Lagunitas Sucks Brown
Review Date 7/6/2014 Last Updated 2/25/2016
Lagunitas Sucks. Aw heck, no they don’t. But they think they do. They must, really. After all one of their beers says so: Lagunitas Sucks Ale. More completely, Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale. It doesn’t suck, though. Here it is early July, and I’m drinking one of these winter seasonal beers for my annual Christmas in July celebration. No, it doesn’t suck at all.
So why do they call it Lagunitas Sucks? Oh wait, here’s the story on the handle of the six-pack carrier.
E.K. Ross would have enjoyed our suffering in 2010 when we realized that we couldn’t brew our beloved BrownShugga’ Ale, But in that time of our deepest despair, as is common to artists everywhere… broke, hung-over, abandoned by the muse…and prepared to take a job at Arby’s, we found in that darkness a spark of inspiration that would yield up this nearly sanctified hop slathered recipe tragically named The Lagunitas Sucks Ale, and now in 2012 we are stuck with it… could be worse.
Indeed, Lagunitas. Could be worse. Could be raining. Now, I haven’t had Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ since 2007. It does not suck either, I can tell you. I’d like to see it again, but as substitutes go, Lagunitas Sucks ain’t a bad one. And….hey wait….what’s this on the bottom of my six-pack carrier? More text?
The fall of 2011 brought with it the sad realization that we could not make the annual plan to wrangle with our most difficult brew, the BrownShugga’ Ale. E.K. Ross would have enjoyed our suffering as we moved through her stages towards acceptance final, but in that time of our deepest despair, as is common to artists everywhere; broke, hung-over, abandoned by the muse…and prepared to take a job at Arby’s, we found in that darkness a spark of inspiration that would yield up this nearly sanctified hop slathered recipe tragically named The Lagunitas Sucks Ale. This is that beer. In the tale of the farmer with the lost ox, the last stages are all that matter and in those desperate final moments, salvation is found. Having named the beer in that moment of darkness we are now bound to it and it us as an act of supplication and this name we now wear with a heart full of gratitude, humble and penitent before the recipe’s creator; the muse of brewers everywhere.
OK, Lagunitas, what’s up with that? Two stories with two different years? Was it 2010 or 2011? I caught you in a gaffe. You owe me a beer.
Lagunitas Sucks has an alcohol content of 7.85% by volume and 63.21 IBUs. Just had to get those extra .21 IBUs in there, didn’t you? I paid $8.99 for a six-pack last winter, which is higher than usual for Lagunitas, but an average price for a six-pack these days. Stylistically, this one seems to be an imperial IPA or a double IPA. Whatever it is, it’s hard to get, and flies off store shelves here in Georgia each November/December. Now that sucks if you don’t get any, but I got some, so I guess it doesn’t suck for me.
Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale pours to a bright orange color with a thick creamy head formation and a bright hop nose of citrusy lemon and pineapple, but mostly herbal resiny pine. A very thick layer of Brussels lace forms and follows the liquid all the way to the bottom of my glass. . Taking a sip, I get some chewy caramel malt up front and then lots and lots of citrusy, resiny hops. The beer is bursting with them, herbal and peppery, citrusy with lemon and grapefruit, resiny with pine. A moderate bitterness lingers and finishes this one out perfectly. For $8.99? Lagunitas Sucks is a Christmas gift to hop lovers, whether in December or July.
Update February 25, 2016: After being sick the past few weeks and not having any beer this Lagunitas Sucks sure is delicious with its tropical fruit and resiny pine hop aromas. $6.25 with a free cool glass does not hurt either.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.