Happy Camper IPA - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Happy Camper IPAHappy Camper IPA

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BA SCORE
86
very good

144 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 144
Hads: 539
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 26
Gots: 84 | 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.
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Reviews: 144 | Hads: 539
Photo of ZenAgnostic
2.16/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz can poured into a pint glass. No stamped date. Acquired from Side Door Liquor Store in El Paso, TX.

Appearance - Slightly cloudy amber body. Rocky two finger offwhite head with good stick and retention.

Smell - Very hoppy. Grassy. Hay. Faint malt presence.

Taste - Metallic. Plastic. Acidic. Some bitter hop and faint malt undercurrent.

Mouthfeel - Astringent. Very solvent. Light to medium bodied.

Overall Drinkability - Perhaps this brewery should start stamping their cans, because I can't tell if this beer is past it's prime or if it's just unpleasant regardless. (580 characters)

Photo of Aluman
2.54/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Free can sent by our distributor at work, probably ever so slightly over code so rating may not be exactly fair.

A: It pours somewhere between a true pale and an amber, with a decent amount of lacing.

S: It reminds me of camping, which with its name is perfect, thick amounts of pine and fresh air.

T: Ugh. Its not bad, just between the appearance and smell I was hoping for something as monumental as the build up, and it wasn't. Overwhelming amounts of bitter citrus with alfalfa taste.

M: Sits thick and syrupy, which is weird as no malt taste to it.

O: Could be better, not the worst there is at an IPA though. Almost there, if they upped the actual darker malts and changed it from 'ipa' to India Red ale, I would like it better. (739 characters)

Photo of 3sheets2wind
2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I am not a purist on appearances but I want my IPA's to be yellow/gold/orange, never brown. This IPA is brown. Small head with decent lacing. Smell is very piney with biscuit. Pine does not come through in the taste though. Mostly bitter with a little malt sweetness. This is drinkable, but not sessionable. Decent try from this brewer, but could use some work. (361 characters)

Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Clear copper pour with a small white head. Mild aroma with hints of pine and caramel. Taste is resiny upfront with some pine and grapefruit backed by a decent malt presence that has bread and caramel flavors. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Finishes dry with a mild pine flavor. (284 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
3.05/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz can into a pint glass

A: Pours orange or dark gold with a white head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose has aromas of pine and grapefruit with notes of caramel malt and a bit of toffee.

T: The taste is piney hops at first but the big malt bill on this one also shows it's face in the form of bready malt and an odd sweet aftertaste I can't quite place.

M: The feel is actually thicker than I think it should be. IPAs should be crisp and refreshing and this is medium bodied and creamy.

O: Not a bad IPA but not something I will be drinking again. It's worth a try if you like malt heavy versions of the style. (659 characters)

Photo of UTCengOwl
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
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. (766 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
3.17/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz can served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a semi-transparent copper color with a 1.5 finger off-white, semi creamy head. Retention is below average.

S - Fairly fresh hops notes, specifically floral, grassy, and citric notes; caramel and light spice. I appreciate the freshness, but there's nothing groundbreaking about it.

T - All of the notes present on the nose, though they're less distinguished. It's incredibly muddy. It is fresh though, which earns it points, and the brewers tried to balance it, though they failed. There's a good bit of malt in there, though it's still too weak to counter the heavy hopping.

M - Medium bodied, strangely thick, though delicately smooth.

D - It's better than many overtly bitter IPA's only in search of IBU's, but it's still not great. It's definitely got potential, though. (841 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

IPA in a can. CAN it be great? Let's hope so. Dark orange/copper color with minimal haze. The head is a bit thin leaving a ring and spotty lace. The nose has hoppy bite but also a strong balance of doughy, caramel malt. It smells like there is some alcohol strength too, perhaps I could be fooled into thinking this was a barleywine by the aroma alone.

The flavor is just going in too many directions. The hop bitterness is intense but I don't get enough of the grassy or piney flavors from them. The malt balance is hefty, bordering on too sweet for my liking. The finish has some astringence and it makes the beer seem too alcoholic though that's not really the case. The body is light but not too thin, and the carbonation is appropriate.

With the abundant competition out there for the style I would think a brewer would put some more effort into crafting a solid IPA. This one is very average and the finish was a little too harsh. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad beer, it's again just that I have too many better IPA's to compare it to. Moving on... (1,061 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (716 characters)

Photo of bcc99man
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into Sam Adams pint glass

Not sure how fresh this beer is. My girlfriend was in New Mexico 3 months ago, bought a six pack of this, and had a friend drive it all the way back. Wasn't able to pick it up from the friend until 2 weeks ago.

A: Hazy amber, almost looks like iced tea. One finger head that stays for a little bit. Lots of carbonation coming off the bottom of the laser etching of the glass.

S: Pine, grass, a little lemon, with a decent amount of malt present.

