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Happy Camper IPA - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Happy Camper IPAHappy Camper IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

147 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 563
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 27
Gots: 103 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 147 | Hads: 563
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

easily the best santa fe brew ive tried to date. it is more of an american pale than an ipa in my opinion, theres plenty of malt reminicent of the saranac pale ale or another hoppy beer with a bigger english malt profile. it smells like english malt and piney hops in equal proportion, citric a little, but there is no acid here, its just robust flavors and textures. the mouthfeel has a ton of texture, thick and malty at first, but mellowing to a well carbonated bittersweet ipa with a semiquick finish and a touch of caramel left over. i agree with the label, its better than wiping your rear with a pinecone, a whole lot better!

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Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

opaque hazy burnt amber with a thick off white, frothy pillow like head. Thick gooey lace poured down the glass and lingered long after it was empty.

strong piney hops very much balanced against a nice mellowed malt sweetness. Smell did seem kinda muted though, could have been more full. was slick, with not alot of carbonation. Taste was very bitter with a dry finish, but not llong lingering as I had hoped. Came off a little oily, with a lot of bitter piney flavor.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a light cloudy golden-amber color with a big white head.

S: Really a nice grapefruit aroma to this. It's very dank. Tons of floral and spicy hops, too. There's just a mild pine and even less malt aroma. Who knew such a pungent IPA aroma could come from New Mexico?

T: Sort of a lackluster flavor, unfortunately. There's still a bit of grapefruit and orange peel, but the flavor isn't so intense. There's some stale bread and a light malt sweetness, as well. A few hints of floral hops and a light bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

O: I thought the nose was awesome, but the flavor just really fell off.

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Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yay, canned IPAs, great. Thanks to dcloeren for this one.

The gurgling pour from the can into the snifter yields a fluffy creamy looking 1.5 finger head that fades at a med pace with nice thick lacing, over mostly clear honey orange colored beer.

NOse brings plenty of fresh hops, a nice hoppy aroma, fresh citrus and a bit of resin, hint of tropical fruit like a light musty passion fruit and guava almost. A light fluffy malt underneath, a hint of tangerine and light clementine like citrus.

Taste starts with a light fluffy malt with hint of reddish malt like flavor, but quickly brings hops. A light airy aromatic floral hop start, a little grassy, light resins and citrus. A bit of tropical fruit as well, more clementine and hint passion fruit with the musty resin. A decent bitterness that doesn't bite too much but rounds off evenly at first. As it finishes it dries a bit and gets a nice bitter bite, a decent bitter orange rind like flavor with more light resin and hint of pine even.

Mouth is med bodied, fluffy with lots of carbonation.

Overall pretty good actually. This is what base IPAs should be, a bit lighter, very drinkable, nice bitterness that increases with a dry finish, great effervescent hops, light resin and citrus, bit tropical fruit, nothing wrong at all, just a very drinkable IPA, from a can no less!

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Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big snort of Cascade hops in the mix. Rich and creamy mouthfeel. Rich with malt, but the big story is hops and more hops. Rather light bodied. Flowery, just a touch of resin, and fragrant. Not really that bitter, but more hops than I know what to do with. Nice appearance with a good topper on the amber brew. Clean and spicy.

If you're looking for a great hop blast without the tonsil curling bitter end, this is a very forgiving IPA.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.62/5  rDev +21.9%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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

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Photo of superspak
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can. Pours slightly cloudy orange amber color with a nice dense 2.5 finger off white head with great retention that reduces to a thick lacing cap that lasts. Some very nice lacing coats the glass as you drink as well. Aromas of orange, grapefruit, pine, caramel, and spice. Nice aromas with good strength, standard IPA stuff here. Taste of orange, grapefruit, pine and caramel. Big sweetness on the front with a decently strong bitterness on the finish that lasts with pine, caramel, and citrus flavor. Medium carbonation and body, very creamy and smooth as well, very drinkable. No alcohol in the taste or finish. Overall an excellent well rounded IPA. I would pick this up if it was readily available, perhaps for some camping?

