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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,862 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,862
Reviews: 1,253
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 294
Gots: 653 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  7.85% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared BrownShugga’ Ale. You see we had a couple of really good years (thank you very much) and so heading into this season while we are awaiting the January delivery of a new brewhouse we are jammin’ along brewing 80 barrels of IPA and PILS and such every 3 hours. A couple of months back we realized that since we can only brew a mere 60 barrels of Shugga’ every 5 hours, that we were seriously screwed. For every case of Shugga’ brewed, we’d short 3 cases of our favorite daily beers. It’s a drag. This year, we brewed something that we think is also cool and brews more like our daily brews. The new brewhouse will help insure this kind of failure never happens again. It’s a mess that we can not brew our BrownShugga’ this year and we suck for not doing it. There is nothing cool about screwing this up this badly and we know it. Maybe we can sue our own sorry selves. There is no joy in our hearts this holiday and the best we can hope for is a quick and merciful end. F*@& us. This totally blows. Whatever. We freaking munch moldy donkey butt and we just want it to be all over...
So this substitute beer is a ‘Cereal Medley’ of Barley, Rye, Wheat, and Oats…. Full of complexishness from the 4 grains, and weighing in at 7.85% abv, Then joyously dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous hop flavor.

(Beer added by: Jules11788 on 11-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,862 | Reviews: 1,253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allanmrego

New York

4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

pours golden, clean. everything is balanced very well. it has a great hop bouquet. the maltiness and bitterness are balanced perfectly for the style. overall i gave it a 4.75 because there has to be something better, but this is on top for me right now.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 23:41:43 | More by allanmrego
Photo of gshak


4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours a clear golden yellow, with a finger's worth of head that dissipated quickly leaving some lacing.

S - probably the best aspect of this beer. Overwhelming aromas of guava, mango and peach. Some pineapple and citrus notes as well. Exceptionally well done...reminiscent of Avery Maharaja, albeit a less malty, intense version.

T - extremely well balanced. Sweetness from the malts upfront, cut by the hops in mid-palate, and a very smooth and crisp finish, inviting another sip.

M - medium mouthfeel, light carbonation and hits the spot for an ipa with none of the cloying, sticky overbearing sugary richness typical of american dipa.

D - this concoction is so dangerously drinkable that in the interest of public welfare, I may have to take away some points. But then again, oh well ....

This is, by far, the best sixer your $10 can buy this holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 07:26:54 | More by gshak
Photo of JeffoC6

New Jersey

4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottled: Unknown- Bottle number reads 351. Bottled December 17th 2013?
Drinking: 1/16/14
Setting: Living room couch with a little Big Bang Theory

A: Pours a really nice clear honey color with about 1 1/2 fingers of soapy white head, which fades very very slowly. Beer looks really crisp and well carbonated in the glass, appears filtered, but I'm assuming it's not, either way, fantastic looking beer. 2 minutes later and the cap stays at about a 1/2 of a finger, still beautiful white and soapy. Not much lacing at all, maybe from the alcohol content?

S: WOW! What a tremendous nose of citrus and dank/wet hops. The citrus is of tangerine, grapefruit, and a faint hint of pineapple. I also get a bit of peach. All of this is wrapped into a fragrant pine undertone. What a luxurious scent! Can I buy this as an air freshener for my car...Please, Lagunitas?

T: Taste is citrus forward. Almost like fresh squeezed citrus juice that has been infused into a piney and forest floor IPA. Some resin and slight sugared biscuit as the backbone. Finishes a bit dry, letting those wonderful flavors resonate long after the sip has been taken. Absolutely delicious.

MF: Great carbonation on the tongue delivers the great flavors wrapped within this beer. Sweetness abound with each sip, but dissipates as the beer dries out on the palette. Nice stickiness on the lips leaves a hint of sugar between sips. Clean and crisp with the perfect level of carbonation. I wouldn't change a thing.

O: This reminds me of the Pliny I reviewed earlier this month, and dare I say, I think it's better? I've heard rumblings that this year's batch of Sucks doesn't hold up against last year's. Having only had 1 last year, I can't speak to that, but regardless...This beer is absolutely perfect. I may only have a few reviews under my belt, and may be a rookie in terms of the craft beer scene, but I know a terrific beer when I taste one, and this beer is just that. Big ups, Sucks.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 00:56:02 | More by JeffoC6
Photo of Hokies

Rhode Island

4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wanted to see what all the hype was about so here we go.

Pours a golden amber hue with a massive white head that is hanging around like it wants to drink the beer too. Quite impressive.

The aroma is filled with pine cones, mango and tropical fruits. Exactly what I like in a DIPA, one that is not loaded with straight pine.

The taste if awesome, alot of pine but filled with mango, citrus and other tropical fruits. Only a little sweetness from the malt, which for hopheads is a good thing.

