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Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Masala Mama India Pale Ale
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1,079 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1079
Reviews: 654
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%

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
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Ratings: 1,079 | Reviews: 654 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jimmah120


4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Serving type: cask

12-02-2012 23:21:06 | More by jimmah120
Photo of augustgarage


4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: cask

06-05-2012 16:34:50 | More by augustgarage
Photo of bashiba


3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank on cask.

Poured a nice hazzy amber with a great creamy cask head. Very sticky and tons of of lacing.

The smell was a bit light, with mild buscit malt and a bit of grapefruit.

The flavor followed the nose, a malt forward ipa, very rich with english caramal, nice toffee and biscuit. The hops are light and citrusy, with a good medium bitterness.

The mouthfeel has that great medium cask fullness with the silky smooth texture that accompanies a good firkin.

Good cask ipa, could use more dry hopping or some nice fresh cask hopping would really put this over the top.

Serving type: cask

04-06-2012 02:25:45 | More by bashiba
Photo of iadler


4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at the town hall tap.

A- pours a very cloudy sunset orange with a fluffy three finger head that dissipates slowly into a nice cap. After some time, the cloudiness turns into a slight haze. Huge sheets of lacing are left behind.

S- orange marmalade, apples including the skin, caramel and toffee malt as well as grassy and piney hops. Pretty different aroma compared to just on-tap as there isnt much bitterness.

T- again orange is present with a jam like sweetness, honeycrisp apples, pear, and grassy hops with a nice amount of caramel and toffee malt.

M- low carbonation and medium body that has a very creamy mouthfeel that finishes slightly bitter.

O- it was interesting how much different this beer tasted when being casked conditioned. More sweetness emerges with the citrus and grassy hops taking a backseat.

Serving type: cask

11-23-2011 04:31:27 | More by iadler
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am doing a second review of this beer, but this time had from cask at town hall tap.
Typical IPA color with 1inch head. Nice floral aroma...you can really smell the hops and floral notes. The taste is classic IPA but smoooth. The hops really don't smack you in the face, but are somehow hidden under actual flavor! Nice job!

Serving type: cask

10-30-2011 23:55:39 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of DCon


4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-cask @ the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, MN w/ Pete & Paul from the Town Hall. Tapped from the cask into a 16oz Pint Glass. Enjoyed this back to back with the Masala Mama on-tap to see the differences...

Aroma- Compliments the style very well again! Has very light hop aroma and has the a good amount of sweetness behind it. A bit of citrus is easily caught but no grapefruit.

Appearance- Received with almost no head at all on the top of the beer. Has a dark golden/light amber color body with great clarity. Nice lacing afterwards.

Flavor- Strong hops from the beginning but not aggressive. Has a nice amount of citrus, sweetness, and piney flavor. Medium bitterness finishes this brew.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, Smooth, Smooth, and then very creamy at the finish.

Overall Impression- I would suggest getting this one fresh on-tap or even waiting for the Coconut Mango Mama! This was the reason of even coming here but no worries... I will be back! Fun to enjoy both these back to back. I would like to see if you think the tap or cask offering was better!

Serving type: cask

10-28-2011 07:32:56 | More by DCon
Photo of birchstick


4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours an amberish orange from the tap and puts on a fun show that most cask beers perform, akin to a Guiness on tap. When the storm settles, it left a really nice creamy head that never left.

S - this one is grapefruit and citrus all the way. A bit of cereal malt is in the mix too, but the hops are by far the most dominant feature.

T - juicy hops bombard the palate with grapefruit deliciousness upfront. The onslaught continues through the middle and all the way to the finish. Hidden beneath the hops are some cereal and a healthy amount of caramel malt (let's get real, though, this beer isn't meant to showcase the malts). Ends with a little bit of herbal pine bitterness and some malt sweetness.

M - full and creamy. Zero flaws in the body...no way it isn't a 5.

D - awesome IPA. I can see why it is so highly regarded. There were other beers I wanted to try but couldn't stop ordering this one. Too bad it is only on tap, otherwise I wOuld drink the he'll out of his one.

Serving type: cask

06-20-2011 01:17:02 | More by birchstick
Photo of TIMMYJ21


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Really creamy looking, huge head with a nice cascade down the glass. A light copper haze which. A real nicely made brew

S- i get a real smell of butterscotch and orange and grapefruit, very nice aroma to this one, the cask, being that its a bit warmer really brings out the smell

T- Much better than on regular cask, very creamy mouth feel to it, like as said the hops just come at ya, great malt profile biscuit like.

Overall awesome brew by town hall if your able to get it on cask get a pint and maybe another

Serving type: cask

05-26-2011 22:58:37 | More by TIMMYJ21
Photo of rye726


4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Happy to have the chance to try this. Enjoyed on tap at the brewery. Pours a deep copper brown with a lacy beige head. Lots of bitter citrusy hops and sweet bready malts. Crisp, clean body with a lasting resiny finish. Great IPA, would love to have this at my local bar anytime!

