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

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,496 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,496
Hads: 9,639
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 598
Gots: 2,203 | FT: 31
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  7.85% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,496 | Hads: 9,639
Photo of ChrisB
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - amber golden yellow. Almost honey colored

S - thick hoppy pine and a little oak

T - nice hoppy pine and flowery/grass taste but with equal oak and balanced mellowness. It isn't necessarily a malt balance but the hops don't overwhelm your tong which I like. Kind of a mango vice grapefruit citrus on the finish. Hoppy and mellow at the same time which is very enjoyable. More flowery than some other DIPAs which gives it a nice distinctive taste.

M - Nice and full without being syrupy. Enough carbonation to keep it fresh and refreshing for a DIPA.

O - one of my favorites of 2012-2013. Wonderful hoppy goodness with a smooth, mellow finish.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I really appreciate that Lagunitas put out a quality substitute for the Brown Shugga. I know most people look forward to the Shugga, and they went over the top with this replacement.

I poured this beer into a tulip glass. There was about two and a half fingers of foam that stuck really well to the glass. I like the lacing from this one. The golden coloring is perfect for a DIPA.

I really enjoy the significant amount of pine coming off the top of this one. It is very refreshing to breathe this in. I found that it is reminiscent of the clean smell from the Double Simcoe by Weyerbacher.

The flavor is, of course, very hoppy. You really get more of the pine release in each sip. Lagunitas lists hops twice in the ingredients, and it makes sense when you get a taste.
I was surprised that there wasn't more bitterness in this one.

I really want to try the Brown Shugga eventually, but I am really happy with this one while I can get it.

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Photo of InlandTaipan
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle on 1/24/13

A: Beer pours a deep amber with luscious two finger eggshell head.

S: Caramelized malts, Tropical fruits, various citrus fruits, some pine and resin. The aroma is DUMB awesome. A must sniff for serious hopheads

T: A great balance between clean hop bitterness and caramelized malt sweetness. Truly a wonder.

M: Excellent carbonation, contributes to the hop development within this beer.

Overall- I cannot think of another IPA in the 7-8% abv range that is this good. I have been waiting for it to come back out and boy did Lagunitas nail it. Way to go folks.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Grey Sail pint glass.

Appearance- Nice clear golden color with a light quick head. Nice lacing around the rim.

Smell- Fruity hops. Piney aromas and grassy smells. Slight maltiness. Great smelling IPA.

Taste- Hops. Floral/fruity hops, with some pineiness. Light citrus notes with no alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Perfectly carbonated. Not resinous. Smooth. No ABV detection.

Overall- This is an almost perfect IPA. I'd like it to be a bit more resinous though. Damn good beer from Lagunitas!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to jzeilinger for bringing this one for me to try. This poured out as a nice looking orange color with a white head on top. The head settles a little bit but leaves a really nice sticky lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is ripe with citrus notes and some addition pine in there. It smells like a DIPA for sure, and a good one at that! The taste of the beer is hoppy with the citrusy pine notes with some subtle caramel malts in the finish. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and has an oily feel to it while remaining lighter bodied. Overall I thought it was a killer beer, probably best when it's fresh and I believe this was.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
3.37/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter, about three weeks from bottling date.

Pours a yellowish-gold with a nice, persistent white head. A few bubbles and lots of lacing. Smells of straw, yeast, and a whiff of mango. Aroma is very short-lived though and fades to a very mild straw and honey scent and then to not much of anything. More solvent than hops in the taste with a pleasant tropical uptick at the end. Mouthfeel is wonderfully silky and clean.

I don't get the hype on this one. I like Little Sumpin' Sumpin' much better.

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Photo of LeRose
3.58/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, undated bottle, poured into perfect pint.

Clear golden color with a frothy head, maybe two fingers, lingered a bit. Laced very well, bubbles refreshed the small layer of foam.

Aroma was a bit of pine, some floral notes, a mix of citrus orange, grapefruit, very fresh, a bit of malt underneath, earthiness. Maybe a very slight melon aroma like a honeydew.

Taste was well balanced between the citrusy grapefruit and hop resins, some sweetness following, a bit of a bitter hit that faded quickly. Body was medium, carbonation pretty laid back. The bitterness was more intense as the beer warmed. Flavor generally hit quick and did not linger.

