Pranqster | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,437 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: 3,437 |  Reviews: 1,239
Photo of HossMcGraw
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of marburg
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An eqsellant brew to be sure! Qolor is a honey squash yellow with a light haze. Pours with a surprisingly small head. Solidly aromatiq. Apple, pear, and assorted other estery fragrences. Deliciously fruity with a peppery, spicy attaq on the tastebuds. Very nice. Not awe-inspiring liq the "real deal" but eqceptionally enjoyably nonethless.

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Photo of alexgash
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this bottle for awhile now. Hazy golden apricot body with a voluptuous yellowish-white head. Good lacing. Smell is sweet, vinegary--almost winey--with tart fruit notes, and yeast. Taste is similar to the smell. Not too sweet malts, with tart vinegar, and a little barnyard funkiness! Alcohol-laced. Finish is acidic, yet kinda dry and wheat bitter. Lingering tart fruitiness and quite warming. Feels bigger than it looks and is not too cloying. I wish I had bought more bottles when I was in Cali.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium gold color, slightly cloudy. Medium head. Aroma is fruity and sweet. Malty and slightly sweet. Full flavor. Hops are bright and slightly spicy. Smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and sweet.

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Photo of nomad
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazed dark orange color tending toward caramel. Had a soft foamy head thet fell to a classic Belgian circle of foam in the middle. Some lace, too. Smelled of an enveloping malt scent, Saaz-like hops, grass, and some pear buried underneath it all. Strongly present alcohol scent smelled like honey and pepper vodka - kinda cool. Taste was honey and spicy, with a biting tartnedd and a flavor of fruit and alcohol swirled up together. The big pale malt held it all together. Creamy finish until the hops quickly had a takeover. With honey burning in my chest and stony dryness in my mouth, this beer had a great mouthfeel: a nice mix of slick, smooth, and full-bodied.

Nice but no Duvel.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Just a nearly opaque glowing orange golden hue with a nice sized white creamy textured foaming head, with lacing creeping at all edges of the goblet shaped glass. Aroma: Banana and spices galore slight citrus tone done to perfection, and if sampled in a blind tasting with a Piraat or Duvel this one may just take the cake not as alcholic in flavor as the latter two, but this one contains streaming tones of candied sugar and so much bubble gum esque tones with a undertow of mustiness to complete it. Taste: Flavor is sharply sweet but not cloying wow what balance between an unpronounced hop bitterness and spices and yeast characteristics that could make one melt away toward northern California. Speaking of Cali I am listening to Led Zeppelin's "Going to California", and don't aske why but lately I have been blending two of my favorite things together music and beer as one emotional experience. Mouthfeel: Is fluffy nicely textured full body, just coexists with my palate entirely too smoothly and exuberantly for being 7.6% by volume. Drinkability: Yes folks this beer is just as good as every North Coast offering and then some I love a good American Belgian style ale, spiced up reminiscient of mixture of tea drank to remedy the soul what a beer.

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Photo of putnam
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A "yeasterly" blew up from the south and I complied. The beer has deep, hard winter grain fragrance and floral, dense, caramel-vanilla sweetness. Duvel-Pranqster, Pranqster-Duvel... Imagine spit-roasted Duvel-infused pears, somehow, with lots of fat dripping off of them and you have Pranqster. Imagine Pranqster shaved, finely buttoned and repressed, and you have Duvel. Utterly convincing in its girth... fat, chewy texture defines abundant floral, sinewy richness.... wow! What a beer! How can you pass something like this up? I ordered it from my wine-obsessed wholesaler and it magically appeared... Thank you NCBC! (good at cleaning out the asbestos-laden breathing canals...)

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Photo of Mustard
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Had this on tap down at the Library Ale House in Santa Monica; happy hour price: $3 a pint.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, cloudy orange; fine, cream colored head; light to moderate lacing; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Largely of light, sweet, bready malt; gentle spicy notes; perhaps a touch of fruit.

Taste: Gently sweet and spicy; predominant flavor characteristics were of: a) light, apricot type fruits, b) pepper, yeast and coriander, c) candy sugar; subtle phenol notes in the finish.

Notes: Tasty and easy going; at $5.99 (the Beverage Warehouse) to $6.49 (Whole Foods) a four pack, almost a session Belgian; look forward to drinking this again.

