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

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,272 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6272
Reviews: 1229
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%

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: 6,272 | Reviews: 1,229 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RocketCityVol


4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Transparent light golden appearance with a thin white head

S- Heavy hints of Grapefruit and other cirus with a heavy hop aroma.

T- A lot like the smell, but with more of a cirtus flavor with a hint of pine and a perfect amount of hoppiness.

M- Lightly carbonated and Alcohol is not overwhelming.

O- Very good IPA I would definatley purchase this beer again when given the chance

Serving type: growler

02-15-2014 02:17:13 | More by RocketCityVol
Photo of zookerman182


4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a clear yellow orange color with a little head.
Aroma is grapefruit and citrus.
Flavor is the same, with lots of citrus and a little pine.
This beer is on the bitter side which is a good thing.
Mouthfeel is thin and not to carbonated but the flavors linger longer than any ipa a can remember.
Extremely solid!

Serving type: growler

02-14-2014 20:47:58 | More by zookerman182
Photo of Durge


4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A clear amber color with a big white foam on top and tremendous lacing.
The aroma is pure cat piss with lemon and grapefruit bitterness. So pure, great.
The taste is also awesome with thick sweet grapefruit and crisp cereal grain
goodness. This bitter brew is a beautiful blend of hop bitterness and intense
grain with a medium-full body and a pretty viscous feel. Great hop libation!

Serving type: growler

01-27-2013 17:51:03 | More by Durge
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: growler

01-16-2013 23:48:25 | More by PDXHops
Photo of jsanford


4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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).

Serving type: growler

12-28-2012 22:21:48 | More by jsanford
Photo of hopwave


4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Tap -->> into my small 32oz Growler -->> into a standard Pint glass.

A: Very clear Transparent Orange, Small white head.

S: Smell is off the charts... reminds me of Maui.

T: Taste is tropical fruit... mango, peach, sweet pineapple.

M: Perfect mouthfeel for the style, a little slick.

O: A Super tasty IPA, give it a shot before it's gone.

Serving type: growler

01-31-2012 21:21:32 | More by hopwave
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: poured into a tulip glass from a growler purchased at Green's off Piney Grove in Columbia, SC!!

A: Golden, clear, decent 2+ finger white head after a hard pour that leaves moderate lacing.

S: Pine groves abound! Smells like HOPSLAM and the anticipation of tasting is killing me right now.

T&M: Medium bodied with a slight thickness and resiny feel. Piney, tasty hops from the beginning to the end. Some background fruity tones of pineapple and mango. Finishes with an incredibly tasteful mild sweetness and hop oiliness that is "to die for."

This is so well balanced that I may have to reduce my rating on my Hopslam review. This Lagunitas Sucks is way more drinkable and that really Sucks because I will probably have to finish the growler tonight. This is a must try if you are a fan of IPA's!!! Way to go Lagunitas.

Serving type: growler

01-07-2012 00:01:44 | More by cdizinno
Photo of UnderPressure

South Carolina

4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden orange beer with a foamy white head.

Pungent hops, slight sweetness, and some malt in the aroma.

Sweetness and hop flavor. This beer tastes great! Lots of hop flavor and complexity. Some bitterness, but not over the top.

Medium bodied. Carbonation seems right. No complaints here.

This is one of the best Double IPAs I've had. It reminds me of an all-Simcoe homebrew I made earlier this year.

Serving type: growler

12-28-2011 23:49:41 | More by UnderPressure
Photo of haazer


3.7/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Filled my growler with this at the Craft Ale House in Limerick after some Xmas shopping.

A- Massive frothy head gangs up on a sliver of a golden, filtered looking DIPA. Slow rising bubbles in this, the head nit allowing the beer to breathe. Lacing left all over the glass from this, head lasts for quite some time.

S- Beautiful bouquet of piney hops. Definitely stinging pine needle, which I love. There is a hint of a strong caramel backbone to this. Pine sap. Maybe a hint o grapefruit.

T- A more balanced DIPA. The hop character is mostly citrus, rather than pine as the nose suggested. Caramel malt hits strong towards the backend, and a low level of bitterness.

