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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
Ratings: 6,324 | Reviews: 1,235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of imscotty


4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden ale color. Strong cream colored head that dies down in a minute, some lacing.

S - A really forward citrus smell. Smells like pineapple lifesavers. The fruity aroma really overwhelms, but I think there is some hops and other aromas hidden in there somewhere..

T - The pineapple flavor really shines through, but it is balanced with some sweet maltiness. Tangerine also shines through and perhaps other fruity flavors. I can detect the bitter hops on the finish. This beer is really really dry.

M - Perfect viscosity for an IPA. This beer has a dry mouthfeel and an almost astringent finish.

O - This is a unique beer with character that I would try again. I think it would be very satisfying on a hot summers day, but one would be enough. That said, I do not want to overhype it. I would like it more if it hit a few more notes in terms of flavors and was a little less dry on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 00:27:47 | More by imscotty
Photo of ouumel


4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just go introduced to this beer and i absolutely feel in love! I just moved to San Diego and the breweries/ craft beers in this city is off the hook!

This beer is my go to beer when I really just want to mellow out and just sip on some good tasting beer :] its not to thick like their brown shugga or not as light as their lil sumpin' ale. to me this beer has a nice hoppy/bittersweet taste to it and i just love it!

since this beer is seasonal you may have to call around to see if the store has them in stock. went to two different bevmos and they were out found a 6-pack at a local keg n beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 17:20:24 | More by ouumel
Photo of Beer4B


4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Just found this locally during my quest to try everything in the BA 250. I like Sucks but this Brown Shugga version is MUCH better in my opinion. Sometimes it is the subtle differences.

Lots of taste and flavor to go with the hops makes for a very smooth and flavorful IPA that isn't taken over by hops.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 16:20:41 | More by Beer4B
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle, bottling code 007 4 (Jan. 7, 2014)

Bright gold body, huge creamy head with lots of air bubbles, excellent retention. Aroma of papaya, orange flesh, sweet grapefruit rinds. Taste is juicy peaches and oranges, sweet grapefruit (no bitterness). Very smooth and full but not really a DIPA in my book. Still tasty nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 13:58:51 | More by papat444
Photo of GOBLIN


4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lagunitas Sucks

Not just a clever name

Poured into tulip glass

A: Beautiful. Orange with a yellow glow. Some beers just have a certain glow about them . . . This is one of them !

S: Mmm . . . I won't even bother.

T: As good as it gets. Tropical fruits, great hop bitternes and without a doubt Sucks is the most "juiciest" ipa I've ever had ! Well done Lagunitas.

M: Perfect for an ipa . . . Sticky !

O: I've had alot of ipa's . . . Probably hundreds by now. And Lagunitas Sucks is the cream of the crop people !

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 01:07:03 | More by GOBLIN
Photo of Hibernator


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

Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Jet ink #017 4 6671 1318
Served in a 20 oz glass

Pours a copper color mix of light orange with a yellow tint. A bleach white head forms on top and leaves awesome trails of sticky lace. Mini carbonation bubbles rise to the top of glass.

What an outstanding nose with whiffs of citrus fruits and freshly cut flowers. Could someone please make an air freshener with this smell? We know this beer is gonna have a major hop presence from the intensity in the air.

The backbone of this beer has a crisp backbone of grains and rye. The hop flavors in this beer are extraordinary with grapefruit, orange, apricot and pineapple all coming through. The 7.85% ABV is very well hidden.

We're talking major hops, expect some hop bomb burps as you drink this one down!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 21:28:50 | More by Hibernator
Photo of sulldaddy


3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a clear copper color with creamy bleached white head of jsut about .5 cm that fades to a sticky edge layer and wispy surface foam.
Aroma is citrus rind and pine sap with just a little bit of pineapple and general fruitiness. Very hoppy nose, but not just astringent bitterness.
First sip reveals an average body with fine rolling carbonation that is barely detectable on each sip.
The beer is very easy to drink, with no detected alcohol nor heavy presence to slow down consumption.
Flavor is some sweet caramel malt that gives way to citrus rind and pineapple hops with just a bit of astringency on the finish. The beer also finishes very dry and asks me to drink more. I dont get any booze on any stages of the beer and my glass is empty much sooner than i thought it would be for a beer just under 8%.

A tasty treat for the end of winter, definitely more a hopheader than a malty beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 05:28:03 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden yellow color with a good sized head, fades at a slow rate but only leaves some small bits of patchy lacing.

Smell has a beautiful floral piney hop aroma, touch of citrus and sweet malt to add to the layers.

Taste starts out and finishes with the citrus pine hop presence, pretty much the hops are evident through the entire thing, some sweet malt does balance things near the end, slightly sticky and sweet in the finish yet also with a semi-dry ending, carbonation is practically perfect.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 23:28:37 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of KDHicks1958


4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Nice golden color, creamy head, nice lacing

S: beautiful hops, citrus, pine scent.

T: bright, fresh, light fruit, hops.

M: This is a failing on my part, I just like the way this feels in my mouth.

I'm pretty new to craft beers, but this is the best beer I've ever had. One thing I have noticed is that good beers get better as they warm up. And, do yourself a favor, let some of this come up to room temp. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 01:25:36 | More by KDHicks1958
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
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,324 ratings.