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Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale
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1,159 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,159
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 826
Gots: 58 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
American style India Pale Ale (IPA) brewed using Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Mt. Hood hops. A beer with crisp hop flavor and bitterness well balanced with American malt sweetness.

(Beer added by: Jason on 01-01-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Masala Mama India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,159 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Buebie
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Picked up this growler today at the brew pub. Cap reads a sell by date of 3-11-09.
Turned the cap and hear it pop followed by a nice hiss.
Poured from the growler into my surly tulip. Its a transparent amber with a bit of chill haze. 1 inch tan frothy head leaving awsome gritty lace all down the glass.

Aroma is pungeant with hops, I smelled it the second I popped the cap. Floral hop aroma, super purfumy pine with good hang time. Buscuity bready aroma with sweet carmelly smells.

The taste upfront is a blasting of the pallet with sweet fruity breadyness, great malt backing. Loads of pine and a touch of citrussy grapefruit. The taste on this is very refreshing.
At the swallow hop bittering comenses, obliterating my pallet. A long crisp hop linger with an earthy pine and a hemp like flavor.

Moutheel is crisp and clean, carbonation abundance, but not overwhelming. Its not thick by any means, its just right for the style.

This is a textbook example of what an IPA should be. Delicious!

Buebie, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of awalk1227
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Consumed 1/7/11 Received in a trade from TheDudeRules, thanks dude, so happy for this opportunity!

Poured into a Stone Brewing pint glass

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange with two fingers of off-white head. Great retention on the head, and as it dissipates it leaves a very messy glass.

S: I was not expecting this nose. It's not very hop-dominant, as I would have guessed. Grapefruit is faint, but the pine/resin is strong. A sweet malt in the background is picked up.

T: Bitter pine and resin abound. I know this growler was filled recently, as the carbonation and hiss from opening indicate, but perhaps it was poured from an older keg/tank? It drinks like an IPA, but I really can't find any citrus or grapefruit notes. It's still a very pleasant flavor, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't say it's like the maltier English or East-Coast IPAs, because it's still very bitter and the malt is shadowed by hops. It's just different from what I expected.

F: Creamy and smooth. It coats my mouth and leaves a pleasant oily feel afterwards, with a hint of bitterness on the tongue.

D: At less than 6.0%ABV with the pleasant mouthfeel, I could drink a lot of this. Hey, I have a whole growler! I'll finish it tonight.

awalk1227, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured on draft at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewpub into a pint glass.

A- Two finger frothy bubbly head dissipates slowly to a nice frothy layer on top, very clear, dark bronze color, very nice lacing.
S- Delicious hops upfront, very nice aroma, grapefruit, citrus, pine, nice malts to balance it out, very refreshing.
T- Very hoppy, bitter upfront, citrus, grapefruit, you pretty much taste what you smell, nice malt backbone that balances the big hoppy flavors, very tasty.
M- Medium mouthfeel, nice bitterness, dry after taste on the palate, well carbonated.
O- Very easy drinkability, I just love this beer, the Mango mama is one of my favorite beers out there and this one does not disappoint as well, lives up to its reputation, hops galore, solid tasty beer, that I will be drinking as long as I live near Town Hall.

Chriscrundwell12, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of Florida9
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Had this on tap at the brewery, but drinking from a growler I got to go as I write this review.

A: Slightly hazy orange /copper in color. Served at the brewery with a scant 1/8 inch of sticky head, however from the growler I'm able to pour more aggressively, resulting in a good 1/2 inch of head that has decent retention. Good lacing from the growler. Wasn't enough head to generate lacing when poured from the tap.

S: Quite aromatic. Pine. Pine resin. Spicy black pepper.

T: Spicy malt. Almost a characteristically spicy rye malt. Some caramel notes then moves into a moderate to heavy bitterness. Spicy. With a long pine and pine resin finish.

M: Medium in weight with appropriate carbonation. Spicy. Pungent. Tingles on the tongue.

D: A great IPA that focuses on the spicy, peppery characteristic of hops. Very easy to drink for any hop lover. Oddly, I found this one to be better from the growler than on-tap. At first, I was a bit underwhelmed by this beer, but the growler seems to have restored my respect.

Florida9, May 23, 2010
Photo of mwagner1018
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

I have to say I was excited to try this beer, my initial reason for visiting the Town Hall Brewery. I was not disappointed with a great take on the American IPA.

I would rank this up there with just about any American IPA, strong/bitter extra hoppiness, with a very distinct bite. I loved the taste, but was slightly dissapointed with the carbonation release and smell.

The best part of this beer was the incredible lacing through the entire pint, and long lasting thin head.

