Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Pranqster | North Coast Brewing Co.

1,210 Reviews

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

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,210 | Ratings: 3,303
Photo of longpondbeerman
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at MacGregor's, this Belgian was true to its heritage:spicy. It poured a mysterious, musty copper, and the thin off-white head left only a tentative, spotty lacing. The Pranqster smelled of very sweet hay or sweat, and yet it tasted distinctly of spiced cherries, with lots of honey alcohol esters, and (dare I say it) a rather hoppy finish. The mouthfeel was of medium body with only a touch of noticable carbonation.

 425 characters

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

Pretty decent interpretation of a belgian pale. Poured a cloudy golden color with a white head that receded rather quickly. Sadly there was little lacing to be seen. Smell was sweet with scents of orange peel and musty yeast. Tasted of sweet honey and standard belgian notes of slight spiceyness, malts and a nice alcohol warmth. Nothing to write home about, but a good west coast interpretation of the style.

 409 characters

Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at MacGregors. As always it was served properly, cool and in a chalice. Came a cloudy dark tea color with a nice thin coating of foamy head. The smell was very nice, with yeast present, and a certain saltiness. The smell was rounded out by some cherry and pineapple. Reminded me of a much lighter Three Philosophers. Taste again was cherrys, and a bit of saltiness. The malts made their presence also. The taste made a very pleasant balance. Felt very appropriate in the mouth, being very smooth, and having just a bit of carbonation. A very good beer.

 561 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a well made American take on a Belgian Ale and that means that a six pack of this beer costs almost the same as a 750ml Chimay. The cloudy golden haze and the fresh yeasty nose are present and so is a well constructed main body. This is not the best Belgian style beer in North America( Unibroue, Ommegang, New Belgium) but I would pick up a 6 pack to satisfy that Belgium craving without breaking the bank.

 415 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, pours a nice golden orange with a crisp white head, which slowly morphs into a tiny bubble coating and leaves nice lacing. Fruity, yeasty, spicy nose. Nice crisp and spicy mouthfeel. Typical Belgian flavors, sugar, hint of bubblegum, yeast spice etc. A nicely turned out American take on the style.

 315 characters

Photo of BeefyMee
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: A darker cloudy yellow with a perfect head.

Smell: Fruity like Golden Delicious apples and moreso than most beers of its kind. I take this as a good thing.

Taste: A little bit of a dropoff here. The fruitiness has transformed. I think the main problem is the dominant taste of the yeast. Alcohol is not noticeable until the last quarter of the glass.

Mouthfeel: Almost too tingly from the carbonation.

Drinkability: Okay but I'd probably stop at one.

Beef Notes: This one wasn't bad, but I don't think I'll be getting it again. It's just not what I look for in the style. I'm sure some people like it a lot more than me. It's definitely worth the try and something I wouldn't turn down if offered it.

 727 characters

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

Purchased a four pack at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours solid gold with a heavy cream -- not too tall -- head.

Smell is of cotton candy and peppery spices all at once -- also picking up on dried apricots and bananas.

Taste opens with big malts (canned peaches, bananas, alcohol drenched orange peels), followed by a peppery hop bitterness crackling around the circumference. Aftertaste is all peppery spice with malt sweetness sticking to my palate, and an agreeable alcohol warmth spreading throughout my throat and stomach.

Mouthfeel is rich -- like whole milk -- and works well with the big flavors.

Another great beer from North Coast.

 674 characters

Photo of pio
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

has an exceptional light yellow head, whitch is reluctant to stay but is pretty just the same... not so golden orange liquid has medium haze and sparce activity. decent lace in the form of short banners.
the perfume is the most convincing of the belgian styles i've had so far. gumdrops, a note of orange blossoms and a nice belgian earthy yeast scent, impressive. only a tiny spice charecter and a hint of light caramel. also an alluring green apple there somewhere.
the flavor has a sweet pear start and goes to the earthier and loamy flavors, herbal charecteristics make certain that this is plesant. tastes like a belgian style should, this is one of the best that i've yet had for sure. it has a real nice twang when it switches gears. it leaves the palate a touch on the sweet side. i hope they keep the belgian and the belgian style apart because i'm judging this as a belgian styled ale.
the carbonation is mild but not weak. the body is just a tad coating yet forgiving in the end.
tastes real good, easy to sip but i'd rather have two and get warmed up! great job emulating the style:bravo!

 1,106 characters

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

This beer when held up to the light appeared to have a mix of colors, gold/brown/yellow and hints of red on the edges. It was fairly clear and well carbonated. The head that was created was off white colored and sticky, full and thick in nature. It seemed to last fairly well until it finally fell. There was lace present, sticky and somewhat complex, and as it was drank, the lace dried to a film on the sides of the glass. The aromas that came from the glass were of some spices, lots of Belgian yeast, malt, and touches of sweet fruits. The tastes were full of spices, sweet malts, yeasts (earthy), notes of alcohol, pepper then it finished on the sweet side. The body was medium. This beer was very warming and sneaky. I rather enjoyed the different flavor combinations and the spiciness of the beer. The warmth of the alcohol makes this a good beer to sit around and drink slowly. A very pleasant, drinkable beer.

