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Happy Camper IPA | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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very good
158 Reviews
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Happy Camper IPAHappy Camper IPA

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by indiapaleale on 08-18-2010

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Reviews: 158 | Ratings: 606
Photo of MikeWard
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can into a pint glass. no freshness dating that i could find.

dk amber body, small off white head, good lacing, however, tons of minute floaties.

not much on the nose, except fsome sweet malt. This one may be past its prime, but without easily stamped freshness dating on the bottom of the can, how would anyone know?

Weird flavor. getting, of all things in an ipa, coffee? slightly sweet with a decent hop bite towards the end.

solid above medium mouth, slightly bitter on the finish.

One of the oddest ipas i've had, but i have to say, it worked for me. an enjoyable drink.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap into a pint glass.
A- very hazy orange with lots of sediment and bubbles. Head is medium to thick off white and leaves some thick, patchy lacing!
S- pine and earthy hops teamed with pale malts.
T- almost identical to the nose.
F- a somewhat dirty hop bitterness that lingers.
O- nice canned IPA that has some similarities to torpedo, but no where near that good.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice west coast style IPA. Dark, slightly lighter than an amber. Nice off white head. Smells and tastes like a nice citrus/grapefruit hops. Great quality. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice glow to the yellow color, impressive. 1/2" white head. Aroma hits those nice dry hop aromas imparting some pine forest.

Taste rocks around 60 ibu, still has the hop mouthfeel and bitterness. This was really one of the first very good canned ipas. It really lends itself to camping. Only thing to watch out for are the dates on this one. When fresh, its one of those very good regional ipas in the best possible format at an affordable price out there.

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Photo of gustavmahler-09
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange-brown. One finger of head. Smell is not aggressive, hoppy. Takes hoppy but not overly bitter Taste lingers well. Feel is a little thin, but quite smooth. Quite drinkable if not a star.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 2/9/16

Cheers to Dustin for this beer

A: Medium orange, with some copper and light amber at its core, some tangerine around the edges - pours with a medium sized, off-white head, fades to wisps and a small collar, leaves some steaks and dots of lacing

S: Hoppy with some malty sweetness - more or less balanced citrus and pine - orange and grapefruit zest and some juice - floral citrus - herbal, leafy, spicy, and a touch grassy - pine needles - lightly earthy - pale and caramel malts, touch of cooked grains - bready with some biscuits and hints of bread crust

T: Fairly balanced - citrus flavors, with some orange and grapefruit zest, rind, juice - spicy, herbal, leafy, grassy hops - floral - pine needles and a touch of resinous pine - hint of mint - earthy - medium bitterness - the hoppiness is grounded in the malts, which are a bit more burly than average - pale and caramel malts, maybe some amber - bread, biscuits, a slight touch of toffee - slightly sweet overall, yet also dry and earthy

M: Medium body, smooth, almost a little chewy, sharp finish

O: If you drink enough of these, camping might be fun

Happy Camper has an interesting old-school charm to it. It kind of reminds me of an English IPA, but that just might be the malts. The citrus and pine combination is classic, yet this pulls it off in a way that does not taste generic. This is worth a try.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The look of the can is really cool and I love the New Mexico flag on the can. Now on to the beer - poured from a 12 oz. can with a nice copper color and a rocky, foamy off white head.

Smell was a pop of pine with an slight smell of pineapple coming through.

Taste was very piney but not overbearing on the pine. Seriously I could not discern much difference from a lot of IPA's that I have drank. Please do not take that in a bad way. I did enjoy the taste, it just seemed kind of middle of the road IPA like.

Mouth feel borders on medium with a slightly oily finish which is more pronounced as the beer warms.

Overall I am a happy camper for having tried this offering from the great state of New Mexico. The beer is very good but at the price point I could probably find something comparable in flavor and lighter on the wallet. Now if I was offered this over another beer at a BBQ, I would definitely grab one of these.

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Photo of puck1225
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap into a pint glass, a golden orange color. It had a thin head and good lacing. The smell is a bit piney and soapy. The taste is very hoppy and a bit bitter. Some pine taste and it gets a bit sweeter with warming. An OK IPA.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Visiting New Mexico drinking Happy Camper IPA from a standard glass at a bar. Nice clear dark amber hue. Not much of a head, but I didn't pour it. Woody and hoppy aroma and taste, grapefruit, nice moderate hoppy ending. I don't get a lot of carbonation. Overall pretty good.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can with a travel mug
Noted on 06/17/2015

Picked this one up in Flagstaff, AZ at the Magic Mobile Gas Station

A: Dark caramel amber body with some minimal haze in appearance. Khaki tan head is thick and frothy as it swells out of my camper mug. Some broken tracks of lace make a trellis like design along the vessel walls.

