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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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1,141 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,141
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 831
Gots: 56 | 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: 1,141 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of callmescraps


3.63/5  rDev -16.6%

I have been wanting to try this beer since I've been a member of this site. A highly rated IPA? Sounds up my alley. A buddy scored a growler in a trade, we proceeded to have at it.

Appearance- Clear and copper. A slightly off-white soapy head. Laces.

Smell- A nice fruitiness. Good hop burst. Plenty of tropical fruits, mangoes, apricots, a tad subdued.

Taste- Too much fucking malt. Sorry. It starts with plenty of earthy, piney hops. It's very bitter. The tropical fruit doesn't come through on the taste. Bitterness plus more malt than I'd prefer. Just not the way I like this style.

Mouthfeel- It's a little syrupy, which can be nice.

Drinkability- Had a glass. Then had a second. Didn't ask for a third, and wouldn't bother trading for it.

Just not my style. I love IPAs and DIPAs, but this is a little maltier, less fruitier than I prefer. More for everyone else I guess.

11-01-2010 23:21:16 | More by callmescraps
Photo of malty


4/5  rDev -8%

Acquired this growler from an EXCELLENT trader, maximum12, at the Great Taste of the Midwest on Aug. 13th, but it's been stored in my fridge ever since.

Poured into my scientific Sam Adams glass a brilliantly clear perfect copper color with a settled 1/2" light beige head. Minimal visible uprising carbonation, even with the snazzy scientific etching on the inside bottom of the glass. Nice smattering of lacework all the way down the glass.

More of a malt-forward nose, maybe due to the age of this sample. A few swirls of the glass evokes an iced tea like aroma. Not much hoppiness detected so far. A hint of vanilla creme in the nose as well.

The hops are definitely tasted upon initial quaff, although they are very damp and earthy tasting, not zesty, zippy or floral. A bit of caramel hides in the background while the rustic hop profile continues to satisfy and steal the show.

The body if a solid medium with a very low amount of carbonation, but still remains airy and creamy. The chalky bitterness lingers in the back of my mouth with just a tinge of biscuit flavor.

Drinkabilty is very high as this IPA is very unintrusive and friendly.

Overall an IPA that I'm very glad I scored a growler of and shared with a good friend, churchKey. The flavors remind me of exactly how many MANY samples of this at The Great Taste, so I'm thinking this didn't suffer too bad with 2 1/2 months of age IMHO.

10-30-2010 22:50:29 | More by malty
Photo of thetomG


4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

Nice mostly clear amber color with some a layer of sticky foam that leaves spotty lacing all around the glass.

Aroma is great - nice bitter hops. Flavor is similar, but somehow not quite as appealing as the smell - still very nice though.

Carbonation is right where you'd expect and the resulting mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth - not too thick or thin.

This is a very tasty IPA, and something I'd definitely drink again.

10-26-2010 01:09:38 | More by thetomG
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.18/5  rDev -3.9%

Had this one straight from the source while in town for Darkness Day. Reviewed from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass with 1 finger of frothy, sticky, white head with great retention. Beer is a semi-cloudy reddish-orange. Lacing is extravagant. Great legs and excellent stick that displays a beautiful cascade pattern.

S: Nose is pine, citrus, ruby red, brown sugar. Not the most aromatic but very well balanced with a pronounced sweetness and a clean hop presence.

T: Opens with a mouthful of hops. Pine and astringent bitterness assault the palate. Bark, big citrus characteristics. Good balance towards the middle as a nice sweetness fades in. Sappy, sticky finish. Bitter, stick, resiny hop aftertaste that clings to the cheeks.

M: Light bodied and well carbonated. Makes this one lively in the mouth at the beginning and smoothing out as it warms. Goes down slightly tingly. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that is sticky and lingers.

D: One of the best IPAs ever? Probably not. Worth the hype? Definitely. This is up there with among probably the top 5 IPAs that I've come across. Great balance with a big, bold, hop presence. Real nice and mellow in the mouth, and super drinkable. Wish they'd consider bottling this some day so others can enjoy the experience!

