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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

152 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 152
Hads: 577
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 24.27%
Wants: 29
Gots: 117 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States | website

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: 152 | Hads: 577
Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - comes out of the can a rich amber color with some red and orange highlights and a fluffy white head that stands a full inch at the top and leaves some well formed lacing within the walls of the glass.

Aroma - honey, grapefruit, mango, caramel, lemon peel, cotton candy and cocoa powder.

Taste - lots to go on once this hits the tongue. A burst of sweet, sweet malt is doused by an intense amount of citrus and bitterness that is accompanied by a great flavor of tropical fruits. I love IPAs that have a tropical fruit flavor and this one certainly has just that. The malt profile is pretty heavy and yet it not overpowering. The finish is tongue numbing but I'm left with a bit of cocoa powder (just like I smelled). I can only guess that is from the grain bill but who knows. This is good stuff!

Overall - while this may not fall into the "unique" category it does fall into the "solid IPA" category and I do love the tropical fruit flavors! Great aromas, fresh hop taste and a nice malty backbone make this a B+ of an American IPA.

Would I buy more of it? - sure thing. This is a great all around IPA to have in the cooler.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Repost of review from hacked account "jmkratt" :(

look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from undated can to a standard pint glass.

A - The beer pours as a perfectly clear amber color with a nice 2 finger white bubbly head and excellent retention. Good lacing throughout.

S - The hops are upfront in a earthy, piney character. A mild biscuity malt sweetness behind.

T - Just like the nose the earthy pine hop character hits first, some hints of citrus but mostly a pine hop. The biscuity caramel malty sweetness fills the middle of the beer. A hint of peppery spice on the back end. Medium bitterness with a lingering pine on the tongue. Good.

M - Medium bodied and well carbonated. Finishes crisp and clean. No hint of alcohol.

O - Another good offering from Santa Fe. I am happy to see this in a can, makes it easier to pack to the hills. I would buy again.

Serving type: can

Reviewed on: 07-04-2011 21:01:33

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: A deep rusty burnt orange body holds up a frothy cream colored head. The head recedes to a patchy film as sheets of lacing coat the glass.

Aroma: Very hoppy, piny, earthy, woody.

Taste: Dry and woody (cedar) up front. Very faint grapefruit comes in the middle, while there is a very bitter, hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Overall: Pretty straightforward with hops and pine. Not as much fruitiness and very little citrus. Pretty solid either way.

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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 ONovoMexicano
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

P:  Festivly carbonated body of copper orange color. A bountiful two fingers of creamy dense french vanilla icecream float head. Great retention that settles to a creamy layer with wet sticky lacing. 

S:  Toasted malt, biscuits, fresh pone needles and pine resin.  Whiffs of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange oil and touches of milk creaminess. 

T/M:  Full creamy body with a stickiness and moderate carbonation. Follows the nose with pine resin being the star. Closely followed by the balancing toasted caramel malt and citrus hops.  The finish is creamy but has a delayed dryness. Lingers pine resin and timid citrus dish soap filminess. 

O:  A hearty brew that tastes more like an imperial. Perfect for camping trips and rustic outings.  The mouthfeel is nice and creamy. I'm pretty sure Jeremiah Johnson had his cabin stocked full of this stuff, right next to the grizz hides. 

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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 rodlavers
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the St. Francis Hotel bar in Santa Fe. Poured into a chalice, with about a finger of white head, recedes quickly to a thin layer; nice webbed lacing. Lightly burnt orange in color, somewhat translucent and holds light fairly well. Looks good.

Floral aromas, blend with sweet malt and pine notes. Perfectly hoppy. Smells great.

Citrus hops, lemon zest, grapefruit/orange rind. It's malty and piney, with a great hop character.

Mouthfeel is ok, not amazing. A little too "watery" for my taste, but it compliments the flavors well. It's a little bitter, with a pulpy aftertaste.

