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

10,216 Ratings
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.85%

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.

Added by Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

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Reviews: 1,605 | Ratings: 10,216
Photo of HeresToHopping
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy orange/pale amber in color with a beautiful 2-3 finger thick creamy white head. Lots of thick lacing that sticks rather firmly to the glass.

Aroma: Citrus (orange peel, loads of grapefruit, lemon zest and tangerine), resiny, as well as slight pine notes as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A very complex, and clean citrus taste on the front end (grapefruit overload, followed by orange peel and lemon zest). This balances well with the sweet pale malt flavors that follow through in the middle. The sweet bready malt flavors fade, and then the bittering hops bite you on the back end on the finish. Medium body brew, with a moderate amount of carbonation. The sweet malt flavor leaves a nice resiny feel in the mouth, and keeps the beer from being overly dry.

Overall: A perfect DIPA. I can't get over how crisp and clean the hop flavors and aromas are in this beer. Honestly, this beer has some of the most clean, and complex hop flavors and aromas I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Lagunitas really does create magic with hops, and how well they balance out strong hop profiles with sweet, complez malt flavors as well. If you love hops, you'll love this. I can find nothing wrong with this beer, at all.

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Photo of Kahless
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review based on the Handwritten review I made on 1/9/2014 during the snowstorm. We just started getting Lagunitas here in Kansas so I was really excited when I saw this on the shelf. The Julian date was 004 so that means it was 5 days old when I had it .

Poured into a tulip. It's a golden yellow with a one finger white head. The aroma is perfectly balanced - bitter, but with lots of grapefruit sweetness underneath.

Tastes follow the smell. It 'a a bit hard to say why it's so good, because it's all just typical IPA tastes, but I can say that you notice a different citrus flavor on every sip. First it's grapefruit, then orange, then mango.

Overall, totally delicious and absolutely lives up to the hype. In my relatively short craft beer drinking life, this is the best IPA I've had.

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Photo of Gfunk
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The citra grapefruit flavor is amazingly overpowering, this beer taste dangerously good. You get what you pay for with the taste and the kick. I've been a huge Lagunitas fan for awhile, even being from Maine. We've gotten almost every beer they make. The Dogtown IPA and Daytime are perfect summer drinkable beers. The Sucks is perfect for fall/winter. It's been my go-to beer for a couple months now. It is exploding with flavor!

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Photo of cdizinno
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: poured into a tulip glass from a growler purchased at Green's off Piney Grove in Columbia, SC!!

A: Golden, clear, decent 2+ finger white head after a hard pour that leaves moderate lacing.

S: Pine groves abound! Smells like HOPSLAM and the anticipation of tasting is killing me right now.

T&M: Medium bodied with a slight thickness and resiny feel. Piney, tasty hops from the beginning to the end. Some background fruity tones of pineapple and mango. Finishes with an incredibly tasteful mild sweetness and hop oiliness that is "to die for."

This is so well balanced that I may have to reduce my rating on my Hopslam review. This Lagunitas Sucks is way more drinkable and that really Sucks because I will probably have to finish the growler tonight. This is a must try if you are a fan of IPA's!!! Way to go Lagunitas.

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Photo of LloydBobBoozehound
5/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of Veejuh
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The quintessential beer. Oh sweet lawdy thank you for creating this world that this beer is a part of! love you gawd!

But seriously, this beer is superior to it's predecessor and is quite possibly the best beer in the world. Lagunitas does suck for not making this available in 6 packs this year!!

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Photo of bpasquini
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Orangish Copper in color with quarter-half inch thick white head, leaves a good amount of lacing

S: Pine, Some Citrus, Orange, hint of lemon, and something sweet like caramelized sugar, very well balanced

T: Great mixture of the pine and citrus hop flavors, pine being a little more dominant, the sweet malt flavors are what balance this beer out, everything seems to be blended perfectly together, bitterness level is also perfect for this beer, not overpowering but still lets you know it's there

M: Very light, not oily, leaves your mouth a hint dry making you want to keep drinking, which is a good thing for this beer

O: Great beer, if you see this buy it! My new favorite, everything is so well blended in this beer, and I'm not normally a fan of pine hop flavored beers

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Photo of DemoniChris
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a lovely golden yellow-orange with a pretty impressive head that is long-lasting.

