I think most anyone who enjoys beer has heard of an IPA (India Pale Ale) and can easily distinguish it from most beers by its ever present hoppy flavor. I recently stumbled across Three Floyd’s Alpha King, which is labeled as American Pale Ale (APA). The difference between IPA and APA is summed up well by this post from Thoughts on Beer.
I had my first bottle of Alpha King on a complete whim while eating at Fat Willy’s Rib Shack in northern Chicago (a must for BBQ fans). I hadn’t planned to order a drink, but my dining partners all ordered a spiked drink so I succumbed to peer pressure (Kids: don’t succumb to peer pressure, you’re better than that). While there were other microbrews available, I was pulled in by the Alpha King artwork and careful attention to detail. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a sucker for good packaging.
From the photo above, you can see that Alpha King pours a medium amber color and produces a lovely frothy head. The flavor profile contains the classic Pale Ale bitterness, but is not overwhelming like some IPAs I’ve had in the past. Quite a bit of citrus aroma emerges when poured into a glass (lemon and orange mostly), but much of the aroma never reaches your senses when consumed out of the bottle.
Three Floyd’s is a regional brewery located in Munster, Indiana, not too far from the Illinois border and is pretty difficult to find outside of the northern Midwest. It sells for around $11 per six pack and can be found on draft at establishments that appreciate good beer. While I myself would happily pick up this beer again, I don’t think it stands out as an exceptional Pale Ale in comparison to other microbrews.