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

Picked this up at the local Cost Plus store. Appearance was apricot in color with a short lasting head and very little lacing. Smelled a conbo of fruits, nothing distinctive. Taste was very pleasant given the high abv; of malt and fruits-only thing I have had similiar is the New Belgium Biere de Mars offering. Suprisingly smooth mouthfeel. Overall a very drinkable beer that would be worth a second purchase.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a nice light yellow/orange colour with a large, frothy, white head. The aromas are of belgian candy sugar, yeast, malts, alcohol, various fruits and spices...The taste is a nice fruity mix, of alcohol, sugar, yeast, and malts, with a nice bitter, hoppy finish. This is quite the west-coast belgian stronge pale ale! The mouthfeel is a little thick and the drinkability isn't the best, but this stuff still rocks!


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Photo of PatandDavid
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This certainly is a golden beer, in fact it's more orange/apricot in color. Aroma is almost wheat like actually. Taste is a mix of many different flavors: coriander, candy sugar, fruit (apple?), and just a smidge of alcohol to make you remember what it is you're drinking. Mouthfeel is good, almost more than medium, finish is lightly syrupy, but also ends dry(!).

Not bad. Very enjoyable. Drinkability would be higher if the mouthfeel was a bit thinner. pat

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Photo of jcalabre
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The Pranqster is a hazy golden pour with a quickly dissapating white head.
Aroma: The nose has some candy, yeast & floral notes. It is a pleasant smell.
Taste: Oh my God, a Belgian session beer. Tasty but not overpowering. You certainly don't notice the alcohol in this one. Great job.

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

pours an effervescent peach head....nose is spicy...and soft....also fruity...Body is pn the thicker side of medium..

A nice Belgian style beer...very enjoyable drink...I get a real black licorice flavor in this...spicy...a solid sweet maltiness and also some fruitniness, but this is a spicy beer first and foremost..some sharp cloves too.....the alcohol is somewhat hidden but defintely evident...

I got this for 99 cents a bottle on closeout at a place 2 hours away...wish I'd have pciked up more...quite a bargain....I haven't had enough Belgians to truly compare this to others but it is definitely solid....I prefer a few others over this but this ranks in the upper tier of the dozen or so I've tried...

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

Now Quaffing: Pranqster

Many American brewers have attempted to craft a belgian style brew, but North Coast has succeeded where many have failed. Bottle conditioned, this ale pours a translucent apricot with a small head (the only UNbelgian characteristic of this beer). Aroma is of peaches, some honey, cloves and coriander--dominatingly sweet. First taste is all sweet with coriander and cloves. Fruity tastes of peaches and apples grace the palate but not before a nice dry, champagne-like finish with every sip. Very enjoyable.

Notes: California (North Coast), or Florida for that matter has never been closer to Belgium. If you are a belgian nut like me, (especially Delirium Tremens), you'll feel right at home with this beer.

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

Pours a cloudy dark orange, yellow color. As expected this one had a ton of carbonation. Small head but still left a beautiful lace. The smell was mild but present. Wheat, citrus and some pepper. The taste was very similar to the smell with much more sweet and citrus coming through in the end.

I don't know why but it seems that a lot of Belgian Style beers in the states taste like this one. That doesn't make it bad, in fact I want more.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Beautiful thick, cloudy orange color with a decent white, foamy head.

Smell – Spicy yeast and banana aroma.

Taste – This has a terrific bread flavor that seems to expand on the lower palate (where the salivary glands are in high gear). There is a wonderfully smooth banana flavor that mixes well with the rest of the beer (grandma’s fresh baked banana bread?). There are a lot of spices and other flavors that are hard to pick out, but overall this is a very smooth brew.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation and yeasty body give this beer an excellent mouthfeel.

Drinkability – The beer is smooth and nicely carbonated, making it a very drinkable beer.

Comments – This is one of my personal favorites. I always have a few sitting in the fridge. Best of all, at $6.99 per four-pack it is one of the best deals in town. That works out to less than two bucks for an absolutely authentic taste of Belgium!

