Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

1,826 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:
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Reviews: 1,826 | Ratings: 6,404
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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Photo of Damian
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12 fl oz/355 ml bottle
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to Jeager for including this as an extra in our trade

The beer poured a crystal clear, deep reddish-amber color with a two-finger, frothy, off-white head that slowly faded to a thick ring. Spotty blocks of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was intensely hoppy yet balanced. A bold, citrusy, spicy orange quality was apparent along with rich, sweet, caramel malts.

The taste was hoppy and zesty yet incredibly smooth and well balanced. Malty and a touch sweet up front with some mild brown sugar notes. Citrus fruits (candied orange peel and grapefruit) were immediately noticeable as well. Spicy in the center. The snappy and clean finish was piny and dry initially and became more intense (and more bitter) as the beer warmed.

The mouthfeel was medium/fuller bodied for the style. Outrageously creamy with a fine, medium carbonation. Silky smooth and supple on the palate.

Drinkability was simply outstanding. This is an easy-drinking yet oh-so-flavorful pale ale. What more could one ask for from a session brew?

Simply put, this is an incredibly solid and well-crafted beer. For a pale ale, it was definitely the most intense version I have yet to try (it more closely resembled an IPA than a pale ale). Overall, another winner from the folks at Three Floyds.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i excitedly pour this into my ballast point pint glass. a great two finger head pops up above the amber color. fantastic retention. leaves a nice creamy amount of lacing on the sides.

smell is a nice mix of sweet malt and good hops.

taste is great. drinks easy. nice hop presence. citrusy and refreshing. great sweetness in the aftertaste.

mouth is smoooth. goes down incredibly easy.

my buddy vic put it the best. you could drink 50 of these. if i had the option to i could easily put back a sixer of this.

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Photo of MillySox
4.94/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that is responsible for me not being able to be satisfied with any other.

Excellent color, although that doesn't do much for me. Strong hop aroma. Equal hop flavor with just enough body to balance it and a clean mouthfeel.

I can enjoy one or two, or enjoy it all day and night.

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Photo of TheObsession
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me start by saying yummy...this is what I look for in a pale ale.

In the glass, the beer had a rich copper color to it, with a thick 1 inch head that clung heavily to the sides of the glass as it receded. The opacity of the beer caused me to do a double take; it looked only slightly clearer than a hefeweissen.

The smell was not as potent as some recent beers that I have tried. I picked up mostly sweet and malty notes, with a mild hop character as well.

The taste was delicious: the beer began mildly sweet and finished mildly dry with some nice fruity/caramel notes, not too overpowering in any flavor, but just enough to make you want to drink more. Well balanced. I picked up a much stronger citrus/grass/hop flavor when I burped (I love the beers that give hop burps) Also, I enjoyed the heavier body of the beer. A couple of these would fill you right up.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alpha King pours a fairly murky, amber color with gold highlights and an off-white head. Lots of citrus hops on the nose, along with some underlying caramel notes.

The taste starts with sweet caramel, followed by bunches of hop flavor and bitterness. Lots of citrus flavors, including pineapple juice. The mouthfeel is nice and full with a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall, I really liked this beer but it didn't quite live up to the hype.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I swung by the stellar Neil St. Piccadilly this morning for some wares, since I hadn't done any ardent sampling in weeks. Great timing on my part. In addition to nabbing what should be some nice winter beers and more, it was a treat to see that they had some Three Floyds selections. I hadn't tried a new pale ale in quite some time, and this was just what the beer doctor ordered.

Alpha King made a magnificent first impression on the eyes and nose. Two pillowy fingers of white froth lay atop a clear burnt orange body, coating the Ommegang glass with decorative lacing--beautiful. I'm not kidding when I say that, after opening Alpha King, I stood at the counter in my kitchen and sniffed the bottle for a full minute. When I judge a beer's aroma, I do so out of the glass, but it starts for me out of the bottle. Holy crap! It's flush with citrus hops, loaded with tangerine and orange, and doesn't fade as it warms. Wow.

It's listed as a pale ale, but is at least as much an IPA given the heavy hop taste, that bitter flavor, that I love. Yet it's also smooth and creamy as a good pale ale. Both styles are represented well, incorporating fruit and hop bitterness, all with some malt heft. Very nice, even with a slight flattening near the end.

This is not to be missed, a fabulous pale ale that I'd contend is more IPA than APA. Regardless, hop lovers shouldn't be disappointed after enjoying this, a genuine treat and the best in what few Three Floyds wares I've had the good fortune to sample. It won't be the last time. Outstanding.

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Photo of wkcyr4
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Appearance is golden with very clingy white lacing. VERY inviting to say the least!!

S: Citrus right from the opening of the bottle. Hop aroma and a little pine scent.

T: Dead on for this style. Alpha King I am not worthy of your greatness.

M: Full and sticky. Stays with you all the way from front to back and leaves you wanting that next sip!!

D: Exceptionally high. I have had this beer on so many occasions yet never took the time to review. Could easily drink the four that I have left.

This is just a fantastic american pale ale. Three Floyds shows me again that they know how to put out high quality beer. From now on ,I will give the King the respect he deserves!!

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Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,404 ratings.
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