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

1,553 Reviews
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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.85%

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.

Added by Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,553 | Ratings: 10,034
Photo of Heatwave33
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Sam Adams Pint.

Color: Clear gold with a white head.

Smell: Piney hops, citrus (grapefruit, peach and pineapple).

Taste: Piney hops, citrus (grapefruit, peach and pineapple).

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation, medium coarse and mid dry on the palate.

Overall: The aroma was out of this world. It's very much like an IPA. The mouthfeel killed the taste for me though. Just didn't seemed very well balanced. Cheers!

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Photo of jsprain1
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light golden honey, with a one and a half finger white head that retains well and leaves lots of lacing.
S- Aroma is floral with a pretty assertive orange and pineapple aroma.
T- The hop flavor is big and bold. Citrus and a fair amount of tropical/pineapple. There is a bit of light sugary flavor. For as much hop as there is, the bitterness is fairly low.
M- Medium-light body with decent carbonation. Just a bit of alcohol warmth in the finish.
O- I really enjoyed this one. Lots of big flavors and real drawbacks.

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Photo of natemort13
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review yea!!!

Poured into a stemless wine glass(my glassware was sacrificed to the moving gods).

Beer pours a beautiful golden orange that becomes more yellowish on the edges when held up to the light. Decent head retention with some lacing that's not too sticky on the glass.

Smell is excellent. A citrusy bouquet from the dry hopping attacks the nose. I get a ton of grapefruit with some sweet'ish' citrus as well. Pine needles become apparent after I've tasted the beer. The nose might be my favorite part about this beer.

Taste follows the nose decently. I get a little bit of bitter pine that wasn't present in the nose initially. Nice balance between the bitterness of the hops and the sweetness of the malt blend. Some of the lingering bitterness in the taste gives way to a subtle sweetness from the malt blend in the finish. Some orange rind in the finish as well.

Body is a little heavier than I usually expect from such a refreshing hoppy beer.

Overall an excellent beer. I'm pretty glad lagunitas screwed up their production and had to make this instead of their usual brown shugga'. A nice departure from their other hoppy flagships. I'm certainly a fan.

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Photo of Mdog
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear gold, good head.

Smell: Big citrus aroma.

Taste: Nice hoppy flavor. Does have a solid bready base before sweet grapefruit hops and a bitter finish. Not too bitter though.

Drinkability: Hits the spot for hops cravings and great Lagunitas pricing.

Picked up a 6er to try and was pretty impressed. I like Lagunitas in that they use a lot of hops and their prices are low. This one fits the bill, it's not mind-blowing but it's a nice DIPA on the lighter side of the style and has some pretty good balance.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been passing over Lagunitas Sucks in the store figuring it was just another IPA and boy was I wrong. Glad some friends told me to try it.

The beer pours a clear light amber color with a small, creamy head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass. A slow flurry of bubbles is seen rising to the surface.

The aroma is loaded with orange and grapefruit citrus hops. A little bit of pine and tropical fruit mixed in.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is frothy on the palate with a dry finish. The flavor is hoppy and bitter. It begins with orange and grapefruit citrus, pine and tropical fruit. Some bready malt and a touch of caramel tries to balance out the hops. It finishes bitter with lingering orange citrus and bread when gone.

If you like hoppy beers go buy a six pack of Lagunitas Sucks. However, it could use a touch more sweetness to balance out the bitterness.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks has a bright orange body with hints of a more yellow color. The tan head is about a finger tall and very solid looking. The retention is good, and the lacing is very good, leaving a solid sheet on the glass.

The aroma is intensely fruity, with lots of orange and some grapefruit with it. A little bit of grass and some bitterness in the background. Not really any malt in the aroma, just a lot of really juicy hops that smell great.

The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely, which is a really good thing in this situation. Lots of fruity citrus flavors come through, with a ton of orange and some grapefruit. A little bit of resin and some grass flavors come through also, with a moderate to high amount of bitterness. The bitterness, however, isn't amazingly biting; it has just the right amount of bite to it. The juicy citrus is the strongest flavor here. The malt is definitely pale, with just a bit of bread or cracker flavor to it; it is definitely understated and thoroughly overshadowed by the hops, which I like.

