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Happy Camper IPA - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Happy Camper IPAHappy Camper IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

506 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 506
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 24
Gots: 71 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: indiapaleale on 08-18-2010

A classic beer for those beer lovers who love their hops, Happy Camper IPA will take the Pepsi Challenge (or IPA challenge, as we say in New Mexico) against any other pretenders to the throne. Was it divine providence that made this beer the king of the IPA world? Was it a tireless pursuit of glory? No, this IPA has a top-secret recipe to thank for its success, and this meticulously formulated combination of several different hops combined with a very specific brewing process give Happy Camper IPA a spicy, citric, and floral infusion of hop character, which is masterfully counterbalanced with the full-bodied maltiness characteristic of the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s distinctive beers.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 506 | Reviews: 142
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Terex
4.5/5  rDev +20%

This is my go-to beer in Taos, NM. I'm sure it's good in the can, but it's such a beautiful pour in a glass, I always use one. The only thing better than drinking this beer is using the can for target practice.

Photo of Hihereswaldo
4.86/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is in my top 3 favorite IPA's. Not being big on IPA's, it's a little further on the bitter side for my taste but everything else makes up for it. The simple graphic design is what originally drew me in having never heard of it and the description on the can solidified that I wasn't leaving without it. Definitely worth trying! It's been in my selection ever since.

Photo of Beaver13
3.27/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can. Pours a clear dark gold with a medium creamy off white head that quickly goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet bready malts and some piney resiny hops.

The flavor is tarry, grassy, resiny, kind of funky hops with a little sweet bready malts in the background. There's a good deal of bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste - kind of metallic though. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some low but prickly carbonation.

Overall, it's got good bitterness, but is not really balanced at all. It doesn't have the hop flavors I usually like (more fruity). Hop flavors were a bit funky - reminding me of Gubna (Summit?), but didn't like it as well in this one due to lack of balance.

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can, w/o freshness info that I can find.

Pours medium amber, hazed, oatmeal head, stays nicely and on the loser side. Leaves ample low slippery sheeting and light strands of lace.

Pine and grapefruit notes in the hoppy nose.

More grapefruit, resins and pine on the tongue, moderate in their assault on the taste buds. Sweet malt makes an appearance but its muted compared to the hops.

Nothing special, just another better then average and easy drinking IPA. Worth a try and def would work in a cooler at the beach, camping or wherever a few cold and hoppy ones make sense

Photo of joeworrall
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tonight I am comparing several different IPA's that are all poured from a can. In addition to this one, I am tasting Ska Brewing's Modus Hoperendi IPA, Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' IPA and Marble Brewery IPA.

This beer is unique in that it produced a bodacious head when poured into a large tuplip glass, an inch high, that gradually settled down to about 1/8". Color is orange / dark amber and the aroma is both malt and hops - slightly sweet with more of a stone fruit flavor than citrus or pine. Hops are a blend of Cascade, Simcoe, Bravo, Amarillo & Summit; and the malt is a blend of 3, but the malt flavor is not as evident as the fruity hops that dominate this fine brew.

It would be interesting to taste this head-to-head with Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, which has similar hop characteristics.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Seems to have a gleaming quality to its color, depending on the light, angle, etc. . . this beer rocks some yellow, gold, red, amber, ruby and brown. Super big piney aroma, this is how dry hopping is done.

Taste, remains piney, very bitter, totally enjoyable. This is a great example of awesome canned ipa. Bitter, hoppy, sure a little metallic, but its all the 'metallic' flavors in a can. Mouthfeel, its straightforward, hoppy, piney, dry.

Good stuff.

EDIT: I've had so many compromised cans of this since my original 4.33/5 review. I can't possibly keep it that high anymore. Stamp the date on your cans, I'm tired of drinking old hops.