S - Oh man... This is pure bliss. Grapefruit, orange, mango, dank hops that you can smell a yard away from the glass. Arguably the beers best trait followed by the taste.

T - Heaven. Extends from the smell quite well. Fruity tropical dank hops with a tiny bit of malt. Big mango notes with grapefruit rind definitely apparent. The nearly 8% ABV is masked with finesse.

M - Brilliantly balanced between malt and carbonation. Leaves you wanting another sip each time you put it down.

O - I've been trying to get a hold of one of these beers for a while. Do yourself a favor and seek this beer out if you haven't already.

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Photo of GameFreac
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 2nd review.

Julian date - 364 and it's my 22nd birthday today so this is only 21 days old. Poured into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden color with a small head. It fades but leaves a little lacing in my glass.

Smell: Smell amazing. Tropical fruits, hops, mango, peaches, watermelon, grapefruit. This is my favorite part about this beer.

Taste - follows the nose. Not as good as the nose but very close. Just hoppy with those mango/tropical flavors. Also has a slight malt/bready taste that balances it out and a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Feels creamy but very drinkable. I don't detect the alcohol at all at 7.85% abv.

Overall: One of the best beers I've ever had - in my top 10. I'm sad that this will only be a seasonal since I got a single, then got a 6 pack, then got another 6 pack (this was part of the Leftovers). I usually always get new beers but I went back to this brew twice. It's that damn good. Here's hoping they make this a year round beer. If not, get it while you can. You won't regret it.


Had this year's batch and it's as good as ever. My favorite IPA.

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Photo of rickards9
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a 12oz bottle of this into my 20oz imperial pint glass. Quick pour yielded very little head, which disappeared almost instantaneously. Light white lacing clings nicely to the glass.
The aroma is one of the strongest, yet most pleasant smells I've ever experienced with a beer. It's entirely hops, very well balanced between grapefruit and apricot citrus and earthy pine.
Flavor followed the nose very closely. On the front, I get a load of deliciously juicy citrus hops. A subtle transition to earthy, piney hop flavor and the bitterness takes over on the back of my tongue. Not overwhelming, but leaves a nice dry clean finish. Certainly can't tell this is just under 8% abv. This is exactly the kind of IPA I've been searching for.

According to the label, "There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it" but I'd say this is pretty cool. Lagunitas, please keep this as a regular offering.

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Photo of GJ40
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass.

A – Gold with great clarity and a big white head. Flawless. Great lacing.

S – Wow! Tropical and citrusy hops. Exceptional freshness. Again, flawless.

T – This is just the west coast IPA I’ve become addicted to. Low on the malts and huge on the hops with a focus on flavoring over bitterness. Loads of tropical fruit and citrus. Great from start to finish. Lingers for a long, long time. And the alcohol is incredibly well hidden.

M – Silky and creamy with a moderate carbonation.

O – A hop heads dream. It’s as close to Pliny as you can get with a national distribution. I’m going to be so disappointed when this release is over.

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Photo of BeerMama2014
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My goodness this is awesome! A first-timer to Sucks, I am impressed. The lace left behind is almost as beautiful as the beer! This is a full-favored ale that seriously blows away all other ales I have tried!

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Photo of threeviews
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz stubby (bottled on 12/30/2011) into a 14oz Libbey snifter.

A- Pours a yellow-tinged (sunset) orange with slight haze and 2-finger head. Oh, what a beautiful sight...reminds me that summer is one day closer. I was surprised to discover this brew to be bottle conditioned as I observed slight yeast sediment before decanting (which contributed to its cloudiness).

S- A massive dose of tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, passionfruit, peach) with ample citrus notes (orange, tangerine and grapefruit) engulfs the nose. Once the head subsides to a thin film on the surface (and remains for the duration), you are left with sweet orange and ruby red grapefruit goodness. Simply delicious.

T- Malt sweetness and hop bitterness combine to make an amazing experience. Sweet and bitter tropical fruits dances on the palate and finishes with a pleasant & mild, piney bitterness. While the malt bill is more perceivable with Maximus, this recipe allows the aroma and flavor reign supreme. At almost 8% ABV, no alcohol is perceived...I could drink this for days!

M- Sweet and bitter in equal amounts. The palate is never dominated by either. Carbonation is moderate and fits the profile perfectly.

