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

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,215 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,215
Reviews: 1,265
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 340
Gots: 762 | FT: 22
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: 7,215 | Reviews: 1,265 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lukester


4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

I gave this beer a little less than stellar reviews simply because it doesn't taste like a xmas beer. It is a nice IPA as these guys know so well how to brew. It is not a Holiday Ale. As far as I can tell this is their regular IPA in a different bottle. I have yet to have one of their beers that I didn't love.. however again this isn't categorized properly.. You guys might have pulled it off a bit better by adding some more color.. That said, keep up the good work!

12-31-2011 02:45:23 | More by lukester
Photo of Mrpickles


4/5  rDev -8.3%

12-31-2011 02:25:11 | More by Mrpickles
Photo of suspect

New York

4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

A: Crystal clear golden color with some amber hues. Relatively aggressive pour leads to a small one-finger pure whit head that retreats slowly leaving behind a whirlpool look of white swirling foam. Lacing is consistent and thick. It's the lack of good head that knocks down the number here.

S: Hoo boy...this was an unexpected punch in the face delivered by a fist full of hops. Piney hops hit first followed closely by grapefruit rind. Malt presence is there but definitely overpowered by the hop goodness. This brew has one hell of a nose.

T: Dee-lish. Extremely hop-forward full of zest and flavor. Grassy bits of lemon and grapefruit zest along with some mango. It's a really wonderfully flavored IIPA. Malt again takes a 7th row seating back seat to the mix of hops that come in this brew. It's there, but a total hindsight, yet it's not unbalanced, quite the opposite.

M: Crisp finish with creamy coating. Perfectly carbonated. Hop oils coat the mouth and make me pucker like the elite IIPAs on the market.

O: I swear that if this beer was brewery release only and didn't have the distribution Lagunitas does, it would be getting oodles more hype than it currently does. This is one of the best IIPAs I've had and I'm excited that they're re-releasing it as Holiday Leftovers. BRAVO Lagunitas. Bravo.

12-31-2011 01:54:38 | More by suspect
Photo of Shane94941


4/5  rDev -8.3%

12-31-2011 00:40:54 | More by Shane94941
Photo of jlenik

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -8.3%

12-31-2011 00:15:15 | More by jlenik
Photo of jdanyeur


3.15/5  rDev -27.8%

To start, I have not tried Lagunitas' Brown Sugar yet. I picked this up after reading a lot of hype about it. It is definitely an interesting beer; if someone told me it was a grapefruit lambic, I'd have believed it. I can't say it's a bad beer, the carbonation is good as is the color (nice golden yellow). If you haven't tried this yet, be prepared for a citrusy, hoppy, grapefruit flavor. I cannot say that I would try it again, but as it is the only year they will make it (supposedly), it was worth it.

12-31-2011 00:03:10 | More by jdanyeur
Photo of exonthebottle


3/5  rDev -31.2%

12-30-2011 23:51:46 | More by exonthebottle
Photo of akukucka

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

12-30-2011 21:48:23 | More by akukucka
Photo of Phelps


4.1/5  rDev -6%

I have a list of favorite winter brews, and right near the top is Brown Shugga. I love its origin story, which goes like this: Something went terribly awry when the brewery was attempting to make a batch of its Olde GnarlyWine Ale in 1997. To rescue the batch, a bunch of brown sugar was added to the boil, and the hoppy, sugary-sweet Brown Shugga' was born. I also love its flavor -- every year the dank, grapefruity, syrupy goodness had me holding up the bottle and demanding, "How come you taste so good?!"

So when Lagunitas announced that they wouldn't be making any this year, I was not a happy camper. All work and no Brown Shugga' makes Zach something something.

They have an excuse, at least. According to Lagunitas' owner Tony Magee, the expensive ingredients, lengthy time in the brewhouse and extra time in the fermenters led to its demise this year. For every case of Shugga' made, Lagunitas was shorting three cases of its better-selling regulars.

