Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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.

1,485 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,485
Hads: 9,548
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 572
Gots: 2,106 | FT: 30
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,485 | Hads: 9,548
Photo of BryanReed
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA here. Nice golden Amber pour, very clear. Smells a little piney, with huge tropical fruit and citrus. Has that lagunitas resinous tingle on the nose.

Taste is GREAT! I was expecting lagunitas ipa on steroids, as this is my first SUCKS. Boy, this bad mofo is smooth. You get the nice resinous pine up front, then its followed by a citrusy, juicy, wave of fruity-ish-ness. Probably all the different malts and cereals that give it a nice smooth sweetness to really mellow the pine out. Still has the lagunitas hop tingle I love, but much juicier than I expected.

Overall, I'm a huge fan. This brewski is awesome. Plus, $7 for a 32oz bottle!? Thank you, lagunitas, THANK YOU!

 685 characters

Photo of classixIII
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark gold to orange, minimal foam but great carbonation. Wonderful piney, citrus aroma. A little more hoppy bitter than I normally like but I find myself curiously liking this alot. Must be the "complexishness"! I'll buy more.

 232 characters

Photo of macpapi
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pretty clear, golden color with a full and cloying, frothy head. Good retention here.

Smell has lots of piney hop notes to go along with a pretty notable citrus presence. There is grapefruit, orange, maybe a touch of mango to go along with the resinous floral aroma. Also a bit of noted maltiness on the nose.

Taste is high on bitterness with both fruit sweetness and floral essences along for the ride. There is also just the right malt backbone to this one. Yes, it suits hop-head standards, but it also has just the right body.

Pretty full flavored, moderately carbonated and stinging--hop and alcohol conjoined for the latter, perhaps--on the palate.

This is a damn nice D.I.P.A. Extremely flavorful with just the right mixes--hop and malt; floral and fruitiness. Such a good beer at such a reasonable price (~$7.00 for the 32-oz bottle); this has to be a go-to version of the style. Nice job here.

 925 characters

Photo of leantom
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Four years and still going strong. Here goes:

A: Good. The bear pours a light yellow-orange. The head is moderate, but the beer leaves good lacing. Very little carbonation, though.

S: Lots of tropical fruits in this one. Pineapple, oranges, citrus, and mango. A little bit of cat pee, though.

T: Follows the hoppy nose, except with a healthy helping of sweet caramel malt to alleviate the bitterness. Good mixture of hops and malt.

F: Great mouthfeel despite the limited carbonation. Thick and juicy.

O: A great beer. Maybe a little overrated, but still good nonetheless.

 590 characters

Photo of OldManMetal
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one looks nice: a slightly hazy deep golden beer with a thick, pebbly off-white head that lasts and lasts, leaving behind lots of beautifully complex lacing. The nose is a harmonious blend of very strong pine, grapefruit and resin notes and a significant floral character. Upfront, the palate is malty with strong citrus notes, more subdued pine and hints of florals; this all gets washed over and blended with a significant hoppy bitterness on the back end. The finish is very crisp, with nothing but a long-lingering piney bitterness left behind. Goodly carbonation allows the medium body to develop a fairly creamy consistency that joins with the crisp finish to produce a beer that is maybe more drinkable than it should be for the ABV.

 745 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass . Roughly two months old.

LOOK: A clear burnt gold with a finger of bright white head.

SMELL: White grapefruit juice, flowers such as daisy and clover, and ripe peach and pineapples.

TASTE: White grapefruit juice, lemon peel, candied peaches, pineapple, and mango. Sweet, juicy, and delicious. Malt presence is a very light biscuitiness, barely noticeable. Finishes with only a light bitterness. Alcohol is not even slightly detectable for being an 8% abv brew.

FEEL: Medium, but approaching light. Shockingly easy to drink for 8%. Carbonation is moderate.

OVERALL: An excellent double IPA. I wish mine was a little fresher, but this one is definitely worth buying, and often.

 734 characters

Photo of Savan
2.89/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Got a single of this brew today, and because i work at this store I am pretty sure it was fresh as can be in this town. I have loved the lagunitas I have had in the past, thus I have high standards for what I EXPECTED. It didn't SUCK, but it is ( I feel ) not to caliber with their other FINE brews :/

 301 characters

Photo of flyingpig
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Half pint on-tap at Euston Tap, London:
Another excellent Lagunitas beer, not as hoppy as I'd expected with sweet malts taking the front seat but some did feature & the balance was a good one. The beer proved to be quite an easy one to drink as well, despite the strength. One well worth seeking out if you can find it.

