"Lagunitas sucks" did, indeed, cross my mind when I heard they cancelend this year's Brown Shugha', one of my all time favorites. I mean, really. What kind of sicko would do that?
Lagunitas Sucks is the replacement, one that comes with a "Brown Shugga' Substitute" tagline which seems apt. This isn't a million miles away from Brown Shugga', though it's certainly hoppier and a bit less flavorful. The ABV is a good 2.5% lower too, which probably isn't a bad thing.
So let's pour a bit out for our fallen comrade and just concentrate on Lagunitas Sucks for a while.
It pours a golden color with about a finger's worth of white head. Sniff, and you'll pick up on a citric hop profile straight away, with just a hint of pine. Very seasonal.
Flavorwise, it's surprisingly mild. Granted, we might be grading on a scale here, as this is a hoppy beer, but not a hop-bomb. A mix of orange, grapefruit, and pineapple really hits toward the middle, and while the flavor in and of itself is bold, it's not in the territory I expected. The bitterness factor seems to meld well with the sweet fruitiness of it.
In fact, this is a very good sipping beer, one where you can really enjoy the variety of flavors.
I like Lagunitas Sucks. I wish I didn't, just so I could rant about missing out on Brown Shuga' this year. Really, though, it's clearly possible to miss something old and enjoy something new. And enjoy Lagunitas Sucks I did.