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

1,600 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: 1,600 | Ratings: 10,199
Photo of Hackattack
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drinking this one as I write. Light head and light copper color when poured with little carbonation/bubbles coming up from the glass. Hoppy smell and taste, but a nice touch of malts on top. This has a fairly bitter taste moreover with a high IBU content. I did not like this too much the last time I tried it but I have become more of a hop head as I try new beers. Also for a world class rating for this site, it's a nice deal at $8.50 a six pack compared to other world classers, if you can get them, at over $12.00.

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

The most noticeable thing about this beer, aside from it being very drinkable (in a very slow way), is the bubble gum after-taste I get. Like the Bazooka kind of bubble gum.

This beer has a gentle mouth feel, the hops don't really exert themselves in this one, and that's a good thing. It's a great cooler-weather beer. I'm personally not a big fan of hop-explosions, so this was a good beer for me.

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Photo of mikeeeee
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

quick and dirty review..

piney, citrus-y, slight malty-suger sweetness. very very well balanced. drinks easy, with a mild chewy-ness mouth feel. looks beautiful in a tulip glass.

great beer....get some.

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Photo of Makeitadouble
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is what I would call a light IPA. Though it's not an IPA it gives you the crispy fruity hops and just the right amount malt . This beer is golden with a soft bitter citrusy after taste. This beer is dangerous as at 8% ABV it will creep up on you. A soft pine earthy aroma with a light yet fluffy head ,that gives it a nice smooth fizz.
On a scale of 1 to 10 this beer is a solid 9.5 so far the best beer I've had in 2016

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Photo of q33jeff
3.09/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Pretty good. This does not suck, but I don't understand how it has become so beloved. I prefer the original Brown Shugga.

AROMA: Pine, wood, sap.
LOOK: Clear yellow. Small white head.
TASTE: Hoppy, pine, bitter resin. Lots of flavor, but not necessarily good flavor.


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Photo of spursfaninla
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

FULL DISCLOSURE: I do not appear to be an IPA, or even pale ale fan. Ok. This is a just fine, drinkable IPA for those that like IPAs. But, it is borderline false advertising to even reference brown shugg. that is a wonderful, but different drink. This and that are the not the same AT ALL. The only connection is, they did not have the ingredients to make an amber ale, so they made a pale. ? Brown shugga is awesome. If you like Pales, listen to the other guys that like this. I drank this as the second beer after I drank a dark beer that I actually like. Rating is in protest.

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Photo of ordybill
4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass at Taco Mac in Atlanta. The appearance is a clear bright orange color with a medium sized white head. The aroma is hop driven. The taste is hops and tropical fruit. An outstanding beer.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 6 pack from the LCBO for about $16 CDN. Served cold into a chalice. This rendition advertised as 8% ABV.

Appearance - Pours a bright, light orange colored beer with two thirds of a finger of white head. Medium retention and some curtains of lace left around the edges of the glass. Greta clarity and prevalent carbonation in the beer.

Smell - Mango with some citrus hops, little bits of grapefruit and pineapple. Some cereal grains for balance, much more so than many a DIPA.

Taste - Light with mango, grapefruit and some pineapple. Lots of grains too for balance and a light caramel malt. Doesn't wow me, but drinakbility is huge.

mouthfeel - Slightly drying finish, booze is hidden wonderfully and probably one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had.

Overall - Overrated in terms of flavor, but underrated in terms of easy this is to drink especially for an 8% ABV beer. Really good stuff and worth a try. Certainly looking forward to buying another 6 pack, while in stock as this is dangerously easy to drink. Definitely doesn't suck.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden yellow with rich foamy head and good lacing. Smells of oat, hops, fruit and a little dank. The taste is wonderful, lots of fruits bursting in, hops, oat, dank notes, pine. The finish is light and clean, really nice beer. The bite is very mild and light dryness. Overall this beer is great all around, it is just perfect with regard to taste and strength. Pretty awesome.