The mouthfeel has a bite to it from the bitterness, with an appropriate amount of carbonation and a body that is a touch below medium.

The ~8% ABV is a non-factor. Normally I don't really like Lagunitas beers, whether they are hoppy beer or other varieties. Lagunitas sucks, however, is a great IPA that reminds me a little bit of Heady Topper. Definitely a beer worth trying if you get the chance; I hope Brown Shugga never comes back.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in Northampton at the Sierra Grill, and picked up a sixer at my local packy. I heard good things from C-Note and Nichol so I was pumped to try this. Pours a golden yellow color with a nice white head and decent lacing. Nose is nice and hoppy. Tastes like crisp fruit with lots of floral and citrus hops. This is how I like my ipas. NO MALT ALLOWED and the booze only sneaks through a tad. No sweetness at all here. A nice crisp fruit hop head dream here. Very well done. Hope they brew this again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for gifting me a sixer of this. Served in a mug.

Pours a clear golden-yellow color with a nice white head and quite a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a heavy amount of what seem to be Amarillo hops. Good citrus and a bit of a floral character. Similar flavor, but not quite as pungent and overpowering. No malt to speak of, though a bit of booze works through, doing a great job to balance out the hops. No use of sweetness for that here. Boom.

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

Had on tap at mellow mushroom Tampa. Pale gold in appearance one finger head disapates to a ring of foam, great lacing. Aroma of intense citrus hops. Taste follows the nose, grapefruit, pineapple bitter with decent malt backbone. Really tasty, a great surprise from a brewery that hasn't impressed me in the past.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear golden pour with a thin white cap. Beautifully active carbonation.

The aroma is like sticking your nose straight into a fresh grapefruit. My mouth began to water instantly.

Every taste receptor on my tongue is freaking out! The skin on the insides of my checks got a little numb. Citrus! Citrus! Citrus! This is a hop heads nirvana.

Juicy light bodied glass of beer with a wonderful crisp finish and very pleasant aftertaste. I think I have found a new favorite. I will deeply mourn the passing of this holiday ale.

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Photo of VaterRoss
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 12oz bottle poured into crystal hock.

Appearance: clear golden color, delicate white head.

Smell: sweet malt, alcohol. Perhaps this is just my weak nose but the smell was a bit disappointing.

Taste: first thing to hit is a fairly intense sweetness, next comes a refreshing blast of citrusy hops followed by some alcohol. This is where this brew shines.

Mouthfeel: medium weight, with fairly prominent alcohol.

Overall: although this brew starts of fairly modestly with a typical coloration and very sweet smell, by the time you start drinking you know you have something good. If I had to characterize this I would call it a Sweet IPA, but not syrupy sweet the way a Dogfish Head 90min can be. Strong enough where I probably would not drink more than one in a sitting. A very good beer that I hope will not go away.

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Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown shorty, no freshness date.

LOOK: Bright golden, sticky lace all over

SMELL: Massive hit of pine, mango, bready, tobacco, tangerine, alcohol

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, bitter, hop oil, leafy, orange pith, pine sap, pipe tobacco, bready, faint toasted biscuits, estery, long hop finish

Expected from Lagunitas; heavy hand of hops and semi-aggressive alcohol ... but does it have a big enough malt backbone to stand up to this? Barely which is true to the DIPA style in a way. It works because the hop flavor is pushed to the front just above the 63.21 IBUs. I would think any higher and this beer would start to lose it. Sad to not see Brown Shugga' but this makes for a good replacement.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: a slightly hazed bright rich golden hue. not much head on this body. starts with a one finger head, down to a rim pretty quick. some lacing.

S: very floral. roses and lillies. the aroma is so concentrated it makes me think of smelling fresh hop oils. citrus. grapefruits and clementines.

T: reasonable grapefruit flavor on this one. refreshing in its character. if there is a malt profile there, im not finding it, but i dont care. the hops show enough restraint to be just right. finish is full of even more grapefruit and leaves a slight bitterness that lingers.

