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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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1,227 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,227
Reviews: 662
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 831
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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,227 | Reviews: 662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bennetj17
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Medium tawny/copper color with a slight haze. It retained some nice carbonation throughout its long journey and presents with a full three-finger head of fluffy of white foam. Excellent retention and a nice spotty lace. Aroma of soft citrus hops is excellent, but could use a little more umph. The flavor has an intense malty sweetness throughout and a bitterness that rides high on the tongue, carrying on long after the finish. The grassy hops have a nice grapefruit tang and the malt flavor has a slight toasted nut character. A good balance of flavors overall. The mouthfeel is lightly creamy with solid carbonation. This beer went down well and thank goodness it did because I finished nearly the whole growler without much help. Very drinkable and sessionable. This is a fine IPA but I am careful not to overrate it based on its scarcity. Everyone should get the chance to have one though. Thanks goes out to MeLikeBeer for hooking me up...

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

4's all around... and an excellent take on the IPA... but (IMO), clearly a product of its limited availability. This doesn't even make the top 5 IPAs discussion... let alone bordering top 10 beers in the world.

Pours a nice amber with a reasonable frothy head and lacing... it looks like a lot of eastern U.S. IPAs. A very enjoyable aroma which hints predominantly with pine and muted floral notes. I'm underwhelmed, but cautiously optimistic.

The taste of malt hits first on the tongue, and there's a wonderful toasty-ness to the malt profile that dissipates into an extremely oily, pine-y hop bitterness. There seems to be more citrus than I detected in the nose. The blend of hop flavors is delicious and well balanced. Despite the big malt presence up front and the well-maintained balance I don't find this quite as drinkable as HopDevil, the IPA I find this share's the most in common.

The after-taste is relatively clean and dry, with just enough bitterness on the tongue to keep you reaching for more.

I'm very glad I stopped by the brewery to pick up a couple of these growlers on my trip, and in MSP I'll be back again... but it's not even the best IPA I tasted on my trip, and I'm shocked that it's rated so highly. Perhaps if they do ever distribute this and it becomes more readily available its rating will even out?

No matter... if it never does, at least it will provide this excellent little brewery some attention, which it surely deserves.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from a trade with tavernjef. Thanks!

Body is reddish-orange with a huge frothy, almost cake-like, off-white head. Massive lacing from top to bottom in my Duvel tulip. This is visual IPA perfection.

Nose is citrus with a sweet wrapper. Really nice!

Flavor is a wonderful candy citrus blast with a resinous pine finish. The hoppiness really reminds me of SNCA. Has a substantial malty backbone that holds up well and does not get too intrusive. Taste manages to be very intense, yet not fatiguing to the palate. A real treat!

Mouthfeel is almost creamy, yet still quite tangy with a little tooth-strippiness.

Drinkability is insane. Town Hall needs to bottle this ASAP.

Photo of hylton44
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This, the first imbibation of my long-awaited trip to the West Bank's Town Hall Brewery, did not disappoint. The only unfortunate circumstance surrounding this drink is that we had settled for getting served on the outdoor patio area, and my Mama was served in a plastic Texas tumbler.

Nevertheless, a pungent aroma of lush, tropical grasses and ripe grapefruit met my nose; and a deep, brownish amber color met my eyes when this beer was first served to me. Served at the perfect temperature, I fortunately did not have to wait for my first draught. The taste was bitter, rich, and satisfying. Piney, flowery, hints of caramel malts. The mouthfeel was almost creamy, but not in a way that detracted from the bitter zest in any way. I thought this drink was remarkable not only in my initial impression, but also in how the character of the taste did not diminish all the way through the "bitter end," so to speak.

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

This one opens with a nice PFFFTTTT. Phew. Thank goodness. Lots of smoke like vapors leave after opening the top. MANY MANY thanks go out to MeLikeBeer for this fine sample.

Gorgeous one and a half finger head with a minute or two of retention. Brownish orange similar to the fossilized sap on the cane of that man in Jurassic Park... Sticky lacing dances down the glass.

