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

144 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 539
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 26
Gots: 84 | 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: 144 | Hads: 539
Photo of Auraan
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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. (1,166 characters)

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

A: poured from a can into an IPA glass to a nice golden orange with a finger of off white head that is slow to fade and leaves excellent lacing
S: smells of citrusy hops, caramel and a hint of pine
T: taste is bright citrusy flavors with a hint of pine and a nice underlying caramel sweetness from the malts. swallow is more pine and citrus with a bit more caramel
M: this beer is on the lighter side of medium on the mouth with soft yet adequate carbonation and a oily refreshing finish from the hops
O: I wouldn't call it earth shattering but my goodness is it very drinkable. it might have just a little too much residual sweetness but it's still fantastic. (661 characters)

Photo of bobhits
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
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! (781 characters)

Photo of hopfacebrew
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 (940 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
3.05/5  rDev -20.6%
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. (659 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark amber/honey honey with a very thick foamy head (4 fingers). Head retention and lacing is excellent. Not much of a rival that I have seen there. Hoppy, citric aroma with resin. There is also a strong malty component to it. Bready. Strong malt backbone up front with a big piney hop. More of a spicy, resin taste at the end. Bitter aftertaste, but it does seem bready. Good beer, the maltiness is a little much when compared to the hops. (448 characters)

Photo of mjurney
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Amber color, slight haziness. Few little bubbles. Head looks very nice, chunky looking.

Aroma:
Fresh hop aroma... Citrus, piney, touch of grassy. Sweet bready malts.

Taste:
Fresh hop flavor up front... Citrus burst. I get some piney with touch of grassy. Sweet bready malts that balance the beer, a little honey sweetness. I get orange peel and spiciness at the end. Body is very crisp.

Finish:
Very crisp finish, a little dry. Nice citrus aftertast that lingers very well.

Overall:
Wow! I can't believe this is from Santa Fe Brewing? This is an awesome IPA!! (575 characters)

Photo of JMad
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of Hopswagger
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
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.  (892 characters)

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
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! (769 characters)

Photo of ZenAgnostic
2.16/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz can poured into a pint glass. No stamped date. Acquired from Side Door Liquor Store in El Paso, TX.

Appearance - Slightly cloudy amber body. Rocky two finger offwhite head with good stick and retention.

Smell - Very hoppy. Grassy. Hay. Faint malt presence.

Taste - Metallic. Plastic. Acidic. Some bitter hop and faint malt undercurrent.

Mouthfeel - Astringent. Very solvent. Light to medium bodied.

Overall Drinkability - Perhaps this brewery should start stamping their cans, because I can't tell if this beer is past it's prime or if it's just unpleasant regardless. (580 characters)

Photo of obrike
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (764 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Copper and clear with a quarter-inch head rested on top and about half of it vanished immediately. The other half is still hanging around, but slowly thinning. Pretty strong lacing clung to the glass all the way around. I have a feeling that Santa Fe Brewing takes a lot of care with crafting their beers. The lacing is bumping this one from a 4 to a 4.5 in my book. Very well done.

SMELL: The Happy Camper's nose is noticeable immediately upon pouring. Without even putting my nose to the glass I am already getting floral and piney hops with a whiff of orange.

TASTE: The writing on the can says "Wiping your rear with a pine cone is about as rough as camping should get. That's why we invented this portable IPA in a can." Great quote, but also possibly some inspiration for the beer, there is a lot of pine in this one, and the malt builds throughout the glass, but all of that sweetness is balanced very, very nicely with some bitter citrus flavors. It ends up just a little on the sweet side, but this one is a winner. I didn't know what to expect going in, but when I move to Colorado next month this will enter the rotation as a go-to, solid IPA.

MOUTHFEEL: This is a big, full-bodied beer that has just enough carbonation to also make it nice and thirst quenching. It also leaves an exceptionally clean, palate-cleansing aftertaste.

OVERALL: Well, not a bad start for my first foray into New Mexican beer. It was a perfect fit for my chips and spicy queso dip and now my only regret is that I left CO with only one can. Can't wait to return. (1,567 characters)

Photo of coldriver
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of gpogo
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Clear light copper body and a white foam cap.

A- Sweet malt, pine, and grapefruit. The hop aromas were a bit faint as this can has sat in the fridge for a while.

T- Sweet malt with a nice bitterness throughout.

M- Medium light body and moderate carbonation. Clean, but it does stick around a bit.

D- A very pleasant IPA, not a crazy hop bomb. (349 characters)

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, Boulevard tulip, no discernible freshness date.

