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

529 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 529
Reviews: 147
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 25
Gots: 83 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

A classic beer for those beer lovers who love their hops, Happy Camper IPA will take the Pepsi Challenge (or IPA challenge, as we say in New Mexico) against any other pretenders to the throne. Was it divine providence that made this beer the king of the IPA world? Was it a tireless pursuit of glory? No, this IPA has a top-secret recipe to thank for its success, and this meticulously formulated combination of several different hops combined with a very specific brewing process give Happy Camper IPA a spicy, citric, and floral infusion of hop character, which is masterfully counterbalanced with the full-bodied maltiness characteristic of the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s distinctive beers.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 529 | Reviews: 147
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of rodlavers
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of Beerjonny82
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
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!

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of bcc99man
3.27/5  rDev -13%
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.

Photo of Hopswagger
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
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. 

Photo of TBoneJones
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The can caught my eye, then i saw NM and realized i hadnt tried a craft beer from that state. And then i recalled I'm camping very soon so i thought yes, ill chance a sixer of this! Pours dark orange, carbonation barely visible, the head is fluffy and good looking with a bouncy slightly off-white head.
Smells of pine and a slight non-descript fruit, if anything apricot. 
Nice pine taste up front, nice on the tongue. There's a light quality to this. Finishes pretty dry. There's a woody-papery taste on the back -end that im not used to and didn't like much at first. But all in all, drinkable as pleasantly hoppy.
Nice smooth carbonation, bitter lingers but not too much. I like how the beer seems light or medium-bodied yet still has a thick impression left on my palette, somehow.
Not sure what's keeping me from enjoying this more than I do. I think it's the way the malt reacts with the hops in this brew. I do enjoy the pine aspect, and if anything besides a more balanced malt backbone is needed, I'd say a bit more fruit profile in the taste would make it nicer beer. Otherwise, I will enjoy this when I go camping again in a week. I will take a couple of these from the can while at the lake. And it does make me want to revisit Torpedo by Sierra Nevada, which I may have liked a bit more.

Photo of LubricatedWisdom76
3.91/5  rDev +4%
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!

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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!

Photo of depechemode1983
4.14/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours out medium copper in color. The head is off-white with moderate density. Retention is minimal.

S - The nose is mostly sweet with lots of tropical fruits being apparent. You get sweet pineapple and orange, slightly sour apricots coupled with a pleasant hop bitterness all the way through.

T - Bitter, semi sweet tropical fruits. Also....a bit of a toasted coffee quality maybe even a little bread like.

M - Smooth, soft, a little oily/slick. Carbonation in great.

O - Pretty good stuff right here. Only 8.49 a six pack at my local H.E.B. Recommended.

Photo of obrike
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of Aluman
2.54/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

Photo of dcloeren
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very crisp and clear burnt orange with 2 fingers of mountainous off white head. Definitely got some lacing going down my glass.

The aroma is very pine forward and full of hops! Once it warms up a bit some orange zest shines through. It is very enticing!

I love the taste on this beer. It tastes like orange zest infused pine sap.

Medium bodied an appropriate amount of carbonation. Semi drying hop aftertaste... and it goes down oh so smooth!

Overall this is a great everyday IPA. I always keep a sixer of this in the fridge and I take at least one with me wherever it is that I'm going. Worth picking up in my opinion.

Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a golden color, leaving lacing on the glass. Aromas of grassy, piny, citrus come to nose. Citrusy flavor with slight grassiness, and bready. Bubbly carbonation aiding a citrusy aftertaste. Overall a decent ipa. For me lacks the maltiness to accentuate the hops.

Photo of elNopalero
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours (from a can!) a nice golden caramel color with a decent layer of foam. Foam lingers and leave a streak. I like how this smells. It’s very grassy, very fresh forest-y… really, it’s everything I want the aroma of my IPA to have. The flavor almost matches the aroma note for note, with some fresh, mowed lawn notes and a little pine, a touch of chew, and a body that almost holds up. Not quite pale ale, but not enough of a malt spine for the bracing hops. But that’s my only complaint, and a minor one at that. I’m glad I gave this brew another chance. I don’t remember being as enthusiastic about it last time but I’ll gladly recommend it after this go-around.

Photo of HardTarget
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Excellent clarity, amber gold glass holds a finger of white, tight head that slowly drops curtains of lace.

Smell: I get the bready note that other reviews mention, a bit yeasty with a spicy hop that's both citric and floral.

Taste: A slightly soapy metallic note fades quickly into a mild IPA, full APA hop presence. Doesn't really go bitter, fairly balanced really yet showing off the blend of pine, citric, earthy hop stew.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, oily texture, almost a cask feel.

Overall: A pretty enjoyable brew. Have to admit the Zia sun got me to pull the trigger on a 6 pack as I have fond NM memories. This goes much more towards a lawn mowing APA than an assertive IPA, but that just makes it a bit more drinkable and refreshing.

Photo of StaveHooks
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brilliant amber with a hefty off-white head. Shows good retention and quite a bit of lacing.

S - Undercooked baked bread, clean pine, strawberries,

T - Fruity upfront, sweet malt follows suit. The hops come on slow but then pick up a good amount of bitterness. Lemons and pine are prominent. Doughy yeast and tea tannins comes out when warm.

M - Heavy side of medium body, chewy at times, ample carbonation.

Nice balance. The yeast and malt really shine but the hops take care of business. I would take this camping.

Photo of Hophead101
3.56/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a nice clear copper color. big beautiful off white head. lasted for quite some time. Great lacing and great collar and top film. mild smell. hops and pine. not bad but nothing overwhelming. taste is nice. mostly pine hops. decent bitterness. mouthfeel is crisp but also a bit vacant. nice beer overall.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

Smell was faint, picked up some grapefruit.

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

Feels soft and smooth. Moderate carbonation and medium body.

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

Photo of mastodonj
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There are just so many good IPAs these days and this is another one.

Starts with a great-looking large puffy white head with lots of lacing in a medium amber color.

Maltiness in the nose, not real complex.

Excellent bitterness but again, not an unusual tasting IPA.

Probably the most interesting thing about it is its creamy mouthfeel; really nice.

Definitely, one to put up there in the short list especially if you're
in the Southwest. Or if you're going hiking/skiing/backpacking.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Photo of blakelive784
3.17/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

Photo of jbsg02
4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a GREAT IPA and could tell that from the first sip. Pours a nice light amber color typical of an IPA. Nice hop aroma, not overpowering on aroma. This is a very nice balanced IPA, still some nice malt flavors coming in under the bitterness from the hops. Nothing wrong at all with the mouthfeel. Def give this IPA a try if you like American IPA's like Sierra Nevada Torpedo.

edit: I'm adding that the can I have tastes VERY fresh, which is great for an IPA as they will lose hop flavor and aroma over time.

Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 529 ratings.