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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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1,228 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,228
Reviews: 662
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 832
Gots: 63 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-01-2003

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,228 | Reviews: 662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of quirkzoo
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to biglobo8971 for including this one in round 2 of the Growler+ BIF

This has been a want since I heard about Town Hall.

Growler opened with a nice release of pressure and pours a bright, golden amber with fluffy white head. The smell is all american hops. Tons of citrus fruit, grapefruit, pineapple with a touch of pine. Taste is more of the same. Lots of hops with a strong bitterness and very little malt character to speak of. The mouthfeel was nice, the counter-pressure filled growler really held up well. Overall, this is a very solid IPA and worth trying. I would put it in the same category as Odell's IPA which is readily available to me, and from memory, no better or worse than this one. Bottom line, if you can get it, it is worth trying, but I won't specifically be seeking this one out again.

edit: I checked my scores for Odell's IPA and they were actually exactly the same, for what that is worth.

Photo of BillyB
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color with some ruby red highlights. Thick, clumpy, off-white head. Leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Very citrusy, fruity hop aromas here. Mango, pear, tangerine, melon.

Taste is dominated by citrusy/piney/grassy hop profile. Very subtle malt backbone supports this big IPA.

Medium bodied. Very easy drinking.

Overall a very good beer. One of the best IPA's I've had.

Photo of dirtylou
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The infamous Masala Mama. I know i've had this once or twice at the great taste of the midwest and i've definitely had the mango mama a few times

on-tap and cask at the brewpub

appearance: the cask version is beautiful, but i'm going to review the standard tap...rich orange body, foamy white cap

smell: well hopped, citrus zest, grapefruit, pine, grassy

taste: The tap and cask versions were both very good but I still think it's crazy how carried away the ratings get with this one - being the 2nd best IPA in the world according to ratings seems a bit much. The mama has a very nice hop profile - bright citrus zest, grapefruit/tangerine, light pine sap

mouthfeel: very different on cask - bright hop profile that is light on the palate

drinkability: good

Photo of calise1122
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Justin!

iTunes shuffle lands on John Coltrane - On Green Doplin Street, and away we go.

A rough pour yields a 50/50 split of body and head, the body looks amazing... not cloudy at all, somewhere between burnt orange and rusty red. Frothy off-white head slowly dissipates leaving thick cobwebs of lacing and crater like pockets on the surface. It looks great, but the smell... oh man, the smell is so sweet and strong. For some reason I am resisting the urge to dive in, and it hurts... it actually hurts as I hold myself back

Nose is firmly planted on the rim of the glass, letting the aroma of grapefruit, lemon, pineapple... yeah, lots of pineapple, tangerine, and other citric smells that remind me of a place I once was. This is what my perfect IPA would smell like. Minutes have passed, and gravity has caused this nose on the rim situation to turn uncomfortable... but what a smell...

As I tilt the glass for my first sip I notice that a clump of foam sliding up the glass... this isn't lacing, it's a pile of snow. Really cool

The flavor doesn't meet the expectations that the smell has set here. Not sure if it is to cold, or after the growler long trip thru snail mail caused the hops to thin a bit... but the smell set an almost unfair expectation. Now, all that said, it's a great tasting IPA... While the hops are DJing this party, the malt keeps trying to get a request in. Lots of lemon or grapefruit peel, and on the finish I am left bitter hops.

Mama is well carbonated, medium bodied and something I can drink easily. Really excited I finally got to try this, I shipped over a CL Imperial IPA in return and I think they are comparable... if I could take this smell with CL's taste, it may be my dream IPA.

I still can't get over how good this beer smells.

Photo of Tyrawlings
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Secured a growler courtesy of Tasty Taste.

Poured into a pint glass. Soft carbination with ample tiny bubbles.Head disappears quicky but leaves a sticky lacing crawling on the side of the glass.

Smells of earth or grassy presense. Slight fruitiness or citrus hops with a caramel malt.