Super clear amber beer with a very nice example of the standard off-white head. Initially there were three fingers of this. The retention is quite good, as is the lacing. I rarely, if ever, comment on packaging but the fact that this is in a can that is very simple, elegant, and identifiable bumps up the score.

Very minty and perfumed, earthy pine and grapefruit, abrasive, but not without a hearty caramel and biscuit backbone. This must be acceptably fresh because these hops are wonderfully resiny and juicy.

Caramel malt restrained by graininess begins things but is quickly submerged beneath moderate-high bitterness and hop flavors of earthy pine, grapefruit, sugary pears, rosemary, mint, tangerine, and peppery perfume. I'm being restrained not to give this a 4.5, I'm really digging it. A little drier and this would be a monster.

Creamy in the mouth and tending towards thick. The body is big.

I'd love for this to get dried out a bit. I like the malt bill and love the hopping but it's a little sweet for an IPA to do more than one at a time. (1,123 characters)

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

Poured into a stange glass. No freshness date on can.

The pour yields 4 fingers of off-white head covering a ripe-orange colored body. Good lacing and fine retention (though not exceptional).

Smells strongly of pineapple, surprisingly without many of the other hop aromas. This might be the most pineapple-centered aroma of any beer I have smelled! When I swirl it I get more normal IPA hop aromas, with some grassy and evergreen aromas (plus a bit of pale malt).

This is a hop centered flavor (as expected) with bit and pieces of malt showing through, but mostly just hops. The bitterness isn't super-high, which allows more of the actual flavor of the hops to shine. The hops follow the nose to some expect, but the pineapple flavors are not a pronounced or singular. Clean and well done.

The mouthfeel is smooth and surprisingly full bodied, with lower than normal carbonation, which seems to be a trend with cans. I love this as I often prefer less carbonation than most Americans do.

Conclusion: This is a great standard American IPA (the can makes it more classically American). Clean balanced hop bill with enough malt to make it smooth and full without covering over the hop flavors. Nothing spectacular, but a solid and well crafted offering. If I lived in Santa Fe, this would be my go-to local IPA. (1,316 characters)

Photo of chocosushi
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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. (795 characters)

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

Thanks to chugalug06 for this nice extra

A-Pours amber, just a bit hazy with a one finger off white head that has good retention and leaves some nice lace.

S-Pine and citrus hops at the forefront here with a subtle, bready malt smell mixed in. But the malt is clearly playing a supporting role here, letting the hops dominate.

T-Similar to the nose, with a pine/resin hop flavor, citrus notes coming into play also with a slightly earthy/grassy presence as well. The bready malt back is there, but acts as a nice complement to the hops, not taking over.

M-Medium body, crisp carbonation, yet still a bit slick and oily.

O-A very enjoyable IPA that I'd certainly have again if only it were distributed in my area. While nothing is "great" or "world class" about this beer, everything about it is good from start to finish.

Thanks again to chugalug06 for this extra (869 characters)

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours clear amber into my snifter with just under two fingers of head that has really nice retention and sticky lacing.

S - Big grapefruit aromas up front, piny/earthy hops, mango, and malts that take a back seat in this one.

T - Grapefruit rind and bitterness is present from start to finish, malt is noticeably present on the back end, definitely floral with a touch of spice.

M - Slightly thin and under carbonated for my preference.

O - Looks and smells great, and not a bad drinker, but I honestly can say I wouldn't go out of my way to grab this one again. (570 characters)

Photo of depechemode1983
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of CTbrew32
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Golden amber color with a one finger head. Thin foamy head lingers on giving this beer some lacing, albeit uneven.

Smell- Huge notes of pine and some caramel malt.

Taste- At first the piney notes overwhelm this beer with a spicey bitterness that isn't pleasant. However, this beer mellows out significantly as it warms up and allows for some nice orange/citrus fruit flavors to come through. Caramel malt provides a sweet balance.

Feel- Creamy and smooth. Slightly thin bodied with a slight lingering stickiness. Medium carbonation.

Overall- This is a solid ipa that redeems itself as it warms up. Worth trying, but considering the overall experience was 50/50 I probably won't repurchase this, at least in a 6 pack format. (80/100) (749 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz can into pint glass. Appearance: off white 2" head drops quickly with moderate lacing. Color is hazy orange with tons of sediment in suspension. Mild streaming carbonation. Aroma: strong citrus and pine aroma with some yeasty white bread dough also. Mouthfeel: light to medium and sticky with a somewhat dry finish. Flavor: citrus and pine are throughout the taste with a lingering rind bitterness. White bread sweet malt adds some balance. Overall: very good IPA, appropriate to the style. (508 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
3.17/5  rDev -17.4%
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. (841 characters)

Photo of crusian
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
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% (813 characters)

Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.