Review: PranQster, North Coast Brewing

North Coast Brewing Co. — Fort Bragg, CA

  • Style:  Belgian Golden Ale
  • Bitterness:  20 IBUs
  • ABV:  7.6% ABV
  • Malts:   Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description:  "Belgian Ales represent the height of the brewers' art. Sophisticated brewing techniques, yeast blends and unique flavoring elements have elevated the beers of Belgium to the status enjoyed by wine in other countries. PranQster follows in this tradition using a mixed culture of antique yeast strains that produce a floral nose, a full fruity flavor and a clean finish." — North Coast Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts:   The last North Coast beer I tasted was Old Rasputin (Russian Imperial Stout).  I loved it and have high expectations for PranQster.  This is part of my series on Belgian-style beers.   

The tasting:   I let this warm up for 10 minutes after opening it.  Amber in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates very quickly.  This was unexpected as most of the Golden ales I've sampled have had good head retention.  Aroma of floral hops and some light honey sweetnessvery nice!  Flavors of bready malt, caramel malt, and yeast.  In the middle, I noticed a touch of alcohol.  Minimal hop bitterness throughout.  PranQster is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.  It has a slightly effervescent mouth feel and finishes semi-dry with bready malt. 

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!   Spoiler Alert!  Spoiler Alert!  I just realized why this beer is named PranQster—it totally fooled me. I've enjoyed the Belgian Golden ales I've tasted, but I've learned to expect certain aromas and flavors.  PranQster was memorable because of what it didn't have—the typical pepper, coriander, clove, and fruity flavors that are prominent in the style.  If you want a "typical" Belgian Golden, look elsewhere.  I hope I didn't spoil the surprise.  You were warned...   

Have you tried PranQster or any other beers from North Coast?

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  1. Great review and right on the money. I have never felt the need to review a beer -- but this one is just that good!

    I picked up this beer today after browsing the aisles for a long time, looking for something fresh and different. I'm a Blue Moon fan and love the citrusy, sweet, floral flavors, but decided it was time to take it up a notch, as I wanted something a little bolder and a little less carbonation.

    In a word...delectable! I had never heard of this beer, but I knew that I was a golden lager type of girl. This beer was exactly what I was looking for. A little sweet, not too carbonated, smooth, bold, slightly sweet and thick, and super delicious! I highly recommend it for a nice change of pace. This beer will become a regular purchase for me, despite the 4- vs. 6-pack. To me, it is totally worth it. Also, due to the high-ish alcohol content, I have a two-beer limit on this one!


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