 319 characters

Photo of EMV
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep semi transparent golden amber color. Thick creamy white head leaves generous lacing.

S: Big time malts and hops. Floral and biscuity with some evergreen and pine.

T/F: Lots of flavor in this one. Great Lagunitas style hop profile with a mix between floral and evergreen notes. Very strong and rich malt backbone. Biscuits and brown sugar. Strong ABV gives some warmth at the finish. Solid carbonation and goes down smooth.

O: Another big flavor Imperial IPA from Lagunitas. Not significantly better or worse than their other brews and this isn't a bad thing. You can always tell a Lagunitas beer and they always put out a good product. This is no exception. Would absolutely drink this again.

 766 characters

Photo of maedhros09
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold with big fluffy rocky off-white head. Leaves decent film. Pretty sweet and malty but also pretty fresh and deliciously hoppy without tons of bitterness. A definite repeat!

 176 characters

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 32oz. bottle.

A: Pours a light gold with two-fingers of white head. Excellent retention as the bubbles build a thin layer of foam that consistently rests atop the brew. Lacing is solid.

S: Citrus, orange, grapefruit, tropical fruits, floral hops, oats, rye, pepper, and biscuit.

T: Orange, grapefruit, lime, mango, earthy and floral hops, rye, and caramel malts. Nice clean bitter finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth with clean crisp bitter finish.

O: Contrary to the name Lagunitas and their brews are actually quite good. This is a very good very drinkable DIPA. I could drink this all day long. I highly recommend this brew to DIPA lovers everywhere.

 689 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

June 18, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

A – Medium amber with some definite golden hues. Very clear. Slightly off-white foam with some larger bubbles, mostly low retention but a small amount of suds sticks around for a while.

S – Grapefruit and citrus, lemon-lime with a squeeze of orange. Some light, spicy papaya notes. Malt is subdued, bready-crackery.

T – Very strong orange/tangerine, with moderate lemon-lime. Low, low grapefruit and tropical fruit, just giving it a bit of a spicy bite. Malt is bready, slightly graham cracker sweet. Bitterness is very high, but so are the hops/malt, so very well balanced.

M – Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly sudsy. Sweet and juicy up front then a dry, bitter finish.

O – Man, I love this IPA. The right blend of sweet and bitter, with tons of hop aroma and flavor. Bold without obliterating the senses.

 892 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into IPA glass. Lovely honey color with thick, white head and generous lacing. Citrus, piny smell with some sweetness. Not as strong as many other IPA's. I now understand why so many BA's enjoy this beer: It has the taste attributes of a good IPA but also a bready sweetness with less of a hoppy, bitter aftertaste and only 63 IBU. Nicely carbonated with a pleasant, refreshing mouth feel. At 8% you can't really call this a session IPA but for a malty guy like me this is a very fine beer and one which I'll drink again.

 535 characters

Photo of bkkt
3.91/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not what I expected. Thought the beer should've been a bit hoppier. Overall a very well balanced beer. Clean, easy to drink, and an excellent double IPA.

 153 characters

Photo of frozyn
3.66/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

It was a three and a half week old bottle, so it may have lost something along the way. It was flat, head disappeared in seconds, the aroma and flavor were both very weak. I'll be back to reassess when I can get my hands on a fresher bottle.

 241 characters

Photo of kculrich
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle side-pour into a cool nonic - minimal head (my bad) fades quickly. S: clean and sharp, dank hops and orange sugar cookie. T: just like it smells but, instead of the sweet note I was expecting, dry, almost peppery, pleasantly bitter. F: This is where the malt shows up - nice thick body, and I love the understated carbonation. O: Nice, nice job, Lagunitas!

 370 characters

Photo of BranfordBound
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Picked this up on a whim due to a recommendation from my beer guy at the packy. Nice amber color, great head retention. Super potent hop aroma, pine, citrus. Whammo! Hop assault on the tongue. Wonderful taste of west coast style IPA hops. Grapefruit rind, some earthiness, pine, and a decent malt backbone that never tries to take the show. Drinkable, medium bodied, and thoroughly enjoyable. By far my favorite Lagunitas beer yet.

 431 characters

Photo of Beric
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Bottle, from the bottle
Served: 12 June 2015

Appearance: Had this one at a work event, so I wasn't able to get it in a glass. Artwork, like the overwhelming majority of Lagunitas products, sucks.

