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: 10,200
Photo of GallowsThief
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle into my tulip.
A – Slightly hazy, light golden pour with a vivid white head that settles quickly.
S- Hops, piney, floral, light brown sugar
T – Mildly sweet to start with a good bite of piney, resinous flavor. Hoppy bitterness. Tails off with some solid citrus flavors of orange and grapefruit.
M – Medium carbonation. Little slick and smooth.
O – Tasty brew right here. Lot of flavors which are well balanced and play off each other.

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Photo of mlhyatt
4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A- a beautful deep gold with about a half inch white head which turns into a pretty thick lacing that lasts until the last sip.

S- this is one of my favorite smelling beers. Pine with notes of citrus and grapefruit that just explode into your nose.

T- very similar to the smell. Up front orange, grapefruit, lemon, honey and on the back end a crisp hoppiness that sits on the back of your tongue.

M- slightly carbonated with a nice crispness fron the hop.

O- a very delicious beer. One of my favorite IPAs. Up there with dirtwolf and jai alai in my book.

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Photo of MFMB
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Packed full of resinous pine flavor and smell. Poured a great orange golden straw color and from a far I might have thought it was a fruit beer based on color alone. Taste of pine with a sweet non forward malt profile. It's a good beer.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours gold with a paper thin fizzy white head that's gone in a flash.

Hop bouquet is amazingly fruity and sweet. Took a minute just to enjoy the smell before taking a sip. Literally never had a beer that smelled this fresh & fruity in the hop department.
Flavor has the same fresh hop taste that's in the nose. Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit. Nothing harsh or bitter about the hops whatsoever, just fruity and flavorful.
Only lacking in the malt department, but it's not really missed.
Body is light and crisp.
Alcohol isn't even noticed. Dangerously drinkable for 7.85%
Great beer.

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Photo of MCain04
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-reviewing because I find I can't stop drinking this stuff, and it deserves a better rating than I gave it initially.

Poured into a 16 oz Hopleaf Tulip. Unsure of the date of freshness, but drinking it 2 days after buying, and it just showed up in the store.

Appearance: Clear, copper color, and off-white head of about 2 finger thickness. Fantastic retention and lacing.

Smell: Very nice on the nose. Orange peel, mango, citrus, pine, floral, and honey.

Taste: Not sure if the first batch I had was old, but this one is exploding with flavor. Hops galore on the taste. Tropical citrus, mango, and pineapple dominate. The grassy, floral notes are present but take a backseat. Strong malt backbone. This is made with a "cereal" of malts including barley, rye, wheat and oats. Can't understand who would need more malt out of a DIPA. Mild bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, a touch of acidity. Smooth, sticky on the finish. Not overly dry.

Overall: I've come full circle on this beer now. I loved its first release in 2011. The first time I had this year's batch I was surprised at how malty it was, given how everyone kept calling it a DIPA. That, combined with the fact that I picked up on less hops than I do now, made me think of this as more of a strong ale, so it took away points for the lack of sticking to the style. However, I keep drinking it and now I can't stop. I dont care if I get a heavy malty stickyness from that cereal medley of malt, it tastes really good. Call it what you will, but I'm in favor of a beer that just tastes great, even if it doesn't fit squarely into one style. For $9/6 pack, I can't imagine I will drink much else while this is available.

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

Pale orange body, nice head formation, lots of carbonation. Thick lacing is left with each swallow.

The nose on this beer is really outstanding—even more so in the draft version. It really made me sit up and take notice. Reminds me a bit of the fresh hopped aroma of Celebration Ale, but amped up even more. Just a huge floral/fruity aroma!

Flavor is equally as delicious. That big hop nose doesn’t lie...this beer packs in the hops, and in a great way. There’s just enough malt here to hold it all together. Seems like nearly all pale malt, so very little to compete with the hops. Some debate whether or not an IPA can be a holiday ale. I’m all in favor of it. Hops have a big citrus kick and a long bitter finish. Malts are bready and slightly sweet. Body is thin considering the ABV, but it aids in drinkability.

