According to this piece from Beerpulse, Lagunitas Sucks - Brown Shugga Substitute Ale, f/k/a Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale but renamed to reflect the beer's newly-bestowed year-round status, is awaiting bottling and shipment. An incredible IPA from Lagunitas, Sucks stood in for Brown Shugga in 2012 when the latter's annual holiday release was circumvented by throughput issues. Sucks is finishing its fermentation as we speak and will soon return to shelves and taps, marking the first installment of its reported year-round production.
The return of this breathtaking IPA should be a cause for celebration among hop lovers everywhere. Sucks merges the best qualities of an imperial IPA with those of a standard American IPA. It delivers the striking, refined hop assault of an imperial, yet maintains the drinkability, accessibility, and manageable ABV of a standard. Imperial IPA's rule, but their ABV levels are simply outrageous. This often renders them unfit for holiday wassailing. In contrast, Sucks' lightness and effortlessness recall a pale ale, and I would tag it as one of the few beers of hops to surpass Zombie Dust. It's no wonder that this beer appealed to many non-IPA fans, and even converted someone I know who had previously proclaimed a hatred for IPA's. How the stubbornest of palates has fallen. Whether or not it's Laggie's most accomplished beer, Sucks' crossover appeal without sacrificing the robustness of a great craft brew makes this beer Laggie's crowning achievement. That feat counts as ingenuity in anyone's book.
Chicago should see quite a bit of Sucks again, given this city's status as a core Laggie market which will soon boast the Petaluma brewer's only other production facility. Bring on the Sucks!