Pranqster | North Coast Brewing Co.

1,218 Reviews

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBU's: 20

Added by kbub6f on 06-01-1998

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Reviews: 1,218 | Ratings: 3,342
Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressive yeast, in terms of aroma and taste for a Belgium, but otherwise true to its style. An interesting and worthwhile addition to its style. Coriander, vanilla, nutmeg. Quite quafable. Sweet-spicy. Medium-full mouthfeel. Cloudy golden appearance.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours the color of unfiltered apple cider. Beer starts with a small head that disappears with little to no lacing present.

S - Smells like flowers and fruit (I especially smelled apricots).

T - Tastes of malty/yeasty biscuit with a particular apricot like fruit flavor.

M - Beer is smooth and has good carbonation.

D - This would go down very easy on a hot summer day. The apricot smell/taste is very appelaing to me.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

a classic for what it is, and probably the best, or darn near the best, belgian style beer made in the united states. one of the originals, thats for sure, and i think it has all the elements. its authentically belgian in appearance no doubt, with a foamy tall white head on it that doesnt fade a bit. the nose is a little sweet, a little bubblegum to it, but more refined fruit notes, pear and yellow plum, even apple to it, lots of esters there, and it translates to the taste, where yeast is really the primary flavor agent, although the beer is well hoppy for what it is, and has a rather sturdy grain base that provides structure and sweetness, almost like a tripel more than a belgian pale in the grain build. it all comes together really well though, a great unity, and this could easily pass as belgian truly. one of those beers that drinks so easy though you dont realize how strong it is. a specimen in that regard! look out! possibly my favorite all the time beer from north coast.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew came to me on tap at the Bethlehem Speakeasy and I had been looking forward to trying it for a while. The beer was a golden color from what I could tell. The head was thin and left just a little lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer was a little spicy and mostly made up of Belgian yeast aromas. The flavors of this beer are what I thought was pretty standardto the style. It was big ion the bread yeast flavors which brought along some banana and clove. The hops weren't overly powerful here. This brew was overall a pretty good attempt at creating an authentic Belgian ale. I just wasn't overly thrilled by it.

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is golden yellow in color and poured with a finger high white head that slowly faded away leaving lacy patterns of bubbles. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles. The beer is slightly hazy and some yeast particles are floating in suspension.
S: There is a light aroma of spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is surprisingly malty for the style and also has some associated sweetness. There are also flavors of apples and some notes of spices.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink, particularly as it warms up. I'm not sure if I would want to try this again because nothing really stood out as being interesting in the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release 06: 12 / 28 / 06
Similar to what I remembered from the 05 version. A nice and pronounces sweetness deriven from malts and candy sugars. Nearly too sweet to overtake the malts. Fermentation gives nice spiciness and character, but still not what I expect from great Belgians. Finsihes a bit too sweet and lingers a bit too long. Heated from the alcohols, but not overly so. Still good beer, but not among my favorite Belgians.

Release 05: 03 / 03 / 06
After passing on this beer a many a time, I finally picked it up. Glad I did--pretty good stuff. Expected by North Coast Brewery. Great malt, bread, candied sugar sweetness and body. Good texture and creaminess, yet smoothness. Moderately spicy and complex. Exhibits some Belgian yeast / fermentation sourness, bite-eyness, and twang-ey; but not as complex or intense as expected from a serious Belgian pale ale contender. Strength in flavor and alcohol is moderate for style, but blends nicely. A good attempt.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. I do like the old drinking party scene that comprises the label imagery.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, pale golden yellow hue, with three fingers of puffy, foamy, and somewhat soapy off-white head, which maintains rather sturdy retention, leaving some random coral reef enclosure lace around the glass in the process.

It smells of aged orange rind, banana chips, spicy wheat grain, warm bread, a bit of peppy yeastiness, a touch of dry drupe fruitiness, and soft leafy hops. The taste is bready caramel and pale malts, mildly denatured citrus, black pepper, underripe banana, soft, almost funky yeast, and more bitterly earthy and leafy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, perhaps a bit prickly here and there, the body a decently hefty medium weight, and pretty smooth, just a small tacky essence wiggling its way in. It finishes off-dry, the yeast-tinged malt hanging tough, against the threat of a rising, yet generally laid-back alcohol warming.

A nice, evenly rendered, and enjoyable New World take on a classic Belgian big-boy pale ale. Lots going on, and easy enough to put back, yet the joke's on you if you treat this like you would any normal 4-pack.