Update: In my 2004 re-review I was able to pick up more complexity in the beer to include some great tangerine peel and a deeper yeast. I’m raising the Smell and Drinkability ratings up 0.5 points.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time for a Pranq.... Poured a deep, golden/orangey color, with an incessant stream of bubbles heading to the surface. The bier has a slight suggestion of haziness, and is topped by a creamy, lasting white head. Lacing isn't too bad, either. Nose was sharp, and a bit spicy. Hints of coriander and orange peel combine with a mild peppery quality. Body checked-in at about a medium, and the abundant carbonation provided a foamy/bubbly feel on the tongue. I get a bit of toasty/crackery malt at the start, with a follow-up of some fruitiness thrown in. A bit of spiciness makes itself known towards the latter part of the quaff. The finish is towards the dry side, with a short aftertaste. A swirl and addition of the yeasties turned the brew a dull, opaque, light golden hue, and provided a touch more spiciness to the mix. A pleasant bier. Pull this Pranq on me anytime! Cheers!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of ecoboy
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Long-lasting thin head on this, poured at Waterfront Ale House in NYC. Lots of yeast suspended in a hazy apricot hued brew. Seemed dark for a tripel and light for a double, so I didn't have a lot to compare it to.

As hard as I tried, I could not get a great deal of aroma out of it. Unusually thirst-quenching for a draught so syrupy. The mouthfeel was a bit cloying and not so good, but I did find the lack of torrential alcohol warmth and the underaggressive flavor refreshing and very drinkable. Another beer that I didn't absolutely love overall that still left me wanting more.

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

Sampled on draught at 1740 Tap Room in Greensboro, NC. I'm not sure how in the hell they serve this since both the North Coast Brewing Website and the BA listing have the ABV at 7.6% and good ol' NC has a 6% ABV limit. I hope the morality police don't find out, b/c it's good either way and I was happy to try it.

Poured a cloudy sun yellow with a big white head. Great lacing through out the sample.

Aromas of dry Belgian yeast, orange and banana fruit, and coriander with malt undertones. Very inviting.

Tastes of sweat malt and dry yeast with hits of orange and banana that dance in your mouth. Nice spice to it as well with a little hit of alcohol towards the end. A little lighter than some of the Belgian Goldens I've had, but I don't have a lot of experience with them.

Great beer and I'm glad they suck this in somehow.

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

Bought in the 12 oz brown stubbie with a marvelous 17th century drinkinf scene on the label.
In appearance the beer is a lovelly deep golden colour with an everlasting pure white head, great swirls of carbonation.
Oh my what a fine aroma this beer has, wonderfully fruity with banana predominating..coriander present..very fresh smelling.
A lovely fizzy sweet fruitiness in taste, banan and coriander( slightly over ripe banana)..sweet sherbet great stuff.
Wonderfully creamy but with a fizzy kick.
A very drinkable Belgian style..I loved this beer..will by many many more.

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Photo of dwarbi
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is afantastic brew, The beer is a golden orange color. Opaque, with a white frilly head. Excellent lacing. Smells of wheat, coriander, and lemon. Strong wheat and lemon taste. Creamy. Wonderful mouthfeel and aftertaste. Spicy, too.

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

This was the 3rd or 4th from North Coast that I've tried and the first one that actually impressed me. Nice Wheaty malt flavor. Slight citrus notes but not as pronounced as others I've had in the same style. White tight head that stood well on it's own. A little on the crisp side for this style but very refreshing anyway. I'll most likely buy again

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Photo of zerk
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy deep gold / light copper with a thick, but quickly dissipating head. The head settled to a thin layer, and left behind some lace. The aroma was a musty mix of clove, citrus and honey. The flavor began sour, with lemon and orange giving way to a sweeter musty finish... with some pepper notes. The flavor was nice, but really not complex enough for me. The beer has a light to medium body, and a slightly rough mouthfeel. Not a bad interpretation of the style, but I wouldn't choose it over a Duvel or La Fin Du Monde.

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Photo of Reverand
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Truly the best Belgian ale from the U.S! If you like duvel you will love pranqster.
First off I was really taken in but it's hazy yellow appearance with a big huge head that seemed to hang around forever. A fruity aroma intices you gulp this brew down, but with a 6.9% alcohol you need to take your time and savor ever last drop. A spicy malty flavor and full bodied ale is sure to awaken your taste buds.
Overall I thought this beer was a great interpetation of a Belgian ale in fact I had to check the label to make sure it was made in the U.S.

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Pranqster from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 3,437 ratings