This beer blew me away on New Year’s Eve having it on tap, and it’s still impressing me now out of the bottle. It’s definitely better in draft form, but either way you have it, it’s an “A” beer for sure. I can’t say I like it more than Celebration Ale, but I will say I will look forward to its release next year as much as I do for Celebration’s.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a nice golden / burnished copper shade while yielding a creamy finger or so of white head. decent retention and nice lacing evident.

nose is outstanding: huge, aromatic notes of citrus and tropical hoppiness - one of the more fragrant citric / tropical aromas i've come across in either recent or not-so-recent memory - with secondary notes of pine and a pleasant malt backbone.

flavor packs more of the same with juicy citrus and tropical fruits galore, a bit of pine, and some balancing maltiness. very tasty. decent medium bodied mouthfeel with average to slightly below average carbonation.

overall, just really impressed with this beer. fantastic, wow-factor IPA. can only hope it finds its way into the regular lineup at some point.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, soapy white head that has great persistence and laces wonderfully. Citrus and pine hop aroma. Amber-honey-straw color. Starts off bitter with notes of citrus, wells to a surprisingly restrained bitterness that is full of pine hops. Finish is citrus rind and a touch of malt.

I like this one. It's an excellently balanced and restrained hoppy bier. There is all the flavor and brightness of the hops without the crushing, lingering bitterness; all the good and none of the bad!

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mostly clear golden/copper in color with a monstrous head. Foamy/creamy with great retention.

Very big malt aroma. I know this isnt brown shuggah, but I am getting brown sugar on the nose. Grains and malt mostly. A bit of alcohol and tobacco as it warms.

Taste: again, very malt forward for an IPA. Almost no bitterness, certainly on the light side. Very odd "IPA" if you ask me.

Im sorry to disagree with the majority on this one, but this is hardly an IPA to me so I have to adjust my rating a bit.

Its not bad, I just wouldnt call this an IPA.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You have to wonder if the cord will break. Not just like those little two-or three-person cars at the state fair, there is such a monstrous load on this thing. The white continues to cascade down from the sky, leaving a lot of sticky-looking spots on the windows as you gaze at the black spots in the white drifts below. You look up. You can almost taste and smell the summit now. Yes, that must be it. Unmistakeable.
A lurch and jerk and everyone clutches their belongings. the veterans pretend not to be worried, like the businessmen in heavy turbulence on an airplane who stare straight ahead and pretend that their nerves are not rattled to the core with the thought of falling so many thousand feet and meeting their maker.
The clack-clack-clack of another pole holding up this monstrosity and you begin to feel your knuckles clenching and unclenching as you wonder to yourself why you are such a glutton for punishment. You close your eyes. The summit again, with it's distinctive almost green-onion, combining beautifully with a tropical malt note, a huge bitterness, some grapefruit and lemongrass-covered candied pineapple wrapped in grapefruit rind and drizzled with that delicious thin honey that they used to sprinkle atop those delicious honey-buns...
It grinds to a halt. You must have been dreaming again. You toss back the remainder of the golden nectar in your lace-covered glass, and grab your skis. It is a long way down.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden pour with thin, clingy white foam. Amazing aroma of pine and grapefruit. Good bitter hop hits mid-sip, while ever smooth throughout with some malt sweetness. Finishes a little dry, but otherwise another excellent one from these guys.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.94/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint. Color was a medium dark amber, with a 2 finger white head. Head dissipated to a thin layer, and didn't cling at all. Aroma was slightly sweet, with a fair bit of hops. Flavor was a strange hybrid between an IPA and a winter warmer. Started off nicely sweet, then had a bit of spice, before finishing up with a solid mouthful of hops. Felt great in the mouth. Coated very nicely, and still finished with a bit of carbonated kick. Overall a strong beer.

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Photo of Lothore
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a golden orange hue with a thick, creamy, 2 finger head.

s- smell is heavenly. Pine, sweet, malty, fruity goodness

t - pine up front followed by tangerine, orange and citrus which follows I n to a lingering bitterness.

m - thick with ample carbonation.

d - great beer. Excellent to sip on.

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Photo of tviz33
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in to a weizen glass.

