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: 10,070
Photo of Hendry
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas SUCKS is my first review: I got to sample this highly interesting beer at a neighborhood party,and it was an eye opener for me. Until recently, I was only an occaisional beer drinker, favoring smooth British Ales (Samuel Smiths was one of the few designer beers available 30 years ago,still a fine product).

A small glass holding 4 or 5 oz was poured for me to sample:an orange-copper color, and the first thing that struck me about this beer was the heavenly aroma. The usual list of suspects for tropical fruit launch an all out assault on your nose, the most prominent to my senses were apricots. Not being familiar with the "new" breed of hops developed during my period of disinterest in beer, I was convinced that SUCKS was brewed with apricot (i.e. Magic Hat #9),or peach, or mango. WRONG!

The blissfull aroma drew me into the first sip, which was a flavor explosion of epic proportions.
The tropical fruits are up front and the carbonation seems to accent those flavors, the finish is dry and long. This is a lip smacking beer: incredibly smooth drinking and inviting,Lagunitas SUCKS is a real winner,especially for those just starting to explore the world of "hopped up" beers that are all the rage currently.

If you are throwing a dinner party, Sucks is a bargain for $10/six pack just to see the buzz it will create amongst your guests with such an intoxicating aroma and intruiging flavors. Sucks might be the best bang for the buck in the $10 sick pack category.

I'm discovering that Vermont is a good place to be judging by the world class ratings of Hill Farmstead,The Alchemist,and Lawsons: I'll be sure to cover those in future reviews in my quest for a quality brew.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

$10.99 for a 6'er @ BevCo. Brewed with barley, rye, wheat and oats. OG=1.085, 63.21 IBU, 7.85% ABV. Pours out to a brilliantly clear sparkling deep golden/light copper, forming a small off white head with ok retention and minimal lacing. Moderate carbonation, ~2.5 carbs. The aroma is great and chockfull O' hops....pine, skunkweed, cat pee, mango and grapefruit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a hop astringent finish. The taste is a recap of the hops balanced by a firm malt body with grainy husk character and stone fruit esters. Firm bitterness, but well balanced and leaves a pleasant mouthfeel. No perceptible off flavors or aromas.

A world class beer. A wonderful example of the style. I want another, and another...

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Photo of bum732
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

S: Resiny, fresh hops, very bold, grapefruit peel, slight breadiness, some dankness.

L: Fairly clear burnt orange, creamy white head that dissipates. Solid lacing.

T: Sweet maltiness with a prominent grapefruit peel like hoppiness Medium high resiny bitterness with a fairly prominent maltiness complementing. Big orange peel notes as it warms. Finishes a little heavy, semi-dry with additional maltiness and hop resin.

M: Medium full bodied. Medium carbonation.

A really solid, big-bodied IPA. I was surprised by the big malt presence, but still a great IPA overall.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - Clear bright gold with one finger white head with good lacing and good head retention.

S - Excellent hop bouquet of citrus grapefruit, pines, and sweet brown sugar.

T - Full palate action starting with sweetness of malt and brown sugar and grassy bitterness followed with a smooth dry bitter finish. It's almost like eating a brown sugar cookie.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation.

O - This is such a tasty and fun beer to drink. For a fairly sweet beer it is so well balanced with hops and bitterness. I really love this. This beer is among my favorites from this most excellent brewery.

Doing this again on 3-6-2013
This beer I think is just as good bottled as it was on tap fresh last year when I lived in CA. This beer is the shit. The best bang for your buck among ANY DIPA.

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Photo of screamking
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours very light golden/orange, minimal white head which disappears very quickly, not much lacing. 3.5

Aroma-This beer smells very citrusy. Tangerine, grapefruit, orange sherbet, honeysuckle, lemon zest, a little woodsy pine in there too. 4.75

Taste-Oh my, the tangerine in this is unreal. Bitter grapefruit and orange peel come through quick. Nice kick of hops after you swallow. Slight hint of honey. Small notes of floral and pine round out a great taste. 4.75

Feel-light bodied but not watery, coats well and lingers on the palate, very mild carbonation. 4.25

Overall-This is a great beer! Very compatible to hopslam and some of the other big DIPA's out there. Priceline this has just about every beer on the planet beat, I got it for $9.99 a sixer. That's insanely cheap for this beer. I hope this becomes a year round brew because I need more of it, immediately. Dangerously easy to drink, abv at 7.85% is surprising, this thing will sneak up on you. 4.75

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at The Village Tavern in Geneseo into a Lagunitas mason jar.

