Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale
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1,218 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,218
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 828
Gots: 64 | 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
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Ratings: 1,218 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this of a friend who brought it back from the brewery. Have to say I was very excited to try it and it did not let me down one bit!! Poured a light caramel color with beautiful light tan head. Smel was of mild hops and with a nice finishing smell. Definitely not over done. First taste is hoppy, but not overly. Very clean smooth finish, not extremely bitter. Has a nice malt flavor that I have not noticed in any IPAs that I know of. Had two pints and can not wait to have more. Even someone (not I) who did not like IPAs could enjoy this beer very much.

Photo of Scoobydank
3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Dark amber with a tint of orange mixed in. Thick off white head
S: a pungent pine need up front with slight floral hops. Sweet roasted malt as well
T:Very citrusy pine on the back. Big bisquity taste floats around as well. Reisiny hops.
M:small tin buddle that give it a sharp fizz
D: Good IPA, I thought it would be better though

Photo of zeff80
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On cask on 12/31

A - Poured a cloudy, amber color with a creamy, off-white, one-finger head. It left solid sheets of lace down the entire glass.

S - It smelled of bitter hops with a sweet caramel malt aroma.

T - It had a strong hoppy taste(almost as hoppy as a DIPA). The roasted malt flavor gave it a buscuity taste. There was subtle citrus flavors, as well.

M - This was one of the smoothest and softest beers I've ever had. A medium body, too.

D - Outstanding! It lived up to the hype. I'm sure having on cask made it even better, too.

Photo of Monkeypaws
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kingpin left me a growler of this on his last run through town. I've enjoyed this beer for over a year now, and each time I get my mitts on some, it's like the first time. What you get is a fantastic smelling pint, with gorgeous color and excellent body. Where this beer kicks serious butt is in the mouth though, with a strong attack of hops balanced just right with some nice malt, giving a brilliant start that explodes into a strong hop aftertaste that can last minutes. Masala Mama deserves its lofty ranking for being the most consistently amazing ale I've drunk.

Photo of deepsouth
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

what can i say? this is masala mama.

the beer pours a dark ruby red with an orange hue. this beer looks more like an amber than an ipa. the head is a nice thick grapefruit rind color that, depending on how hard you pour, can be as big or small as you like.

the smell is big on grapefruit and other citrusy goodness.

the taste is sharp and clean. huge citrus notes followed up by just enough malt to allow your tongue to lay back down after the initial curl it does.

the mouthfeel is full and lush. crisp and clean also describes this beer.

masala mama is always a a treat and each time it seems like the first time. a world class ipa. maybe one day i can make it to town hall.

a big thanks to KeefD for getting me this bad boy.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

64oz Growler poured into several Pint Glasses and shared amongst friends

A - Poured a deep rich dark orange tinted amber with a nice full two fingers of head on the top. Nice clarity as there was not too much haze in this one, but lots of carbonation streaming up toward the top. Very nice retention led to a good amount of side glass lace left over.

S - The aroma was full of deep citrus hops and pine resin. It had a very fresh smell to, it was obviosuly just bottled. The aroma was thick with neverending waves of hoppiness and a slight malty earthen smell way deep in the back trying to round it out.

T - What a wonderful full flavor this had. I was worried whether it could live up to its hype, boy did it ever. This was a fantastically good ipa. From the first sip it was a full on bath of citrus hops. Deep flavors of orange, tangerince and a touch of grapefruit washed over the tongue. As it warmed some more bitterness started to fall into place with hints of sugar and pineapples rounding it out. A very nice earthy backround provided all the neccasary balance in this one.

M - Great smooth creamy feel. This was a nice light to medium bodied ale that was more then adequatly carbonated and really had a nice feel to it. The carbonation stayed till the last drop and the finish was very long and drawn out with a great residula bitterness.

D - Perfect is all I can say about this here. I really enjoyed evry last drop of this and really could have went for some more when it was done. Easily one the better IPA's I have ever had.

Overall this lived upto ever ounce of the hype around it. A superbly crafter IPA it tatsted fresh until the last drop and had a great profile that just would not quit. I would love to have this again one day, especiaally on tap. A wonderful brew.