 918 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice ale!

The hazy apricot-colored body is topped by a great ivory-colored head of creamy foam. The head lasts long and hardy, and sheet laces the glass. This is a great looking beer with lots of rising yeast bubbles.

Aroma of yeast and malty notes to boot. Flavor that is rife with coriander and the yeast goodies. Very warming and peppery in a good way. This is a fun beer to drink.

The feel is medium with a nice lingering tartness. Great drinkability despite the strong spiciness and high ABV.

 513 characters

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

Pours a hazy gold with lots of little yeasties busily fullfilling their destinies and creating bubbles for my enjoyment. Fast, semi-furious white head sticks around a while and then forms a nice flat sheet of lace. smells strongly of the aformentioned yeasts.

Tatses nice and spicy with a bit of coriander and sweet malt. Almost a little too syrypy at the end, but darn nice nonetheless. Mouthfeel is of the medium body variety and it is a beer I could easily drink until the forces of nature prevail.

 505 characters

Photo of pheurton
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

hazy golden peach with almost no head to speak of. smells slightly spicey with a pronounced belgian yeast character. prickly carbonation keeps the brew somewhat refreshing. taste is very grainy and yeasty, kept in check by some bold spicing. the flavors mingle very well, and this ale seems put together better than say a golden monkey. sort of boozy and alcoholic, begin to feel it in the gut towards the end of the glass. a nice attempt, and one of the better american versions i've yet to come acrosss. recommended.

 518 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy tan color with a thin head and virtually no remants on the glass. Aroma is very sweet and fruity. Very electric mouthfeel that flows perfectly and hides the relatively high ABV. Spicy coriander flavor very in tune with style followed by a malt touch. Malt has a deeper flavor than color would indicate.

 315 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy tan color with a thin lace, not the characteristic fluffy white head I expected. Wonderfully sweet nose, fruity, spicy with a touch of malt. Tingly mouthfeel but not a powerful carbonation that is often typical of this style of "Belgian" brews. Spicy coriander flavor with a nice smooth malty profile. Not much hint of the 7.6% ABV. Clean, citrusy finish. Not as spicy or alcoholic of many of it's exported counterparts...an "imperial hefeweizen" to me, but tasty nonetheless.

 481 characters

Photo of Weissenheimer
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy almost to the point of opacity, my glass is like a thick pumpkin-colored cloud. It has a cheery warm glow and a nice head. The fresh, crisp, spicy licorice scent makes me smile.

The taste, heavy with licorice and just slightly medicinal, cheers me as much as the smell. It's spicy, but posessed of a bitterness that couples well with the anise. The combination is lively and energetic. After further sips I notice a certain herb character that I can't pin down but which lends a freshness and insouciance to the whole affair.

As I near the bottom of the glass I notice some wispy, sparse lacing. At about the same time it becomes apparent that part of this beer's perkiness comes from the dryness at the finish.

I love this stuff. I expect to have one whenever the chance presents itself.

 803 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Spices such as coriander and clove, with a nice lemon zing. Smells like a cross between a wit beer and a Belgian. Has that banana/bubblegum smell going as well. Complex
Appearance: Deep hazy golden amber with a nice fluffy white head that filmed fairly quickly, but still fed by a good carbonation. There are about 1.5 million little sediment particles swirling around in there, in fact they seem to have settled into their suspended spots, giving the beer a speckled look
Flavor: The Belgian flavor wins out in the taste. Classic bubble gum citric fruit flavor with a mild dash of spice. The spices are much more in the nose than the taste. Balance is to the sweet, but it is held in check enough to allow the yeast and spice flavors to shine.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body triggers a chew and coats the mouth for a nice long aftertaste.
Overall Impression: A dangerously drinkable ale. At 7.6% I’m expecting this to suddenly hit me over the head, but I don’t taste, or yet feel the alcohol. The flavor is rich and the body is heavy, but I’m having a hard time letting it warm up without drinking it all. It’s going on my shopping list, GREAT BEER!

 1,176 characters

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

Poured a golden orange with an bold head that dissipated very slowly. Aroma is a strong sweetness with presence of malts, wheats, spices, and alcohol. Tastes of spices are very present with a nice maltyness throughout. Overall smoothness and not too overpowering finish. A good intro beer to the style,but will satisfy more than just the novice.

 345 characters

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

Pours to a cloudy dark orange, honey colored golden with a fine sediment of yeast, forming a thick foamy white head with excellent retention and very delicate lacing. Aroma is wonderful....truly a belgian ale aroma with crisp, dry wheat and delicate malts, a fragrant bouquet of Saaz and cloves, distant burnt rubber, and musty basement. Very nice. Carbonation is moderate for the style....Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium-dense body and silken drinkability. Taste begins with pale malts and toast, giving way to orange, spicy floral hops, a honey like sweetness, bread dough, a hint of dry hay, cloves, and a warm alcohol note. The alcohol is expertly hidden, although there is a slight metallic taste in the middle. The finish is complex, sweet, and smooth. Easy to drink.

