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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,570 Reviews
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 1,570 | Ratings: 10,100
Photo of philbe311
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - A finger and a half worth of delicate fluffy whipped cloud-like egg shell colored head... Solid retention... Once faded their is a thick rich collar and moderate veil of lacing... The color is a light and slightly dull amber... There is a moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation rising throughout... Loads of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Holy hop cones... Piney... Earthy... Slightly pungent (in a good way)... Grapefruit... Orange zest... A limited malt base is detected...

T - A bit more of a citrusy character takes over the palate... Grapefruit... Oranges... Tangerines... A hint of mango... There is still a strong piney component along with grassy and earthy tones... Some light biscuit and crust notes...

M - Medium bodied... Slightly lush... A touch of creaminess... Very smooth... Finishes a bit dry... Lots of textures and character...

D - A rock solid American DIPA... Loaded with depth, complexity and character... It's not the hoppiest, but it's bursting with flavor... There's also something that makes it rather unique in the realm of hyped hop bombs, though I can't quite place my finger on it... I highly recommend and will gladly indulge whenever presented the opportunity...

 1,211 characters

Photo of dougfur
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, slightly orange-y straw color, very clear, pretty small head. The smell is classic hoppy American ipa; citrus, a bi of tropical fruit, a bit of's not overwhelming, but very nice! Taste is excellent, hoppy, a reasonable amount of bitterness. Mouthfeel is very nice. Overall, it's just a really solid American IPA. I'll be having this one again, when I can find it.

 388 characters

Photo of Bajasith
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

There is nothing like a bright glow of golden honey color as the evening sun peers through the glass. Heavy hints of grapefruit along with freshly soaked pine, creamy feel as it splashes the palate. Very enjoyable brew on a warm sunny day here in the desert. Time to set the carne asada on the grill and quaff a second one.

 323 characters

Photo of Kerfluffel
3.81/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter. 12oz bottle

a: pours golden with a hint orange. clear as day with a white tight head that leaves a considerable amount of lacing

s: strong and forward hop nose with notes of in your face grapefruit, with lemon, pine resin, and hints of grass and soft malt that hides in the background

t: Flavor starts off with strong hop notes, that follows the nose. Malt background is soft that's biscuity and with lightly toasted grain. Alcohol pokes through and a nice bitterness to end the palate.

m: silky smooth mouthfeel that's medium bodied with a bright bitterness that lingers long but not overly so. Not too dry of a finish.

o: great DIPA that's lighter in alcohol than most with an absolutely amazing aroma. Has a grapefruit juice like quality without the acidity.

 787 characters

Photo of denver10
3.94/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a burnt orange with a frothy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is sweet and juicy; some nice hop resin, citrus, brown sugar and some bread. A sweet and fruity IPA; sweet citric juice, hop resins, and some bread. A crisp, active mouthfeel. Overall, I get the hype for this beer but I am not quite digging this like most. Would drink again, but wont be seeking this out personally. Kinda reminds me a lot of Brown Shugga, just with a different malt base.

 458 characters

Photo of tastymug
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium orange/amber with a nice head and lots of lacing.

Smell: First thought here is that it smells awesome! Hoppy, sweet and citrusy.

Taste: Very complex yet balanced taste that is full of flavor. Sweet, sharp and citrus upfront with some bitter following after. It finishes warm and fruity (like tropical fruits) and the flavor lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Overall: A super tasty beer that I would definitely indulge in again. It’s very well-rounded and drinkable. Lagunitas generally produces quality brews so no surprise here!

 623 characters

Photo of Efay
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- The body of this beer is a light goldenrod color. There is two fingers worth of foam with good head retention. Best of all, there is an extremely high amount of lacing on this bad boy.

S- Initial danky smell, which leads to light pine that actually stings your nose, as well as fresh tangerine. I literally mean fresh tangerine as it smells like someone is cutting one right in front of your nose. It is heavenly. The tangerine is so dominant that I can barely get any malt.

T- Initial dank flavor, but its light and somewhat floral. Tangerine is dominant again, with less amount of pine. This is not really bitter at all and is more fruity than anything, which I love.

M- Light and sticky with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O- I never thought I would enjoy an DIPA this much, especially with the lack of a malt backbone. The hops are not overbearing at all and it's just sweet perfection. This is on a level of heady topper, and is simply phenomenal.

