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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,439 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,439
Hads: 9,331
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 566
Gots: 1,907 | FT: 28
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:
Beer added by: Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,439 | Hads: 9,331
Photo of nc41
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bit thin, not much foam, lacing, but the head dies quick, no big deal really. The SMELL, nice, fruity grapefruit, pineapple, ranks near the top on nose alone. The taste almost follows, but a bit thin compared to what I smell. Decent finish but falls off a little ,no real boom on the backside. Really a well done brew, I hope it goes regular. I've heard comparisons to Pliny, well, no, but don't let that stop you from trying. I also like they didn't go the ultra sweet route and malt this one to death looking for depth. (529 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this one - not sure what took me so long.

What a pretty beer... a glowing gold body that is stuffed from side to side with constant beading. A creamy finger of off-white head retains well and leaves behind drapes of lace from start to finish.

The aroma reminds me quite a bit of Sculpin or Dreadnaught. Juicy hop character defined by tropical fruits and some heady nugz. Nose-gasm.

Takes a slightly different direction on the palate. A bit more citrus and pine resin. More complex than the nose would suggest. Really tasty stuff.

This beats the piss outta Brown Sugga. (613 characters)

Photo of Etan
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Last year's version was so good - let's see how this year's stacks up. 12oz into a tulip.

A: Pours a glassy dull orange with a sticky white head.

S: Huge tropical fruits in the nose. Passionfruit, mango, grapefruit, light pine and cracker malt.

T: The taste is less fruity, with some dryish leafiness, melon and slight orange, bready grain, light herbal bitterness.

M: Light-bodied, light carbonation, a bit sticky.

O: Great aroma here, definitely lives up to the first batch. (481 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Orangish yellow in color with a 1/2+ inch head and great retention

Smell: Very strong hop aroma. Lots of floral, pine and resin on the nose

Taste: Based on the nose the flavor is a bit of a let down. Still has the good hop flavor but just a tad bit muted compared to the nose

Mouthfeel: Just under a medium body and mildly carbonated and slightly bitter

Overall: A very good dipa especially for the price and availability to me. This one just lacked just a touch in the flavor department to make it a great dipa. Highly recommended (541 characters)

Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Didn't realize it was my 300th review until I started. Oh well, not everything has to be a true milestone. Still, at least Sucks is a semi-rare beer that is worth noting.

12 oz bottle, found it at Julio's, home of many great beers. Served in my Surly Darkness snifter, because it rocks!

A: Head? Yes, please, make it a double! Huge, thick, frothy white head on a golden body with a hint of reddish to it.

S: Nose is ...Simcoe? Sharp, piney, spicy, just really good smelling and nicely complex.

F: Tasty and quaffable. True West Coaster here. Light malt body is only a framework for big, gratuitous hopitude. Waves of citrus and pine. This is really the closest thing to Pliny that I can think of. Heady Topper may have stolen my heart, but I still carry a torch for Pliny, and this could be the kid sister.

M: Stripping and cleansing, done right.

O: Really, really good. I love Hop Stoopid and many of their other brews, but this one is somehow better. Glad to hear that this will be a new product. (1,004 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler poured into a Maudite snifter. Bright gold with a fat, puffy head that immediately starts slinging the sticky lace all over. The nose features a blast of mango and pineapple with pine and floral hoppy notes in the background. Stray whiffs of bready malt and booze. And indeed, it's really the moderate booziness that keeps this stuff from being downright chuggable. Impressive oily hop goodness with a bitterness that makes one contemplate how powerful "only" 60-odd IBUs can be with the right malt backbone, which is very lightly toasty and bready in this case. Massive tropical fruitiness with a generous dose of resinous pine. Hints of fresh leafy flavors almost make me think of tobacco now and then.

Exceedingly tasty (D)IPAs don't typically come with an exceedingly reasonable price point. Lagunitas Sucks does, and is a no-brainer for hopheads to try. (868 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Olde Hickory glass on 1/16/13

Lazy straw-gold color. It's clear with just a hint of a honey-like appearance. One finger cap of off white foam dissipates slowly as a solid ring of lace clings around the inside of the glass.