Photo of mnstorm99
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber pour with a nice off white head that hangs on til it's gone. Aromas are dominated by the hops, nice citrus and floral aromas are completely enviting. Taste gives my carmel at first but quickly the hops smack you across the face, nice grapefruit and piney qualities to it. I could drink this smooth and well produced beer all day long, and love it.

Photo of snpub540
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer made my trip to Minnesota worthwhile. This beer had a brown color with a super creamy off whited head of foam. This left a huge amount of lacing on the glass the whole way down. It almost coated the glass.

Nose was floral and grassy. Smells very delicious.

Taste was very delicious. Bitter grapefruit was dominate with a piney hop taste bringing up the rear.

This a full bodied beer. It was just creamy and it seemed to coat my entire palate. Great drinkability as it is just super smooth and refreshing.

Photo of OStrungT
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden slightly brown color with a thick, fluffy, off white head. The head, with a slight orange tint, fades slowly, leaving a good lacing.

This beer smells quite floral. It has a nice citrusy aroma as well. It is very well balanced. This beer also has a slight piney aroma.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Quite floral, with some citrus flavor mixing in. Some lemon, and a slight grapefruit flavor. Some piney hop flavor also.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a floral aftertaste. It is crisy, and quite refreshing.

I think the beer would make an excelent session beer. It tastes great, and it is not high in alcohol. Carbonation levels are good after being poured a week ago.

Overall: Thanks Faro for this fine beer. I am a bit surprised that this beer still tastes so good, and is carbonated as well as it is after being poured a week ago. I knew that Town Hall took extra care with growlers, but this is most impressive. This beer is great.

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 brewdoc75
4.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this one several times on tap, but I've never thought of reviewing it until now. I decided to grab a growler on the way home from work, so I could sample it in the comfort of my own home.

Appearance: Poured from the growler into a standard pint glass. Excellent 1/2 inch head that sticks to the side of the glass as it settles down over a few minutes to a nice white lace. The beer itself is a beautiful amber-copper color w/ lively carbonation.

Smell: The first thing that comes to mind is "fresh." For some reason it smells like the hops were just picked. The aroma is very citrusy w/ grapefruit and orange peel scents. There is also a faint piney aroma.

Taste: Exceptional!. The flavor of this beer is immaculate. Very well rounded out hops and malts for an IPA. Definitely has a great amount of hoppy taste w/ plenty of citrusy flavors. There is also a great balance of malty sweetness to balance out the strong hoppy intro. There is some pleasant lingering bitterness towards the end, but instead of turning you off, it makes you want to repeat over and over again. Probably one of the best if not THE best tasting IPA I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: A very sharp and light initial mouthfeel that seems to thicken to a medium thickness as the drink progresses. My throat feels a little sticky (as can be expected w/ an IPA) after I finish the drink.

Drinkability: Now this is an American IPA. Beatiful citrus and piney flavors blend nicely w/ an exceptional body. This beer obviously does a great job of showcasing hops, but the rounded out body of this beer is what makes it a great IPA for me. If I had one example of the best IPA to show a none IPA drinker, this would be the one. Here is another reason why I'm happy I live in Minnesota.

Photo of marksto
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sought out and sampled at GABF due to the very high ratings here. I enjoyed it, but did find a few better IPA's there.

Pours medium amber, clear, with a thin white head that displays good retention. Aroma shows big fruit and hop on the nose, both mingle nicely; and also has some apple and citrus in the hops. Fairly full bodied, with a pleasing citrusy essence and malt and fruit intermingling with some light pine elements. The dimension and complexity of this one are certainly very good, but I was not as impressed as it looks like some other BA's have been. Definitely worth sampling if you get the opportunity to try it.

Photo of illidurit
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an amber copper color, with a thick and dense head that cascades upwards for several seconds after the pour is completed. The off-white head sticks around forever and the lacing leaves a series of rings around the glass.

Strong pine in the aroma, some citrusy notes, floral hops, caramel.

This beer has a strong malt profile which in most other IPAs would be too much competition for the hops, but here the pine resin barrels right through the caramel sweetness and smacks you around. A little orange/grapefruit in the hop profile as well. Really bold and full but still well balanced.

The carbonation is perfect here. This is a big IPA but it's not too syrupy. You'd think there's more alcohol judging by the big maltiness but it's a very modest 5.9%. If I hadn't split the growler with a friend I'm sure I would have no trouble finishing it solo. Top notch IPA.

