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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.

6,324 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6324
Reviews: 1235
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,324 | Reviews: 1,235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LloydBobBoozehound


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

I hope this brew doesnt go '"undercover"!! I really enjoyed it this winter, as did my family and friends i introduced it to! Im gonna keep writing because beer advocate insists that i have 250 words. Anyways I really hope you guys keep this beer around as a seasonal pickup cuz, picking up a 32 oz beer from the store and telling your wife "babe I only had one!!" , is great. but i have to say its a very hoppy, smooth, and comforting beer for the winter time to share with family and friends.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 01:13:18 | More by LloydBobBoozehound
Photo of Tsar_Riga


4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours up golden, with a substantial head and lacing.

S - Fruit is king, with strong tropical elements. Not much citrus, but a bit of pine around the edges.

T - Following the smell, the main hit is mango, pineapple, peach. Traces of citrus are limited, and mostly of pith rather than the fruit itself. The pine aspect, present in the smell, is largely absent in the taste, but the bitter line comes up as this closes. There are definite malt notes, with sweetness that runs throughout to complement the fruit of the hops.

M - Crisp, clean, with a bit of drying, but so easy to drink. I'd say this would be great for summer, but this beer would mess you up if you session it.

O - This is a well-balanced beer that manages all aspects and delivers an exciting, delicious, fun brew with lots of character while staying quite approachable. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2014 02:39:14 | More by Tsar_Riga
Photo of shadetree67


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

A. Orange amber in color. Two fingers of head that dissipates into a spotty layer of foam. Nice lacing.

S. Tons of citrus. Orange and Tangerine. A total hop bomb. Smells fantastic.

T. Lots of orange and bready malt. A hint of tangerine and bitterness on the finish.

M. Medium carbonation and body. Sticky bitter finish.

O. This is an excellent DIPA. I love all of the citrus on the nose and taste. Lots of hops but not overly bitter. Will definitely seek this out again.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 00:48:04 | More by shadetree67
Photo of mwilbur


4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap into tulip.
A: Pours a mostly clear, but slightly hazed lemon hue with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch bubbly white head. Good retention. Decent lacing.
S: Aromatic citrus notes abound. Grapefruit seems most apparent, followed by orange and lemon. Hint of pine. Hoppy bitterness on the nose too. Not complex, but quite nice.
T: Follows aroma very well. Loads of sweet and only mildly bitter citrus hop notes (grapefruit, orange, lemon). Again, not complex, but what it offers it does well.
M: Light-medium body. Sweet and only mildly bitter (expected more considering the huge hop presence in the aroma and taste). In my book, this only helps make an IPA more drinkable when it doesn't go overboard on the bitterness (or at least balances it well).
D: The definition of drinkability. The ABV is right in the sweet spot for me...just enough to give the brew a kick, but not too much to knock you down. Wow...what a pleasant surprise. I didn't peak at any reviews before trying this beer...and I would agree that it is an excellent example of style. Seek it out!

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2014 18:03:16 | More by mwilbur
Photo of BWED


4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Spiegelau

A- Light gold. Dash of haze. Thick white head holds really well. Thick rings of lacing.

S- Juicy citrus. Dull citrus rind. Sweetness, maybe some brown sugar? Hint of pine in there as well.

T- Subtle toasted malt. Brown sugar. All chased by that dry citrus peel. Very well balanced.

M- Medium body. Very clean drink. Finish is just barely bitter.

O- This beer has a lot of subtle attributes that blend together really well for a well balanced beer. Not one component stands out alone, however, every component helps out to make the entirety of the beer stand out.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 01:51:22 | More by BWED
Photo of gangstafaceclay


4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is gold amber with a thick white head.

Smell is floral, orange, citrusy

Taste is hoppy malts, some creaminess, floral, pine, grapefruit, orange and other great fruit and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium and pretty well carbonated.

