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

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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

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Reviews: 1,570 | Ratings: 10,099
Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass

A - 3.00 - Poured a very clean gold, formed a nice two fingers of pearl white, dense creamy head. Great had retention and potential, nice, soapy lacing on the glass. Color looks like a standard domestic brew.
S - 4.50 - Sweet hops, grapefruit, apples, peach, mango, oranges, pineapple, persimmons. Extremely bright, vibrant and tropical.
T - 5.00 - Delicious. Super well balanced, perfect amount of sweet fruits and savory, bitter hops.
F - 4.25 - Decently creamy, good mouthfeel.
O - 5.00 - My idea of a perfect IPA, definitely a must try for fans of the style!!!

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I never had the beer this is a substitute for, but if it is better than this I really hope to try it one day! Great beer. I am further editing my review to say that this has become one of my absolute favorites in a long time. the beer definitely has just a little bit of sweetness, but nothing overpowering at all. It's just enough to make this unique. At the same time I bought this beer I managed to obtain a bunch of Pliny the Elders. Though I love Pliny as well Lagunitas kind of spoiled the Pliny experience for me as I found it was the Lagunitas Sucks I kept reaching for. And I can find it easily in my local beer shop which is an added plus.

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Photo of Luigi
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours our a light amber color slightly hazed with a few carbonation bubbles. Head starts from a three finger head to one finger when resting.

The aroma smells like Christmas because at first the strong pine hop flavor hits the nose. Hops are the dominate aroma.

The taste is strong with pine and citrus hops but sweet malt is present from start to finish.

This Ale is the perfect gift for a hophead. I give a thumbs up~~~

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Photo of MsRif
3.67/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Pinocchio's in Media, PA. Poured a very clear orange color...almost looked watered down. No head to speak of. No lacing. Didn't look too enticing, but the aroma was better...citrus...grapefruit...a touch of sweetness. Taste is definitely complex...a lot of flavor comes through. I swear I tasted mango in there though that might have been the grapefruit flavors mixed with lemon...whatever it was, it was pretty darn good. Unfortunately finishes really dry and bitter...that is always the downfall for me with DIPA's which I rarely enjoy. Though tasty, it's not really least not for me.

Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Pretty dry but still good and worth a taste!

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

12 oz. Brown Bottle.

A: Pours light golden brown with a thick white head. Good retention
with sticky lacing.

S: A strong mixture of Pine, citrus fruits, grapefruit, mango? Some alcohol
and more pine.

T/M: Creamy smooth. Starts off bitter with a strong burst of hop flavors.
A mixture of pine and citrus leads to a somewhat bready taste. More hops.
The finish is pretty clean with only a hint of bitter hop aftertaste. A warm
but not overbearing alcohol kick throughout. Nice balance.

O: An extremely dangerously good beer. Hop heavy, but still well balanced.
Even with the higher ABV, it's smooth and easy to drink. A top rate double


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

12 oz bottle poured into hill farmstead glass

A - golden orange body. thin white whisp of a head. fades quickly to a ring with nice lacing.

S - pine, hop resin, orange peel, bread malts.

T - orange peel and bubblegum backed with a grass hop bite. fades into a vanilla flavored middle and then pine hop blast at the end. so good.

M - light bodied with lots and lots of carbonation. good astringency.

