September 29th, 2012 | by JOHN LOCANTHI Food & Drink | Posted In: The President of Beers

President of Beers: #14

Alpha King Pale Ale: Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, Indiana

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We're drinking the flagship craft beer from every state in the Union, counting down from 50-1, to find which is home to the President of Beers.

#14 Alpha King Pale Ale: Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, Indiana

State: The Hoosier State has been a member of the Union since 1816. Despite its long tenure, the rest of the country knows little about the state outside of sports and rednecks. Larry Bird—and until recently, Peyton Manning—comes behind only Almighty God in the hearts and minds of the natives. Every year, hundreds of thousands make the annual pilgrimage to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch Formula 1 cars drive in 200 laps around an oval track. Indiana also played host to two of the most popular sports movies, Hoosiers and Rudy, as well as Bobby Knight. The state’s success in sports distracts outsiders from wondering what the hell a “Hoosier” is.

Brewery: Three Floyds began in 1995 when Nick, Simon, and their dad, Mike Floyd decided to open a brewery due to the “fairly bleak craft brewing scene in the region." They’ve since expanded several times, eventually opening a brewpub in 2005.

Beer: The Alpha King Pale Ale is hoppier than your average pale ale. In fact, most drinkers would probably call it an IPA. Whatever kind of beer you want to call it, it's damn good.

Difficulty of obtaining in Oregon: Moderate. They don’t distribute in Oregon, but it can be found in select stores in neighboring California. If you’re desperate for Three Floyds, you can find Axes of Evil, their collaboration with Gigantic Brewing, in Oregon.

Rating: 71.16

PHOTO: Cameron Browne
The Alpha King pours an orange-y amber with a long-lasting, light head that laces the sides of the glass while you enjoy it. The citrus and floral aroma is key—even voters who gave it lower scores noted its great nose—that fades into a crisp, bitter taste. And then it’s gone almost as soon as it arrives. If it hadn’t been such a pain getting it out to Oregon, this is when I would’ve opened another bottle. It may be called a pale ale, but unlike so many others in this category, it has character. (Full disclosure: I gave this beer its highest rating and chose to write this post so I could drink the remaining bottle.)

Three Floyds is a highly respected brewery—and rightly so—in a region they themselves have described as a bleak craft brewing scene, so it came as a shock Nick Floyd was quoted in the Chicago Tribune earlier this year as saying that Portland is making the “same (bleeping) beer you were drinking 30 years ago.”

It seemed like a shot out of left field, and it partly was, so Nick Floyd took to the message boards to express his love of Portland beer. Since that post reached a smaller audience than the Chicago Tribune article, we will repost it here:

I would like to say I do not hate Portland or the Portland brewers or brewing scene I was misquoted ,In a remark I made about ONE early McManamins pub I didn’t care for .I f%$@ing love Portland and all its beer I am a good friend of Van Havig ,I drank many times with Don Younger(RIP)and loved him and the Horse Brass, Tony Lawrence from Boneyard( I know its in Bend) is a best friend . Portland was the first place I travelled as a professional brewer to the old Flanders street pub ,Bridgeport is one of my favorites .Its the first place I saw Micro’s on draught 9 to 1 over Macro beer and at a stripclub ..Portland rules ! Put a bird on it I love it ! sorry I was misquoted your humble narrator Nick F 3Floyds 

Perhaps as a sign of good faith, Three Floyds has been collaborating with one of Portland’s less noteworthy breweries, Gigantic Brewing, run by his pal Van Havig, on Axes of Evil. Look for a review of it in an upcoming Willamette Week.

Click on a state to read more President of Beers posts:

 
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