Extremely smooth! A strong wet hop flavor is followed by a faint fruitiness. Tea like presence that kicks into a caramel malt like flavor that is beaten back by more hops and a nice deep bitterness. High ratings on balance. Leaves a distinct earthy taste on the pallet that lingers on for a spell.

Extremely dinkable and a session drinkers dream come true. This brew is subtle for it's style but... Oh So Damn Good!

I will revisit this enjoyable Minneapolis Town Hall offering again!


Photo of clarkm04
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a orange/amber color with a white head retention that stays fairly long and has lots of lacing.

S- The smell is truly amazing. Lots of my favorite hop flavors: grapefruit and a variety of citrus/passion fruit. The hops were balanced by the malts and is one of my favorite smelling IPAs I've had.

T- Definitely follows the nose well, with grapefruit, citrus and pine notes mingling together nicely up front and clear tasting throughout the flavor profile especially up front. A malt backbone balances the hops well and it has a nice bittering finish. This beer is highly drinkable and I really enjoyed drinking two of them on my visit to the Town Hall.

M- Smooth with medium carbonation. Very smooth on the palate.

O- A great IPA and hits what I want in an IPA. Great aroma and taste. Outstanding balance. Complex but also easily to drink. Just a great beer. I've had few IPAs that I thought are better so this one deserves the praise it is receiving.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewpub in August 2009.

A: Poured a dark orange color with a good amount of off-white head.

S: Very, very nice--the nose has a lot of citrus hops with a little bit of a tropical background. Some caramel type malt in the background.

T: I agree with a few others that there might be a little too much malt here; I'd like to be able to feel a little presence without tasting too much of it. Very, very tasty, but I wish the hops had the opportunity to shine a little bit more here.

M: Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonatino and not much alcohol kick.

D: Quite high. Would have liked to have pint after pint of this.

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap July 7th right before the Twins v Yankees game. Ordered 2 pints, each one about a 13oz pour with very little head well below the rim.
Chill hazed orange with an off-white head. Creamy with slight citrus tart up front, a melange of navel orange & white grapefruit. Still subtle tasting, when some really nice hop flavor sneaks up. Pleasant, citric bitterness. Smooth and hoppy. Simple IPA, great flavor and very balanced. Extremely drinkable and refreshing.

Glad I got to try this very well received IPA. Got a growler in a trade last year that seemed to lose a little in the journey. I would like to have this beer along a fresh Racer 5 and Liberty Ale to really tell the differences.

Photo of zrab11
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice copper orange color with a 1 finger off hwite head.

S- Has a nice hop aroma followed by some sweet maltiness. Also has come citrus tropical fruit smell.

T-Starts off with a nice malty grainy taste. Then in the middle you get the citrus piney flavors then finish's with a nice hopy orange flavor.

M-Light bodied, very crisp and refreshing.

D- Overall this is a Great IPA. Im more a DIPA fan as i feel there is more going on in those beers than in IPA's but i was plesantly surprized that this had enough going on that i enjoyed this IPA alot. Would love to have this again.

Photo of Kark
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to MeLikeBeer shared at the BA get-together at the Brick Store. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep clear cooper with a fluffy off-white head that lingers for a long time leaving very good lacing.

S: Smell is very well balance with big pine and grapefruit scents up front balanced by a sizable bready malt aroma in the background with a hint of caramel.

T: Taste is amazingly smooth and balanced with the hops dominating but not overly bitter. The citrus hits up front with grapefruit and gives way to the sweet malts. The finish is a smooth pine hoppiness, very crisp and clean.

M: As stated above, the mouthfeel is super smooth for an IPA and medium bodied with little bitterness on the palate.

D: This is a very balanced and drinkable IPA and big thanks again to Brent for sharing this great brew with me.

Photo of DNorm
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Clear with darkish amber color and hints of copper/gold/orange. One finger head, outstanding retention, and good lacing.

(S) I detect citrusy/piney/floral hops, grapefruit, with a hint of caramel/malty sweetness.

(T) Slightly piney and bitter hops, caramel malts, and pineapple. There is definitely a hint of citrus and possibly grapefruit. The malts provide decent balance that leans towards the hoppy side. Decent complexity and overall enjoyable.