 963 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Obtained via trade from ThaFATkid. Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium snifter. The pour is clear orange-gold with a nice sudsy white head and some nice bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Nice nose on this beer. Very fruity without smelling ``sweet''. I get lots of fresh citrus fruit (orange and grapefruit), some dried apricot, and just a hint of pine.

Nice firm feel and medium body. The flavor is a nice combination of fruity and bitter. I get a bit of sweet, mealy, maltiness up front, some butterscotch, and plenty of fruit. The feel is downright creamy and suits the palate well. I do wish that the butterscotch, while not on the forefront, didn't last quite so long across the palate. Just a flash up front would be divine, but too much interferes with the hoppy goodness. Good finish on this one, though not as sustained as I'd like.

I'd definitely buy this one every year if I had access to it. As I have to trade for it, this may be my only encounter with it. I can confirm that it was a delightful one at that.

 1,044 characters

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

A- Lagunitas Sucks pours a perfect combination of yellow and orange. It meets right in the middle. A booming heads tops the beer which is completely clear with nice bubbly carbonation.

S- Right away I can spot the brewery. There's something about Lagunitas (not unlike Victory) where you can tell the brewery right from the start. I get a lot of bright green hops, with only a slight malt balance. Quite a bit of citrus that really dominates the nose.

T- After a few big sips I'm getting a lot of lip-smacking citrus but also a nice peppery character that I did not expect. The malt is present but definitely not a huge flavor component, which I am okay with given that it is as true West Coast IPA through and through.

M- Medium bodied and very well balanced. It is smooth as can be for the style. Sucks sits well on the tongue. It has a very clean finish but is not particularly dry, which is just fine for me.

O- Loved it. I had heard so much about this beer and it did not disappoint me. This is a great IPA from a great brewery. The only negative I have is that this is not quite a double like it's listed. It a very good IPA, but if it is truly a DIPA, it is a little weak. There's almost TOO MUCH drinkability and too much smoothness for the style... if that makes sense? Still, it's a great beer and you should drink it!

Serving Type- 12oz bottle poured into an IPA glass. Thanks for reading.

 1,409 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet glass.

Appearance- pours a light, bright orange with one finger of bubbly, frothy head. Lacing all around as the head goes. Stays bubbly on top.

Smell- Bright tangerine sugary notes, candy maltiness, and citrusy, herbal hop finish. Smells very good.

Taste- Begins with sweet tangerines, maraschino cherries and bubblegum. A brief astringence flows into caramel corn malts. Finish is a bold, earthy hop character. Surprisingly dry and blunt for how sweet it started out. Tasty stuff. Tangy apricot aftertaste on the palate.

Mouthfeel- Mineral water micro-bubbles yield to a creamy, sugary smoothness. A bit dense.

Overall- I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. Unique taste. Fruity with a malt and hop afterthought. An appropriately sweet substitute for Brown Shugga. Very likeable and tasty. As much as I hate to say it though, it's much like a Magic Hat #9, but with a bit more bravado. Surprisingly mild for a double IPA, and noticeably lacking a big hop character on the palate akin to the style. All things considered, I've got a few more in the cellar, and look forward to them.


 1,138 characters

Photo of bambam2517
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to a pint glass and served in the backyard, initially at 40F.

A - Pretty standard IPA looks. Dirty golden-brown body, some light carbonation and a small watery head. Does lace nicely down the glass though.

S - Very powerful orange blossom, grapefruit and pineapple. Floral and slightly sweet. A real winner here.

T - Backs up the nose nicely. Really pick up the Grapefruit all the way through. It bounces off the orange and pineapple mostly, but there is a nice backbone of Cascade hops here too. Again, nicely done.

M - It backs up on the palate slightly, but it masks its ABV well and it has a slight sweetness that keeps me sipping it.

O - Its a very nice offering, I do prefer Sumpin Sumpin to this one though.

 726 characters

Photo of Fusion7777
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber into a tulip with a generous white foamy head. Aroma is absolutely intoxicating citrus and pine and easily one of the best noses on an IPA/IIPA. Taste is tropical fruits, hops, pineapple, mango, passionfruit, lemon zest, and balanced by subtle malt. Sticky, smooth, crisp, and balanced mouthfeel. Quite possibly the best bang for your buck at 9 bucks a sixer; packs a very high flavor to dollar ratio. A great go-to beer, especially now that it figures to be a year round offering. The best of many Lagunitas IPA offerings.

