Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,583 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,583 | Ratings: 10,141
Photo of rjd722
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Orange-amber body, slight haze but not completely opaque. Huge, fluffy white foam head which sticks around for a seriously long time and maintains it thickness. Nice lacing as well.

Aroma: Somewhat grassy scent, accompanied by pine and fresh citrus. Sweet malts also dominated the profile, while the hops remain relatively low-key. Interesting tropical/pine medley here.

Taste: Sweet malts and a complex citrus accompaniment (pear, orange, grapefruit, lemon). Towards the end is when you really get the full array of rye, wheat, etc.

Feel: Unbelievably smooth for a DIPA coming in at nearly 8%. Excellent balance of malts and hops, not too bitter. I could drink this one all day, every day.

 699 characters

Photo of MadCat
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice golden color with a fluffy white head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Pine and citrus hops, a little tropical fruit and bread

Taste: More pine, citrus, and tropical fruit. A nice balance malt bill, with biscuit and caramel, a little resin on the finish

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Fantastic brew, I can see why it is highly sought after. Love the 32oz bottle. Doesn't go overboard on the hops, but it is a very nice profile, and has a good balance of malts to compliment the hops. Very well rounded beer.

 565 characters

Photo of Jonny41
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured into pilsner glass, deep orange honey color nice foamy head that lasts well, thick lacing on glass when swirled.
Intense smell deep citrius ,grapefruit and other. Taste explosion. A little heavy like too much grape fruit "peel" but very enjoyable, second glass even better.

Slightly thick mouth feel, may want water or lite beer in between bottles but other wise a fantastic beer a top rated DIPA for me.

 414 characters

Photo of zodiak3000
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden/Orange, not totally clear... somewhat hazy, looks very similar to Lagunitas IPA.

S- Wow. Tons of tropical fruits going on here. Somewhat floral as well. Getting blasted with mango mostly. Im guessing Simcoe/Amarillo and/or Citra in the dry hop.

T/M- Follows the nose very well. The one thing I love about Lagunitas is there ability to achieve insane hop flavor without all the bitterness. Probably tons of late kettle additions. The malt is somewhat complex as well. Rye isnt too noticeable, but the oats did create a very slight creamy mouthfeel. Drinkability is so good.

O- Very well done. Honestly could care less about Brown Shugga after trying this. Reminds me almost of a cross between the IPA, Hop Stoopid, and Waldo. Bring this one year round fellas!

 772 characters

Photo of HopDiggityDawg
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Mother Earth (NC) Snifter
Nice thin head with great lacing
Smell - There is no way this beer tastes bad with a nose like this, hoppy, citrus, fruit
Taste - follows the nose - citrus, a little west coast IPA flavor
Mouthfeel - is more like a west coast IPA, resin, oil,
Overall - By far my favorite offering from lagunitas. I would never turn this one down!

 371 characters

Photo of BastardKing24
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got this from my local brew store, after reading about it, and also loving anything Lagunitas.

Pours a light gold with a huge billowing head that sticks around for a while.
Lacing is thick, very proper looking brew.

Smell is nice with dank hops and citrus, pine, pineapple, clove, malt, not the most overwhelming smell but it hits the spot for IPAs, I'm diggin it.

Taste is a huge hop presence, kinda spicy, very floral, piney, some citrus, reminds me of pliny. Alcohol is well hidden, can't taste it.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonation, with a sticky aftertaste of hops, resin sits on tongue.

Overall a fantastic beer I will seek out in the future. Get ahold of it!

 668 characters

Photo of JCaweinstein
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Two finger pillowy white head with good retention. The head on this thing looks so good. Amber to orange in color and crystal clear, showing off just enough carbonation to keep the head on my beer to the bottom of my snifter.
The aromas that I pick up are all fruit related, the most obvious to me being grapefruit. I also smell hints of mango, pineapple and lemon.
It's got that great hop bitterness upfront with some of those fruit flavors showing out, mainly the grapefruit. After the hop blast I get a nice burnt toast, grainy bread taste which follows the hop bitterness nicely. It finishes with the less intense fruit flavors that makes me think of pineapple or even lemon.
This medium bodied, and has that sticky resinous feel to it that I love in my IIPA's. It finishes crisp with malty bitterness and sticks in mouth for a few minutes after every taste so I dont soon forget how good it is.
This is one of my all time favorite IPA style beers. It's crisp, clean and majorly hoppy. I also think I picked this sixer up for like ten bucks! Awesome!