Overall I enjoy this beer. Pretty well balanced, definitely up there on my IPA list.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 22:49:49 | More by gangstafaceclay
Photo of Ozzylizard


4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma more citrusy than piney, but both present. Could snort this.
Head large (6 cm), white, frothy, slowly diminishing
Lacing OK, broken rings of large bubbles with vertical chains linking the next swallow
Body light yellow with slight chill haze
Flavor mildly hoppy but quickly diminishing. leaving a hit of grapefruit bitterness behind; no malt balance, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, carbonation watery

A decent IPA, but, IMHO, not the gift from the gods as it is often rated. Glad I bought a sixer, not upset I didn’t get a case.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 13:52:50 | More by Ozzylizard


4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12-oz bottle into a polak-style beer glass.
A: Thick, rocky head with lacing prevalent as I drink this sweet nectar! Color is orangish gold.
S: Intensely fresh grapefruit and citrus.
T: Grapefruit, citrus, mild malty sweetness, with bitter hop resin finish.
M: Light-bodied; Smooth and easy drinking.
O: Very impressive offering from Lagunitas! As is common in most other DIPAs/Imperial IPAs; I do not detect alcohol and I'm happy that the typical, potent malt backbone is not present. Surprised at how light in color and body this beer is for the beer that it is! Lagunitas Sucks!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 01:02:46 | More by JOHNKNEEGEEZ
Photo of fitrock2112


4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured Sucks into a Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours a clear golden with a finger and a half of white head.

S - Nice, the aroma is of pine, fresh grapefruit. It has some dank hop resin in there as well.

T - First taste getting some grapefruit, tropical citrus with pine. Mid palate the smoothness of the malt comes through to balance things out nicely. On the aftertaste getting more hops, pine, and grapefruit.

M - Smooth medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

O - A really good IPA. Delicious brew! Recommended! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 23:07:17 | More by fitrock2112
Photo of MarkAvery


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

Im a big fan of most Lagunitas stuff. This is definitely my favorite. Picked up a six pack on Friday and it was gone by sunday night. Beautiful color on this beer. Great Hoppy taste. In one word I would describe it as "clean". I know that sounds kind of weird, but it was a very clean Hoppy IPA taste to me. Almost a perfected taste if you will. I will be picking up more of this and keeping it for the summer. I can just picture myself drinking a lot of these Ice Cold on my back deck in the blazing sun. Thank you Lagunitas!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 20:25:50 | More by MarkAvery
Photo of hellobeerz


4.94/5  rDev +13%
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 Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.89/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

The color is a clear orange/gold with a finger or so of foamy white head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is hops with a backup of sweet malt aroma that sits towards the back but can not be ignored. There is a candy-like aroma there that has a touch of grape Fundip.

The taste is less hoppy then expected, the malt is there first with some sweetness to start things off before going quickly into some flavorful fruity hop bitterness. This beer may have some age on it so it's a little drawn back from what I remember from having a fresh one in the past. This still holds up and in some ways is more flavorful with the bitterness in the back seat and more of fruit flavor is detectable without being over shadowed.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and is a better drinker then anticipated. It's smooth going down and does not give as much punch to the pallet.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 02:36:40 | More by Duhast500
Photo of mevett89


4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: straw gold with nice bubbles, and a beautiful white head that dies down to a thin foam with good lacing.

Aroma: predominately piney hops with a bit of citrus, and sweet malt.

Taste: bitterness (pine and some citrus) from the hops is balanced nicely by sweet malt and a bit of bread.

Mouthfeel: good carbonation and medium body.

