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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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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,216 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,216
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: 1,216 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ragingbull
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper amber color with a 1 finger off white head with great retention and leaves some nice lacing.

Lots of pine with a hint of citrus in the aroma. Really grabs your attention.

Taste again reveals a lot of piney flavors with some light citrus notes in the background.

Medium bodied and very refreshing. Possibly one of the most drinkable IPAs out there. Very good but not at all overwhelming in any regard...some of the hop bombs out there may be a little intense for some but this is a great tasting IPA that goes down extremely easy. Would gladly try again if given the opportunity.

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

A--Golden/copper color with a finger and a half of off white head in my pint glass that left a thick web of lacing

S--Subdued floral hops, a bit of a citrus kick....this has the scent of a great west coast IPA only it is not near as powerful

T--The taste is a fantastically balanced blend of biscuity malts and earthy hops, with a bitter pine resin aftertaste. I took my first sip expecting to be blown away and at first had to scratch my head wondering what really sets this beer apart from the rest. I have had better tasting IPAs, I have had better smelling IPAs...but what I have not had is a better balanced/drinkable IPA. This is what brewpub beer is supposed to be. My mouth is watering for a cheeseburger right now, but unfortunately I'm going to have to settle for frozen chicken nuggets.

M--Medium bodied and oily, a bit sticky on the palate which I love. Pine resin aftertaste.

D--Like I said, one of the more drinkable IPA's I've ever had. It gets even better as it warms too. I really regret not ordering this on cask when I was at Minneapolis Town Hall...I was so disappointed that there was no more Mango Mama that I panicked when I ordered my beer and totally for got about the regular Masala. D'oh

Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on tap at town hall.... pint was a nice brown/orange color with a smooth head and some good lacing it was really fresh..the smell was floral first then a hop/spice smell with malts..the taste was the same its very smooth and creamy with a nice IPA feel with grapefruits and hops and malts pretty well balanced...the mouth feel is smooth and creamy and really easy to drink..this is one tasty IPA that is not an over the top hop bomb but just really good there is something about this ipa its not the best or the most flavorful but it is one of my favorites that i will have again..ill buy a growler next time at town hall ..oh yeah its recommended

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.2/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Growler into Sam Adams lager glass, big thanks to MBABJJ (Jason) for the chance to try this! Growler is best-by dated on the 24th and arrived on the 24th, drank today, on the 26th.

Pours a nice clear copper with a creamy one-finger bone-white head that settles into a thin cap, thanks in part to the laser etching.

Nose is kind of light - caramel malt and piny hops are the main stars, but there really isn't that much going on.

Taste is bitter up front, raw, fairly astringent, carrying notes of grapefruit rind, resiny pine, and underpinned by a moderate caramel sweetness. Really hard to pull that sweetness out by the finish, though, as the bitterness stats early and charges hard right through to the long, very bitter finish. Lots of early addition hops in this one; not my style of IPA by a long shot. Would like to try this one both on cask and fresh at the source on tap and see if the bitterness levels are the same.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lingering bitterness on the finish, carbonation is a bit sharp and big bubbled.

Drinkability is about on part with taste for the same reason; the long bitterness builds and builds and isn't ideal for multiple pints. Yet another IPA where the experience is dominated by bitterness instead of hop flavor; everything a beer like Sculpin or Alesmith IPA is, this one isn't. Rather disappointed.

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

Great color. Pours a deep orange/brown color that's just beautiful. There is some medium bodied beige head here.
Aroma has large fruit/rind notes with some bitter hop smell.
Great smooth flavor. Very acidic fruit taste with bitter flavor blended into sweet caramel flavor.
Bit of a bite on the back end but overall all a great beer.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice copper body that is amber at its core with a big, fluffy white head that dies down to a ring that crowns the body. Lots of thick, sticky lacing stays behind too.

Sweet citrus notes, piney, resiny notes, a touch of apricot. Some lightly toasted caramel malts.

All of the hop characteristics from the aroma make appearances in the flavor also. Big sweet grapefruit flavor that brings with a good blast of bitterness also. Lots of piney, resiny hops and some more sweet, fruity hops that remind me of apricots or peaches. Along with this nice hop profile is a pretty big flavor of toasted caramel malt that makes this a well balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lively with just a touch of oily feel.

Pretty drinkable IPA here. Honestly, I liked Masala Mama, but it isn't a top IPA for me. Overall, pretty good and well balanced.

Photo of mwa423
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a growler with thabobfater and degerbah.

