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

9,208 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,208
Reviews: 1,517
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 554
Gots: 1,818 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,208 | Reviews: 1,517
Photo of midnitesun11
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer many times and every time it just gets better! Awesome beer that's now readily available in my area too.

Pours a brilliant golden color with a frothy, white one finger head. Tiny carbonation bubbles rise up from the bottom of my glass.

The aroma is of hops and citrus. Definitely getting a sweet smell also maybe caramel.

Taste of hops and an orange citrus. Has a bit of a spiciness but a really good sweet brown sugar caramel taste!

Mouthfeel is thin but coats your mouth with the nice hoppy sweetness of this beer! Not too much of a lingering bitterness either.

Overall this beer is great, really drinkable and cost friendly! This is one of my "go to" beers for sure. Lagunitas definitely doesn't Suck!

Photo of lstokes
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear gold with 2-finger head, impressive lacing, pretty carbonation. The smell has a very aromatic quality to it, lots of pine but also a kind of floral quality. It tastes awesome--dominated by pine, but with a solid malt backbone and a real brightness from grapefruit, mango, citrus. Finishes somewhat bitter but clean. It also has a very light mouthfeel for something of this hoppiness which I'm really digging. Keep it around--I'm sad that it's going to go away!

Photo of ajramirez1
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting double ipa. Brown sugar sub is a good choice and pleasing.
Lagunitas keeps doing work, pick up this 6pk. Good color, the smell really stands out.
Havent seen this beer on tap yet and looking forward to trying it.

Have to add text to get this rating to 250 characters so this gibberish is just to meet that quote. So if u r reading this...f your couch.
A-

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.92/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - poured a clear golden color,slight orange hue. 2 finger light head with some large bubbles. Head lasted for a few mins, then died to a nice frothy cap. Sticky lacing lasts throughout.

S - ridiculous amount of hops in the nose, almost smells like I would imagine the color green smells. Smells like sticking my nose in a bag of hop pellets before throwing them in the kettle. Piney, citrus, resinous, bright, and floral mmmm. That's it. Sweetness too, but not really much malt, no yeast or alcohol bouquet. So delicous smelling, and very intense hopppiness, straight up 5 on this aspect.

T - Great taste, very bright, citrusy, piney flavoring hops dominate, slight cereal malt backbone to keep it all in check, finishes with only an ever so slight bitterness that actually grows in intensity after it lingers for a few. Very clean taste, not getting any yeast profile or even any alcohol, just amazing hop character with a good balance of sweet malt.

M - medium body, there's a lot of carbonation but at the same time it is very smooth. Finishes very crisp. Very quenching and enjoyable.

O - overal to be blunt, hands down better than Maximus and should replace it in their year round lineup. I don't care if it's been brewed since 96, this is a better DIPA and I want more. top of my list of DIPAs so far.

Photo of McNealc31
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bit lighter and crisper than expected. The frothy white head doesn't stick around for long. Hops completely dominate the aroma. Yeah, a double IPA for sure. Hop oils assault the palate. Grapefruit and pine, mostly. Hint of heat from the 7.8% ABV. Rye comes through a bit in the finish. But this is all about the hops. Surprisingly, it's only 65 IBUs. Thought this would push closer to 100.

Hop heads, get it!

Photo of Bones10
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my first bottle, thanks to Mike Z. At work!

It's fantastic! Go get some if you can. I'm smiling because I know I have five more and the store where I made the purchase has more for tomorrow. Seriously though, this is something any IPA drinker should have. It is just plain great. Now get off your couch and get some!

I just had to add that the second is as good as the first. YeeHaw.

Photo of benclimbs
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall a great beer - pours cloudy but with a nice bright color.

Smell is extremely driven by spice but very hoppy - makes me wonder what hop profile they use for this...complex and delicious, very unique for a big west coast IPA but one of those i want to keep going back and analyzing.

Taste is really really nice, balanced, hoppy and bitter with some fruit, pleasant...a bit of spice at the end.

