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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
86
very good

145 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 545
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 27
Gots: 89 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 545
Photo of bump8628
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking can with a nod to the state of New Mexico and a blurb about camping. Deep copper/amber with a white head that leaves scattered sheets of lace. Strong pine keeps with the camping theme backed by spice, flowers, and candied orange peel. Malt throws plenty of caramel into the mix to balance evenly. A nice little IPA in a can. A little more hop explosion in the nose would be welcome, but I could use more of this. (426 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (526 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome graphic design for the can. The simplicity makes it stand out.
Pours a slightly hazy, vivid copper orange, topped off with a finger's worth of white foam. Good head retention. Speckled lace clings to the glass.
Smells of toasty, biscuity malt with an overtone of pungent hops. Grapefruit rind and pine needles. Clean, with just a bit of grass and pear.
The flavor opens with biscuity malt sweetness, actually pretty well balanced with the hops for an americanized IPA. Don't get me wrong, this is not a beer for folks who are afraid of hops and bitterness, but the malt is certainly there. Very clean, with a soft bit of estery grass flavor adding to the hop profile that finishes things out. The hops seem pretty standard in that resinous citrus way, with a slightly greasy feel on the tongue. Body is full and rich, with peppy carbonation and a good bit of lingering bitterness. Yum.
I can't think of anything that's wrong with this beer. It's nothing outstanding, but there's no flaws in my opinion. Great, solid IPA in a can. Very satisfying. This is becoming one of my go-to standard beers. I've bought a sixer several times since these guys started distributing to Colorado. (1,188 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (413 characters)

Photo of beerwolf77
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

M: Medium body with an average amount of carbonation.

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

Photo of vande
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A ~ Deep, dark golden amber color with a two finger layer of floating, cushiony white head....slowly, very slowly, dissipating leaving hints of lace clinging to the pint glass.

S ~ Hops and hops. Grapefruit, citrus odors creeping up the nose.

T ~ A bit of a harsh coppery flavor...good dose of tartiness? Grapefruit in the front with a bit of malt in the back. Lingers on the palate.

M ~ Pretty easy drinking IPA here. A nice balanced feel, medium to light in body presents.. a little tingling on the tongue.

O ~ My first offering from Santa Fe thanks to a fellow trader! Definitely something I'd like to try again, as well as sparked the curiosity of my palate...I sense more Santa Fe in my future at some point... (720 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (496 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange almost brownish tint. Pretty dark for an IPA. I brace myself for a malt bomb. Smells malty with a touch of hops. Lacking. Tastes sweet and caramel heavy. Lots of malts. The hops are subtle and not very prominent. Overall good mouthfeel but a lackluster IPA. Thanks Jenray but I agree with your assessment (324 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (787 characters)

Photo of denver10
3.87/5  rDev +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. (291 characters)

Photo of claytong
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well rounded IPA. Classic American IPA and they do it nicely and cheaply. Recommend trying this one out. It's a nice beer that I'm happy just having one of.
Not too much malt and a medium hop flavor.
santa fe brewing has impressed the hell out of me with their 6 packs. (271 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (1,149 characters)

Photo of Domingo
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, you have to love canned craft beers.
This one comes in a bright yellow can with the Zia symbol (NM flag) on it.
Pours a light copper color with orange/yellow highlights. Perfect head on a normal pour with abundant lancing.
Big hops on the nose. Resin-y pine and cannabis notes are there in full force.
Immediately on my tongue I pick up summit hops, but they're definitely not as pungent and overpowering like they are in the OB Gubna. In fact they seem to fade into normal cascade and wilder simcoe hop notes. Definitely still some cannabis in the mix, too. Malts there, but it really only comes up in the middle of the body and it gives the hops a little bit of a tropical and stonefruit kick.
While the flavor is big, the beer isn't strong and for an IPA I'd say it's pretty easy drinking.
My can's disappearing pretty fast and as a camping beer this would be a real winner.
More good stuff from SF. A good IPA by any standards made better via the canned convenience. (974 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
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! (809 characters)

Photo of benloho
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Excellent IPA here. Delicious aromatic blend of citrus and tropical fruits with a slight piney/grassy hop note mixed in. Great head that retains and nice full bodied character which goes down smooth maintaining the juicy character of the hops yet crisp and refreshing to match the ABV. Bonus for coming in a can. Great beer for outdoor excursions, summer heat and sessionable as well! (384 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a fluted glass.

