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

1,605 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: 1,605 | Ratings: 10,206
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
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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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Photo of MudDrinker
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Straw golden-very light orange with a fluffy white head.

Smell - Grapefruit. Just a big ol' grapefruit, there's some other citrus and mango involved, but its pretty uncanny to me how much grapefruit hits you upfront. No resin or pine in the smell at all. That's a new one on me.

Taste - Whoa. Grapefruit, mango, bittersweet citrus. When cold, its hard to pick up any resin bitterness - it comes through as it warms but its never abrasive. Absolutely no alcohol presence. Sweetness from the malt is pretty much the best sidekick ever in this beer.

Mouthfeel - Light and creamy. Decent carbonation, making the head come across really fluffy. It really fits with the sweet grapefruit flavor. This beer is definitely worth pouring in a glass that has a turbulent shape for head retention.

Overall - Phenomenal. I pretty exclusively drink stuff on the malty side of the spectrum. I rarely like brews with pronounced hops, and definitely not IPAs/APAs/etc. but I'll be buying this as long as I can get it.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured Lagunitas Sucks into my favorite Founders snifter to enjoy for the first time this year (I did have it on tap last night, but this is my first bottle of the year).

It actually does look like someone urinated in my glass, someone so dehydrated they are on the verge of death. It's that pale orange, yellow color with tons of white bubbles and foam. It's very clear and bubbly from the carbonation. Only some lacing, think my glass has lost its ability to hold lacing.

Smells of intense passion fruit -- it's sweet, with orange, mango, pineapple, pine/floral hops. It also has a nice malty backbone in there as well.

Taste is more of the same, very good. It's also a bit resinous, too, which I like.

Feel is very nice, indeed. Smooth, balanced, and super fresh. Drinkability is high. Repeat, drinkability is high.

Overall, very good beer, maybe my favorite Lagunitas offering. Hopefully it becomes year-round eventually. Cheers.

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

Thanks to Momar42 for the bottle! 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a nasty-looking dark piss color. The head is a two finger spoiled milk shade that looks like cottage fuckin' cheese. Why is there so much ugly-ass lacing left on my glass?

S: This is full of gross melon, gross papaya, gross herbal pine, gross mango, and...well, it's just gross. Smells like an awesome-- ERR I mean wet ass.

T: Yikes, and just when I thought it couldn't get any nastier, it does! The opening is nothing but mellow-- I mean nasty tropical fruits. Bah, who really likes tropical fruits? It tastes like a damn rainforest! It finishes with a soft, malty sweetness, which totally sucks 'n' stuff, too. And ewww, is that onion on the aftertaste? Who wants onion in their beer? NOT ME, GOOD SIR!

M: Light, delicate, subtle, and crisp - and it sucks. Yeah, it fuckin' sucks. I've never stated my preference toward light and delicate DIPAs before in my life, you're all nuts! /angryface I mean, sure, it's drinkable, but that's only because I want to get rid of it so quickly! Aw crap, I'm not near a drain...I guess I'll just pour it into my mouth more. Because it fuckin' sucks so much.

O: Yuck! Lagunitas Sucks indeed. It's so bad I'm discouraging everyone out there of buying I can snatch the remainder up for-- I mean, cuz it's gross an' shit. Yeah, that's it. This is most definitely not a fantastic DIPA that I wish I could drink a case of, no, you guys are all reading into things WAY too much. Like I said, this sucks I WANT MORE I WANT MORE NOW!

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Photo of JuliusCaesar
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden Straw color

S: Very nice floral hop aroma. Maybe the best part of this beer

T: Great citrus flavors with a good malt balance. Not very bitter but still delicious. Can't detect the alcohol at all

M: Smooth and slightly on the heavy side

Overall: A great DIPA. The aroma and flavors are near perfect. It's not as bitter as some DIPAs I've had but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Well balanced

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.76/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured a clear, glowing yellowish-orange colo wih a nice white cap which resedes after a moment leaving some lacing and bubbles

S: The nose is melons, apricot, mango, flowers and a pine needle

T: Immediate fresh melon presence with a following of apricot, mango and then a floral hop finish. I really dont get any pine on the taste. A little sweet biscuity malt backing and tad bit of soapiness on the finish. It tastes a little perfumey as well.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated, lingering hops and sweetness

O: Not to shabby but damn fellas, its not that damn good.

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Photo of drrone
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Golden straw color. One finger of head. Faint lacing. Looks great.

S- The smell is excellent. An intoxicating mixture of hops, grapefruit and pine.

T - Very similar as smell. Wonderful hop taste, very light malt, with citrus notes. Nice bite that you would hope for, but doesn't leave a lingering bitterness. Quite smooth.

M - Very light and drinkable. Doesn't feel too heavy.

O - I love this beer. It is very well balanced and easy to drink, but keeps you interested. I recommend it anyone who hasn't tried it. Well done Lagunitas.

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Photo of tipfortap
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5 words to describe it: Grapefruit, Brulee, Tropical, Pine, Hops

Paired it with: Teriyaki Tofu with Broccoli

Should have paired it with: It was DELICIOUS with teriyaki sauce; would also be great with barbeque (I’d suggest pulled pork), or one of those ridiculous burgers with like foie gras and blue cheese, because the hops and the booze cut fat well, but the sweetness would compliment those rich flavors.

Drink it if you like: Any of Lagunitas’ other IPA/DIPAs (Maximus or even their standard IPA), American Pale Ale, or even if you love Tripels and you’re looking for a change of pace

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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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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,206 ratings.
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