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

1,601 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

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Reviews: 1,601 | Ratings: 10,202
Photo of NWer
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Lucille pint glass. A very nice substitute. Good hop forward Winter Warmer as opposed to so many brews that get too carried away with spices and other stuff.
Nice flowery balance. For Lagunitas, this is a very balanced beer.
Well done for a substitute.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks! 12oz poured into snifter

A- Clear and golden ale. Thin white head.

S- Faint aroma of floral hops.

M- Thin to medium body. Plenty of carbonation appropriate for the style.

T- Floral hops in the front slowly rolling into a fine malty balance. The alcohol reminds you it's there but by no means overwhelming.

O- A very good DIPA. Nice balance of hops and malt but is lacking aroma.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange color with a tight white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and pine hops.

Tastes of the bright hops on top of a nice malt backbone. Hops lead off with notes of grapefruit, pine, and a bit of pineapple. Malts add in some sugary sweetness with sine white bread notes as well. Seems to lean a bit towards sweet, but that is not a complaint as it blends quite well with the fruit notes from the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a lush amount of carbonation.

Overall, I find this to be a very good IPA and would easily take this over the normal Lagunitas IPA, which itself is quite good.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

June 18, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

A – Medium amber with some definite golden hues. Very clear. Slightly off-white foam with some larger bubbles, mostly low retention but a small amount of suds sticks around for a while.

S – Grapefruit and citrus, lemon-lime with a squeeze of orange. Some light, spicy papaya notes. Malt is subdued, bready-crackery.

T – Very strong orange/tangerine, with moderate lemon-lime. Low, low grapefruit and tropical fruit, just giving it a bit of a spicy bite. Malt is bready, slightly graham cracker sweet. Bitterness is very high, but so are the hops/malt, so very well balanced.

M – Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly sudsy. Sweet and juicy up front then a dry, bitter finish.

O – Man, I love this IPA. The right blend of sweet and bitter, with tons of hop aroma and flavor. Bold without obliterating the senses.

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Photo of mechamifune
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been getting a lot of love so I guess I will contribute to it.

Pours a clean looking gold/orange color with a slight white head. Strong lacing and carbonation evident in the glass.

Smell is hops upfront with lots of strong citrus flavors. Not anything I would call complex, but for the american IPA style, its very pleasant and not much else I would ask for.

Taste is in line with smell.... lots of hops and citrus flavors upfront. A slight sweet undercurrent is there but not that strong. Ends without any kind of stringent bitterness but rather with a little bit of an orange juice flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Not particularly resinous at all.

Overall this is a great IPA and, I think, obviously superior to the other ipa's that lagunitas brews despite being at about the same price point. I like brown shugga (and, for that matter, all of the relatively similar "strong ales" that lagunitas puts out) but I hope they find a way to make this beer a mainstay so that I can add it to my IPA roation with Hop Notch and 2hearted.

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Photo of tipfortap
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5 words to describe it: Grapefruit, Brulee, Tropical, Pine, Hops

Paired it with: Teriyaki Tofu with Broccoli

Should have paired it with: It was DELICIOUS with teriyaki sauce; would also be great with barbeque (I’d suggest pulled pork), or one of those ridiculous burgers with like foie gras and blue cheese, because the hops and the booze cut fat well, but the sweetness would compliment those rich flavors.

Drink it if you like: Any of Lagunitas’ other IPA/DIPAs (Maximus or even their standard IPA), American Pale Ale, or even if you love Tripels and you’re looking for a change of pace

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into an antique German Pilsner glass

Golden orange, clear, stream of carbonation, dense white cap quickly subsides with good lacings

Aroma of citrus and pine

Bitterness on the middle of the tongue and sides of the mouth. Bit of spice. But of citrus.

It has bitterness but is very smooth. Almost creamy. A lingering bitterness in taste but isn't sharp.

Very good, interesting beer. I like it.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An interesting beer. It tastes really good but the body is a little light in my opinion. Looks great in the sunlight. Would be a outstanding beer on a warm summer day.

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 8.4.14: Unknown. Drank 12.7.14. Poured from a 32oz bottle to a red wine glass.

A: Golden honey, bright yet hazy, one finger of striking, sticky off white head. Fades to a high collar and a few bubbly islands set adrift.

S: Dank pine, juicy hop oil, marmalade, flowery, tropical with notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, and strong citrus zest.

T: Herbal, strong bitter orange peel, luscious passion fruit, pineapple, and dank pine.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Sprightly, bright, lingers long after taste. Chewy, with minimal alcohol burn.

O: Tropical fruit bomb with incredible, room filling aromatics. So glad this now comes year round in sixers.