I was surely not disappointed and could drink this one all night, or at least finish an entire growler!

mwagner1018, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of punkrkr27
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Orangish-copper pour with a big, loose, white head. Loads of mango, melon and citrus in the aroma, with notes of yeast, toffee, lemon zest, and orange zest. The flavor follows through from the aroma with lots more mango and melon dominating. There's a bit of resinous pine and a distinct dankness in there too. There is also just some slight perceptible alcohol on the finish as well. The body is medium-full and dry with soft carbonation.

punkrkr27, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of egajdzis
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured a dark, reddish amber color with a small, off white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of light floral and citrus hops, light caramel malts in the background. Taste of mostly the same, with lots of fruity hoppiness, a really nice IPA.

egajdzis, Aug 05, 2005
Photo of PatronWizard
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Thanks to awesome new trader deliriumfest for sending a growler of this westward. Because of you, several BAs were able to taste this otherwise pain-in-the-ass to get beer. After being shipped to me, I drove another 100 miles to meet with fellow BA's OlieIPA, Mauerhan, Aimstatus, and Pehlman whom I met for the first time. Kinda chatty.

So my notes are sparse but here goes anyway. For appearance I jotted "copper fire." Wow, must've looked pretty damn good. I know it can make a fierce head as well (Olie pours like an untrained chimp).

I took several big whiffs and smelt lots of fresh cut grass. Nice hoppy aroma.

Taste follows the sniff. Very grassy. Great tasting IPA for sure. All the fuss? Uh, I dunno. It was pretty damn smooth as well.

So I sought this out because it was ranked highly on the BA Top 100 (don't care if you think that's a stupid reason and I don't crap on your hobby). Obviously, it is a very nice, very tasty beer. If I was anywhere near this brewery I would stop in for some and be very pleased. Since I'm nowhere near this brewery, I probably won't ever have it again, unless someone sends it as an extra, which would be uber friggin cool!

Overall: tasty beer, good friends, good experience

PatronWizard, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of ratedz
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a deep amber/copper color with about a 3/4 inch white head. The head dissipated relatively quickly and left a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

The nose is full of grapefruit and pineapple as well as some piney hops. Some malty sweetness is present in the background, but the hops are the main focus here.

Taste starts off with some bitter pine notes and sweet citrus hop notes. The hops are balanced nicely by the malts.

Mouth feel is smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. The relatively low ABV and excellent taste make this an incredibly drinkable beer.

ratedz, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of BZero007
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

Received a Growler threw a trade, thanks to maximum12!

Pours a amber and cooper color with great head retention and lace. The aroma that this beer gave of was great!! Every time that I inhaled it seemed new to me. Lots of citrus hops with floral accents and fruits in the background. maximum mentioned to me that this was one of those rare beers that tasted different with every glass, and it really did live up to that. With every glass I was noticing more and more flavors being dominant. Dominant bitter hops power this brew for sure! with only the slight hint of malts in the background with floral notes. This could be a great session beer and was for me!!

BZero007, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of airohead2001
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

Huge thanks to Parrotbeak for sending out this delicious growler.

A - Typical looking IPA - orange, light copper, sort of hazy with a nice one and a half finger head with excellent retention and good lacing.

S - Layers of different hops. Citrus hops throughout the entire smell with some piney hops up front. Very nice.

T - The taste of Mama is by far her greatest attribute. Fresh, juicy, sweet, citrus hops up front with bitter hops at the finish. The aftertaste is nutty and malty. Mama is all about balance. Perfect amount of malts to balance the juicy citrus hops. Not overly bitter, not even in the finish. The low ABV allows Mama to reveal the layers, complexity, and richness of this beer without any alcohol heat. Nearly perfect for a beer in its class.

M - Very good. A little too carbonated right out of the growler, but the second glass was just right. Not too thick - and it shouldn't be, for a single IPA.

D - Almost perfect. I could drink this IPA all day. Balance is unbeatable and there is no EtOH burn.

airohead2001, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of jokelahoma
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

Being fortunate enough that my first trip to Town Hall finds the Masala Mama on cask, I simply could not pass this up.

It came to me in a pint shaker with the type of turbulence commonly associated with nitro beers. That's always a good sign with cask ales. When it did finally settle down, I ended up with a beautiful, clear deep copper IPA with a head I would swear under oath was made of Tempurpedic material. Simply gorgeous.

The nose was, well, it IS an IPA after all. The nose was exactly as expected, full of citrusy hop aroma. It wasn't as "in your face" as it could be, likely due to the fact it's on cask. There is a subtle malt aroma hiding back in there, giving you just a hint that this isn't simply hop juice.

