Santa came early this year when I received a package on Christmas Eve from Petaluma, CA with not one, but two(!) 320z. bottles of Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga’ Substitute, a previously seasonal, now year round offering from Lagunitas Brewing Company.
I was working on Christmas Eve, a regular Bob Cratchit, and I couldn’t make it to the grocery store before it closed. Unfortunately, that meant that Christmas dinner would consist of whatever we already had at home… which, turns out, was a frozen pizza…and now beer!
Sucks is described as an American Strong Ale, as well as an American Double and an Imperial IPA… whatever you call it, Lagunitas describes this beer as a ‘cereal medley’ of barley, rye, wheat, and oats. At 8% ABV, it’s full of ‘complexishness’ from the grains, then dry-hopped for big aroma and resinous flavor. All you really need to know, is that it’s a damn good beer.
The beer was first brewed in 2011 as a substitute to Lagunitas’ seasonal release, Brown Shugga’. In the midst of rapid growth, the brewery was hitting full capacity, brewing around the clock. They were brewing 80 barrels of their core brands, every 3 hours, but could only brew 60 barrels of Shugga’ every 5 hours… which meant for every case of Shugga’ brewed, they’d be short 3 cases of their regular lineup. Instead, they brewed a beer that would fit better into the brew schedule, calling it “Lagunitas Sucks” to play on their mistake.