On the bottom shelf, in a corner of the Port Jefferson Beverage Center, covered in dust, was a 4 pack of short little bottles from the North Coast Brewing Company – specifically Pranqster.
I’d never heard of either the North Coast Brewing Company (hey, not my fault, I live on the East coast!) nor Belgian Style Golden Ales. I didn’t know that this brew came from a pedigree in one of the older microbreweries, and didn’t know that they also made Old Rasputin and Red Seal. At the time I only knew I had never heard of it, so I shrugged and bought it. The guy at the counter said, “oh, that one’s new you’ll have to let me know how it is.” New? The bottles were dusty enough that the ladies from How Clean Is Your House would faint.
I admit, because of the dustiness, I was a little afraid of skunkiness or some other infection in the brew, because I had no idea how long the beer had been shelved, and certainly knew it wasn’t new. So, with that said, I’d like you to take this review with a grain of salt, and I’ll try to get my hands on a fresher bottle if I see one. But, beer tasting can be an adventure, so I dove in anyway.
I have to say that the smell seemed acidic, almost like vinegar. I couldn’t place it, but it didn’t smell familiar. It smelled fruity, just a little oddly tart.
Tasting it was a different story. I could taste the wheat, the sharpness of this beer, and I have to say that it works, and I was thrilled that it wasn’t tainted, skunked or in any way ruined. If you like things like La Terrible you may enjoy this. It is different than most “Belgian Style Ales” because this one is actually full of taste and resembles, if only slightly, a real Belgian. Its the right color (dark yellow, slighly cloudy) and little head. It has a bit of complexity and warmth, but wasn’t too overwheling in any one ingredient. I thought it was quite a nice blend, and something that grew on me the further I got down the glass.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get my hands on any more of this company’s brews, it seemed a fluke that I could get a California brew in Long Island of all places, but I’ll keep my eye out. Now that I’ve had this I’m willing to try another.