Overall, a good beer. Easy drinking, balanced flavor. Clean and crisp. Personally prefer Sumpin Sumpin, but this is a good brew.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.78/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep golden, with a steady stream of bubbles in the glass. One-finger head receded over a couple minutes to a film and some coarse bubbles. Minimal, splotchy lacing.

S: Really dank and piney, with an unusual earthy funkiness in the background. At times, the pine aromas border on soapy.

T: Starts sweetly citrusy with a shift to bitter, piney resin as the liquid moves through your mouth. Pretty tasty.

M: Definitely on the sweet & heavy end of the spectrum for DIPAs, this beer lingers slightly sticky on your tongue and lips. Carbonation is relatively low, contributing to the heavy mouthfeel.

O: I didn't particularly enjoy my first impressions of this beer, but it has grown on me considerably through the course of the glass. While I continue to be somewhat unenthusiastic about the aroma (mostly just not my favorite hop profile, but also that soapy note hiding in there), I do like the way this beer manages to hit the sweet & sticky DIPA style while maintaining a relatively modest ABV.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.86/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear, golden amber with a towering head of foamy, off-white lace. It lingered for a long time, and even after fading left lacing clinging to the walls of the glass from top to bottom.

S: Strong notes of pine resin and orange marmalade; these two crowd out all other aromas.

T: The sweet and biscuity tastes that hit the palate first are very short-lived, and fade quickly into tart grapefruit, then bitter grapefruit rind. Resinous pine, sweet tobacco, and even notes of amine poke their heads up on the way to the mildly bitter finish.

M: Smooth, although a little boozy. Less carbonated crispness than I'd have liked (probably because the bubbles all ended up in the head!). The finish was dry, but not unpleasant.

O: As often happens with the style, the malt lost out to the hops. It was pleasant enough to drink, but not enough to entice me to buy more.

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Photo of mnrider
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Brown Bottle.

A: Pours light golden brown with a thick white head. Good retention
with sticky lacing.

S: A strong mixture of Pine, citrus fruits, grapefruit, mango? Some alcohol
and more pine.

T/M: Creamy smooth. Starts off bitter with a strong burst of hop flavors.
A mixture of pine and citrus leads to a somewhat bready taste. More hops.
The finish is pretty clean with only a hint of bitter hop aftertaste. A warm
but not overbearing alcohol kick throughout. Nice balance.

O: An extremely dangerously good beer. Hop heavy, but still well balanced.
Even with the higher ABV, it's smooth and easy to drink. A top rate double


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Photo of WVU
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Landed a case of this 01/22/13.

A- Liight gold color wth thin crusty lacing.

S- This beauty smells of fresh grass, spruce and pine that will remind you of harvesting a fresh xmas tree.

T- WOW! Not much more you can say. This is a massive home run by the masters in Cali.

M- This puppy is suoer light on your mouth compared to other beer with this much success.

O- Perfection! Buy as much as you can, I have only found a few brews this good (Founders Harvest Ale , Bells Hopslam, Ballast Pt. Sculpin) which are around double the cost. Had it on tap last month at Fireworks in Leesburg and it was even better.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright gold with a thick white head. Sticky skim retention rides all they way to glass bottom and deposits several large swaths of of foam on the sides.

Grassy lemon and sweet Twinkie aroma. Nelson Sauvin?

Chock full'a grassy lemon hops. 62 IBUs but that's no indicator of the silly amount of late end hops that were shoved in between the malt. Malt doesn't do much but doesn't get in the way either. I'm guessing at copious amounts of Nelson Sauvin but I suck at the "guess that hop" game.

One of my favorite DIPAs because it's just like a bigger IPA, not a sickly sweet overmalted hop bomb.

Bummer about Brown Sugar but way to make lemonade.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a big Duvel tulip. I remember liking this a lot on tap, so I'm curious to see how it fares in the bottle. The pour is a wonderful clear gold, with a small, wispy head. It leaves a bit of lacing. Very pretty. The aroma is a wonderful citrus hop cornucopia. Clean and juicy, grapefruit, tangerine. Absolutely mouth watering for a hophead like me.

