Pranqster | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,361 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: 3,361 |  Reviews: 1,224
Photo of mexikrainian
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. poured into a Gulden Draak tulip.

Aroma: sweet, honey, spice, cinnamon and citrus.

Appearance: clear, rich gold with white head and small lace.

Taste: watery and estery with dry finish. less than expected for a belgian strong pale ale.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation and medium body.

Overall impression: bitter, dry belgian wannabe. lacking robust body.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden orange with slight off white head. It is cloudy (with goodness), but the rich color is inviting.
Smells of sweet fruit and yeast, with a slight sour mustiness. The sweet thickness overwhelms and draws one in once again.
The taste is fully banging. There is sweet tangerine, a slight citrus bitterness that flows into a grape/wine finnish, while the after-taste lingers with other flavors - muscat, honey, mellon, apricot .... this is a feast.
The mouthfeel is excellent, good carbonation, nice contrast excellent balance. A very drinkable beer - maybe not everyday but to be savored on occassion.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Ro's restauarant pint glass.

A:Poured a deep, golden color with a good deal of chilled haze and some yeast strain cloudiness to muddle things up. The dense cap of white, frothy foam reduced to a thin lace.

S: Smells of trademark Belgian yeast spiciness, fruity ale notes of banana and citrus fruits with a whiff of sharp alcohol as well.

T: Flavor is crisp and zesty at first, with a cracked grain and sharp fruity profile. Citrus fruits blend with bubblegum, mint leaves and herbal hop astringency before washing down clean and bitterly sticky sweet.

M: Effervescent, yet medium-full bodied with a crisp, solid balance.

D: A heavy-handed Belgian pale at nearly 8% ABV, North Coast Pranqster is anotehr solid example of how American brewers can duplicate that classic Belgian brewing tradition and modify the yeasts and hop to create something different and truly American. Good for a couple, but the full-on Belgian flavor and ABV would do me in after a few.

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Photo of MenloBeer
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the big 750ML bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Golden, hazy. Lots of carbonation, not a lot of head stuck around after the pour. Not a lot of lacing, either.

S: Bright spices, grains of paradise. Sort of a peppery citrus thing going on. A little musty at the end.

T: Spicy and bitter, but very Belgian in terms of sweetness. Malty undertones, but the spice is what grabs your taste buds. It's a unique American interpretation, for sure. Kind of grassy, with some hints of honey on the edges.

M: Not too heavy, but not as crisp as I would have liked, either. Doesn't hang around the tongue too long, and makes the beer very drinkable.

D: If you like Belgian beers, this is a good beer to try. It isn't a strict adherent to style guidelines, and it's a nice take on Golden Ale. I like the lightness that the carbonation lends to this 7+% ABV beer, it's something of a "champagne effect" (i.e., the bubbles give you something of a head rush on top of the alcohol buzz).

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Photo of Soonami
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've heard many stories about this beer, about how Pranqster inspired Vinnie Cilurzo to make Damnation.

This beer poured a very nice golden yellow into a large snifter, but with almost no head even though there was plenty of carbonation. The smell was immediate and I did not really like it. I was expecting a fruitier, ester-like character, but this beer was surprisingly very musty and horsey. It was not unpleasant per se, but nothing like the apple and pear aroma in Duvel.

The beer tasted a little like how I imagine the walls of a damp cellar would, with a bit of assertive spice, malt sweetness and a hint of alcohol in the finish. The carbonation was to style and very pleasing on the tongue.

I think one is all that I could have, the horse blanket flavor is just a bit much for me, I am just very sensitive to that in saisons and wild ales, and this is teetering on the edge.

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Photo of bridgetowhophead
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

After two long days at OBF, I have had a glut of IPAs and hoppy reds and have decided that the time is ripe to begin exploring belgian ales. After an eye-opening experience with delirium nocturnum the previous night, I went to the local QFC today in search of another great Belgian ale. Settled on Pranqster as I have much love for North Coast.

A: Poured into a wine glass. Foggy orange with high carbonation and a head that quickly dissipates to a thin rim. Minimal lacing. This beer is pleasant to look at.

S: Fruits, spices, malts abound--raisin-banana aromas are quite intriguing. Tickles the nose.

T & M: Tickles the mouth and tongue like the smell tickled the nose. Well balanced, sweet on the finish. Hop bitterness is missed but I realize it is not the style.

D: I have yet to reach the stage where I find belgian ales as drinkable as their american counterparts; this may change over time. Nevertheless, I find that the flavors don't go down quite as smooth to my taste, although they are quite appealing.

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

Pours golden-straw colored and hazy with a one-finger head which left a thin ring around the rim and no detectable lacing.

The smell is very aromatic: coriander and other sweet spices combine with a yeasty banana-nut bread flavor.

