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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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673 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 673
Hads: 1,330
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 862
Gots: 77 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Masala Mama India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 673 | Hads: 1,330
Photo of kylehay2004
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two finger dense head with scattered lacing on a clear deep amber body. Aroma is excellent with floral, toffee, grapefruit and orange peel citrus, earthy hops and subtle pine notes. Flavor also is excellent with strong hop presence with a toasted malt base. Hop character includes tart citrus, floral, pine, earthy and slightly herbal hops. Basically all major hop notes in one but the impressive part is how they are still distinct and well defined making this one very complex. Medium body and moderate carbonation. One of the best IPAs I have had. This one is up there with Pliny the Elder just more on the tart and pine side.

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Photo of kevanb
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

64oz growler courtesy of BierVogel poured into a Town Hall tulip glass.

Masala Mama pours a lovely copper color, medium amber, hues of orange with a clear complexion, a nice finger of thick white head that has great retention leaving behind a great layer of frothy film atop the beer with nice webbed lacing. The aroma is nice and pine forward with a nice grassy presence, bright citrus tones with a really nice sweet malt presence. The nose is very well balanced, not overly complex, but pleasant and inviting. Pine jumps onto the tongue, very resinous and sticky on the tongue, earthy lemongrass flavors pop as well, a bit of dandelion weediness as well, some bright grapefruit comes across as well with a light floral presence that is lost on the nose. Smooth sweet malt eases it's way forward with a nice dry bitter lingering finish that really hits the spot. The body is great, full and rewarding but not overly soapy, medium carbonation, great for the style.

Verdict: A really rewarding IPA from Town Hall. While not overly complex or testing the limits of a hoppy beer, the balance of hoppy flavors and the sweeter malt profile is artfully executed. This is definitely a beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of Treebs
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

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!

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Photo of jegross2
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Masala Mama IPA from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the description tells, this IPA is brewed using Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Mt. Hood hops.
Score: 95

Tap pour served in a 16 oz pint glass at the brewery. Enjoyed the night before Darkness Day (10/26/12). Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Served with a thin layer of head that settles to a ring around the glass. The beer is a clear and clean copper color. Pretty nice lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Resinous pine and dank citrus. Fresh tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple and peaches galore. Excellent! 4.5

Taste: Tastes just like it smells. The hops are crisply bitter, piney, dank and resinous with a light spice and prickle on the palate. Behind the hops are mango, pineapple, grapefruit and caramel malt. Hoppy, but smooth drinking thanks to a good counterbalancing sweet citrus backbone. Lingering hoppiness. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Oily on the tongue, with a very dry finish. Crisply bitter. 5/5

Overall: An outstanding IPA that is available year round. I am jealous of the Minneapolis beer scene for having such easy access to this treasure of a brew.

Recommendation: Hop heads need to seek this world class IPA out.

Pairings: The hamburgers they serve on premise -- yum!

Cost: $5 for a pint at the bar.

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Photo of flexabull
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of younger35, thanks again!

Pours a bright and clear amber color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are of mangos, light grapefruit, and some resin. The nose is nice, but a bit faint.

Taste is fairly bitter up front. Some sugar, hard candies, and mildly sweet citrus. Finish is bitter, with notes of pine and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. With nice carbonation.

Overall, a nice IPA. A bit out of balanced to the bitter side, but still a solid beer. Doesn't quite live up to its high marks on the site in my opinion though.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass at the brewery in Minneapolis. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving.

A: Pours a half finger beige colour head of average thickness and cream, but poor (<10 second) retention. Body colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Clean malts, floral hops, hints of pine, clean hops, a hint of hop bitterness. An average to mild strength aroma.

T: Crisp clean malt build with hints of toasted malts, floral hops, and vague citrus. Balanced decently but actually a bit bland. Quite simple, especially for the style. The bitternss does come through, negatively affecting the balance (a critical mistake in an IPA).

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness. Okay carbonation.

Dr: A lackluster IPA. I expected far better given its current ratings. Needs more body and depth. I might get it again, but it's a bit meh. A huge disappointment from Town Hall.