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a solid pale, crystal, and Carapils malt scent along with a mild hop nose that showcases piney/floral hop notes. The taste is good. It has a smooth, balanced flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It's complex with just a hint of caramel sweetness. The hop character is mild with a nice piney bitterness and flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an enjoyable IPA with lots of character. It's easy drinking with only a moderate hop bitterness.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another CAN to further The CANQuest (TM), thanks to indiapaleale.

Music: Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains' "New Mexico Song".

From the CAN: "Wiping your rear with a pine cone is about as rough as camping should get. That's why we invented this portable IPA in a [CAN]. A hoppy, refreshing beverage that goes great with campfires, bears, granola, and mosquito repellent. Happy camping!"

I am not a big camper, so I'm just going to do my Crack & Glug action in my kitchen, where I usually review beers. I got a foamy finger of tawny head with good retention. Nose was filled with piney hops that filled the air with their tang. That does make me happy! Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Mouthfeel was medium with a great piney hoppiness initially, coupled with a caramel sweetness underneath. Finish was equally hoppy, followed by caramel sweetness, then a breathtaking return of the hops. Phew! This is definitely a CANdidate for the cooler.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a Spiegelau IPA glass. No obvious can dating from what I can see.

Great looking brew, crystal clear body with thin and just plentiful but not too much carbonation. Copper orange clarity and glowing like a dark lantern. Head is creamed yellow and four fingers tall, thick capped retention, and big chunky lacing. In short what a great looking IPA should be.

Aroma hints a bit towards dank a bit, a good amount of weedy smoke to go with it also. Small caramel through the smoke giving some nice sweetness hints at smoke caramel. Really dig it, and it's not overpowering either.

Palate comes through a little less surprising. Malted caramel forward a bit, hints of smoken ash and some slight weed grass like flavors. Slightly tinny a bit strangely, hints a little towards a juiced fruit flavor but with no fruit quality strangely. Good solid malt backbone and sweetness match nicely.

An interesting take on an IPA, I dig it quite a bit.

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Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A funky plain can design, but I knew it was Santa Fe immediately.
Pours a dark golden/acorn body with clarity that made it look lighter. Semi-soapy head, clinging a bit for lacing. Looks pretty good.
Aroma has mostly pine and florals. Sweet bread is dipped in pine juice it seems. A bit grassy.

Grass and pine are the hop centers, with some citrus coming through a bit in the end. The florals seem to be from the yeast as a bready finish calms down the hops. This is easy drinking with a good bite on the end. Maybe not as clean as I prefer, but crisp anyways.

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Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, gold/copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of floral hops, citrus, hint of grass, hint of earthy malt, and sweet malt. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level and average bitterness. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, floral notes, hint of earthy malt, and hint of hop oils. Overall, good appearance and feel, but average aroma and body.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can pours a mostly clear, light copper color with an impressive cap of tan head that leaves nice sheets of lace. Good looker here.

Nose leans towards tropical and citric hops but there is a definite caramel, almost toffee malt presence that is most balancing indeed. Interesting, and has a nutty characteristic most of SFBC brews have exhibited before.

Taste shows a nutty hoppiness that is both unique and fun. Refreshing, clean hop body is totally slurpable and goes down easy. I am thoroughly impressed with this beer. I must admit that most SFBC offerings I have had have been average at best, but they have stepped up their game recently and I am glad for it. Try this if you CAN...you wont be disappointed.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

nice extra from daniloknezic! Thanks

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy burnt orange and dark gold bodied beer, maybe even a light amber color. White head that is full of small bubbles and sticky lacing. Thin white cap on top the beer.

Smell: Floral hops with some pine notes. Bready/biscuity malts.

Taste: medium hops bitterness in this IPA. Pine and grassy flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. it works well.

Overall: First beer I have had from Santa Fe Brewing Company. I enjoyed it very much. Just got off the lawn mover on a 90 degree day and this beer hit the spot and quenched my thirst. Something about hoppy beers when its hot that is a great combonation! Solid IPA nothing mindblowing, but i would buy a 6 pack if it was locally available to me. Looking forward to more Santa Fe Brewing Company beer!

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Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.