The taste is crisp, juicy, bitter citrus hops. Same profile as the aroma. Enough sweet malt to keep it balanced, but not so much as to distract from the hop showcase. The finish is almost perfect, with a bitterness that's prominent but doesn't outstay its welcome. Mouthfeel is medium, moderate carbonation, and nicely dry. Overall, this is a hell of an IPA. Quite excellent.

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Photo of Brad007
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wasn't sure what to expect here. Pours a very nice golden color with hardly a head in my glass. Nice color for the style.

Fruity,floral with a good whiff of mango in the nose. I presume it has to do with the hops used as the bottle doesn't name specifics.

The mango carries over to the taste, imparting grapefruit notes along the way. Very tasty. Chewy, doughy malt.

Lingering citrus notes and a pronounced hop bitterness make this one hell of an enjoyable DIPA.

At 7.85%, it drinks like something much, much stronger. Lots of hop aroma and flavor without all of the alcohol. Pick it up!

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Photo of RoninTK3
4.96/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - Translucent orange/brown with a thin head that sticks around and lots of carbonation bubbling up.

S - Grapefruit, citrusy hops, and tangerines. A bit of sweetness. Mostly hops.

T - Grapefruit, oranges, lots of citrusy hops. Some sweet maltiness balances out the hops. This is a pretty complex taste. Love the fruity hops!

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonated with a bit of creaminess.

Wow! This is a really great double IPA. About as perfect as I've had. I love Lagunitas and Brown Shugga but this one really takes the cake. I haven't had anything from these guys that I didn't love.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tall tulip

A: Very clear golden/orange color with three fingers of dense white foam. Retention is very good, lacing is incredible.

S: Oranges, lemon, and grapefruit hops upfront. Behind that I get some dank hops. As I keep smelling, the fruity and dank hops become balanced with each other. A bit of sweet caramel behind this, but the malt aroma is minimal.

T: Dank hops are much stronger in the flavor than they were in the aroma. The fruitiness that I got in the aroma is pretty much gone here. Light caramel sweetness balances the hops pretty well. Bitterness is moderate to strong for the style, but by no means overwhelming.

M: Medium to thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

O: For someone who isn't much a fan of dank hops, I really enjoyed this. The hops are well balanced by a mild caramel sweetness. This is a great beer.

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Photo of HeresToHopping
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy orange/pale amber in color with a beautiful 2-3 finger thick creamy white head. Lots of thick lacing that sticks rather firmly to the glass.

Aroma: Citrus (orange peel, loads of grapefruit, lemon zest and tangerine), resiny, as well as slight pine notes as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A very complex, and clean citrus taste on the front end (grapefruit overload, followed by orange peel and lemon zest). This balances well with the sweet pale malt flavors that follow through in the middle. The sweet bready malt flavors fade, and then the bittering hops bite you on the back end on the finish. Medium body brew, with a moderate amount of carbonation. The sweet malt flavor leaves a nice resiny feel in the mouth, and keeps the beer from being overly dry.

Overall: A perfect DIPA. I can't get over how crisp and clean the hop flavors and aromas are in this beer. Honestly, this beer has some of the most clean, and complex hop flavors and aromas I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Lagunitas really does create magic with hops, and how well they balance out strong hop profiles with sweet, complez malt flavors as well. If you love hops, you'll love this. I can find nothing wrong with this beer, at all.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 02 Jan 2013, consumed 20 Jan 2013 It only took me a year to track this bad boy down.

Faintly hazy, this beer is copper in color and is capped with a dense, off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. The nose is magnificently hoppy. Big tropical fruit hop oils are immediately noticeable, with peach, mango and a little papaya being the strongest notes. There's also a floral pine aroma, along with a mild malt sweetness that complements the fruity hop character. Swirling my glass brings out some honeydew melon-like aromas too. Excellent.