Photo of jackorain
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finnaly got to the brewery. Had the draught after the cask. See my cask review in the previous review.

A-Clear amber. Long lasting head that eventually (7 minutes) fell to a thin coat and tall collar. Showed decent lace.

S-Beautiful hop aromas, grapefruit, complex array of other citrus fruit, bready, biscuit and caramel malts. Nearly the same nost as the cask but not as potent.

T-Again, this close to the cask but not quite as good. Citrus fruits abound, grapefruit and grapefruit pith dominate the hop profile. A bit hoppier than the cask versionThere ia an alcohol zing the belies the fairly low ABV. The malts come out and grow more complex as it warms and consists of all those found in the nose. Never comes up as balanced though.

M-medium body, nice even carbonation, not as creamy as the cask.

D-Very good, lower ABV and fantastic flavor makes this one and all nighter. Supremely hoppy and unbalnced but I knew this going in and appreciated it. Sorry about all the comparisons to the cask, but I thought it appropriate given I drank them back to back and liked the cask a touch better.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.95/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired from bax72 courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 64oz. growler into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color with a medium off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very hoppy and very fruity (lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit) with a good background of caramelized malt.

T: The taste is extremely well-balanced with strong flavors of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts. The sweeter flavors fade and the hops flavor exerts its dominance. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, excellent representation of style, this is flat out just an incredibly enjoyable IPA. I think it’s the perfect beer to drink all night long.

Photo of sacrelicio
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahhh...I have spent so much time with tihs beer but have ne'er reviewed it. That said, this is the perfect American IPA. Hazy orange amber with a cloyingly beautiful head and lacing of the most sublime off-white color I have ever witnessed. Sublimely hypnotic. The smell is a sock-knocker-offer off the best kind. Delicious notes of orange, lemon, grapefruit, Ponderosa pine, earthy malt, caramel, green tea, and cannibis. A taste that eclipses the smell perfectly, a three dimensonal expression of the smell to be witnessed by the palate, beholder of its own beauty. The mouthfeel is such a second act to the magnaninous aroma and palate searing flavor that it almost bears no mentioning, but is perfect in its own right; the cloying candied stickiness of this brew may offput only the pitiful but always pleases the purest of heart. The drinkability depends not on the palatial experience of the drinker, but rather the surroundings, as a pool table surrounded by the best of friends begs for another imperial pint. A+

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy amber color and a sturdy head that retains and laces well

Smell: Tangerine citrus and some pith

Taste: No malt appetizer here as we go straight to the grapefruit and pith flavors from start to finish; some underlying hints of caramel try to sneak in from time to time and they are finally able to take a bow at the finish, but this is all about bitter citrus

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A refreshing beer with great bitter character and just enough caramel flavor to keep it honest

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

Pours a ruby copper with a huge creamy head that stick around and laces for days. Damn this looks good and already is obviously not your average IPA. Smells of huge hops, grapefruit, a hint of peach, pine, HOPS!! First taste is insane. I just took a Bruce Lee kick of hops to the tastebuds. Ive had weaker DIPAs. Some grapefruit, rind, intese citrus, pine and the most hops Ive ever had in an IPA. This is crazy good. I had no idea what I was getting till now. Feels medium to light in the mouth with carbonation tickling the tongue in a great way. Finishes puckeringly bitter and slightly dry. Wow, hopheads beware. One taste of this beauty and you will have your bags packed for Minneapolis. This breaks the rules of IPA in so many different ways. Your not a hophead until youve tried this.

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

Growler acquired in a trade with franksnbeans

Pours a rich burnt amber color with massive, thick and creamy off white kinda tan head. Foamy, and leaves bubbles along the side. Smell is earthy, grapefruit, pine, grassy, mt. hood hops. Taste is different on several sips. I get fruity, then grassy, then pine with a delicious carbonation that kicks back. I also taste a spice that lingers on the back of my tongue. Awesome IPA, and can't believe this isn't a Double IPA

Photo of beachbum1975
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 8-9-2007

Thanks for the wonderful trade tavernjef! Really glad things went smoothly with our trade overall...

Chilled for 3 days at 40 degrees before trying. Poured from my brown, sealed growler with and expiration date of 8-10-2007. Really nice growler with the white-inked Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery logo on it. Definitely keeping this growler for display or future use.

