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

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1,562 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: 1,562 | Ratings: 10,072
Photo of mtomlins
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass

A: A clear orangey, copper color that pours to an off-white head of chalky suds. The head settles down to a thick white color leaving behind some nice lacing.

S: Sucks has a huge nose of ripe tropical fruit (mangos, papaya, pineapple), citrus (oranges, ruby grapefruit, tangerine) and sticky pine residue. A bit of the sweet malt rises up as well.

T: An amazing balance of hops and malt! In addition to all the notes from the nose (tropical and citrus fruits) there is a big punch of American bittering hops drying out flavor a bit. The robust hop profile is balanced by an sweet, bready malt profile. The finish is long and complex, sweet and fruiut at first and drying out in the end.

M: Full and round; medium carbonation and body; creamy

O: A fantastic beer! Sucks has a complex hop nose and taste balancing huge amounts of ripe fruit (mangos, pineapple, oranges, tangerines ruby grapefruit), pine and bittering hops with a sweet malt backbone. The finish is fantastic making this a highly refreshing and drinkable brew!

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip
A: Rich orange color with a one-finger head that slowly settles to a thin lacing
S: Strong hops, mostly pine but also some grapefruit and orange rind, and a solid malt backbone
T: Wow. Big yet extremely balanced. Again blended hops up front but a very smooth full malt underneath, with a hint of caramel to finish. Very tasty
M: Medium to full bodied, the malts & hops both come through but it's very balanced
O: This is very good. It honestly should please everyone, being both hoppy & big malt but everything is unbelievably well balanced. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: Very cool label with eye-catching graphics and color scheme. Label states Limited Release, gives ABV info, IBU info, a bit of brewery info. Has little sayings all over label. Cap has Lagunitas logo.

Appearance: Poured from 12oz bottle into a 13oz Tulip glass after 10min warming period. Pours out a clear golden yellow with a 3 finger golden crème foam head of medium tightly packed density. Head retention was phenomenal, lasting 6min 12sec before fading to a thick coating and ring. Excellent lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of a combination of piney resin hop bitterness with a sweet citrus hop aroma along with slight hints of malt.

Flavor/Taste: Tastes starts of with a bit of sweet grapefruit citrus hops along with a sweet malt essence that quickly turns to a resin piney hop bitterness. Finishes with a bitter hop bite with just a bit of malt detectable.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall/Comments: Very solid offering that is true to the style but I expected a bit more from the hype surrounding this. This packs a nice hop punch and an excellent flavor profile. Classified as an American Double/Imperial IPA @ 7.8% ABV. Consumed 4/20/2013.

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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 bpasquini
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Orangish Copper in color with quarter-half inch thick white head, leaves a good amount of lacing

S: Pine, Some Citrus, Orange, hint of lemon, and something sweet like caramelized sugar, very well balanced

T: Great mixture of the pine and citrus hop flavors, pine being a little more dominant, the sweet malt flavors are what balance this beer out, everything seems to be blended perfectly together, bitterness level is also perfect for this beer, not overpowering but still lets you know it's there

M: Very light, not oily, leaves your mouth a hint dry making you want to keep drinking, which is a good thing for this beer

O: Great beer, if you see this buy it! My new favorite, everything is so well blended in this beer, and I'm not normally a fan of pine hop flavored beers

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper in color with crazy lacing. Nice 1/4 inch white head.

S - Big amount of grapefruit, pineapple, and orange.

T - Just like the smell with the grapefruit, pineapple, and orange right upfront. Big piney hops in the finish. Some sweet bready malts balance everything out.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with great finish.

O - Fantastic DIPA! Very easy to drink. This is a winter staple in my fridge.

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Photo of Sammy
4.01/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great hop aroma. Generous head. Above average mouthfeel. Good malt backing, caramel, a bit of fruit. Nicely carbonated. Nicely drinkable. superior IPA just the right amount of bitterness. Recent bottle from Premier Gourmet. I could have a four pack in the fridge of this.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Incredible lacing. Reminds me of California Steam. Great carbonation and a copper color.

Smell: Orange zest. Some brown sugar and cinnamon. Excellent balance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Great combination of malty brown sugar sweetness and orange bitterness. Very promising mouthfeel initially...a lot like Zombie Dust. Unfortunately, it's a bit flat in the finish.

Overall Drinkability: Worth the hype.

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Photo of Bear1964
3.4/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint glass, nice golden peach color with a small half finger head. Aroma was piney with some hints of pit fruit such as apricot, taste followed with a nice hop tang coating the tongue and some pit fruit sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel with some bitter notes and a refreshing finish, overall a very nice brew that I would pick up again

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Photo of IllNate
4.06/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a near clear amber with a couple fingers of white/off-white head and great retention. Has a bit of a haze to it. Smell is hoppy with mostly citrus hops, but also some floral. Good amount of malt in the background as well, pale, caramel and a hint of spicy rye. Taste follows with mostly hops, citrus, floral some pine. Maltiness is here too, with the rye playing a slightly more pronounced role. Nice complexity. Mouthfeel is bitter with a bit of spiciness, not the beer's strong point. Overall a great beer, but I've had better, not as excited as some of the reviewers.