M- Medium in body with mid level carbonation.

O- Overall this was good, a little of a let down though because of the awesome nose. I remember brown shugga being hoppier. I wouldn't say that this sucks by any means, sweet name though and awesome that they took a jab at themselves. I'll enjoy the rest of the growler.

Serving type: growler

12-18-2011 02:06:35 | More by haazer
Photo of Realbeer1542

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32 oz bottle - poured into a porter goblet.

A - Golden. White head on the pour. Mellows into a thin consistent lace. light haze and clean.

S - Grapefruit, hops, faint bread.

T - Follows the smell. Grapefruit up front. Well balanced with yeast and a mild bready maltiness. Finish is crisp and semi bitter and refreshing. Cannot detect the alcohol.

M - Medium body. very nice on the palate.

O - I don't normally seek out hoppy beer. Picked this one up on a world beer tour challenge and glad I did. Really nice and enjoyable especially based on the fact that its a complete opposite of my favor of porters and stouts. Would definitely recommend and will buy again. Looking forward to an easy finish of the 32 oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 23:55:07 | More by Realbeer1542
Photo of MIchelle


4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a very good brew. I'll admit I didn't read the label all the way since I just am a fan of the brewery when I grabbed this one. It's a tad to dry and hoppy for my taste. Beautiful citrus ale color, lots of bubbles, a nice thin typical ale head. Very refreshing taste and smell. The smell really previews the hop taste that is to come. Taste is very dry and hop flavored. Lightly sweet and citrusy though. Pretty easy drinking, if you enjoy a dry hoppy brew this is probably going to be up your alley. It's a little to hop for my likings. Very high abv, so considering that it's very drinkable. Very refreshing, would highly recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 21:20:08 | More by MIchelle
Photo of MV_CHI-NS


5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: An interesting deep amber/citrine body with an ivory/magnolia head.

Aroma: Beautiful floral and citrus notes, carried-through by a light, yet quite profound, hop nose.

Taste: Much like the aroma; a tidal wave of wild flowers/crisp citrus under a bed of hops. Trust me when I say that your first thought when drinking this will be, "that is how an IPA should taste."

Mouthfeel: While many IPAs have the propensity to leave your palate a bit dry, this one is 'wet' and therefore crisp, refreshing, and leaves you wanting more.

Overall: Hands-down, one of the best IPAs I have had in a while (a position which has, until this point, been held by Three Floyds' 'Space Station: Middle Finger' - which I know is an APA, but it is close enough to an IPA as it can get). Get it. Drink it. Enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 06:03:07 | More by MV_CHI-NS
Photo of andrewjraab


4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep copper orange with a huge stack of foamy, bubbly, pancake batter, spots of lace surround the snifter.

S - HUGE bouquet of flowers, citrus zest, grapefruit, orange rind, resinous, fruity, hop oils. Fresh smell.
T Citrus hop bomb, grapefruit, citrus zest, nicely balanced with sweet malts. Moutfeel tingles tingles and numbs the palate.

O - This is one of the best beers I've had and it has it all for what you want and expect in a DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 19:47:35 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of ExtraStout


3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appears a light light peachy apricot with a hint of ruby to it. It almost looks like an apricot sucking candy. There's a very fluffy head, about half an inch, that is covering it entirely. I'm a bit surprised that a double IPA is coming in this light in color.

Smells Wonderful. Crazy tropical fruits here: pineapple, mango, and a little tangerine. Really nice and not too overpowering.

Taste is much more subtle than its nose. Extremely clean - maybe too much? I wish that its flavors were stronger.

Its mouthfeel is very crisp and short-lived. Here and gone in a second.

A good beer but definitely not what everyone is making it out to be. This is far from a Pliny and no where near a Heady Topper in my opinion. At the same time, I'd also rather have a Brown Sugga.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 13:50:07 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of Lothore


4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a golden orange hue with a thick, creamy, 2 finger head.

s- smell is heavenly. Pine, sweet, malty, fruity goodness

t - pine up front followed by tangerine, orange and citrus which follows I n to a lingering bitterness.

m - thick with ample carbonation.

d - great beer. Excellent to sip on.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 04:44:41 | More by Lothore
Photo of beergoot


4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bright gold color with excellent, steadily rising carbonation bubbles, and a lasting, thick, sticky, white head. Powerful explosion of fruit and berry aromas; strawberry, banana, lemon, pine. Incredibly smooth and warm grain flavor; lightly toasted bread; faint powdered sugar sweetness; nice, puckering hop bitterness to balance things out. Medium body; crisp, clean, dry finish.

