Pranqster | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,436 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: 3,436 |  Reviews: 1,239
Photo of allanplaysguitar
3.36/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I has this on tap and was really looking forward to it, but was a little disappointed, not that is a a bad beer, but rather that it was a little better than average. The malt character was there as was the Belgium spice, but I didn't get any "strong pale ale" from the beer. Maybe it was a fluke, but I feel like it need to give this one another try just to make sure. Overall, just a little better than average.

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Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Pranqster jerk looks like a glass full of honey. Thick white head, nice sticky lace, spotty retention.

The polyps are winning today. I think I smell that good-time Belgian/yeasty/candy smell. I wanna say some caramel as well.

This is a full-bodied, creamy and smooth strong pale ale that is incredibly friendly. Notes of hops and malts, and again, that belgian candy/cake batter taste.

This a solid beer for sure, but doesn't really feel like a strong pale ale to me. Feels more like a Belgian IPA. With that said, it's good, tasty, and totally worthwhile if you likey the Belgy brew.

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Photo of nickp33
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice golden tone. The head was white and small. I would prefer a thicker head.

S: Spice and fruit ??

T: I do not drink a lot of Belgium Style beers, so it's hard for me to discern specific flavors in this style. I can definitely pick up on spices and dry fruit flavors.

M: The beer has a good fizzy feeling (as described by other reviewers) to the mouth. I really like the mouthfeel.

D: To me, this is nearly the perfect balance of alcohol and drinkability. The alcohol taste is not too strong but you can definitely tell it's there. I can polish off at least 4 of these in one sitting!

Okay, other than Hefes, Belgium Ales are probably my least favorite style of beer. However, in attempt to broaden my pallet, I've decided to take on a new style. I find the Pranqster to be a decent beer with great mouthfeel and drinkability. The flavors are not my favorite, but for someone who likes this style of brew, I'm sure it will be a fantastic beer. It's a little sweet for my liking, but I can definitely tell it's a well crafted beer.

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

12oz into Bruges Tulip.
A: Pours a nice golden body, with a light white head. Head formation and retention is low, but lacing is left. Carbonation seems to be a little low.
S: Nice bold aroma, that has nice layers of bubblegum and apples. The aroma is very classic for style. Not too hoppy or fruity, nice balance of light malts and a hint at the strength.
T/M: A full body and a nice level of carbonation. The Spice picks up as the brew warms and is balanced nicely with the hops and malts. The strong character of this brew is very nice and welcoming, not hot or harsh. Nice fruit profiles of pear and apples. Not as dry as I would like, but the juicy element is not discouraged.
D: Overall I find this to be a very impressive brew and drinkable. Great effervescent taste and feel.

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Photo of KajII
3.3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a cloudy golden amber with a very small white head that was fully diminishing and had no lacing to speak of. The aroma was of sweet straw-like malts, floral hops, and earthy yeast with notes on fruit. It tasted sweet and slightly bitter in the beginning and matured into a sweet-sour flavor with hints of dried fruits, that stayed with you for a nice while. Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and dry in texture. Overall a nice refreshing Belgian Ale.

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Photo of RTJakarta
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a lovely golden blonde color with a half-finger head that seems to linger, leaving behind some nice lacing. Subtle visible carbonation.

Smell is a rich spicy/fruity one. Also some yeast prevalent.

Taste is lovely. A sublime blend of yeasty notes, spice and sweetness. Every little drink makes me find some new facet to ponder on. Love the slightly sour-ish finish.

Medium body and carbonation. Nothing objectionable. Nice.

Highly drinkable. Smooth as silk and really, really tasty. I could see myself going here often when I'm in the mood for a BSPA.

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Photo of ferrari29
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into snifter glass

A - Beer has a orange clear body; poured with half finger foam, which dissipated rather quickly; some carbonation was visible; low level of lacing formed on the glass

S - Spices; fruity & orange/citrus scents; yeasty fruit and flowery notes are prevalent in the beer

T - Coriander; spices; lemon and orange peel; brew-master struck a perfect balance of all those ingredients; they definitely hit the right amount for each flavor; tastes like a Belgian ale should

M - Smooth and effervescent; not much of a strong aftertaste, but very easy to drink and enjoy; thin consistency

D - Overall great drink; easy to enjoy which makes it perfect for any beer lover; a bit thin on texture; its lack of flavor bite is actually not a weak point for this beer, which means its meant to be enjoyed slowly to get the most out of every sip

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

Had this as part of a mix and match from whole foods with pizza for dinner. 12 oz. twisty bottle.

A: Pours a nice honey blond with a good head, some cling and lacing although not overly so. Opaque to clear coloration.

S: Biscuity and yeasty on the nose. Smells like a wet mule.

T: Slightly sweet on the frontend. Some hops in this one gives it a nice balance with a grapefruit rind middle, dried mango on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. More carbonation than expected for plenty of belly fizz. Alcohol warms throughout without being stingy on the tongue.