Serving type: cask

02-22-2011 03:32:02 | More by rye726
Photo of tewaris


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at the brewpub.

Appearance 4.5/5
Deep copper hued, slightly hazy with a creamy and persistent head with good lacing.

Aroma 5/5
Most intense citrus, herbs, flowers, and pine. Dank, flawless, excellent.

Taste 4.5/5
Silky, smooth, and bitter.

Mouthfeel 4.5/5
The crispness is lost on cask and that's a minus in my book when it comes to IPAs.

Drinkability 4/5
I enjoy the regular version more; does that make me a bad person? ;)

Serving type: cask

12-22-2010 11:04:30 | More by tewaris
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the brewpub today.

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, showcasing considerable orange citrus, a touch of earthiness and a hint of sweet malt. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though I also get some tropical fruit flavor as well in this flavorful, fairly dry IPA. The beer has a fairly long finish, with some moderate, attractive bitterness. The beer has something of a soft mouthfeel, which I attribute to the cask conditioning. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol well integrated into the flavor profile.

I confess I remain a bit puzzled by this beer. While it's certainly a well made, attractive IPA, I could easily name 20 or 30 I like better. Also, as has been noted before, some IPA's benefit from cask conditioning, and some don't. In my humble opinion, this IPA definitely falls into the latter category (sampled this side by side with the CO2 version, and definitely preferred this IPA on the gas). This is a solid IPA, no doubt, but it's hardly anything to get wildly excited about. I just don't get it.

Serving type: cask

11-25-2010 02:48:28 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of DavoleBomb


4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the brewery before my flight back home. Poured into a pint glass. Review from notes. Had this from a growler a few times and loved it, so I figured the cask version is a must try.

5.0 A: Lightly hazed orange amber color. One finger of super creamy white head with excellent retention and lots of lacing.

4.5 S: Smells a lot like the regular version only has a stronger fruitiness (which may instead be because it is fresh, rather than from a couple day old growler), woodiness, and pleasant yeastiness. Full of C hops - orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango.

5.0 T: Mixture of tropical fruits listed in nose. Some caramel maltiness. Moderate bitterness which is less apparent than the regular. Woody and yeasty.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Super creamy and super smooth. This would be a bit better with a touch more body.

5.0 D: Really great beer to begin with, but absolutely excellent on cask. IPAs are perfectly suited for cask. The added woodiness (yes, I know it isn't from a wooden cask, but that's the flavors that come through in any vessel) and yeastiness are great.

Serving type: cask

11-07-2010 20:34:21 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of dougofthefuture


5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: cask

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


4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: cask

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


4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: cask

08-17-2010 02:44:06 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Parrotbeak


4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange-amber with a one-finger, bubbly white head. Thick lacing that sticks to the glass from top to bottom.
Smell is very lightly spiced malts with some assertive, grassy/piney hops. Subtle notes of vanilla, toffee, as well as some light woody notes. Citrus, mango, and pineapple notes.
Taste is malts infused with light notes of vanilla, toffee, and caramel, followed by some bitter, piney hops. Citrus and pineapple notes in the middle. More subtle notes of caramel, toffee, and vanilla come in towards the finish and remain.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a clean finish. Low level of carbonation, with a light-to-medium body.
Drinkability is very good. The cask conditioning compliments this beer very well, rounding out some of the bitterness.

Serving type: cask

07-17-2010 23:31:12 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of oner0002


5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wish there was an easier way in these reviews to differentiate between the cask, tap and growler versions of this IPA because they are practically different beers!

The cask is served warmer and has a wonderful creamy mouthfeel. The cask serving method tends to mellow out the hop edge, but you can still taste Mike Hoops' complicated hop schedule.

The tap is served cooler and most assuredly has a bracing bitterness and CO2 bite. Here you can play guess that hop in the aroma and taste. I'll tell you there are at least 3 ... maybe it was 4, or was it 5 varieties in there?

The growler is similar to the tap version, but I find it to be much less carbonated and the hops can change and mellow out quite a bit depending on how old your growler is.

This goes for nearly all of Town Hall's beers, but the differences in the IPA is the most dramatic. I'm afraid y'all will just have to come on up here and try all three.

Super Secret Tip: The Cask IPA is so popular that is is almost always on these days.

Super Secret Ninja Tip: If you are coming from afar, the Town Hall is a 30 second stumble from the Holiday Inn Metrodome.

Serving type: cask

06-24-2010 18:42:11 | More by oner0002
Photo of jera1350


4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had to try this one on cask.

Copper color with a rich creamy head on top.

Big earthy and piney hops dominate the nose. A touch of caramel malt sweetness as well.

Yes, yes, yes. Lots of piney hops with a bit of earthiness. The hops just deliver a powerful pine bitterness that is so perfect at this temp. A nice malt backbone is also present to sweeten things up a bit.

Here is where the cask adds perfection. Creamy, soft and extremely smooth. Can't get any better than this.

Drinks almost perfectly. IPA on cask? Yes please. A great beer on cask equals near perfection.

