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

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1,563 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

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Reviews: 1,563 | Ratings: 10,073
Photo of FourBetter
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint glass

A: Dirty gold color. Right after the pour the carbonatins cyclones upward from the bottom of the glass to form a 3/4 finger head that doesn't remain for long.

S: Heavenly. Citrus & hops, some subtle spice. Aroma falls off fairly quicky so get some good olfactory draws right away.

T: Smell did not mislead about what follows. Hoppy, fruity. Pine with Pineapple and a nice bitterness on the backend.

M: Smooth. Leaves a slight acidic sting on the back of your tongue that urges you to take another sip.

O: Delicious. Refreshing. Very enjoyable. I forgive Lagunitas for not making Brown Shugga... for now.

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Photo of NODAK
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Definitely has a "juicy" aroma to it...very citric heavy....just jumps out at the nose. Citra hops?? Simcoe?? Not sure...I'm not very good with that. But I love this.

Taste really is more of the same...nice tropical and citrus hop goodness is very evident in tandem. There isn't a lot of malt to this one, but I do notice a bit of spicy biscuit there as well. Despite how heavy this one is on its hop flavor, it doesn't finish ridiculously bitter with a lot of lingering. Very clean....very nice.

I'm pleased to have finally tried this, and I know now we have a great DIPA here in my own backyard I can buy that I wasn't aware of before.

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Photo of beagle75
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Clear, brassy golden color with over one finger of diminishing white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Hops are abundant and dynamic up front, with ripe and sticky tropical fruit as well as a complimentary green dankness. Pineapple and guava are particularly pronounced, although fruity hops begin to fade after this beer has been in the glass for 15 minutes. Faintly toasty base malt is revealed then, but remaining balanced.

T: Begins very off-dry, with aggressive acidic hops oils that defy simple flavor classification but integrate well with the aromas from the smell. Potent hops-derived flavors stretch well into the middle, aside developing bitterness, taking on a surprisingly green quality into the finish. Bitterness becomes potent by the finish, balanced in the presence of the pronounced aromatic flavors.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic and slightly sticky on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This big IPA is the hedonist's choice for the style--it presents abundant hops and abundant malt sugar that are surprisingly successful at balancing each other. As a DIPA it is more believable, but here it wins because it retains easily observed defining characteristics that the bigger DIPAs simply lose control over. Flavors may step over a line of appropriateness--if this is a regular IPA--but seem tight and much more modern compared to most DIPAs. Pliny it is not--that beer is an exercise in restraint while this is a projection of excess on a budget. Exact style aside, this beer succeeds resoundingly at delivering some of the most desirable hops qualities available without the burden of a 10% abv investment.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

appearance; light amber, lots of carbonation, two fingers of off white, sticky head that retains well.

smell; tons of mango, with additional pineapple, grapefruit, and a hint of pine-like grassiness.

tatse; like the smell, but with heavier emphasis on the hop flavors of citrus and pine, the mango is there along with hints of pineapple, followed by strong notes of citirus and piney bitterness.

mouthfeel; light body, slightly crisp, carbonation is strong but not overpoweringly so.

overall; my scoring says it all, to me this is an IPA, so i don't really get how its connected to brown shugga, but with the strong fruit which is so beautifully balanced by hops, this beer is very drinkable, satisfying but not strong, and an overall wonderful experience without making you feel weighed down.

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Photo of Naugros
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Frothy off-white head atop a golden amber ale...looks like an American IPA and smells like one too! Wow! Orange and grapefruit burst through immediately...sniff more and get the graham cracker of the malts, trying desperately yo catch up. The pine that is barely evident here comes through in the taste and dominates, but the citrus insists on hanging around in the aftertaste which is resiny and pithy at the same time. I was hoping the taste would copy the smell, but it doesn't...still nice. The mouthfeel could be a bit crisper and refreshing, but perhaps the citrus made me want it do that.

Excellent hop combination going on here and a great example of an American DIPA. Lagunitas are hops magicians.

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Photo of sommersb
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 02-16-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Globe glass
Purchased: Single from The Bottle Shop, Franklin

Pours a dark orange, clear beer, topped by 2 fingers worth of off-white head. Very good lacing and head retention.

Aromas are of strong citrusy hops -- very aromatic and fruity with grapefruit and pine notes.