Low C+

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Photo of jimmah120
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to maximum12 for the GROWLER of this Town Hall product.

It pours a crystal clear dull amber-golden color with a stubborn eggshell colored head. This is a nice-looking beer. The nose is right in my wheel house. A lot of grapefruit and a few notes of toasted malt popping through sporadically. Big, full mouthfull with a light carbonation, but some hop warmth to pick up for the carbonation to create that finishing burn. Pine flavors are prevalent. Grapefruit forward, with a peculiar, but not unpleasant flavored medicine taste. Some dried apricot appearing right before the finish. I also noted some allspice on a couple of occasions. Plenty of resiny bitterness on the finish. I really like it a lot. My first experience with Minneapolis Town Hall. Well done. And thanks again, maximum12!

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Photo of Rutager
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thank you to the most generous Steasy66 for getting me this fresh growler.

Appearance. Pours a fairly clear, rich looking amber-gold with two fingers of bubbly, thick off-white head that has decent retention.

Smell. Fresh, big cirtusy hops, orange, grapefruit and lime rinds with some pine and a little tropical fruit. The toasted caramel malt just barely comes through, but what does smells delicious.

Taste. Big citrus hops, some of that nice toasted caramel malt with more of a presence than the smell. There's a little papaya and pine needles, but the citrus flavours are pretty awesome. Just a hint of alcohol, close to hidden.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with incredibly smooth, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. This is some awesome stuff. Reminds me a little of the first growler of fresh red racer I had. Different with more fruit flavours, but of the same caliber for this guy, and that's saying a lot.

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Photo of match1112
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Claire (cofeeguru) for sending this!

Pours a bright copper with three fingers of big sticky clumpy lacing. The glass was wrapped in a blanket of lacing from start to finish. From memory, Duvel is the only beer I've had that showed staying power for the head like this. Nose is really sweet with big tropical fruit aromas. Pineapple, mango, caramel and a touch of brown sugar all dance around on my tongue in perfect wedded bliss. Mouthfeel is sticky and dry. Carbonation is great and the body has a medium to full weight on the tongue. A little oily yet dry on the finish. This is way too easy to drink a growler by ones self.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for the share! Thanks Elliot!

reviewed from notes taken tonite.

poured into tulip glass:

Appearance: Amber orange bodied beer with small white head. sticky lacing left behind.

Smell: Very resinous hop notes; dank, juicy, fresh, chalky. Big pine and big grapefruit rinds. Grassy and orangey too. Really hoppy nose not much smell noted from the malts.

Taste: Huge hoppy bitterness. Ridiculously resionous just like the nose on this beer. Really Dank stinky hops! Really big grapefruit rinds. Pine cones and pine needles. Grassy and a little bit chalky. The bitterness lingers around for a decent amount of time.

Mouthfeel: Low end of medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation. This IPA is really drinkable, surprisingly...especially with all the big hoppy flavors coming out of this beer.

Overall: Brutally hoppy and redicoulously drinkable IPA. Whats a beer nerd not going to love about this beer? Hopheads seek it out! My first beer from this brewery and I am very impressed.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to yamar68, poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Clear, golden orange with hints of amber mixed in. Nice puffy nearly white head, that leaves a lot of lacing. Sticks around for a bit too.

Smell: Pineapple, mango, and some tangerine, with a significant caramel sweetness. Pretty much sums it up.

Taste: Really pineapple and mango forward, with some citrus to support. Caramel maltiness has a nice presence, but not too much.

Mouthfeel: For the malt presence, this beer is incredibly drinkable. Bitterness is nice, but not too strong.

Overall: A really awesome beer, and one I didn't think I'd get the chance to try, at least for a long time. Awesome stuff, thank you Bennett

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Photo of tarheels86
3.8/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of beeranddogs. Pours a hazy reddish orange with a big yellow, creme head that has good lacing. Nose of red fruits, pineapple, unripe pear- overall dank tropical hops with a big malt presence. Taste is heavy, dry, bitter, cedar, woody, well-balanced. Pretty earthy but not piney or astringent. 8/4/7/4/14=3.7

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Photo of markh814
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a good IPA. I am not crazy about them normally but this seems as close to perfect as you ar going to get. very nice smell and very drinkable but it still has that dishwater IPA appearance. not overdone of over complicating it, tehy have a winner here. i would drink this again without question.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours orange-amber with a half finger of creamy head. Light lacing. Smells of pine, pineapples and mangos. Taste is a bouquet of hops..pine, citrus, pineapple, mango..moderate bitterness delivered throughout, refreshing, wet, with a medium creamy mouthfeel. Finishes dry with light bitterness. No need for a long winded treatise, this is excellent from start to finish and a very very good IPA.