 544 characters

Photo of Big_V
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Good two finger head. Color was a unique golden brown. Good carbonation.

S - Wow! Sweet brown sugar.

T - I can taste a little something different after every sip. Grapefruit, pine, toffee. To bad my store said they won't be getting any more :(

M - So easy to go down. Just right on the hops.

O - Picked up 2 (6) packs and upon my first taste I didn't think it was worth the hype. After my second beer I'm hooked! Need more.

 432 characters

Photo of Rukasu
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Move over Hopslam, ye have been dethroned in my book.

A - Beautiful, clear ruddy-amber, thin white head.

S - Interesting mix of pine, pineapple, straw, orange rind, slightly funky cheese hints linger in the nose on the end, but not at all off-putting.

T - Big hops up front, tastes match the smell fairly well. More of the orange rind, and a mix of savory bitterness and sweet.

M - Fairly heavy, has a chewiness to it, and well carbonated.

O - I found 2013's Hopslam to be off from year's past, and luckily discovered Sucks just in time to fill the gap. One of the best DIPA's I've had in a long time. Haven't had many Lagunitas, but this beer converted me.

 663 characters

Photo of dbell23
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I guess I need to confess that I like lagunitas beers. Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz. bottle. Nice two finger head with good retention and great lacing. Golden color.

Smell is lagunitas standard. Pineapple? Sirupy hops with lots of sweetness. Orange rind with grapefruit.

Taste follows the nose with a nice sweet hoppiness to start, bitter hops in the middle with sweet hop to finish. Tastes like a combination of a little sumpin' sumpin' and brown shugga light. Since I like both beers I like this one.

Mouthfeel is normal double ipa. Good carbonation with a slight hop resin slickness.

Overall a really good double ipa. It's pretty much what I expected given the name and my familiarity with lagunitas.

 718 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this one - not sure what took me so long.

What a pretty beer... a glowing gold body that is stuffed from side to side with constant beading. A creamy finger of off-white head retains well and leaves behind drapes of lace from start to finish.

The aroma reminds me quite a bit of Sculpin or Dreadnaught. Juicy hop character defined by tropical fruits and some heady nugz. Nose-gasm.

Takes a slightly different direction on the palate. A bit more citrus and pine resin. More complex than the nose would suggest. Really tasty stuff.

This beats the piss outta Brown Sugga.

 613 characters

Photo of niday2288
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a delirium tremens tulip snifter.

A - Pour is copper with a nice white head. Color is clouded by floating sediment and constant bubbling.

S - Smell is huge citrus, with grapefruit and tart orange. There is a hint of sweet pine and floral notes.

T - Taste matches the nose but does have a nice trus sweetness to it from some clever malt wok that is not present in the nose.

M - Nice and tangy. The bitterness and sweetness are very well balanced and do not cause one or the other to linger on the palate.

Overall, this beer is awesome. I have not had much exposure to lagunitas in the past. WIth my recent tastings of several of their beers, this is by far my favorite. Though it doesn't come out and call itself one, this is an awesome imperal or double IPA. This may be close to the top of this category for me. Watch out Bells Hopslam and Breckenridge 471 Small Batch!

 902 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a six pack, picked up in DC by a fellow BA. Thanks daryk!

Poured into my Duvel tulip. I can't find a freshness date on the bottle, but I'm guessing around October 2012 or so.

Light honey caramel in colour, with about a half inch of head, which settles nicely into a thick ring with some icicled lacing.

Nose is generously hoppy and tropical, with grapefruit, mango, orange and a resin bitterness as well. Touch of grain and caramel sweetness as well. Impressive.

Certainly an enjoyable double IPA, quite bitter and a bit drier than I'd expected it to be. It begins sweet and caramel, though milder than some of the other examples of the style. The bittering hops are all there, and there's a dry-hopped quality to it. Citrus is overtaken a touch by the resin bitterness, though grapefruit pith and mango are still there. Bready and a little bit soapy to the finish.

Lighter bodied, easy to drink, moderate to high carbonation.

