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: 10,140
Photo of ferrari29
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a Tulip shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a well-carbonated orange, light amber colored body; one finger white colored head; didn't hold very well, but looked very healthy; streaky lacing formed on the side of the glass

S - Citrus orange nose; caramel malt scents; touch of sugary pine and nice blend of hop; wheat grass; very explosive floral smells of sweet rose water

T - Smooth caramel malt taste; citrus-orange; hop flavors of grass and pine; slight biscuit taste; brown sugar; pineapple; dry taste

M - Smooth and creamy; very bitter aftertaste and astringent feel; nice and tasty; not very effervescent; tart

D - I really liked this beer; this beer has the superb caramel and high-octane bitter hop taste that would make it extremely enjoyed by every hop loving beer drinker on the planet; great stuff; good work

 851 characters

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from short 12oz bottle into mug. Clear golden yellow with visible carbonation, thick foamy white head that came up a lot more than I expected, even with a pretty tame pour. Leaves bubbly lacing all over the glass as it's drunk. Smell is sweet fruit at first, sort of mango or pineapple, then hoppy at the end. Almost smells gin-like. Taste follows suit exactly; sweet and smooth up front, then hoppy and bitter at the end. Mouthfeel is almost creamy, odd for the style, but probably from the extra sweetness. Overall, this is quite different from your average DIPA, but it's delicious.

 592 characters

Photo of KFBR392
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden typical IPA look. Lacing was surprisingly absent. Very thin head but possibly due to large alcohol content.

Smell: Kind of an orange peel citrus hoppy aroma here. The exotic fruits definitely dominate the aroma, with some hop character.

Taste: A lot of the Lagunitas Ales and IPAs have a very similar dry hop character. I get a lot of this with this beer. For me, it masks many of the other things happening in this beer. The front of this beer is a very sweet hop character but then is quickly hidden. The dryness sticks on the palette along with a darker hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, dryness is there but has a pleasant taste to it.

Overall: I had high expectations for this brew but was a little disappointed. Lagunitas makes some very solid beer and I would say this one is just that, solid. A little unique tang for an IPA, worth a try but don't go out of your way for this one.

 915 characters

Photo of glass_house
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a crystal clear, deep orange-gold with two fingers of fluffy white head that settles to a thin cap with plenty of lacing. The aroma is not as pronounced as some DIPAs, but still very pleasant. I'm getting grapefruit in the front, with some pineapple, mango and flowery pine in the back.

Grapefruit is first in the taste as well, but it rides alongside the pungent pine that is fighting for the spotlight. The carbonation seems just right--crisp and lively without being over the top. A little lighter in the body than I prefer, but it still has that slick oily feel that a DIPA should. More citrus, tropical fruit and some sweet bready caramel balance the bitter hops nicely. The pine sticks around to make sure you know who's boss.

Great IPA. The balance and drinkability that Lagunitas has achieved is impressive.

 823 characters

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

12 oz shortneck bottle, 6 pack was $12 from Pints O'Plenty.

Appearance: Its a beautifully clear, light golden-orange color with a white head and excellent lacing.

Smell: Big dose of tropical and citrus hops, with tropical leading the way. Sweet and fruity more than harsh hoppy smells. Clean pale malt sweetness.

Taste: Tropical fruit, pine, citrus. Sweet upfront, then bitter through the finish. A bit of spiciness, maybe from the rye.

Mouthfeel: This is light feeling for a DIPA, but it barely has the OG of many ordinary IPAs, so thats no surprise. Its very crisp and clean, with just a little resin on the finish.

Overall: This is an excellent beer. On the small side for a DIPA, but very well done. Like a super Little Sumpin Sumpin.

 743 characters

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.

