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 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 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.

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

This beer came a clear orange-ish brown. The head was a frothy light tan that left little lace.

Smelled of dry pines and fruity nectarine and pineapple with a dry sandy malt.

Tasted predominantly of sappy pine with a smooth and subtle caramel and chocolate base with dry fruits mixing into the pine.

The mouth feel was very light with a medium amount of tiny sharp carbonation.

A good beer, but I should have had this one before its cask conditioned sister.

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

This brew is bronze in color. The head is creamy, solid, and white, and stays about one-finger high until the glass in drained. The aroma is citrusy with pine and oranges peaking through. The taste is amazing. It is a perfect balance of citrus and pine flavors with a solid, but not too harsh, bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and extremely smooth. Overall, this is the best all around IPA I have had to date. All other IPAs seem to either be all citrus or all pine. Masala Mama is both.

Photo of clvand0
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a nice head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is all hops - citrus and pine hops dominate. The flavor is much the same - lots of hops. The US hops in the flavor are countered with a decent caramel malt background, but it could use a hint more. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is pretty good.

Photo of rajendra82
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery located in the Twin Cities, this growler came to me via BA feloniousmonk. The seal had obviously held up, as the beer came out with a nicely swirling fine carbonation forming a lace bearing eggshell white head, which was thin, but rich. The beer itself was rather clear, with an attractive copper amber color, which was a shade darker than the run of the mill IPA. The aroma was very good at the time of the pour, and got better as the beer warmed up. The smell was that of flowery, spicy, and citric hops, that were strong without being over the top. The sweet honeysuckle smell of the underlying malt base was permitted to shine through faintly as well.

Taste was unabashedly bitter and peppery with no qualms about the hyper hopped nature of the drink. The malts were caramel, and only there to prop up the hop fireworks going on in my mouth. I love when a brewer self assuredly brews a beer to take its rightful place in the world, and this is a mighty example of this. The soft tropical mouthfeel, dry palette, and leafy bitter aftertaste, all go on paint a cohesive and harmonious picture. I no longer thought a single IPA could wow me, but this one does. Utterly spectacular.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer pours a deep copper color wit ha finger of head that falls to a half finger over top with a modest lacing as it falls. Nose is sweet sweet citrusy, resinous hops with a very solid deep sweet malty backbone. Flavor is a fine balance between sweet citrusy hop flavor, sweet caramel malt and a very modest peppery bitter that hangs on the finish, but very pleasingly. Feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carbonation of fine bubbles. This beer would be in my fridge every day of the year if I could have it that way. I don't think there is a more balanced American IPA out there. Great beer.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.68/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brownish copper pour surprises by its darkness, but the generous beige head compensates any ill thoughts. Fully malty nose offers a broad range of varied dark malts aromas, caramel and fitting butterscotch being omnipresent. Strong biscuity feel. The hops, in that regard, are not the prime focus, but just a half of the couple, procuring mostly earthy, anise-like notes that evolve into leafiness in mouth. Quite sweet for an IPA, obviously rather round, more citric in mouth than the nose would let know and definitely less fruity. Expertly hidden alcohol and no astringency join forces to explain the desirable reputation. Reminds me of stuff like Nogne O Batch 100 for its sheer barleywineish malt orientation. Still very tasty and appealing though, a different take.

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

Despite my really high marks for this beer, I can't help to feel somewhat underwhelmed by this beer's reputation. Don't get me wrong. This is a great beer. A great IPA. But it's quality, albeit high, has been outstripped by its reputation. Bell's Two Hearted, for example, can easily go toe to toe with this one.

The name for this syndrome is "you can't get this, it is soooo good."

Good amber color. Really nice frothy head. Smell is really good. Piney and grassey hops. American hops I surmise. Taste is like the nose, but clean.

Super mad props to blitheringidiot for sharing this with us folks back in Philly.

Photo of jamesdergen
3.48/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a beautiful amber orange with a decent foamy head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Somewhat sweet and citrusy with some hints of pine.

Taste: Great big hop flavor with the ever-present grapefruit flavor at the end that fades out into a somewhat nutty, hoppy bitter aftertaste. Also has hints of that dreaded cooked vegetable taste at the end, which I have never noticed on tap, only from the growler.

Mouthfeel: Surpringling light for a beer with such big, dense flavor. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter and leaves the mouth somewhat dry.

Drinkability: I could definitely enjoy multiple pints of this brew. Goes down easy and doesn't destroy your tastebuds. It's that weird taste at the end that brings the rating down a bit.

I had the rare opportunity to enjoy this beer twice today: once on tap and then from the growler a few hours later. I went out to Town Hall after work, and came home to find out that my roommates had picked up a growler earlier in the day. The beer from the growler wasn't as full-flavored and it had that cooked vegetable taste at the end that kinda ruined the experience for me. Had I been taking notes at Town Hall tonight, this brew would have garnered higher ratings.

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