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 amatuerbeerguy
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

 271 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 HardTarget
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 761 characters

Photo of StaveHooks
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 526 characters

Photo of Hophead101
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 309 characters

Photo of Fatehunter
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

 415 characters

Photo of mastodonj
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 488 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

 2,269 characters

Photo of blakelive784
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
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 jbsg02
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

 514 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 Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A gracious gift from xpimptastikx. Thanks Michael.

The beer is clear and orange to copper in color with a half inch of white head. The aroma is a bit mild, offering some hops, pine, and a touch of malt sweetness. Hop forward, though the hops are not particularly aggressive. Pretty well balanced, with a malt presence sneaking in near the finish. Light in body with lingering pine bitterness. Overall, a decent beer. Nothing terribly exciting, but certainly easy to enjoy a pint or two.

 487 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
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 u2carew
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
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 mdaschaf
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bentwookie for this one! Like the can art a lot.

A: Pours an orange/copper color with a one finger white, foamy head on top. Decent retention with thin, but rings of lace around the glass.

S: Nice grapefruit up front, a little bit of grass and some spicy hops. A little bit of caramel on the back end.

T: Again, grapefruit up front, with a little more citrus than the aroma. Not much in the way of pine or grassy, and not as spicy either. Overall, it is more of a rind flavor than fruit.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Easy drinking with a slightly dry finish.

O: Pretty good IPA. Still on a can kick, can't get enough. Hope to try the other Santa Fe offerings at some point.

 704 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 allforbetterbeer
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 dankster
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of my top five IPA's in a can

Pours a very dark orange with three fingers of sticky head. Smell is a hop smack in the face with citrus following close behind. Taste has a lot of pine and grapefruit with a oily and resin aftertaste from all the hops. Mouth is a little thick but very drinkable. overall a great session ipa with the abv at 6.5% and the price at 6.99 a sixer cant be beat. must try for all hop heads

 418 characters

Photo of UnionMade
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 ZenAgnostic
2.16/5  rDev -43.2%
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 bierbrauer
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass. No date information. Brought back from recent visit to New Mexico. Red Zia Sun Symbol on yellow background, same as the NM state flag.

A: Clear, amber/copper, with 1" off-white foam, with good retention, spotty lacing.

S: Some resinous pine, floral, with quite a bit of caramel malt; alcohol.

T: Sweet, floral and malty, followed by increasing piney bitterness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Smooth, creamy. Mild heat. Bitter, dry finish.

O: A straightforward, go-to IPA.

 509 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can (love the minimalist design) into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to vonschplieffen for sharing.

A: Clear, deep reddish-amber body with an inch of nicely creamy off-white head. Ok retention, good lace. Not bad.

S: Straightforward, predominantly hoppy aroma. Grapefruit, leafiness, and a touch of caramel malt as well. Solid.

T: Sweet caramel malt up front, fruity hops on the finish. Nice, cleanly bitter aftertaste. Pleasant, but a bit overloaded with sweetness.

M: Slick, frothy medium body. Fine.

O: This is a solid, but entirely unremarkable, example of the style. I'd certainly be happy to buy it, though, as I'm a sucker for craft cans.

Cheers!

 655 characters

Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

opaque hazy burnt amber with a thick off white, frothy pillow like head. Thick gooey lace poured down the glass and lingered long after it was empty.

strong piney hops very much balanced against a nice mellowed malt sweetness. Smell did seem kinda muted though, could have been more full. was slick, with not alot of carbonation. Taste was very bitter with a dry finish, but not llong lingering as I had hoped. Came off a little oily, with a lot of bitter piney flavor.

 470 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

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