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Photo of brentk56
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a very disappointing head that fades quickly and leaves just a few spots on the chalice

Smell: Bread and apricots, with a yeast and coriander aspect

Taste: Sweet and bready up front, with hints of banana; by mid-palate, the other golden fruits arrive (apricot, pear and some citrus) and add both sweetness and some bitterness to the mix; after the swallow, the yeasty phenols move into action, as does a hint of alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice BSPA; perhaps it was just this bottle, but the carbonation seemed a little off to me

Thanks, BevmoIan, for the opportunity

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Photo of largadeer
2.71/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Golden in the glass with orange highlights. A gentle pour produces only a small head, which recedes to a thin ring. The nose is bready and estery, with hints of pepper and bubblegum. Similar on the palate; sweet pale malts meet bubblegum, pepper, fresh herbs and dried fruit (banana, pear). It's complex, but the sweetness and phenols are too much for me, and there's not enough carbonation to cleanse the palate between sips. Not terribly impressive stuff.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on draught into a goblet at the Yardhouse in Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. I'd had it out of the bottle before.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of fair cream, good thickness, and good retention. Colour is a dark hazy orange-gold.

Sm: Orange citrus esters, wheat, and maybe yeast. A mild strength aroma.

T: Orange citrus ester hops over a wheat foundation, with some light cream. Layered but somehow simple. Balanced.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and a touch sharp. Not too thick nor too thin.

Dr: Very drinkable. I like it. A simple enjoyable little beer.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.77/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a fuzzy orangey/amber color ale with medium head with poor retention. Nose of light spices, fruit and some malt, though a tad too discrete. Taste is quite mild with the fruit aspect quite evident; yeast is almost undetectable. Body is average and carbonation is way too low. Overall, this is a below average Belgian ale.

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Photo of emerge077
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 bottle, cellared in my fridge by accident.

Pours an almost unnatural candy orange color, with a small fizz of foam that quickly dissipates to nothing. Aroma masks the alcohol, but it is still strong. Belgian candi sugar, and something sweet and vegetal. Can't say I like it. It seems slightly out of balance, there's a bit of astringency, nearly sour but not quite. Sort of boozy like a Tripel, but without any subtlely. Vague fruit hint, but just barely. Fuller mouthfeel, but it goes flat after awhile. Not recommended for cellaring.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A small white head covers a clear rich golden colored beer that seems to have a amber hint to it as well.

Spicy cloves and nutmeg aroma among other things hits you pretty nicely with this beer.

The spices such as cloves, nutmeg an such provide much of this beers tastes.

A dryish aftertaste with some of the spiciness sticking around with the light medium bodied beer.

A little spicy, but just right it seems to make you like this and want more.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/gold color. It was highly carbonated with a bubbly, white, one-finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and yeast. A good citrusy aroma too, mostly lemon and orange.

T - This first few sips were really sweet, but that subsided with subsequent sips. It had a subtle spice taste blended with citrus and yeast.

M - It was a crisp beer with a grainy feel, as well. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - This is a good Belgian-style beer. One of the better offerings from North Coast.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a somewhat-hazed golden color with a nice white head. Nose is mostly Belgian yeast with bits of clove, orange, spice, and coriander. Taste is similar with some malt sweetness coming through in addition to the fresh fruits coming from the yeast. Moderate body with good carbonation; very nice drinkability on a hard to nail style, especially outside of the better Belgian breweries.

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Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into new belgium globe glass. Color is a hazy/cloudy sunset orange. Head is one finger that fizzles down quickly, but has a thin layer stick around. Leaves splatted lace. Amazing retention.

Aroma is very fruity. Has a clove aroma as well with malts on the side. Banana aroma too. And fruit zest. That is all.

Taste is awesome. Very complex. Has a bready taste with banana and clove, similar to the smell. Some earthy hops as well.

Mouthfeel is very crisp, maybe a little overcarbonated. Ends with a very sticky aftertaste.

Overall, this was an amazing beer. Very flavorful and easy to drink. I will definitely have another.

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Photo of oberon
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice fresh yeasty taste.Fruity smell and the fruity taste mingled well the yeast tones.I like Bells sparkling a little better but all in all a good brew.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 7/10/2011 date stamped on the bottom. Pours hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big apple, pear, pepper, clove, banana, grape, wheat, earth, and yeast spiciness. Pretty nice aromas with good complexity and decent balance. Taste of big apple, pear, wheat, bread, pepper, earth, grape, clove, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, wheat, bread, pepper, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a light, smooth, and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian strong pale ale. Nice complexity and balance of flavors; very smooth and crisp to sip on. Nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pranqster pours a very hazy orange body beneath a creamy head of off-white. The head retention is quite nice, and even when it does drop, the collar that's left is wide and creamy. The lacing could be better for the style, as it tends to disappear rather than stick, but that can hardly be complained about either, as new splashes and spots are formed with almost every sip through to at least halfway in the goblet.

