Thursday, March 31, 2011

North Coast Brewing Company PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale

Hello beer lovers!

Time for another beer review in photos (not video yet).  You know, Jay, I will need to swing over to your place (or you over to mine) to do this video review thing since I can't seem to find a minute to do more than take a few pictures whilst I drink my frosty beverage and with the kids yelpin' in the background it would make for a VERY interesting video review (yeah, yeah, I'm sure you'd get a kick out of that).  So, for only (sorry Jay).

OK, let me get back on track here.  Today I am reviewing North Coast Brewing Company's PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale.  PranQster was the first North Coast beer I tasted and I've tasted everything they've brewed over the years. I've been drinking North Coast beers for A LONG time and have had the opportunity to visit their brewery in Fort Bragg, CA a few times as well.  Over a decade ago was my first trip up there (camping) and my buddy Brian and I gave 'em a call and they gladly gave the two of us a tour of the place.  VERY COOL. 
So, on to the beer.  From the North Coast Brewing Company's site (here): "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."

I didn't use the appropriate glass (I used a pint glass). When pouring the aroma is fruity with a predominant banana scent, Belgian yeast, citrus, sweet malt and finally hops

Beautiful pure white head, great swirls of carbonation and a deep yeasty gold color.

The taste is of banana and coriander, sweet malt and bready.  Well balanced. The taste always surprises me (as you can tell by the photo).  I LOVE THIS BEER!

At an ABV of 7.6% this is one beer you may want to take your time with before you go for round #2.

It had been awhile since I had some PranQster in the beer fridge, but I'm glad I picked up another four pack.  

This blogging about beer thing has prompted me to pick up some of my old favorites to review and in this case I am SO glad I did.


Mark Harvey

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beer and radiation

I would like to start this post by saying my heart goes out to the Japanese people as they continue to deal with the terrible catastrophe that occurred on March 11th, 2011. I have been heartbroken by Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

I was poking around the Internet and found this article about Beer and radiation (found here).'s beer guide, Bryce Eddings (here) did some research and found a study done in Japan about the possible benefit from drinking beer when one is exposed to radiation. Could this be another health benefit that beer offers?  Read the study (here) performed on August 11, 2005 by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (or NIRS). It certainly isn't an easy read so if you like you can take my word (and Bryce's) for it.

Drink up! Protect yourself!

Mark Harvey

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lost Coast Downtown Brown

Good evening beer lovers...

This isn't quite the video taste test that my buddy Jay has asked for (I'll get there Jay, I promise), but here's an "in photographs" version instead.

Today I am tasting (and photographing) Lost Coast Brewing's Downtown Brown.  This is one of my wife's favorite beers.  Lost Coast Brewing brews a cadre of great beers and Downtown Brown is no exception.

From Lost Coast Brewing (here- "A smooth, full-bodied nut brown ale,lightly hopped with a hint of roasted and crystal malts. This ale is dark in color without the heavy taste of porter or stout."

When pouring the aroma is very nice. The scents of roasted malts, toffee and coffee. 
Pours a medium brown with a small off white head. 

Downtown Brown has a smooth, nutty, malty sweetness that really dominates. Nice carbonation. Very little bright hop bitterness, which fades quickly. An excellent nutty malt flavor. Not heavy (as they state) and with an ABV of 5.0% you can enjoy a few - for those going for the long haul.

I almost always have Downtown Brown in the "beer fridge" and I'm glad I did for this taste test.  It had been a while since I've enjoyed one...and now it looks like I may need to go enjoy another.


Mark Harvey

Monday, March 28, 2011


Would blogging about beer be called Beerlogging?  I have no idea...but you can find the NorCal Beer Blog NOW at and And we will be blogging about beer OR Beerlogging as often as we can about as many beer related subjects as we can cover.
In the coming months we will be reviewing beer, brew pubs, beer recipes, and we're even hoping to have a  meet up.

Tell your friends and neighbors!