Sweet hops tingle the nostrils on top of the sweet sugary tea aroma and the smell of an open grass field in the morning while the dew is still sitting. As it warms up, piney hops jump out into the nose.

Sweet centennial hops dazzle the tongue before a sweet candy sugary pale malt taste swings in to prepare you for the HUGE bitter hoppiness that comes in.

Mildy fluffy carbonated feel that delights the tongue and palate before drying out and leaving a slightly piney bitterness around. I could have only this beer for the rest of my life and be content.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a growler shared with me by timtheenchanta.

This beer was poured an amber orange with a rediculously frothy white head. The beer also laces quite nicely. The smell is very sweet and full of citrusy hop aromas. The taste is full of bitterness and hop flavors. This is truly a showcase for the hops. There isnt a lot of malt character, but the hops really give this a fantastic flavor. Nice mouthfeel, right on for an American IPA, thick enough but not syrupy, also carbonation is good. Overall a great IPA, glad to finally get my hands on this one.

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

This is a phenominal beer. Golden orange color, perfect off white head of millions of small bubbles that retained at about a centimeter for the entire beer and provided spectacular lacing. I have had this beer many times from the regular tap, but from the cask the hops are toned back a bit, eventhough their complexity is still there, which helps reveal a bit more of the sweet, fruity pale malt. At the beginning of this beer, it tastes atleast a little balanced in malt and hops, definitely leaning towards the hops anyway. The finish though is pretty much all hops, a very broad specturm of them that is just delicious, slightly oily resinous pine and floral like, a bit stronger towards citrus zest, orange and grapefruit, maybe even a bit of apricot. It just plain make you go mmm. the mouthfeel is great on this beer, especially from the cask, enough cabonation to retain the sizeable head, but it's far from overwhelming. Extremly silky smooth. This beer is so good, it is virtually impossible to get sick of it. They go through a lot of seasonals at Town Hall, so I usually go for those, but I try to have one of these nearly every time I stop in for more than one or two.

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

on tap into a pint glass.

orangeish light amber with an off-white layer of head that leaves nice rings of lace.

powerfully hoppy aroma, but with a nice mixture of floral, citrus rinds, and hints of pine. a touch of bitter grapefruit. full, rounded and powerful.

barest hints of caramel malt backing washed away with an incredible mix of hop flavors. less citrus than the nose indicates, but a nice mix of floral and resiny pine. tons of bitter and hoppiness, but it comes off as very well balanced and very drinkable. slick, oily feel with a bitter but rounded finish.

Photo of walleye
3.53/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks goes to a trader from Minneapolis, Minnesota for this growler full of beer. had this earlier this month. poured a nice golen orange amber just like it should with a light tan head. aroma wow the hops jump right out there when the cap was twisted off like walking thru a pine forest, than got citrus leaning to the orange and. flavor, I am glad I didn’t rate this on my 1st glass I thought that I might have gotten a bad batch this was so dry that I had to have a glass of water with it, so down in the ref. it went came back a couple of days later and I could tell it was starting to mellow so after drinking this for a little over a week a good portion of the dryness went away and it became a very enjoyable beer to drink, the flavors were hops, orange and some grapefruit

Photo of DrJay
4.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks goes out to grub for sending me a growler during his recent visit to the twin cities. After chilling for a day, I popped this baby open. Off the pour, I got a creamy 1" head of dense, yet rocky, off-white foam. Things receded a bit, but plenty of head stuck around to produce thick, clumpy lacing. Very balanced aroma, with some malt sweetness providing counterpoint for the tangerine and piney hops (with a little grapefruit too). Solid bitterness with significant malt sweetness to start, along with some floral orange, grapefruit and pine. The bitterness slowly grew into the finish, where it became fairly intense. Along the way there were notes of toasted, biscuity malt and peaches. Kind of a sweet-tart character too. Medium bodied with medium/low carbonation. A bit creamy on the palate too, with some hop dryness. Overall, this has great balance. My taste buds were put through a work out but didn't get tired too fast, which let me enjoy quite a bit of this in a single sitting. I'd love to try this at the brewpub. Highly recommended and not overhyped.