A very drinkable beer and a new favorite from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 05:25:10 | More by Hokies
Photo of dcook11


4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was so surpirsed by this beer. This is hands down, the best tasting and smelling IPA I have ever had. No visible freshness date, poured into a tulip.

A- Completly clear, with champagne like bubbles rising to the top of the glass. Hardly any head, no real lacing.

S- Perfect. Ripe tropical fruit. Hops, fresh cut grass.

T- Risin, pine, tropical fruit, crisp, clean, prefect.

o -magnificient, just outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 01:01:05 | More by dcook11
Photo of lonewolfcry


4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Re-rating the quick "had" review from earlier.
Not going to go into the details which everyone knows already about (that & I'm lazy)
I just had to give Lagunitas the credit they deserve - especially considering the back story as how it became Sucks in the first place.

This beer is amazing, as we all know, to say the least.
I went through six 6 packs - which is a hell of a lot, considering all the other beer I've been drinking this winter
Personally, I would rather keep this as a seasonal than a year round - simply because I want to be able to look forward to it, and not have to check bottles dates all year (they're hard to see).

But if you must have a traditional review:

A: It's an IPA - what do you want it to look like...OK it looks great!
S: Amazing, and spectacular!
T: Off the charts - fantastic - bravo!
M: About as good as you can get, save only Heady Topper (and I still don't know how they pulled that one off)
O: A+ (Please, please don't go year round with bombers!)

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 22:24:55 | More by lonewolfcry
Photo of hellobeerz


4.94/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - The head is insane and was insanely long lasting. A Beautiful golden, orange/amber. I honestly said to my wife, "hey! come look at this!"

S - wow... This is incredible. I am getting Grapefruit, mango, blood oranges, intense hops that fill the air from the first pour of the bottle. I poured it to a moment later my wife across the room, say "what is that?!?!" A surprise I was amazed by.

T - Bit of malt in this. In the most extraordinary way. Simply ridiculous. Its all the smell and more, plenty of tropical fruits with lots of hops. I am getting so much mango, and grapefruit as well as blood oranges and so much citrus. almost 8 percent ABV? haha, I cant even tell. Lovin it.

M - Great mouth feel, I was wanting to share with everyone just to see there reaction, and I kept wanting to drink more and more.

O - I am so glad I grabbed this when I saw it, it has a "cult" following as many say and I can honestly see why. An amazing beer from an amazing brewery. Try it out, you wont be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 03:38:18 | More by hellobeerz
Photo of Golfer3Aces


4.94/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is great. Love the story on the bottle and box.

A. Good looking beer. About a finger and a half of head. About the color of honey.

S. Can smell the alcohol. Pine along with citrus fruits.

T. Some grapefruit, pine, I can really taste the alcohol as the beer warms up.

M. A little thicker. Kinda sticks to your mouth a little bit.

Overall. I like this beer a lot. Something I could drink more than one of. Glad I picked up a 6 pack of this. Money well spent.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 20:46:31 | More by Golfer3Aces
Photo of mudbug


4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the hilariously labeled bottle into a standard pint glass results in a pretty slightly hazed dark yellow body topped with a half inch head that recedes fairly quickly into a thin cap that leaves lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass, nice.
Aroma is outstanding, pungent mango, kiwi, pineapple, all of them extremely bright and fresh,,, wow, just superb.
Taste compliments the aroma nicely, bitterness is upfront with a grapefruit rind astringency.the malt sweetness is just enough to keep things from going too bitter, but just that. Nothing shy about this beer, it's in your face bold and delicious.
While the flavors and aroma yell out DIPA in the vein of Pliny the Elder, it's just a tad thinner.
What an astoundingly good beer, If this is suckage then I'm all for it all the time, Bravo.
Edit review of on Tap at the Brewery.
Over the top excellent, Plus one in every category.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2011 00:14:29 | More by mudbug
Photo of jmarsh123


4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly clear orange/gold with a small white head fading into a wisp and leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma features loads of dank grapefruit, tropical fruit and just a hint of caramel sweetness.

Flavor starts out with a bright citrus/grapefruit flavor. Also some tropical fruits such as mango. Just at touch of malt before finishing off with a big grapefruit flavor with some underlying pine. Very bitter and dry finish.

Creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Fantastic beer and much better than the seasonals it replaces. As far as Lagunitas beers only Hop Stoopid comes close to matching this. Easy drinking and goes down way too smooth at this ABV.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 21:51:14 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of scottyshades


4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a semi hazy amber color with a frothy/creamy white cap. Retention is excellent.

S: Wow, did not expect this! The aroma is mostly citrus, tropical fruit (pineapple, maybe mango), and sweetish. Kind of similar to Sculpin to me. Very impressive and nicely balanced.