The growler was still fresh even after over a week, poured with plenty of head that stuck to the glass all the way down. Color is a dark amber and perfectly clear.

Masala Mama has a slightly different hop profile then most epic ipas, it is a very different bitter profile. Overall a fantastic flavor that I could drink all day.

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

Light copper, light orange with an off white head.
Pine, citrus and a malt presence.
The pine character dominates but has a malt backbone to contribute to the overall.I sense a little rye although I dont think it is in the beer. A bitterness lingers but is slightly more than ideal.
Fantastic mouthfeel that is very silky. Possibly the ideal mouthfeel for an IPA.
A very good beer. Not deserving of number 11 in the world however.

Photo of cvaypai
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
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 :(

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

Thanks to CaptainsChair!

Beautiful. Fragrant. Flawless hops bitterness. One of the best single IPAs I've ever had and one of the truly great session beers of all time. Not sure it deserves its lofty place on the Best of BA list-I reserve best beer in the world status for bigger *sskickers-but it is truly a great beer.

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

This beer certainly made for a great refresher after helping Eric move in - cheers for sharing a growler from your epic cross-continent trip.

Pours a radiant orange with a large creamy white head that put down sheets of lace. At first smell the aroma is typical IPA - grapefruit and caramel malt, but as the beer warms mango and pineapple elevate the aroma to a whole new level. I'm not sure what hops they used, but the flavour is great, bursting with citrus and tropical fruit. Again I pick up the mango and sweet pineapple, and this is what helps the beer stand out from the crowd. Another great thing to observe is how well-balanced this beer is. A lot of highly ranked American IPAs are purely an all-out hop assault on the tongue, which isn't exactly a fine example of the craft. The mama has a large sweet malt backbone which reels in the bitterness a touch, and adds a delightful subtlety. Light body and moderate carbonation also combine to make this beer disappear far too quickly.

How does it compare to the other highly-regarded IPAs I've been lucky enough to try? Its definitely up there, and on a par with Surly's Furious and Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. For once, the beer lives up to the hype.

Photo of aglose45
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery growler, courtesy of user0317, cheers!

A: Beautiful golden brown color, with a very nice off-white, frothy head. Left a thick film of lacing around the glass as well.

S: Strong citrus note consisting of orange , lemon, and a hint of grapefruit. I also picked up some grassy, earthy notes as well. Not the citrus last I am accustomed to, but I enjoyed it none-the-less.

T: This is a more balanced IPA, when compared to the west coast hop bombs that I usually pursue, but the flavor pleasant regardless. The first thing that I noticed was the bitterness. I enjoy a good bitter beer, and this is one of them. After I sifted through the bitterness I found some tart grapefruit with a hint of orange, and I also tasted a bit of pine flavor. Following the hop attack came the malts. For the most part I was getting some caramel and a hint of bread. As the beer progressed I found it to be a bit more bitter, very enjoyable.

M: This is a lighter bodied beer, which was pleasant, especially during these warmer months. There was a fair bit of stickiness left from the hops, but was also a very, VERY surprisingly smooth beer. Excellent carbonation for the style.

D: I've been trying to get my hands on this beer for awhile now, and am extremely happy to finally enjoy it, a whole growler of it!

While this is not a top two IPA in my opinion, it is still an excellent beer. Whether you prefer balanced IPA's or hop forward IPA's, this is a must try if you can get your hands on it!

Photo of nrbw23
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a ever bit slightly hazy golden orange well maybe golden red color with an off white head. Head has great retention and leaves a tremendous amount of lacing.

S- Smells of citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and orange. A nice solid backbone of caramal malts is also very apparent.

T- Taste is grapefruit, pineapple, orange flavors and the hops are just plain awesome. There's a nice balance between the hops and caramel malts.

M- Medium in body and good amount of carbonation.

D- Wow this is an awesome beer and incredibly easy to drink.

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

Got this courtesy of StoutsnIPAs. Poured from a growler into a pint glass. It pours a nice copper color. A light tan 1 inch head forms and slowly reduces to a full coverage lacing with some islands.

The aroma includes nice pine and citrus notes combined with a pleasant floral/earthy component. A mild sweetness backs it up.

The taste is also good with a great balance of grapefruit/pine, with more earthy notes. A very nice sweetness balances it out and some spicy notes are also present.

The mouthfeel shows a light/medium body. Good carbonation makes the taste better and gives a clean feel to it. It is smooth and leaves a nice dryness on the upper and lower palate.