O- What can I say!? For me, Lagunitas is one of those "can do no wrong" breweries. They never disappoint and I implore everyone to try at least one of their offerings. As far as this brew is concerned, I would love for nothing more than this to become an "Unlimited Release" (i.e. year-round). Until then, I'll savor the two 6'rs I was lucky enough to find and hope this is only the first of future batches.

Postscript: I was able to obtain 3 more 6'rs and at well over 3 months since its bottled date, the hop aroma and flavor is just as brillant...amazing!

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Photo of DavidS333
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"Lagunitas Sucks" by Lagunitas Brewing Co. is a great American Double/Imperial. The froth is a little more than light(just slightly) on a light medium thick scale. The smell of the beer is very nice and refreshing. The color is a sort of rich but light translucent amber gold. The body is halfway between light and medium on a light medium thick scale.

Lagunitas Sucks is a great American Double/Imperial. Its hoppyness is initially semi reminiscient of "Dirtwolf Double IPA" in that it has that sort of gamy hop flavor to it that tastes natural if you will. The end notes of the flavor of L.S. however are somewhat more "rounded" if you will than some other Double IPA/Imperials, and hence it has a really smoothe and semi-sweet ending to the sort of initial satisfying natural hoppyness of the flavor. The flavor is also sort of refreshing. The peaked wild-hoppy initial taste is sort of balanced out with the sort of sweet hop peaked ending. Its really a nice transition and makes for a great taste.

Overall I would definitely suggest this beer to anyone who is a fan of the wild-hop flavor, and even if one isn't I would suggest it based on the interesting and good sort of final notes of this beer's taste which are quite good.

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Photo of MV_CHI-NS
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: An interesting deep amber/citrine body with an ivory/magnolia head.

Aroma: Beautiful floral and citrus notes, carried-through by a light, yet quite profound, hop nose.

Taste: Much like the aroma; a tidal wave of wild flowers/crisp citrus under a bed of hops. Trust me when I say that your first thought when drinking this will be, "that is how an IPA should taste."

Mouthfeel: While many IPAs have the propensity to leave your palate a bit dry, this one is 'wet' and therefore crisp, refreshing, and leaves you wanting more.

Overall: Hands-down, one of the best IPAs I have had in a while (a position which has, until this point, been held by Three Floyds' 'Space Station: Middle Finger' - which I know is an APA, but it is close enough to an IPA as it can get). Get it. Drink it. Enjoy.

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Photo of HopHeadRyan
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My new favorite brew...this is a superbly superior libation...

On my second case of this awesome hoppy creation from Lagunitas...glad they distribute to my area in central PA....

A - nearly clear golden orange hue...creamy 1/2 inch head that fades but leaves lacing around the edges all day...

S - A beautiful bouquet of tropical fruits, pine, citrus peel, and a hint of sweet cereal grains...awesome!

T - Juicy resiny hoppiness with enough malt character to keep things in balanced and easy to drink for the higher abv...its scary-good!

M - Smooth and creamy, light carbonation, almost cask-like...medium bodied but not too syrupy just the right amount..

Overall - A great beer yet again from Lagunitas...I love nearly everything I've had from their line-up. I'm a fan and you will be too...this is one of the best IPAs/DIPAs in the WORLD! Get some! Cheers!

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Photo of bball208
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now this, my friends, is an IPA!!!

Don't know what's better, the aroma or the taste. Either way, perfect 10/10 in my book. This is the juiciest IPA of them all. Aroma, I get tons of tangerine, mango, and loads of pineapple. It smells so damn sweet and a little tangy, super funky attitude on the aroma!! I would wear this as cologne. The taste is... It's like a fruitsnack turned to liquid. Absolutely phenomenal. Not overly sweet, perfect amount of bitter, not much bitter at all with all the complexity of a great IPA. I wish I could have this beer every day. It is a MUST try.

I know you beer snobs look down on those who age IPAs, but I'm going to age this one, along with every other IPA i've had. I'll tell you what, if you love beers, specifically IPAs, you would do the same. Not necessarily because you're looking to improve the beer, but because you are trying to deconstruct it in a way. Remove some of the hops that delightfully highlight the beer, and focus on the underlying tones that supplement those fresh hops. When I tried heady topper with a year of age, it honestly tasted so much better without the distraction of the intense bitterness on a 2 day-old batch. I say, if it has at least 8% abv, age it regardless of what class beer it is.

