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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: 104 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 147 | Hads: 563
Photo of kmatlack
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a 6 pack of cans at Mr. G's in Plano. Poured into my Stone "Hoppy Fathers Day" pint glass.

A- Pours an attractively clear orange yellow with a half finger of off-white head that dissipates into a very thin head that sits nicely on top of the beer.

S- A super bold hoppy aroma on the nose. Pine, citrus, grassy, earthy, more pine, sweet malts, candy, caramel. It just smells fresh. Awesome.

T- Nice and sweet malts up front, soon followed by an onslaught of piney, resiny hops, very well balanced. Makes me want to be outside. Even my burps taste good. Only downside is a lingering bitterness, not ideal.

M- Smooth, oily, almost slick mouthfeel. Not over carbonated, easy drinking.

O- This is a great IPA. Love that it comes in cans, more breweries should use them. No date on the can but it was super fresh. Bravo Santa Fe, Bravo. IDK why people are giving this a B, solid A in my book. Im glad ive got 5 more.

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Photo of LeafCutter
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an off-white creamy head, about two finger widths, and leaves nice off white lacing.

Smell - a sweet caramel nose joined with a great mild/slightly citrus hop aroma.

Taste - Bitterness is right on. For the hoppy earthy tones, citrus aftertaste the mild caramel sweetness, it's a very well balanced taste. Carbonation doesn't appear to be there, but the mouthfeel of carbonation is very nice and bubbly for an IPA, and leaves a very fresh feeling in your mouth.

Overall- I would buy this beer again. My only wish is that it was a little cheaper. It has great, fresh hop flavor without the harsh bitterness. To me, this is an IPA that you would use on non-IPA lovers, and turn them into one.. Extremely well balanced, slightly sweet, good malty backbone, and wonderful hop flavor/aroma, finishing you with a citrus freshness in your mouth, begging for another sip.

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Photo of Fenris244
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into my stone imperial pint glass

pours a dark amber, thin off white head has some incredible retention, good clarity, some strings of bubbles are apparent

sweet and citrusy in the nose.

very balanced good orangey sweetness upfront balanced by a kick of lemon peel like hop bitterness, nothing much lingers.

Very light in body, crisp and refreshing

overall, great summertime ipa just enough bitterness to be a satisfying ipa while keeping it tame enough to be had in the texas heat

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Photo of allengarvin
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprisingly nice pour... The beer is a nice mahogany amber, and the head really develops nicely, becomes a solid-inch thick crown of froth that is slow to dissipate. The nose is not as exciting. It provides some moderate woody, rosin-like hop notes, but not much else. Flavor is a better mix, with sweet malt vying with piney hops. Bitterness is actually not too high for an IPA, allowing the toasty, lightly caramel malt to make a nice showing. The body is a tad thin, but otherwise a pretty good beer.

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Photo of coldriver
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into a Sam Adams glass. Pours a deep amber with persistent head and lacing. Very strong floral and pine hop boquet. Taste is tending more towards pine than citrus. Adequate carbonation with bitter oily hop finish, which is a bit harsh on the tongue (in a good way...). Overall a solid IPA which I would have again.

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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 amcmaho1
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one many times before, just never got around to reviewing it. Poured from a can, devoid of a "best by" date, into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Was it an IPA or an amber ale? Definitely seems dark for the style, lending itself towards a more orange to oragnish red colored body. Thick, frothy off white head with nice retention, as well as plenty of sticky lacing.

Smell: Immediately, I detect lots of pine resin from the hops with soft floral and spice notes. LOTS of malt on the nose, some definite sweetness and bread notes on the nose along with some astringent alcohol. I'm wondering how fresh the can is, because the hops certainly seem subdued somewhat, though the integration with the malt profile is nice. It almost seems to me to be the IPA for the non or only occasional IPA drinker.

Taste: Lots of malt at the beginning of the taste, followed by alcohol and then a resinous bitterness. The pine notes from the hops are there, and rather clean. Really pronounced bitterness here actually, darkened by the malt, and bordering on spicy or earthy. The alcohol is noticeable, and almost seems bigger than it actually is. The bitterness certainly lingers too, with some bready notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Really comfortable carbonation keeps the beer from feeling overly thick. It's pretty dry and drying, as i notice with more time in between sips.

