Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,571 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,571 | Ratings: 5,593
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Brown Shugga has a medium, cream-colored head, a clear, bubbly, copper appearance, and a good amount of bubble streams. The aroma is bold, sweet, dank barley malt and hop resin (think brown bread crust and slightly rotted spinach). Taste is of sweet, strong malt and fairly bittern hop notes. Mouthfeel is medium, and Lagunitas Brown Shugga finishes puckering and strong, yet mellow.


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Photo of SGT_Cookie
4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, hard for me to believe that it's 9.8% ABV. The smell is a dank citrus aroma, appearance is a rich golden complexion. You can definitely feel the brown cane sugar they used on the mouthfeel, nice and rather thick. Taste is hoppy, with citrus notes, but you cant mistake the brown cane sugar though. Finishes just like the taste. Overall, awesome beer for the season, would definitely try again, with care!

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Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance was a clear reddish-orange with a medium sized white head. The aroma was a sweet malt experience. The taste had a sweet malt and bread combination.

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Photo of JimNeedsBrew
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice medium amber color with a finger of foam. This was a bit more bitter then I like but its definitely a full flavored beer. Didn't get much brown sugar but I enjoyed it none the less. Have a few more to get through. :-)

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Photo of brewaddict
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - This beer pours a clear dark amber with a creamy white head and good lace.
S - Hints of citrus and pine. Also sweet caramel and brown sugar.
T - This is a unique beer. It starts off hoppy with grapefruit, pine, and lemon notes. After a few sips it gradually turns sweeter and sweeter. The strong hop front seems to lessen and a malty sweet brown sugar taste takes over.
F - This maybe a little on the thin side. It does have a nice dry finish.
O - This is an excellent amber ale. I've always been a fan of this beer. But, I like sweeter beers.

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Photo of Lahoi
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. An amazing beer. Way too easy to drink for a 10% ABV beer. In fact, it was so smooth I drank it much faster than I should have, and, along with the other beers I had, I felt it the next day. But it was worth it!

It's hard to compare this beer to others in the category because I've never had anything quite like it. It's so complex. Just when I thought I'd pinned down a flavor or note, I would detect something else. This is a slow, sipping beer like that of a barleywine or some stouts, especially those aged in bourbon barrels. Yet don't get me wrong: this beer isn't anything like a barleywine or a barrel ag d stout. Again, it's like nothing else I've enjoyed.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pretty color on the pour. Beautiful ruby. Grassy hop aroma. Rubbing alcohol, an astringent smell, orange juice. Taste, again grassy hop flavors. Bitter with an alcohol presence. A spicy heat to it. Overall, I am just not a big fan of the American strong ale category in general. This is no real exception to that. It's caught in between an iPa, a barley wine, and maybe a Scottish ale. All of which can be delicious. Their three way love child is not my fav though.

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Photo of m4gdelen4
3.19/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a beautiful amber/copper color with a frothy finger head.

Smell is extremely sweet and alcoholic.

Taste is quite hoppy which in it's own way accentuates the sugary taste - cloying flavor. This beer is much better at about 9-11 months when the hoppiness and sugary qualities have faded enough to reveal a more balanced malt profile. It becomes a solid barleywine with a hint of sweetness.

IMO excellent for cellaring

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful beer. Clear amber-copper color with a thick and lasting tan head. Nice spicy malty aroma. Clean bitterness framed by the malt and some caramel/toffee. Gentle warming and does not feel like a big ABV beer.

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Photo of LouZ
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This went down way too easy for a strong ale! Poured dark brown, copper, with two fingers and great lacing out of a bottle. Aroma was not strong, but hinted at the sweetness to come. Taste was sweet malt with a nice brown sugar finish. Feel was smooth and easy, and you have no idea this is a 10% ABV. Dangerously good.

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Photo of stephens101
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm rating this fifth beer from a sixer I purchased a while back, and at this point I've probably overthought this thing too much to review it without bias, but here goes, so chalk any vacillation up to pure ambivalence.

