Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Alpha King | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,806 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: 1,806 | Ratings: 6,328
Photo of thydarkprevails
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How have I not reviewed this? This beer helped me discover craft beer and began my love of three floyds. 12 oz bottle into a duvel tulip. Pours a clear copper with a 2 inch off white head that shrinks slowly. Very nice lacing. Aroma is grapefruit, toffee, grass, and mild citrus. Flavor is bright citric hops. Grapefruit, caramel, mild toffee, and a mild creaminess. Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Flavor lingers and alcohol is invisible. This is THE go to beer at any respectable pub I go to. Amazing.

 503 characters

Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks like a real quality amber honey. Has a one finger head but very little retention showing. the head sticks to the glass real well though.

S: Its actually a bit more sweet than there is hops. It smells like a balanced beer. honey caramel with some sweet hop nothing amazing but nice for a pale ale

T: The hops break through the malt really well. In no way is it crazy bitter but just enough to keep it refreshing. Has something like a dehydrated orange with some really light pine and. There really any huge flavors that say here I am but its nicely balanced.

M: Leaves a sticky sappy resin after each sip. a little on the low side for carbonation but just enough to let the flavors open up.

D: A really easy drinker. Not off flavors to distract me from killing the bottle. Nothing soapy or crazy bitter or to malty. like i said before nicely balanced but nothing to really rave about. Id make it my backup plan at a bar if it were local for me

 955 characters

Photo of KingRascal
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Translucent gold/amber with a thick off-white head

Aroma: Floral, hoppy aroma with a pleasant hint of barley

Taste: Pleasant hop taste with a smooth finish and pleasant aftertaste. Bordering the flavor of an IPA

Feel: Refreshing, well rounded, frothy, smooth on the palate and crisp

Overall: Perhaps my favorite beer. An extraordinary bold flavor with a crisp and refreshing finish.

 392 characters

Photo of mryuk
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a-pours with a small head that does not stick around very long. Beautiful clear caramel amber color. A very nice looking beer in a glass.

s-bitter and with a lot of grapefruit. Strong smell overall.

t-strong, bitter, delicious, hoppy. This is powerful APA that keeps hitting.

m-fairly carbonated but it is light and sits well.

d-this is one of my favorite beers. It really works well as a session for someone like me who loves hops. This is an APA on steroids.

 464 characters

Photo of dill
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a bottle into a pint glass, looking forward to this hoppy pale ale at the end of the day. There wasn't a lot on the nose initially, but it had a nice white head on top of the golden beer. I was surprised by how creamy it was in the mouth. I was also expecting something a bit more hoppy, but what I got was just a nice American pale ale that I'd happily enjoy again.

 385 characters

Photo of BigB415
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark golden color with medium head. Heavy lacing.

S: Smells of oranges and hops

T: More oranges and hops which is now more fitting since the side of the bottle says this is a citrus hop character kind of beer or something to that effect.

MF: leaves a sour kick which is from the citrus like flavor. That's what oranges do to you when you eat them. Unfortunately citrus and hop profiles is all I get which is fine by me but I would like more than just 2 flavors present but it's still good.

O: My first beer from FFF and I really like it. I hope to try more in the near future and eventually make it out to the brewery. I'll get there when I go to Chicago.

 663 characters

Photo of mmahanna41
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As the flagship for 3 Floyds, Alpha King shows us why this brewery has continued to find success... it's hard to top a beer like Alpha King. This beer is continuously in my rotation. Rarely will you find my beer fridge lacking an Alpha King.

 244 characters

Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Every few months, I just need to buy this beer. Pours a brilliant orange with a fluffy head that sticks around and laces the glass. The smell is sweet malt as the minimum characteristic, with the rest of the aroma being dominated by hops, bitter, strong citrus and some floral hops. When you first take a drink, you are once again given a pretty substantial taste of malt, but that is soon replaced by a rush of hop taste. Floral, citrus, bitter, some pine too. I can drink this beer really fast, and have spent a few nights in a stupor because I drink it too fast, and too many. All in all, probably my favorite beer.

 618 characters

Photo of Monsone
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a nice copper hue with a big white head. Leaves nice lace.

S - I guess there must be hops in there, cause I can smell 'em. A little bit of sweet carmel malt too.

T - Nice orangy, citrus hop flavors. Good carmel malt backbone.

M - Good carbo with a medium body

D - Pretty drinkable for that much hops.