Overall, this is a great beer. The low ABV saves me as it is very easy to drink. It is well balanced for an American IPA and has great flavor. Yum!

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

One of the stops on my cross-country tour.

Arrives a typical dark orange, nice stiff foam head that leaves sticky lacing down the glass.

Smells so fruity: mango, grapefruit, oranges - dashes of pine resin, hints of caramel sweetness.

The taste explains why this is the number 1 IPA in America. Big mango (really!), oranges, strong bitter, dry finish that blows your mind, dashes of citrus, a hint of the sweet malt backing that is hidden behind the hops. You could swear this is a big ABV IPA.

Bright carbonation, bold body. This IPA has the whole meal deal. I could drink this all night - and probably will.

Edit: Also growler brought back. The thing to say about this beer is balance. Balance between hops, balance with the malts, complexity of flavors - damn near perfect.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got around to making it out to Town Hall to give this mammoth a shot. I've been meaning to for quite sometime, but never had time or company to go with. I finally made it today when my girlfriend picked me up from work and took me out for dinner and a brew.

As soon as I sat down I knew what I was ordering. Masala Mama please. Food? Eh, doesn't matter, as long as I get my beer. I ended up settling on a Seven Corners Burger (good choice).

Served in a pint glass, this one is a clear orange-amber color. Beautiful. I looked around me, nearly everyone had one. Had a nice one finger off-white head. Healthy carbonation and impressive lacing.

The aroma is strong on citrus fruits, mostly grapefruit. Lots of hop bitterness and a surprising amount of sweet malts. Great balance. This one is a treat to drink in with the nose.

The first sip...ah...nirvana. I love the bitter grapefruit citrus sweet maltiness combination. Finishes clean with the nice lingering taste of quality hops. You can definitely tell this is fresh. It better be, it only traveled a few feet from the brewery to my mouth!

Clean, full bodied and well crafted, you can't ask for much more. I truly consider myself lucky that I can come here after work and get a pint for $3.75 (during happy hour). All this time, and I never really appreciated the gravity of the situation, that one of the most highly regarded beers was just a few blocks away from my university, my work and my home.

This isn't the best IPA I've ever had, but it is certainly up there. I have no problems with this brew being rated 10th in the world (on this site). It is an extremely well crafted beer, and something I plan on enjoying for quite some time.

Now, the next step is to try more of there brews, maybe Mango Mama, or there Hefe.

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

Thanks for Justn for the growler!

A - Pours a dark red/copper color. One of the darker IPAs I've had. A little less than an inch of head with some nice lacing.

S - Wow, the wonderful smell of hops slams the nose. Citrus hope for the most part a little piny. Overall awesome smell.

T - Wonderful, one of the best IPAs I've had to date. Great hop presence will always satisfy a hop head, and satisfied I was. It is bitter but not too bitter.

M/D - This beer is a good excuse for me to go on a road trip up north. I could drink these things all night.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler with BBD 6/4 courtesy of KeefD trade - thanks much! Poured into the Duvel tulip...cap pops with a nice little fizz....

Pours a honey/butterscotch/copper/bourbon color with a sourdough/eggshell head - about 1 finger that drops down to about ½. Decent lacing...a little chill haze on the body. Sparse carbonation rises with moderate speed.

Lots of hops...Nugget/Amarillo/Chinook? I dunno, but it's fresh and absolutely wonderful. Very nice bitterness here. Quite subtle, but quite clean. Malt is there too - a little spicy caramel here. Light-bodied and very enjoyable.

This is a little different. It's not a caricature grapefruit hop bomb like many other IPAs (not that there's anything wrong with that), although the Beautiful Bride does note that it's like drinking a fresh clean grapefruit with a little Sprite-ly character. It's clean, it's refreshing and the balance on this is absolutely huge. The hops show off more than grapefruit citrus...there's flora...a little pine...it tastes like very fresh pellet hops or hop oils. The malt is mild in the balance with a slight caramel hint. This doesn't rate high for an overpowering taste; it's simply extremely even-keeled.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with how this hits the palate. Hop character with a little pucker? Yup. Solid malt backbone that's not heavy? Sure thing. Clean finish with no aftertaste? Oh yeah. Maintains its bountiful yet balanced character throughout, leaving an extremely fulfilling and long finish behind? Uh huh.

This is one I didn't expect to experience for a very long time. Trading is a thing of beauty. KeefD - thanks much. And this deal drinks so cleanly it's not funny, but it reminds you there is some meat on the bone. This growler doesn't have much of a life expectancy at the moment and I fully intend to induce and enjoy every bit of its rapid demise.