(M) Hoppy bitterness. Low to medium carbonation level (good amount for this particular beer). Medium bodied, possibly on the light side. Lasting finish that is dry, bitter, and crisp.

(O) Overall this is a great IPA with great drinkability. It has a relatively low ABV and has solid complexity. I’m glad I finally reviewed this legendary IPA, arguably the best in Minnesota (only rivaled by Surly’s “Furious”). Although some may not consider it world-class, it is definitely a “must try.”

Photo of Prufrock
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap into a pint glass.

orangeish light amber with an off-white layer of head that leaves nice rings of lace.

powerfully hoppy aroma, but with a nice mixture of floral, citrus rinds, and hints of pine. a touch of bitter grapefruit. full, rounded and powerful.

barest hints of caramel malt backing washed away with an incredible mix of hop flavors. less citrus than the nose indicates, but a nice mix of floral and resiny pine. tons of bitter and hoppiness, but it comes off as very well balanced and very drinkable. slick, oily feel with a bitter but rounded finish.

Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I was eating & drinking and loving life. The Masala Mama was a world-class IPA. Quenching with a nice resiny bitterness of grapefruit. Super session-able at under 6% - now if they only put this gold into bottles the world would be a much better place.

That was my original review... opening fresh growler tonight!

Photo of Vengeance526
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper amber color with a 1 finger off white head with great retention and leaves some nice lacing.

Lots of pine with a hint of citrus in the aroma. Really grabs your attention.

Taste again reveals a lot of piney flavors with some light citrus notes in the background.

Medium bodied and very refreshing. Possibly one of the most drinkable IPAs out there. Very good but not at all overwhelming in any regard...some of the hop bombs out there may be a little intense for some but this is a great tasting IPA that goes down extremely easy. Would gladly try again if given the opportunity.

Photo of mhewes
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A : Pours a nice good orange/amber color with a good head which leaves some great lacing behind

S : Pretty big smell. Lots of pine and spruce with a little bit of citrus.

T : Strong hop bitterness but it's got a real solid malt backbone to balance it out. It's more of a pine hop flavor with a really good finish

M : It's dry on the finish but there's a nice oily feel to it.

D : This is good enough that my wife who can't stand IPAs is pretty much sessioning it.

Photo of weatherdog
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass on cask at the brewpub

The beer was freshly poured as it came to our table evident by the cascading bubble action still happening in the glass. It was a crystal clear orange color with a frothy off white head that kept its position throughout the whole pint. Nice layers of lacing coated the glass as well. The whole appearance really impressed me.

The smell was loaded with orange and grapefruit. It was heavy, fresh, and juicy. The taste was very much the same with the exception of an introduction of the right amount of bready malt to slightly balance the bitterness. This is my first IPA on cask and I'm not sure if its the beer, the oxygen or the low carbonation but it is the smoothest bitterness and most easy drinking silky smooth beer. Up front is is juicy fresh citrus fruit that seemingly glide down your throat and as soon as it's gone you find yourself taking another sip. Just a great well rounded IPA.

I visited the brewpub exclusively to have this beer which I had heard so much about. It lived up to my expectation and was probably the best IPA experience I've had so far. Drinking this beer on cask in front of giant windows that peered into the mash tun and boil kettle that birthed this brew just added to the experience.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damned good.
Pours a deep orange amber with a nice two fingers of white foam that lasts and laces the entire drink.

Aroma is all about the hops...lots of citrus and grapefruit peel hops in the nose. Intensely fresh.

Taste is an incredible balance of sweet amber malt and mixed citrus hops with some pine oil thrown in just to keep it interesting.
First taste seems too hoppy but after the tongue numbs a bit you recognize the incredible balance.

Finish is bitter hops with no residual cloying from the malts that were definitely there in the beginning.

Dry and satisfying.

Photo of drowland
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/23/10. Huge thanks to DalzAle for this growler at the QC Christmas tasting! Growler. Nice orange pour with a fluffy off-white head. Huge tropical fruits, pine, citrus, and a dash of caramel in the aroma. Awesome sweet tropical fruits blended nicely with caramel and more. Stellar.