Photo of OKbrew89
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Dark golden color with a multiple finger tan head that leaves lacing halfway down the glass. Smells of hop, citrus, and malt that aren't normally in an IPA. Aroma wise, nice change of pace from the death by hops IPA. Taste of hops through the whole drink with wonderful pine up front, malts in the middle, and citrus at the end. The hops don't overwhelm the other ingredients. Medium-light body with medium carbonation that isn't bitter and is easy to drink. Very crisp for an IPA.
Overall, a great IPA. I probably rated it especially high because it manages to be a hoppy IPA without being bitter or ruining my taste buds with over-aggressive happiness.

Photo of Auraan
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a nice, rich amber with two fingers of nice off-white head that slowly receded leaving abundant lacing. Very nice. Scents of pine resin and citrus, especially orange-like, juniper berries, fruity esters, and caramel with a bit of alcohol. A good, balanced IPA aroma, a bit lacking in depth, but not bad, nicely done. Flavor begins resinous and moderately bitter, with strong pine resin notes, some nice undertones of sweet pale malt and faint citrus peel. This moves into a more fruity middle with moderate bitterness, notes of orange flesh, orange peel and light alcohol notes, with a bit of pine resin and fruity esters. Finish is medium.-dry with notes of pine resin, alcohol, and a bit of citrus and grapefruit peel and pith with some fruity esters. Aftertaste is pine resin and grapefruit peel. A good IPA flavor profile, more piney than anything, quite nice. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, resinous and slightly drying with moderate-low carbonation. Quite nice and easy to drink, very nice and true to style. Overall this is a nice IPA. The aroma and flavor are nice and balanced and the mouthfeel is very appealing a good overall IPA and quite good.

Photo of LXIXME
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Medium head falls pretty quick leaving a nice lacing with a small biscuity head in the middle of the glass, above a clear golden bronze colored IPA

Heavy hops smell accented with pine and citrus, with a light sweetness coming through.

Citrus and pine hops heavy taste, this is why I drink IPAs, heavy rich hops taste, with just a slight bit of a sweet malt following the initial hoppiness.

A medium bodied beer with a dry slightly bitter hop aftertaste.

A damn good IPA, I think I'll have a couple more of these, later.

Photo of JamesStreet
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours an orange, honey color with a thick, foamy, finger-width head. Good lacing down side of glass.
S- hop battle between piney and citrus.
T- white grape, grassy, spruce needles, grapefruit. Nice-tasting IPA. Good bitterness balancing the other flavors.
M- medium, sticky feel.
O- pleasant surprise on this one. Very nice IPA.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured in a can-shaped glass from a twelve ounce can.

Great-looking beer. Dark amber in color with good clarity and steady carbonation. Head is frothy and chewy and a wall of lace works up the glass as the head recedes.

Dank and resinous in aroma, that's a bit of a surprise for me since I've always thought of this as a more malt-forward IPA. Maybe they changed up the recipe, because this smells nice. Floral and fruity too.

There's the more malt-forwardness I've come to expect from this beer. It's very biscuity and English-like. It's more floral than anything but it offers a nice mellow flavor that works well with the faint caramel.

It drinks well, well-balanced between smoothness and malt and bitterness and hop spice. It's also easy to throw down, so a sixer could easily find its way into my belly without a problem.

This is a good beer for tailgating, camping, outdoor activities, post bike rides, etc.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can, from a King Soopers in Glendale, Colorado

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly eggshell white head, which leaves a bit of meshed gear-chain lace in parts around the glass as things genially sink away.

It smells of dank pine needles, a softer resinous spruce character, musty white grapefruit and navel orange, subtle table pepper spice, gritty, grainy pale malt, a weak caramel/toffee sweetness, and further leafy, grassy hops. The taste is less dank and more leafy in its forest floor detritus bitterness, with a steady citrus pith co-conspirator, a heightened grainy, biscuity, and wet bready maltiness, now sans any real sweetness, some fleeting flinty notes, and more weedy, grassy hop dingle-berries.

The bubbles are fairly active in their swirling frothiness, the body an adequate medium weight for the style, and generally smooth, the hops displaying a modicum of either politeness or obtuseness at this point. It finishes just a touch off-dry, that grainy malt backbone still yelling at the kids from its rotting porch.