O - fantastic brew.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.72/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a lovely oranged yellow, almost golden, with a great big slightly cream white head that sits at over two finger widths. The body is light and translucent, with only the faintest mist of haze, and a steady stream of gentle carbonation bubbles working to the top of the glass. The beer’s lacing is droopy and thin, leaving a spatterwork of hanging sheets upon the sides of the glass. On the nose the beer smells big with minty pine, a touch of citrus, and a faint touch of salty onion. The grains are found only as the lightest backdrop for the smell, suggesting slight toasty bread and caramel. On the tongue, the beer tastes bitter with a nice light sweet tinge. The beer begins with sweet bitters before opening into slightly caramelly herbal bitters that lightly suggest mint and onion. The finish runs with a light touch of orange citrus and is strong with pine, which lasts into the finish. The aftertaste is light with medicinal bitters and piney hops. On the mouth, the beer feels medium-light in body, with just the faintest gelling to suggest a heavier beer. The carbonation leaves a decent prickle on the tongue, and after the beer leaves the mouth is left sticky-dry, with a bitter astringency gripping at the tongue, though the mouth is clean. Overall, I’m a little disappointed with Sucks… Lots of people are heralding this beer as an amazing DIPA, but honestly I see it more as a strong IPA, falling just short of the bigger flavors that a DIPA carries. The beer is nicely drinkable, and carries some nice bitters, but the onioniness that this beer has is throwing me off the taste, and other than that I fine the hop profile a little lackluster in terms of complexity. Just to clarify, I have tried a six-pack of these now, and all of them have had the slight onion flavor, which is odd and I suppose I will chalk up to an older pack (though they had spent less than a week on the shelf when I picked them up…). This beer is a mediocre almost-DIPA, in my book, but is not really worthy of hunting down.

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Photo of Jules11788
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pale golden color; thumb-width head, medium lacing, good retention

S: Smells of sweet, sticky, tropical sugary hops. The aroma just blasts you in the face with delicious fruity hoppiness.

T: Just like the nose: lightly bitter hops with big floral notes of tropical fruit and sweet sticky candy. Delicious!

M: Medium-light viscosity with a good helping of tingly carbonation; no hint of booze at all.

O: Another score for Lagunitas. I was very disappointed when I heard that they weren't releasing Brown Shugga, but this definitely makes up for it. Hop heads rejoice, this brew is brimming with big floral/fruity hops!

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Photo of suspect
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

A: Crystal clear golden color with some amber hues. Relatively aggressive pour leads to a small one-finger pure whit head that retreats slowly leaving behind a whirlpool look of white swirling foam. Lacing is consistent and thick. It's the lack of good head that knocks down the number here.

S: Hoo boy...this was an unexpected punch in the face delivered by a fist full of hops. Piney hops hit first followed closely by grapefruit rind. Malt presence is there but definitely overpowered by the hop goodness. This brew has one hell of a nose.

T: Dee-lish. Extremely hop-forward full of zest and flavor. Grassy bits of lemon and grapefruit zest along with some mango. It's a really wonderfully flavored IIPA. Malt again takes a 7th row seating back seat to the mix of hops that come in this brew. It's there, but a total hindsight, yet it's not unbalanced, quite the opposite.

M: Crisp finish with creamy coating. Perfectly carbonated. Hop oils coat the mouth and make me pucker like the elite IIPAs on the market.

O: I swear that if this beer was brewery release only and didn't have the distribution Lagunitas does, it would be getting oodles more hype than it currently does. This is one of the best IIPAs I've had and I'm excited that they're re-releasing it as Holiday Leftovers. BRAVO Lagunitas. Bravo.

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Photo of humuloner22
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You hear about it ad nauseam around the holidays. Every beer store is boasting they have it, the charge an arm and a leg for it and then I found it in a grocery store for a reasonable price and picked it up. I did not go into this one with high hopes. I have not really had a good experience with the other beers I have had from this brewery, maybe I just like East coast breweries, or at least from the Rockies eastward. Anyway, I was actually really impressed with this one. The color and everything was lighter than I had expected it to be. The smell was sweet candy, with some hops present. The taste was where it was at. This beer was very well balanced. A great mixture of hops and sweetness. I have been on a lighter beer trend lately and for some reason I expected this one to be more on the darker side. I was overly surprised with this one and I will have to say they did make a beer that I enjoyed. I will try this one again next year and I hope it remains consistent. I have heard it may become more of a year round thing. Which might lighten its luster a bit, but over all I would try this one from time to time, if I caught it on sale like I did this time.