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Photo of Ilafan
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delightfully hoppy, this local Twin Cities beer SHOULD be the one everyone seeks out (as opposed to the similar but inferior Surly Furious). Very smooth pour and bitter taste, this has a hint of sour fruit to it that I enjoyed much. The Town Hall Brewery is also a very fine venue with lots of great atmosphere and beers to choose from on any given day. The piney smell of this beer previews a delightful tasting experience.

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Photo of tigg924
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at thebrewery:

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, golden-brown in color, clear

Smell: tangerine, citrus, frsh hop--a really amazingly fresh smell

Taste: The big citrus, orange and tangerine flavors burst in the start followed by a touch of pine and light caramel backbone

Mouthfeel: bitter but not overly so,very dry end, medium carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: Liked this one a lot. Not sure if it is my top 50 but a very good beer and worthy of hype. I love the smell and the citrus here. I would get this again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler thanks to rudzud
Nice looking fizzy fluffy head fades semi slowly with meniscus looking side walls head, mostly clear amber copper color

Nose erupts with fresh hops, light tropical fruit, light musty resin and passion fruit, light mango like, but those aromas disappear quickly with now citrusy and light floral candy, more candy and sweet malts with some crystal and fluffy malt sweetness and hInts at a hint of booze.

Taste fluffy malts, with light sweetness and caramel candy. Hint of booze surprisingly. Then hops come on earthy, light grassy, no real resin or tropical fruit. It starts light bitterness that ramps. Quite a bit of candied slight earthy hops with a hint of citrus. Caramel and toffee. Finish is fairly bitter spicy hops, light sticky but mostly dry.

Mouth is med to light fuller bodied fluffy, decent carb for growler.

Overall meh. Is it meh growler or has my palate been jaded from the amazing hoppy beers.

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Photo of rudzud
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade, pouredinto a Kate the Great tulip. Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured a nice crystal clear amber copper hue with a nice one finger white creamy head that just won't quit! Leaves a nice creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of light citrus hops and tropical fruit notes. Faint pineapple and mango. Wish it was a little brighter.

T - Taste is surprisingly bubblegummy, which I definitely wasn't expecting. Some slightly danker tropical hops with some light bready notes. Finish is lightly bitter with that lingering bubblegum flavour.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and light and drinkable. Enjoyable.

O - Overall this beer kind of threw me a curveball. I know the Growler is fresh, but it has almost an older hop feel to it. Still I respect and enjoy this one.

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Photo of wspscott
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pint glass at the bar (best conference bar ever)

A: Light copper color, crystal clear with a thin off-white head
S: Massive hop bomb, citrus, tropical fruit, floral, smells sweet from the hops
T: Very bitter, but not aggressively so, tastes "refined", lots of citrus and fruit. A very small amount of malt/caramel sweetness, almost dry.
M: Lots of carbonation helps keep it dry, a hop delivery mechanism
O: An over the top IPA, tastes like an over the top homebrew IPA that was made with no regard to hops use/efficiency, one of those beers that if this was a 5 gallon batch would take a pound of hops. Absolutely love this beer. I would be in heaven if I lived around the corner of the bar, I would have one of these every night.

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Photo of yamar68
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler, poured to imperial Surly pint glass. Brewed three days ago, bottled a few hours ago:

Pours a dark gold, pushing crimson. Clear as a bell, slow and steady beading. A sweet sticky head leaves behind all sorts of lacing.

Prickly pine, resinous, nectarine, citrus syrups, some darker creamy malts keep things in balance. This beer's got quite a nose on it.