A finely made ale with a very pleasing sensory depth and complexity. It looks great, smells wonderful, and tastes incredibly fine. There's a gentle smoothness to the feel with an off-setting hop bite while the grain and hop flavors tango passionately around your palate. This would be a great beer to have available year-round.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 01:10:57 | More by beergoot
Photo of HookerBrews


4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: This brew pours a wonderful golden amber color. It has nice clarity with a slight amount of haziness. The head is a sand colored with decent, but not crazy, retention with some nice lacing that sticks to the glass. It's a great looking beer.

Smell: I really can't say enough about how good Sucks smells. It's probably one of the best smelling beers I have come across and I will happily sit there and sniff for a while in between sips. This brew is what I would call a fruit bomb. Powerful aromas of pear, strawberry, mango, and other tropical fruits hit your nose from a mile away and mix pleasantly with the sweet, astringent smell of hops. It's rare that you find a beer that has this strong of a smell and in no way is that a bad thing.

Taste: The flavors of this beer definitely follow the aromas. I can best describe the hops that hit you on the initial sip as succulent. Like the smell, the taste is very fruity, but not at all in a sugary sweet way. I taste a mix of honeydew melon, apple, slight strawberry, and a little bit of mango. Again, sucks is an absolute fruit bomb. On the finish the brew has a very slight alcohol kick with a nice bite of lemon, bitter hops, and a bit of a malty backbone that reminds me of pie crust.

Mouthfeel: This beer is medium bodied with a nice bit of chewiness for a double IPA. The mouthfeel is very satisfying without feeling too huge to sip down pretty quickly.

Overall: I'm still pretty new to craft beer, so I jump around a lot in terms of what I drink. Sucks, however, is one that I have been coming back to again and again. It's definitely my favorite from Lagunitas and really got me into the West coast style IPAs. Sucks is an excellent beer with an original flavor profile that entices me every time I crack one open.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 00:13:19 | More by HookerBrews
Photo of Bedrocker


4.49/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 32 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear orange body with a small head that sticks around. Medium carbonation.

S: Smells of hops, citrus, and caramel. The citrus comes through the most, with notes of passionfruit, pineapple, and grapefruit. Very sweet smelling beer.

T: Excellent. Almost perfect balance of hop bitterness, citrus, and sweet caramel malt. Finish is somewhat bitter but also bready. Leaves you wanting more. There's a little bit of pine on the back end as well.

M: Somewhat dry, but very smooth with a medium body. No alcohol detected, which is nice for a beer with a high ABV like this one.

O: Probably my favorite offering from Lagunitas. Very drinkable and has a memorable taste. Not over-the-top like some DIPAs, and incredibly balanced. I recommend this beer to any IPA/DIPA fan.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 04:02:52 | More by Bedrocker
Photo of JordonHoltzman

New York

3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jotted quick review in cellphone. Then did just a rating, but then decided to put down my subpar review anyway.

Golden body with a thick, white head, and very nice lacing.
Smells of pine and citrus. Well balanced. The taste matches but is predominately grapefruit. Mouthfeel is good, well carbonated.
Overall, a very enjoyable beer. Not quite as sessionable as I hoped, but I guess since it's up there in alcohol level, it's right where it should be in drinkability.
I haven't had the brown shugga that it's replacing, but I hope to.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 03:35:26 | More by JordonHoltzman
Photo of Redneckwine


4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

cold 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance - pale yellow/orange color, head retention is awesome, sticky lacing all over the place!

Smell - My first time having this and I just said "Wow" out loud to myself, extremely unique and complex: pungent scent of fresh tropical fruits, kind of a lemony fuel funk (like pot), peppery and spicy, sweet and bready.