M: moderate carbonation on a hoppy body.

D: dangerously quaffable. really doesnt drink like a beer that is almost 8%abv. the hops are very american, very fresh, and very drinkable. a tasty brew i hope they do more than just occasionally!

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Photo of WMEugene
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear, bubbly golden amber color with a one-inch head and good lacing.

S - Strong punch of hops upfront. Citrusy with a hint of bitterness. A little pine as well. Very, very nice.

T - Strong hoppy flavors - picked up grapefruit, a little lemon and some orange. Some pine notes as well. Also can taste a slightly caramelish backbone of malts. The hops run the show and make this a definite winner.

M - Medium bodied, a little fuller than a normal IPA. Great carbonation, a dry finish with some noticeable hop flavors and bitterness.

O - Wow, this was better than I was expecting. Lagunitas hit this one out of the park. It's right up there with SN Celebration as not only the cream of the crop for winter beers, but for widely distributed IPAs. It's an embarrassment of riches right now. I want some more please!

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Photo of ShanePB
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

After hearing nothing but good things about this beer, I finally found it and had to give it a shot. Bottle ordered at Craft Ale House. Poured into a footed glass.

A: Clear orange/copper body with a small white head from the server's pour. After a few sips and with an aggressive pour, a nice rocky head forms. The retention is decent, a thin film and minor lacing on the walls. West Coast looking IPA? Absolutely.

S: Citrus peels, orange and lemon oils, pink grapefruit and a slight pale malt backbone to round things out. All the aromas are wonderfully balanced and bright. This is the quintessential example of what I want my IPAs to smell like.

T: Whoa, first sip is a blast of juicy citrus fruits - mango, orange, papaya, lemon and pink grapefruit coat the palate and wrestle it with a smooth hop bitterness. After the sip, the delicate malt backbone to the beer shows up, very pale and perhaps caramel-like in flavor, but the citrus hop qualities certainly are the focus. For being produced on a fairly big scale and retaining the quality and amazing flavor, this is a stunning beer.

M: Well carbonated, medium-bodied that feels bubbly on the palate. There's a certain bit of creaminess from the assault of bubbles, and the finish is sticky but good.

If you want a citrusy, juicy Double IPA that is relatively easy to find, look no further. After reading that Lagunitas is going to release this again as the "leftovers" I will certainly be picking up a few of these. This will satisfy anyone's need for a West Coast citrus and hop bomb of an IPA - that's balanced to boot!

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Photo of fields336
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a golden, straw-colored, super carbonated, completely clear

S: tropical fruits, some pine, some floral notes, delicious

T: starts out super hoppy, with pine and huge fruit, pineapple, mangoes, etc. Tastes like a perfect IPA in my opinion. then some bready and sweet malts, then leaves a nice hoppy presence

M: light-medium bodied, very light for an IPA. I get some booze heat, but it's extremely drinkable

O: This is pretty much a perfect IPA. I love the tropical fruit and piney hops that mingle with the sweet malts

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Photo of champ103
3.18/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Liberty Station in Houston, TX

A: Pours a crystal clear orange/yellow color. A two finger white head forms with good retention. Lots of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Pine resin, almost tree sap like, up front and center. Slick and soapy hops with some light tropical fruits.
T: Soapy, oily, and resinous hops. Piny resiny hops dominate. A lingering bitterness lasts forever. No resemblance of balance at all. Plenty of alcohol is noticeable.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. An overly slick, oily, and soapy feel that I am not a fan of. Lots of alcohol noticeable, along with bitter, resiny, and soapy hops makes this a bit harsh for me to drink.

This is just to much. Though not surprising from this brewery. Is it impossible to make an IPA without the late addition bittering hops? No balance, and nothing I would recommend.

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Photo of Finatic
2.38/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a chilled Odell's IPA pint glass

A: Pours a golden amber hue with a finger white foam head. Very little lacing.

S: Very hoppy aroma and some tropical notes, especially grapefruit. Small scents of sweetness.