Photo of grub
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(reviewing the cask-conditioned version beside the standard version)

pours a light amber colour with 3/4" of thick, cascading head. the head lingers a long time and doesn't look like it'll ever quit. even when ti does, it leaves tons of lace the whole way down the glass.

again, the aroma is all hops. floral, pine, and grapefruit.

the taste is hoppy but sligthly sweeter than the non-cask version. seems like the balance between the malt and hops is leaning a bit more towards malt than hops. i think the lower carbonation level also helps the malt to come out more.i notice alot more apricot comes through in this one, and the citrus seems less grapefruit and more towards something like a tangerine or blood orange.

the mouthfeel seems a little lighter than the regular MM, most likely due to the lower carbonation. very good.

the drinkability seems just a touch higher than the non-cask version too. really makes me wish that the cask conditioned beers were available in growlers.

overall i think it rates the same as the non-cask masala mama, just a slight variation on it that's neither better or worse, just a little different.

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

Thanks to tastytaste for this growler. Poured into a pint glass. Shared with my IPA connosieur roommate BA PEF524.

This is a top-notch American IPA. It is the most beautiful IPA I have ever seen. It is a very appealing, slightly hazy amber color. The head is an incredibly frothy off-white color, and it leaves a good deal of lace on the glass. The smell is all west coast hops. If there ever were an ivitation to take a sip, this is it. The taste is overpowering citrusy bitterness, in a good way. I like the dryness with just enough malty sweetness poking through. There is definitely a pucker to it, but it is a fully enjoyable beer.

Photo of wingnutter
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I have the elusive Masala Mama in my hands, thanks to an iFriend who send a 64oz growler to me in Florida. Thanks, Tip Top!

A slight "PSSS" as I unscrew the top of the growler, and the pour revealed a nice, orange/amber beer that had a nice, 1 finger head. Smell was typical IPA as expected - nothing shocking or marvelous - just good ole hops, citrus, floral aroma. And for the record, that's a GOOD thing.

Taste: First sip reminds me (hop wise) of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. But there more to it, as I soon find out. Very smooth beer, with nice citrusy notes and floral hints playing off each other and complimenting the malt nicely. Excellent balance. Nice bitterness that disappears as I swallow. Taste lingers on the tongue for a few minutes, then dsiappears, making me want another sip. This is a very well crafted beer, even after a 4 day trip from Minnesota to the Florida heat, and then 2 days in my fridge. Impressive.

Mouthfeel is about what I expected - about medium, and about perfect for an American IPA. Not too heavy, not too light.

I put this IPA among the best Ive had. As it warms, more fruitiness starts to show, maybe subtle apricot?? Drinkability is top notch, as Im on my 3rd of 4 pints, and Im not getting tired of it one bit - this is a very sessionable brew.

Ive been after this beer for a while now, and it did not disappoint. One of the better IPAs on the market...now only if they would bottle, so it would be easier for IPA fans to aquire. Good stuff!!!

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

Secured a growler courtesy of Tasty Taste.

Poured into a pint glass. Soft carbination with ample tiny bubbles.Head disappears quicky but leaves a sticky lacing crawling on the side of the glass.

Smells of earth or grassy presense. Slight fruitiness or citrus hops with a caramel malt.

Extremely smooth! A strong wet hop flavor is followed by a faint fruitiness. Tea like presence that kicks into a caramel malt like flavor that is beaten back by more hops and a nice deep bitterness. High ratings on balance. Leaves a distinct earthy taste on the pallet that lingers on for a spell.

Extremely dinkable and a session drinkers dream come true. This brew is subtle for it's style but... Oh So Damn Good!

I will revisit this enjoyable Minneapolis Town Hall offering again!