A- Pours a translucent golden amber bodied with way too much head because of the unnecessarily chilled glass from the bar. I guess I can't really judge this part fairly because of that.

S- Smells awesome. There's a distinct sweetness that envelopes everything you'd expect from a DIPA and more: pine, citrus.

T- The first thing I notice is the lack of bitterness. This is not meant to be construed as a bad thing, as it works to the beer's benefit. Slightly sweet, and just like the nose, presents pine, citrus, and definitely some sort of melon flavor. This kicks ass.

M- The feel of this brew is spot on. A true medium body that is perfectly carbonated and goes down smooth.

O- I saw this at the bar and decided to give it a go since I heard it was good. Don't pass up the opportunity! I hope to get my hands on a sixer of this stuff in the near future if I can find it. Overall, a very well-rounded beer that you will not be disappointed in.

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Photo of ClePaul
3.81/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Lagunitas Brown Shugga This winter American strong ale pours a copperish ruby, with a touch of haze~ Solid head and lacing to follow~ Nose is Hops, Booze, Pine and a touch of Citrus~ Palate is just a scotch above medium, very sticky sugary presence~ Taste is Sugar (shocker) HOPS! maybe just didn't expect such a bitter hoppy beer, I expected more of a Warmer/Brown Ale by the name and label~ Also, Citrus, Banana, Pine, and some Earthy Floral ness, a touch of Maple and Peach~ A bitter and boozy brew that is definitely for hop heads~ Im super picky about hoppy brews~ The sugar does a nice job of balancing the bitterness on a bruising 10%ABV~ This is a unique brew~ Finishes a bit too bitter and boozy for my liking, although I could blame that on the season~ Overall: 7.3

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

Hazy yellow-golden-bodied pour into my pint. Many little bubbles. Head is to the rim and thick, slightly off-white, sticking.
Smell is fantastic, with fresh tropical fruity hops, sweet grapefruit and some dank.
Tastes sweet and citrusy, with orange/ tangerine dominating, followed by a floral bouquet including some red cherry and tropical hints. Bitter bite but finishes nice and juicy with delicious hop bite. not too dry. Malts play their tasty part, and the "cereal medley" works.
Medium-light feeling but creamy and slightly sticky.
Great DIPA edition, and I recall trying this once with last year's version and liking that one even more. More citrus and tropical fruit on the resin than pine. It should be a year-round beer, as it stacks above much of the other countless examples of this style without going far out of bounds in terms of radical ingredients/ taste. Based on the lengthy, self-deprecating description of this release, they really screwed up (their words much harsher), however I disagree that they did (as I suspect even they do). Solid stuff, and in a 1-quart bottle of under $5.00 cost, a huge plus. IPA devotees, try this.

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Photo of pschul4
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought over by my boi areich6

A- Lighter than I expected, this looks a lot like a light lager...shudder

S- Whoa the appearance is way misleading, this smells very nice. Sweet, fruity hops lead the way with a tiny, tiny malt scent in the background

T- Amazing. Simply stunning. This has all the wonders of an IPA in one beer. Delicious pineapple and mango flavors give way to some pine in the back of the palate

M- Quite bubbly but being an IPA it's not expected to be smooth and this is very refreshing

O- They made the Holiday Leftovers as an excuse to make another batch of this, what can they call it in the spring? I want this year round

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Photo of RummyRedbeard
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(copied from blog - written January 24, 2013)

Served appropriately in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Appearance – Golden and clear with a white one to two finger head.
Smell – Pine, pineapple/sweet tropical fruit, grassy, hoppy.
Taste – Almost sweet/caramel upfront. Slight pine. Finishes with citrus fruit and a clean hop bitterness.

This is truly a delightful IPA… According to my girlfriend it smells like “the air after it rains in the spring” which isn’t too far off, though in some whiffs I smell something of like… I dunno, Pineapple Banana Orange Juice? Overall there is a strong pine aroma with hints of tropical fruits and grass. The pine isn’t exactly lost in the beer, but I was expecting it to be much more piney when drinking it considering the smell. With that said, I’m glad how balanced it was and that it wasn’t overly piney (leave that to black IPAs!). The transition from the initial subtle sweetness to the hoppy bitter finish along with the carbonation and strong-yet-not-obvious ABV makes this beer so easy to drink and even easier to get a good buzz goin’. Do yourself a favor and get this beer!