T: Sweet malts very noticeable, prickly piney bitterness up front fades away pretty rapidly but lingers. Citrus-y with some lemon. No alcohol taste.

M: Carbonation is decent, slightly dry.

O: My 3rd time having this beer, 3rd can in the six pack. For some reason I remember liking it better the first two times, the hops had a better presence. Overall, a decent refreshing beer you could drink every day. Doesn't do anything too much to satisfy a hop kick, but still wouldn't mind drinking it. Definitely would drink this if I was out camping. (1,037 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.29/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Hotel glass (half pint, half snifter)
From: Wilbur’s Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colo.
Price: Part of a variety 6-pack for $9.99
Purchased: May 2, 2013
Consumed: May 4, 2013
Misc.: Best by July 10, 2013

Poured a dark caramel orange clear color with 1-2 fingers of khaki white head. Below-to-minimal lacing on the sides. Average retention on the top all the way down.

Tough to get any smells out. Worked hard and got some citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, caramel malts and buttery malts.

Tasted similar to the nose, which isn’t saying that much. Got bitter buttery hops, orange, caramel malts, tropical hops and orange rind. Could definitely taste the alcohol.

Medium body. Creamy-to-oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, refreshing finish.

I was hoping for better, but was ultimately disappointed. (842 characters)

Photo of Beerjonny82
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Average to slightly above average IPA, lacks aroma, full bodied, carmally amber In color. Agressively hopped, bitterness tickles the tongue, I would guess the IBU is in around 75-80(cannot find the IBU measurement on the brewery's website nor is it listed on the can). Very reasonably priced, cool can. (302 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can stamp of 106220311; Sampled November 2011
A steady pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a light tan colored head that starts out a finger in height. The beer is darkish, amber hue that shows a really murky amber / copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of crystal malt and light hops (at least for a typical IPA); aromatic notes of sweet tea, toasted brown cracker like malt, caramelized bread crust and some spicy grain character round out the malt aromas, while the hop notes produce soft notes of grapefruit zest, some ripe orange zest and perhaps a touch of ripe tangelo zest.

The beer has a nicely bitter and herbal hop bite to it as it first hits my palate, the finish sees a strong crystal malt character come through as well as more bitterness, though the bitterness is not as much as it was up front. Flavors of pine seem to be the defining hop character in this beer, though there are subtler, supporting notes of grapefruit zest and perhaps even some lemon zest like notes. The beer is fairly light bodied, though it does have a chewy quality to it; ultimately it is perhaps a touch on the medium bodied side of the spectrum for an IPA. The crystal malt distracts with flavors of sweet tea, slightly nutty brown grain cracker notes and a lingering toasted maltiness in the finish. There is a definite herbal edge to the pine-like hop character here, but I wish there was also a vibrant citrus or hop fruit character to go along with it. As the beer warms up a touch more citrus character starts to become noticeable, though it isn’t quite enough to scratch my particular itch.

Really not all that great of a beer; I was really hoping for a freshly vibrant, hoppy beer and this just isn’t really delivering. This does have a significant hop character it is just more focused on the herbaceous pine notes and a firm bitterness rather than the expressive, fruity American hop overload that American IPAs typically achieve; it makes me wonder if this beer isn’t as fresh as it should be, though I just picked it up from the store today. At the end of the day this is not a horrible beer, it is even somewhat enjoyable, but I wouldn’t mind trying this some other time on the hops that this particular can might be a bit old. (2,269 characters)

Photo of joeworrall
3.34/5  rDev -13%
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. (800 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of marzenfannm
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Little if any aroma. Candy red appearance -- too much so. Very nice flavoring. They have pleasantly resisted over hopping. Very nice on the palate. Smooth and creamy

[I am copying these notes over from RateBeer ... it does not require as long of review. I tasted this some time ago so I can't add anything.] (308 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can from Tin Bucket. Gotta love that place.

A reddish copper with a dense, off-white ehad that falls off to a ring leaving a little lacing, this looks decent. The nose is solid. Clearly very fresh, which aids tremendously, this beer has a nose that is dominated by pine and candied grapefruit. Moderately fruity with baked oranges and a touch of peach. Malt character is present, mostly as a caramel note.

The palate opens with a pine-heavy bitterness, pleasant and pungent, bitter and herbal. Grapefruit pith and grapefruit zest are also present. There is a mild mineral character that acidifies the palate, rather unexpected and unwelcome. Drying, bitter on the finish with burnt caramel, pine and grapefruit pith, this beer is medium light in body and moderately carbonated. Alcohol is faintly noticeable on the finish. Apart from the mineral character, there isn't a whole lot to dislike about this beer. (912 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to buffs9 for a rather elusive state tick. Can split with another like minded ticker.

A: Amber gold orange hue. Decent finger of cream colored head. Moderate retention. Soapy lace lace left behind.