I enjoyed this brew to be sure, and I'm happy to have the better part of a six pack left to hold on to and explore a bit more. I can't say that I'm blown away by it, however; it feels a bit off balance - drier and more bitter than I think I'd like, but it's a fine beer nevertheless. Not something I would go that far out of my way to get again, which considering how infrequently I get my hands on American craft brews, is a decision I have to make.

 1,404 characters

Photo of Beerney
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best beer that I've had in a long time. I was expecting something much heavier from Lagunitas at 7.8%. Great hop aros woma and hop burst. Very well balanced. Not overly bitter as you'd expect from 63 IBUs. Great beer. Lagunitas sucks for not making this beer year round.

 270 characters

Photo of IKR
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light-golden yellow color with a modest-sized white head that slowly faded

Taste:The pine aromas carry over to the taste along with some mild caramel notes. I definitely get some citrus notes in the mix. The finish ends with some mild citrus notes.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a medium level of carbonation.

Overall: Very good IPA for my usually Imperial Stout-preferring Palate.

 395 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a nice bright golden orange color with about two fingers of doughy off-white head with decent retention. Lots of bubbles lazily floating to the top. Very nice rings of webbed lacing.

S - Luscious bitter grapefruit. Light fruity mango / papaya smell. Some lemon. An amalgamation of fruity hoppiness. Fresh, fruity, and floral. Some soapiness.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty well. Multiple layers of fruitiness abound: orange, mango, pineapple, grapefruit. Light and fruity up front, and then bitter and spicy from the hops in the finish. Unlike some of Lagunitas's other IPA offerings, the Lagunitas Sucks tastes much more freshly hopped than some of their other brews, which use hop extracts.

M - Dank bitter fruity hop presence sticks to the palate for a while, allowing you to savor the flavor. Fruitiness and sweetness lingers.

Overall, I love this beer more and more each and every time I drink it. Dangerously drinkable at 7.85% abv, refreshing even. This has got to be one of my all time top widely-available DIPA's, if not my favorite. Excellent.

Lagunitas Sucks ---4.5/5

 1,198 characters

Photo of BaltimoreBeerLover
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Dark honey colored with a one inch white head.

Smell: Sweet sweet brown sugar is the main aroma I am getting. (Who would have guessed?) I also detect notes of cinnamon.

Taste: Goddamn Batman! So delicious. Not quite as overwhelmingly sweet as the smell (which is a good thing) but the brown sugar aftertaste is very detectable. Tasty hoppy bitterness as well in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Good medium carbonation. The sweetness and hoppiness definitely stick around for a while.

Overall: Such a great beer. I am in love with Lagunitas. 4.2/5

 610 characters

Photo of Beerasaurus
4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: A welcoming golden, honey color with a finger of head
S: Wow! Now that's a very citrusy hop aroma that lets you know this is from the West Coast. It screams "drink me!"
T: Taste goes down piney with citrus on the backside; however it slides right down without any overpowering bitterness and absolutely no hint of alcohol. Definitely not a palette wrecker like some of the other DIPA offerings
M: Mouthfeel is of a medium body, with a little tingly carbonation to tease the taste buds
O: Overall the ranking is appropriate; one of my favorites that is now a regular addition to the beer fridge. And I must agree with others that its nice to find it readily available and at a reasonable price. You simply can't go wrong with this one. Well done!

 749 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into SN "tulip".
This seemed to be a popular item this year and still able to find it hanging around, and of course at a value price - gotta' love this brewery for that.
Rich dense hop aroma. Occasionally get hints of excess/resin, but it varies per glass and is never prominent (fortunately).
Full dense head that laces beautifully. Slightly cloudy amber towards oranges and reds.
A very nicely balanced DIPA. Flavors up front show strong hop and malt flavors. The malt is no shrinking violent in this drink. Bitterness is strong, but smooth. Complex drink throughout, hints of alcohol. Only moments of resiny excess.
Moderately heavy feel yet nice and smooth throughout.
A well done DIPA. Drinks enjoyably from top to bottom.

 734 characters

Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Light Gold -Interesting

S: Hints of pine and almost sweet

T: Wonderful with a nice bite at the end

M: Wonderful Medium moutheel with nice carbonation

O: Had stayed away from this because it has sucks in title but its some really good stuff. Glad I was able to get somemore.

 280 characters

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,100 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
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!