Photo of hayesez
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Justn" sent this to me from St. Paul in a recent trade. Sat in my fridge for one day before opening.

Split with three buddies after a day of NCAA men's March Madness upsets! Poured into Rose Polytechnic beer glasses.

Pours a deep bronze that begins very cloudy but quickly separates to a frothy light tan head and a crystal clear amber body. The thick three-finger head very slowly retreats to a thin bubbled cap that remains throughout the entirety of the beer. Thick bubbled lace is left the entire way down, with distinct rings left at each intermission. Very impressive.

From the moment I uncapped this one, I could smell those cascade hops. Sweet citrus - grapefruit, orange and probably several others that I can't separate. Nice flowery aroma to complement the fruit.

A very full bodied beer with a heavy malt backbone. The hops are definitely out front, however, with the citrusy palate presenting itself as I had hoped given the smell. Sweet citrus transitioning quickly to a crisp, clean bitter finish. Definitely grapefruit in there as well as others, I'm sure - not quite as sweet as the smell. This medium-bodied brew has a wonderfully creamy feel to it that is balanced by just the right amount of carbonation. The finishing bitterness ended up being a bit too much by the end of my third glass, but this is the only thing I can think of to detract from the taste.

Overall, just an outstanding brew. There is a lot of hype surrounding this beer. Last May, I was supposed to have my first pint (at the brewery) the night before my buddy's wedding. However, my wife had to go and get pregnant nine months earlier. I managed to get numerous phone calls from the wedding party that night, gloating over what I was missing. Well, even after travelling 600 miles in the back of a truck, this one lived up to its reputation. A quality beverage indeed!

Consumed: 3/21/2010

Photo of aglose45
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery growler, courtesy of user0317, cheers!

A: Beautiful golden brown color, with a very nice off-white, frothy head. Left a thick film of lacing around the glass as well.

S: Strong citrus note consisting of orange , lemon, and a hint of grapefruit. I also picked up some grassy, earthy notes as well. Not the citrus last I am accustomed to, but I enjoyed it none-the-less.

T: This is a more balanced IPA, when compared to the west coast hop bombs that I usually pursue, but the flavor pleasant regardless. The first thing that I noticed was the bitterness. I enjoy a good bitter beer, and this is one of them. After I sifted through the bitterness I found some tart grapefruit with a hint of orange, and I also tasted a bit of pine flavor. Following the hop attack came the malts. For the most part I was getting some caramel and a hint of bread. As the beer progressed I found it to be a bit more bitter, very enjoyable.

M: This is a lighter bodied beer, which was pleasant, especially during these warmer months. There was a fair bit of stickiness left from the hops, but was also a very, VERY surprisingly smooth beer. Excellent carbonation for the style.

D: I've been trying to get my hands on this beer for awhile now, and am extremely happy to finally enjoy it, a whole growler of it!

While this is not a top two IPA in my opinion, it is still an excellent beer. Whether you prefer balanced IPA's or hop forward IPA's, this is a must try if you can get your hands on it!

Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

How good do IPA's get (notice I didn't distinguish regular IPA's from Double IPA's), well I'll let you know in just a moment. I have extreme high hopes for this beer.

The beer pours with a very froathy, deep copper/lightly rusty color. The beer doesn't let go of its bubbles easily. Eventually, the foam separates from the beer and reveals a standard hop-hazed liquid with a creamy and stubborn head resting above. Off white creme forums a mousse that linger well beyond the session and lacing as well as any IPA can. Really an ideal look though the haze might be a bit excessive.

Surprisingly, only a moderate citrus (grapefruit) aroma rises from the glass. Accompanied by an orange zest and grassy note, the grapefruit only hits medium intensity as far as IPA's are concerned. The malt character takes on a very crisp, yet creamy aroma that makes the beer very appealing and inviting.