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Photo of Golfer3Aces
5/5  rDev +16%

This beer is great. Love the story on the bottle and box.

A. Good looking beer. About a finger and a half of head. About the color of honey.

S. Can smell the alcohol. Pine along with citrus fruits.

T. Some grapefruit, pine, I can really taste the alcohol as the beer warms up.

M. A little thicker. Kinda sticks to your mouth a little bit.

Overall. I like this beer a lot. Something I could drink more than one of. Glad I picked up a 6 pack of this. Money well spent.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.99/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into the trusty pint glass. nice brownish golden color to it more like a brown sugar color. Nice lacing not to thin and not to thick. Smells like heaven and tastes very smooth for an Imperial IPA. Not a strong after taste but a well worth tasting beer. Mouth of addicting flavor and overall irresistable beer. Two thumbs for this beer

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Photo of WVU
4.99/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Landed a case of this 01/22/13.

A- Liight gold color wth thin crusty lacing.

S- This beauty smells of fresh grass, spruce and pine that will remind you of harvesting a fresh xmas tree.

T- WOW! Not much more you can say. This is a massive home run by the masters in Cali.

M- This puppy is suoer light on your mouth compared to other beer with this much success.

O- Perfection! Buy as much as you can, I have only found a few brews this good (Founders Harvest Ale , Bells Hopslam, Ballast Pt. Sculpin) which are around double the cost. Had it on tap last month at Fireworks in Leesburg and it was even better.

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Photo of snohojimbo
4.99/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If it wasn't for all the positive comments on BA about this beer, I may not have ever tried one. But I'm glad I did because it is awesome! Found it in the singles for $1.77 a bottle, grabbed the last 2 they had. Great price, most "top-notch" brews are in the $3 range at least.

Poured into a snifter glass, nice copper color, nice lacing.

Smell? Like laying down in a forest of pine needles, with a basket of peaches spilling about!

Taste is the best part. After initially numbing the tongue, it slides down ever so smoothly, leaving a sweet, sticky residue. So good.

I've only seen this beer in one store so far, and can't wait to get some more of it! :)

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Photo of TheBishop
4.98/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Don't believe I had a DIPA as creamy as this. This is a west coast IPA to perfection. Ridiculous amount of hops yet not overpowering bitter. This could easily be a session IPA if not for the high abv. Second best IPA I have had and probably in the top ten of beers I have tried. Nice brew.

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Photo of edgeh2o
4.98/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Probably my new favorite from Lagunitas. All of their beers are arguably among the best, but this one is something special. Everything I look for in an IPA, and more. Great smell, equally great taste. I wish this was a regular offering, because I'm craving one right now!

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Photo of CallMeHarmon
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Pours a medium brown with maybe some orange. Decent head which doesn't stick around too long and becomes lace.

Smell - Slightly sweet and very promising.

Taste - What an unbelievable blend of hoppiness and and hint of fruit. I could drink this all day if it weren't so scarce.

Mouthfeel - Good body, taste, carbonation.

Overall - This is the best beer I've ever had from Lagunitas, and they make awesome beers. I wish they brewed Lagunitas Sucks year round. Then it would be a holiday every day. They say they are adding capacity; it should be devoted to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been looking for the beer to finally pair with my mom's Xmas cutouts, for several years an informal search. Finally, my search is over. Being a hophead, the search results are an added ++.
What to say, defininitely does not suck. Au contrare, reverse psychology. WOW! blows me away with deep piney goodness. Clear bright like Santa's sleigh on a moonlit night... this is my XMAS beer I am drinking a XMAS tree...
Procure a case at last and now in Jan its XMAs in a a glass= piney but also floral and fruity(citrus galore) a great beer so smooth hides the ABV well dangerously drinkable, recommend in front of the fire or with some sweet baked goods, the play between the bitter and sweet is priceless..
Close by saying one of my best beers of 2011, the new case does not disappoint in 2012. a Great beer . World Class and sublime.
Lagunitas make it again.
1/25/13-first bottle of the second year batch and love it as much as last year. The review stands and the beer stands to attention. THE BEST. The best lauginitas by far in Mg opinion great world class ADPA.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,216 ratings.
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