 792 characters

Photo of mabermud
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer appears golden in color with a white fluffy head, and clean. The froth is sticky. It has a sweet, floral, and hoppy aroma. The taste is world-class, I am impressed. Super clean taste. Mouthfeel is chewy with dense, smooth carbonation. With the taste, mouthfeel, and price point, this beer is up there with the big boys. This is a contender with HT, PtE, and Abrasive, more on par with Abrasive.

For the price, you cannot beat this American Double IPA

 462 characters

Photo of confer
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Solid gold with a small amount of white head.
S- I've had beers before that might have had a hint of grapefruit in the smell but this one is the real deal. If I close my eyes it is as if I got my nose right over a fresh cut grapefruit.
T- Again with the slightly bitter grapefruit. It really hits in the back of the mouth. There is faint sweetness in the middle as well. Very interesting.
MO-Low carbonation. Another winner from these guys. There beers are among the most interesting reasonably prices beers around.

 518 characters

Photo of jeonseh
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a GI tulip.

A - quite a beauty of a DIPA. Color is a soft copper with hints of yellow. There is a white one finger head that formed on. The poured and settled to about a quarter as I drank the beer.

S - main notes are citrus. Smells of grapefruit with hints of pine hops. The malt backbone makes itself known as there is also a sweetness of caramel and orange that mixes with the hops. I also noted hints of lemon and wheatgrass

T - at first, there are notes of piney hops that blends well with sweeter flavors that keep this well-balanced. I note hints of orange and candied lemon. Medium finish that leaves a slight pine bitterness lingering on the tongue. Overall, a tasty but I would have liked to see a bit more of a malt sweetness as that aspect seems a bit thin

MF - light body with medium carbonation. Until the carbonation picks up as you drink, the MF at first seems thin and in general, I think a little it more body would help make this a great beer

O - overall, a solid offeing from Lagunitas, and definitely a good beer for them to throw together for the holiday season. Would like to see this around each holiday. It has good flavor, is well-balaced, and isn't too heavy. In general, the main aspect i find lacking is that this Abbas a bit thin in the body.

 1,297 characters

Photo of clager
3.82/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Light yellow with off white small head

S: Mostly sweet, reminds me of raisins. Some floral and nut as well.

T: Sweet up front with nice hop finish, primarily citrus and floral but again somewhat nutty. Brown sugar noticeable, raisin present in taste as well. Interesting beer. I wonder what it would taste like a little bit more bitter, move up some of the hops in the boil as it is clearly well dry-hopped.

F: Appropriately carbonated, great mouthfeel.

O: Interesting solid beer. I wouldn't rush out to grab a glass but I'm delighted I tried it. The sweetness is too much for me but I can certainly appreciate the mix of flavors and fairly good balance.

 662 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
3.47/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer should have everthing going for it , but comes up a little short in my book.

A - Nice pour and golden color but no head whatsoever.

S - Strong citrus hop aroma, almost too strong.

T - Bitter hop taste with notes of citrus and spice.

M - hangs around well.

O - not their best but it sure doesn't suck.

 321 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
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 snifter. Pours a orangish straw with a one finger white head that dissipates but leaves nice lacing. Smells of citrus hops and slight sweet malt. Tastes of earthy hops and grain, nice bite lingering, and not over the top. Beer is a little heavier carbonated for a DIPA but very dangerous as it is extremely drinkable with its light but not too light body. Overall, a superb beer.

 413 characters

Photo of twizzard
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've over looked this Gem on more than one occasion....shame on me! Poured a golden, hazy orange into a tulip glass. Aroma was sweet, floral with some light pine. Taste follows the nose, sweet & floral with a very subtle malt back bone.
An automatic placement in my top 10 IIPA's. Well done Lagunitas!

 301 characters

Photo of aorloski
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a thin, light orange with a tiny off white head. tight white bubbles, decent lacing. Looks more like a pils than an IPA, no hop haze to speak off.

Smell - HOLY SHIT, honestly probably the best smelling IPA's / DIPA's I've ever smelled. As soon as the bottle was opened it came screaming at me, i was amazed. Big orange peel, lemon peel, touches of mango and pineapple in this.

