1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

7,453 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,453
Reviews: 1,276
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 368
Gots: 859 | FT: 21
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,453 | Reviews: 1,276 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrshoes
4/5  rDev -8.3%

mrshoes, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of pzymali
5/5  rDev +14.7%

pzymali, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of pjones36
5/5  rDev +14.7%

pjones36, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of SmokeyJoesCafe
5/5  rDev +14.7%

SmokeyJoesCafe, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

drummermattie02, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of gatornation
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a 12 oz bottle

A- pours a clear golden yellow color with a 1 finger white head that settles to a fresh white collar ,very little lacing

S- fruity tropical hops with grains,malts and bread, again a very tropical smell of hops

T- was superb, notes of citrus and pineapple with other tropical notes, pine and slightly bitter ' with a touch of rye and wheat

M- was sweet and fruity with just the right amount of hop bitters, nice finish and balance of grain and rye and wheat

O- a tasty 2ipa

gatornation, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of BeforeNoon
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Fred Meyer here in Vancouver WA.
12 oz to Smuttynose Big Beer Series tulip

A: golden, translucent, very small white head

S: amarillo hops, citrus

T: lemon, grapefruit

M: hops forward, clean malt, fantastic hop finish

O: Not at all what I expected when I picked up this holiday offering from Lagunitas, but that's what I love the most about it. Hops are all throughout this brew. Well balanced for an imperial IPA with a great finish. Between this and Sierra Nevada's Celebration, it's going to be a good holiday.

BeforeNoon, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Sweasty
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Sweasty, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of tbizzle0
5/5  rDev +14.7%

tbizzle0, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of jh1982
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

jh1982, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Listers
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Listers, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of OldIronLungs
5/5  rDev +14.7%

OldIronLungs, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of ONN8
5/5  rDev +14.7%

ONN8, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -8.3%

2dogbrew, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow color w/ a nice one finger white head. Massive sheets of lacing left on my snifter glass. The beer is very clear, w/ good carbonation. Smell is really nice- hops, wood, floral notes, maybe some pepper. Really hoppy, well balanced, really nice nose. Not overbearing at all. Taste is good as well- hops in abundance, w/ some malt in the background. Some floral, pepper, and spice in there as well. But let's not kid ourselves... the hops are in charge here. After half a bottle, they've had their way with me.... in a good way. None of the 7.85% alcohol is evident at all- very well hidden. Feel is medium, with nice carbonation. Killer hops bite on the aftertaste. The hops coat your throat like a throat lozenge. Overall, this beer really surprised me. I really enjoyed it. Cheers!

jayhawk73, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of phishtube
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off I just have to say what a surprise this was as soon as I opened it and took a whiff. WOW. Not your normal predictable Lagunitas brew profiling the beers spice character. And, not a Holiday beer by any means. If you are looking for that slightly spicey and sweet Xmas beer go elsewhere. This is a hop lovers kind of holiday brew!

Appearance: Gold and Yellow....bit of orange in there.

Smell: Citrus hops.. I couldn't help but smell Hop Slam in there. Really.

Taste: Great hop profile. Nice balance of malt and hop bite. Not too sweet though. Retains a tiny bit of dry finish. For a one off beer this has a great west coast IPA flavor

Mouthfeel: Def a dIPA on my tounge. Nice and sticky!

Overall: Easily my favorite brew Lagunitas has ever released. I'm just hoping they keep this one around for years to come!

phishtube, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of cmrillo
5/5  rDev +14.7%

cmrillo, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of elNopalero
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Brown Shugga replacement. What a contrast—I was expecting a ‘holiday ale,’ or something in a similar vein to Brown Shugga (big, malty, hoppy, spicy, perhaps?) and instead this deliciously drinkable surprise of a brew. What a contrast. What a treat.

This appears to be a pale golden straw color. It has a big hop aroma, as should be expected of anything from Lagunitas, reminiscent of grapefruit zest and other citrus. Tasting it gives the impression that it’s lightly hopped but full of flavor—a floral, fruity hop bill with just a touch of pine that makes it a delight to drink. I hope that this joins the regular line-up, or at least comes around to visit again next year.

elNopalero, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of caskstrength
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden yellow. Enough carbonation.

S: Dank, wet hops. Could pass for a fresh/wet hop beer, no doubt. Earthy, with the citrus and pine more in the back than the front.

T: Fresh hops, well balanced. Full flavors here, nothing subdued. Pine and citrus play off each other, but more earthy than anything.

M: Somewhat stickly sweet, resinous. I'd prefer it a bit crisper and drier to complement the resin, but it's a minor quibble.

O: Although I didn't go on and on with superlatives above, this may be the best Lagunitas beer I've had. Holiday ale, shmolliday ale, this is an IPA, and a really good one.
One vote here for making this beer for every holiday throughout the year.

caskstrength, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of cfinch2
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

cfinch2, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of speakorspasm
4/5  rDev -8.3%

speakorspasm, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of tobelerone
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An extremely clear golden brew with a half inch of quickly falling head; creamy lacing remains. I can read this review straight through the glass.

Aroma packed with citrusy hops; lots of grapefruit and lemon; faintly sweet and malty underneath. Can't wait to take a sip!

Oh yeah...a lovely west coast IPA. Tons of citrusy flavor; again full of grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, mango. Moderately bitter but not over-the-top; sweet maltiness underneath keeps things balanced (in a hop head kind of way). Faint oniony, almost salty aspect buried underneath, giving it a bit of zip without getting unpleasant.

Medium body and carbonation with a nicely creamy mouthfeel. Long and lingering aftertaste in which the bitterness comes to the fore. Maybe I haven't had a really fresh, quality IPA - which is clearly what this is - in a while, but this really hit the spot. In retrospect this is approaching hopbomb territory...it won't seem balanced if you don't like big, hoppy IPA's as a rule, but if you do, there's a nice undertone of sweetness and faint spiciness that offsets the IBU's just a smidge.

tobelerone, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Krumb
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Krumb, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Immortale25
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a medium gold color with a 1/2 inch head that stays a bit and then deteriorates to an 1/8 inch ring with sporadic surface bubble formation. The lacing displays a cascading effect

S- Fresh, wet hop aromas please the nose and provide wonderful tropical fruit aromas such as pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon. Lots of sweet, grassy notes too. To die for.

T- All of the previously mentioned aromas are translated to the palate quite well. Also tastes piney, bitter and just a bit boozy. Fruity esters are apparent and welcome. Warms after multiples sips. Still don't get the "Brown Shugga' Substitute" on the label though since this doesn't remind me of the Shug at all.

M- Medium-high carbonation is the perfect base for a beer this invigorating.

O- Yes sir! Probably the best "Holiday" ale I've had so far up against the similarly hop forward Celebration and Santa's Private Reserve.

Update: I love the fine print on Lagunitas's bottles. They're blunt and crude with their statements but don't come off snobby like Stone's sayings sometimes do. I realize now why it's called "Brown Shuggah Substitute." It says: "This sad holiday season we didn't have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared BrownShugga' ale. We're just out of capacity. There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it." I personally think the Sucks Holiday Ale is even better than Brown Shugga'. Go figure.

Immortale25, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of harrymel
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Mid-November, 2011

A: honey golden ale with a finger of white foam over crystal clear ale. A sheet of white resides and leaves soapy residue.
S: Grapefruit, lemons, pine, resin, bubble gum, so many yummy hops. This is so far, excellent.
T: Sweet with lemons, grapefruit, juicy fruit.
M: A bit thin with hi carb and fairly dry.
O: Really a good beer. Gonna have more of this.

harrymel, Dec 02, 2011
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 7,453 ratings.