Overall I am generally really pleased with this beer. Did not expect much but I pleasantly surprised. Glad to try the local air as well.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice caramel-copper color with a decent cap of foam which left some residue on the glass. The aroma is an interesting mixture of hops and malt. Pine, grapefruit, nondescript earthiness blends with a solid underpinning of caramel malt. The palate, on the other hand, is a little more uncouth. Pine is all over the place as the hops dominate the flavor. Some grain attempts to peek through but it struggles to make its mark. Definitely a drinkable IPA with some sharp edges.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark gold with 3 fingers of white head leaving sticky lacing.

Citrus hops are most dominant, but hints of caramel and earthy hops present as well.

Starts off with a slight citrus punch. A little bit of caramel malt peeks in and it finishes bitter and dry with earthy/piney hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is light-medium with good carbonation.

Solid beer. Nothing special, but easy drinking and it comes in a can.

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Photo of LubricatedWisdom76
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting offering in a category that is tough to stand out in. Cool can, you can have strong beer on a hike after all. Got it in a make your own 6-pack and thought it worth a shot.

A- Love the deep copper color and the head poured super thick and billowy into a Great Divide glass. Hard to wait to drink it!

S- Pine and earth along with hints of citrus, also distinct malt aroma as well which is not as typical these days. Vague metallic aroma as well. Not as many layers as I would have liked.

T- Drinkable and interesting, not just a piney, knock your face-offer. Pine is evident but also some floral and spice notes that remind me of Noble hops? Adds to the drinkability for me. Definitely a bigger malt profile than you get with a lot of IPA's, tastes similar to an East Coast or English style mixed with piney American hops.

M- Clean and lighter bodied and not super coating. Good citrus aftertaste that lingers and puckers sneakily.

O- A nice offering from a brewery I've never tried before. Not going to impress the real hopheads but I like the balance and the mix of both crisp and full flavored hops. It hides the near 7% alcohol very very well. Dangerous!

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to StonedTrippin for including this guy in our trade. We crack the tab and pour a brew of solid golden orange into our Great Lakes pints. It holds a cakey two and a half finger head of toasted marshmallow colored bubbles, showing great retention. Geographic lacing is left around the glass as it eventually goes. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be lightly moderate. The aroma is massively toasty, lightly biscuity, and robustly hoppy, with bright citric and grass hops. Filling the gaps are notes of caramel, plastics, light booziness, butters, raw carrot juice, faint lactics, ginger root, soft banana esters, and more sourdough breadiness with warmth. Our first impression is the flavors are much more heavily to the malt side, as the hops fall away, but the final blend is sweet and pleasant. As we sip, the taste begins with caramel malts, white sugar sweetness, earthen honey, tannic lemon breakfast tea, honeydew melon, tinny metallics, lighter grassy hop bitterness, and sweet banana ester fruitiness. The middle comes to a peak with enhanced sweetness of residual dextrins, more bready caramel and pale malts, syrupy red raisins, and white flour. Washing through the finish is a blend of sweet toffees, drying and resiny hop stems, peppery booze, herbal tea leafiness, continued toasty pale malts, nectarine fleshiness, and floral honey sweetness. The aftertaste breathes of black pepper, herbal and grassy hop bite, weedy greenness, bread pudding, cloying raisin bite, mineral, chalked yeasted, and fusel airs of booze. The body is medium, and the carbonation is light to medium. The mouth is wetly coated, with nice tannic astringency down the hard palate and tongue. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, cream, and frothiness. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its drinkability and balance through both the nose and the flavoring. At first this guy takes you a bit by surprise because the malts are sweet and tannic, giving both juiciness and dryness to compete with one another. While the heavy maltiness may deter the stalwart hophead, the balance from the hops is definitely there. These give grass, earth, and even some light soapiness way back on the aftertaste to effectively cut the bready, dextrin cloy of the grain. This is an exciting brew that hits all of the senses, while giving you a little bit extra to ponder.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a hazy burnt caramel color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. The lace was slightly speckled yet messy roaming all around the glass.
The smell started off with a sweet caramel malt base and then some floral to piney hops slide in to make a decent effort for the balance.
The taste was basically the same working some light bitterness in and around the rest of the previously mentioned flavors.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionable sort of wet feel, not watery, just wet - the sweetness of the malts seem to slide on my tongue nicely.
Overall, as an IPA, its not bad, maybe if this was considered an English IPA, there's a good chance, this one would probably get higher numbers to those who rate to style. But I'm not worried as if I was able to get it again, I still would.