Photo of SupaCelt
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Masala Mama departed the confines of its growler and now occupies my pint glass where its full beauty can be appreciated. The colour is a hearty orange caramel. Bubbles still lively up the liquid even after days in transit and untold idle time. A small tan cap emerged off the pour but fell away hastily leaving some frothy churn atop this most lovely glass. Lacing stretches across the vessel's horizon and grows in girth as the level drops with each sip.

The nose carries a strange array of fruitiness. Notes of peach or apricot sweetness, or some darn thing or another, seem to float atop an earthy and green citrus charactered base. This thing smells heavily of raw hop material. It is nearly too chlorophyll heavy with greeness, but it holds itself together by the grace of the bizarre fruit presence. This is a hopped up beer with a unique fruitiness that adds a peculiar sort of appeal.

The taste is fruity. The unique fruitiness is delicious but fleeting. It gets wiped away by an exaggerated bitterness that comes close to throwing off the balance. Close. This beer manages to hold itself together though. The mango-peachy-citrus character really is quite appealing. The bitters are a bit on the aspirin side, but they are tolerable. This is a good IPA, but some of the better aspects seem to be shrouded in the bitterness that nearly overthrows the whole union. Tasty nonetheless. Solid.

Mouthfeel is light. This is constructed to be a drinkable brew and it has succeeded as such. Feel is just right.

Drinkability is good. It would be nice to try fresh from the pull. This is a nicely made beer. I could see me drinking these down. In fact, I did. Nice. Maybe a smidge hyped up. Hopped up for sure.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When poured it has a cloud, not unlike a guiness, then it becomes crisp with a great foamy head that doesn't fall and a lacing that's unbelieveably stuck. It has a golden orange color.

The smell is strong and elegant with fruity tones. The malty tones are creamy and soft. The smell is very strong.

The taste is creamy and flavorful, bready and fruity with a hoppy aftertaste that isn't invasive. I tasted a little wateryness, but unsure if that's just a cask conditioned ale.

The mouthfeel is unbelievable, it's smooth and creamy like silk, just great.

I would definetly drink this once a week if I had the chance, but there are not many beers I could have everyday.

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

Enjoyed on cask.

Pours a magnificent dark orange color with an amazing creamy head. The lacing left little rings all the way around the glass, never seen lacing like that, it was a sight to see. Smell had hints of biscuit and caramel, but of course they were hidden behind a vast array of strong citrus hoppiness. Taste was very good as well and even had a bit of a cream like flavor mixed with the citrus and pine. Mouthfeel was full bodied and ridiculously smooth, this could be drank all day if you wanted, this was truly a great experience.

Photo of hoffman
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler supplied by Fugazme into a pint glass. The pour is beautiful, a nice copper orange color....crystal clear in appearance a nice two finger head rises lingers for a few moments and falls to a cap on the beer with nice spotting lace all the way down the glass. The smell is very aromatic, herbal and dominated by hops, some sweet carmels linger in the back and some spice as well probably as full of a boquet as I have come accross. The taste is phonomenal sweet, robust, with some fruity zest in the background....but of course the amazing hop rush. The hops come at you right in the middle and subconsciously you brace for the pucker effect in the finish....only to find that the hops have been balanced so that they linger in the back of the palette while a cascade of rich malts and cirtus rush in. Truly exceptional....I think my first 5 in the taste category. The mouthfeel is equally as impressive richly carbonated but smooth on the tounge and cheek. Hearty enough that it lingers in your mouth after the beer is gone.

This is the best beer I have had to date....for my tastes this one is coming in on top....a great brew in my mind. If you have the opportunity to try this one....grab it.

Photo of TeamSeinfeld
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Town Hall Brewery is a great bar at seven corners in Minnneapolis, Masala Mama IPA is just one of the few great beers they have available. With that said, this IPA is very good, the hopyness is not overpowering, yet the flavor is magnificant. The beer is definatley worth a try.