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Photo of alex_hart
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Burnt Orange with a 1/4 finger white head that lingers for a majority of the brew. Some heavy carbonation and decent lacing.

Smell: This very well may be the best IPA/DIPA I have ever smelt before. It reminded me a lot of the whole-cone hop aroma I got from SNs Hoptimum, but with some added citrus (lemon, orange peal). It had the perfect balance between a light and full aroma that literally made me walk around looking for my girlfriend so she could smell it too.

Taste: The citrus is definitely still there, and the hops are present as well, but the alcohol seems to come forward a bit and bitterness really hits home at the front of the taste. I let it warm to the recommended temp to see if the flavor profile would change much, but it didn't seem to effect it much. Still pretty delicious though.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Might even be able to describe it is a bit fluffy with the thin layer of foam being very well pronounced upon ever sip.

Overall: Once again, this is the best smelling IPA/DIPA I have ever had the opportunity to smell, and it tasted great, but it just did not quite live up to the smell. Still a high quality brew from a great brewery.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm trying not to over-rate this beer since I recognize this is my favorite style and this beer is done exactly the way I like them. When it comes to a WC IPA, the hops on the nose is key...and this one is absolutely beautiful (I wish I knew the hops combination for homebrew purposes). Overall, an excellent WC IPA with medium white head and tons of tropical-piney hops on the nose. Solid bittering, but not overboard, which remains in balance with the malt (at least as far as the style goes). Definately a beer I will go back to many more times, and already have, in fact.
Kicking myself for missing this place on my last NoCal microbrewery tour. Now if I could just find the Brown Sugga' itself...

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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 AltBock
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. stubby bottle with a recycled paper label with a picture of a splatter of red paint. Flanking the sides of the paint splatter is the beer's specifications. Along the beer's sides is a Lagunitas dog saying "We Suck," the Government warning, and the beer's ingredients. The only thing missing from the label is a bottled date or best before date.

When poured into a Cigar City snifter, "Sucks" didn't suck. This beer was a clear and bubbly solid gold. No hidden highlights. It was pure gold! On top of this golden brew was a small 1/4 of an inch paper white head of foam. Not a dirty white. Only a pure white can sit on top of a pure gold brew. This head of foam had decent retention that left behind a small island of foam and a tiny string of foamy rings along the side.

"Sucks" loved the scent of pine. That was its favorite and it showed. Behind the wall of pine was the bitter and lightly tart citrus fruits and bitter citrus hops. The citrus fruits consisted of the usual grapefruit, lemon, orange, and a little pineapple. There was no hidden malt aroma, but I did pick up a few floral notes hiding in the back.

Like the aroma, the taste favored the pine. "Sucks" sure does love the pine. Right behind the pine tree forest was the bitter citrus fruits and dried bitter citrus hops. The citrus fruits consisted of bitter grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, and even a touch of mango. After the citrus elements had their fun, they then let through some floral notes and a subtle toasted malt backbone.

This was a medium bodied Double/Imperial IPA with a good amount of carbonation and a citrus based aftertaste. I thought that was odd since this beer loved the pine. Just not in the aftertaste. You'll find grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, and a few floral notes in the aftertaste. This aftertaste doesn't linger.

Well..."Sucks" doesn't suck. I'm sure I'm about the millionth person saying that, but I had to. It's gold in color and piney/hoppy at the same time. The things you want to find in a beer like this. This is an easily affordable, easy to find Double/Imperial IPA. You don't need to trade your first born to get this beer.

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

My new favorite brew...this is a superbly superior libation...

On my second case of this awesome hoppy creation from Lagunitas...glad they distribute to my area in central PA....

A - nearly clear golden orange hue...creamy 1/2 inch head that fades but leaves lacing around the edges all day...

S - A beautiful bouquet of tropical fruits, pine, citrus peel, and a hint of sweet cereal grains...awesome!

T - Juicy resiny hoppiness with enough malt character to keep things in balanced and easy to drink for the higher abv...its scary-good!

M - Smooth and creamy, light carbonation, almost cask-like...medium bodied but not too syrupy just the right amount..

Overall - A great beer yet again from Lagunitas...I love nearly everything I've had from their line-up. I'm a fan and you will be too...this is one of the best IPAs/DIPAs in the WORLD! Get some! Cheers!

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Photo of rodney45
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Late fall corn field at dusk. Lingering off white head.

S: heavenly, intense. Floral hops and grapefruit, with an offhand note of hemp or citrus.

T: Malt dominant up front with a big blast of munich or vienna malt. Secondary notes of citrus hops and somewhat sweet amarillo/cascade mixture that has notes of melon, and orange. Finish is dry and bitter, with reoccurring flavor profiles.

M: Moderate body, light carbonation. Bitter and no sign of alcohol ethers.

O: Look, this is a fantastic DIPA. I cant imagine anyone not enjoying this beer. Its the pinacle of a hop head's dream. I dont think this beer gets the fan fare it deserves. I'd put it on par with Pliny or Heady topper any day of the week.