Mark Harvey

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Lights Out Double IPA"

In this photograph we have a beer my buddy Brian and I brewed called "Lights Out Double IPA".  My friend Rob named it due to the power outage we endured while brewing this (he wasn't there during the brewing of the beer, but rather saw some posts I had made on Facebook about it).  This is a HUGE double IPA. It has hops - LOADS of hops.  We just kept hopping it until it was hoptastic! The malt bill is pretty simple, producing a nice slight burnt orange color.
The aroma ... well,  if you love hops, you'd love this - we used over a pound of hops!
On September 25, 2010 we began to brew this batch.

This was the second batch Brian and I were taking on after nearly a 10 year break from brewing.  
We had 9 pounds of Pale Malt...warming in the sick...and at 4:00 pm brewing was about to start in less than an hour.  We were pretty stoaked at trying out hand at making a Double IPA.  

By 6:58 pm we were totally in the dark and PG&E quoted a "lights on" time of 11:30 pm.  Trying to brew beer by camp lights is challenging. 
My buddy Jay said, "That'll be some old fashioned beer" and I called it, "Old school brewin' - lights off..".  and we brewed (and bottled our Hoppy Red Ale) in the dark.  

By 8:22 pm the lights were back on, but that didn't change the name of the beer.  "Lights Out Double IPA" stuck.  
It also allowed us to bottle the Hoppy Red as we waited for all of the steps (and hops) it took to brew this batch.  

By 11:50 pm we were finished brewing the double IPA and we were ready to clean up.

Here's the brew the next evening (the 26th). The first dry hoppin' took place the night. The second took place 7 - 9 days later and then we bottled after 5 more days. It was worth the wait!

Double IPA...first dry hop... wait 9 days...then dry hop again...

Double IPA.... Last few moments in the carboy.

We bottled the batch and I actually still have some.  With so many good beers on the market sometimes my home brew doesn't make it out of my "beer fridge".

Guess I better have one tonight (or maybe two).


Mark Harvey

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beer (and toys) and a contest for a toy - not beer

So this is a DOUBLE blog post as I've posted this on my Mark Harvey World, but a contest this great deserves to be double posted!

THERE'S A CONTEST GOIN' ON!!! Yes, that's good buddy Jay has a contest going on for a FREE GOMPER TOY (and not so secretly I am trying to win another can't have too many Gompers I'd say).'s the "commercial" for the contest...

And here are the rules...

Here’s the game:
  1. Print your favorite Gomper World image from my flickr set.
  2. Display it in a prominent spot for the world to see.
  3. Take an interesting photo of people near it, or interacting with it.
  4. Email the photo to: jayemoores (at) gmail dot com and I will send a plastic hand made Gomper toy to my favorite submissions.
All photos will be posted here on my blog at: Get creative, the best photo entries win a free handmade Bat Winged Gomper art toy made by me, J.E.Moores. This contest is on until end of May 2011, just wow me and I’ll post you a free toy for your effort. Print your favorite Gomper World image, color it, glue it, wear it, hang it, blow it up, shrink it down, and do other things I’d never guess. Put it in a place where the most people will see it. Art is not complete until it’s seen! Be sure to email me a postal address along with your photo so I can send you a toy! Oh yeah, don’t break too many laws or get hurt, just have fun! OK? Thanks ~ Jay

Now I just happen to be fortunate enough to have actual Gompers, but you don't have to have REAL ones - you can print paper Gompers and do your own thing with 'em.  I would however recommend purchasing some just to have around the house I do.  Gompers go with EVERYTHING. I like to pose Gompers with my BEER as they are great at guarding a good brew and keeping the Ski Patrol away.
So in conclusion....CHECK OUT THE CONTEST AND GET GOIN'!!!

Mark Harvey
Fan of Jay's art, a fan of BEER and a proud owner of GOMPERS

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Testing, testing...1, 2, 3...

Greetings and salutations,

This is Mark Harvey (from Mark Harvey's World - here) and since I write about, brew and drink beer I was prompted (thanks Zac) to put this blog together. There is so much to learn, read about and consume when talking or drinking beer.  I plan to post photos, beer reviews, brewery tour experiences, beer recipes and brewing tips (as I get better at brewing).

This is just a kick off post and there will be many,many more to follow.

Thanks for jumping in with me.

Mark Harvey