Pours a golden, hazy orange. Big white head fizzles away into a nice film on top of the beer. Not much haze, pretty clear, actually.

Smells like a big damn fruit basket. So much tropical fruits in here- orange, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, etc.

All of the aforementioned fruits jockey for position in the taste, but a piney hop flavor runs amok through the profile as well. Intense hop bitterness is compounded by heavy, crisp carbonation to create one of the driest IPAs you'll ever drink. My favorite style of IPA.

Light body. Slick, resinous mouthfeel stays with you, even if you drink other beers. Don't drink anything else after this one.

If this beer sucks, I guess I don't really like good beer. A great save from an unfortunate situation by Lagunitas. Amazing how this substitute beer has become one of the best IPAs on the market. Glad it's going year-round.

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Photo of TaySuth
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Poured from a fresh bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very nice, amber color with a solid white head that leaves behind a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: Whoa this is interesting. Strong hop aroma of strawberry, citrus, grass, and a hint of pine. I truly cannot wait to taste this beer.

Taste: So impressed by this beer. Extremely well balanced between the strong hops and solid pale malt backbone. Flavors of strawberry,grapefruit, grass, oranges, and pine. Smooth bitterness. Just delicious.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thicker than medium body. Semi-sweet. Very good carbonation.

Overall: An absolutely unique and enjoyable IIPA that I hope to find again before it sells out.

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Photo of klivesay9
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing this as I drink it and I am not disappoined. I am not one to write a long Ass review that goes into stupid detail. This is a unique ipa that has the dank cannabaceae hop flavor that an India pale ale should. I am an ipa lover and this combines hop flavor with a smooth malty spine. The finish is succulent with a bitter tinge. smooth and sweet like the legs of a tight young vavachka. Highly recommend to any ipa lover. This would go good with a fat spliff of sensimilla.

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

Poured in a pint glass.

This beer is insane. It's got everything I like in an Imperial IPA. The sweetness stays with you throughout the finish balancing perfectly the hops. It finishes perfectly with a nice dryness left on your tongue.

I could probably drink a 6 pack of these one right after the other.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a near clear, light pale copper-hued body with an inch of white suds.

Smell: Heady, fruity notes of tropical fruits, varied citruses with pith included, a little liquid soap, and some resinous grassy undertones.

Taste: Pale malts, a bit of breadiness, and a low, brief sweetness imparted. Resiny, grassy, floral, but rather fruity, with tastes of pithy tangerine, mango, white grapefruit, pineapple. Moderate bitterness. Sourish, fruit juice quality with a sliver of resin and soapiness on the drying, bitterish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Another hoppy-something from Lagunitas.

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Photo of rodkin
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mostly clear golden amber, with a large fluffy off-white head. Spotty lacing.

Smell is piney, grass, a bit of tropical fruit, some cereal grains. Pretty even and balanced.

Taste is tropical fruity, citrus, grains, pine, grass. It's surprisingly not very bitter, but the hop flavor still comes through. No alcohol presence to speak of.

Mouthfeel is medium thick, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very high. Very sessionable, tasty, bright. Just wish it had a bit more hop punch.

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Photo of smcnulty1981
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a golden color fairly transparent with a good.ammounto of carbonation has about 2 fingers of a white head had with a good ammount of lacing on the glass

S: lots of citrus piney resin notes form the hopes with slight bit of mustiness followed by a good sweet malt character with some hints of caramel and molasses

T: hop resin flavor up front again which lingers to a sweet sugar caramel finish starts a bit bitter and then finishes sweet

M: medium bodied finishes with a lingering sweetness like a barley wine but doesn't coat the mouth as much

O: good overall has hints of brown sugga not as bitter and doesn't finish as sweet good beer overall not as good as brown sugga but stands up well on its own

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

And the audacity to admit that their beer sucks is s profound that they wear it on their label like an ill-conceived tattoo, I'm most insulted that they actually pass off a pretty nice beer as something that sucks.

