Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) + Week 1 Recap

I’ve wrapped up a week’s worth of beers so far, so I think it’s time for a brief recap:

  1. Southern Tier 2XIPA was fantastic way to kick things off
  2. Pangaea Lilja’s Sasquatch Stout was too heavy on the Sasquatch, too light on the stout
  3. O’so 3rd Wheel Belgian Blonde was a dreadful beer-flavored soda beast
  4. Founder’s Dirty Bastard was a perfectly delicious Scotch Ale
  5. Tallgrass 8-Bit Hop-Rocketed Pale Ale was good enough to please a hard-hearted hop-hater (and came in a preciously adorable can)
  6. Tyranena Devil Made Me Do It! Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Porter was liquid euphoria
  7. Milwaukee Brewing Co. Booyah Farmhouse Ale was a tasty and refreshing harbinger of spring

Best of the week: Tough call between So Tier 2XIPA and Tyranena Devil Made Me Do It. Slight advantage to Devil for sheer absurdity.

Worst of the week: Undoubtedly O’so 3rd Wheel. Nearly undrinkable; I poured half down the drain.

Lagunitas Sucks: high-octane hop bomb

Lagunitas Sucks: high-octane hop bomb

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Today’s selection, Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale comes with a heartwarming tale of tenacity. It seems that during some construction at the Petaluma, CA brewery in 2010, Brown Shugga, a beloved seasonal, couldn’t be brewed. Dreary, Shugga-less days loomed ahead in 2011, so the Lagunitas crew crafted a stand-in designed to capture the sentiments of those dark times. Thus, Sucks was born. It was so popular that they gave it another go this year.

Miniscule text wrapping the border of the label summarizes Sucks’ origin best:

E.K. Ross would have enjoyed our suffering in 2010 when we saw we couldn’t brew our Brown Shugga. But in that time of deepest despair, as is common to artists everywhere…broke, hungover, abandoned by the muse and prepared to take a job at Arby’s, we found in that darkness the spark of inspiration that would yield up this nearly sanctified recipe!

A 7.85% Imperial IPA at 63ish IBUs, Sucks is a high-octane hop bomb. Despite my usual aversion to hops, I didn’t find this to be particularly offensive. In fact, Sucks’ intense hoppy flavors were nicely balanced by malty undertones, which reigned in the bitterness and fairly well mitigated all the aspects of IPAs that I find unpalatable. All in all, a  pleasant experience.

Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga’ Substitute Ale

Style: Double/Imperial IPA
Availability: Limited release
ABV: 7.85%
Hops: Not specified
Notes: Hoppy, with notes of hops accentuated by…more hops. Bolstered by a bit of maltiness that adds complexity and mitigates bitterness.
More Info:
My Take:  Pleasantly surprised by this hop bomb. Or maybe that’s just the 7.85% ABV taking.