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Photo of CrashingConcord
4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dude. "Cereal Medley" is right. I'm a sucker for the scent of grainy wort, and for a friggin Double IPA, this has all the oatmealy goodness you'd catch walking by a brewery during the early morning phases of a day's first batch. All the breadiness of the nose interplays with juicy, citrusy hops that pucker more than bitter. If that makes sense. No? Yeah, didn't think so. Anyway, the taste follows the aroma. A great intermingle of cereal grains and bright, grassy hops. I want to pat these guys on the shoulder, reassuring that they're probably being too hard on themselves. Wink Wink. Lagunitas may suck, but this beer certainly does not.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear dark amber with a large head that quickly reduces to a half-inch foam with nice lacing. Aroma is a hop slap on the face. Intense pine, citrus and some dank. Taste is very similar, with the bitterness being balanced by some nice malt sweetness. Very well balanced despite the strong hop profile. This is a seriously fun DIPA, as long as you got it fresh.

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Photo of goingbrokeonbeer
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer fresh and probably would have rated higher a couple years ago. First off I think the price of this beer is awesome for what you get. This is just any all around good IPA at a good price and it don't Suck!

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear brass with a foamy, long lasting head. Tons of lace chunks stick to the glass on the way down. Grapefruit, peach and tropical fruit hop notes abound in the nose, balanced by caramel cookie dough maltiness. The first sip reveals plenty of hop bitterness and fruity, citrusy hop flavors. A hefty malt profile keeps everything in check, and renders this beer less dry than most DIPAs. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a subtle, creamy carbonation. Medium bitterness, grapefruit rind and green tea mix with a bit of alcohol spice and some residual sweetness in the finish.

A very quaffable DIPA with dank, complex hoppiness and a huge malt profile. Balanced and very quaffable for the high abv. A must try.

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Photo of mortsbrews
3.62/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Was tricked by the branding - assumed this was from a small competitor to Lagunitas but turns out it is from the brewery itself. Not surprised it is pretty decent given the brewery's pedigree. Strength is well masked (doesn't feel like 7.8%) but hop flavour is somewhat uninspiring.

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Photo of LJSchoppert
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz stubby into a wine glass
L: Amber with the slightest bit of haze, very thick, sticky head
S: Fruity and alcoholic, with the hint of cannabis you expect from Lagunitas
T: Very sweet. The fruitiness of the hops plays around with some esters from the quirky yeast
F: Extremely smooth and creamy. The extra grains really thicken it up.
O: This is a really interesting beer. It's definitely a departure from the typical DIPA, and those disturbed by the monotony of that genre may find this of interest. Personally I found that I really liked the first pack I had, but after a few encounters it became tiring. It's a lot to handle in a beer, and is probably best saved for special occasions.

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

Look: Hazy pale gold color. 2-finger head and great head retention. Some bubbles continue to cascade upward, but not that reactive.

Smell: Sweet, buttery, malty, and fruity. Like tart fruit and citrus. Very floral.

Taste: Only a tad bit of hop bitterness at first. You then get a BLAST of malt and caramel sweetness. This has that nice sweet and savory flavor that I can only describe as "buttery". The sweetness hangs on for quite some time before drying out only slightly. As the sweet caramel fades, you have an aftertaste of biscuits, crackers, slightly smoked wood, and flowers.

Feel: Medium bodied beer. Feels fuller than I expected. Stays fairly fizzy the entire journey through.

Overall: Awesome beer. I was not expecting this to be so flavorful. It is right at that fine line between a Pale Ale and an IPA. Tastes like caramel and I occasionally got some chocolate hints, which is uncommon for a pale brew. Bought this as a single, but will be looking a 6-pack next.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Rushed out like a mad man when I read online that this was available at the LCBO, here in Toronto. Couldn't wait to open it and then....thud. What? I mean this is drinkable....has a nice barley taste, albeit a bit dry, but why on earth is this so highly rated? IPA it is not, the nose is foul and just an overall lack of something(s) make this a beer you know....meh to drink....but definitely not seek out. Someone said the nose was: pine, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple. Here is me telling you that it is NONE of those things.

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
2.28/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Orange golden look, some piney citrus notes, was hoping for brown color due to name. Good on a rainy day but flavor does not compare to the many amazing IPA beers in existence. Would never but this beer again.