T: Hop bomb...pineapple, grapefuit, mango, orange. There is a sweetness that balances the bitterness of the hops and strikes a real nice balance. This is the best beer that is widely available by far.

MF/D: Medium body (thought this was a single IPA at first), semi-aggressive carbonation, and a clean citrus finish.

Notes: Sorry Brown Shugga', move over for your replacement

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 20:48:27 | More by scottyshades
Photo of Nordstrand


4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good god people - Lagunitas makes an awesome IPA and pretty damn good Pils but this is something special.

A: Yellowish gold, mild head - nothing special

S: A barrel of wet hops in the heart of a pine forest

T: Imagine you're Jew from the book of Exodus - you've been trying to get out of the desert for 39 years and 364 days and finally realize you've found the promised land. Taste like that would feel.

M: Crisp and amazing

O: Overwhelming hops taken to a sophisticated level. Try and get your hands on some!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 02:00:08 | More by Nordstrand
Photo of paultierney1


4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Brothers: Are you kidding me? There's a 9 point difference between you and us and you're on the wrong side of history. SUCKS is amazing. And factoring in the very reasonable price and the fact that it can ACTUALLY BE FOUND on shelves, it's one of the best. The nose: 5. Taste 5. For hopheads, the battle is between Enjoy By and Sucks. And I'm from the Midwest. California: we give up!! You win. (Hate to say it.)

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2013 23:38:29 | More by paultierney1
Photo of MaineBrewing


4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - poured a clear golden color,slight orange hue. 2 finger light head with some large bubbles. Head lasted for a few mins, then died to a nice frothy cap. Sticky lacing lasts throughout.

S - ridiculous amount of hops in the nose, almost smells like I would imagine the color green smells. Smells like sticking my nose in a bag of hop pellets before throwing them in the kettle. Piney, citrus, resinous, bright, and floral mmmm. That's it. Sweetness too, but not really much malt, no yeast or alcohol bouquet. So delicous smelling, and very intense hopppiness, straight up 5 on this aspect.

T - Great taste, very bright, citrusy, piney flavoring hops dominate, slight cereal malt backbone to keep it all in check, finishes with only an ever so slight bitterness that actually grows in intensity after it lingers for a few. Very clean taste, not getting any yeast profile or even any alcohol, just amazing hop character with a good balance of sweet malt.

M - medium body, there's a lot of carbonation but at the same time it is very smooth. Finishes very crisp. Very quenching and enjoyable.

O - overal to be blunt, hands down better than Maximus and should replace it in their year round lineup. I don't care if it's been brewed since 96, this is a better DIPA and I want more. top of my list of DIPAs so far.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 02:02:38 | More by MaineBrewing
Photo of MJKerr


4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours out beautifully clear gold with a thick tight soapy head that clings to the glass with webby lacing. Smell is a huge hit of citrus and pine, with just a hint of hay. Taste is all citrus and pine. Massive orange, grapefruit pith and lemon zest. Full and silky smooth but still refreshing. Very clean and tasty. A nice change of pace from other West Coast DIPAs that tend to be much maltier.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 18:40:21 | More by MJKerr
Photo of distvan


4.93/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Nice copper color with good amount of white bubbly head that sticks around.

S: orange, pineapple, honey citrus smell with subtle scents of hops in the background.

T: tastes sweet and not overly bitter. Very smooth and drinksable

M: Medium bodied tith good level of carbonation.

O: One of the most enjoyable iipa I've ever had. It's dangerously drinkable

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 21:40:02 | More by distvan
Photo of Kisejohn

4.91/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas Sucks 12 ounce bottle

Aroma: Huge citrus nose. Grapefruit, lemons, some pine. A slight malty sweetness present.

Appearance: golden, clear with one finger of head.

Flavor: Grapefruit and lemons predominate. Some malty sweetness to balance. Bitter finish that lingers. Exceeded my expectations.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light for a nearly 8 percent ABV beer. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Lagunitas excels at hop forward beers and Sucks is one of the Crown Jewels. I bought two six packs and will be back to get more before its gone. Highly recommended for all hop heads. Buy it while you can!

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 22:55:21 | More by Kisejohn
Photo of reebtaerG


4.91/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured 12oz bottle into new Belguim globe glass

A-wonderful golden color with a one finger head that stays nice lacing

S-in your face aromas soon as you crack open the bottle. They are floral hops, grapefruit, mango and straw

T-taste is like the aromas but with the right amount

M-well balance full body with good carbonation leave the tongue wanting more.

O-I was surprised with this DIPA wished that I tried it sooner. Great price for $10!

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 15:13:32 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of RAlmeida77


4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally had a chance to try this beer as it's very hard to get in Massachusetts. Picked up a six pack and had one as soon as I got home.