Oily, tropical hops dominate the aroma with notes of pineapple, peach, mango and grapefruit. There is a sweetish notion, too; reminds me of sweet crackers and sugar beets. Seems pretty well free of alcohol.

Grapefruit bitterness and juiced tropical citrus rake the palate. Lots of peach and some pineapple. hints of pine here and there. The malts profile leans comfortably toward the neutral bread/cracker variety. Works for me.

The feel is oily and coating which makes for a long lasting medium body. Carbonation is lively, mimicking the cracklin' hop profile. I don't find it taste overly boozy, but there is a distinct alcohol heat that rides on the finish.

This is really good stuff. Highly recommended. (950 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, soapy white head that has great persistence and laces wonderfully. Citrus and pine hop aroma. Amber-honey-straw color. Starts off bitter with notes of citrus, wells to a surprisingly restrained bitterness that is full of pine hops. Finish is citrus rind and a touch of malt.

I like this one. It's an excellently balanced and restrained hoppy bier. There is all the flavor and brightness of the hops without the crushing, lingering bitterness; all the good and none of the bad! (493 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Digging the label of this beer. Poured into SA sensory glass.

A: brilliant crystal clear gold,foamy white head, tons of lacing, great retention. I rarely rate beers as 5 on appearance, but I think this one looks perfect for an IPA.

S: tons of tropical fruit, mango and peach come through the biggest, toasted malt character comes through on the end along with some more resinous hoppy qualitites

T: lots of fruits again on the front, similar to the aroma, peach is present along with mango and papaya, rich malts come through in them middle, a bit on the sweet side for an IPA, lots of delicious hop qualities. The taste is somewhat similar to Little Sumpin' Sumpin', a little sweeter. ABV is incredibly well hidden.

MF: light body, medium carbonation

O: this is a nice change from the typical winter seasonal, I for one can live with this alternative to Brown Shugga', a nice fruit foward citrusy IPA. (907 characters)

Photo of JackMcAwesome
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally found a six pack of this... let's go to work...

Poured from the bottle:

Look: A very nice looking brew. Pours a one finger head that erodes to a thin film by the end. The lacing is incredible and stays throughout, very well done.

Smell: Grapefruit seems the most prominent to me, slight pine but that died away quickly as I drank on. The mixture of hops makes this a bit confusing to me (in a fun way) I kept trying to pick out all the bits as I went through the six pack. Very hard.

Taste: HOPS EVERYWHERE. A bit of pine up front, with a bit of caramel in the back. Again, I'll mention that the mixture of hops they use (I had to look it up just because I was curious) kept me guessing the entire time. I had to just sit back and enjoy.

Feel: A nice bite to it that keeps it light, perfect after a bit of work in the yard. I would like just a tad more carbo I think just to see what would happen. Otherwise, this would have been a fiver.

Overall: I was glad this one lived up to the hype, at least for me. Almost a perfect brew. Maybe it is a perfect brew, I'm just afraid to say so with so little under my belt. I'll keep picking this one up. I also love the balance of hops/sweet. It works very well here. I would like to see a "bottled on" date or something. The sixer I got revealed nothing about when this was bottled, or a freshness date. (1,359 characters)

Photo of beerbully
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip glass

A-clear, copper beer with thick inch+ head that slowly dissipates leaving thick lacing on the glass

S-big nose on this one. Can smell it from a foot away. sweet and citrus hops dominate. grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango.

T- citrus hops up front followed by slight onion which gives way to some sweetness and then a bitter finish

M-slick,oily,

O-solid IPA as usual by Lagunitas.

(416 characters)

Photo of capeannbass36
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a clear, orange gold topped with a 1 finger bone white head that disappated quickly. Light lacing left behind.

S- Sweet grapefruit and pineapple. Little bit of pine and hops.

T- Tropical citrus fruits. Pineapple, grapefruit, and a hint of mango. Little bit of pine and end.

M- Slightly slick. Hint of bitter at end. Dry finish.