It's obvious horrendous appearance begins with an eerily hazed burnt orange hue and culturing bubbles that rise from its depths to fuel a foamy froth of sea foam to cap the beer. Its cellular lacing clings to the glass with broken spider webbing for a peculiar and alluring look.

And its pungent aromas are of over-ripened citrus fruit, juicy and plump in its scent are the notes of oranges, grapefruits, mangoes, tangerines, kumquats, apricots, pineapples, and lemons- its culmination of aromas are saturated with light caramel for a candied scent similar to that of the candied apples you get at the circus.

And its flavors suck every bit as much as aromas. That pungent taste of citrus is so dominant that little else arises. It's a little sad that all of us malt-lovin' beer drinkers are subjected to such sharp, acidic, and resiny taste. It's too bad that the underlying malt taste only offers support to the hops and don't offer much resistance. Distracted by the zesty taste of mangoes, apricots, pineapple, and blood orange, the beer can't soely focus on bitterness but instead shares the stage with tropical and citrus fruits.

Its creamy upstart keeps the beer from dryness, just as its dry finish prevents the linger of fruit- you just cant' win with this beer. Its ultra-dry fruity finish is diffused by subtle bitterness and its warmth is circumvented by resin dryness. What's a guy to do but simply enjoy the beer!

Truth be told, it's hard to discuss the beer's taste in a condescending way while describing the attributes that makes it wonderful. If the beer does suck, then it sucks in the most wonderful of ways.

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Photo of Big_Twofifty
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours with a ½ inch of off- white foam that is very bubbly, the foam dissipates rather quickly, leaving an off-white bubbly lacing at the surface. The beer is a translucent golden amber color. With drinking it leaves the off-white foam on the edge of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant hoppy citrus aroma of tropical fruits, grapefruit, and a hint of lemon grass.

Taste: Surprisingly mild first taste, not as bitter as expected. The citrus flavors definitely are evident along with a hint of the lemon grass I smelled before, or maybe that’s pine. As the flavors come forth I mainly notice the fruity flavor of grapefruit which adds sweetness.

Mouthfeel: My first thought is this beer is thick and creamy for what appears to be a light beer. It has a pleasant crisp finish and a very mild aftertaste of the citrus. It has a nice light carbonation level, which doesn’t overpower the creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: For an imperial IPA I was expecting maybe slightly more bitterness and the flavors to be more robust; however, I still enjoyed it immensely. The appearance, smell, taste, and mouthfeel all seemed to be cohesive and meld together nicely. For as sucky as you expect this beer to be, all you want to do is have another glass.

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Photo of RattleheadKV2
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into Unibroue tulip. No freshness date,

Appearance: Pours a golden amber color with about a finger and a half of a dense, frothy, offwhite head, that dissipates into a nice cap of foam that leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

Smell: Hop bomb for sure here! Tons of peach, mango and orange/grapefruit. Also getting nice earth dank onion/garlic smell as well.

Taste: A slight pop of bitterness followed instantly by the dank, earthy oniony tastes, that's soon balanced out by the sweet tropical and citrus tones returned from the nose, all while finishing bone dry.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium bodied IPA/DIPA, with a touch of bitterness at the front, followed by a huge hop punch while finishing drier than a desert, just begging you to take another sip.

Overall: Simply amazing beer, easily my favorite that I've had from Lagunitas, though I'm not sure I'd classify this particular beer as a DIPA. All the same this is an amazingly good beer. I'm stunned that so much flavor can be packed into such an affordable package. Once this goes year round it'll be a staple in my fridge.

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

A: Bright gold in color with white head and wispy lacing.

S: A wonderfully resinous aroma of sweet grapefruit, papaya and pineapple notes abound.

T: The bright citrus and tropical flavors transcend the hoppy mid-palate to finish harmoniously with a touch of spicy sweetness.

M: Medium bodied, yet silky in texture. The carbonation carry the fruity hops and malt sweetness to a silky and balanced finish.

O: Lagunitas describes this as a cereal medley, so I must love cereal. The oats and rye give this beer a spicy creaminess that is 'spot on'. And the citrus and tropical notes pair wonderfully with the malty sweetness. This stuff goes down so easy. Its time to find a cloned version of this beer before I end up in the poor house.