Flavors of the beer are very balanced from the nose to finish- a very consistent flavor of citrus balanced by malts of bread crust and deep caramel. Neither the malt profile nor the nops appear first or let the other to take precedence until mid-palate when the creamy malts fade to dryness and the hop flavor (citrus) and clean bitterness take hold in true Double IPA fashion. Not a whole lot of esters or varying hop flavors, but this beer remains simple, clean, and focused.

The best part of the beer is in its texture. Where the beer starts out with a subtle malt creaminess, the beer transitions beautifully into a crisp, dry, and fleeting bitterness well into the finish. Where the initial impression makes me think 'balanced', the finish allows the hop bitterness to dominate and to do so without any hint of bite, astringency, or roughness. Absolutely effortless to drink.

In a nutshell, the beer is wonderful. I wish that there were the fragrant and flavorful first impressions of a dry-hop Centennial hop character but it just isn't there. But from mid palate on, the beer is as perfect as I have tasted- absolutely wonderful.

A big, big thanks to Chickdighops for this wonderful beer. I seriously owe you!

Photo of Duff27
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Neverending thick frothy head on a crystal clear dark red beer. Lacing is awesome and so is everything else. Step lacing on the sides of the pint glass.

S- Piney. Centennial hops? Great smell.

T- Follows nose. More of a piney IPA than a citrus one. Awesome. This is one of the best IPAS I've ever had.

M- A tad on the watery side if only complaint.

D/O- Soooo drinkable. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery is doing some incredible things. If this is the reason you go, make sure to try some of their other brews as well, you won't be disappointed!

Photo of Retail1LO
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a trade with biglobo8971.

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Pours a very distinctive amber color. Very dark for an IPA. Head was a hardy 2-3 fingers. After the first few sips, this leaves a copious amount of lacing down every bit of glass it comes in contact with. The nose is rife with hops and citrus. A wonderfully scented brew. The taste just explodes on your tongue. A fruity, hoppy, slightly malty festival of flavors going on. It's not a monster hop bomb, which is refreshing. The mouthfeel is extraordinary. Smooth and creamy, it's unlike any previous IPA I've ever had. I could leave a mouthful of this in my mouth for several seconds just letting it roll around. A truly wonderful experience. I plan on savoring each serving from this growler, then quickly looking forward to the next time I get to enjoy it.

Photo of Floydster
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

64 ounce growler with a taped cap received in a trade from Lordsloth, drank about six or seven hours after receiving it from FedEx, freezed it slightly to get it cold quicker and then spent the rest of the day in the fridge, split with my girlfriend's dad last night who also enjoyed it very much, had about three servings that were poured into an old mug

A-Golden orange with a red tint, big 3/4 inch creamy white head, suprised to see the level of carbonation left in this brew, great retention, some nice lacing at the top of the glass as well

S-Big pine hoppiness, various citrus aromas, acidic scents, bready malt, booze, tropical fruits including pineapple and guava, orange peel, floral accents, and hints of sweetness

T-Piney and grapefruit flavors at the beginning, some tasty caramel malt in between, some floral accents and earthiness, then more citric acid, and big hoppy finish, creamy and incredibly easy to drink, as it warms becomes more sweet but the bitterness in the aftertaste does not go anywhere, also some lemon juice and tangerines later on, tasted better as time went on, would make a great session beer, not sure about the price of these growlers, but it was certainly worth trading for

M-Medium body, aggressive mouthfeel overall that was both dry and creamy at times, taste lingered for several minutes, nice level of carbonation still, surprised with the amount of small bubbles

D-Could have finished this growler by myself no problem, alcohol percentage is low, it is not heavy at all, smooth and goes down too easy, booze are hidden very well, perfect level of hops

When I first saw this as the highest rated india pale ale on the site, I knew I had to try it soon, first beer from Minneapolis Town Hall brewery, also need to try the Czar Jack at some point, surprised the beer kept so well after five days of travel and a week after it was filled, initially expected all the hops would have faded, had a best by date of the last day in February on the cap, great beer and would love to have again someday, one of the best IPAs I have tasted, still no Blind Pig or Furious, highly recommended

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,228 ratings.