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.
So Christmas arrives, and it’s my husband, my sister, and I… none of us had much time off for the holiday so we were all just enjoying not being at work. As it were, there was a Brew Dogs marathon on TV, so the three of spent the day in front of the tube, in our pajamas. Merry Christmas.
After a couple episodes we busted out the Sucks and fired up the oven to thaw out our 12″ feast. Turns out, a Brew Dogs marathon, with 2 quarts of Lagunitas Sucks and a pizza, is not a bad way to spend a Wednesday afternoon! Looking around, everyone was smiling… we had everything we needed. Quite fitting for a beer
Of course, a frozen pizza and 64 oz. of beer goes pretty quick when you’re splitting it three ways… luckily, Acme Bar & Pizza opened at 7pm, so we put the word out to anyone else that might be hanging around looking for something to do on Christmas, and we made a party out of it and spent the night eating even more pizza, and drinking great beer with friends. So really… my Christmas didn’t suck at all!