S: Solid hop profile on this one. I could take in the citrus notes from my glass and it wasn't even near my nose. Grapefruit and fresh cut pineapple. Smells solid.

T: The flavors were a bit underwhelming. Some of the citrus is there but it's mostly acrid pine and a good dose of malt. Fairly clean but it a has a slight wet grass bitterness that seems out of place.

M: Medium body with an average amount of carbonation.

O: Overall bark was better than the bite. I could see lugging a load of these to the campsite though. As the name would suggest. (765 characters)

Photo of CTbrew32
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Golden amber color with a one finger head. Thin foamy head lingers on giving this beer some lacing, albeit uneven.

Smell- Huge notes of pine and some caramel malt.

Taste- At first the piney notes overwhelm this beer with a spicey bitterness that isn't pleasant. However, this beer mellows out significantly as it warms up and allows for some nice orange/citrus fruit flavors to come through. Caramel malt provides a sweet balance.

Feel- Creamy and smooth. Slightly thin bodied with a slight lingering stickiness. Medium carbonation.

Overall- This is a solid ipa that redeems itself as it warms up. Worth trying, but considering the overall experience was 50/50 I probably won't repurchase this, at least in a 6 pack format. (80/100) (749 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz can into pint glass. Appearance: off white 2" head drops quickly with moderate lacing. Color is hazy orange with tons of sediment in suspension. Mild streaming carbonation. Aroma: strong citrus and pine aroma with some yeasty white bread dough also. Mouthfeel: light to medium and sticky with a somewhat dry finish. Flavor: citrus and pine are throughout the taste with a lingering rind bitterness. White bread sweet malt adds some balance. Overall: very good IPA, appropriate to the style. (508 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up at the Kirkwood Spec's a week or so ago. Let's see what this offering from Santa Fe has to offer:

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber color with a respectable 1/2" of off white foam on top that is thick and creamy and looks like it will be there for a while. There are quite a few bubbles rising, and they stick once they make it to the top. There is quite a bit of lace left on the glass after drinking. Almost through with the beer, there is still a pretty solid layer of foam on top of the beer, so overall this is a pretty nice looking beer.

Aroma: I initially got lot of fresh American citrusy hops so much that they were already oily. After the head falls a bit, there are some malt components there that are subtle, but are contributing some "buttered biscuit" aromatics. The aroma is taking on the sweet caramel notes a bit as it warms up some, but it really doesn't get much more complex.

Taste: The flavor is a little thinner than the aroma led on to. It is medium bodied with ample carbonation. There are plenty of aroma hops in here, but it actually softens up for the finish to end only slightly bitter. The malty notes are here, and they are coming across in the flavor more like sweet light caramel than the biscuits that I got in the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium for the style, and the carbonation is ample to maybe a bit high, which helps to make the beer seem a bit thin on the palate.

Opinion: Overall this is a pretty decent beer. It's not my favorite example of this style, but it is good enough not to avoid by any means. It would probably be good if you were "tubing" or something, but that is what Southern Star is for around here. I have a six-pack, and I will drink it, but I doubt that I will feel the need to buy another one. (1,785 characters)

Photo of MusicMonkey26
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good beer, although the yellow can (and slightly yellowed color of the beer itself) makes Happy Camper seem like beer as if made by Squirt. It's a tasty, watery-textured IPA which has a ridiculously pleasing aroma. Not terribly effervescent - definitely best if chilled. (270 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Awesome head retention. Very nice straw colored foamy top and soapy bottom head. Head pour rather large, but not huge. Great looking brew. Slightly murky copper color with nice browns and reds.

S - Very light scent for an IPA. Doesn't quite fit the style... But, I'm pulling pineapple, grapefruit, and apricot notes.

T - Yum. Almost tastes like bubblegum. No sugar bomb complex at all. Super flavorful, light, but still great flavor. Grains, citrus, and caramel.

M - Great carbonation, very well done SFB! No biterness is attached to this one, making it a great IPA. I'm not a big fan of bitter brews... Very nice medium body with great wetness.

O - Happy Camper is an awesome brew and would be fantastic in the outdoors. Can't wait to see what's next from SFB. SFB's pumping out some awesome stuff! (809 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A gracious gift from xpimptastikx. Thanks Michael.

The beer is clear and orange to copper in color with a half inch of white head. The aroma is a bit mild, offering some hops, pine, and a touch of malt sweetness. Hop forward, though the hops are not particularly aggressive. Pretty well balanced, with a malt presence sneaking in near the finish. Light in body with lingering pine bitterness. Overall, a decent beer. Nothing terribly exciting, but certainly easy to enjoy a pint or two. (487 characters)

Photo of tronester
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a thin tan head. Aromas of musty hops. Taste begins with a bit of citrus, then caramel, and a herbal, piney finish. Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation is a bit low for the style. Overall a decent IPA. The can is a huge plus too . (250 characters)

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Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.