Lagunitas does NOT suck :)

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.
Pours a clear medium amber with moderate head. The head dissipates but has great lacing.
Smell is sweet, hoppy, almost a touch spicy.
Taste is delicious. Clean, hoppy, floral, spice, sweetness. Perfectly balanced.
Mouthfeel is a touch sticky. Yum!
Overall, I was very impressed with the beer. It's a classic west coast style IPA.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Like I've come to expect from Lagunitas, this beer is quite clear and well polished. It's a kind of golden cherry color with a crisp white bubbly head. Lacing looks good.

S: I get a kind of sweetness like grilled peaches with a tangerine and mango burst of hop character. Smells quite good, but I wish it was just a little more pronounced.

T: Great taste! It's like a tropical citrus fruit salad party in my mouth. Flavors are more on the tropical side of things - guava, passion fruit, mango, etc. Quite delicious, and I bet if you made a glaze from this for a fruit salad, it'd be wonderful.

M: Moderate carbonation holds up to a medium body. It's a tad sticky, but hardly noticeable.

D: Very easy to drink this, my glass was in need of a refill before I knew it.

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

Poured into a snifter this beer is a slightly hazy golden color with a medium white head that leaves beautiful lacing. The aroma is intensely hoppy--tropical fruits, some pine and some whiffs of booze and bready malt--very nice. The flavor is balanced toward very fruity, slightly piney hop flavor but malty sweetness and some hints of ABV emerge after the burst of hops. Bitterness is smooth and appropriately high. The mouthfeel is medium-full and carbonation moderate. Overall an incredible beer--wonderful aroma and flavor--really enjoy the tropical fruity hops.

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Photo of spicelab
3.97/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a sixer purchased at Wholefoods Bend. Reviewed from notes.

Golden apricot, bright and clear, with a hearty two finger head that retains well and laces sporadically on its retreat to a slightly raised ring.

Candied orange, candied pineapple and candied tangerine above a milde oniony, sweatiness with a nice floral perfume twist.

Flavours show greater dankness and vegetal character amidst a chunky savoury malt backbone.

Chewiness on on the front palate is cleared out nicely by a bright and cleansing bitterness. Mildly spritzy carbonation.

Hugely drinkable and well rounded offering that pushes all the right buttons without challenging in any way - which is just fine.

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Photo of mooseo
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Clear brilliant copper with a large dense white head.

S - Pungent grapefruit, pine, and earthy hops - exactly what I would expect from an awesome DIPA. Just a tad of caramel malt sweetness.

T - Intense waves of grapefruit and piney hops throughout, supported by a light caramel malt backbone. Light citrus notes and fresh mango evident. Finishes bitter with strong earthy hops and a lingering subtle breadiness.

M - Smooth, crisp, a bit sticky. Medium bodied. Dry finish.

O - A superb IPA. Glorious hops dominate from start to finish. A light caramel sweetness lends a little balance. Alcohol is masked well. I appreciate the low price point, considering the high quality. This is up there with the best of em.

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

appearance - transparent and golden, exceptional lacing, moderate retention

smell - floral and citrus, tropical hops

taste - floral hops are forward, some bite to it

mouthfeel - medium body, good even carbonation, dryness in the finish

overall - really enjoy this, the hop presence is excellent and the flavor profile shines on this

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

After trying this at the Winter brew Fest in Denver a couple weeks ago, I bought a six pack

A- Golden, bright, clean. Head that turns to pretty lace

S- Lemon, Grapefruit, pine, a little alcohol

T- More orange for me then the lemon smell, grapefruit again, a little biscuit or bread, awesome hop and malt mix. hop stays on the tongue.

M- A little chewy, but I like it, allows me to hold on to the flavors for a while longer.

O- I have been drinking Odell Myrcenary as my staple DIPA, but I will definitely throw this in the mix if it stays on the shelf. A great beer with a nice balance.

I like it a lot...

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,200 ratings.
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