Another note: This is not a great beer because it overpowers the senses like a sledgehammer; it's good because it's extremely well-constructed, balanced, clean and a full-bodied pleasure to enjoy. I had similar sentiments with a reasonably fresh bottle of Ithaca TEN; this even more so. Something to sit back and enjoy without full frontal assault. So well done. This is indeed the Little Black Dress of IPAs.

Photo of pmccallum86
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I must admit I went into the MPLS Town Hall Brewery with very high expectations for this brew, and I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint.

A- It appeared a golden reddish color, maybe better described as copper or amber.

S- The smell was fantastic, fruity and hoppy in perfect balance, yum.

T- First a hit of hops, then a citrusy fruity note, I'm in love.

M- Not as thick as some IPAs, but fantastic on the tongue with a little carbonation and creamy feel.

D- Extremely drinkable, it goes down very smoothly. Being a little "lighter," and I use that word lightly, than some other IPAs with extreme complexity, it goes down maybe too smooth, you could easily drink 1000 of these things.

Overall it is a fantastic brew, I would like to see perhaps one more hop addition, but very drinkable, perhaps too much so. If you have the chance to stop by MTHB and get some definitely get some!

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

out of a growler into a pint, purchased at the brewery on 5-28

A - Pours a brown to almost copper color- on the darker side of the IPA style. Head formation is strong, well retained, and eggshell in color. Very well filtered, no hazing or hefty carbonation present.

S - an assertive bouquet of floral hops - grapefruit, piney, and floral. Certainly alpha acid dominated. Just a hair of nutty malts hanging around in the background.

T - One of the few IPAs that I have found that can get hops on your palette before any sweetness or malt. Bitter but balanced up front with a floral hop hit. Mid-stream is rather flat, just continuing to build with more hops and nutty/roasted malts. The end is where the hops take over, giving it a very hard hitting aftertaste.

M - Thick and creamy - full of body. Carbonation is moderate to low, so this beer has retained its full body from superior brewing (recipe or process: not sure which). not much bite from carbonation as I said.

D - Very drinkable for an IPA - the flavors are well integrated, and the ABV is manageable to a bit above average. I could see (and have) downing many of these at the brewery.

This is where I may get a bit down on the beer relative to its BA ranking: its an awesome IPA, but is it deserving of its high stature on BA? I unfortunately don't think so. I am a huge fan of MTH brewing and will order a MM when I can, but I am unable to break it away from the myriad of awesome other IPAs such as Racer 5, Stone IPA, or two hearted.

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

A: Rich amber body capped by millions of tiny bubbles forming a fluffy head... great retention and thorough lacing.

S: Subdued citrus hops, with piney and floral notes. Soft malt, caramel backbone

T: A more intense representation of the nose... light citrus, pine and floral hop bitterness. well balanced with the slightly sweet caramel malt backbone

M: Smooth, refreshing, crisp clean bitter finish.

D: To be honest I wasn't blown away with the flavor or the nose. respectable, sure. the true gem of this beer though is the easy drinking experience. this is the kind of ipa you want when chilling on your deck on a nice summer day. goes back like water, but with a hell of a lot more flavor :)

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 israel
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks justn for the opportunity to finally try this beer.

A- The head on this beer stood a full two inches over the rim of my pint glass, wow! Beautiful rocky, frothy tan head with some really extensive lacing that travels the whole length of the glass. Seems a bit dark for the style but not too far out of whack more of a dark amber IMO.

S- Very pleasant to smell and I pick up a lot of subdued grapefruit and citrus up front with some nice pine notes as well.

T- Hoppy to say the least. Lots of grapefruit and citrus but not as assaulting as say a dreadnaught. Seems like a wlel balanced beer without any real malt presence if that makes sense.

M- Nothing offensive or out of line just very pleasant.

D- I'm thinking this growler doesn't stand a chance!

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

Finally, Sunk my growler into a pint glass. Nice orange-amber hue that catches the light nicely. Off white head that hangs out to chat. Nice soapy, lacing and there is some visible carbonation. The smell is full of grapefruit, pineapple and sweet malts with little pine detected. The taste is on point. Citrus, grapefruit peel and pine dominate. A perfectly mild bitterness finishes it off. The mouthfeel is in line with the taste. Not to thick and syrupy with the perfect amount of carbonation to be extremely drinkable. F-ing amazing, and perfectly balanced.

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,216 ratings.