Happy Camper IPA | Santa Fe Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
161 Reviews
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Happy Camper IPAHappy Camper IPA
BEER INFO

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

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:
161
Ratings:
619
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
12.14%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
144
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 619
Photo of TheBrewo
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of Rayek
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Happy Camper pours a brilliant amber into my Perfect Pint glass. A dense cream cap rapidly falls to a blanket of foam and leaves some lace behind.

The medium body has a bit of oiliness to it, plus the right amount of fizz. My palate is picking up a balance of citrus and pine that is the hallmark of this style. There's not much sweetness to be had. Bitterness is moderate and the hops dominate the flavor. Malts eventually sneak through with some straw and a bit of toasted grain. The bitterness lingers through the finish.

Overall, this is a pretty standard IPA. It's a nice drinker though. A solid pickup.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.79/5  rDev 0%
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 JuicesFlowing
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
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 bump8628
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of bmwats
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz can into a standard pint.

A: Hazy, orange golden hue. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Settles slowly. Lots of beer ring lacing.

S: Pine, honey, orange peel, and clove.

T: Very piney hop, accentuated with just a touch of sweetness and orange citrus. Something of a floral character.

M: Mouth puckering hop. Bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy, the hop will dictate it.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Interesting hazy coloration, nice head, and some pretty thick persistent lacing. Nose is very strong pine, with a little honey and spice. Very bitter floral hop, balanced with some sweetness. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

IPA in a can. CAN it be great? Let's hope so. Dark orange/copper color with minimal haze. The head is a bit thin leaving a ring and spotty lace. The nose has hoppy bite but also a strong balance of doughy, caramel malt. It smells like there is some alcohol strength too, perhaps I could be fooled into thinking this was a barleywine by the aroma alone.

The flavor is just going in too many directions. The hop bitterness is intense but I don't get enough of the grassy or piney flavors from them. The malt balance is hefty, bordering on too sweet for my liking. The finish has some astringence and it makes the beer seem too alcoholic though that's not really the case. The body is light but not too thin, and the carbonation is appropriate.

With the abundant competition out there for the style I would think a brewer would put some more effort into crafting a solid IPA. This one is very average and the finish was a little too harsh. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad beer, it's again just that I have too many better IPA's to compare it to. Moving on...

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of UnionMade
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of benloho
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
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 beerwolf77
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
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

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
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 SkeeterHawk
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
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 for some 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 Hoptometrist
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of rodlavers
3.94/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of claytong
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
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 brother_rebus
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

so delicious. Lightbrown russet. Nice full body. Mid-tone ipa. Great finish. Hoppy sans cottonmouth; an edge to oi, but lets the malt come through as well.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of Domingo
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Happy Camper IPA from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 619 ratings.
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