Overall: This IPA is really differentiated from other NM ipa's, and it really has qualities which separate it from the pack, so to speak. Where as Marble's IPA is more dominant in the citrus and floral arena, this beer's hop profile is more earthy and spicy, and works well with a bigger malt presence. It's nice for some variety here in the land of enchantment, and the fact that the beer is canned attests to it's transport-ability. Worth going out of your way to get it fresh though...

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Photo of JMad
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a pint glass...

The beer is a light murky copper/ brown color with at thin soapy off white head. It smells heavily of pine, grapefruit and sweet malt. The taste is very bitter up front with pine, citrus peel, with a hint of ginger and sweet malt. It is light/ medium with a silky carbonation and a super dry finish. This is an excellent IPA that hang with the best.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a shockingly dark golden apple juice hue looking more like an amber. crystal clear with a weak half-finger crisp white head that fades quickly, leaving only a dab of lacing.

aroma is decently hoppy, sweet, with a good kick of malt on the tail end. not bad, but uninspired.

taste is decent with a full malt backbone. tastes dark and rich. herbal green hops with a good bit of bitterness. even and fairly balanced.

mouth is a touch on the thick side, a little slick, with some fine but hot carbonation that gets a bit prickly.

all in all, an interesting IPA. it looks dark, tastes like a rich, heavy, IPA. surprisingly, but definitely delicious. I'd love to drink a few more. not the best, and not the best IPA by traditional style guidelines, but I like it!

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Photo of GregSVT
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of firkinhophead
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

attractive looking can from State Line Liquors in El Paso.

poured into an opaque plastic cup, so can;t comment much on appearance. Nice, creamy head with pretty good lacing.

aroma is piney and floral, with some citrus notes. Some yeasty biscuit in the background.

Full hop flavor on the front, with only a hint of sweetness. Grapefruit dominates, with some pine and dried fruit. Apricot notes, from the malt maybe? Finishes dry and minty.

Medium-bodied and creamy, with a sharp bitterness on the sides of the tongue. Bitterness lingers and borders on astringent, but stays in a good place.

Puckering and refreshing. A nice treat and a no-brainer for camping.

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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 BarrytheBear
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a six pack of cans at Mile High Wine & Spirits on a recent trip. I have an unabashed love for canned IPA's, so this was an exciting find. Split the first can with the wife, stuffed four in the golf bag and drank with SteepH20 on a recent visit, so all that remains in this lone yellow soldier. Here goes...

Poured into my Duvel tulip, Happy Camper is copper colored with an inch thick white crown that subsides to some spotted surface matter. Plenty of tiny bubbles evident when back lit by the still prevalent summer sun and some spotted cling.

Smells earthy and herbal with a healthy blast of spearmint. Touch of citrus becomes blanketed by the biscuit and sweet caramel.

Up front is tangy bitterness and baby aspirin. Alcohol bite comes quickly and early and is a bit much for a beer this small, relatively speaking. Middle is doughy, malty, and creamy. Again there is a slight underpinning of citrus here, but it's summarily gobbled. Earthy, herbal, piney finish with the lingering alcohol bite round things out.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a prickle of carbonation on the tongue and a bitterness that dances a brief ditty on the tongue and fades slowly but lingers.

Overall, it's a good but not great IPA. I wouldn't go crazy trying to obtain it again, but if available I'd purchase it and bring it golfing, camping, or to introduce to friends and family.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can into pint glass
A – 1+ finger slightly yellow head, full glass of foam doesn’t immediately recede and leaves very nice lacing, my definition of the color amber, crystal clear… A fine looking beer 4.5
S – Pine & citrus hop nose leads, slight florals, notes of the sweet bready malt background, weak caramel 3.5
T – Pine & citrus hops lead, malts are weak but balance this brew enough, good drinkability 4
M – Low carbonation, perhaps some hop oils, medium body 3.5
O – A good & crowd pleasing IPA, nothing outstanding but I’d also take a sixer of this to a party 4