Appearance: Poured a luscious dark copper with orange highlights, a real thing of beauty to look upon. Topped off the pour with a SUPER creamy ½ inch head. This beer has great lacing and head retention. It looks amazing.

Smell: After agitating the beer a bit, I got a strong hit of grapefruit and pine on the nose. After further sniffing, I picked up the slightest hint of sweet malts with a small alcohol trailing. Super sour citrus and earthy pine definitely dominate the smell of this beer.

Taste: A mouthful of sour grapefruit and carbonation hits the tongue immediately. Toward the back of my tongue, a real bitterness finishes the flavor. The malts are blended in so well, I can barely taste them, which is kinda unique. I consider this one of the most full flavored IPA's out there. In fact - in my opinion, it's just a shade off of being a double IPA. Bold and insanely rich hopiness throughout.

Mouthfeel: Highly enjoyable, nice fizz on the tongue and leaves a heavy amount of bitterness in the aftertaste.

GREAT IPA and an excellent example of this style of beer. Not the MOST original flavor, but a seriously good session beer.

Great work.

Photo of bkett01
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to LeonTrotsky for this growler.

Pours with a 1 inch off-white head. It appears a transparent golden copper color and doesn't seem to be very heavily carbonated. The smell is strong on hops with a hint of sweet malt behind it.
Tastes of raw hops that finishes crisp but dry. While the malt is here, this one is loaded with hops. It really lives up to it's ranking as one of the single best IPA's out there. Leaves traces of lacing along the glass as it goes down and is extremely drinkable. I envy those of you who have regular access to this gem of an IPA, and hope someday that they distribute to MA.

Photo of Bamabrew22
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try the Masala Mama on tap, at the source. Glad to say that this beer does not disappoint.

A: Poured clean out of the tap with a 2-finger, feathery head. Deep coppery, amber color with mild effervescence. Just inviting to look at.

S: Hops, hops and then more hops! Incredibly enticing smell.

T: For a hophead's delight, this beer was surprisingly balanced. Loads of hops up front, but the slight caramel flavor of the malt played a nice point-counterpoint. Well done!

M: Fully coated the palate and left me wishing for more.

Overall, this is just a fantastic beer. A pleasure to drink and savor every mouthful. The brewpub wasn't half bad either. I suggest the Black and Blue Burger (Black Angus, Blue cheese); accompanied the brew quiet well. The entire trip to MN was worth it for this beer!

Photo of brewcrew76
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a deep orange light copper with a frothy off white head that leaves a ring of lace.

S - Sweet candy like caramel with mango, peach and grapefruit hop aroma. Great, complex aroma that I just keep smelling over and over.

T - Sweet caramel upfront followed by bitter hops of pine, grapefruit, peach, mango and pineapple. That great caramel aroma gets alittle lost in the hops in the flavor.

M - Creamy and very soft feeling with dry hop bitterness on the finish.

D - This one goes down way too easily. Extremely well balanced with a good deal of sweetness and bitterness. Somewhat subtle for an American IPA (maybe that is why it never stood out to me at beer festivals) but when drinking it by itself it works in its favor.

Photo of Atron67
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- this didnt have the cascading creamy look that the cask ale did, however it was still a heavy foamed, golden amber clear bodied ale with tan head that lasted a long time and left lots of lacing
S- This had a much sharper hop scent than the cask conditioned, however it was just as good, and enjoyable, although the malt is harder to notice under the sharper hops
T- very good, theres the great hop flavor providing a much stronger and crisper flavore, slightly piney. it is harder to notice the malts than in the cask however they are still there and quite delicious
M- this has a much lighter body and a sharper carbonation, but right where you epect and want for an IPA
D- This is a great IPA, however I might like the cask more, but they are both delicious

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

Poured from a growler acquired from tavernjef, who is a great trader by the way!!

Appearance - Pours a brilliant copper/orange color with a big off white head. Head retention is quite good and there is significant lacing as well.

Smell - A huge piney hop aroma right off the bat. I picked up some grapefruit too with a bit of a bready malt too.

Taste - Again there is a big hop, graprfruit taste. All I can say is yummy!!

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with very good carbonation.

Drinkability - This is easily one of the best IPA's I have ever had. I am a HUGE IPA fan so this is why I gave drinkability a 5. Get ahold of this beer if you can. You won't be dissapointed.

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.