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

-Beer came in pint glass, with nice fluffy head that clings to the side.
-The goldenrod hue complemented the wonderful aroma of fresh geen hops.
-The first sip hit me like a punch to the nose, however it did not have an overly geen hop taste as the aroma might indicate. The following swallows were not as intense as I progressed through the beer. Generally a very hoppy beer, but not overdone.
-The mouthfeel was not thick, it rolled over the tongue wonderfully and allowed me to take in the full hop aroma.
-The drinkablity is second to none. As I can attest 5 to 7 beers in a sitting is definately possible.
Overall, a wonderful example of an IPA

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

Appearance: Dark golden to copper color with a dense tan head. Light carbonation billows from the bottom. Slightly cloudy with slippery lacing sliding down the glass.

Smell: Earthy and vegetable scents from the hops. Some piney and faint floral notes backed by a bit of malty sweetness.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The hop flavor dominates the beer. Sweet malty base that shines only briefly before being overpowered by a very earthy, bark-like hop flavor. The hop flavor is gritty and even sandy in a raw sense. Very green and vegetal. The flavor tastes fresh and oily but a bit out of balance.

Drinkability: This beer is readily drinkable and pairs well with the appetizers at Town Hall, particularly the wings. Tasty and fresh.

Photo of hanco005
4.97/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler

A—dark amber color with 1 inch head, leaves a wonderful lacing down to the last drop of the 1st pint, beautiful

S—nice floral and hoppy combo; a little spicy and pine aroma as well and some grapefruit tones as well. I can’t wait to taste it!

T—speechless. Simply awesome. Wonderful bitterness with malt and hops bursting through. Citrus grapefruit and with a slight sweetness at the beginning followed with the best bitter finish that I have ever had. I can’t say enough

M—creamy, thick and delightful.

D—The beer is outstanding! Everything I have from MTH has been outstanding. Put this one on your must do list when in the Twin Cities!

Photo of CultureJamMN
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let me begin by saying, I am not a hop-head. I generally find IPA's passable, and then only in summertime. That said, I couldnt stand this beer at all. And that's exactly why it's so good.

My review is based on what I know IPA to be, and while I may not like them, I know a good one when I drink one, and this is a VERY good one.

The color on this beer is sort of like a peach skin, darker than many IPA's. Nice head, retained well, and the lacing was fantastic.

The hops come screaming out in the nose, but there is a fruityness here, citrusy, but also of maybe peaches.

The taste is hoppy, very hoppy... with the citrus and peach coming on strong. There is a piney/juniper thing happening here too. There is some malt in the finish which is pleasing for this non-hophead.

As for mouthfeel, it was on the light side, but not thin. This would make a great summer beer for hopheads... seriously, if you love hops, and IPA's, find a way to drink this beer.

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

Served on cask at the brewpub, this brew cascades beautifully and settles into a pleasing orange amber hue with a quarter inch thick smooth white head. There is a pronounced hop smell. While there is not the profound hop explosion of the cold version, this beer features a pleasing sustained resiny and piney hop presence perfectly balanced by a smooth malt backing. The creamy mouthfeel is exceptional. A classic American IPA.

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

On tap at the brewpub.

Pint glass pour with a dim clear orange topped with craggy 1/2" khaki head cap that leaves plenty of startus layers of lace in the glass.

The best aspect of this brew is the huge aromatice hop blast and floral bouquet in the nose. So good that I want to jump in. Citrus orange and bright. I could smell this all day long and into night.

First swigs: Piny juicy floral with a touch of Earthy balance from the malt. (Reminds me a lot of 90 minute) Finishes with a tart lemon

This is a thick feel with a full bodied IPA that really puts it into a 2IPA category but I ain't here to debate.

Last swigs: Mature dark grainy hoppy balance. I seriously was shaking before I ordered this. It was the last beer of three for the night. I hoped to save the best for last) Excellent!

Beer is good. Happy hoppy beering.

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,227 ratings.