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Photo of Edman5P
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a brown or dark copper color with a nice head. A creamy malt body with a hop bitter finish.. Really easy on the palate and well balanced flavor

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Photo of Auraan
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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

12oz can->Hoegaarden Glass
A ~ GREAT looking can. Pours well with a Golden-Amber-Brown color with an off-white head that dissipates in craters. Lacing becomes sticky very fast.

S ~ Little bits of everything in small doses: pine, mango, pale fruit & flowers. Not the most intense nose, but pleasant.

T ~ Grapefruit Peel & Flower Petals on a sweet backdrop of bready malt. This is followed by a bit of pepper, touch of sap. Dried peaches upon warming buried within the malt.

M ~ Feel is very balanced with hops that are both spicy & floral. Very flavorful beverage. Fresh & clean taste throughout, even after warming.

D ~ Mmmmm...at 8 dollars a six pack (OF CANS!) this beer is a steal. The can wears its company logo well...very well.
Seek out for a quality IPA with a decent price tag.

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

A simple can with New Mexico flag and a funny blurb about wiping with a pinecone. Pours a clear light copper into a shaker pint with a respectable near two finger head of seashell brown. Relatively good retention and stick on the glass.

Not a perfume of aroma but oily and resinous and the hops dominate with pine and grapefruit pith. Somewhat funky grass smell added too A sweet bread malty backing.

Hop forward IPA with a very slight malt backing of some toasted grain and hay blended to the back. Citrus flashes with a hop profile that is mainly of pine and a touch grassy. Bitterness kicks in early towards the middle of the drink and follows constantly through the aftertaste.

Adequate body a tad light on the carbonation but very smooth and the lingering bitterness comes off a pleasant. Could be a touch drier as well.

Overall a nice offering from the can I didn't sense any metallic feel and the resin hoppiness matches well with the outdoors. Great value at $6.99 - $7.99 a sixer. Throw me in the woods with a sixer of these and I'd be a happy camper too.

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Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint

A - Pours a brown color with just the lightest hint of gold. Strong pearly white head formation, breaks down to a film with lots of lacing. Very clear, lightly bubbling.

S - Strong hoppy smell - citrus and grapefruit. A little bit of malts in the background, slightly roasted.

T - Starts off lightly malty, sweet, some hop grapefruit. Mid-stream gets bitter, mostly balanced. Very resinous, piney, fresh cut hops. It continues through the finish, with lots of bitterness in the aftertaste. What was balanced has turned awfully bitter. Starting to note more nuttiness in the finish.

M - Moderate mouth feel, moderate to low carbonation. Mostly clean finish, some oily hop textures.

D - Moderate drinkability. Awfully abusive to the palette. Not at all filling.

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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 denver10
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel orange with a nice effervescent off white head. Decent lacing. Aroma is sweet florals, grapefruit, a touch of pine, biscuit and caramel. Flavor prettty much follows suit.
A crisp, active mouthfeel. Overall, a solid amercian pale ale. Definitely something I would drink again.

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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 obrike
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sixer at Round Rock HEB for 8 bucks and change.

Always on the alert for an IPA in a can...found this one by accident at HEB...just casually walking through the beer aisle and happened to see it...thought it was a soda can at first glance. Nice rich amber pour into my 512 pint glass...huge rocky head with nice retention...good start.

Scent was fresh, but a bit subtle...decent pine, maybe some citrus...not much more.

Man, a huge bitter hop wallop to the tongue...pine meets grapefruit meets orange...not much malt backbone on this one, but a great hop punch. Very refreshing on a hot day actually.

I gotta recommend this one...a nice canned IPA with a bitter hop kick. Uber piney, medium carbonation, some sticky resin on the tongue. Will certainly by again.

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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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Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.