1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Not Rated.
Masala Mama India Pale Ale
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,217 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,217
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 829
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:
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Masala Mama India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,217 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived with a big, fluffy, white head with a lot of bubbles coming to the top. I continued to note a beautifully floral hoppy nose. The mouthfeel was thicker and more effervescent on the palate. The hops were still up front and in your face, but tempered a little bit by the carbonation. The finish had that nice burst of malt that stood in utter juxtaposition to the combination sledgehammer/blind file of hops that slugs you, pulls your tongue out of your head with a pair of pliers, and begins running back and forth like a cheese grater. Waitress, another please.

Photo of corby112
3.43/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Growler received in a past trade with a generous MN guy. Shared with kubrick215 and a non-BA friend.

Pours a hazy dark golden orange with burnt orange hues when held to a light and a two finger frothy, pillowy off-white head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with rings, streaks and splotches of soapy lacing.

As soon as the growler was opened you could smell the dank, resinous oily hops from across the room. Very earthy and floral with a lots of pine and sticky kind bud character dominating the nose. There's also a good amount of sweet citrus and tropical fruit. Hints of pineapple, mango, grapefruit and citrus rind. Subtle malts with hints of sweet alcohol and biscuit.

Chewy full body with a blast of dry, bitter hops that linger throughout into a long, dry finish. More one-dimensional than the aroma suggests with an overpowering dry, earthy pine flavor. Slightly floral but mostly just intensely bitter and dry. Kind of like eating a tree. Resinous, sticky and oily with the dryness just coating the tongue in an unpleasant way. This really hurts the mouthfeel and drinkability. Not much in the way of sweetness to balance things out. The tropical and citrus fruit notes from the aroma are minimal if not completely absent. It's hard to pick anything else out underneath the dry, earthy pine needles. Faint malt backbone but again not enough to balance things out much. Subtle hits of caramel, biscuit and graham cracker.

Overall, I'm happy I got to try this beer but it was just too one-dimensional for my liking. I love intense bitter hoppy beers but this beer coats the tongue in an unpleasant way and reminds we of having cotton mouth after smoking low grade weed back in college.

Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to tavernjef for this growler!

Appears an amber orange with lots of foamy white head. Plenty of nice lacing on the top as well. Nice carbonation as well. Plenty of hops in the nose. Not a whole lot of maltiness in there but the hop overtones are one to be reckoned with. The smell is actually quite adictive. Lots of citrusy sweet notes. Tastes plenty hoppy. Not too overkill and blended nicely with a bitterness that hits you from the first sip with a bit of an odd linger that isn't too obtrusive from the brew itself. Mouthfeel is pretty nice but it's just missing that hard malt backbone that so many great IPA's and IIPA's have worked into their regiment. This is certainly a drinkable beer. I had a few pints with my friends and we wished that we had more. Oh well, it is what it is. My only complaint is that it could use more malt to back her up. Other than that...

Finger licking good.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at none other than Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. 5-17-09.

Poured into pint glass. Color is a clear golden copper. Great, amazing lacing. White head.

Aroma: Citrus with floral hops. A very sweet, inviting IPA.

Taste: Sweet, somewhat mild. The floral/earthy hops want me coming back for more. Not to bitter.

Mouthfeel is sweetly bitter. Medium bodied. Ends fairly clean for an IPA. Medium to high carbonation.

Overall, this is a great IPA. Really easy to drink and very enjoyable. It is easy to just keep drinking this beer. A must dry if you can get some.

Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light orangish color with good carbonation. Nose is outstanding. Fresh hops, floral, dry itterness and caramel. Taste is very smooth and subtle. Floral notes, just enough hop bittering, balanced, light booze. Mouthfeel is a bit think, dry and floral. Very drinkable.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to THCPJ for sharing this one! Review from notes 12/3/10.

A: Pours a reddish orange/amber with a frothy head with great retention. Lacing is perfect, remains on most of the glass.

S: Nice pine, citrus, grapefruit. Not as strong as I was hoping, but very pleasant nonetheless.

T: Much more pine in the flavor than the aroma. The bitterness attacks right away. Has a very nice sweetness that follows from the malt and ends in a sticky finish with a nice hop aftertaste.

M/D: Slightly lighter than medium bodied with nice carbonation. Finish is sticky. Overall, I was very pleased with this drinkable beer, a very nice IPA, but not one of my favorites.

Edited after having it on tap at Town Hall.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Matt is turning out to be the growler king. He brought this over to my place a few weeks ago. Review from notes.

A: The beer appears amber/orange, has a decent sized head, and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. It is pretty clear with good effervescence. It looks like it survived the trip.

S: The smell is really fantastic. Fresh hops and citrus.

T: This is a great tasting beer, and really easy to drink. The citrus flavors come forth quite nicely, with a pleasant bitterness in the back of each sip. Yum!

M: The feel is very smooth. A great bitter finish with no astringency.

D: O ya, I could drink a bunch of this. Well worth seeking out. This is one of my favorite IPAs now.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured outta a growler by oglmcdgl by way of some trader, thanks! Into a plain pint glass.

Masala came with a hiss when the cap was pryed, out came a nice bright copper beer with some golden penny edges. A nice thick inch of foam stayed a float with a off white look leaving nice patterns down the glass.

Smell is in the middle and not veering east, a nice bouquet of floral hops and some pine backing with some slight toasted malt profile. Some earthy aroma with some warming but not much caramel which i was waiting for.