The taste starts off with a big hop bitterness, but is then offset with some sweet caramel maltiness.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated on a medium body. Finishes quite bitter but also with a good dose of malt.

Overall an impressive DIPA; I can see why this beer has such a following.

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Photo of watermelon
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. According to the bottle it was bottled on November 23rd.

A: Very light amber body the color of honey. Massive 4 finger soapy tannish head Tons of lacing and great retention.

S: Big hop presence lots of grapefruit, pineapple and citrus flavors. Some dank and pine flavors present as well. Some hints of peach and floral hops. Brown sugar and malt flavors let you know this is a derivative of brown shugga.

T: Taste follows the nose there were some more resinous flavors on the back end.

M: Nice full bodied mouthfeel leaves a nice sweeting coating on the teeth and some bitterness on the tongue.

O: Buy this if you can find it. Its one of the best IPAs I've had and its an amazing value.

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Photo of Beer4B
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow. Just found this locally during my quest to try everything in the BA 250. I like Sucks but this Brown Shugga version is MUCH better in my opinion. Sometimes it is the subtle differences.

Lots of taste and flavor to go with the hops makes for a very smooth and flavorful IPA that isn't taken over by hops.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Holiday Leftovers bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a clear gold with a thick white head that dissipates to a nice white ring. Carbonation looks nice and lively.

S: Smell is really tropical. Grapefruit and orange cream dominate the nose. A bit of pine also peeks through. Smells very nice. Really is begging to be imbibed.

T: Taste is even better than the smell. Some very tropical hop notes dominate, but layers of pine, malt, and some holiday spices add depth. Finishes with a nice lingering bitterness.

M: Creamy. Bit thicker than medium. Quite nice.

O: One of the most balanced DIPAs I've ever had. There are so many flavors in play, but none are overpowering. This one is far from a hop bomb and has a lot of depth.

Only complaint I have is that it's not year round...

Is it better than Brown Shugga? Well...they're completely different beers. I haven't had Brown Shugga in a few years, but I have fond memories of drinking it on tap. I think they should release both ;)

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Photo of Knapp85
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to jzeilinger for bringing this one for me to try. This poured out as a nice looking orange color with a white head on top. The head settles a little bit but leaves a really nice sticky lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is ripe with citrus notes and some addition pine in there. It smells like a DIPA for sure, and a good one at that! The taste of the beer is hoppy with the citrusy pine notes with some subtle caramel malts in the finish. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and has an oily feel to it while remaining lighter bodied. Overall I thought it was a killer beer, probably best when it's fresh and I believe this was.

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Photo of Beric
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Bottle, from the bottle
Served: 12 June 2015

Appearance: Had this one at a work event, so I wasn't able to get it in a glass. Artwork, like the overwhelming majority of Lagunitas products, sucks.

Smell: Huge citrus hop notes on the nose, along with an underlying sweetness.

Taste: Wait, this is a DIPA? This is probably, along with Torpedo, the most drinkable DIPA I've ever had. Nice hop flavors on the front of the palate- grapefruit, lemon zest, and mandarin orange especially, and then a nice bitterness on the back end that begs you for another sip. No detectable alcohol flavor and minimal malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: One of the most drinkable DIPAs I've ever had. A great beer, and a dangerous one at 7.85%! Highly recommended.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Retrying this with a bottle I know is fresh. Pours golden and clear with a giant fluffy white head. Off the bat there is significantly more cat pee, pine, lemon peel, and huge florals than last time. Flavor is a mouthfeel of fresh hops, medium bitter, with honey, pine, pineapple, grapefruit, orange peel, and some sweet malts in the background. What a night and day difference! Medium slick mouthfeel with medium or a little less carbonation. A really nice brew that I could have again for sure. Maybe a step or two below my favorites but still very nice. Only complaint is that I would like a bit more carb. Glad I retried this one. Deleted the other rating because I think it might have been a really old bottle. Shit happens. This is good.

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Photo of Sam_Sorrells
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The nose is slightly funky, piney and citrus. The flavor is nearly a perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness. It finishes not to thin yet slightly sweet.

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Photo of danh53
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Excellent grain quality in this. The flavor and mouth feel are complex with the wheat adding definition and the rye adding spice. I get grapefruit and pineapple with lots of dank resin. The carbonation is low which makes this drink very smooth. Excellent ipa.