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Photo of deebo
3.94/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Williams $3 pint night. Served with a skimming of filmy white head this is a completely clear beer dark golden with a light orange tint. Big time hop aroma. Notes of tropical mango and citrus grapefruit. Taste is hop forward with a definite malt backbone. A smooth beer with a bitter but crisp aftertaste. This is a solid big yet not overpowering hop bomb. A nice brew.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is another great beer from Lagunitas, and with an IPA lineup like they have, I would expect nothing less. Favorite part about this brew is the smell, and it's pretty much everything I could want out of the aroma from an IPA. Bold hop flavor, clean citrus, and some fragrant florals. Absolutely great smell. Looks very similar to their other IPAs, a bright golden, perfectly transparent, but with some very small suspended bubbles. Taste is all about hops and citrus. You will feel like you just enjoyed a fresh, tart and perfectly sweet grapefruit after you take a sip. Overall, more well balanced then Hop Stoopid, exceptionally smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle, about 20 days old if I'm reading the julian code correctly.

A: Clear, typical color for an IPA. Acceptable head with excellent retention.

S: Good lord. Loads of piney hops, citrus, hop dankness. Amazing.

T: Pineapple. Reminds me of Pliny the Elder but more in your face with hops. Just enough bready malt backbone to finish it off and balance it out. Amazing.

M: Thin, watery. Good carbonation. No heat from the 7.85% at all. Dry.

O: For a hophead, this one is outstanding. Can't beat the price either.

edit: Original rating was a 4.6 but have to lower the scores after being disappointed time and time again with the 2015 releases. Not the same beer anymore.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.62/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Into a goblet with a finger of head on a clear, straw colored body.
The aroma is wonderful bright citrus: orange, mandarin and grapefruit.
The taste is a little disjointed: moderate bitterness throughout with lemon and grapefruit dominating. There's a sweetness breaking the surface once in a while too.
There's a soft texture with moderate carbonation.
The taste was a letdown because everything else was great.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, pours golden in color topped with a frothy, white head. Good retention, and tons of sticky lacing is left one the glass. Aromas are bright and fresh with tropical citrus notes of pineapple and mango along with grapefruit, sweet honey, biscuity malt. Wow, I could smell this all day. Tastes are sweet and tropical; similar to aroma with pineapple, mango, grapefruit, honey, biscuity malt finds its way in there, a tad boozy, finishes sweet, but bitter and dry. Full of flavor with nice balance here. Medium body, nice and smooth with ample carbonation. Overall, top notch American DIPA, especially for the price in comparison to the other over-priced competitors.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright clear golden color with amber highlights. Thick white head hangs around and leaves trails of lace down the glass.

Big grapefruit smell dominates the nose, backed by orange and tangerine. There is some rye notes in the background and a faint bubble gum/floral aroma.

Intense bittersweet grapefruit upfront followed by sweet orange with some faint bitter floral notes in the background. There is a slight chewy malt sweetness in the middle (caramel).

An excellent beer with intense, complex flavor.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pale orange with a small white head and layers of lacing.

Big tropical fruit notes, pine, some booze, candy-like juicy hops, earthy, musty mint.

Citrus fruits and pine again balanced well with lightly sweet malts, very clean.

Feel is on par for an IPA of this caliber. Flavorful, not cloying by any means, could drink a few of these.

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Photo of DrStiffington
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic. I've had this on tap and bottle this year. Smells strongly of citrus and pine. Tastes the same. Strong hoppy flavor. Mouthfeel not thick and creamy, but still not insignificant. Perhaps more impressive than Hopslam this year. Outstanding!

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Photo of puboflyons
3.77/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on February 23, 2013.

It pours medium amber with a slight cloudy character and a medium off-white head that eventually settles down to a lingering ring.

The aroma was my favorite part of this beer with a nice earthy, hopped sensation and an odd brown sugar note. Malts are mellow.

The body falls into the medium range with an acidic quality to it.

The hops present themselves as the dominant character in the taste with a muted maltiness and sweetness. But quite frankly, I found this beer to be about level with any number of IPA's I have had.

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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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