And were off, Masala brings the hops and the pine, citrus is there with slight grapefruit, but mama is not citrus laden. This is more geared in the earthy/pine type of IPA that's bold but not aggressive.

A slight bitterness with a dry finish, not overly malty and the ABV is nowhere in site. This won't kill your palate, just a quick smacking and than wha la. Carbed up just fine from a great growler.

It's easy drinking beer, a nice array of flavors, just not wowing me. Low ABV makes for great drinkability but some more ummpphh would of made me come back.

Photo of akorsak
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A growler from a second trade with CH3CH2OH. It was shared with JohnnyM2002 and Phatz.

A: The ale is a copper red with hints of orange amber. The head has held up surprisingly well for a 12/28/06 (or so) bottled growler, large on pour before settling down to a white circle that covers the entire glass.

S: The aroma is big and hoppy, thick with lush pineapple and apricot. The aroma is huge and delicious, one of the best smelling pale ales (American, English, India or Double) that you'll come across.

T: The nose is big and hoppy, priming the drinker for a big hoppy ale, but Town Hall throws you for a loop. The body is a solid malty extravaganza, it doesn't roll over in front of the hops. The malty base is grainy and slightly sweet and provides an excellent base for the delicious hoppiness. The hops are citrusy, grapefruit, apricot, tangerine and most significantly pineapple. There is even a bit of piney sweetness popping up.

M: Hops! Malts! A well-mixed combination of the two, this IPA really brings everything together without amping up the alcohol and IBUs.

D: Incredibly drinkable. This really is the standardbearer for American IPAs. It mixes the big hops and strong malts so well. The moderate abv helps also, allowing one to have several pints without ill effect.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

( Served in an American pint glass)

A-Slight hazy to this golden deep orange colored beer with a thick very creamy white head that last for quite a while.

S- Floral hops of pine with notes of light toasted malt and fresh grain. Very perfume nose.

T- Spicy green hops with pine and a hint of earthy hops slight toasted malt and support to the hops and a unique hop tanginess finishes with a nice hop bitterness.

M-medium-full mouthfeel with a nice chewy sensation

D-This is a very strong IPA that has lots of hops depth and is an amazing contender for the style. Very well done.

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

A nice amber/autumn color with a rather large head that chunked up a bit. Good lacing, sticky. Looks great.
Mostly citrus aroma with hints of lemongrass and herbal butteriness (is that a word?). A slight touch of pine as well as some malt biscuit in the end.
Great taste. Smooth, yet very biting. Citrus hops turn more to pine, but not all the way. Biscuit holds up in the end, but the hops are overpowering. Seems a bit thick, not as crisp as I was hoping. An almost great brew.

Photo of BillRoth
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Wasatch
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to objectivemonkey for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden orange/amber color, nice carbonation, huge two-finger creamy off-white head that lasts a long time, then leaves some nice sticky lacing. The nose is a big hop bomb, with some grapefruit, pines, and a good dose of caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious, hoppy, nice malt blend, grapefruity, and a good touch of pines/caramel. The finish is slightly dry and bitter. Medium body, a nice well rounded brew. Very drinkable, glad to finally make an effort to get this brew sent my way, why did I wait so long, lol Highly recommended.

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled and provided in trade by StuBob. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, a dense, frothy 1" beige head formed over the cloudy, orangey amber brew. Head fades slowly, and leaves nice, heavy lacing. Aroma is a tinge of sweet malts, quickly overpowered by bitrusy hops character. Taste as well starts with sweetness, but overshone promptly by the hoppiness. Had hoped for a tad more citrus over the tongue, and a little less in the bitter department, but that's almost quibbling. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent. I can only imagine what this is like at the source. Maybe someday...

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of billab914
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to biniek13 for sending me a growler of this and crossing another off my want list. Poured from a growler into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. pours a dark amber color with a off-white half inch head. The head subsided but left a nice covering on top of the beer and left excellent lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by the pine and citrus from the hops. There are notes of Grapefruit and pineapple with a little sweetness. The taste is a lot like the nose only the sweetness is more present. The pine, grapefruit and pineapple all come through along with a moderate bitter finish. I love the sweetness to it, it's not overdone and the bitterness helps balance it out as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, it's not going to take the two of us long to finish this growler. It's very good tasting and at a pretty decent abv% that makes it even more drinkable. I would drink this beer all the time if it were possible. I was slightly worried that this was a "hype" beer and not worth going out of my way to get a growler, but I am very happy I did. Easily one of my favorite IPA's

Photo of HopHead84
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the chance to sample a good amount of this from a fresh growler shared generously by BMan1113VR at The Lost Abbey tasting bar on the evening before Christmas in July.

The beer appears orangish amber with a large white head from my vigorous pour.

The nose is caramel malt with some dull citrus hops. Some grapefruit, orange, and lemon are apparent. The citrus is there, but it's pretty muted and doesn't stand out much from the caramel sweetness. Some pine is also evident.

The hops are pretty dull in the flavor as well. I'd like to say the grapefruit and pine really stand out from the lackluster caramel malt sweetness, but that isn't the case. The beer has a nice medium level of bitterness, but the hop flavor is definitely lacking. I'm not impressed; maybe the growler experienced some trauma on its journey from Minnesota.

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,217 ratings.