D: Drinkable but a little fizzy. Belching is a must. Was pretty good with my whole wheat pizza with bacon crumbles. A good solid Belgian style beer.

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Photo of Rutager
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my souvenir Lord of the Rings glass goblet. Love the label, especially the one guy's face. Good stuff.

Appearance. Pours a golden straw with a finger and a half of bubbly white head. Lively bubbles flying from the bottom of the glass to the surface.

Smell. Sweet apricots, belgian yeast, light malt and a hint of belgian funk.

Taste. Tart, fruity belgian yeast. Nice herbal hop bite and some spice in the finish. Pretty complex for a pale ale. Real nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body, nice medium-strong carbonation.

Drinkability. A good drinker. I'm ready for another ...which I don't have :-(

Even the wife liked this one. She tries them all, doesn't like many, but shows good taste with the ones she likes.

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Photo of Pencible
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like lemon zest and grassy hops, with wild Belgian yeast and a little candi sugar and biscuit. Pretty basic.
T: It tasted like sour Belgian yeast and waxy and grassy hops, with some lemon zest and apricot. It had a sour and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with lots of carbonation; a bit too bubbly for my taste.
D: This was a decent Belgian pale with standard scent and taste. It was very clean, but the body wasn't great. Alcohol was well hidden, though so it was generally easy to drink. It just wasn't unique or memorable.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of alcohol and medium strength hops, a good amount of citrus as well

Tastes like an explosion of flowers and citrus that hits the palate, mild alcohol on the tongue with bubblegum and almost a mint afterthought.

Nice medium body grazed with uber bubbly small carbonation.

I'd definitely recommend one for a cold winter afternoon, or even a warm afternoon in Southern California. It just begs for attention.

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Photo of beerman21
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm a firm believer that taste changes over time, specifically with beer. This is my second review of this brew and it has taken almost permenent residency in my fridge. However I'm relunctent to admit but my first taste of its complicated concontion i was quick to say NEXT! On my list of brews to experience before I kick the bucket. Here is my review.

A- Golden medium to heavy champagne like carbonation, depending on the batch. Head most often not prominent as i would like dispates rather quickly.

S-Biscuity, hints of alcohol soaked fruits, pinapple, bananna and pears come to mind.

T- Tropical fruit, clove and warming alcohol. Excotic Belgian yeast drench in melting pot of excotic flavors of fermented fruit that is more tart then sweet. Theres a good balance here that i've learned to appreciate.

Recommended beer to try and give more than one chance I'm glad i didnt write it off and came back to it. I think i just wasnt acustomed to belgian beers. This is one of my favorites.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.39/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-dark gold with a nice off-white head. there's a lot of bubbles

S-really good belgian yeasts. the smell is of high quality and strength. smells even a bit spicy and citrusy.

T-comes in with warm belgian malts and then transforms in to a mix of dark honey and belgian yeasts. the after-taste is of belgian sugars and some slight bitter. Simply put, this is not a well balanced take on the belgian style.

M-has a good medium creamy carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

D-the tastes don't hold up well. they gain some off-flavors it seems. its an okay beer but it didn't go down easily. this isn't something i'll want again.

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Photo of mltobin
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a single at a small shop in Norwalk.

Appearance is a light golden color with some cloudiness, small head. Its smell contains belgian yeast, lemon, banana, and some spice, cloves I think. The aroma was enjoyable and built positive expectations for the rest of the beer. Tasting this strong pale ale did not disappoint. Very nice citrus flavor, yeast still there along with candy and spice in the finish. MF is a tad bubbly, which I really like about this style. And Pranqster drinks easier than other similar beers with the ABV under 8%.

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Photo of Chizoad
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold, minimal head. It's a pretty beer but I would prefer it to be a little frothier.

Typical Belgian yeast aromas, bready, sweet, and even a little hoppy. No single characteristic stands out.

Probably a little too cold at first when I had it, but it impresses first with its yeast characteristics. As the beer warmed, the balancing bitterness, which is not strong, evened out the sugars. One of my favorites of this style.

This batch felt a little flat. Goes down really well though and doesn't become cloying at all.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Brad - thanks!

Pours a clear golden color with a 1.5-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of crisp light malts with moderate amounts of ripe pears. Also present are solid amounts of spices - mostly white pepper but with hints of clove.

Tastes similar to how it smells though not quite as robust. Light pilsner malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderately dry pear flavors. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens up a bit for a moment, then dries back up with the addition of leafy and somewhat spicy hops. Hints of white pepper come into play before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I've learned not to expect very much from American-made Belgian-style beers but this is certainly an exception. Worth a shot.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. No dating or bottling info. Was a cloudy golden yellow with lots of floaters (my fault - bad pour) and slight carb bubbles. Had a finger of fizzy white foam that quickly settled into nothing. No lacing.

