Brew Review: Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale

by Kelli H. on December 6, 2011

Beer: Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale (Brown Shugga’ Substitute)
Date: 12-1-11
Alcohol: 7.85%
IBU’s: 63.21
Package: 6 pack 12 oz bottles
Location Brewed: Petaluma, California  <—- Sonoma County! 
Price: $9.99

Aroma: Pine, hops, and grapefruit.

Appearance: Golden and clear. Bubbles visible throughout the beer rising to the top. Off white head.

Body & Texture: Good amount of carbonation. Medium bodied. Carbonic bite.

Aftertaste: Bitter

Overall Impression:  
I tasted this brew once before doing the actual brew review, and I really liked it. When I came back to do this review, my second tasting, I was a little disappointed.

I didn’t really like this beer sitting in my mouth too long, and I wanted to swallow it faster than I’d normally swallow a beer. It’s very bitter so if you’re not a fan of hoppy beers, you may not like this one. The IBU’s are only 63.21, which fits within the style guidelines for an Imperial IPA, but it seemed like more to me. 

If you’re not familiar with IBU, it stands for International Bittering Units. Hops provide the bitterness in beer, and IBU is a scale used to measure the overall bitterness of a beer. 

I really do like the aroma of this beer though. It smells strongly of pine which is a great holiday fragrance. I have to admit, I won’t be buying another 6 pack of Lagunitas Sucks this season. It left me excited for next year when I can do a review on Brown Shugga, Lagunitas’ usual Holiday Beer.
 Do you have a favorite seasonal beer?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

David December 7, 2011 at 12:05 am

I like this one! Though, I agree with you that it does seem more bitter than 63 IBUs! I wish I could drink this right now…


Anonymous December 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I liked it a lot! It’s a non-traditional take on a winter seasonal which I appreciate, but it tasted a bit too much like juice to me. If I could tone down the fruitiness just a bit it would be so much better.

-Hop King


Anonymous February 8, 2012 at 5:27 am

Lagunitas sucks…They are lousy brewers. They use high alcohol and big hops to make the brewing process easier.

There is no art to Lagunitas products. They use a basic highly attenuative english ale yeast and a ton of hops. It ferments fast, the alcohol protects the beer from spoilage and they mass produce the tar out of it.

Lagunitas got it right on the label. It’s a shame they didn’t make the word sucks really stand out more. The consumer might have a good idea of the product if the words sucks was 10x lager. Lagunitas is the worst brewery in Sonoma county. Nothing special. Move on folks.


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