But Lagunitas' brewers recognized that Brown Shugga' had a solid fanbase, so they offered a one-time holiday ale in which to drown their sorrows. They named the new brew Lagunitas Sucks to beat the haters to it, and were further self-deprecating on the beer's packaging. "There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it," the beer's label declares. Also, in the corner, straight from the little doggie's mouth: "We suck."

Poured into a tulip, Sucks shimmers dandelion-yellow and perfectly translucent. Nickelodeon-style spatters decorate the glass as the off-white head slowly recedes. The aroma reveals notes of each ingredient used in the beer's making: A medley of cereal grains -- barley, rye, wheat, and oats -- made their way into the mash, and the brew was then dry-hopped, making it "full of complexishness" (Lagunitas' words). The result is a nose that's super-duper dank, like a bag of sticky weed. Tons of mango, passion fruit and pineapple are also stuffed in there, along with touches of hay and lightly toasted biscuits.

Lagunitas Sucks tastes like Christmas -- if you celebrated Christmas in the Bahamas. Tropical notes continue into the flavor, with sweet and delicious pineapple, apricot and mango accompaning grass while the malt lends a little sweetness and a touch of crackers. The smooth, medium-light body breaks into a bit of fizz before the crisp, clean finish.

I have to admit, I went into this tasting a little biased against any brew that attempted to make up for the loss of my dear Shugga', but Sucks is bright, dank, sweet and drinkable. While Lagunitas may suck, the beer does not. Though Magee says it'll only be around around for this one year, the brew's been well-received even by the wrathful masses. I imagine it'll make an appearance under a different name someday soon.

12-30-2011 19:04:29 | More by Phelps
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -0.7%

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A nice, hoppy aroma, with a lot of citrus thrown in as well.

T: Tasted of a lot of hops, a big shot of grapefruit, and a little bit of malt. It's a vibrant, complex, likeable flavor. This is what a West Coast DIPA should taste like.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a sweet, bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: In spite of its facetious name, this is a fantastic, easy to like beer.

12-30-2011 15:04:15 | More by avalon07
Photo of monkeylovebeer


4.65/5  rDev +6.7%

The hop fanatics at Lagunitas feel really, really bad about not offering their usual seasonal knock-out punch Brown Shugga’ this year, so bad that they’ve printed “We suck” on the carton and labels of their consolatory offering, a really fine double IPA billed (just in case you didn’t get the message) as Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale.

This tasty late-inning substitution pours deceptively like a pilsner, all wheat straw gold and perfunctory tight white head with very little lacing. A light carbonation suffices to lift its volatile dry-hopped aroma.

On first sip, a surprising sweetness reveals itself in the hop profile, possibly Citra closing out its incredible year by gracing yet one more great beer. An artful balance obscures the higher alcohol numbers, yet the beer does finish with some heat, which is nice for a winter seasonal.

As it warms, delicious hints of tangerine and grass develop alongside the requisite Lagunitas pine and grapefruit notes. There is a nice spice hit from the rye in the comprehensive grain bill, which also includes barley, wheat, and oats.

If an ale of this quality drives its brewers to proclaim that they “freaking munch moldy donkey butt,” then what chance to the rest of us have? If it makes them feel better, I didn’t really miss the Shugga’ this year. The Lagunitas brewers, as a rule, always respond well to having to think on their feet. Let’s hope that 2012 throws them a couple more curveballs.

12-30-2011 07:26:36 | More by monkeylovebeer
Photo of PowDay


4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

12-30-2011 06:56:02 | More by PowDay
Photo of sprucetip


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

12-30-2011 06:10:33 | More by sprucetip
Photo of mactrail


3.63/5  rDev -16.7%

Attractive golden color, topped with white foam. Great floral fragrance. Overall, this is seriously sharp on the tongue. Malt is pretty subtle, though there is a sweet touch that is subdued by all the hops. Not all that bitter. This is a real festival of aromatic hops.