The aroma was excellent. Fruity with coriander, candi sugar and yeast as well. Sweet but not overly. The flavor was also excellent with the sweet fruit balancing well with the peppery bite and spicy yeast. Never feel or taste the 7.6% ABV and it goes down dangerously smooth. Mouthfeel was medium with sweet aftertaste. Could use a little more carbonation.

Overall, an excellent BSPA that I highly recommend. Been eyeing this for a long time but never pulled the trigger till now - glad I did. This might be the beer to get me back into the Belgian Pale's. Avail here in TX. Rotation - earns a spot in the mixed six and on-tap [O;Y]

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Photo of boudreaux
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden/straw color; about an 1inch white head; lots of carbonation bubbles rushing to the serviceq

Taste is all bananas and clove; some other spice notes come into the background, but can't identify; a delicious, floral and fruity taste hovers throughout

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 ML at Bev Mo in Hollywood for $6.99 and poured it into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy golden/peach hue with a solid head that dissipates after a few sips leaving only minor amounts of lacing in its tracks.

S: Tropical fruit, cereal grains and sweet malt, some crazy smellin yeast in the mix as well which is rounded out nicely by a mild presence of earthy hop.

T: Pretty much on point with the nose - the yeast is a bit more dominant and slightly funky which is a good thing - especially because the hop seems to never really make its presence known in the mix - dominated by yeast and sweet grainy malt.

M: Medium bodied with vigorous carbonation which really lends nicely to the creaminess and drinkability of this ale.

D: Extremely drinkable and enjoyable - you'd never know this clocks in at nearly 8% ABV - goes down like candy. All night drinker - no worries!

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Photo of Avagadro
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pranqster presents a beautiful golden color, but is seriously lacking in the carbonation department. No head, and little in the way of lacing.

S: Honey and tropical fruit meld together to form an intriguing bouquet.

T: As promised by the nose, this brew is full of honey, melon, and spice. The esters aren't overbearing, and it is perfectly attenuated, something other brewers (I'm talking to you Ommegang) could learn from.

M: Light body, and slightly sticky, but no carbonation to wash it away.

D: This is a good attempt to recreate a Belgian classic. While it falls short of the real thing in a few places, it is still a superb beer that deserves mention.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1%
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 chicagoabbot
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a snifter...this is one of my very favorite styles of beer, so it will be stiff competition for this particular brew to be in my fridge regularly.

Pours a pale golden color appropriate for the style with a generous billlowy white head. When I set the bottle back down, I can see yeast swirling around on the bottom. Thank goodness they did this the right way and bottle-conditioned it. I don't want to name names, but all too often an American brewery will try to make a "Belgian style" beer and they don't bottle-condition it.

Great sweet funk in the nose. Gentle caramel sweetness from the malt, funk from the Belgian yeast strain, and a touch of bitterness from the hops. Excellent aroma on this beer.

It's fun on the tongue too. Tastes lighter than the abv would lead you to believe and has an exceptional balance tending to sweetness more than funk or spice, although some solid spice comes through to.

As far as value, it's considerably cheaper than Duvel where I am, so I'll definitely pick it up again. I pay $8.99 for a Duvel this size, whereas this 750ml was $4.69. Ironically, I bet this beer would be twice the price of Duvel at a bar in Antwerp. I might prefer Duvel slightly if you made me choose, but maybe that's because I've been drinking it longer. Congrats to NC on this one, they've shown rare prowess among Americans in the Belgian beer foray.

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ML into Tulip

A: clear, golden color with fine carbonation, minimal head (wonder if my glass was a bit off)

S: biscuit, apple peel, pear

T: very true to the nose, apple sweetness, a nice bitter/pine flavor that is very transient, clean malt profile

M: Crisp but not biting, slightly dry

D: All night and all day, this is robust yet light, almost a bit of a cider note

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Photo of JayS2629
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy dark copper with medium white head that quickly fades and leaves no lacing.

S- Fruity and yeasty. Citrus, lemon and orange with muted hints of banana and clove. Sweet malts, caramels.

T- Sweet rich caramels running throughout with floral notes and hints of vanilla and pear. Hints of lemon zest and peach, faint banana and cloves.

M- Medium bodied with slight creamy edge

D- A real treat. Very complex and sublte. Easy to drink, but be careful it will sneak up on you.

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Photo of LairdChisholm
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an opaque golden color. There is a one and a half finger, off white head, that has sub-par retention. No lacing, but persistent carbonation bubbles.

S - Smells of sweet yeast and wheat. There are some light lemon and citrus notes.

T - Upfront there is some wheat with a yeast backbone. This layer gives way to a layer of grassy lemon with almost a creamy feeling. There is a very, very slight hop presence towards the end.

M - Great amount of carbonation makes for a smooth Ale.

D - This tastes great and has a way of going down easy. For the price, it's not bad at all.

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Pranqster from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 3,436 ratings