Smooth on the tongue considering the strong coniferous element. Orange peel bitterness, aggressive hop presence that somehow manages to avoid hindering the overall drinkability. Delicious. The body is a bit thin but that doesn't take much away from an otherwise spectacular beer.

If you're ever in Minneapolis, most definitely try this one out.

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Photo of zac16125
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a pint glass

A big thanks haveanother1 for sending yet another long time want over in a trade. Thanks John.

A: Pours a crystal clear, dark amber with reddish hues and 2 fingers of light tan colored head.  Heads takes a long time to dissipate down and leaves a good amount of cobweb lacing.  

S: Very hoppy aroma!  Piney, citrusy, resiny.  I get notes of grapefruit, mango, mint, juniper and a solid sweet malt base to balance it out. This smells wonderful.  

T: Pine, juniper, and mint.  Right off the bat this is very earthy.  Not much citrus on the tongue, maybe some citrus rind.   Has a nice strong bitterness but not overly so.  Citrus characters comes out as it warms, including orange and lemon zest.

M/D: I was worried about the carbonation, it being a growler shipped 1,500 miles and all, but no issues here.  In fact the carbonation is perfect.  Body is medium, with a big drying finish. Drinkability is average for the style.  

O: Overall, it's damn good but not top tier IMO.  This may be a case of limited availability equating to hype.  That being said, it is rather unique in that it has huge piney/resiny characteristics but the bitterness is held in check, so if those flavor are your cup of tea I could see how this cold be your holy grail.  Personally I prefer my hops to be of the citrus variety, so this one comes up a bit short in my eyes.  Still very good though, and worth seeking out.  I will have no trouble finishing and enjoying the rest of this growler.  

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Photo of zeledonia
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub. Finally reviewing this, one of my hometown's renowned brews. I can't believe I've waited so long.

Pours a clear medium amber with light orange hues. Brought with only a thin cap of head, but I suspect there would have been more at the pour. Fantastic lacing, like cobwebs stuck all over the inside of the glass.

Smell is delightful. Rich and full, with the perfect malt base to present the fine character of the hops. Hop aromas are a mix of sweet orange and sticky pine. Very nice. The weird thing about this is that the malts provide the absolute perfect stage, and I don't think the hops quite live up to it.

Taste is pretty much what I'd expect from a relatively low-ABV IPA. Fairly grainy, followed up quickly by a bitter burst that carries little other flavor with it. There is a bit of juicy fruit, like peaches.

Medium-bodied with a juicy, slightly sticky feel. Carbonation is medium-low, but right where it should be. Nice dry finish that allows the bitter to last just long enough.

A good, fairly balanced IPA. I like it, and am particularly impressed with the malt base. IMO, the hop aromas and flavors don't quite measure up to the best that I've had. If I had to describe it in one word: juicy.

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Photo of brystmar
3.62/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler shared by a generous BA at our tasting this weekend.

Cool looking growler; reminds me of the Russian River ones. Floral, piney, slightly citrusy aroma -- full of fresh hops!

Full blast of hops confront my palate, seemingly devoid of malt (as expected from a Single IPA). Despite others' insistence that this beer was rather malty, I didn't detect any.

Although Single IPAs are not my thing, I can appreciate a job well done. If you like this style, you'll love Masala Mama.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hand pull into a shaker pint, at the brewery.

Lovely golden cascade settles out to a brilliantly clear amber body capped by a perpetual magnolia head. Ultra-fine lacing.

Fruity aromatics suggest citrus and flowers. Delicate, and inviting bouquet.

Bursting with an ever-shifting hop complexity - rosewater, melon, tropical fruit, grains of paradise, orange-zest, tangerines, on and on and on... A mild bitterness pairs with crisp malt into the bright medium finish. Superlative.

Medium-bodied with fine lovely carbonation - the cask delivery elevates the mouth-feel to perfection.

Some might find this beer a touch sweet, but the mastery of craft is clearly on display, with the hops contributing the maximum in flavor with a minimum (yet still sufficient amount) of bitterness. The emphasis is on flavor and drinkability. I've had vanishingly few pints of the style that provided this much enjoyment.

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.