 1,055 characters

Photo of bornridiculous
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will do my best to refrain from the avalanche of profanities that have formed in my brain as a result of drinking a six pack of this in one sitting. I do indeed love this beer.

Appearance: A bright golden color with good head retention and excellent lacing.

Smell: Holy Hops. Smooth Crisp Hops. Solid Citrus with hints of pine and just slightly resin flavored. Its like a humidor made of hop cones.

Taste: This IPA is balanced and not balanced at the same time. It almost appears that different hop characteristics come out in each sip. Fruit, Earthiness, pine, sweetness, malt, and grapefruit all come to mind.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with moderate carbonation. A real resin aftertaste that is at once satisfying without being overpowering. I liken it to a brutal IPA like Stone Ruination, but a velvet glove without the iron fist.

I keep licking my teeth to extract the hops.

Final Thought. I drank Ruination to be punished, Ghandibot to be impressed, but Sucks is now my benchmark. Fuck Brown Shuggha.

 1,006 characters

Photo of SerialHiker
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a classic deep golden color…transparent in nature, tons of bubbles bubbling up from the bottom…luscious white head formed and remained…tons of legs all over the glass…(4/5)

Smell: Tons of citrus hops…grapefruit, orange, mandrin, those little clementines in a bag for $6.99 and pineapple…sweet, pale malt…tons of citrus hops…(4.25/5)

Taste: Wow…I have to say, I expected a way more citrus dominant flavor, but that’s not the case…starts very fresh and very citrusy, much like the nose…flavors of grapefruit, orange and pineapple all apparent…but the sweet, pale malts come through and hold their own against all comers balancing out all those hops and that’s no small feat…this could easily have been over the top hoppy and still good, but the amount of excellent malt flavor here takes this brew to another level…piney resin flavor comes toward the end and lasts throughout the after taste…(4.75/5)

Mouthfeel: Light body, light to medium carbonation…very clean break after swallowing, hints of citrus zest and piney resin linger on the palate…very light…(4/5)

Overall: This is a solid brew…very citrus hops heavy with a solid malt backbone and a piney hops finish…very flavorful…I’m not sure how this is an afterthought brew for lagunitas because it’s better than most others’ IPA attempts…a wonderful surprise I found at my local Dominick’s that I couldn’t pass up, and I’m super glad I didn’t…if you see this brew, buy it and you’ll thank me later...outstanding flavor with a high ABV (that’s only noticeable by the buzz), this is a stand-out beer that I couldn’t recommend more…(4.5/5)

 1,682 characters

Photo of dgugliuzza
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip

Long golden pour with a sizzling, bubbling head. The white head falls fast and turns into a creamy lacing. Plenty of carbonation and sticky lacing.

Smells like a tropical fruit platter. Pineapple, mango and papaya smack the nostrils. Fantastic fruity and resinous hop aroma. Sticky sweet with just a fraction of bitterness.

Taste is a tropical fruit explosion with moderate bitterness. Pineapple and mango are most evident. Clean hop finish that is much more sweet than bitter. Simply delicious.

medium bodied, creamy brew that leaves the palate wanting more. Good burst of carbonation. Insanely smooth and drinkable. It gets better and better with each sip.

Not only does this beer not suck, it is down right terrific. The tropical fruit parfait, sticky sweetness and full bodied creaminess work in perfect unison. I will certainly not miss Brown Shugga if I have a supply of these on hand. A must try. No excuses.

 962 characters

Photo of TippySelenoid
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

It's a deep, golden color with a white head. The head doesn't last too long, but it leaves remarkable lacing. Not much for bubbles in the beer.

It's sweet, the sugars smell caramelized. There is a peppery/herbal note to the hops.

This beer has a fair amount of woody/herbal/spicy hops. The malts are sweet, but not cloying. There is a nice amount of balance between the flavors.

It's medium bodied and feels bit fizzy, but this is not bad in this beer.

This beer is a winner. I prefer this to the Brown Shugga'. This should be the new winter seasonal.

 578 characters

Photo of aficionado
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliantly clear light gold body with 2 finger soapy white head. Loads of lacing.

Fruit bomb on the nose. Lots of fresh hops, citrus rinds, sweet pineapple candy, unripe watermelon, fresh mango, and ripe peach.

The taste is much like the nose, albiet a tad less intense. Big floral notes of tropical fruit and sweet sticky candy. Similiar to a hopped up West Coast IPA that I brewed recently with more of a rich, sweet cereal-esque malt backbone full of barley, rye, wheat, and oats.

