Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga’ Substitute Ale) is an American Double IPA brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a tulip pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.
The IPA pours a clear marigold with heavy sediment floating in the glass. The ale is capped by a thick head of luscious white foam that dissolves slowly and leaves behind a lovely lattice of sticky lacing.
A heady aroma of piney hops lets you know this is an IPA but then its palate switches things up.
For a double IPA, this is a surprisingly well-balanced brew. The palate opens sweetly with mango and melon relaxed atop a malty base of four grains. There’s a touch of alcohol before the tasting finishes with a bite of citrus hops.
Its feel has a slightly heavier body than you’d expect but it’s still crisp and refreshing. Finishes dryly.
Lagunitas Sucks is remarkably balanced and quite easy to drink. This DIPA most definitely doesn’t suck.
From Disappointment to Sucks
In the Fall of 2011, Lagunitas realized they weren’t going to have the brewing capacity to tackle the Brown Shugga’ ale. This was a disappointment to its many fans who looked forward to the Strong Ale’s arrival each winter. As an apology, Lagunitas offered this self-deprecating brew, Lagunitas Sucks. This Double IPA was received so well, that it and the Brown Shugga’ are released every year.
Watch the video below to hear the story of the Lagunitas Sucks as told by Lagunitas brewmaster Jeremy Marshall.