Taste/Mouthfeel - The taste follows the nose almost exactly, but with some drying pine/citrus and hoppy oil on the backside, and a slight bitterness smoothed out by semi-sweet malt goodness. Mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy - soft/tingly carbonation and full body. No alcohol to be found anywhere else but a slight hint on the very end...

Overall - One of the most uniquely flavored brews I've had: a magnificent hop bill for sure. The only drawback for me regarding this brew is palate fatigue after a couple: it's a big, potent, flavor bomb that pulls no punches.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 22:42:50 | More by Redneckwine
Photo of upton7418


4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Glass.

A: very clear with a nice 1.5 finger head that dissipates to a 1/2 finger that last with a very nice lacing

S: very sweet smell that provides a resiny hop smell that I've experienced in so many other IPA's. Very nice smell with a light hop aroma just not as hoppy as i expected.

T: taste is very similar to the smell BUT instead of being sweet its dry

M: smooth and clean. no lingering taste like which is nice but unexpected for this type of beer.

O: very nice beer that surprised me for a "oh what the" beer pick up. would definitely buy this one again. it's very smooth and tasty that takes the name and say i regret putting sucks in the name

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 22:26:22 | More by upton7418
Photo of RDBJ

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a superb beer, easily my favorite Lagunitas offering. Pours a lovely golden color. Very aggressive piney hop smell. Very gentle smooth flavor, excellent hop/malt balance. Great supportive aftertaste. This is a top tier offering. I can't get Pliny or Heady Topper, so frame of reference is limited, but I love this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 21:32:46 | More by RDBJ
Photo of Boozermurfin


4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1st time drinking this and wow. Awesome.

A - looks like beer

S - pineapple, sweet mango, flowery goodness.

T - somehow manages to taste how it smells. Perfect balance of sweet and bitter. Bitterness is nice and totally manageable.

O - excellent. Had no idea what to expect. Immediately catapults two hearted and right there with Enjoy By.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 23:07:43 | More by Boozermurfin
Photo of LuvLagunitas


4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This has always been one of my favorite beers. It's definitely my go-to during the winter when I can get my hands on it.

A: When poured into a glass, it has a glowing orange to yellow color with medium carbonation. Small yet substantial head. Fine lacing on the sides of the glass as the head begins to dissipate and as I drink.

S: The smell is slightly sweet with malts. Very pleasing. Not overbearing in the least. Touch of hops in the end adding a little bitterness, but very nice. Doesn't smell like a DIPA at all. More like a pale ale.

T: A bit of hops up front, but like the smell it is not overwhelming. Still reminds me of a pale ale. The hops subside and move to the mellow malts then comes the citrus accompanied by a slight piney taste on the back end. Maybe some tropical citrus notes? No boozy-ness at all, especially for nearly 8% ABV. Very smooth.

M: Very smooth. Medium-full bodied. Leaves a slickness to the mouth, but not for long. Very small amount of carbonation. Enjoyable.

O: I love this beer for many reasons. Personally, I like IPA's and DIPA's by they can get old and overbearing, often being a little heavy. But Lagunitas Sucks is the quite the opposite. It drinks like a pale ale, making it nice and session-able. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable with the hints of citrus, leading me to think that it may have be hopped/dry-hopped with citra hops. Definitely recommend getting it if you have the chance!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 20:37:05 | More by LuvLagunitas
Photo of itsscience


4.54/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pale orange in color with a finger of white head that retains well. A big fresh peach smell is the first thing I get, with an awesome blend of orange, grapefruit, floral hops, pine needle, and sweet bread malts. Really a great smelling beer. In the mouth, it starts out like a classic IPA with grapefruit and lemon zest flavors, then it really becomes a beast of its own with sweeter fruit flavors like pineapple and peach. Toward the end I pick up a lot of mouth-coating hop oil and pine needle. It's not as bitter as it sounds though. The bitterness is muted by a strong, sweet bread malt presence from the beginning of the tongue until the end. Medium body with good carbonation. A beer everyone can, and should, enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 04:01:48 | More by itsscience
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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,272 ratings.