10-25-2010 02:10:46 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of duece27


4.93/5  rDev +13.3%

Enjoyed many times over the recent years. I can't decide which is better... drinking it on the Townhall patio or at home out of the growler, ah my dilemma

shimmering orange with not as much head as I would like.

smells of sweet hops without the annoyance of strict alcohol

Exceptional taste. perfect balance of malt backbone

good consistency, not cloing

Drinkability - Yes, all night.

10-22-2010 16:04:25 | More by duece27
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.

10-20-2010 23:32:17 | More by punkrkr27
Photo of hophead247


4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Thanks a million Brandon....This doesn't look like it was poured from a growler that traveled half way across the country just several hours ago. Aroma of citrus rind, grapefruit some bready notes from the malts and even some a slight touch of piney hops as well. Medium to fuller bodied with average carbonation and a slight bitter finish. Flavor of fresh floral hops, grapefruit, citrus rind and some earthy notes mixed in there as well. One of the most balanced IPA's I've ever had the chance of enjoying.

10-12-2010 07:09:11 | More by hophead247
Photo of hiphopipa


4.45/5  rDev +2.3%

Many thanks to mothman for this growler!

Poured into my beloved Sebago Brewing tulip.

A: Pours a clear medium copper with red/orange highlights.
S: Inviting aromatic piney hops with tropical and bigger caramel malt notes.
T: Complex and full flavored! Very nicely balanced hops and malts.
Tastes sweet and malty at first taste and then transitions to a nice dry bitter finish of dominant hop resin.
M: Smooth, creamy with soft carbonation and a sticky finish.
D: This is exactly what I was looking for and could drink it all day. Absolutely excellent & perfect example of a well thought out and balanced IPA. Very Victory Hop Devil-ish, I love it!

I'll be raving about this one for a long, long time. Nice pic Ben, right on point.

09-28-2010 22:52:00 | More by hiphopipa
Photo of MsMandy


4.22/5  rDev -3%

A- Deep amber color, nice lacing, thick creamy head

S- Bitter grapefruit

T- Starts off with a light caramel flavor, strong bitter grapefruit middle and super bitter finish. Acidic aftertaste that lingers.

M- Medium body, well carbonated, even from growler

D- I'm not a hop-head yet, so this was difficult for me to drink because of the excessive bitterness. I could see how a true IPA drinker would love this, and maybe someday I will too. :)

09-21-2010 18:48:49 | More by MsMandy
Photo of Bendurgin


3.98/5  rDev -8.5%

Huge thanks to the world class Translucent for this one. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice amber color with a thin white head and thin lacing. The smell is great, nice piney hops with a solid malt backbone. A faint aroma of sweet caramel with a bit of tropical juiciness. The taste is upfront with hops and leaves a nice bitter finish. The hops compliment the rest of the flavor profile pretty well. The malt comes through nicely with a slight juiciness. The body is very light with good carbonation. Very drinkable beer, I'd love to get more of this stuff.

09-19-2010 03:03:32 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of domtronzero


4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Big thanks to Biglobo8971 for this! I've been dying to try this, so here it goes...

A - Clear deep orange copper with a huge rocky ultra-long lasting frothy white head. Tons of lacing.

S - Clean caramel and bready malts. Light citrusy and piny hops. Little bit of fruity esters, but otherwise very clean.

F/M - Piny hops and bready malts with a touch of caramel. Very well balanced IPA. Medium bodied. Moderately high hop bitterness with a clean finish without any astringency. Moderate CO2.

D - Great. Clean, refreshing and easy drinking.

09-18-2010 07:20:03 | More by domtronzero
Photo of jpmclaug

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured from the growler into my Duvel tulip. Got this in a trade with chixdighops. Thanks!

A - Nice orange/amber body with a big white head. Nice lacing on the glass as well.

S - Nice piney/floral aroma with a hint of sweetness

T - mostly a piney hop flavor with a solid malt backbone to try to balance it out a bit. The malt mostly does it's job balancing but the hops win out in the end. While pine is the dominant flavor I get from the hops I am also getting a nice citrus bite as well.