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Photo of Buck89
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. A slightly hazy golden-orange color with a frothy white head. Nice staying power and lacing. Big citrusy and spicy rye aromas with some earthy tones as well. A big orange flavor up front, with bitter pith, lemon, pine, and a pleasant rye backbone, very well-balanced. A clean, bitter finish. Just a fantastic beer - no idea how old this one was - always shines.

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Photo of RedBiddy
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can anything good come from California? Apparently so. The Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale is a delightful winter warmer. Nice head, lacing and color (amber with tiny tiny bubbles, Good natual carboation always imbues tiny bubbles versus the big obnoxious bubbles). The smell is tempting like dessert after a good steak. the taste is sweet, like bananas and horehound candy...not sickeningly sweet...just alluringly so. Hop-sense is balanced. The mouthfeel is complete and satisfying, like french kissing for the first time. Overall...a VERY satisfying ale. WAY better than I expected. Don't get your nose up in the air though...the Northwest micros still rule.

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Photo of ronricorossi
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle bought at Broadway Liquors in Oakland

First, the bottle. The bottle, the bottle, the bottle. Just, so big, so protruding, so LOUD, it makes a ruckus in the cooler, just sitting there, pushing all its scrawny neighbors aside. Quart 'o beer.

Hits the glass bright and golden, a range of yellows, nice frothy head. Smells incredible. It's that note of floral and fruit that surprises. Tastes sweet and thick, citrus, along with the usual IPA profiles, and the DIPA dense mouthfeel. Just kinda glorious. Bold and bright. Pretty damn impressive.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip 11/3/13

A clear golden copper with plenty of bubbles popping up from everywhere, a large 3 finger foam quickly falls to a pinky's width and sits there, several thick rings spaced far apart are the evidence of the larger normal sips I'm taking

S pine is strong, tangerine, mandarin orange, grapefruit and pineapple work well with just a little caramel sweetness, smells quite strong and its pretty much what I look for in a West Coast DIPA

T some lemon rind I didn't smell and slightly less pine, still a nice tropical blast but toned down just a tad compared to the nose

M not to heavy for a DIPA and creams up slightly from the bubbles, has a nice mellow bitter bite but nowhere near a palate wrecker, a little slick after the fact with some pine, citric rind, and caramel on the finish

O one of the better hop bombs I've had recently, no booze at any point and solid in every area, I could smell it all day and I'm very stoked I have 5 more in my 6er

Well if Lagunitas sucks I don't need awesome, really though this is a great brew and I'm very stoked I can buy this here in Alberta and will be buying it again soon

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear amber with a one finger high, white head.
Lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Orange, vanilla, sweet malt, pine, pineapple, apple, tropical fruit, resin and a litte bit of grass.
Taste: Citrus, melon, orange, pineapple, a LOT of hops! Butter, herbs, marmelade and caramel malt.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Full taste with a great, baöanced bitternes.

This is true love!

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Photo of mecummins
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Poured a gorgeous golden color with hints of orange in the light. Nice 2 finger head with great lacing. Foam settled to a film covering the surface that lingered for a good portion of the drink

S: Aggressive piney hops on the front followed by toasty malts and a bit of floral aroma on the end. A bit of citrus aroma there as well.

T: You taste the piney hops at first, but not overwhelmingly so. I could detect some grapefruit and floral notes layered into the beer. Some orange citrus made an appearance, as well as something earthy and herbaceous. Sweet roasted malts helped to balance everything.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a longish finish. Lots of hops on the finish, but not overly bitter. Perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a beer that lives up to it 's hype. Nicely balanced and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Capone's into a pint glass. Pours a hazy yet largely transparent golden hue with a scant head. Leaves very nice and sticky lacing behind. The nose is citrus heavy with light hoppiness. Lots of grapefruit with no pine The taste is beyond refreshing. Perfect combo of hops and citrus. The mouthfeel is great too. It doesn't scorch your tongue or hang out for long. In, out, hello, goodbye, thank you very much. Great IPA. Lagunitas certainly does NOT suck. Neither does this beer.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip

Appearance-Pours your standard IPA yellow-amber into the glass, small head rises, good ring of lacing. Nice looking.

Aroma-Very tropical hoppiness, I get a lot of mango and pineapple in the nose. Some slight undercurrent of pale sugarcookie-lke crystal malt but this is predominantly a hop show; as it should be.

Taste-Follows the aroma with the same tropical-fruity hoppiness, juicy and lip-smackingly bitter but not without balance; very crisp. As I sip more hop notes come out ranging from pine to citric peel; real west-coast hop showcase here.

Mouthfeel-Slick and resiny, almost syrupy but without being too thick; great feel.

Overall/Drinkability-Screw Brown Shugga, make this the winter seasonal! Goes down smooth and easy and keeps me wanting more; a class IPA.