The taste is classic Belgian: bright with spiciness, plantains and a hint of tree nuts, and a good cutting of yeast. The mouthfeel is a tad watery, however, and this beer seems hollow on the swallow. Good carbonation and a clean character, but overall it left me wanting something a little more robust to fill my mouth with flavor and heft.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a decent head. Tons of bubbles...very well carbonated. The scent is sweet and a bit spicy. I'm picking up pepper, mint, clove, and a little oregano. Maybe a bit of lemon zest as well. The taste is quite lovely. Initially I get some sweet fruits with a peppery character...then followed by tons of zesty spices (while still remaining sweet and crisp). At the end I get flavors from the Belgian yeasts and light hop character. This beer is very delicious. The mouthfeel is nice and light with great drinkability. This beer has about a year on it, I might add.

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Photo of ib7jhurley
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy dirty-blond with little head.
Smell hint of fruits.
Taste of lemon.
Good carbonation that leaves a tingle on the tongue.
I recently tried Pranqster for the first time last weekend. I have to say I was very impressed. I had to buy a 4 pack the next day.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:Hazy golden color. A finger of white head upon the pour that left a little bit of lacing and a ring on the surface of the beer. Quite a bit of visible carbonation as well.

S: The smell is quite nice. A lot of spice is coming through. I am getting lemon peel and a little bit of orange as well. The nose is everything that one looks for in the style.

T: Again quite a bit of citrus and orange in the taste. Lots of esters. I really am quite impressed with this. Reminds me of a cross between Duvel and Fallen Angel from Midnight Son.

M: Little bit syrupy. Well carbonated.

D: I have had this beer a few times years ago but I was really impressed by this. This is a great example of the style. Definately worth a shot.

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Photo of katan
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a very clear, deeper golden color. Light bubbling, leading to a relatively light head. Breaks down to a film quickly.

S - A bready combination of some light pilsner sweetness, and some yeast with the usual spicy style.

T - Starts off with equal parts of 2 row, some pilsner notes, and a hefty yeast hit. Mid-stream gets a little bit more spicy, but certainly malt forward. Slight alcohol warming. Finishes smooth, but a huge retained sweetness.

M - Thick, creamy, cloying and sugary. Sticks to the tongue like mad. Carbonation is almost not detectable.

D - Moderate drinkability. Sneaky ABV - watch out. Smooth flavors, but just a hair too sweet for any decent sessioning.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy pale orange color with an airy/foamy white head that dissipates very fast, leaving some visible bubbly carbonation for a while.

Smell: Tough to place; there's something a bit 'slick' to the aroma. Some sugars and a bit of orange in there, plus a hint of yeast.

Taste: Starts with some sugars and yeast with citrus (particularly orange) gradually coming into the picture. Towards the finish some hop bitterness shows its presence. Fairly crisp overall. The aftertaste is slightly bitter like orange peel.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation here. It isn't too heavy, but very tingly. Medium-bodied and generally smooth.

Drinkability: ABV seems reasonable here and isn't really present in the taste. Carbonation is a bit on the stronger side, though.

A decent Belgian-style pale ale. For $2 I'm totally happy with this. But, it really doesn't excite me or interest me very much, as something feels a bit off with it. Still, it was nice to try.

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Photo of impending
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip. Pours a hazy gold orange. While the carbonation seems above medium the head was minor which receded quickly as does the lacing - the contradiction may be due to it 's too chilled !?!

Sweet fruity aroma backed by yeast, estery, I get no funk nor alcohol.

A decent take on a belgian. One quick obvious difference is the mouth feel is somewhat viscous but not to the extent of cloying. Taste definitely improves as it warms and the alcohol comes forward. The excellent price and availability in a four pack is a plus that should be acknowledged as most of the belgians I drink come as 750ml which is not always appropriate.

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Photo of ksimons
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a cloudy golden blond with a ring of head around the edge

S-sweet, yeasty, a little boozy, with a hint of citrus fruit

T-very sweet, spicy, a bit malty. The carbonation and spice makes the beer, but the sweetness is a bit much

M-low to medium carbonation, medium body, not as dry as other Belgian ales

D-not my favorite of the Belgian styles, but a decent one to try. A little too sweet and not dry enough though for me

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Photo of alcurtsinger
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass

A. Some what of a yellow orange color. one finger head that subdue fairly fast

S. Floral, fruity, citrus, I am not getting a specific fruit of any kind, but that may just be me.

T. Same as the smell but with more malt. I'm tasting fruits, maybe some it is peach that I am tasting.

M. Heavy, crisp, and carbonated

D. It is a filling beer, I would love to drink a bunch of them, but it is too heavy to do that

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Photo of Long813
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dated: NA
From: Premier Wine & Spirits

A: Dark cloudy orange-gold body with no head. Leaves no lacing.

S: Lots of sweet citrus fruits, spices and some floral notes.

T: Following the aromas, mix of citrus fruits and spice. Some Belgian yeast is also evident.