M - fair amount of carbonation, a slight stickyness, medium bodied

D - Pretty drinkable. Nice hop flavor but not hop dominating like a standard west coast ipa. I'm glad I got to try this one and wouldn't ind drinking it again but won't seek it out.

09-12-2010 16:25:06 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of dougofthefuture


5/5  rDev +14.9%

I've had this a few times on cask - I finally took some notes recently. I don't mean to be a homer, but I'm finally ready to declare this beer (on cask) perfect.

A - A toasted copper color with a nice creamy head. It is clear carbonation is minimal, but lots of lacing makes it very attractive.

S - The hops dominate the nose, but remain very mellow. Lots of fruit - orange, marmalade, and just enough bready malt quality.

T&M - Rich balanced hops from start to finish. This beer tastes amazingly fresh without being at all biting. The mouthfeel is absolutely amazing. There is very little carbonation, but it is so creamy and balanced between the resiny hops and dry malt backbone.

D - This is a masterpiece. I really like the regular version, but the cask brings it to an entirely new level.

09-11-2010 16:37:47 | More by dougofthefuture
Photo of ballz50401


4.43/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured from a 64oz. growler (filled 8/9/10) into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a reddish/copper with a big sticky head that retains itself very well and leaves great lacing around the glass. After every pour the head seems to get fluffier and fluffier. Very nice looking IPA!

Smell: Very bold aroma. Huge hop character with grapefruit, mango, and pine. A very good blend of caramel malts balance things up.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Full frontal explosion of American hops. A nice hop combination of the cirtus and pine variety. Nice firm caramel backbone balances things out perfectly. This has a meduim mouthfeel and finishes with a crisp hop bitterness.

Drinkability: This brew surprises me everytime I consume it. What a great IPA. Very easy to drink. Strong aroma and flavor. This represents what a great American IPA should be.

09-08-2010 01:13:56 | More by ballz50401
Photo of wagenvolks


4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Growler (filled 8/11/10) shared with all in attendance at the September BA tasting in Austin...many thanks to ballz50401 for the trade!

Masala Mama pours well, with a rustic copper body that's clear and shows a healthy dose of carbonation. Great retention and sticky lacing make for an all around visually-pleasing brew. Aroma brings forth herbal notes of pine needles and green hop cones, with a touch of citrus and caramel malts. Not the strongest nose on an IPA I've come across, but it gets the job done.

Flavor picks up the pace, lending a clean bitterness that drips with hop resin and citrusy grapefruit notes. Tropical fruit esters of pear and peach interplay with a crisp pale maltiness and a hint of caramel. Hop flavor bursts across the tongue and lingers long into the finish. Body is crisp and nicely carbonated with a medium-thin consistency...very satisfying. Masala Mama is a hype-worthy IPA that drinks wayyy too easily. Superb stuff!

09-06-2010 05:51:50 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of squaremile


4.15/5  rDev -4.6%

Had thanks to writerljberg at a recent BA tasting.

Pours a golden orange. Nose is full of citrus hops, but seemed a tad subdued from what I read previously. Taste is all citrus. Mango, tangerine, grapefruit, passionfruit, and a touch of pine creates a new dimension after the citrus fades. Finish is soft and dry with a touch of bitterness. Very smooth. A lovely beer.

09-06-2010 02:10:59 | More by squaremile
Photo of IdrinkGas


4.2/5  rDev -3.4%

Let me start by saying the hype alone made me really want to like this beer. axeman9182 hooked me up with the growler.
A: Poured a clear ruby amber. Huge fluffy white head which was gone in about a minute.

S: Grapefruit, pine, some floral hops, tropical notes. Very strong smell, yum!

T: Taste is similar to smell but much more muted. You get the piney and citrus hops, some of that highly sought after tropical fruit flavor. Its followed by a very slight sweet malt finish.

M: Light, airy body. Perfect carbonation for this style. Crisp.

