D - smooth, tasty and very easy to drink.

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

Alpha King Pale Ale, courtesy of Biggness - thanks!! Beer #1 of 6 in my "Three Floyds Countdown to #500" series. Poured into an Allagash cervoise.

Appearance: What an American pale ale should look like. This one's a deep, vibrant copper color with sparse and slow carbonation that trickles upwards to a one-finger tan head. The head was the result of a rather conservative pour and had above average retention, leaving a splotchy, bubbly sheen of foam after it faded, a ring of bubbly lace, and some big swaths of sticky, creamy lacing. Great start.

Aroma: What an American pale ale should smell like. Thick, juicy citrus notes - some of the heaviest I've ever gotten in a traditional pale ale - minty herbal notes, a few spicy, grassy, pine-like notes ... it's a veritable panoply of hoppy goodness. All very delicate and well-balanced.

Taste: What an American pale ale should taste like. Huge, crunchy citrus rind, like biting into a grapefruit without the sour, enough pine to leave your tongue tingling, some solid leafy overtones, and a healthy amount of bitterness that's probably about precisely where it should be for the style. All of this over a bed of biscuity, caramelly malt, roasted to perfection.

Mouthfeel: Noticing a trend yet? Mild carbonation and a medium body make this a slow, subtle, fairly thick beer, though that's what the flavors here call for. It's still light enough that it fills up your mouth, and there's plenty of refreshing crispness from the hop notes and bitterness - who needs tons of carbonation?

Drinkability: Well, there you have it. Probably the best APA I've ever had, and it's a style I'm quite fond of. No alcohol to be found here, though I do recognize it may be on the higher side of the scale, stylistically. That aside, this one's gorgeous, aromatic, flavorful, smooth, and is incredibly quaffable. I am envious of those who have this as a "go to" beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a watermelon pinkish color in dim pub lighting,quite nice looking. The covering of thin off-white bubbles hangs for a minute,before falling to a quick death,sheets of lace are bringing this full tilt. This is like a whopping rainbow of hoppy fruitiness pine-apple(zebra stripes gum on steroids). Big bubble gum notes(Bubble Yum) and Star Burst candy flavors,creamy and dreamy. Pretty hoppy for a APA,but not the intense taste bud assaulting hops,more fruity. Juicy and mouth watering from start to finish. Cotton candy beer.A three ring circus of hop,malt and more hops that never disappoints. Well orchestrated and delightful.

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass - nothing unusual or spectacular here. There are some numbers on the bottom of the bottle, but no decipherable date.

A - Pretty inconspicuous brew. One-fingered head that dissolves to a ncie lace. Brownish amber in color - not all that "pale" looking.

S - Mandarin orange, hops, grapefruit, pine. Delicious! Smell reminds me of IPAs and DIPAs.

T - Taste is a little more subdued than the smell. Starts sweet with citrus accents, buts leaves a bitter aftertaste.

M - Excellent - just the right viscosity and mild amount of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

D - Very sessionable - if the aftertaste wasn't as bitter it'd be perfect.

It's my second favorite Pale Ale (behind Founder's Harvest), and a great brew to buy a sixer and share with friends.

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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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