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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 crusian
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can from local bottle shop. Rating by style of an American ipa... not a double or imperial.
Pours a nice light amber with about a finger of head... nice lacing ring...
Nose has some bubble gum, citrus, grass, hay and pine... in that order...it actually has all the features of american hops. Can't say i have actually had an aipa that has all of them on the nose so distinctly. That being said, it is not the best smelling aipa I have had, just has all those distinct odors. It is very nice though.
Taste has a nice malt body and a lot of pine. The pine is the most prevalent, and has a hint of citrus underneath it. Slick oily mouthfeel.
Rating this as a regular ipa, it is really great. not huge like a double or imperial, but this is one of the best aipas I have had. Amazing they can cram this much into 6.6%

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Photo of Sweasty
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another canned craft offering. I always welcome new canned options. Happy Camper pours a nice crystal clear bronze. Things are topped off by a healthy two fingers of bone white head. Head settles to a ring. Plenty of lace is left in its wake.

The aroma immediately strikes as hoppy. A nice herbal hop nose shines. Resiny pine notes hit first. Behind the pine some herbal mint shows up. Some light grapefruity citrus rounds out the hops. Beneath the hops some light malt notes pop. Light caramel hits first. That's followed by some bready notes. All in all an enticing IPA nose.

Much like the nose, the taste is very herbal. Strong resiny pine strike first. The mint in the nose is more pronounced on the palate. The grapefruit is also stronger. The hops have a nice drying quality, encouraging you to take another sip. Beneath the hops a light malt shows up. A light caramel sweetness and some breadiness try to balance things out. The hops win out. The finish is further drying with a long lingering herbal bitterness.

Happy camper is a nice medium bodied brew, packed with a nice crisp carbonation.

Happy camper is a nice easy drinking hop fix. The herbal hops offer a nice switch up from the citrus bombs I usually prefer. This IPA may not be earth shattering. Nonetheless I would gladly pack this along on the next camping trip.

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bit darker than your basic pale ale. Very little head out of the can but still looks strong. The aroma is noticeable right away of citrus and a light white bread.

The flavor is a bit stronger than what I was expecting. I am really enjoying the balance of hops and malt in this IPA. The piney citrus does not overwhelm but the sweet malts follow in form very nicely. I have found that I really enjoy IPA's that allow the malts to make a presence, not just straight hop bite.

The carbonation is just right and this was a very easy drinking IPA. Simple but yet very good.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of calcio360jrd
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this today on draft at the brewery today.

This beer has a lot going well for it. It had that typical hoppy smell that ipa's have, but the taste was far superior to most ipa's I've had lately. Nice golden color and 6.6 abv made this a very well rounded ipa. Going to send some of this home to fla and do some side to side comparisons with other popular ipa's, I think this will fare well against most of the big boys.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
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!

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

nice extra from emmasdad, thanks!

Appearance: nice translucant amber color with great lacing around the glass. decent two fingered head slowly dissipated down to a fine layer. carbonation bubbles up rapidly.

Smell: pine and syrupy malt. somewhat of a bready aftertone picked up as well.

Taste: very smooth, piny, citrusy hops up front with a slightly malty backbone following through to the end. while a malty flavor is there it lets the hoppy bitterness take forefront. actually very refreshing taste overall. not too bitter as the hops add more flavor.

Mouthfeel: the hops oily presence lingers overall while the carbonation adds a nice bite to this drink. no harsh aftertastes at all in this; just a very refreshing feel overall.

Overall: call it a partial snobby bias but I was a bit skeptical of an IPA in a can. This beer changed my mind. While the beer itself does not stand out as the IPA to beat it definitely is a highly respectable beer. If I lived closer to a place to obtain this beer it would be in my fridge a lot more consistently.

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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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Photo of bobhits
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Santa fe IPA

Tipping on the amber orange side of the IPA spectrum, light white head, touch of lacing, and marginal if any bubbles in the body. Good light comes through but not as clear as it can be.

Mild aroma overall, hops and sweet malt, not overly grape fruit notes, not overly floral, just a touch of bitter with sweet caramel notes.

Nearly a perfectly balanced IPA. Hops attack the front of the tongue followed by sweet nearly sugary sweetness. Wonderfully bold flavors here, reminds me in many ways of two hearted ale. Not as hoppy but the blend of flavors comes off very similar.

Thicker than the abv would suggest, well carbonated and a good beer to drink. This isn’t a summer beer by any means, but still pretty good.

Really solid extra IPA and a wonderful extra!

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