If only they would make a "Wild" version. This could use some Belgian extravagance. This is just too acidic to be totally enjoyable, in spite of the nice aromatics and clean flavor.

12-30-2011 04:46:46 | More by mactrail
Photo of Sideswipe


4.47/5  rDev +2.5%

12oz bottle

Pours a crystal clear amber color with a finger of white head. The foam recedes leaving sticky lacing and a thin coaster. The nose is big citrusy hops. Orange and tangerine predominate with notes of pale malt in the background. Taste opens with bitter, citrusy hops. flavors of orange, pineapple and mango intertwine with a sugar cookie malt backbone. The finish is semi-dry with a lingering bitter aftertaste. The beer is medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Overall this beer is proof that Lagunitas certainly does not suck. This is a very nice DIPA and I wish they would scrap Brown Shugga altogether and just make this from here on out. Recommended.

12-30-2011 03:25:24 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of Jamstone714


4/5  rDev -8.3%

12-30-2011 03:11:00 | More by Jamstone714
Photo of quaffmo


4/5  rDev -8.3%

12-30-2011 02:34:01 | More by quaffmo
Photo of stakem


4/5  rDev -8.3%

Big thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. Poured into a tulip shaped pint glass, this brew appears a clear golden yellow to copper color with slightly more than a finger of yellowish stained head that is composed of rather large bubbles. A stream of carbonation keeps the cap maintained for a pretty decent duration. As the cap recedes, some patches and strings of lacing stick to the glass. When held to the light, there is some fine particulate stuck in suspension that keeps this brew from being perfectly clear.

The smell of this brew initially is quite bright with hops that smell fresh and a bit lemony. Some fruited aspects emerge that are mildly tropical mixed with rinds and a bit of pine. The alcohol comes across with a mild solvent touch that warms the nostrils and brings the whole character of the aroma together. As it gets warmer, a bit of an herbal element emerges. All in all this is a pretty fine smelling brew. As it warms up and the brew is swirled, a bit of mineral inclusion comes forward that was previously hidden.

The taste of this is bitter as expected but with a pretty solid arrangement of hop flavoring. Fruity rinds present themselves with a bit of zesty grapefruit bitterness that blends into tropical fruit qualities. A bit of herbal inclusion through the middle comes to rest in the backend of the flavor as more of a catty quality that is lightly musty with its grain quality and somewhat cheesy into the aftertaste. Alcohol is present with a mild solvent inclusion that is not out of place for nearly 8%.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. Overall I thought this was a pretty solid offering especially since I was not expecting much based on Heath's description of his experience and the dating of the bottle. I found myself presently surprised by this and unfortunately quite curious what this brew was like fresh out the gate. This offering pretty much sold me on the 7.5 - 8% abv range being a sweet spot for hoppy brews.

12-30-2011 02:26:45 | More by stakem
Photo of TheEvilGenius


4/5  rDev -8.3%

12-30-2011 02:04:38 | More by TheEvilGenius
Photo of hopluva1


4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

12-30-2011 01:23:42 | More by hopluva1
Photo of CGMLS3


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

12-29-2011 23:32:14 | More by CGMLS3
Photo of BigGameRick

New York

4/5  rDev -8.3%

12-29-2011 23:31:06 | More by BigGameRick
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

12-29-2011 22:13:01 | More by ObeMaltKinobee
Photo of ChrisMon02


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

12-29-2011 21:55:24 | More by ChrisMon02
Photo of ely2000k


4.47/5  rDev +2.5%

Dark orange color, tons of lacing and head. Smell of grapefruit pine, mild malt. Full, biting sort of mouth feel. Really good carbonation. Overall what I would expect from Lagunitas, another super solid, really fresh tasting beer, that is distinctive and also comfortable(if you have had them before), and goes down pretty easy for the high alcohol percentage. Glad I got to try this.

12-29-2011 21:52:21 | More by ely2000k
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 7,215 ratings.