M: Light bodied and high carbonation. Very frothy texture and leaves a dry fruity aftertaste. No notes of alcohol.

D: It's a decent representation of the style, but for what I paid, I could get much better. It doesn't do much for me, but It's definitely a good drinker.

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Photo of BierFan
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: Nice off-white head drops a little too quickly for my liking. Almost clear golden body with good carbonation.

Smell: Little bit of Belgian yeast, and fruity floral notes.

Taste: Stronger bitterness than I was expecting, but it's far from overpowering or inappropriate. Dry with an herbal spiciness.

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Photo of ncfranklin
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a tulip.

First thing to note here is that I am a "yeast in" guy. So I poured the majority of this, then sloshed the rest around to break up the yeast before adding it to the mix.

A : Pours a solid burnt orange-ish yellow color with a frothy one finger head. Minimal lacing. Inviting color, very hazy.

S : Yeasty with malt and some floral to fruit tones of citrus. Hard to decipher what specifics from the smell alone.

T : Big brew. Yeast is upfront but quickly subdued by a heavy peach, apricot, orange fruit flavor that gives it a very crisp bite in between. On swallow you get a strong brush of malt as the citrus tingles the top of your mouth. This one is complex as there are some underlying spice notes as well, but the are overpowered.

M : True to the style, this is a big brew, so very heavy. The bottle fermentation gives it such robust carbonation that it feels as if the brew grows and grows as it lays in your mouth.

D : I love em, but two or so is the most for me do to the higher ABV, and the very filling nature of the brew.

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Photo of appenzeller
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright amber gold, opaque. Smells of yeast, citrus. Taste is complex, spicy, notes of orange and honey, gentle nip of hops and a bite of alcohol. This does not have the supernova burst in the mouth that Duvel does, but it's a similar and slightly more pedestrian brew, which is no mean achievement.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Golden yellow with a thick foam cap. Fades to about one finer. Very active carbonation.

S - Fruity esters dominate. Belgian yeast provides most of the nose. Hints of banana and a bit of ripened pear. Spices come through as the beer warms and a candi sugar sweetness sneaks in as well.

T - Fruity tastes up front with banana being really strong. Hints of pear, peach and maybe even a little apricot. Typical Belgian spices come through mid-drink. Finishes with a crisp sweetness.

M/D - Light bodied and crisp carboantion. Very easy drinking

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Photo of branimal9
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle shared with Andre - 6/10/2010.

Cloudy golden orange in color, with a fluffy white head. Aroma carries estery fruitiness and a bit of the banana & clove of a hefeweizen. Flavor displays some sweetness though smooth butterscotch & wheatiness, with a slightly boozy & warming finish. A great go-to american belgian style ale.

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a one finger white head that dissipates quickly, leaving little to no lacing.

Aromas of hay, light malts, slight mustiness and sweet honey.

Taste is balanced well with sweet light fruits (melons, apples, pears), faint musty yeast, and bold spices (coriander, clove, pepper). All the flavors come together nicely and are followed by a slightly bitter end that drops off quickly.

A medium mouthfeel with lots of carbonation that leaves a crisp feel after every gulp. The ABV% is almost completely hidden, making it a smooth drinker.

If I had to complain, the lack of head and retention leaves something to desire. Other than that, this is a top-notch beer.

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Photo of diamondc
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Not that much head when poured into a Duvel glass. Some sheets of lacing show up on every swig.

S: Oranges, muted barnyard hay, slighty musty.

T: Sugary, lots of citrus, graham cracker-like towards the end with medicinal vitamin-like aftertaste. Towards the bottle of the I was getting a strong papaya flavor. Hops = non-existent.

M/D: A pretty good Belgian strong ale/ almost tripel. Shows some decent flavor complexity when warming to room temperature. Good amount of carbonation for the style makes this beer easy drinking. Worth the $9 a 4 pack.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Superb golden orange body with a strong amount of action as well. The head is pure white and stable even though its stread at different levels across the surface. Very interesting.

S - Banana and mild plum.

T - Flavors of banana, a hinting at bubble gum and mild malt make for a great middle. The finish consists of very low levels of mild hops.

M - Crisp and dry yet remarkably refreshing. The feel of this brew is as close to perfect as I've ever experienced. Very nice job.

~ This beer is well crafted and I look forward to the other two I stashed away for a future date.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this one from BBrianBoogie during CanBIF6. Cheers Brian!

The color is golden, yellow with some orangy notes. The head is present but disappear quickly. Aroma is yeasty with some fruits and sugar. Taste is fruit (peach, apple). The finish is dry with a good bitterness. Well balanced beer. The taste lingers in the mouth for a good time. Medium body.

Wow, this one is very good.

Cheers to all!

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Pranqster from North Coast Brewing Co.
4 out of 5 based on 3,361 ratings.
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