A pleasant enough IPA, the initial trendy dankness throwing me at first, as is the norm, but it soon settles into a simple bitterness-skewed, easy-drinking hop-head's dealio. Worth seeking out, beyond its convenient packaging and relative smoothness, when compared to wiping one's ass with the indigenous flora, apparently.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bentwookie for this one! Like the can art a lot.

A: Pours an orange/copper color with a one finger white, foamy head on top. Decent retention with thin, but rings of lace around the glass.

S: Nice grapefruit up front, a little bit of grass and some spicy hops. A little bit of caramel on the back end.

T: Again, grapefruit up front, with a little more citrus than the aroma. Not much in the way of pine or grassy, and not as spicy either. Overall, it is more of a rind flavor than fruit.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Easy drinking with a slightly dry finish.

O: Pretty good IPA. Still on a can kick, can't get enough. Hope to try the other Santa Fe offerings at some point.

Photo of brother_rebus
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

so delicious. Nice full body. Mid-tone ipa. Great finish. Hoppy sans cottonmouth

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, Boulevard tulip, no discernible freshness date.

Super clear amber beer with a very nice example of the standard off-white head. Initially there were three fingers of this. The retention is quite good, as is the lacing. I rarely, if ever, comment on packaging but the fact that this is in a can that is very simple, elegant, and identifiable bumps up the score.

Very minty and perfumed, earthy pine and grapefruit, abrasive, but not without a hearty caramel and biscuit backbone. This must be acceptably fresh because these hops are wonderfully resiny and juicy.

Caramel malt restrained by graininess begins things but is quickly submerged beneath moderate-high bitterness and hop flavors of earthy pine, grapefruit, sugary pears, rosemary, mint, tangerine, and peppery perfume. I'm being restrained not to give this a 4.5, I'm really digging it. A little drier and this would be a monster.

Creamy in the mouth and tending towards thick. The body is big.

I'd love for this to get dried out a bit. I like the malt bill and love the hopping but it's a little sweet for an IPA to do more than one at a time.

Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper hue with a steady one-inch head; lacing is decent

S: Citrus and pine hop aromas up front with a solid, sweet bready malt base lingering underneath

T: Pine, herbs, grass, and citrus mingle up front with loads of pleasant bitterness that are followed by a slightly burnt yet sweet bready malt undertones

F: Medium body with oily, sticky texture

O: A real solid IPA: bitter up front, quickly followed by a sweet malt base--nice beer

Photo of Fatehunter
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Transparent amber color with a half finger of head. Good lacing.

Smell was faint, picked up some grapefruit.

No doubt that it tastes like an IPA. Bitter hops all over the taste profile. Sharp bitterness, but really nice. The malt shows itself late, but the hops still rule.

Feels soft and smooth. Moderate carbonation and medium body.

Good and straight forward IPA. Try if you find it.

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with 3 fingers of tan head. Very good lacing & above average head retention

S: Pineyness, tangerine & some woody hops

T: Follows the nose, along with bready notes & dryness up front. Some caramel & pineyness as this warms. Finishes with herbal & piney notes & dryness, plus much grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied, fairly smooth carbonation , good balance

Though not a complex, this reminds me a lot Ska Modus Hoperandi & serve as a decent substitute to it ( Ska not always available near-by & never for sale in Oklahoma ). Would happily pick up this again when looking at canned IPAs

Photo of Harrykennedy
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a great beer/ipa. If you like this, try the modus hoperandi or the upslope ipa. The best of the Rockies. Can't wait to visit the sante fe brewery. Must try their other products. It,s all about the hops. Always is, always will be. Wish I could find 12 packs.

Photo of dvmin98
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Was in Vegas for the weekend. Vegas is notorious for crappy beer, especially on the strip. I even bring my own beer on the plane, if that tells you anything.