Taste - A little lighter on the hops than i expected from the aroma, but still an amazing tasting beer. I love how this beer balances a nice tropical hop profile and piney hop profile. Very sweet rather than tropical, bitter and bready. Oh i love it. Please make this all year round.

Mouthfeel - nothing amazing, decently carbonated, a little thin.

Overall - Really was impressed by this, at 11 bucks a 6 pack here in MA you can't go wrong, it smells and tastes absolutely amazing which i value more than appearance and mouthfeel. THANK YOU LAGUNITAS!

 952 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip at cellar temperature. Way late to the party on this one, but my grocery store had it, and I can’t say no to limited releases!

L - Deep gold color with a 3-finger, thick, creamy white head. Good retention, solid lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S - Nice mix of tropical fruit hops with mango and pineapple notes and caramel malt with a brown sugar tinge. I can imagine that the hops would be more pronounced in a fresh bottle, but they’re still noticeable for sure.

T - Sweet caramel and sugar with subdued tropical fruit hop flavors. Still noticeable bitterness at the finish, but definitely more malty than hoppy.

F - Medium-bodied, good amount of tingling carbonation, chewy mouthfeel, and a moderately dry and bitter finish that builds gradually and lingers for a nice amount of time.

O - This is a tasty beer and I’m sure it would be a whole lot tastier if it was a few months fresher. Nice sugary, candy aromas and flavors that are perfect for the holiday season with enough hops to satisfy anyone year-round. A little too much malt and too few hops for my liking in a DIPA, but I’m going to attribute that to the age. Still very tasty.

Edit: I recently had a fresher sample, and it was phenomenal. Those tropical fruit hops are much more pronounced. This beer fresh is one of the better DIPAs that I’ve had. It is loaded with hops, yet very, very drinkable. This is one tasty beer. Do yourself a favor and get this one fresh while you can.

 1,499 characters

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very clear and a golden orange color. Pretty good head that lasts and deposits nice lacing

Reeks of fresh pine hops and slightly citric aroma. Very fresh, very aromatic and ultra pungent. Haven't smelled many beers like it

Tastes very fresh with flavors of line trees, tropical fruit and light sap. Complex hop profile but simple enough to pick out individual flavors

Medium body with above average carbonation, finishes dry and bitter on the palate. Easy to drink and fun to taste the other hop flavors present

A fantastic IPA that makes me almost not miss brown shugga...almost

 589 characters

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

From12oz bottle, smells of pungent pine, some citrus notes buried in there.

Thick body for a dipa, strong feel of carbonation. Taste follows with the smell, almost all pine. Bitterness is pretty sharp upfront, with a sweet malty presence that plays second fiddle somewhere in the background. Very hop forward.

Overall, this is a beer you'll remember. I wouldn't call it smooth because the flavor and bitterness are somewhat jarring, but if you need something to wake up your pallet, this will do the trick!

 510 characters

Photo of Agold
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sucks pours with a half inch of nice white head that recedes to a film. There is a bit of lacing on the glass. Bright and clear, golden colored. Aroma is fresh and citrusey, with a mild tropical note and a touch of caramel. Juicy grapefruit is the dominant aroma. The beer has more of a tropical taste with pineapple and mango with a bit of the grapefruit. Not a lot of bitterness, but very well balanced. Mouthfeel is a bit fuller than I would have liked, I generally like a drier IPA, but still very nice. With a touch more dryness this beer could be world class.

 565 characters

Photo of zookerman182
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a clear yellow orange color with a little head.
Aroma is grapefruit and citrus.
Flavor is the same, with lots of citrus and a little pine.
This beer is on the bitter side which is a good thing.
Mouthfeel is thin and not to carbonated but the flavors linger longer than any ipa a can remember.
Extremely solid!