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Photo of JohnCassillo
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange-amber, but mostly transparent color, with a minimal head.

S: Millions of citrus notes coming at you, right from the get-go, along with a good deal of brown sugar in the background.

T: Delivers on the aroma -- a mouthful of citrus and hops, along with malt.

M: Light and balanced -- deceptively easy to drink considering a decent ABV.

O: One of the lightest and best double IPAs around -- made even better by its wide availability here in CA. There aren't a ton of DIPAs that fall into the "every day beer" category, but Sucks qualifies.

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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 BeerBuckeye
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very light, clear goldish color. Almost looks like a light lager it's so clear. Very small head.

S - Big hit of grapefruits and pine in the nose. Decent amount of sweet malt in the background.

T - A little sweet on the start, fades into that citrusy grapefruit, before turning into a good amount of bitter, piney hops. But that wasn't all. It finished with a little kick of tartness--almost lemony at the end. Very impressive.

M - It's smooth while high in carbonation. Alcohol sits back nicely.

Overall - I've been a self-described critic of Lagunitas. This one though, changes my mind. It's a solid IPA and very nice for the Holidays. Flavors present were great. Well done.

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great hop-forward beer that practically punches you in the mouth with tropical fruit and citrus flavor. Aroma is both dank and piney; the taste is a mix of pineapple, mango, orange and grapefruit plus a heavy dose of caramel and sugary sweetness. The latter is what stops me from making this a regular in the rotation - it's a little too sticky sweet, to the point of being cloying, for my taste. The stickiness lingers in your mouth and has a cumulative effect. My palate was burnt toast at the end of the session and I felt like I needed to brush my teeth to get the sugar off. For me this beer is a treat to enjoy sparingly.

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

32 Fluid ounce poured to wine glass
Today is 1/23/2016
Appearance: Light amber, small head, almost no lacing
Aroma: Strong hoppy smell, slight boozy scent not overpowering
Taste: Slightly bitter, then sweet,
Mouth feel:
Overall: Excellent beer, specially with the price. Definitely something to look forward to.

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Photo of midnitesun11
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer many times and every time it just gets better! Awesome beer that's now readily available in my area too.

Pours a brilliant golden color with a frothy, white one finger head. Tiny carbonation bubbles rise up from the bottom of my glass.

The aroma is of hops and citrus. Definitely getting a sweet smell also maybe caramel.

Taste of hops and an orange citrus. Has a bit of a spiciness but a really good sweet brown sugar caramel taste!

Mouthfeel is thin but coats your mouth with the nice hoppy sweetness of this beer! Not too much of a lingering bitterness either.

Overall this beer is great, really drinkable and cost friendly! This is one of my "go to" beers for sure. Lagunitas definitely doesn't Suck!

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

A- Transparent light golden appearance with a thin white head

S- Heavy hints of Grapefruit and other cirus with a heavy hop aroma.

T- A lot like the smell, but with more of a cirtus flavor with a hint of pine and a perfect amount of hoppiness.

M- Lightly carbonated and Alcohol is not overwhelming.

O- Very good IPA I would definatley purchase this beer again when given the chance

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Photo of JohnG190
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange with an average size, bright white head. Good retention and lacing. Lots of tropical fruit on the nose with a hint of grassiness. Juicy tropical fruit hits the tongue first with resinous pine following closely behind. Finishes dry and bitter. Medium bodied with a creamy, foamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is an extremely well crafted DIPA that deserves it's place on the Beers of Fame list!

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Photo of bound4er
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Clear golden colored ale with a sparse, fast breaking white head.

S. Sweet pineapple, citrus and a bit of pine tinged alcohol.

T. Tropical fruits of pineapple and citrus that is nicely balanced against bready malt. Finishes with well rounded hop bitterness.