Overall, my favortie APA so far. Hopefully it will be easier to locate with the upcomming brewery expansion.

 425 characters

Photo of livewire78
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours the color of copper tubing. Creamy lacing that settles into a rather unremarkable head.

Smells of intense citrus, and a pine cone dunked in a malt bath. Oooh yummy.

I was expecting this to be rather one-sided on the hops end because its a FFF brew but was surprised at how prevelant the malt is in the taste. Make no mistake the hops dominate but the malt is definitely up there with it. Very citrusy like the nose and the pine isn't as intense.

Mouthfeel is decent. Not slick and oily enough for me but not watery either.

I always have some of this on hand so I guess its my idea of drinkable. This one for me blurs the line between APA and IPA but its good either way. Trade with ME to get it though.

 714 characters

Photo of camp0474
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper amber color with a frothy tan head.

S: Citrus and pine hops covering some faint but detectable sweet malt.

T: Solid balance of hops and malt. Citrus notes and the sweet malt blend well. Well balanced even with the upfront hops.

M/D: Medium body which is very drinkable. Good amount of fine carbonation. Bitterness from hops at the end.

Overall this well balanced beer is very drinkable.

 413 characters

Photo of jlh8643
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in an imperial pint glass. A nice, tight tanish-white head sits on top of a dark copper body. The head falls down to a small cap leaving good lace all the way down the glass. Piney, citrusy hops greet the nose. More juicy citrus hops with good malt backbone to support the hopload. The beer finishes full and long. A great beer and a good reason why its 3F's flagship beer.

 380 characters

Photo of pbr85
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, amber red with an inch high off white head.
S: Oily, piney hops, sweet flower scent with some grapefruit.
T: Pretty hoppy. There is a substantial malt backbone mainly of sourdough and rye. Earthy and piney hops. Very well balanced.
M: Decent carbonation, slick mouthfeel from the hop oils. Goes down smooth.
D: Great beer. Very nicely balanced. A great alternative for someone who is craving hops but also craving balance.

 444 characters

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

thanks to malcontent for the opportunity.

A: pours a dark copper orange color with a 1.5 finger beige head. Good lacing. 4

S: citrus notes, and a good hop profile. the malt is quite evident too. 4

T: A very refreshing pale ale. there's a lot of malt to make up for the hoppiness. 4

M: the hops sting quite a bit. medium body. good carbonation. 4

D: I could drink a lot of these. But I wouldn't because they're so hard for me to get that I only drink one at a time.

Personally, I think dreadnaught kicks this one's ass in taste. This is still a very nice and refreshing pale ale though.

 605 characters

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

12 oz bottle thanks to mattboyer182 poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint.

A- Aggressive pour resulted in 2-3 finger head. Clear amber. Nice sticky lacing.

S- Nice citrus hop aroma. Caramel undertones.

T- Great big citrus hops balanced beautifully with a caramel malt backbone. Great drinker.

M- Nice light-medium body with a nice level of carbonation.

O- This is the second time I have visited this beer. It is up there with my favorite pale ales. So wonderfully balanced. Nice work. Three Floyds knows their stuff.

 519 characters

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

Mild amber in appearance with two fingers thick tan head. Soft and pillowy head that latches onto the sides of the glass and doesn't let go. Plenty of carbonation as well.

Tropical fruit aromas such as pineapple and mango dominant this brew. Has a nice sweet malt backbone to go along with the beautiful balance of piney and citrusy hops.

Tastes of tropical flavors and bitter hops followed by a lightly sweet maltiness. Again, the blend of piney and citrusy hops prove to be excellent in smell as well as taste.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that is a bit oily. Feels very smooth and goes down even smoother. Perfect amount of carbonation. This is one of the more drinkable and smooth pale ales that comes to mind.

Overall this is an exceptional pale in every facet. Incredible piney, citrusy and bittersweet flavors. Has sufficient maltiness to balance out the hops. This one is worth seeking out pretty much any time.

 918 characters

Photo of Bumpon10s
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a slightly thick, deep amber, almost red with a narrow head that dissapeared.

S - A very deep aroma of hops, pine and a little citrus, very enticing.

T - Wow, thats hoppy. Good hops with a bit of a pine cone. A refreshing APA.

M - Very thin and smooth, I let it slip around the tongue for a second before letting it go down.

D - Great drinkability, this is a great beer to have a few while fishing. Don't have too many though, the 7.3% may sneak up on you.