Overall this is one of Lagunitas best, probably my favorite of theirs along with hop stoopid...great stuff for $11-12 per 6/pk

Photo of jmaharaj
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks decently appetizing. Light orange threatening to turn yellow with a small head that shrinks to an island in the middle of the glass. Smell is wonderful, clean, crisp hop notes of papaya,mango and grapefruit. The taste is a little disappointing, the malts struggle to keep up and the beer falls quickly off the tongue into an almost unpleasant bitter chalkiness. there is a rye sharpness that only seems to accentuate the unpleasant finish.
Wish this was a little more balanced.

Photo of julianjarvis
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Words can't describe what I think of this beer. It is one of the best beers I have ever drunk - period. The hops flavour is amazing with a really floral interesting tint and the way it leaves your pallet clean afterwards is superb. No lingering bitterness. I also find it far lighter than a lot of DIPAs and certainly light for the ABV. Better than any east coast IPA i've tried. I can't stop drinking it. Very very good. I would recommend anyone reading this to go and buy some immediately. The other great thing about it is the price. Cheaper than nearly all the other double IPAs around. Fantastic beer. I think I've said enough!

Photo of weonfire
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque, golden/brown, 2 solid inches of creamy white head

S - Awesome. Sweet brown Shugga, bombing citrus hops. Lasting.

T - initial: sweet citrus hops, bitter level is a 5/10, pineapple. finish has more citrus, carmel and has some booze on the way down. Sweet hoppy bitterness lingers for a few moments.

M - Frothy, high viscosity, cream, big & full body.

O - Excellent. Love the Brown Shugga sweetness which is balanced very nicely by 68 IBUs. Booze is low but enough to taste. Froth level is the perfect amount you want for a IIPA, head also remains for entire brew. Highly recommend this to even non IPA lovers. Its certainly worth the $11.99/ 6 pack.

Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Crystal clear golden I color with a nice airy head that never completely disappears and leaves lovely lacing.

Was expecting more from the nose. Very faint citrus, with some resiny aromas.

The taste is where this beer excels. Wonderful hops whomping my palate then leaves it clean. Appropriate mouthfeel for the style; a great beer.

Photo of bulldogg915
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- gold bottle pour with nice head retention and lacing sticks. Smell- sweet pine and hops are very prevalent- slight caramel. Taste- great hops up front- the dry hopping is great. Mouthfeel- lingering and slight carbonation. Overall- one of my fav IPAs. I've tasted literally thousands of beers in the past few years- and this is my first rating as I sit here- so hopefully I get better at this.

Photo of chrisgalvin
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just bought a 6 pack of this at Trader Joe's for like 6.99! Love it. Love it. Love it. Everything from Lagunitas is fantastic and this is no exception. True to their style, the brewery character shines through in this Brown Shugga. It's like a big ol' red ale with the signature blend of hops and malt character. I still can't believe that I paid 6.99 at TJs and this is on the Top 250. I'll have to do some ISO:FTs.

Photo of jrenihan
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Feb 18, 2013.

Beer is clear golden, a bit of orange. Moderately-sized white head. Good retention, some lace.

Tropical fruit: sticky mango and passionfruit. Grapefruit. A bit of biscuit.

Taste is obviously hop-focused. Orange, grapefruit and lemon. Some tropical flavours as well, some mango. A bit of pine and resin. Slight caramel malt, but very minimal.

Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. Quite oily.

Overall, quite good indeed, but not the powerhouse that I was expecting based on the reviews.

Photo of Kreko7
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Delicious DIPA with spices, caramels, tropical fruits and pine notes. Long lasting bitterness with a super fresh hoppiness make this a great brew. Balanced with great body. Hopheads unite on this one. Overall amazing and could drink this bad boy all the time!

Photo of Oakenator
4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brownish yellow color - somewhat deep hue but could be deceiving. Solid head and lively - carbonation continues from the bottom of the glass a long while after pour and maintains a nice thin layer of head on top of the beer even 30 minutes later. Smell is hoppy yet sweet - strong pine, grass and brown sugar - the aroma is really a treat. Taste doesn't disappoint - really solid and would like to see this one brewed regularly. Grassy bitter hops up front - maybe a tad of spice but then finishes with brown sugar sweetness. Really nicely balanced and really accentuates the hops when fresh.

Photo of Cylinsier
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz.

Pours a rich golden color with a white lacing for a head.

Smells of piney hops with a hint of grapefruit citrus and buttered bread malts.