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Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

35cl bottle at De Paas. Clear pale orange with no head. Pine resin, caramel, grapefruit, citrus hops and subtle tropical fruit. Medium body, low to zero carbonation and a bitter-sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of Mendota
3.44/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Man, I'm a virgin to this sight, being a creeper for some time, but unless I've caught a bad bottle (mixed 6) this beer is a non plus to me. It has a hoppy/malt mix that seems to work against one another, giving it a sort of astringent taste. Again, maybe I caught a bad bottle, but I don't think so. I would not buy this beer again.

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Photo of McDude
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I made this review only because the last few reviews are so off.

Look: a beautiful thick golden look. It looks like a beer should look.

Smell: pine, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple!

Taste: the taste! It taste like a perfect beer! Tangerine, orange, loafy bread, tangerine, grapefruit, pine, pineapple, floral, awesome happiness, slight alcohol taste.

Mouth feel: a full beer mouthful. Thick goodness.

Overall: this is one of my favorite beers. It looks, taste and feels like a beer. If one beer in the world was made, this just might be it. I hate being pretentious, but my palette is extremely picky. If you don't like this beer, you're just wrong and need to come back once you trained your palette.

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Photo of Cburnette23
3.34/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Wow. I'm disappointed. I feel a bit dumb for paying money on this now. It's not a 'bad' beer, per se, however it's rather un-fulfilling and overpriced. It's light and crisp and bitter, hoppy, citrus-orange flavor to it. Nothing to write home about, that's for sure. Sometimes you just wish you knew how a beer tastes BEFORE you pay for it. Luckily I also got a Rochefordt Trappiste to help wash it down. Disappointing and bland, honestly. Maybe they'll taste better as I drink more of them....

update: It's pretty flat, and lives up to it's name. But honestly, the more I drink of it the more I like it so it's not a total loss. However, it JUST doesn't have enough flavor you would expect from a beer of this price-point. I'm a dude who likes a nice mouthfull of some Stout, and this simply comes up short. Sadly unfulfilling, but maybe wouldn't be too bad in the summertime. Tastes like a lighter version of a Flat Tire Indian Pale Ale, which is NOT a good thing believe me.... I fucking HATE that type of beer. Ah, well you live and learn..... WAY too mellow. I'm not a motherfucking 'mellow' person when I drink. I want to get ROWDY. DO you dig?? The mouthfeel is almost NONEXISTENT. Now that is fucked up, huh? I wouldn't be against calling them and complaining. Bastards.... and they make some real good bombers too. What a damn mystery.

Update: OK. here's a hint - drink this one out of the BOTTLE. I'm a dumbass (as I'm sure everyone has figured out by now so wink, like my review) and poured this into a flute, or a 'beer-drinking' glass. WRONG! Drink this straight from the bottle!! Sounds dumb, weird or funny but yet I cannot stress this enough. It makes a big difference, as I'm sure many have figured out by now, that what you drink FROM makes almost as much of a difference as WHAT you are drinking. It tastes like California. Not bad at all out the bottle - pretty terrible from a glass. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it disperses too much or something. Pretty good though from the bottle! Had to upgrade my ratings.

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Photo of MikeViall
3.34/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Malt. Bread. Cream sofa. Cat pee. Thin. Alcohol well disguised. This goes down easily but overall is just a bit top sweet for me. Aggressive hops keep sugar from overwhelming the experience.

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Photo of Dakin
3.13/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Looks: Bright white head leaving thick lacing all the way down the glass. Pours dark orange, clear, steady stream of bubbles throughout the duration of the beer.

Smell: Citrus, hops, very floral heavy with roses, malts on the end with a slight sweetness.

Taste: Floral front, strong taste of roses. Slight bitter hops finish. Personally not a huge fan of heavily floral beers.

Feel: Dry, bitterness.

Overall: Too floral for my liking. Would not buy again. 4/10.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.79/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer is a clear orange/gold color with little carbonation and a thin soapy head that thinned out rather quickly. I get a strong piney scent minor bread like smell. No noticeable fruit or alcohol aromas. Starts with a mild malty sweetness but the citrus and piney hop flavors come through as you drink. Though there didn't appear to be much carbonation you can feel it. There is also a slight stickiness to it as it sticks in the back of your throat and has a drying affect.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,199 ratings.
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