The flavor, again due to the cask, was a bit subdued. There's good hop flavor to this, with a little less bitterness than one might get from the CO2 version. It's still plenty bitter, though, and that's a good thing, because it has to stand up to the malt. That subtle hint of a malt aroma is a full blown malt taste. Much more malt than many American IPAs, even in cask, which works out well as this is a very balanced beer. The bigtterness, sweet malt, and floral hop flavors seem to argue back and forth as to just which exactly is supposed to be at the fore. You, as the drinker, come out the winner in this particular fight. Nice!

Being a cask ale, there's a creaminess to the body that is just so silky smooth and inviting. It's good on CO2, but it's dreeeeamy on cask.

Masala Mama is good to begin with, per my small samplings at GABF. To be lucky enough to find it on cask at my first visit to the pub is serendipity, to say the least. if it's on when you're there, kill whomever you have to in order to get a pint on cask. It's worth the prison time. Great stuff.

jokelahoma, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of necoadam
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

1/2 gallon growler.

Poured out a musty orange color with a few hints of very light red mixing in as well. A nice head that also stays with you for quite a while.

Smell was outstanding. The first thing you'll notice is the huge fruit notes in this beer. Big pine aromas as well. And of course, a good hops are also in the nose.

Taste was quite good. This beer has a huge malt backbone to it. A lot of toasted malts with a nice hop and citrus taste on top of the malts. Quite a bit of toffee also in there that mixes in towards the middle and the end. But towards the end it just gets hoppy and more hoppy. Some pine flavors also mix in the aftertaste. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel was medium and the carbonation was quite good considering it was sitting in the fridge for 2 and a half weeks. This held up quite nicely.

A damn fine IPA. The drinkability is high since it's less than 6%, but the flavors are everywhere and balanced nicely.

Many thanks to the Monk for sending it this way.

necoadam, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of moose3285
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

Thanks to DontCallMeSurly for this growler.

A - Clear, amber red. With about a 1 and a half inch off-white head. Good head retention and a fair amount of lacing.

S - Smell is mainly grapefruit and piney hops

T - Wow. This is a hop explosion. The initial taste is that same grapefruit and pine flavor. Followed by some caramel and malt sweetness. The hop bitterness returns and lingers on the tongue.

M - Mouthfeel is good. Highly carbonated and not too thick or thin.

D - Good drinkability. I could see myself drinking a lot more of this.

Overall, a very good representation of the style. I can see why it gets such high remarks.

moose3285, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of Treebs
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

64 oz. growler served in a CBS snifter. Huge thanks to supercolter for the growler. Thanks Jeff!

A: Pours a clear ruby color with a tooth colored head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to a thin cap and thicker ring. Sticky, splotchy lace.

S: Nice citrus hop profile up front. Some orange marmalade sweetness with lemon sorbet. Lime zest with a pronounced piney bitterness on the finish. Sugar cookie malt backbone. Mild dank resin in the periphery.

T: Lemony citrus with a hint of red apple sweetness. A little pear with some candied limes and a little honey. Same cookie malts provide a nice sweet balance to it. Less bitter than the nose, but it adds a touch of piney flavors that that compliment the sweetness. Definitely dankness as well.

M: Light bodied with a medium carbonation level. Hop oils leave themselves across the palate for a great finish. Clean, but flavorful.

O: Worth the wait. Very drinkable with a great flavor profile. Time to bring on Mango Mama!

Treebs, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

Tried this courtesy of barleywinefiend at last night's central coast BA gathering. Thanks Josh!

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pour yielded a big, white, sticky, bubbly head that retained well and drug tons of lacing. Body is crystal clear and ruby-amber. Awesome!

Smell: Huge herbal hops! Wow! I also catch whiffs of toasted bread, whole grains, and grapefruit, but this smell is all about sweet, herbal hops. I got very close to giving this a 5.0.

Taste: Toasted whole grains and piney hops, along with lighter contributions from lemon, grapefruit, salt, and wood. Finishes dry and bitter. Not as sweet as I had hoped, but solid.

Mouthfeel: Prickly and oily, but finished dry and clean. Body is on the lighter side, and carbonation is moderate. Feels fresh. Sturdy bitterness. Great!

Drinkability: Pretty light and very hop-centric. I'd like a little more sweetness, but that's about it. This is a great IPA!

ThreeWiseMen, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of warnerry
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

At the brewpub

A - Pours clear copper with one finger of light brown head. Head has okay retention and leaves a fairly small amount of lacing.

S - pine and citrus, with some other tropicals thrown in. Also a good amount of caramel malt. Quite good overall.

T - Similar to smell. Pungent pine and citrus rind. A few floral flavors and a bit of tropical fruit. There is definitely a nice malt presence to balance things out, but the hop bitterness persists all the way through. Nice to get so much flavor from a modest abv IPA.

M -medium mouthfeel. A bit lighter than most IPAs. Nice lingering bitterness.