The nose is rich and inviting with an ample dollop of sweet, vanilla-laced cake. There's a thread of fruit to it as well, bringing to mind apricots and soft tangerine - Ah! orange marmalade!; a touch of grainy maltiness; a whisper of alcohol; and perhaps even a dull spiciness in the background due to the yeast.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, but fuller. It's components are tied together tightly and don't appear quite as easily on their own as they do in the nose. The alcohol is more noticeable, but given the style I don't feel it's out of place or unwarranted. It's nicely rounded and very well balanced - harmonious, if you will, going smoothly from start to finish without notice. Nothing stands out in the end, just a mineralish dusting of fruit accented malt is left, and you're ready for another sip.

Well refined. Well brewed. Almost quaffable excepting the strength. Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

North Coast Pranqster on tap at the Beer Trappe in Lexington.

Very hazy yellow-gold with a durable head and excellent lacing.

The aroma is surprisingly subtle and mild but the spicy Belgian yeast does show. Otherwise, sweet and fruity (mostly lemon).

The flavor largely follows, albeit with more yeast evident . A bit peppery, lemony and grassy.

Light body seems a bit thin, but has fine, soft carbonation.

O: refreshing, tame and highly drinkable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky light gold color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, apples, spice and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with strong flavors of spice and Belgian yeast, then the mild sweetness of fruit and malt come in, followed by a light hops presence, nicely balanced. The after-taste is slightly bready and a little sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, nice kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer to stick with for an evening when you’re in a Belgian kind of mood but you don’t want to get yourself destroyed too quickly.

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Photo of mactrail
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Aero Club in San Diego. Big amber beer in the pint glass.

Such a distinctive rich flavor-- buterscotch and chardonnay. Long nose of-- Twinkies? Biscuity malt flavors. Sweet but nicely balanced by the Belgian flavors. A grapey taste along with a fine, mellow yeastiness. Light bodied and totally drinkable. Just strong enough to give a little bite without getting into the sipping-only category. Just enough carbonation. While it's not a seriously Belgian style beer it is extremely clean and well made. I had only tried the bottled version and was surprised at how good it is on tap.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Misconduct Tavern, Philly, PA

Poured by the bartender into a pilsner glass (whatever), a hazy golden color with a small layer of milky head. Aroma of Belgian yeast, with a bit of funk, bready, with light notes of fruit and spice. Tastes kind of like a tripel in some ways...Belgian yeast, biscuits, candi sugar, banana esters, with hints of apricots. Medium mouthfeel, leaves a bit of film in the mouth, flavorful and pretty drinkable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.71/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a murky golden body with a fizzy white head.

Smell: A sour fruit funkiness with notes of candy and wheat.

Taste: Light, pale malt sweetness with strong, yeasty herb-stuffed dough notes and hints of honey, bubblegum, and pears. Finishes with a prolonged spicy, yeastiness and just a bit of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slightly sticky palate.

Drinkability: Far too sour and yeasty for my tastes, I think I'll keep to their Old Rasputin and Old Stock Ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly flecked, sun-ripened apricot with a small amount of visible carbonation. The cap is lemony cream in color and is a bit too soft to be rocky. It does hold its shape pretty well however. There isn't much lace; just a thin, soapy collar.

The nose is more citrus fruity than comparable offerings from Belgium. Perhaps that's because of the absence (at least by my nose) of that distinctively funky, clove-intensive Belgian yeast. On second sniff, I pick up the faint aroma of spice, but am unable to be specific regarding which one(s). Note: although the nose became more assertive with warming, it could have been more assertive still.

It's funny how some beer doesn't give up its secrets until it actually contacts the taste buds. Each sip delivers a tangy melange of peach and apricot, with a moderate dusting of clove and something muskier, earthier. Cardamom perhaps. Ethanol is noted, but isn't bothersome.

In my experience, this style has a wide range of sweetness, from syrupy and borderline cloying, to as dry and as puckery as unripe fruit. This beer falls in the smack dab middle; the best of all worlds if you're not a fan of extremes. The body/mouthfeel is neither light nor heavy and the level of carbonation is generous for North America and a little lacking for Belgium.

Pranqster is a fine example of a BSPA and was a pleasure to drink. It's a tweener in terms of its flavor score and could just as easily have been granted the next highest. I'm comfortable in recommending it to lovers of this style in particular and to lovers of good beer in general. North Coast has reason to be proud of this one.

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Pranqster from North Coast Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 3,342 ratings.
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