O- Very surprised by this. Seeking out more tomorrow! (395 characters)

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chilled 12 oz stubby into a stemless tulip pint. Bottling date appears to be 2.6.13.

Look- Crystal clear golden hue, straight pour leaves me with a glass full of frothy eggshell foam that settles slowly. Sticky irregular lacing.

Smell- Very sweet, musky undertones. Freshly peeled clementine oranges. Orange blossom, lightly flowery, powdery.

Taste- Lemon, pine, honey, more orange peel. Lots and lots of tropical citrus, alternates between grainier acidic navel and mandarin orange. Biscuit and light treacle are present but vague. Lingering white tea, chives, and cillantro. Straightforward, but packs in a lot of flavor and manages to straddle the line between pithy and resinous and sweet.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full body, crisp carbonation on the sip. Juicy feel, clean finish. Easy drinking.

Overall- Well, it's not what I'd consider a "Brown Shugga Substitute", but it's definitely not bad either. Succeeds at the often attempted but usually missed moderate-IBU citric DIPA a'la Nugget Nectar. (1,002 characters)

Photo of motorhed
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A - Fabulous filtered gold/orange color. White head that leaves light levels of lacing as it's consumed.

S - Pine and citrusy west-coast hops, awesome nose on this thing.

T - Pine, Grapefruit, pine, and bitter hops. Very good beer, i've gone through 18 bottles of this stuff.

M - Mild carbonation and well balanced finish.

O - One of the best double IPA's i've had in a long time. Unfortunately, this came out right around the time as Surly Abrasive ale. I was overloaded on IPA's for a month. While i prefer Abrasive over this, it's still one of the better beers i've had lately. Lagunitas hit a home run with this brew. (652 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You have to wonder if the cord will break. Not just like those little two-or three-person cars at the state fair, there is such a monstrous load on this thing. The white continues to cascade down from the sky, leaving a lot of sticky-looking spots on the windows as you gaze at the black spots in the white drifts below. You look up. You can almost taste and smell the summit now. Yes, that must be it. Unmistakeable.
A lurch and jerk and everyone clutches their belongings. the veterans pretend not to be worried, like the businessmen in heavy turbulence on an airplane who stare straight ahead and pretend that their nerves are not rattled to the core with the thought of falling so many thousand feet and meeting their maker.
The clack-clack-clack of another pole holding up this monstrosity and you begin to feel your knuckles clenching and unclenching as you wonder to yourself why you are such a glutton for punishment. You close your eyes. The summit again, with it's distinctive almost green-onion, combining beautifully with a tropical malt note, a huge bitterness, some grapefruit and lemongrass-covered candied pineapple wrapped in grapefruit rind and drizzled with that delicious thin honey that they used to sprinkle atop those delicious honey-buns...
It grinds to a halt. You must have been dreaming again. You toss back the remainder of the golden nectar in your lace-covered glass, and grab your skis. It is a long way down. (1,442 characters)

Photo of BeerWizard
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet, clarified light amber with light effervescence and a pretty much perfect billowy white head. I get a dank, floral whiff from about two feet away. Closer inspection after it cools off a bit is super-mango and tangerine - nice. There's still that sweet dankness and some grain to it, but it's pretty much overtaken by tropical fruit and citrus. The flavor is heavy grapefruit, but only a light bitterness on the back end. It's really just lightly sweet and juicy, but still leans toward a hop-forward IPA - the malt side being really downplayed, and to no detriment to it.

Overall, this is an awesome beer that is $10 and available in a six pack. I dig it. (691 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle from

A: The lacing from the initial 2 inch head is astounding. One of the best lacing I have seen. The residual head is just a nice solid film with clusters of bigger bubbles. It has a nice cloudy, golden amber color.

S: The smell on this is extremely floral and piney. I'm not getting much citrus. This is one of the few IPAs that I have had that is quite floral. It smells like a well-tended garden that has been freshly mown and has the scent of pre/post rainstorm.