A lot of people use resinous as a descriptor for this beer, but I get more floral, fruitiness with Lagunitas brews whereas Russian River and Alpine produce more resinous hop forward beers.

Medium body. Easy drinking yet full of flavor. This should be a year round brew. By far my favorite from Lagunitas, even topping Hop Stoopid. You can definitely sense dryhopping at its finest here.

 877 characters

Photo of JohnWaynes44
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pure gold. Creamy head that held on and left a web of lacing. Citrus nose consists of pineapple, orange, and lemon grass. Juicy hops are just exploding with citrus. Pineapple stands out, but lemon and a hint of orange are there too. Malts are in the background but never come to the forefront. Bitterness lingers through the finish like drinking simple green. Feel is oily and slick.

This beer pushes the style in a way that we are not accustomed to. Typically a brewer with push a style forward, but this one takes a step back, but not in a negative way. The lack of big malt in this beer pulls it back from a DIPA in a very good way. It is a great and unique representation of the style, with a straight up juicy hop forward, bitter ale. I urge Lagunitas to make this a year round offering.

 793 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear bright golden wit ha thin white head and a lot of sticky looking lace.

S - Juicy hops, grapefruit, orange, mango, tangerine.

T - Grapefruit, pineapple, very tropical fruity, hint of pine I didn't pick up in aroma. On the hoppy side but with enough sweetness to balance it out.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation and juicy lingering hops in a dry finish.

D - A great IPA that I am glad they made since I am not a fan of Brown Shugga at all.

Thanks to emerge077 for sharing a bottle before I can buy it in Milwaukee. Must pick up a 6 pack or two when it is available.

 586 characters

Photo of xnicknj
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks to scalene

Pours a clear auburn color with an orange hue. Frothy white head retains with a layering of white haze. Large rings of patchy film string across the glass.

Super juicy hops in the nose with an absolute explosion of fruits. Pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, and oranges with pithy bitterness. A hint of sweetness with bready notes and slight warmth.

Really nice bitterness up front with aggressive citrus flavors. Grapefruit pith combines with orange peel and a dash of pineapple. Apricot hints with a decent malt backbone. Sweet bready notes with soft caramel. Finishes bitter and juicy with a light warmth.

Lighter medium body, well carbonated, sticky and juicy on the tongue. This is BY FAR the best beer I've ever had from Lagunitas - I want more!

 807 characters

Photo of perrymarcus
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a nice golden / burnished copper shade while yielding a creamy finger or so of white head. decent retention and nice lacing evident.

nose is outstanding: huge, aromatic notes of citrus and tropical hoppiness - one of the more fragrant citric / tropical aromas i've come across in either recent or not-so-recent memory - with secondary notes of pine and a pleasant malt backbone.

flavor packs more of the same with juicy citrus and tropical fruits galore, a bit of pine, and some balancing maltiness. very tasty. decent medium bodied mouthfeel with average to slightly below average carbonation.

overall, just really impressed with this beer. fantastic, wow-factor IPA. can only hope it finds its way into the regular lineup at some point.

 782 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lace.

S - Aroma is full of citrus hops and candied pineapple, grapefruit, and mango, some floral hops, and some sweet caramel malts.

T - Starts off with a strong kick of grapefruit and pineapple hops with some good bitterness and a bit of sweet caramel malts growing from the background. Through the middle, some pine and floral hops come through with some more citrus flavor and bitterness. The finish is a mix of sweet candied tropical and citrus fruits, bitterness, grassy hops, and some sweet malt.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a resiny and fairly dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice big hoppy DIPA with a great hop profile. I really like how strong the candied tropical fruits are.

 861 characters

Photo of budgood1
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours out an ever so slightly hazed bright gold colour with a respectable off white head. there is good deal of floaties to be had, adding to the viewing pleasure. very clingy lace. massive citric pith and resiny pine hop aroma. some base biscuity and bready malt manages to peak through. bitterness whacks the tongue right away upon tasting...then some hop flavours quickly fill the void by throwing off some assorted citrus notes...mostly lemon, tangerine and grapefruit with a hint of juicy pineapple. the resiny sap nuances also add to the hop party, making for a certain brashness that is bad ass in the mouth. sturdy maltiness provides the sweet bready bass line which allows the hop shredding to shine. no real alcohol notes can be tasted, but can be perceived in the overall taste profile. this DIPA has surprising girth to it; i expected it to be more IPA than DIPA but this brings the good in the body department...full, rich and sweet despite the massive hop bitterness. the mouthfeel has a certain coarseness...not grating but a bit rough. i would guess this much higher than the 65 IBU's listed. great drinkability...this just tastes damn good for amped up hop juice!

overall i would say that this doesn't "suck" and is some damn tasty "holiday leftovers". cult status well deserved. it leaves me smiling.