Overall: some beers, I have found, get over-hyped. But this is not one of them - It's just as delicious as I've heard! Great hop aroma and taste, but very well balanced with a tasty malty backbone. Lagunitas, you may claim you suck, but this beer certainly doesn't.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 21:50:46 | More by mevett89
Photo of SportsandJorts


4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: a very light yellowish orange. slightly pale color. just a slight haze to it but almost clear. a finger of a white head that leaves behind a complete lacing

Smell: very tropical and citrusy hops. grapefruit, maybe some mango or papaya. the hops definitely over power the malts. some pale to more toasty malts but very subtle. as it warms some alcohol comes through

Taste: opens up with hops, grapefruit and resin and mango and papaya. lots of different hop flavors alternate through here. malts stay in the back here and mostly come out pale. low to no alcohol making an appearance

Mouthfeel: fairly lighter for the gravity. bitter but not overpowering. finds a nice balance of hop bitterness that is resiny but not killer. just a touch of warmth

Overall: this beer finds just the right balance of in your face hops without going overboard. good strong hop character but still more taste that straight bitterness. very drinkable and thats probably the best to do since as it warms slightly some alcohol starts to creep in and take away from the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 02:07:20 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of timmy2b

New York

4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a pint glass for this review.

Pours a yellow/dark orange color with an off white head that was about a finger deep. As I drink the head lingers a little bit and clings to the edges of the glass.

Smell of heavy of citrus, Grapefruit and many others.

Taste is light but is a wonderful balance of citrus, hops and bitterness.

Light in the mouth with a very mild bitter aftertaste.

I look forward to this beer every year and it does not disappoint!

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 01:28:16 | More by timmy2b
Photo of ZagZagg


4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle christening the new tulip

A: Rich crisp golden hue that’s clean and clear with plenty of visible carbonation. Two finger effervescent head that sports some nice retention and lacing. Looks like it’s going to be a crisp drinkin beer.

S: Sharp and resinous up front toting a dry smell that seems just slightly citrus. The nose finishes with an earthy sweetness that’s piney and a bit of cedar, a bit sappy. Light swirling provokes a sweeter more tropical aroma dominated by a sugary mango (reminds me of mango water ice). Loving this nose.

T: Wood flavor forward that recapitulates the nose strongly. The middle mouth develops into an amicable fruity sweetness that begins to play off of the supportive, yet elusive malt backbone. Balanced. The pine resin is the brunt of the profile with the notes of earth, mango, bit of lemon-lemongrass.

M: Dry but crisp and fresh with a bold medium body. Somewhat dry, but sweet aftertaste sticks around for a while and fades to a mild hoppiness. Pleasant. overall.

O: While the beer brings a lot of fresh flavors and is refreshingly crisp, I know it’s not as fresh as it could be. With that being said, I’m taking everything with a grain of salt. This beer is great, excellent DIPA with a lot of character, I intend on fetching fresher brew next time around. I could sling a few of these without a problem.

Shit, you know you wanna try this.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 02:48:22 | More by ZagZagg
Photo of Jnashed


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

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: yellow, clear, big head with an aggressive head that lingered. Good lacing.

N: Wow! Impressive nose. Fruity, obvious hops. But really strong fruit including citrus. One of the best smelling beers going.

T: fruity hoppy goodness. Biting finish. Very flavorful though even though hops predominate as one might imagine. Actualy smooth despite the aggressive hop forward initial taste. Malt background is there just late in the taste.

M: good overall. Chewy and well carbonated.

Overall. Wonderful IPA! For the price top ten for sure. Amazing nose that is back upped when tasted. You can crack one and feel the entire area smells of this beer before you even pour it.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 02:23:19 | More by Jnashed
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Stopped into Whetstone Station today with Alewife for lunch.... Had 3x of these, in 12oz goblets, at $4.50 each....

Ah, no, it doesn't suck.... Color was a clear, medium-golden. Carbo was sparse, as was the foam up top. Head was white and thin, mostly just a rim-job, though the lacing was nice. Aroma was solid, with plenty of rindy hops and tangerine-like fruitiness. Body was medium+, and it was quite smooth, all in all.

Flavor led with a little sweetness, like apricot jam. It was also a bit pithy, rindy and piney, with some pineapple and tangerine thrown in for good measure. Had a healthy amount of bitterness, which lasted well. Solid, not sucky! Prosit!!

4.19/5 rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2014 22:50:58 | More by Bierman9
Photo of woodychandler


4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a "Limited Release" that I recently picked up at Monde Market in Philly and I'll bet that it sucks.