D:Very drinkable. I shared the growler with another person but could have drank it myself.

09-03-2010 22:59:31 | More by IdrinkGas
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -8.5%

Thanks to Ryan011235 for this growler, poured into a Duvel tulip (and speedily forwarded from a midwest BA). Seems to have survived the MN->OH->SC journey just fine; an initial 3 finger creamy head atop the slightly hazy amber body slowly reduces, leaving plentiful sticky lacing in its wake.

Smells quite fruity, with orange, pineapple and grapefruit leading the way. Some creaminess and burnt/carmelized sugar smooth things out a bit.

Come sippin' time, resiny pine plays a much bigger part than the aromas suggest, slowly building an impressive bitterness toward the swallow and beyond. Medium-full body with moderate carbonation (by design or due to the time in the growler I can't say) and a bit of creaminess that seems to make it drink bigger than the ABV might suggest. A little heavy-handed on the caramel malt, but quite tasty.

Overall impression: A bit east-coastish with the malts, and the appearance rating gives it an overall score a notch higher than it might deserve, but a nice brew. Easy recommendation.

09-03-2010 01:15:36 | More by PDXHops
Photo of blackie


4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

a: pint glass, deep honey amber in color, cascading off-white head with good retention and lace, seems like there may or may not be some nitro involved here

s: moderate caramel lurks underneath a rich, piney hop aroma, some sweet citrus, hops not harsh but smoothed and juicy, great start

m: carbonation low, silky medium body, pretty sure I'd prefer this one regularly carbonated, but the smoothness is nice as well

t: deep, fresh pine with an underlay of full, fruity caramel malt, somewhat sweet, rich hop stew, not bittered to puckering levels but more restrained - moderate in level

d: a top-notch ipa for sure, but not the hoppy revelation that the hype would lead one to believe

big pint at the brewpub with my bro dirtylou

08-31-2010 23:49:02 | More by blackie
Photo of AdamGarcia


4.15/5  rDev -4.6%

Growler served in Stella flute. HUGE thnx to chixdighops for sending this my way.

A: Pours a deep copper with some red and orange highlights. I'm very excited to see 2 fingers worth of eggshell head, as this growler was filled at least a week ago. Head retention is as good as can be expected, and the lacing is great.

S: Fresh citrus. Lots of grapefruit and tangerine. Some tropical mango, papaya, and pineapple also. Faint pine. Just a bit of green foliage. Superb.

T: Very similar to the aroma. Tropical fruit, citrus, and pine. Pale and carmel malt in the background. A little bit of vanilla. Moderate hop bitterness throughout. Grassy, yet dry in the finish. Very good, but I can't help think something is missing.

M: Carbonation is good. Mouthfeel is medium. Slightly slick. Just slightly watery. I feel that the rating in this category would be higher if consumed directly from the tap as opposed to a growler that is 7-10 days old and has traveled well over 800 miles.

D: This is very drinkable. Not only is it very interesting, but it is 1-2% abv lower than a lot of American IPA's. Not exactly session territory, but low enough to enjoy more than one.

08-30-2010 01:03:33 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of dirtylou


4.43/5  rDev +1.8%

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

08-29-2010 23:43:27 | More by dirtylou
Photo of msubulldog25


4.08/5  rDev -6.2%

After a day of toil, painting the walls/ceilings/trim of my wife's soon-to-be garage/pottery studio, a call for 'beer!' by my trusty buddy Barry was answered with 'Masala Mama!' by me. A first try for both of us. We each had well over two pints apiece while relaxing in the backyard before heeding the dinner bell.

Gratitude for the growler goes to fine MN BA joshuaseresse; it was received over a week ago and shows 8-21 (hand-written) on the cap...all my fault if that was a 'drink by', but it's been stored in the fridge since the day it was received.

A: Love the color and clarity! A rich acorn/auburn, orange-ish at one glance, tawny at another, hinting later at a smoldering ruby. Not so much visible carbonation (a victim of added time confined in that growler?) but absolutely gorgeous head and lacing - a thick 1-2 fingers (depending on who's pouring) of sandy meringue, coating in chiffon dollops and seafoam stripes. Sudsy and long-lived.