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Photo of RossiDaMan
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I should have done more research because the label duped the hell out of me. I was thinking along the lines of something dark and sweet (Brown Shugga'ish right) so the golden pour totally caught me off guard. But I must say I was WAY pleasantly surprised. I've only tried a handful of American Double IPA's but what won me over was the smoothness of this one vs the typical hoppy bitterness of the others. At $4.99 a quart, I'm definitely in for more.

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Photo of hardy008
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours marmalade orange with a three finger white head, with good retention and lacing. The aroma is inviting with grapefruit, pineapple, and peaches.

Tastes a little less sweet than the aroma suggests, but still has a very nice combination of sweetness and bitterness with grapefruit, pineapple, peach, pine, and citrus zest.

Medium bodied with modest carbonation, and a grapefruit pineapple aftertaste. Very nicely made. I could buy this on a regular basis, just like I do with Hop Stoopid, and a Litttle Sumpin' Sumpin'.

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Photo of johlac66
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear light bronze with a thick head that stayed for awhile, leaving dots of lacing.
Sweet citrus caramel on the nose. Hint of rye.
Taste follows with a slight bittersweet finish.
Lightly carbonated with an almost medium mouthfeel.
A well balanced well done DIPA.

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Photo of katan
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz into a pint

A - Pours a fairly clean golden brown color. Lots of white head formation, frothy, sticks around.

S - A piney resinous hoppy nose, very edgey. A little citrus in the background.

T - Starts off lightly citrusy, then bombed by the huge same resin/pine hop flavors from the aroma. Very balanced, bitterness is present but doesn't overcome the beer completely. Finishes with a decent hop finish and a little bit of dryness.

M - As above, it has a lot of dryness both from the cleanness of the fermentation as well as the oily hops. Alcohol warmth is not present.

O/D - A very good DIPA. If you love the piney resin almost fresh hop style, this is your beer. Not overly filling and a very workable ABV.

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

Been enjoying this one quite a bit these past few weeks..nice Christmas gift from Lagunitas, never a real big fan of Brown Shugga anyway...this was first sampled on tap at the Birdsall House in Peekskill a few weeks ago, during their Lag. event, always good to see Trevor and share a few laughs.

On tap:

Pour lightly hazed yellowy amber, under an off white head, that leaves decent looking tongues of sticky lace. Nose is basted in hops of the minty variety.

Aggressively hopped in a distinctly fresh tasting west coast style. Hops are piney, minty and dare I say it “dank”, with further hoppy flavor waves of citrus shining through..yum

Sticky Icky Cali IPA, complexity added by emerging tropical fruit notes…believe it this is a might tasty and well worth seeking out hoppy brew. Well done

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

Slightly hazed pale orange/golden color, with a blinding white head. The pillow is thick but thins quickly, although even a weak swirl fluffs it up nicely.

Clean, bright, floral, fruity, and especially herbal nose. Shades of cannabis bud sneak in. It's hoppy and very "west coast" but doesn't seem to be trying to beat the nose senseless.

Impossible not to love how this beer tastes. It's very fruity and rounded out with sweet, dessert-like spices, yet it's a classy offering, never feeling like a too-syrupy tongue-ripping novelty. If you were looking to turn a hops-novice onto hop-laden beer, this would be it.

Texturally it's soft and smooth, yet with plenty of carbonation. For some reason it's starting to remind of a classier, slightly bigger, more cool-handed Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.

Very much worthy of the hype that greeted this surprise/oopise holiday creation, it's one of the more approachable double IPAs out there. Lagunitas doesn't suck at all!

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

Lagunitas Sucks is a light gold color. It’s very clear. Backlighting gives it bright look. A vanilla colored head tops it off. It stands about a finger or so tall and takes its time dissipating. A thick web of sticky lace trails behind as it descends.

The nose is certainly good. It kicks off with a really nice, strong hop scent. Pine and citrus scents of grapefruit and lemon seem to be the strongest. There are some light, malty notes. Fortunately, I’m not getting any caramel at all. Love that! It seems to have a bit of a bread-like quality to it. Hops certainly steal the show though. Alcohol isn’t all that noticeable. Smells good!