From the bottle: "Say 'lah-goo-KNEE-tuss'"; "E. K. Ross would have enjoyed our suffering in 2010 when we saw we couldn't brew our Brown Shugga. But in that time of deepest despair, as is common to artists everywhere ... broke, hungover, abandoned by the muse and prepared to take a job at Arby's, we found in that darkness the spark of inspiration that would yield up this nearly sanctified recipe!"; "Doggone good. We Suck."; "Beer speaks, People mumble."

A heavy-handed pour caused a pseudo-cascade that resulted in a finger of rocky, tawny head with decent retention. Color was a deep-gold (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity and since Croesus, Midas and Mammon were already here, they decided to hang around a bit longer. The nose was nothing less than resinous and it seemed to be leaking pine tar. Mouthfeel was medium and the hops went right to work, coating my tongue with sticky pine goodness. This doesn't suck at all! They lied to me. My hops fix was finally starting to take 'hold, but I wonder what my upper limit is. The label marks it as 63.21 IBUs and I could sense every one of them. My eyes actually began to water a little bit. Finish was dry, but not to the point that I needed oxygen afterwards. It remained very piney and minty and it really did not suck.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 09:50:35 | More by woodychandler
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 stephens101


4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vociferous piney hops fill the room and won't keep quiet. The sticky, off-white head is large and in charge. Color is reddish-orange with brassy hues.

Getting more aroma of orange candy, caramel and nutmeg after deeper inspection.

Piney, earthy, sugary and spicey to the tongue. Some notes of yeast are noticed later.

Fluid all the way with an unexpected creaminess. Alcohol is extant but doesn't burn. Has a rarely found, finely tuned balance for a DIPA.

Sucks is an amiable beer that knows when to raise its voice and when to quiet down.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 00:46:50 | More by stephens101
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 Copernicus


3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a quart bottle into a Sam Adams custom.

A: The color surprises. It pours at a medium pale with a soft amber kiss. It's fairly clear and boasts a foamy, rocky head with thick lacing and great retention.

S: Oh boy. There's a confusing intermingling of hops and complex malt character. Tons of clean grains and toasty rye. The hop aroma is strongly on the citrus side with lots of grapefruit. There are surprisingly some nice fruity eters from the yeast. I get lots of peach, including the fuzzy quality of it's bitter earthy rind.

T: A bit disappointing considering the nose, but still good. The hop profile frames a thin and delicate malt of toasted grain and biscuit.

M: It drinks well with a medium body and a somewhat foamy texture. There is no bite or feel of the impressive alcohol level.

O: Good, not great. It's unique and incredibly drinkable, but doesn't have a whole lot of personality.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 20:11:09 | More by Copernicus
Photo of Ryanm1


3.3/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden color, translucent in the glass. After sitting for a bit there is still a millimeter of head at the top of the halfway drank tuple glass. Completely white top with a small amount active carbonation rising to the top. Grapefuit smell. Devoid of the pine smell that accompanies some hoppy beers. Really bitter pale ale from the initial taste, finishes with a long after taste on the tounge where pineyness appears. Devoid of sweetness. Flavor lingers for too long IMO. I am not a huge fan of this. Can slightly tell the abv is above 5 at 7.85 while the IBU is 63. I'm really not a fan of the taste or shall I say after taste on this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 19:04:11 | More by Ryanm1
Photo of PSU_Mike


4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A - A crystal clear amber with a big soapy white head. A solid 2 fingers with medium carbonation. Very pretty.

S - Kind of funky with a lot going on. Dank is the main smell. There is also hints of grapefruit and pine with just a touch of malty sweetness in the background.

T - Similar to the nose with a touch less dankness and a touch more citrus.

M - Medium carbonation but a little thin. It coats the tongue well with pretty minimal bitterness. Alcohol is present but very subtle.

O - Very enjoyable and I'm happy I grabbed a whole case when I had the chance.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 03:03:04 | More by PSU_Mike
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,324 ratings.