S: Repressed caramel/candied nuttiness and spice beneath nose-tingling (almost peppery) greens. Cut grass and indistinct citrus rind. Bold, a little muddled.

T: Grains, toasty grains, dry! Nutshells! Big dose of pine-heavy hops, a drape of pithy citrus, a spice most bitter. Takes some time and ample warming before sweeter citrus notes and welcome sugars play a larger role, but when they do, the stars begin to align. Can I ever get over the surliness of that dull bitter back that holds well after each sip? Not really...but I know plenty of hopheads who'd whole-heartedly embrace this.

M: Carbonation may be mellowed, but that doesn't detract from a lovely, though mildly sharp, introduction. Canvasses the tongue without being sticky, though there's just the slightest gumminess on the lips afterward. Medium body that edges toward fullness. Salivation = an unstoppable torrent.

D: A very good IPA, certainly has the strong flavor and nose, plus a sexy look to back up the hype. Easy enough to drink at just a hair below 6%, fine and dandy to polish of the growler with a pal. Worth pursuing (and I'm certainly grateful for the opportunity), although more of a 'like' than a 'love' for me.

08-29-2010 05:36:48 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of Kegatron


4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

On tap @ the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery (Minneapolis, MN) on 8/10/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of bright-white foamy head. Retains with a nice looking foamy richness around the edges leaving heavy patchy lacing behind. The aroma is floral, spicy, and piney smelling with green earthy citric tones and more identifiable grapefruit flavor which cuts through the nostrils like a hoppy knife. Sweet graininess glides along the backend of the bouquet, mixing in with some of the more floral character that is at work here, giving this a malty presence in the back of the nose.

The taste mirrors the aroma, with grapefruit, earth, spice, and citrus rind, all bringing a lot of bitterness to this that then proceeds to linger long and hard past the finish That initial bite though is very well balanced that grainy sweetness of the malts but then that aforementioned beauty of a finish creeps in, leaving behind a spicy and pithy bitter feel that sticks to the tongue. I really appreciate that they don't rely on tropical fruits for added sweetness and really allowing that grapefruit bitterness to control the profile. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp crispness to it that sits on top of an equal amount of easy slickness underneath, doing a great job of carrying all of feel and flavors down the hatch. You get a little of that ABV in the body but that's about it, as the slickness of the body really does do a great job here.

I had this right after the cask version and it's really hard to say which I like better. Bitterness and carbonation is stronger and there's more of a malt presence here on draft but it's hard to top the pure hop flavors and silky smooth body of the cask. We'll call it a draw for this great IPA. I'd love to be local to this place and start out every visit with a pint.

08-26-2010 16:57:48 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.72/5  rDev +8.5%

What a great beer! I really loved this one and would like to try more from the same brewery. Thanks for sharing, Lance! Pours orange with nice clarity, a great head and nice lacing. Pretty impressive from a growler. Wonderful floral and pine aromas- big and juicy. For me, the taste is perfectly balanced. Piney and dry with just enough firm malt to support the hops. long, delicious bitterness on the finish. In the mouth it's quite dry- almost asprin-like in its dry astringency. Superb beer.

08-24-2010 17:47:24 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of BretSikkink


4.4/5  rDev +1.1%

Orange color, somewhat murky. White, soapy head with great stick. Just had one of the tap, and the beer engine version is a little less assertive in the nose, but still fairly hoppy with lemongrass notes. Strangely woody as well.

A little deeper than the regular, but far less drinkable. Slight notes of vanilla mingle with the toffee and caramel for a solid malt backbone - good substance. The hops are quite loud and bright, with a lingering bitterness of citrus and tropical fruits. Smooth off the engine, almost creamy. Finishes clean and bitter.

While not as aggressive as the carbonated Masala Mama, the cask version is a superb choice. A little more peppery and mellow, but the same high quality.

08-17-2010 02:44:06 | More by BretSikkink
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,141 ratings.