Well, was playing some Pai Gow at the Flamingo. Walked by the bar and saw this IPA...this is free while playing, so what the heck???!!!

On tap at Bugsy's bar at the Flamingo...

Very nice hop flavor...resiny, citrusy....really well balanced. I drank about 10 of these over the weekend while gambling. Solid. If this was available in NC, I would drink a ton. Great job.

Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yet another can provided by the can man, woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has an auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of piney hops, some citrus notes. Taste is also big on hops, some malts, just a touch of citrus, very bitter at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated sixer of cans from Gomer's in Lee's Summit, MO.

Pours a crystalline amber orange, fully saturated color with a steady rising plume of carbonation visible in the center. Sticky collar of lacing on the opposite side of the glass. Cirrus patterned skim across the surface. Head fades fairly quickly.

Caramel malt aroma, multigrain bread crusts, mild pine and dried citrus peel.

Resiny pine and lightly sweet dried citrus, caramel malt breadiness, bitter orange marmalade on toast. Hops seem a little faded, not sure of the age of the cans. Medium bodied with a resiny hop bitterness, not as light and drinkable as some IPA's but still a pretty textbook example.

Photo of quindog
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is being hyped by the liquor store around the corner from me and the guys working there definitely know their IPAs so I gave it a shot. Oddly, they seem to be the only store in the area that is carrying it right now but maybe it will gain wider distribution soon. I will say right off the bat that this cost $6.30 a sixer, so the price is definitely right.

Poured into a 16 oz Avery strong beer festival glass (2009) with the shape of an imperial pint (one of my favorite standard beer glasses). Pours a light amber color.

Aroma was not quite as pungent as I would have hoped. The beer was lacking good aroma hops. But there was no mistaking this for anything but an IPA. Perhaps I'm looking for different hops than they use for the nose.

Taste was as expected - bitter, with only a little malt to support the bitterness. I would have loved a little more flavor hop presence. This beer saves all of it's hops for the bittering. It wasn't overly bitter, but the lack of flavoring hops left me wanting just a little more. Still, it is a solid brew.

Despite what may seem to be a lackluster review thus far, the beer was very drinkable. I found myself at the bottom of my glass pretty quickly and was reaching for another. Overall I think this beer has potential, but it hasn't been reached yet. It is a well crafted beer, it just needs some more floral hops at the end of the boil and/or some dry hopping. For me, I'd probably prefer some simcoe or amarillo in the mix.

But at $6.30 a six pack, I may just have to pick up another.

Photo of UTCengOwl
3.16/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a sixer of this while looking for some Austin Beerworks cans. Wish I would have had the Fire Eagle. Scrrrreee! Ok, but not great. Served this last one in a Bud signature glass.

The beer pours with a small but dense dirty white head. Leaves good lacing, too. However, I find the body to be a lot darker than I want. The mix of these properties still leaves it above average.

The nose is piney... but not exactly pine. Slightly biting and slightly off relative to pure pine IPA. Also has some breadiness. Meh.

The tastes along the same lines. Not distinctly bitter, but e pine turns me off a bit. Almost caustic. However, the flavors are somewhat muted and that helps it. Decently drinkable and I wasn't dreading the next can... but gimme ABW any day over this.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a Central Waters tulip.
6.6% ABV, no date.
(Reviewed 06-07-11 - from notes)

Thanks for the brew Todd!

A - Beautifully clear rusty bronze in color with a dense two-finger off-white head. Good retention with patchy fingers of lace cling to the glass.

S - Resiny pine citrus floods the air with potency that can be smelled a foot away. Mildly tart fruity undertones could both be yeast esters or the hops. Nice exotic fruit nose. Good malt backbone and caramel notes.

T - Sweet caramel malt underlines piny resin hops and exotic melon with a dry, lightly bitter finish.

M - Medium-bodied but crisp and smooth with a nice balance and level dry hop bitterness.

O - On a scorcher like today, this beer, dispite it's higher alcohol content, is a refreshing IPA. Good drinkability.

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Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.