T: Not very balanced as the hops are prevalent but it lacks that sweet malt backbone which makes the DIPA.

M: Light to medium carbonation.

O: I don't understand the hype with this beer. It's not something I would seek out and I love IPAs/DIPAs.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color, lighter then what I was expecting. Had a slight hazy. A fairly tall white foamy cap. Good carbonation. Aroma was quite fragrant with a citrus and floral bouquet. Malts have a light sweet aroma. Taste is as one might expect hop forward, citrus and pineapples come through first with a good helping of floral after. Malts are sweet and candy coated. Honey and toast finish it out. I found this beer to be quite smooth, slick and sticky and very drinkable. A desent worthy brew from the folks at Lagunitas.

P.S. could give SN Celebration a run for the money.

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Photo of n2185
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear honey color with two fingers of white head that fades into a white ring with a little lacing.

S: Wonderful tropical citrus bouquet. Loads of pineapple, orange, and grapefruit aromas assault the nose. Not terribly complex, but it smells amazing.

T: Grapefruit, orange rind, and pine dominate the flavor. There are hints of sweeter citrus in there, but it is more earthy than citrusy. There is a light bitterness, but it doesn't linger around. There is also a slight metallic taste on the finish.

M: Medium body with mid-low carbonation, this beer is slightly watery and could benefit from more carbonation.

O: Definitely one of the better single IPAs out there, with probably the best aroma. While the flavor doesn't quite live up to the aroma, it is still good. It's also a great bargain at $10/sixer.

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Photo of bfields4
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice pale golden body. Good frothy white well retained and lacy head.

Aroma has blast of pine, citrus that familiar Lagunitas touch. Hint of sweet lingering bready honeyish malt.

Grapefruit pineapple and hop resiny goodness hit the tongue. That lingering malt sweetness (honey bready note) is there to curb the flavors just enough and provide a bit of balance.

A very very good beer. Nice sipper strangely almost chewy great lagunitas flavor. All of their hoppy beers just seem to hit this certain distinctive note that is def lagunitas but with their own subtle nuances, and I like it... a lot.. Can't wait for these bad guys to get rollin out back here in CO again.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sucks finally arrived in cuse! With all the hype I am hoping this will be the real deal

A- sucks pours an amazing golden orange with a great head of foam. As it slowly recedes there is sticky lacing all over the sides of the glass. The brew literally glows in the glass

S- I have never smelled a brew like this unless it's named Pliny or flower power! Massive piney and citric notes are jolted with a burst of an injection of pineapples and mangos. This is as flavorful as it gets! The flavors are completely heightened and very impressive

T- massive sweet grapefruit and the same citric and piney flavors are all over. The flavors are bundled whereby they stain the entire mouth. A great bitter exit makes this one of the best taste profiles I can recall for some time

M- prickly flavors stick to the mouth with the right carbonation. It's spot on with the feel you would want and expect

O- what a brew! Lagunitas has always been a great brewery but this is the icing on the cake. This is a spot on west coast hop fest. This brew is just amazing. A true hopfest

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Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful burnt orange with a steady stream of slow rising carbonation. One finger of off-white head has good retention but only small spots of lacing.

S - Big citrus and sweet pineapple aromas with a touch of pine. Also quite floral. Decent malt presence.

T - Similar to smell, there is a big citrus and sweet pineapple taste, though not that much bitterness. Also some other fruits, like mango, a some a pretty big malt presence, mostly caramel.

M - Medium mouthfeel that is quite creamy. Finishes dry with some slight bitterness.

O - A very enjoyable IPA, though some more bitterness would be welcome. Mouthfeel is very nice.

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Photo of sholland119
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a clear pale golden honey color, a thin pool of white head with great retention.

S-Mmmm, piney. Sticky evergreen notes, maybe some pineapple. Delicious.

T-Piney here as well , great pine bitterness and citrus rind, with some nice biscuit malt.

M-Light to medium bodied, great lingering bitterness.

O-Pretty damn good. Great balance of hops, good malt, nice flavor and aroma. More, please.


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Photo of haazer
3.74/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,553 ratings.