One thing I have learned in life is I learn my most memorable lessons when I experience a failure or a defeat. It has taken me some time and some gray hair to not only learn this lesson, but also to take it in stride. Mistakes also occur at companies and Lagunitas Brewing Co. serves as a shining example of learning from a mistake and taking it in stride. Brown Shugga’ is a seasonal release from Lagunitas that could not be brewed one year due to “construction-induced capacity issues”, and Lagunitas decided to brew another beer and make fun of themselves in the naming of Lagunitas Sucks (7.85% ABV and 63 IBU), an Imperial IPA. This year, I had the opportunity to sample both Brown Shugga’ and Lagunitas Sucks – both are excellent. Learn from the example of Lagunitas - learn from your mistake, take it in stride and figure out a way to improve.
American Double / Imperial IPA – http://beeradvocate.com/beer/style/140 - BeerAdvocate
Appearance – Copper, like a bright new penny, with a two-finger head that takes some time to recede and with nice lacing.
Aroma – Hoppy and you know you are in for a hop trip – tropical fruit and citrus are the main aromas.
Taste – A bit of sweetness – think a touch of honey - and then citrus (lemon / orange / grapefruit) and tropical fruit (mango / papaya) with a piney / resin finish.
Overall – A – This beer is fantastic and I am really glad that Lagunitas needed to make this substitute – it is available for only a short time and if you are a fan of IPAs – buy it. I plan to pick up another 6er on the next trip to the store, if any are remaining.
Website description – “E. K. Ross would have enjoyed our suffering in 2010 when he saw we couldn’t brew our Brown Shugga. But in that time of deepest despair, as is common to artist everywhere… broke, hungover, abandoned by the muse and prepared to take a job at Arby’s, we found that in that darkness the spark of inspiration that would yield up this nearly sanctified recipe!”
Lagunitas Sucks – http://lagunitas.com/beers/sucks/