April Fools Day has come and gone. Here’s hoping no one glued all the living room furniture to your ceiling or left a burning baggie at your front door. Many of us revel in the spirit of the day with prank calls and “kick me” signs taped to friends’ backs. It’s not a national holiday, but perhaps it should be given consideration for.
Look around you; foolishness and fools are en vogue. Politics and “reality” TV, faux-hawks and Justin Bieber helmet hair, sports stars who just can’t stay out of trouble during their off seasons… the entire cast of Jersey Shore. It’s a de facto celebration of all that is inherently stupid in life.
For my first day of April, I popped a “Jackass” DVD in the player, got cozy on the couch booby-trapped with a whoopee cushion and poured myself a nicely-chilled Pranqster from North Coast Brewing. Ruminating upon such a world-class ale piqued my interest as to why April 1 is given world-wide status for being silly.
The earliest reference is found in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” but may be a mistranslation over the exact date that in itself may or may not be in reference to the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. While the marriage was unpopular in England, it doesn’t explain the connection to practical joking.
A better explanation is the switching of New Years observance. Prior to the advent of the Gregorian calendar, New Years Day was observed on March 25 and, in many European locations, culminated in a week-long fete ending on April 1. Once the date was moved, more modern-thinking citizens found those to continue their old ways to be foolish and backwards; out of touch. Humans being as mean as they are wont to do began to tease anyone who didn’t “fit in” which, most assuredly, evolved into the pranking we all know today.
North Coast’s Pranqster is an amazing Belgian Abby ale golden-orange in color with a billowing head of creamy white foam that recedes nicely to a thin, tight cap and plenty of lacing in the glass. Rich scents of yeast and malt dominate the nose with honey, clove, banana, white pepper and apple peel. The texture is buttery and fleshy, the flavors nothing short of exquisite. Tart, fruity esthers give way to coriander, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon. 7.6% alcohol can creep up on someone if they’re not ready for it; Pranqster being such an addictive beverage to drink, the ABV can easily make a fool of the unsuspecting.
All kidding aside, this is hands down one of the planet’s best ales.