S: The nose is more malt forward with some breadiness and sweet caramel hints to it. There is a faint citrus and pine hop combination formulating with a light herbal nod. Not quite what I was hoping for here from a hoppy perspective but still nice and welcoming.

T: Drinks more like an American Pale to me with its robust malt biscuit notes. That said it still delivers on some good hop flavor. More of the classics as detected in the aroma. Pine resin met with light citrus zest and florals. There is a mild tropical fruit twist to it as well. The beer has a moderate amount of perceived bitterness and there is no alcohol coming through in the flavor. Finishes out lightly dank and herbal too with some caramel sweetness there. Not at all too shabby.

M: Light to moderate filling body with an ample amount of spritzy carbonation. There is a mild constricting bitterness building up to a nice crisp and drying finish. Slight resinous linger noted but mostly clean.

D: A perfectly fine brew for packing in on your outdoor adventures. Really though this was just okay to me. Nothing ground breaking. I think my expectations were just too high given the accolades here.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
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 JLaw55
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is not a punch you in the mouth bitter type of IPA. This is a nicely rounded and balanced version of an IPA. It has a sweet and robust malt body, a floral bouquet of flavors, and a minimal hop bitterness; all wrapped up with a clean finish that doesn't leave too much flavor lingering on the tongue. Not bad at all.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

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Photo of Suds
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Hazy golden, with a tall, white head. The smell is pungent, with musty, earthy hops. Catty and dank, but solidly bitter and flavorful. Balanced and bitter. The bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste. Medium in body and drinkable. This is a solid and fulfilling, but not particularly interesting, IPA.

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Photo of Johnstone
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A light caramel color with white foam. A mild citrus piney smell and intense spicy hop flavor. I dont know how to describe feel, but maybe substantial and it balanced the strong hop flavor well. First rating, need to study.

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Photo of benloho
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

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Photo of Edman5P
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
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 Foyle
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of Junkforadam
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent IPA, one of the better craft IPAs I have had. Clear amber/tan color, smells moderately hoppy and piney, good semi-sweet malty finish. For a 6.6% ABV I can easily see this as a session beer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can from Tin Bucket. Gotta love that place.

A reddish copper with a dense, off-white ehad that falls off to a ring leaving a little lacing, this looks decent. The nose is solid. Clearly very fresh, which aids tremendously, this beer has a nose that is dominated by pine and candied grapefruit. Moderately fruity with baked oranges and a touch of peach. Malt character is present, mostly as a caramel note.

The palate opens with a pine-heavy bitterness, pleasant and pungent, bitter and herbal. Grapefruit pith and grapefruit zest are also present. There is a mild mineral character that acidifies the palate, rather unexpected and unwelcome. Drying, bitter on the finish with burnt caramel, pine and grapefruit pith, this beer is medium light in body and moderately carbonated. Alcohol is faintly noticeable on the finish. Apart from the mineral character, there isn't a whole lot to dislike about this beer.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.99/5  rDev +5%
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 OKbrew89
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Dark golden color with a multiple finger tan head that leaves lacing halfway down the glass. Smells of hop, citrus, and malt that aren't normally in an IPA. Aroma wise, nice change of pace from the death by hops IPA. Taste of hops through the whole drink with wonderful pine up front, malts in the middle, and citrus at the end. The hops don't overwhelm the other ingredients. Medium-light body with medium carbonation that isn't bitter and is easy to drink. Very crisp for an IPA.
Overall, a great IPA. I probably rated it especially high because it manages to be a hoppy IPA without being bitter or ruining my taste buds with over-aggressive happiness.

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Photo of Joe_Howard
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank from the can so can't really comment to much on the appearance, but it's a pretty cool can though. The smell is full of pine and citrusy hops with very little to no malt aromas detected. the taste reflects this as well. Overall it's an pretty good IPA but not a great one. While all the flavors of a great IPA are there, but was not executed as well as it could have been. With that said it is definitely a worthy beer if the pickings are thin or you want to try something different.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
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 JamesStreet
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours an orange, honey color with a thick, foamy, finger-width head. Good lacing down side of glass.
S- hop battle between piney and citrus.
T- white grape, grassy, spruce needles, grapefruit. Nice-tasting IPA. Good bitterness balancing the other flavors.
M- medium, sticky feel.
O- pleasant surprise on this one. Very nice IPA.

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Photo of Hihereswaldo
4.86/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is in my top 3 favorite IPA's. Not being big on IPA's, it's a little further on the bitter side for my taste but everything else makes up for it. The simple graphic design is what originally drew me in having never heard of it and the description on the can solidified that I wasn't leaving without it. Definitely worth trying! It's been in my selection ever since.

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Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 606 ratings.
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