This is an excellent Belgian Golden Ale. It hits the money on the mark, has rich complexities, and is easy to drink. I would gladly purchase this one again. Contrary to EyeChartBrew, mine was bottle-conditioned. Comparable to some of Unibroue's babies or perhaps Leffe, besting many of the Europeans in the same style. A solid brew!

 1,112 characters

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

Pours a terrific slightly cloudy golden color with a fluffy white head. Wonderful grassy sweet smells come bursting out of the glass, the smells just scream freshness. The flavor is very smooth and long lasting. The beer has a strong wheat and grass flavor, with slight fruitiness, possibly lemon. This is one really good beer, the abv sneaks up on you though. Overall this is one high quality product, if only it was sold in something larger than a 4pk locally.

 462 characters

Photo of edchicma
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice head and clor, but the floaty yeast was a bit of a turn off. Sweet, fruity smell that hit the nose quite nicely. Javen't had too many Belgian styles, so I will have to try others to be truly objective. Taste was beautifully rounded with an almost wine like quality...an excellent sweetness that ended in an alcohol kick on the palate. Smooth mouthfeel, considering the abv. For its strength, a smooth and very drinkable offering.

 434 characters

Photo of hotstuff
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very drinkable and enjoyable Belgian Ale indeed!I liked this one from the moment I tasted it and I definitely would enjoy having this one again and again!It poured a small sized white head with fine-small sized bubbles that fully dissipated.The body was carbonated, clear with floaties and it had a golden hue.The nose was malty and fruity with a sweet and fruity flavor from start to finish.The palate was smooth, somewhat thin and light bodied.There was a fair amount of lacing with this beer.

 497 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce short fat stubby thin neck brown bottle. Lots of jolly piss-heads reveling on the label except for one dude on the far right who looks positively restrained in character. Labeled at 7.6% ABV, no freshness date.

Appearance: A lucid lovely amber color, with a golden orange hue when back-lit. Solid levels of conditioning in the beer help to form the off-white head that looks excellent for a minute or two. Sadly, the head soon settles to a thin covering with a thick edged halo ring. Not much lacing but great looks in a Goblet.

Nose: Mmmmm, very Belgium – an aged musty hoppy aroma with some damp straw hints and spicy aromas.

Taste: Oooooh this IS good. A lovely spiced hop beginning, clean and inviting it begs you to guess the spice!? I went for Coriander, but I could be wrong. The malts are more perceptible in the middle, grain and some light biscuit. A warming feel in the middle – this is undoubtedly from the 7.6% alcohol. The end has a little yeast and sweetness. This is very much like a Kasteel Blond Lite, and I am not being facetious when I say that, moreover it is a compliment.

Mouthfeel: Very nice, Bold and certainly not afraid to say “Hey, I’m an American Belgium Strong Golden Ale”, nor should it be. Accomplished.

Drinkability: This was the last of the night and it served its purpose extremely well, sipped slowly it hit the spot and told my body to shut down for the ensuing sleep. Easily imbibed and seriously worthy of the title “Belgian Style”.

Overall: A very nice Belgian Style Golden Ale to finish the night with. Compared against the price of Belgium’s from the homeland, at less than $2 this is *well worth* the money. More of these are on order!

 1,733 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.97/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep golden orange color with a tall fluffy white head that slowly recedes leaving behind spider webs of lace on the sides of the glass. Nose is sweet and fruity with notes of perfume and bubblegum. Fairly full-bodied and quite smooth in texture. Taste begins with flavors of sweet honey nectar and a good amount of spice (mostly coriander) followed by some yeasty notes. Some warming alcohol comes across towards the finish balancing the initial sweetness very well. I had never heard of this beer before noticing it at the store and deciding to give it a try. And, what a pleasant surprise it has been! This beer is simply fantastic and will now be a regular in my fridge.

 682 characters

Photo of HossMcGraw
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good adaptation of a Beligian golden. Pours a golden yellow (obviously), no head or lacing. Smell is very authentic. Spicy apricot and apple. Taste is just like the aroma. Although a nice example of the style, it's a bit lacking in flavor and complexity. Just doesn't get my goat.
Weyerbacher's Merry Monks beats this one any day as far as inexpensive American/Belgian Goldens go.

 398 characters

Photo of Rumrunner
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

A very nice concoction by North Coast. Is this brewery just getting better and better? I have been a fan of their beers for years.

Pours a golden brown and orange. A decent head which leaves quickly and okay lacing. The scents are very nice. Sweet, sour, spicey and with a wheat background. Some apple, pare and pepper. A bit of grain too.

The flavors are very spicey. There is also some heavy fruit. Apples, pare and even some apricot in the background. Definate pepper and some clove along with a few other spices. The alcohol is warm and inviting in flavor. A nice dry grain and wheat flavor bring us to the end. A good buttery aftertaste leave the tastebuds happy and satisfied.

The mouthfeel is smooth and dry. The pepper gives it a nice bite. It drinks easy but leaves a bit of a heavy feel on the stomache. I would not drink more than two in a session before switching to another style of beer.

Overall a great version of a Belgian strong pale ale.

 984 characters

Pranqster from North Coast Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,210 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.