The flavor is even a notch better. The malt base does have a light cracker flavor to it. No caramel! Yes! Excellent! Hops kick in very quickly. They have primarily a mix of citric flavors. Grapefruit, orange, and lemon are very flavorful. There’s a touch of pine, as well. It definitely has a bitter edge, but it’s far from palate wrecking. In terms of balance, it’s just about ideal for me. Nice malt base, but definitely skewed in the hop direction. Alcohol is blended very well. Finishes with a citric hop flavor and a nice, bitter kick.

Lagunitas Sucks has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active, but it isn’t buzzy at all. This stuff goes down super easy and is very enjoyable. I could handle a couple of these, maybe more, in a sitting. Really good stuff.

After trying quite a few beers from Lagunitas over the past few years, I know one thing for certain – Lagunitas does not suck! Not even close! Personally, I prefer this release over Brown Shugga’. Frankly, it’s not even close. Lagunitas Sucks is an excellent American IPA that’s just about ideal in my book. The flavor simply rocks! If you see some around, do yourself a favor and grab a 6-pack or two. You’ll be glad you did. Lagunitas, please bring this one back!

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Photo of zimm421
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle (dated 12/16/13) into a tulip. Appears a beautiful orange color with a good amount of off-white head, that leaves good lacing. Head sticks around for a bit, and never really goes away.

Nose is full of citrus and tropical fruit, along with floral notes. Completely hop forward and dank. This is a great smelling IPA. The taste is all bitterness. Tons of tropical fruit and citrus. Lots of orange and grapefruit. This feels very green and resinous, but is wonderful. Almost no malt to speak of whatsoever. The aftertaste is very bitter and lingers.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, lots of active carbonation, and finishes pretty clean for a DIPA. Overall, this is a great DIPA when fresh. Learned my lesson last time, check bottle dates and don't let it sit. The citrus and tropical fruits are wonderful, and the lack of stickiness is different, but great. The smell is really the strong point here, and keeps drawing me back in.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Looks clear golden orange with lightly streaming carbonation, a thick, sticky off white head, and leaves sheets of lacing.

On the aroma, you get pine upfront, and then zesty, spritzy citrus oils; orange peel, a bit of grapefruit, and then some underlying peach and pineapple.

On the palate, upfront you're smacked with lots of grapefruit and pithy orange. This transitions into sweeter tropical fruits; peach, pineapple, and a touch of mango. There is an underbelly of malt sweetness, biscuit bordering on caramel, but smooth and not obtrusively sweet or sugary. The finish transitions to a sharp bite of pine sap and the characteristic Lagunitas chalk/rubber note, but it's a faint suggestion here and not obnoxious and detracting like some of their other beers. Finishes surprisingly clean, neither super dry nor overly sweet, with only a touch of bitterness and lightly lingering pine needles and orange pith.

The mouthfeel is medium, medium-lightly carbonated, very smooth and bordering on creamy. Lightly dry on the finish.

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Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank countless bottles of this beer, time to put a review on paper.

Bright orange gold pint, perfectly clear with sharp clarity. Lasting head of foam that has a creamy texture on it's surface. Drippy lace is left behind over time. Healthy skim on the surface that never breaks.

Pungent citrus, orange mostly, sweet but also generally dank with hop-stank™. Resiny, lush, almost tropical with candied orange peel and green hops.

Flavor delivers more lush hop flavors, very citrusy again, moderate resiny bitterness, grapefruit and orange peel derived, some light pale malt notes in the middle. Dry and pleasant aftertaste of lingering hops. Medium bodied, and very sessionable despite the higher ABV. Pretty delicious IPA. Amped up citrusy hops with a great drinkability to it.

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Photo of andylipp
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Lovely orange brew, quite clear, with a short-lived 1/2" of head that dissipated quickly in my standard tulip taster.

S – Holy shit this stuff smells great. Pineapple, mango, tropical citrus hop goodness with a hint of pine. Sweet malt is there, but overpowered by the hops.

T – Deliciously hoppy, with that tropical fruit wallop that so many crave in an IPA. The malt hangs in there, though, which keeps this beer from slipping into totally unbalanced territory. Yum.

M – While I did not find this beer to be thin as some other reviewers have said, I did come away wishing for a bit more carbonation.

O – I enjoyed this one immensely, with only the lack of carbonation keeping this one from being among the best IPA/DIPAs I've had.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,563 ratings.
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