Brewer: Lagunitas Brewing
Style: Imperial IPA
Some breweries are so good that even their mistakes turn into classics. In 2011, Petaluma-based Lagunitas Brewing found that rising demand and limited space would make it impossible for them to dedicate aging time to their high-alcohol winter seasonal Brown Shugga. Anticipating consumer backlash they drew up plans for a lower alcohol replacement and pre-empted the criticism in punk rock fashion by calling it Lagunitas Sucks. Inevitably it was a huge hit and has come back every year since.
True to the Lagunitas modus operandi, Sucks is blasting with hop aromas of juicy fruit, grapefruit, and pine. The golden color belies the intense malt backbone. A grab bag of malted barley, wheat, and oats adds body and differentiates it from the classic imperial IPA style.