Pranqster | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,407 Ratings

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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Ratings: 3,407 |  Reviews: 1,234
Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass, not sure of the freshness.

This pours a cloudy light golden color, with white head which doesn't seem to have good retention. The smell is a little bit of funk, some fruity notes like banana. Feel is medium with good carbonation. The taste is a little sweet, some banana, its a little earthy, a little spice and pepper and it finishes with a mild hop bite and some dryness, some complexity there. Overall this is a fine American Belgian, I like the Ommegang BPA a little more but this is a brew which I'd definitely get again.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours out a dark yellowish orange with a foamy white head that has good retention and lacing.
S. Has a fruity, caramel and barnyard smell
T. The taste starts out with a fruity taste (apples, pears), caramel, some citrus and more sweet malts. The taste is well balanced and consistent through out.
M/O. the mouthfeel is smooth, soft and is rather easy to drink for the amount of alcohol in it. A decent strong beer that is worth a try especially if your a fan of this style of beer.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another beer that I picked up at Joe Canal's in Woodbridge a few weeks back. It had been ages since I tried one of these and I figured that if this was half as good as the Old Rasputin, then I had nothing to worry about. Sure enough, this was! North Coast even had a label as funky as the beer itself, which is always a plus when taking a crapshoot on something in this style.

The pour to this was wonderful - with a cloudy, dark golden hue and sediment on the bottom of the bottle that had to be swirled out and poured in. There wasn't much of an aroma here but the taste was quiet enjoyable, with banana and crystalline sugar up front followed by lots of funk and a bit of peppery spice underneath everything. I have to add that the head was amazingly long-lasting and even left its mark on the side of the glass, via the lacing that indicated the level of my beer after each sip. The mouthfeel was good, with much of the reason for that because of the carbonation, which was strongly present throughout my session.

This was a tad strong in the alcohol department but I never felt that it overpowered the taste. There's not doubt that this beer can match up to Duvel or any other imported Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Fans of Belgian beers will not be disappointed in this offering and may be surprised to find out that it's from the West Coast of the United States. North Coast has a winner here that's a textbook example of this style.

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Photo of lazjuarez
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a clear golden color with about 1 1/2 fingers of frothy white head, leaving behind minimal traces of lacing. Very small carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass.

S: Nose is fruity, filled of light fruits and citrus notes. Nice breadiness and earthiness coming from the yeast as well. I'm picking up some peppery spice, albeit very faint.

T: Taste is less fruitier and more spicier than the nose. Big earthy notes, which in turn accentuate the peppery notes.

M: Medium bodied, nice biscuity mouthfeel. The carbonation and alcohol help keep the palate refreshed. Very light alcohol burn, but not boozy whatsoever.

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Photo of KMcG
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large wine glass (that's alli had on hand!)

A: Pours with a nice 1 finger head and hazy golden color. There is some nice bubble action that settled down quickly. The head damped down to yield a diverse distribution of bubble sizes. 

S: Lemon, fruity yeast, orange peel

T: Complex.  Malty with mild hops. I taste tart banana and black pepper early and it finishes with clean, crisp peach tone. 

M: Nice balance. Good carbonation, full body and quite drinkable. This is a winner. 

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Photo of PCampbell
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Has a nice light gold / amber when poured with a thin ring of head.

Has a great belgian yeast smell to it: coriander, spices, some clove and citrus notes as well. Tastes just as it smells: spicy yeast, some coriander, some citrus and a little bit of malt to balance it all out. has a nice bit of lingering sweetness to it as well. A thin mouthfeel to it as well as good carbonation.

A nice beer overall, very refreshing and tasty with all the Belgian characteristics it has going on.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Another Trader Joe's random single...good times. It pours a hazy gold topped by a solid finger of white foam. The nose comprises lemon zest, clove, black pepper, Belgian yeast, orange peel, light cucumber, banana, and a touch of white bread. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some coriander, vanilla, very light caramel, and a dash of ginger. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mildly dry finish. Overall, a pretty decent BSPA, nothing to write home about, but generally enjoyable.

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Photo of Shadman
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Laffed at the North Coast dude on the right side of the label rocking the Gram Parsons circa 1971 'do.

Has the cloudy Belgian Ale look down. Poor head brings down the score. (I my wife says every...)