A mountain of tan froth stands atop this brown brew and dissolves slowly until only a few bubbles are left. Herbal hops to the front aroma-wise and a following of medium fruits and perfume. Notes of fruit and sugar are quickly overtaken by a wave of bitterness which is followed by a balancing caramel sweetness. Medium to heavy and the alcohol is barely noticed.

Brown Shugga' is all over the place, off the charts and static and fairly "normal" all at the same time. The dual nature of this beer will make it for some and break it for others. And while I can't pin it down stylistically, I can't really find any definite faults with it either.

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3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Just picked this up at Beer Noggin ( ) in Bronxville, NY while my mother-in-law was down visiting and we were out shopping for Christmas. The bottle attracted me enough to pick one up. Love the texture on the label. Nice brown coloring and smell of caramel, to me. "Beer Speaks. People Mumble" ABV is high at 9.8%, which is niiiiice! This would go really well with a heavy meal, like stew or something out of a crock pot. I look forward to having again one day.

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Photo of JSauer
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A really good beer overall. Nice head and color on the pour. I'm not a beer expert, but I smelled a nice sweetness and a citrus biterness and hoppiness. Taste is almost identical to the smell; starts with a nice sweetness, but then the bitterness and hops hit you and it all mixes.

You can definitely taste the alcohol, but for it being 9.8%, it doesn't have a high alcohol taste.

I'm not a huge fan of some of Lagunitas beers, but this is one their better ones. This is definitely a I grab if I'm in a pinch and I'm looking for a "go to" beer.

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Photo of Mickeyp2814
3.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

If you like beers with a high bitter factor this is for you. I was expect something totally different. I should have read the description. However I like this beer. It's definitely not a beer you drink after yard work or even one you simply chug. It's a beer to be appreciated. Take your time and enjoy the bitter and boozy notes.

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Photo of kdevore
3.27/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

6-pack bottles

Look: caramel/amber, not as dark as I was expecting.
Smell:Floral, hoppy
Taste: Very bitter (didn't read the IBU until after purchase, my fault), not much brown sugar like I was expecting although it came through a little once my taste got a little numb to the bitterness. Higher ABV was not real noticeable.
Feel: Nothing special to note, good or bad.

Overall: I didn't really care for it. I'm not into the overly hopped beer trend and this one is very hop forward. I think I would have liked it if the bitterness was dialed back. I wouldn't have bought it had I seen the IBU rating prior to purchase, but the name threw me off. Was expecting more of a sweeter malty beer. Not so much.That being said, I did drink the whole 6 (over a few days). I'm sure I would have rated it higher if I was into the bitter beers.

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Photo of ahentz
3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Flavor is good and there is some fruitiness, but overall very bitter. That's not my things, but I can appreciate that it is a good beer. ABV is high but there wasn't too much of the boozy taste. It's a nice beer if you like the bitter.

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Photo of CountryRebel001
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pour a clear, amber color with a white head. Smell us very hop forward, citrus, tropical, and alcohol. The smell through me off, was expecting a brown ale by the name but more like a ipa. Taste very bitter, off balance. Bitter and sweetness with some fruity notes and then nasty bitterness to finish. Horrible finishing taste of a bad ipa, not like the other Lagunitas if tried. Has a nice carbonation, very thin. Overall I did not like, and wouldn't recommend or buy again. Maybe I was thrown off by the name expecting more a dark beer, just was not very good to me. The balance was just very off to me, too sweet and bitter combined not good. I have another bottle I'll keep and try again just incase my taste was off tonight.

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Photo of mkh012
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look- Amber or burnt orange. A lasting, frothy head. Carbonation is visible. A good-looking brew.

Smell- Mainly a fruity hop character. Orange, tangerine, pineapple, tropical fruits. Not getting the brown sugar too much, but it's certainly a sweet aroma.

