Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
Liked This Beer
4.03 w/ 5,690 ratings
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,690 |  Reviews: 1,592
Photo of Blanco
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Skramer
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of bubseymour
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Has a deep dark reddish clear color with very nicely formed 2 finger head in my Sam Adams pint glass.

S - Like the name states, very sugary and caramel scents prevail. Some malty and bready notes and a very minor hop presence. Hops are more noticeable in the scent as it warms. Quite pleasant none-the-less.

T - A very warming beer in the belly. Smooth and very well balanced with no noticeable alcohol presence despite the 9.9% rating. Definitely some malt and sugary caramel balance out a subtle but noticeable hop presence that has a linger of slight bitterness post drinking.

M - Warm and buttery.

Overall - An excellent crafted brew for the Strong Ale style. Highly recommend. Very satisfying beer after just 1 with its overall fullness, powerful and tasty flavors and alcohol level. Great bang for the buck as well.

 829 characters

Photo of TonyY
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Danielr26
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From: Piccadilly on Neil, Champaign, IL
Date: None on bottle, released in early winter 2012
Glass: Tulip

Lagunitas' Brown Shugga' is a strongly hoppy (US west coast style) ale with more caramel flavor than most DIPAs offer. While it could easily qualify as one, it instead lands in the "strong ale" catch-all, equally fine. The beer is quite drinkable, but I found it to be a somewhat generic version of the "highly hopped, high ethanol" west coast style beers I've had in the past. Thus, while tasty, I was never surprised or stricken with the particular character that defines this beer relative to others. Might I try it again when very fresh? Sure.

Pours approximately a 1cm tall head of dirty white bubbles, small in size, with average retention of one to two minutes. The head, as it falls, leaves some thick washes of lace along the innards of the glass, a variety of solid walls of sticky foam to mixed spiderweb-like patterns. The head eventually wastes away to a fine cap of foam atop the body of the beer. The body itself is a strong copper-orange color, with light bringing out brighter orange-yellow hues. The beer is somewhat hazy (perhaps 30% opaque), but carbonation is still readily visible through it, quite actively rising from the center of the glass.

Aroma of fairly substantial caramel and its attendant sweetness, though I wouldn't describe it as reminding me of brown sugar. This is joined to some tropical fruit and mild citrus, from ale yeast or hops, who knows. There's also mild pepperiness and faint ethanol lingering in the background. In general, pleasing and appetizing, if not particularly unique.

In general, this tastes pleasant if you appreciate US west coast-style, well-hopped beers (and I do), with a substantial malt backbone, but it's also not particularly different from many others in the same hop intensity and ethanol content categories. Front of palate is of heavy caramel sweetness with hints of hop or yeast-derived fruit esters and minor bitterness. Mid-palate finds the hops slightly taking the main focus, with bitterness, grapefruit, woodsy/herbal, and mild tropical fruit all being as though filtered through a screen of caramel sweetness and flavor. Back of palate notices sweet, heavy caramel notes, ethanol, and herbal/woodsy/green hop flavors with strong bitterness. Aftertaste focuses on bitterness, mild caramel sweetness, and lingering ethanol.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium to medium-low intensity, leading to a beer that is slightly foamy on the palate, but never quite fizzy. Ethanol is felt primarily in the nostrils after each sip, slightly burning the back of the throat as well. Closes out semi-dry, with modest residual stickiness along the palate.

 2,741 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of Ewhite2121
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of beergoot
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs...

Honey-colored body with a thick head. Malt aroma mixed with pine and citrus hops. Malt sweetness blended with caramel notes; good hop bitterness throughout. The mouthfeel was medium; dry yet a bit syrupy.

I found this to be a very good beer overall. There was a nice combination of the sweet and bitter throughout my tasting experience, producing nice layers of flavoring with every sip.

 438 characters

Photo of muchloveforhops3
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of YamagamiTravis
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Bernardkowalski
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of my favorite beers!! honestly can go good with anything, but you are better off enjoying this beer by itself. it has so much too offer, such great combination between the yeast and malt's making this an outstanding brew. you can put this on my list of top beers.

 279 characters

Photo of NeverNude
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of boudreaux
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of jvillefan
2.5/5  rDev -38%

Photo of RayUF07
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of leaddog
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours copper with a finger width of white head.

Smell - Caramalts, piney hops, brown sugar, citrus.

Taste - Brown sugar takes the lead followed by caramalts and bitter hops. Touch of citrus. Finishes with a lingering, palatable bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with lots of nice prickly carbonation. A little stickiness.

Overall - An enjoyable American Strong by Lagunitas. The brown sugar flavour is innovative and provides a unique twist. Nice balance of hoppy bitterness, sweet brown sugar and malts.

 525 characters

Photo of Thedrizzle
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of ackbarleywine
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Metatron6
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Jeremy6566
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of markmcconv
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BugTownPub
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Stoutamus-Maximus
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84.8% out of 100 with 5,690 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.