Tastes of piney hops, bready malts and some grassy and citrusy notes.

Medium to full body with a tingling carbonation on the tongue and in the back of the throat.

Certainly an above average imperial IPA. Great smell, great flavor, exceptional body. Hard to find fault with anything here. Easily one of the better IPAs, imperial or otherwise, I've ever had.

Photo of JackMcAwesome
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of Neorebel
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apparently this was created due to a shortage in capacity in brewing the Lagunitas Holiday Ale, Brown Shugga. It's said to be 'cereal medley,' of barley, rye, wheat and oats.

Pours like liquid gold into my IPA glass. A rich looking head of pure white foam starts off over an inch tall. Beautiful froth is seen on the sides of the glass as it recedes to about 1/2. It is heavily carbonated and crystal clear - no sediment. Very good-looking indeed.

The aroma is titillating, with lemon and lush tropical fruit esters dazzling my sense of smell. Very resinous hops are clearly the backbone however, and there's a curious peppery spice-like aspect, perhaps cinnamon... hidden vaguely within as well.

The taste begins with a soft and cool feel, sweet and bready, but a moment later the extremely drying hop bitterness bulldozes the palate. Definitely a dry-hopped beer, and there are hardly any malts detected in the flavor at all. Light mouthfeel, despite the sharpness.

Overall, the complexity in the grains and the dry hopped goodness are it's best flavor characteristics. I would suggest this if you like to try different IPAs, or if you are the type that loves the heaviest hop flavors possible!

Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip

A: Light orange –golden color with an eggshell white, creamy 2 finger head

S: Tropical fruit dominates, grapefruit, passionfruit, along with bright pine notes. Sweet, doughy malts back the hops up. Prevalent aromas of honey as well.

T: Well balanced pine and citrus at the front followed by resin-y residual hop flavors. Noticeable amber and caramel malt backbone prevent the hops from blowing your head off. Finish is light hop bitterness combined with honey and faint brown sugar sweetness.

M: Medium body with slight soapy quality. Tingling carbonation.

O: A very good offering from Lagunitas. Unlike some other DIPAs, “Sucks” has a nice balance of huge hop flavors and malts. Although I’m not a huge hophead, I enjoyed this brew and will definitely have it again.

Photo of VitoFerrante
4.76/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is awesome. It is everything the style should be! If it was only a bit more unfiltered, I would say I like it as much as the monster players in the style: Panzer Wolf, Heady, Dreadnaught, etc. This could very well be my "go to" based on availability, price, and quality.

Photo of gillagorilla
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a faint hazy hint to the orange body with a thin beige cream on top that last for a good bit but then turns to a sticky ring on the glass. There is a sea of gentle carbonation that pops to the surface.

S- The woody green hops have a bright pineapple weed aroma in the finish.

T- The full green hops has some Muscat grape qualities with a pineapple weed finish. There is a pale malt support to the dry finish and a pungent unripe fruit flavor lingers with just a touch of bitterness.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a nice full bright hop flavor but it is very drinkable for such a big flavor. There is a nice depth to the hops that makes each sip interesting.

Photo of chefhatt
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into a tulip glass, it has a lite reddish color body with a thin white head that hangs around for a while. The smell has a very appealing nose of piney, and citrus hops. The taste pops of bitter, with some pine and citrus hopness. It has a great mouth feel and leaves a nice hop aftertaste on the tongue. Overall this is a great beer.

Photo of 80x2HopHead
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The smell is possibly the strongest asset of this brew, I immediately noted alcoholic piney notes with some citrusy tangerine in the background followed up by musky undertones. The initial taste was quite pleasing, replete with piney, lemon/orangetastes and plenty of well balanced piney and citrusy hops. The first three seconds on the pallet is great, packing great amounts of flavor into a well balanced sweet, resinous, and citrusy punch. The only issue I had with the brew was in the aftertaste- slightly more sweet than I like in my IPAs- maybe amplified by the yeast? Overall mouthfeel was good, fairly crisp and carbonation is there while it finished nicely. Certainly could taste the booze towards the end of the bottle- but I was skiing so WTF it made for a great few runs off of paradise. Overall a well balanced IPA that exemplifies piney resin but a bit too sweet.

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 9,208 ratings.