 324 characters

Photo of mjstacker
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was skeptical, but i'm sold. This is damn good. The smell is a little weak, nothing pronounced or obvious, subtle hints of fruit maybe a touch of juniper, thankfully no spice. Taste is solid, easy-to-drink double-ish goodness. Can't put a finger on what it reminds me of? Color is surprisingly light, almost domestic-lager kind-of-light. I've heard this is going year round, if so i'm in. Lagunitas has never had a daily-drinker for me, but this is just what i needed. Cheers.

 478 characters

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

A - Lite gold with a beauty of a white lacy head.

S - Smells like Lagunitas with added fruity sweet notes. Citrus orange, maybe some mango.

T - Sweet fruits. Liek the nose orange and mango mixed with the perfect amount Lagunitas hop character to balance it out. Can't taste the %8 ABV at all. So yum.

M - Medium to full with great carbonation and perfect balance of sweet, hop and alcohol.

O - One of the best IPAs out there. Aren't many big IPAs that you can drink a lot of but there's a reason this comes in a 32oz.

 521 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lagunitas made up for this year's non-release with this one.

A: Nice deep golden hue with brilliant clarity. I was expecting something with deeper color, but this beer is pretty. White head retains nicely, and lacing is decent as well. Lots of carbonation.

S: Some toasted grains with loads of citrus, pine, and fresh herbs.

T: Much like the smell, but more balanced. Some toffee and cereal up front, followed by a swath of resinous hop flavors. Grapefruit, lemon zest, spring flowers, and pine lead to a dry, grassy finish.

Notes: Clean, refreshing, and very flavorful. Mouthfeel is moderate to medium in body, and finish lasts forever. Drinkability is impeccable. It's a style I would only expect Lagunitas to release at this time of year rather than in the warmer months. While I anticipate the return of Brown Shugga', this brew definitely fills the void.

 865 characters

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

A- Golden in color. Thin lacing with very little head. Carbonated just about right though.

S- Pine and hops. Not much citrus going on here. It is a well done Cali DIPA.

T- Hay, piney hops. Pretty dry with the lack of citrus.

M- Pretty thin like the style.

O- A well done Cali DIPA, and at a great price (I think). 6er for $9.99. I bought this 6er at one of the more pricey stores in the area.

 399 characters

Photo of CTbrew32
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Appearance- Orange amber in color with good visibility throughout. Pours a three finger head on a hard pour. Plenty of foamy lacing shows up as the head recedes.

Aroma- Pungent grapefruit, citrus, and pine dominate the nose with a touch a malty sweetness hiding in there.

Taste- The taste definitely sees pungent grapefruit and sweet citrus flavors, but there's also a tropical fruit (pineapple,mango, etc) aspect to this which amps up the flavor profile. The malt is very subdued with a mix dry cracker flavors and caramel malt sweetness. The bitterness is mild too for a DIPA.

Feel- Probably the weakest aspect of the beer as the feel is very thin and leaves a lot to be desired. The thinness makes for a really easy drinking double ipa, but the lack of feel lets the flavors drop out quicker rather than letting the hop resins linger for while longer. Overall the feel is thin, carbonation, is medium, and the finish is clean.

Overall- This is a great DIPA, but its not world class. The hop flavor is great with a wide array of flavors ranging from pungent grapefruit to tropical fruits. However, the body is lacking big time and the malt doesn't add much depth beyond the hops. For the price and quality of the beer overall, its a certainly one of the best widely available dipas on the market.

 1,309 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Golden with a fair amount of carbonation. Plentiful white head and loads of sticky lace. Aroma has lots of grapefruit and pineapple. Secondary to this is a bit of malt sweetness and a hint of alcohol in the background. Resinous pine balanced nicely with a slight sweetness. Some of the alcohol is noticeable at the end. Despite the strong hop aroma, it finishes with only a medium amount of bitterness and is somewhat dry. Medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation.

 473 characters

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,140 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!