Taste/Feel- A bit disappointed here. Not a bad beer by any means but perhaps overly hopped. Does a "Brown Shugga" beer really need to be 51 IBU? It does more than balance here. In my opinion, it outshines. Growing on me a bit as I drink it, the more caramel, brown sugar notes becoming slightly more apparent, but hops are the real star here. The alcohol is well-hidden, but this is still a strong beer for a developed palate because the bitterness lingers. I guess I've been spoiled by Belgian beers lately that manage to have a much cleaner aftertaste at this ABV. Not as well-rounded as I had hoped.

Glad I tried it, but probably would not seek this one out again.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle marked 281 5 2 0735 1043 at 42 degrees into a snifter
Aroma of - flowers and some pine
Head large (Six cm, aggressive pour), light tan, frothy, diminishing to four mm ring and heaped partial layer
Lacing good – lacy curtains of tiny to medium bubbles
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor sweet, brown sugar, alcohol, some hoppiness in aftertaste; no diacetyl
Palate full, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4.25, Overall 4

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Photo of AdamAlway
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful amber color with a large white head that sticks around for quite a long time. Great hops and grapefruit smell. Wow, what a great combination of grapefruit, citrus and hops. The hops and grapefruit hit upfront with a nice citrus finish. Nice full, smooth body. Great IPA all the way around. Great trade from Pieper34.

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Photo of laketang
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a deep caramel with a nice mocha head

I pick up banana and pineapple notes.

very big malt sweetness . a big beer with aggressive sweetness. caramel.

chewy, fruity finish.

for me, one is enough of this style in one sitting, but very tasty imo. nice treat.

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Photo of daringer
4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wasn't sure what to expect, really. I've had the Lagunitas Sucks, which was a decent enough IPA. Now this is the "Sweet" version of the Brown Shugga...How many different incarnations of the same beer do you really need? Well, I haven't tried to the original Brown Shugga', sadly, but after this beer, I'm more than willing to give it a go.
A: Rather nice ruby/amber color. Surprising. For some reason I was expecting something more golden. Deeper and livelier than I had anticipated.
S: Hops front, which is misleading later on. However, I'm getting nice grapefruit and citrus right off the bat.
M: Full, to medium...which is a weird way to put it, I guess. It's more filling than I would have presumed. This beer is full of surprises!
T: Jeez. Blown away. There are dark fruit immediately. Plum, even a bit of dried apple. Sweet. Finish with a nice dry hoppiness alluded to in the aroma.
O: A sweeter beer than I was expecting, but with all the IPA running rampant in today's market, something a little sweeter doesn't go amiss. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and would recommend it to anyone who likes something a little more complex--something a little sweeter than the average flight set.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep copper color with about a two inch off white head, good lacing head stays around for awhile.
Smell sweet piney nose fruity citrus notes
taste is a little surprising little citrus and orange peel up front slightly sweet just enough hoppy flavor little tang on the back end.
Feel is very smooth clean easy drinking.
Overall a very good beer i enjoyed drinking very much.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance - deep goldish brown, little carbonation with a fairly thick white head. Lacing is coarse and sticky along back of glass!
Smell - sweet brown sugar and hops!
Taste - the sweetness from the nose is far more profound in the taste; the syrupy sweetness drowns the hops.
Feel - medium body with overt sweetness throughout.
Overall - does not come across as a barley wine or a strong ale.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Clear bright orange amber color with two finger head, great retention, coating lace. Sugary sweet aroma. Sweet syrupy taste immediately countered by dank piney and citrus rind hop bitterness, powerful. This brew is strong and a bit boozy but so drinkable, it's weird, just kept tasting and it was gone. The flavors just work well together, dangerous. Finish is dry and the hops stick around just long enough. Medium to full soft mouthfeel, glides down. Had this one awhile back and don't recall it being this tasty. Great brew, gonna get some more.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,593 ratings.
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