Alpha King Pale Ale is the flagship beer of Three Floyds Brewing. It’s not as coveted as Three Floyds other pale ale, Zombie Dust, but I’m of the opinion that non coveted is a good thing. For those of you who have any memory of Gilligan’s Island I guess you could say that Alpha King is Mary Ann to Zombie Dust’s Ginger. Alpha King is on tap at Studio 35 periodically, and while I always grab a pint when that happy circumstance arises I’ve yet to try it from the bottle. So when I saw some behind the register while checking out at Weiland’s market a few weeks back I didn’t hesitate to snag a bottle.
- Brewery: Three Floyds (Munster, IN)
- Style: American Pale Ale
- ABV: 6.5%
- IBUs: 66
As you can see from the picture above Alpha King has a deep amber color, that is darker than your average IPA. It fills my Dogfish Head IPA glass with 3+ fingers of thick white head that lasts and lasts. Five minutes after pouring the beer there are still meringue-like islands of foam floating on top of the copper colored liquid below. Not surprisingly it leaves behind an intricate pattern of lacing. It has the quintessential IPA nose with inviting aromas of citrus fruits and pine. The American hops are front and center in the taste, but unlike many IPAs the malts are not overwhelmed here. It has that juicy character that makes a good Pale Ale/IPA so thirst quenching and drinkable. The citrus/grapefruit flavors are not quite as prominent as they could be, but then again this is a Pale Ale rather than an IPA. The most impressive aspect of Alpha King is how the bitterness is dialed in at just the right level and makes itself known as soon as it hits your tongue, but then remains at a constant level throughout the drink. In so many IPAs the bitterness peaks toward the finish, which is not a flaw in my book, but the constant level of bitterness in Alpha King is quite nice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and hits the goldilocks spot for a pale ale.
This is textbook example of how to make a balanced yet hop-forward American Pale Ale. Nothing knocks your socks off, but everything fits together just right. If I could get Alpha King on a regular basis I would keep my refrigerator constantly stocked with this gem of a beer.
Rating = 8.5
Rating Scale: 10 = perfection, 9 = excellent, one of the top beers in the world, 8 = very good, one of the top beers in its style category, 7 = good, a solid beer I’m happy to be drinking, 6 = average, not bad but not something I’m likely to buy again, 5 = below average, 3-4 = poor, should be avoided, 1-2 drainpour.