The palate opens with a blend of the fruity hops and some of the malt sweetness. The fruity flavors are a riot, they are super-fresh, juicy, vibrant and refreshing. Mandarins, peach, mango and melon are exuberantly expressed here, making the hop bitterness relatively insignificant. The sweetness is medium-low, mostly with flavors of honey and a kind of cracker-like malt character. While the sweetness is a little higher than I'd typically care for, it does work here. The mouthfeel is rather excellent too. Hoppy without being too resiny (not that that's ever been a problem for me), a water profile that really works with the flavor profile (not too chalky/mineral-y), and with a moderate carbonation level (a little too high IMO), this is very enjoyable. The finish is pleasantly bitter and resiny, but is also very fruity. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Great golden-orange color with nice 3-finger, fluffy head that laces the glass great.

S: All hops and citrus. Lemons, Mango, orange, and tons of grapefruit.

T: Awesome fruity, sweet balance to the hoppy bitterness. Just like the nose, i think the strongest taste is citrus - specifically grapefruit. Not super malty - which I love. Hoppy more than anything.

M: Good creamy and sticky mouthfeel. A little under-carbonated in my opinion, but not overly noticeable.

O: Wow, how pleasantly surprised I was with this one! Great balance without being too malty. Good bitterness but not enough to ruin your taste buds for an evening. This one could easily get dangerous. I'll probably buy a case if I come across any more.

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Photo of Holsie
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super fresh bottles in a pint glass.

A: Bright yellow-orange hue with half finger head and light lacing.

S: Really powerful pungent grapefruit dominates this one.

T: After 6 weeks of Holiday brown ales a true welcomed relief. Blasts you with very crisp upfront layer on layer of hops. It is a little one dimensional with almost no malt detectable.

O: A welcomed return from Lagunitas. I found that this one really loses its character quickly. The first one was literally the day my man got it and WOW-spectacular. Begins to mute after a couple weeks. Highly recommended.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured in SA glass.

Yellow-orange elixir, one-finger white head, thick lacing.

Loads of citrus: fragrant mangoes, oranges, kiwis; sweet fruit. Some subtle pine.

Wonderful hops, citrus, pine. Smooth bitterness. Like their Enjoy By brews, but without the onion.

Medium body, smooth.

Fantastic IPA! Needs few words.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter this beer is a slightly hazy golden color with a medium white head that leaves beautiful lacing. The aroma is intensely hoppy--tropical fruits, some pine and some whiffs of booze and bready malt--very nice. The flavor is balanced toward very fruity, slightly piney hop flavor but malty sweetness and some hints of ABV emerge after the burst of hops. Bitterness is smooth and appropriately high. The mouthfeel is medium-full and carbonation moderate. Overall an incredible beer--wonderful aroma and flavor--really enjoy the tropical fruity hops.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy orange color, white head that sinks but sticks. Great aroma of fuzzy peaches and peach jolly ranchers. Flavor doesn't quite match up. It's got some fruit and some bitterness but its just good, not great. Little bit of alcohol, eh. People hyped this up and while its a good beer it's not all that. I regret buying a second six pack honestly.

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Photo of FUwolfpacker
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at Mezzaluna Brick Oven and Tap House in Hendersonville, NC.

A: Beautiful golden honey color. Spectacular lacing.

S: Wow! Huge citrus notes right off the bat - orange peel, grapefruit, maybe a little lemon. Also some nice floral hoppiness and sweet malt.

T: I haven't always cared for some of Lagunitas hoppy beers because they didn't have the balance I was looking for between malt sweetness and hoppy bitterness. This is not one of those beers. I get a sticky malt sweetness right away with some citrus notes. The piney, floral hops come in next and it closes with some lingering bitterness. A well balanced double IPA - definitely one of the best double IPA's I've had!

M: Some stickiness, moderate carbonation, hoppy finish but not palate wrecking bitterness.

O: An incredibly drinkable double IPA and probably my favorite Lagunitas offering thus far! I was definitely worried that a double IPA from Lagunitas would be overkill on the hop bitterness, but this was very well balanced and delicious!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a thin white head that has good retention and lacing. Aroma of piney, herbal, lightly floral hops, grapefruit and apple. Nice. Flavor combines piney and citrus hops with an excellent bready malt body with notes of grapefruit, lemon, citrus rind and light fruit. Very nice. Even if this had sucked, you would have to admire a brewery that responded to massive disappointment and anguish for the lack of a beloved beer with a tongue in cheek spoof offering that ended up even more popular than the original. This was a triumph for everyone.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.