A- Poured a really nice dark orange color, very clear with lots of streaming carbonation, bright white soapy head left glass-coating lace.

S- Big pungent grapefruit notes, lots of malty sweetness, and some bready notes.

T- Big pungent grapefruit notes, lots of malt sweetness, caramel, bready notes, piney, and herbal notes. Finishes with a moderate to high bitterness.

M- Soft carbonation, medium body, and dry.

O- A pretty good IPA in the crowded IPA market. The hop character is big, but the malt character is surprisingly prominent in this IPA. (594 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can into a DFH signature glass. 6 pack purchased from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, I think it was around $8?

A: Hazy amber in color with an off white head that sticks right at 1/2 an inch and does not want to fade away. Decent amount of bubbles moving up through the glass. Nice gobs of lacing.

S: Nice amount of hops, really get a lot of grapefruit right up front. Has a nice juicy hop flavor. Decent amount of caramel and slight graininess as well. Hops are definitely the focus. Smells quite nice.

T: Lots of hops, grapefruit and a bit of a piney flavor. Fairly resinous, with a decent amount of bitterness on the finish. Nice malty backbone with caramel and a bit of slightly toasted malts as well. Pretty tasty.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, fairly slick in the mouth as well. Slightly dry.

O: A good IPA, nothing really spectacular, but definitely a solid offering. When stacked against the other IPAs in a can in CO, this would definitely get consideration, not quite on par with Modus Hoperandi, but definitely up there with Avery and Upslope. Will definitely purchase more the next time I see some. (1,123 characters)

Photo of u2carew
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can.
A) Pours with a thin head that quickly disapates leaving some big bubbles on top. Slight haze to the body. Copper in color.
S) Bold hop aromatics - pink grapefruit, peach and pleasant floral notes.
T) Sweet caramel hop bit up front. Then the malts take over briefly allowing the hops to come back for another subtle and lingering kick in the finish. Other parts of the taste profile made up with not-quite-ripe pink grapefruit, floral petals, and pine.
M) Smooth. Medium body. Some tannin in the finish.
O) A delicious IPA. I would definitely drink another. (567 characters)

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful dark copper body with a frothy off white head that leaves a sheet of lacing. The can may be ugly, but the beer sure looks good.

Slightly sweet malt with pungent citrus notes.

Biscuity, toasty, caramel malts get things going with pine tree mid palate and a citrusy, floral finish. Medium to high bitterness builds with each sip.

Medium to full body for the style.

Bitterness was surprisingly high, which knocks the drinkabilty down just a touch for me. I wouldn't call it smooth. Still, not a bad IPA and like their Imperial Java Sout, its a pretty good value at $7.99 a 6er. Worth a shot for sure. (619 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 04-16-2014
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. can
Glassware: Shaker pint
Purchased: Received from a friend

Clear copper-colored beer with a finger's worth of off-white head. Retention seems all right; the lacing is quite good.

Smells have citrus hop notes; grapefruit and pineapple come to mind.

The taste is balanced with the high bitterness being kept a bit in check by some malt character. Flavors are of tropical fruits on the acidic/bitter spectrum.

Feel is crisp with a medium amount of body. The beer is finished with mainly hop tastes such as grapefruit and pine, with a bit of astringency as a negative.

Very nice IPA here

Thanks to Craig for the beer! (686 characters)

Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper hue with a steady one-inch head; lacing is decent

S: Citrus and pine hop aromas up front with a solid, sweet bready malt base lingering underneath

T: Pine, herbs, grass, and citrus mingle up front with loads of pleasant bitterness that are followed by a slightly burnt yet sweet bready malt undertones

F: Medium body with oily, sticky texture

O: A real solid IPA: bitter up front, quickly followed by a sweet malt base--nice beer (449 characters)

Photo of dcloeren
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of tronester
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of rodlavers
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (736 characters)

Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.