Aroma consists of pear, vanilla, and coriander. I'll add some yeast phenols courtesy of the 3 fruit flies that died happy b4 I could finish this on my deck. Lol

Slight citric taste, hints of vanilla and coriander. Booziness well masked. Finish slightly bitter, slightly dry

Carbonation doesn't stand up to the style. 15 minutes in and it's flatter than a Kansas cornfield. Fresh pour feel seems about par.

Decent, but I sense some homerism from reviewers south of the 49th here

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Photo of dgilks
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden colour with a foamy white head. Fair head retention.

Bright clove aroma with some vibrant orange citrus notes. Lovely balance and a big yeast note.

Very soft, creamy malt with a sharp citrus note and big spice. Moderate vanilla and bubblegum notes. For me, I quite like this.

Medium light body with high carbonation. Very vibrant and crisp.

A big, bold yet refreshing Belgian ale with lots of fruit and spice from the yeast. Really well crafted. Delicious.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 6/28/11
*From notes

A: Cloudy banana golden with a 1.25 finger head on a standard pour. Lacing is thick and healthy.

S: A surprising amount of alcohol and Belgian yeast.

T: Lavendar and unripe banana up front, alcohol and bready yeast on the back. It's complex and well put together.

M: The weight is decent, but not much more. It's ok here, but it can't stack up to the heavier hitters in the Belgian Strong Pale category.

O: North Coast's Pranqster is a well done American interpretation of the Belgian Strong Pale style that's easy enough to drink, yet big enough to savor. I purchased this bottle in October 2010, and can honestly say that I prefer this beer with a little age on it.

Another quality brew from North Coast.

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Photo of babaracas
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy darker amber with fizzy insta-fade white head, a couple of tiny blobs of lace left behind. Smell: sweet, white grape juice, floral and spicy hopping, grainy. A little watered down clove. A little windex. Taste: reasonably sweet pale malt backbone, grainy, moderately spicy with a little pepper hit, fruity. White plum. Slightly medicinal in the finish. Drying, semi-sticky. It's pleasant, but not great by any means.

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Photo of genitempo
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Always recognize the North Coast emblem from afar, but the artwork on every type of brew from them is different. Pours nicely into a pint glass, has a brightness to it, very peachy in color, but gives off some neon like a Hefe, but not too much. Thin cap, mild color, with minimal lace.

S: Peach and mango push out the most. Nice floral arrangement is hinted, as well.

T: Citrus and Peach make a strong presence, but not overbearing. The taste peaks about halfway through, given the amount of lingering the beer does. Carbonation hides the ethanol.

MF: Matches well with the taste, if that makes any sense. Not too heavy, but the carbonation does make it's presence known.

O: Tasty. North Coast is well-respected among beer drinkers, and rightly so. For me, this ale ranks towards the top.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Pranqster is a hazy golden amber color with fizzy head that settles quickly. No lacing either so a pretty average looking beer.

Aroma is distinctly Belgian in character with layers of yeast, fruit, and spice.

Flavor is typically well done for North Coast. A nice mild hop flavor overlays a malt base that seems to be there primarily to highlight the yeast. The label claims it's a "mixed culture of antique yeast strains" and I say it's a winner. Spicy, floral, pepper and fruit. Great complexity.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. The alcohol is evident but not too strong. Good balance and drinkability.

Overall a very good American version of a BSPA. I can't believe it has taken me this long to try it.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Warners at the Bay and poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

Pours with a finger of white foam that sits just above film. The beer itself is a true, old-gold colour, with a slightly hazy appearance.

Smells of spice, with some mandarin as well as pear and green apples.

Tastes solidly spicy with an underlying sweetness to it.

The spices add a bit of bite to the finish, but nothing over the top. Body is well matched for the size and style of this beer.

Overall a good, spicy belgian style ale that is on the sweeter side of things.

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Photo of Northsider
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bad Apple.

This was definitely a tasty beer, and very refreshing. Golden orange in color, thin white head. It smelled slightly of spices. Taste is very fruity and wheaty, well balanced. Mouthfeel was light and smooth.

Overall I'd go with this one again, Thumbs up! Great example of this style.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with one finger of off-white head. Good retention and lace, active carbonation.

S: Bubblegum, faint barnyard funk, light spices.

T: Like the smell-- starts with light bubblegum, turns a bit earthy in the middle, finishes semi-dry with black pepper. Some soft minerals emerge towards the end of the glass.

M: Pretty light, billowy effervescence and some creaminess as well.

