According to Lagunitas Brewing Company, the Petaluma-based brewery had some capacity issues when brewing their Brown Shugga ale, an uber-successful seasonal, so they whipped up the Lagunitas Sucks as a substitute. Turns out, the beer was so popular, they’ve been bringing it back ever since. With good reason, it turns out.
The pour releases a citrus nose emanating from a clear, golden liquid in the glass. The taste follows suit with the nose, offering a crisp, hoppy kick that showcases the beer’s 63 IBU’s. The first pleasant surprise with your initial sip is that the hop kick lies on the sweeter side of the fruit family, more reminiscent of mango than grapefruit. The sweet hops are followed by a second surprise—a smooth malty finish that eases the fruity sweetness into a biscuit sweetness. The transition leaves you looking forward to your next sip.
Our caveat? The crisp hops followed by the malty finish make the Lagunitas Sucks feel like a much lighter beer than it actually is. You might even argue that it could be a session beer, but at 7.8 percent, it would depend on what kind of session you’re looking for.
Lagunitas Brewing Company
City: Petaluma, CA
Availability: Seasonal, starting in late November/December (get it while you can)
Style: Imperial IPA