I like this beer, I bought a sixer of it, and glad I did. This beer though did remind me alot of Bell's Two Hearted with a little more body, to any fans of that I'd reccomend them Alpha King.

 674 characters

Photo of tiger88
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on draft the night before DLD and on DLD as well. Liked it and bought a 6 pack to bring home. I initially ordered this one to come down off my Alpha Kong high. It was a very pleasant APA. It was a clear, golden-orange with a nice, fluffy white head. It left a little lacing as the beer disappeared from my glass. A strong hop aroma did not translate into an overwhelming hoppy taste, which I was glad of since the Kong almost destroyed my tastebuds. It was a clean, crisp tasting pale ale. Light in the mouth with minimal aftertaste, this beer would be a great addition to my regular rotation....if I didn't live in Alabama.

 637 characters

Photo of hammer09
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of this to try, and I've been thanking him ever since. This is an excellent beer!

The Alpha King poured a nice, deep amber with very little head. Lacing was minimal with a fine amount adhering to the glass. Not as cloudy as I expected from a bottle conditioned beer. Carbonation was minimal with only a few visible bubbles.

Smell exhibited a very pleasant hop aroma with citrus accents. I was quite surprised at the hoppiness; this is more characteristic of an IPA than a pale ale.

Taste was very bitter, but good, with a strong hop presence in the beer also. Slight citrus flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel was crisp and dry. Amazingly, the Alpha King was well carbonated considering that visual observations indicated otherwise.

This beer is very drinkable and I will definately add this to my "must drink again" list. Depending on its local availability, I will most likely pick up this beer whenever I see it on the shelf at my local retailer.

Overall, a solid, very drinkable, very enjoyable beer. However, I still can't figure out why this is classified as a pale ale and not an IPA.

 1,136 characters

Photo of JohnWaynes44
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours rust orange and opaque. Creamy head, dissipated quickly to small lumps. Smells nice. Sweet malts, aroma is heavy with earthy, nuts and hops. Taste is a good balance of hops and malts. Sugar is prominent, hops linger through finish and well after. Mellow feel, not sharp or fizzy. Sticky and smooth...I love this brew. Proud to call this my favorite local brew. This bottle was awesome. Best from the tap. With tournament time coming, pitcher of Alpha at Chumley's in Broad Ripple are a sure bet.

 501 characters

Photo of Cakanator
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle. One of the hoppiest pale ales i've ever had. Pours a darker amber/copper color with small white head. Aromas are more malt focused, with only minor amounts of hops. Great balance on the palate between hop and maltiness. The flavors are rich, but not overpowering. With the hop profile I wouldn't have guessed a pale ale, but thats FFF's style. I wish I lived closer to this stuff.

 388 characters

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

Wish I had access to this ,but no Ohio distribution means RoadTrip! Anyhow...
Beautiful pour looks like a Red Rocket Ale, Nice!
Taste is somewhat strong for an APA but it gets tamed down with a nice malt sweetness, oh yeah LOTS of HOPS, excellent!
Smell was citrus and floral like (almost passed up smellin this in Rush to taste it!)
mouth had somewhat of an alcohol sting to it , not bad but slightly distracting.
drink was preety good for me,went down real nice like , just tell youself it's an IPA and all is GREAT!

 523 characters

Photo of Rope
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A copper brown, with a finger white head that leaves excellent lacing.

Light floral pine, followed by a buttery malt.

Strangely, I found it to start with the malt, move to the bitter side of the hops, then to the floral, then to the buttery side of the malt.

Not as crisp as I was hoping, there is a heavier presence than expected.

A flavorful APA that does not end the night.

 426 characters

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.

 809 characters

Photo of hoppheadIPA
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My absolute favorite beer at the moment!!!

Pours a hazy copper color into the pint glass with an agressive pour produces a creamy 1" head that dissapears quickly but leaves a medium lace around the glass as I drink.

Smell is like whoa!!!! Very hoppy, which I love so I was excited. Also citrus is very evident especially grapefruit.

Tastes just like I expected after smelling it. Hoppy, citrus, with a slight pine hint. Tastes like fresh cut grapefruit. My favorite tasting pale ale to date. Three Floyds is lying when they call this a pale ale. Should be an IPA. A pleasent bitterness creeps up after you swallow. I love the taste...

Sticks to the mouth perfectly

I consider this to be very drinkable. Wouldn't quite call it a session beer but wouldn't mind having 3 or 4.

 781 characters

Alpha King from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,328 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!