O: This was a tasty beer. It doesn't have the complexity or depth that I would expect from the style, but no off-flavors and still quite enjoyable. I have a friend who is new to the world of craft beers and I think this will be a good one for her to try. And if she doesn't like it, I'll be quite happy to finish it for her.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle. No freshness date.

A: Pours a beautiful amber color into the glass. Upon a first pour, it's easy to tell that there is loads of carbonation present in the beer. The head maintained a solid little ring until the carbonation slowly and completely disappeared from the bottle.

S: Apricots, green apples and cane sugar become immediately present on the nose. The high alcohol content allows it to smell sweet, and the hops (which I'm assuming were dried in a similar Belgian fashion) tingled my nostrils.

T: Less sweet than expected, yet quite sugary and fruity in its taste. Apricots and grapes are the two fruits that especially appear on the palate. This is a very flavorful beer! It even has a tart-like flavor as it warms up. If this isn't a tribute to Orval, I'd be very surprised. It's very similar in style and foamy like champagne.

M: While it contains strong hops and booziness, it's surprising that it does not have a bitter aftertaste - instead, it remains fizzy throughout. This beer quickly warms up the throat. My only personal quarrel with this brew is that it isn't quite as dense as I enjoy Belgian ales to be.

O: An excellent Belgian-style ale. It is hearty, flavorful and refreshing. It's drinkability isn't quite up to par as other beers of its type, but it has to be the best, most affordable Belgian-style strong pale ales available on this side of the country.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
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 Armand
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Slightly cloudy with an old school golden color. Small head goes away quick.

S- Sweet floral, peachy, citrus with some minimal spice...reminds me of summer.

T-. Too sweet for me.

M-Medium body

O- It was okay. Easy to drink. Great summer brew. Only negative is that it goes down too easy.


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Photo of alysonwhite
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is the best beer of my life so far. it is the most delicious, most powerful and satisfying beer i have ever had. i am drinking it in a duvel tulip glass and i got it at whole foods for $5.99 a bottle in long beach, ca. i will drink it anytime it is available over any other beer.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

North Coast has always been a pretty solid brewery, with strong beers that just lack the "wow" factor yet still remain perfectly decent.

Pranqster is no different, it pours a foggy golden with visible carbonation, a light foamy head and thin lacing. Aroma is heavy on sweet plantain and lemon zest, tangy yet still thin. The aroma really opens up in an open glass, by the way.

The flavor is light but blossoms dramatically into a sweet flavor with a hint of tartness moving on to a dry finish. The flavor profile is light but truly nice in the way it fully opens on the palate - it's a very good beer to let linger with each sip.

A solid balance between malt sweetness and hop bite with carbonation to cut through any syrup nonsense. This gives the beer a light yet strong flavor, worthy of a taste, though maybe not the A+ the Bros gave.

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Photo of Cubaneagle
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly cloudy with an old school golden color. Minimal head with minimal lacing that slides down sides of glass to edge of beer.

S- Sweet floral, peachy, citrus with some minimal spice. I could almost wear it as my summer scent.

T- I find it well balanced. Similar to sent sweet with a nice array of flavors with none overwhelming the other.

M- Lighter body with a good bit of carbonation. No residual aftertaste. Smooth and refreshing.

O- Awesome beer and one of my favorites. So easy to drink. Great summer brew. Only negative is that it goes down too easy.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of draheim
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (no date or code) poured into my Duvel tulip. Slightly cloudy golden brew with a 1-finger head, pretty disappointing. A few dark yeast chunks fall in from the bottom of the bottle.

Smell is all funky floral yeast and ripe pears.

Taste is apples and pears with a sharp, crisp bite. More yeast. This is dry and refreshing. Good, but nothing especially interesting or unique.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Clear golden with lots of continuously rising bubbles, a white fairly meaty head.
smell: Sweet and sour with a hint of spice, just like a Belgian should smell.
taste: Nice Belgian as the nose presages.
overall: Nice example, full carbonation, an easy going Belgian strong pale.

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Photo of OldIronLungs
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Delirium tulip a nice hazy gold with a few fingers of white head that quickly fall to a ring.

Nose is delicious yeast, clove and some banana. Right on for the style.

A sip is bubbly and full of yeasty sweet malt, some light spicy notes midway - medium to lighter body - nice dry fruit finish. No trace of abv.

This is a really solid Belgian-style pale...though it reminds me more of a straight pale (like Brugse Zot) then a drier strong pale like Duvel. Still, really enjoying this one, perhaps a bit more body would put it right to the top for me.

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Pranqster from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 3,407 ratings
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