O - Very good all the way through. Glad I got to try this.

warnerry, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

I don't know about #9 on BA, but then again, I don't seem to think anything deserves to be in the top 10. I guess I'm just stingy. Still, this is an IPA for the ages. If someone needed one example of the great American IPA, Masala Mama could be it. To me it has a deep, rich grapefruit hops flavor complimented by floral hops. There's enough bitterness to catch up with any good hop head. It's a shame this isn't bottled

tempest, May 26, 2007
Photo of camil1mj
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

Reviewed from notes. Served from a growler shared by Romulux at a tasting this past fall.

A: Golden-orange. 2 finger, white, foamy head.

S: Citrusy hop notes.

T: Good balance of citrus hop flavors and piney hop flavors.

M: Medium-bodied. Good carbonation level.

O: Great Pale Ale. So glad I got to try this one.

camil1mj, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of alcstradamus
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

A--Golden/copper color with a finger and a half of off white head in my pint glass that left a thick web of lacing

S--Subdued floral hops, a bit of a citrus kick....this has the scent of a great west coast IPA only it is not near as powerful

T--The taste is a fantastically balanced blend of biscuity malts and earthy hops, with a bitter pine resin aftertaste. I took my first sip expecting to be blown away and at first had to scratch my head wondering what really sets this beer apart from the rest. I have had better tasting IPAs, I have had better smelling IPAs...but what I have not had is a better balanced/drinkable IPA. This is what brewpub beer is supposed to be. My mouth is watering for a cheeseburger right now, but unfortunately I'm going to have to settle for frozen chicken nuggets.

M--Medium bodied and oily, a bit sticky on the palate which I love. Pine resin aftertaste.

D--Like I said, one of the more drinkable IPA's I've ever had. It gets even better as it warms too. I really regret not ordering this on cask when I was at Minneapolis Town Hall...I was so disappointed that there was no more Mango Mama that I panicked when I ordered my beer and totally for got about the regular Masala. D'oh

alcstradamus, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of dctriman
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

dctriman, Thursday at 05:31 PM
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

About time I've rated this beer

Growler into a Duvel tulip

Murky copper pour that settles nicely with a thin head that covers the entire surface

I have a difficult time pinning down this beer, as each time I've had it yields a different result. Inconsistent batches? Power of suggestion? Incompetent rater of beers? You decide.

Aroma yields grassiness, hint of pine, and faint citrus. Have to really agitate the hell out of this to pull out much on the nose.

Really nice tastes of grass, melon. faded grapefruit, and a very mild bitterness at the finish with a fair smack of malt. Quite clean on the back end.

Appropriate carbonation, medium bodied, enjoyable.

BarrytheBear, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of kevinv
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

Many thanks to KeefD for hooking it up with a fresh growler of Masala Mama, a long time want of mine. Cap has a best-by date of 6/29. The growler was consumed 6/26.

A - Pours a deep amber color with red-ish hues. Fairly clear with visible carbonation bubbling from the bottom of my glass. Absolutely monstrous creamy off-white head with great retention. Nice sticky lacing throughout.

S - HOPS - and lots of them. The hops smell fresh and sweet with pungent aromas of grapefruit, pine, and orange. A slight caramel malt undertone, but the hops keep it pretty well subdued.

T - Extremely hoppy. Way more so than I expected. The taste falls right in line with the aromas. Big flavors of grapefruit and a nice piney-ness. The malt is pretty much overpowered with an intense bitterness, but it still provides a well balanced taste profile. The finish is oily.

M - High-medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Nice and smooth. Very creamy for an IPA.

O - Overall, this was an awesome brew. It packs an intense hoppiness, but remains sessionable. So glad to finally have given this one a try.

kevinv, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of jimmah120
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

12ox glass on cask at town hall tap

look is an orange amber with a small film of head. smell is spicy grapefruit and pine hops. bright and luxurious smell. taste is more spicy, prickly pine orange hops. like hoppy orange marmalade. feel is a smooth medium, not oily at all.

jimmah120, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of homebrew311
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%

Huge thanks to millah for this one! Poured into Chimay glass.

A: pours a deep orange/red, very clear, this is definitely one of the darker IPAs I've had. Thin white head with little retention, some sticky lacing.

S: huge nose of aromatic hops, tons of tropical and citrus notes including mango, grapefruit, and orange, this is all backed by a piney character which brings a little bitterness to the party. The malt profile comes through at the end with some slight caramel and toast character.

T: big hops up front, just like the nose, the taste features more of the piney hops which then gives way to the malt profile. This IPA is expertly balanced and the hops transition into the malt flawlessly. The finish features some biscuit and caramel with a touch of bitterness.

MF: medium carbonation, smooth mouthfeel

D: well this IPA certainly lives up to all of the good things I've heard/read about. Very well balanced with a strong hop profile.

homebrew311, Jun 28, 2010
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,159 ratings.