Serving type: cask

06-20-2010 21:39:16 | More by jera1350
Photo of kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer while meeting other BA's. Had this on both cask and on-tap back to back. Either way a great beer.

On cask, the beer is served an orangish- yellow with a rich fluffy white head atop it. The aroma has aromatic hops, although not nearly as strong as when on-tap. The beer has a wonderful bitterness and aroma that is well balanced atop a somewhat dry, yet malty body. The bitterness is softer in the cask version of this beer.

The cask version has a beautiful light and fluffy mouthfeel that is unlike any other beer I have tried and finishes bitterly and lingers nicely.

One of the best IPAs I have ever had.

Serving type: cask

02-24-2010 01:15:54 | More by kjyost
Photo of weatherdog


4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Serving type: cask

02-03-2010 19:14:06 | More by weatherdog
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Made a bee-line to Minneapolis Town Hall when I got into town for Darkness Day. First serving was a Barrel Aged Grang Cru that was amazing (another story). I've had this from growler thanks to maximum12. This one from one of the cask engines. Pours a surprisingly cloudy and a dark shade of amber with better than full finger stiff chalky yellow head that resists fading, leaving sheets of Belgian lace behind. The smell is aggressive and an amazing sweet lemon-orange citrus combo. Slightly less carbonated than my growler, the mouth feel is medium bodied and creamy smooth. Full flavored, the taste isn't as sweet as the nose; the presence of citrus mix is overridden by oily notes of pine that linger nicely. At less than 6% ABV this one is a killer session.

Serving type: cask

10-26-2009 22:39:01 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of Vonerichs


4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this from both cask and tap on the same night, side by side. The appearance on both were relatively the same... mildly cloudy yellow-orange with a fantastic frothy head that lingers the entire time and great lacing.

The smell was muted and a little flat. The hops are presented as grassy and piney scents, followed by a sweet tangerine.

The taste was loaded with hops and dominated by the sweet tangerine and grass. The cask version had a little more pronounced floral perfume notes that weren't showing up in the regular version. The malt is a faint caramel.

The biggest separation in the cask vs tap is the carbonation. The cask-conditioned ale almost completely lacked carbonation and the mouthfeel was very oily and sticky while the tap version was cut with more carbonation and had more of a crisp and fresh mouthfeel, but it too was oily.

This is a very sessionable ale and is light in body so it's not filling.

I enjoyed it and glad I had a chance to give it a try with all the hype surrounding it, but I can easily name a few more IPAs that I enjoy more and are more accessable.

While the cask-conditioned and on-tap versions have slight nuances that distinguish each, I think the scores remain the same and I can't say I'd prefer one over the other.

Serving type: cask

07-12-2009 02:53:23 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of Ragingbull


4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color with a white head. The nose is very hoppy and the attack is very much "hops forward." The mouthfeel is nice and creamy. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable. Despite the hops the finish is pretty clean. The hops seems to be muted a little bit in the cask version of this beer. It seems pretty straightforward as an IPA except for the transition from the finish to the aftertaste where you believe the flavor is done, but then it returns when your mouth dries. I prefer the regular variety of this beer, which is not the norm for me.
This review from notes and beer may not be currently offered as cask conditioned.

Serving type: cask

07-06-2009 15:16:16 | More by Ragingbull
Photo of cvaypai


4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand pumped from the cask at the Town Hall Brewery. Taken from notes at brewery.

Appearance - Amber-brown, yet transparent with 1 finger head that leaves a beautiful lacing as I drink. Head retention is very good.

Smell - Smells of grapefruit, lemon, and lime. Small amount of malt detected. Beautiful floral hops smell. Smells so delicious, wish I could smell it all the time.

Taste - Amazing taste, creamy, yet bitter and sharp. Extremely tasty with grapefruit and citrus tastes. Small malt taste at end, perfectly balanced. This is how a single IPA should taste.

Mouthfeel - Extremely smooth, awesomely carbonated, perfect in most every way to do with mouthfeel.

Drinkability - I could drink all night if I lived in town at 5.9%. Awesomely tasty beer that goes down easy and refreshes.

I wish I lived in town so I could enjoy this all the time, took home 2 growlers but don't think it will be enough :(

Serving type: cask

06-16-2009 21:55:58 | More by cvaypai
Photo of bsp77


4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally made it to Town Hall! And they have Masala Mama on cask!

Serving glass: Cask pour into Pint Glass.

Appearance: Hazy reddish-orange, thin head but considerable lacing. Love the way the cask pour looks as it settles, which took a couple minutes.

Smell: Citrus, pine and bitterness. Very slight malt presence, but not much.

Taste: Similar to smell - citrus, pine and very bitter. Small malt presence leading to a soft sweet counterbalance. However, the malts don't provide too much balance, this is an especially bitter IPA.

Feel: Expected feel for a cask beer, which is wonderful. Very, very dry.

Drinkability: Strong drinkability due to how smooth it is, but the persistant bitterness limits my intake.

Serving type: cask

04-21-2009 13:14:44 | More by bsp77
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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,079 ratings.