T: The taste is predominately piney with a nice floral hoppy aftertaste. It is hard to get floral flavors due to the strength of pine flavors, but the aftertaste is quite floral, but mild as I would expect from such an aftertaste. It is a very linear and balanced profile throughout its course during the sip/swallow: pine and hops all the way.

M: This is quite crisp with lots of bubbles floating around in there.

O: Contrary to the title of this IPA, it is top-notch and Lagunitas does not suck at all, especially since this has year-round availability. Glad this was my first Lagunitas beer, and it would seem that they know their way around IPAs. I will definitely be getting this again. Sucks is a must try for anyone that says they like IPAs. (1,239 characters)

Photo of jsanford
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange-amber with a dense soapy head that settles to a thin haze, leaving lots of soapy lacing. Lovely aromas of grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and pine resin. Taste is similarly tropical, with lots of fresh hop flavors and a moderately bitter finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and slightly sticky, with a medium body and ample carbonation. Really excellent DIPA, glad I finally got to try it (missed out all last year). (426 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear gold with a small, off-white head on top. Super deep, fruity hop nose...dank hop oils, tangerine, grapefruit, mango, some malt sweetness. Delicious oily hops flavor with surprisingly little bitterness. Sticky, resinous, buckets of fruit - orange, pineapple, mango. A little leafy and flowery. Very, very tasty. Slick, oily medium mouthfeel. Not especially holiday-like in any way - pretty much like many other Lagunitas beers - but very hoppy and delightful. (472 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden yellow color with a good sized head, fades at a slow rate but only leaves some small bits of patchy lacing.

Smell has a beautiful floral piney hop aroma, touch of citrus and sweet malt to add to the layers.

Taste starts out and finishes with the citrus pine hop presence, pretty much the hops are evident through the entire thing, some sweet malt does balance things near the end, slightly sticky and sweet in the finish yet also with a semi-dry ending, carbonation is practically perfect. (506 characters)

Photo of PostRockandCats
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

(Short and sweet)

L: Clear and copper, big eggshell head with a lot of thick lacing.

S: Fruity and citrusy hops up front with boozy malts at the end. Peach notes.

T: Peachy tropical fruit with light malts at the end. Small a bit of piney hops at the end

M: Light and clean. Not a lot of resininess. Fair bit of carbonation.

O: Of the nicest IPAs I've had; well-balanced and pleasant without being face murderingly hoppy. (426 characters)

Photo of Swim424
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this on tap at Proof

A-Fairly clear yellowish gold. Little head

S-Fresh hops. Fairly piney. Some slight citrus and fruity malt.

T-Hops. Get some decent apricot up front balanced out with a nice hoppy finish.

MF-Decent carbonation. Medium bodied. Good hop after taste

O-Best holiday ale i have had yet. Very good IPA. One of the best well balanced I have had. (369 characters)

Photo of Eisen
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass: a light amber with thick white head that fades into fine lacing and a thin top layer. Wonderful hop citric aroma and flavor that is characteristic of Lagunitas brews followed by a slightly syrupy and numbing (from the hops) mouth-feel that compels one to drink more and more. The hops, of course, are the focus, but they are supported and wonderfully balanced by a medium/light malt/sweet backbone that makes the drinkability excellent. It is light, crisp, and perfectly hoppy. In my opinion, far better than brown sugga. (547 characters)

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very clear and a golden orange color. Pretty good head that lasts and deposits nice lacing

Reeks of fresh pine hops and slightly citric aroma. Very fresh, very aromatic and ultra pungent. Haven't smelled many beers like it

Tastes very fresh with flavors of line trees, tropical fruit and light sap. Complex hop profile but simple enough to pick out individual flavors

Medium body with above average carbonation, finishes dry and bitter on the palate. Easy to drink and fun to taste the other hop flavors present

A fantastic IPA that makes me almost not miss brown shugga...almost (589 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly dark straw color. The nose brings the citrus and hops without a doubt. The flavor profile has a nice malt backbone that compliments the fresh citrus notes well. The finish is potently hoppy.

"Sucks" is that last word that I'd use to describe this gem. (264 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,439 ratings.