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Photo of martinfletwood
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. I've had this beer in my fridge for a few weeks now and just wasn't excited about it. Well today I opened it up, and was very surprised. Very nice blend of hops, oats, barley and rye. I'm guessing it's the citra hop, but I'm no pro, so probably wrong. Great beer that deserves the rating it's given. Hopefully the quality won't go away with the Heineken ownership now.

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Photo of gustogasmic
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 10 oz. snifter at 8th Street Grille in Holland.

A: light amber copper that has a beautiful and slight orange tint to it. Bartender poured it to the brim, letting the head run off, but with a swirl later on, and the initial pour, I'd say it's a light and very temporary head with little retention. Tiny bubbles like you often see in hop-heavy stuff.

S: Intense citrus and flowers. Daisies. Exciting!

T&M: First I've had in awhile that I'd dub a true hop-trip, one that develops and rolls out slow enough with such pleasing and colorful flavors that it's downright psychedelic.
The mouthfeel is perfect for the flavor: it rolls it down the tongue and up through the mouth, with resiny honey on the tongue throughout. It's the type of honey I remember in 2010 Hopslam. The malts compliment and create the comfiness of this hoppy, comfy IPA. The complexity and richness is surprising for a 7.85% ABV, but I don't care; The light-to-little booze presence is appropriate. The flavors are all there.

Sidenote: my friend had a Avery Maharaja while I was drinking this. Alternating sips of the beers (right in a row, that is) created one of the most sublime beer experiences I can remember, a hop VOYAGE. Very oddly specific, but if you ever have these two beers or see them both on tap somewhere, do it. You will thank me.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow I really Like the flavor & nose on this "substitute" from Lagunitas.
tried the Quart bottle & fell in love. like a previous poster, I decided to pick up the 6 pack I saw recently, not much different. which is awesome cause I really liked my first impression.
pine resin, fresh grains, citrus, awesome. not much else to say other than it has a clean aftertaste for the bitterness level, so very drinkable. Toast! to what may be my go-to "lighter" "Crisper" spring/summer brew. nice.

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Photo of weaselface89
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- golden and slightly hazy. Nice white head that sticks to the glass leaving layers of white rings.
S- hoppy with pineapple and citrus and a familiar scent that comes with a lagunitas brew
T- papaya, and pineapple, alittle pineyness and somewhat bitter
F-medium feel with a slight prickle of carbonation
O- got this one on draft at the local taco mac. Enjoyed it in the past and tonight was no different.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden to copper with lively bubbles of carbonation beneath the pillowy white head.

Generous, resin hop aromas float from the glass including citrus and pine with a malt sweetness that holds its own right next to the hops.

Flavors of sweet citrus and pungent piney hops coat the palate along with sweet malts. As it warms it becomes even more woody and piney with pineapple and orange grapefruit and malt sweetness mid-palate to balance everything out returning to the grapefruit in the finish.

Features a medium body with generous carbonation and a sticky, puckering finish.

This is an excellent DIPA and unexpected as a winter seasonal. This can hold its own with just about any of its limited release brethren.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on draft at Lagunitas Taproom Chicago in a 16oz pint. This is a beast of a brew and although I would choose Brown Shugga over this Substitute this is still a massive brew. Extreme fruity tones throughout making it hard for me to even distinguish what is what. With lacing left for days, it tastes great and is almost just as fun to drink and put down constantly to see all the rings left on the glass. It's a bitter beer so you have to get used to that, but it's well done.

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Photo of nimrod979
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle into a pint glass. I was in a rush and didn't feel the need to find "proper" clean glass. Could have sworn I reviewed this one before but can't find it on my phone so here goes.

Appearance: Clear, bright, golden/copper color. One finger white head fades quickly to a thing ring and film on top of the beer. Spotty lacing here and there.

Aroma: Yee-haw, Excellent mix of pine resin and tropical fruit aromas. Mint and some caramel-y malt to sweeten things up. Smells like a real treat. Quick hint of booze.

Taste: First sip learns towards the piney hops, before the mango, grapefruit and pineapple citrusy hops take over. This one is still rather agreessive at 6 months. but with only 63.25 IBU's the bitterness is held in check due to some sugary caramelized malts that hold this beer up nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Finishes up well with some more of that piney hoppiness. A lot of excellent flavors going on here. Although classified as a DIPA, I find it extremely drinkable and at only 7.85% ABV isn't too heavy either. It's right in the middle ground of pretty heavy IPA and a light DIPA. I like this so-called "middle-ground", great balance of flavors going on here.

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Photo of Jjski
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I get quite tired of the bitter hop heavy parade of most IPA or DIPA... This is quite good, aromatic, citrus forward, and sublimely flavorful and refreshing.

I go to this and Hop Devil & Burton Baton when I want hops with quality

Edit 4/9/15 - IMHO, after recently sampling Pliny, the citrus hop profiles are decidedly similar. I'm currently in hop seeking mode, and think this beer is great

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,202 ratings.
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