Posts Tagged ‘North Coast’

North Coast Brewing: PranQster

Posted: November 2, 2011 in California, Fresh, Tap, U.S.A.

The last beer I enjoyed at North Coast was their Strong Belgian Pale which they have called PranQster. Yes, they themselves capitalize the Q and it is not an error on my part. In this Belgian they’ve continued the tradition of mixing cultures of antique style yeast strains. This usually results in an aromatic floral nose, fruity flavoring and a crisp, clean finish. Alright, enough talk, let’s get to the tasting notes.

From the tap this Belgian Strong Pale pours a foggy copper color with a flat white head. There is a light floral aroma mingling with traditional banana esters which is quite pleasant. The taste follows the aroma with a few additions. There is definitely traces of coriander from the brewing process and citrus hints through out. The higher rating of alcohol is perfectly subdued by flavors. The only way you can tell it’s a higher alcohol content is the warming in your belly. Very well done in my opinion.

7.6% Belgian Pale


Alright, now that Halloween is wrapped up, I can now get back to doing some beer reviews. This is part two of my review on the Red Seal Ale by North Coast Brewing. The second try is a casked version which was hand pumped from an English beer engine.

The cask has a clear, amber coloring. The head, which you can’t see in the photo because I foolishly didn’t snap up all the pictures right away, was thick, creamy white and really very dense. There was some sweet malt aromas with a light touch of a citrus hoppy scent. The taste seemed maltier and less hoppy than the kegged version. Thick with caramel and honey, there seemed to be only hints of a grassy and citrus hops that were in the other version. The unusual soapy taste did not pop up in this tasting so I’m going to guess that there was just a soapy residue in the glass from being washed. Also something of note, even with the thick white head, the beer wasn’t heavily carbonated. From this tasting I’d gladly have this beer again.

5.5% Amber

Well I was at the brewery I was lucky enough to have a unique experience. I had the opportunity to have their regular Red Seal Ale as well as a fresh cask version. The Red Seal is actually one of their beers that we can find from time to time here in Calgary. It has won ten gold medals in various world championships. Also, a couple of silver medals to just round things up a touch.

As anyone would guess the Red Seal Ale pours with an amber red color. It is capped off with a white head which clings to the sides of the glass as it fades. The aroma has some spices, some grassy and piney hops, I believe I might also be picking up a small amount of caramel malt too. My initial impression of the flavor was that I found it to be quite pungent with the taste of clove. There were grassy hops right upfront but are eventually overpowered by the clove. There is a malty backbone to this to add a darkish caramel to the mix. As a final note, I’m not sure why but for some reason I thought I might have been tasting a touch of soap in the aftertaste… This seems unusual for me. I’m thinking that the glass might not have gotten a proper rinse after being washed? I could be completely wrong on this or it might have been the order I’d tried the beers.

5.5% Amber

Well, I think it’s time for a short history lesson regarding North Coast Brewing. They were a pioneer in the craft brew movement, opening their doors back in 1988 originally as a Brew pub. Under the guidance of their Brewmaster, Mark Ruedrich, they’ve won over seventy awards nationally and internationally in various competitions. They are currently shipped world-wide, yes even to Canada, though we don’t see to much of them. Okay, enough history, on to the beer.

Pouring a dark amber brown coloring, this ale has a slightly off white head. The aroma wafts with dark fruits and a heavy sweetness like brown sugar. The flavor is heavy with dark molasses and brown sugar. There is a light note of banana esters that I nearly didn’t detect. Dark roasted caramel malts darken the beer a touch but don’t help with the overly sweet taste. The dark fruits, raisins and plums, are also present throughout the taste. There is also a nasty alcoholic bite at the tail end of the after taste. I’d really like to have another bottle of this to let sit and age to see what it’d turn into 4-6 years down the road.

9.4% Belgian

The next day we started our beer road trip through Napa Valley. Yes, we were in wine country and didn’t stop for a single drop of wine. Our purpose you ask? Well, as stated earlier, Beer! Our first stop was in Fort Bragg at North Coast Brewing. They offered all of their beers on tap and had 4 oz sample glasses available and a mix and match option with 4 – 4 oz glasses. I had five, starting off with their Old Stock Ale. This ale has won multiple awards including three gold medals and a platinum medal.

The Old Stock Ale pours a dark, copper brown with a small ring of white head. The aroma is rich with caramel malts, hazelnuts, and dates. The flavors dance along my taste buds with caramel, sweet bourbon, dates or figs, and a smooth, roasted, malty finish. The caramel taste sticks around or the whole ride from start to finish. This is a style of beer that usually ages extremely well. With this being the case I made sure to pick up a four pack to bring home to let age. To be honest, I am giddy with anticipation of how delicious this will be once it’s aged a few years.

Old Ale 12.5%