Smell: Huge citrus hop notes on the nose, along with an underlying sweetness.

Taste: Wait, this is a DIPA? This is probably, along with Torpedo, the most drinkable DIPA I've ever had. Nice hop flavors on the front of the palate- grapefruit, lemon zest, and mandarin orange especially, and then a nice bitterness on the back end that begs you for another sip. No detectable alcohol flavor and minimal malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: One of the most drinkable DIPAs I've ever had. A great beer, and a dangerous one at 7.85%! Highly recommended.

 792 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) brew by Lagunitas Brewing Company, with an ABV of 7.85% This brew pours out a golden amber color with a nice white head. I like the color of this brew, it is a filtered brew, you can see though it. The smell of Lagunitas Sucks is rich with hops , grain and malts. You also pick up on a some citrus in the smell of this brew. Now for the taste, it is bitter, but smooth. You pick up on hops at first , but then it is smooth with grains. There is a nice sweetness of citrus at the end of this brew. Lagunitas Brewing Company , did a nice job with one, this brew has a nice balance to it. There is nothing overpowering about this IPA. The mouthfeel is full bodied with hops, grains, but a nice smooth aftertaste. You really can't pick up the 7.85% ABV in the brew. Overall I'm giving Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) a 4.75 out 5. I would buy this brew again. Thank You Lagunitas Brewing Company

 960 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.99/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

4.25 A: Clear light orange color. Two fingers of creamy off-white head. Retention is good and lots of lacing is left.

4.0 S: The grains mesh to make something quite pleasant - earthy spiciness from the rye, grainy barley, oaty oats, and mild neutral wheat. Seems like there's a lot of rye comparatively, you could comfortably call this a rye brew. Big orange citrusy hops, floral, and spice. Big and powerful. Pretty good.

4.0 T: Tastes like it smells. Tons of earthy spiciness, spicy hops, caramel malts. Again lots of floral and orangy hops. Mild-moderate bitterness. Again, big rye component, which I really enjoy.

3.75 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly creamy and super smooth.

4.0 D: Really nice beer. I can see why so many enjoy it.

 815 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Usual blah bottle art (actually made worse by some deviation- an ugly red splotch), but the beer itself is great. Mostly clear orange-gold body, only whispers of fine cabronation, off-white head, plenty of nets of lace.

S: Orange, pretty assertive. A melange of tropical fruit, but diminished from the orange.
Pretty dank hops, palatable bitter. Pepper? Great fruity character that isn't perverted by the high ABV.

T: Orange, peach, mango, mild pine in finish. So juicy and fruity it almost comes off as sweet.

M: Not flat, but hardly any hints of carbonation. Juicy and wonderful.

O: Really tasty brew. I love the tropical fruit flavors coming out of the hops rather than pine, and they did it right by having virtually zero malt body to interfere/"balance" it. Now if they could just let the diversity show in the nose more, and hire a damn graphic designer...

 869 characters

Photo of Mehinaman
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I never had the beer this is a substitute for, but if it is better than this I really hope to try it one day! Great beer. I am further editing my review to say that this has become one of my absolute favorites in a long time. the beer definitely has just a little bit of sweetness, but nothing overpowering at all. It's just enough to make this unique. At the same time I bought this beer I managed to obtain a bunch of Pliny the Elders. Though I love Pliny as well Lagunitas kind of spoiled the Pliny experience for me as I found it was the Lagunitas Sucks I kept reaching for. And I can find it easily in my local beer shop which is an added plus.

 649 characters

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth.

Lightly cloudy golden copper.

Grapefruit and lemons. Simple syrup, pepper.

Sticky sweet, thick. Toasted bread.

 165 characters

Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) - Lagunitas Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this beer's head is two fingers thick with sold lacing, and a clear medium golden body.

Smells like the "cereal medley" mentioned on the packaging, along with a hearty amount of west coast hops in there as well. Very inviting aroma in my opinion.

I taste a very nice reprseentation of each grain discussed. Also, a nice touch of citrus-like hops. This is pulled off just right.

The mouthfeel of "Sucks" is surprisingly clean and crisp.

Overall, I'll give Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) - Lagunitas Brewing Company a 4.5

 669 characters

Photo of TomFdds
4.79/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. Only complaint was that it gets a little sweet if you have more than two. Definitely prefer the 12 oz to the bucket. Smells great and tastes even better.

 171 characters

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,485 ratings.