M. Medium bodied with a silky feel. Light to moderate carbonation.

O. This is another great hop centric offering from Lagunitas. There's plenty of hop goodness here but in a nice, easy drinking way. Another reviewer compared this to HopSlam - that is pretty apt - call it a baby HopSlam.

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Photo of beerman207
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Saw this on the shelf of my local Kroger and had to try it. Been a while since I reviewed something. This is a good one to come back for!

A- doesn't get much better than this. Dark yellow almost orange hue with 1-2 inch head with great lacing left behind

S- could smell this a mile away. Great pine, pungent hops, fabulous

T- all that I could ask for in a dipa is here. Sweet, bitter, slight booze. Yes, yes, yes

M- lightly carbonated. Slightly drying

O- find this beer and drink it. Will be looking for this again.

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Photo of Mineo
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2013 RELEASE: The most recent batch I tried - labeled 351 from the year 2013 - resembled dead grass and stale malts. I fear Sucks has taken a step back as of late, so I am dropping my score a point. Hopefully Sucks next year can bring it back to 4.75 territory, but this year's batch certainly wasn't one of the best IPAs in the world. Far from it.

2012 RELEASE: one of the best DIPAs in the world. tropical fruits galore, with just the right amount of malt backing. faint alcohol presence, and a surprising lack of bitterness -- significantly less bitter than Maximus or several other Lagunitas offerings. this beer sits alongside Pliny and Heady Topper as my favorite DIPAs. great job Lagunitas. 4.75

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Photo of cdizinno
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: poured into a tulip glass from a growler purchased at Green's off Piney Grove in Columbia, SC!!

A: Golden, clear, decent 2+ finger white head after a hard pour that leaves moderate lacing.

S: Pine groves abound! Smells like HOPSLAM and the anticipation of tasting is killing me right now.

T&M: Medium bodied with a slight thickness and resiny feel. Piney, tasty hops from the beginning to the end. Some background fruity tones of pineapple and mango. Finishes with an incredibly tasteful mild sweetness and hop oiliness that is "to die for."

This is so well balanced that I may have to reduce my rating on my Hopslam review. This Lagunitas Sucks is way more drinkable and that really Sucks because I will probably have to finish the growler tonight. This is a must try if you are a fan of IPA's!!! Way to go Lagunitas.

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Photo of rdilauro
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The name , well intriguing, didnt know what to expect. But I have enjoyed just about everything from Lagunitas.
The poor was perfectly clear, light with a nice head. The aroma was more than I anticipated. For a 60 IBU beer, it had a hoppier nose.
The initial taste also came across with more hops.
The mouthful was full, rich, crisp and clean
The aftertaste was as nice as the start.
Another nice brew

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle in to a pint glass...obviously.

A - a carbonated orange with some haze present; the bubbles don't stop bubbling from the bottom; nice half-inch head of white foam; lacing is present...and should be taken seriously

S - really grapefruity; generally, one extremely hoppy note after another; floral and resiny; as someone else noted, it smells a lot like Gubna...although seemingly not as sweet

T - citrus as all get-out; grapefruit, orange, passion fruit; bitter hops; soapy floral; piney; also, grapefruit my man

M - this beer is extremely smooth and well-balanced; medium bodied and at the lower end of that; nice malty backbone that presents as dry; solid carbonation

O - this is really one of the best beers Lagunitas has made that I've had the pleasure of trying; it's an extremely well-done DIPA with balance, flavor, and the perfect amount of booziness; for your value, a beer doesn't get much better than this

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

Pours a clear gold with 2-finger head, impressive lacing, pretty carbonation. The smell has a very aromatic quality to it, lots of pine but also a kind of floral quality. It tastes awesome--dominated by pine, but with a solid malt backbone and a real brightness from grapefruit, mango, citrus. Finishes somewhat bitter but clean. It also has a very light mouthfeel for something of this hoppiness which I'm really digging. Keep it around--I'm sad that it's going to go away!

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,099 ratings.
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