Upon opening and pouring, I found the color to be lighter than I expected. A golden-amber hue with a nice head. The aroma from the glass was outstanding. It was like nothing I've ever smelled in an IPA before. Fruity and pleasant. This was very unique. First sip was everything I'd imagined and then some. This beer tastes as unique as it smells. Fruity, malty, hoppy and delicious. It is so easy to drink. Very easy to drink quite a few of these at once.

Overall, this beer has soared to #1 on my list of favorites. I hope it's easier to find as I'm sure the demand is there.

For any IPA lover, this is a MUST try!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 17:50:15 | More by RAlmeida77
Photo of seydou

South Africa

4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Yellowy, see-through, little head, BUBBLY! The smell hits you big time from opening the bottle, bright, floral, hoppy, enticing. Best smelling beer I've had. Tastes hop-heavy, pleasant bitter, CLEAN, floral, citrus-y, maybe even ginger. Beautiful. Nice and bubbly on the tongue too. One of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 01:48:20 | More by seydou
Photo of Bailarge


4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this on the recommendation of my friend jastack. I'm very glad I did. I can't speak much for the color since I have only been drinking it out of the bottle. But the smell is amazing. Truly smells like Christmas. Almost reminds me of a Christmas Tree. Once I drank it I knew it would be a favorite. Has a perfect hoppy taste that's not too overbearing but just right. It reminds me of a 90 minute, but smoother. It goes down very smooth. I brought it to my brother-in-law's house last weekend. He drinks one of two things, whiskey or cheap beer. The only time he tries anything good is if I'm around. He couldn't get enough of the stuff. It's amazing, and I only hope that they keep it around for years to come.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 02:01:47 | More by Bailarge
Photo of ThePaleRider


4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Bright amber/orange in color with a thick 3 finger head. Never seen a beer put off this much carbonation, pretty amazing as the thick head never recedes.

S - Lots of pine. Very dank marijuana type of smell. Smells very oily and thick. Mostly pine with a little orange peel in the back end.

T - Like a shot of pine and bitter citrus peels to the tongue. Very bitter, but remains smooth at the same time. Is my mind playing tricks on me? Simply an amazing IPA. They threw the malts into hiding just like a good IPA should. Hops right up front and a very smooth after taste. Bravo!!!

M - Very bitter up front with no alcohol to speak of. Lots and lots of carbonation keep this thing fresh to the end. Not as oily as I expected. Leaves your mouth dry and crazing more.

O - Amazing beer that needs to be available year round!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 02:56:54 | More by ThePaleRider
Photo of Aaron_Ramson


4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Smells and tastes the way pipe tobacco smells: fragrant, smokey, floral, peppery; tobacco leaf all the way through. Deep caramel flavors are there to balance the intense hop bomb. Back end bitterness is slightly subdued; emphasis is squarely on the forward hop flavor. Extremely drinkable with very little booziness, there's nothing that Sucks about this except the fact that it's a limited release.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 06:27:24 | More by Aaron_Ramson
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am so happy to acquired some of this. It is flying off the shelves here in Crotchfester NY.

Poured a clear golden orange color with with a one and a half finger width head that shrunk down within the minute.

The nose is a huge BLAST of tropical sweet fruity hop aromas! There is a dash of pine hop flavor in there too.

Taste is everything I could have hoped from in this beer. Bitterness is relatively low at 63 when you consider how much fresh n' juicy hop flavor is involved. Citrusy and fruity hops dominate with not much detectable malt flavor! That is fine by me. Such an amazing hop profile. This is better than the Pliny I had a month ago!

Feel is moderate to thick because its so sticky! There is a decent amount of carbonation to balance that out.

Theres no way they won't make this again. Amazing.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 03:37:42 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of Omnium


4.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served into a standard 16oz pint.
A - Nearly clear golden yellow, two fingers of fluffy white head that fades fast, a little lacing.
S - Good lord, this smells like everything you'd want. Pineapple, grapefruit, orange, mangos all over the place papaya, fresh lemon, sweet pine, light floral hops underneath that cascades into an immensely fresh smelling beer.
T - Tastes as every bit good as it does smell. You get a serious mango flavor from this, lighter biscuty malt, sweet acidic hop flavors, lemongrass, pine and citrus, so unbelievably good.
M - Medium feel, balanced carbonization, a bit of the ibu in the end.

O - Each time I drink this, I like it more, Note that its full flavors come out above cool, i'd say somewhere around 45-50. Full bodied lush hop bomb that is bursting with juicy fruit flavor that is sure to make any hop head satisfied. Lagunitas blew it out of the park with this seasonal brew. Makes 2013's Hopslam, and Pliny taste like absolute piss.

UPDATE: Very good like last year, a little more pine and citrus instead of mango, but still packed with tropical notes, the aroma is STILL the best thing in the world.
This is the best beer to me. I enjoy every moment of it.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 04:05:21 | More by Omnium
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,862 ratings.