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Photo of Lledd
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle straight from fridge into 12oz alchemist glass.

A: Light yellow, straw colored. Light carbonation and 1/2" head.

S: Delicious. Bright, hoppy, citrusy. Smells like an IPA.

T: Very bright and crisp. Tastes like an IPA. Sweet and subtle malt profile. It blends nicely with the hops. The malts have a taste that suggests honey, or, believe it or not, brown sugar. There's a pleasant piney flavor. The hop profile in this beer definitely says "I'm an IPA!". Not very complex, but delicious.

M: Very fine, soft carbonation. It lends to a smooth drinking experience while still highlighting the higher notes of the beer. The body isn't thick or watery. Thicker than an IPA but once again, the carbonation makes it nice. It's crisp.

O: Great beer. I'll definitely buy this again. This is a fridge staple while it's available. Very refreshing and drinkable.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big off white head slowly recedes above a clear bright golden colored beer.

Big citrus and piney hops aroma just keeps on coming.

Lots of pine sap and citrus hops in a lightly bitter and dryish tasting ale.

A bitterish dry aftertaste with a bit of the citrus hops taste sticking around with this medium bodied drink.

A big west coast style hops taste and I like it.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.99/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into the trusty pint glass. nice brownish golden color to it more like a brown sugar color. Nice lacing not to thin and not to thick. Smells like heaven and tastes very smooth for an Imperial IPA. Not a strong after taste but a well worth tasting beer. Mouth of addicting flavor and overall irresistable beer. Two thumbs for this beer

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Photo of JWU
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- a clear gold with heavy orange hues. Bright white head, that laces very, very nicely.

S- Instantly identifiable as a Lagunitas beer. Reminds me of their IPA, but much heavier on the tropical hop notes.

T- A big bitter hit, transitions into the tropical hop notes. Grapefruit, orange, and a hint of peach and strawberry. A bit of rye spice on the back end accompnies the bitterness which makes a comeback on the back end.

M- Plenty dry without being crushingly so. Has a bit of a creamy mouthfeel, likely from the oats. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O- Looks great, smells great, and tastes pretty darn good.

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Photo of gpogo
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear copper body with small white head that leaves sparse lacing.

A- Wonderful hop aroma. Tropical fruity hops so much. Slight sweet caramel malt.

T- Spicy alcohol hit with a heavy hop flavor. Superbly tropical hop flavor. Nice bitterness throughout. The hop flavors are incredible.

M- Medium body moderate carbonation that is very biting.

D- This shit is the shit.

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Photo of McStagger
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Been hearing about this one for awhile.

A: Medium copper hue with excellent clarity. Two fingers khaki head. Stellar retention. Minimal to moderate carbonation. Definitely a good looking IPA.

S: Dank ass hops. Seriously. Reminds me so much of the Drake Pale Ale (which I love). Huge hits of tropical and stone fruit in this one. Mango, guava and apricot erupt from the glass. Bit of caramel malt in there, but the star of the show is definitely the insanely aromatic hops.

T: Juicy and dank. The malt is there, sure. Splashes of the usual caramel, touch of spice, maybe a bit of cinnamon. But these are secondary to the extremely flavorful hops. Not your usual west coast flair of grapefruit with a touch of pine. These hops are peach, guava, apricot, mango, pineapple. Extremely flavorful. Bright, ripe and juicy with enough chalky/ashy bitterness to remind you that this is indeed a DIPA. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

M: An excellent balance of carbonation, malt body and alcohol.

O: Lagunitas absolutely killed it with this one. Seriously. Easily the best beer I've had by this accomplished brewery.

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Photo of Profchaos20
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a clear golden with a one finger white head and leaves nice lacing.

S - Citrusy hops. Pleasant aroma but lighter than I expected grapefruit, mango, dank hops. A litt bit of malt in there also.

T - Sweet with a little malt upfront, then a strong bit of hops kick in. Citrusy and piney are the prevalent hop flavors. Finishes with a medium to high bitterness. Also got notes of grapefruit.

M - Medium body, light to medium carbonation. Smooth

O - A good beer in it's own right but I'm a bit disappointed with this one. With all the hype it gets I was expecting more. Nothing really stood out to me just a solid all around beer.

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Photo of HugePlume
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint

A: Glowing reddish amber, it seems to create light.

S: Out of sight, this might have the best nose of any non-fresh hopped IPA. It reeks of pines and fruits.

T: The nose carries through to the taste, backed by a crisp malt background. Its bitter, but not face puckering. Still can't get ofer the smell.

M: A little fizzier than expected and it finishes rather wet but leaves a nice thin layer of hop oil on your lips.

O: Fantastic DIPA, might be the best non-fresh hop IPA I have had. The nose is simply remarkable.

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Photo of WesWes
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a beautiful golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is excellent. It has a killer hop scent surrounded by a solid pale malt aroma. The taste is good. It has a wonderful hop flavor; bold and full of citrus notes. The malt bill provides adequate balance and a smooth pale and Munich malt flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a delicious DIPA. It's true to the West coast style and highly drinkable.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,562 ratings.
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