 1,319 characters

Photo of jdhende
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in to a New Belgium Snifter

A: A nice orange/goldish color with very little head.

S: Very fruit forward smell.

T: Very smooth balanced beer. Really fresh taste with tons of different fruit tastes going on.

M: Medium body with a really crisp and slightly bitter finish.

O: This is a really well done beer by Lagunitas. Great holiday offering pick up if you have the chance.

 391 characters

Photo of slackattack
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into rocks type glass from hotel. Nice thick foamy head that persists and laces well, at least in this odd glass. Appearance is completely transparent straw color with lots of carb coming up from glass. Nose is kinda funky, almost savory in a way. Had this beer a lot but didn't examine nose this thoroughly before. Taste is malt forward and followed by a hop bitterness that has flavors of pepper, some citrus peel, and finally some booziness at the end, which i actually like. Mouthfeel is where it should be. Overall an outstanding beer that is a go to whenever available.

 594 characters

Photo of Chizoad
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a bottle of it at Bottlecraft. Less than $2! I can say for sure that Lagunitas didn't suck when it came to this one. Was expecting a more wintry brew rather than a pale ale.

Straw colored with a 1/2 finger head that left faint lacing. Looks refreshing and like a "lite" beer.

Great citrus hop aroma dominated by lemon and grapefruit. Reminds me of Alpine's Nelson a little bit.

Taste is complex hops, nearly no malt. Not balanced but very light in body which fits the hops perfectly if you like that sort of thing. Grapefruit, lemon again.

Light body, medium carbonation. This really is a perfect summer beer.... brewed for the holidays! Maybe they'll never make it again so enjoy it while you can.

 710 characters

Photo of ChugginOil
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice translucent golden color with a thin layer of white head. Short retention leaves pretty heavy lacing around the walls of the glass.

The nose has a great deal of grapefruit zest along with some lemon and other citrus rind. There is a nice balancing sweet malt present that lets me know this could very well be a nicely crafted IPA.

The taste has a citrus blast that's akin to grapefruit, orange, and lemon rind. The strong citrus notes create a bitter effect on the palate that sticks around for quite some time. There is a biscuit-like malt flavor behind the hoppiness that makes this brew very well-rounded and balanced.

The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a crisp and dry finish. This brew is just down right outstanding.

Overall, this is probably the best surprise of 2011 for me at least. I could care less if Brown Shugga' is never made again! Just a gorgeous, flavorful, and classy IPA. Love it.

 925 characters

Photo of kirok1999
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange with a nice rising head and a good amount of lacing.
Smells strongly of a nice blend of citrus...in fact, damn near every one I can name. Sweet candy promises a really nice sipper.
And it is. The citrus dominates the taste, with some pine resin and mild floral notes. The sweetness lingers to be followed by a very nice dryness where the less citrusy parts are more noticeable.
This is listed as a Brown Sugga replacement. Good idea, I hope they keep making it because it's now one of my favorite DIPAs.

 525 characters

Photo of Keeton
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer!

First of all, what I feel were the very small short comings... I could have used a touch more head/ sparkle/ effervescent explosion. I feel with the aroma of the certain hops used that it could have been just a bit better in this area. Also might have had just a touch more malt balance even though it's not necessary for the style at all.

Now to the good! The hop profile is wonderful! Pinny, citrus, fruity. And not just fruity but all kinds of fruit. Every time I crack open another bottle I fund my brain going to a new flavor that I didn't get the beer before. It's like I get to give the kid in my brain recess.

flavor, smell, overall... I'm a big fan

 680 characters

Photo of jman892
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have heard a lot about this beer, and am excited to try it. Lagunitas is already one of my favorite breweries

A - Pours a crystal clear golden straw color, with a decent 1 finger white head. Mild to moderate lacing

S - Great smell on this one. Citrus fruits, mango, pineapple. Nice and inviting.

T - Follows the nose, with a little bit of pine mixed in. Very fruit forward, with some earthy pine bite to balance it off, so I still know I am drinking beer.

M - Nice and smooth, easy drinking, alcohol is well hidden

O - Very good DIPA, very juicy, but perfectly balanced. Hope they continue making this and it does not end up as just a one-off. Definitely lives up to the hype

 680 characters

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,141 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!