Happy Camper IPA | Santa Fe Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
86
very good
157 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Happy Camper IPAHappy Camper IPA
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
157
Ratings:
601
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
23.95%
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
136
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 601
Photo of bump8628
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 elNopalero
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 684 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 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.

 183 characters

Photo of hopfacebrew
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 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.

 496 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 644 characters

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.

 924 characters

Photo of Hopswagger
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
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 coldriver
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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 rodlavers
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 489 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
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 LubricatedWisdom76
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

 1,176 characters

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.

 466 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 2,438 characters

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.

 903 characters

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

 150 characters

Photo of Auraan
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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 russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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

 596 characters

Photo of chocosushi
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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 WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 635 characters

Photo of rawfish
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 1,070 characters

Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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 womencantsail
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 684 characters

Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe