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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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1,216 Ratings
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
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Ratings: 1,216 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerisheaven
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, a tremendous thanks to maximum12 for allowing me the opportunity to try this highly rated IPA. Another great trade with one of BA's BEST traders netted me this gem; I have long looked forward to trying this given its relative low ABV and its top 10 rating. I expected it to be good.

Poured from a growler into my Sierra Nevada bubbling glass. Nice pop and hiss upon opening the growler.

A - Bueatiful amber/copper color on pouring with a nice white head rising up.

S - Hoppy and inviting with the smell of grapefruit, pine, and citrus scent in general.

T - Now IPA's are not necessarily my bag, but this delivers a nice hoppy bitter experience with a nice blend of grapefruit/citrus as well. They have done this very well to be sure. I enjoyed this beer more than Pliny/NN/others as you don't get the same level of assault as you get with those beers.

M - Pleasant and consistent.

D - It is in this area that this beer shines IMO. As opposed to beers like Pliny and others where your tastebuds are neutralized after a couple, the MM is an easier drink. This is a beer that you could knock back a few of and still be satisfied in more.

A really fine example of the IPA style. I wish I could try the Mango Masala but I tip my hat to maximum12 for allowing me this opportunity to try this great beer.

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

Had this one on tap at the Town Hall brewpub on 5/11/2009 (all part of a great beer trip with BA roadhouse).

A= This ale poured a mostly clear orange color with a 1/2" white head. The head dropped to a thin skim and didn't leave much lacing behind. Moderate carbonation release evident.

S= The smell coming from this ale was of course dominated by hops. Some citrus in the aroma but I found a lot more pine than fruit there. Thin malt base barely detectable.

T= Much like the smell, the pine and citrus hoppiness trounced the thin malt quite handily. The hop flavor was decent but the hop bitterness was huge. That coupled with the thin malt base made for an unbalanced, bitter beer for sure. The finish was dry and bitter.

MF= Medium bodied with a decent carbonation level and crisp feel.

D= Its not that I hated this beer, but I thought the flavors were a bit too unbalanced and that the pine notes were over the top. Not bad, just not equal to the hype. IMO, Town Hall makes far better beers than this!

Photo of philbe311
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Buebie for this tremendous extra that was part of my 1st ever trade...

A - Nice pop and fizz upon twisting off the cap... Big fluffy cloud-like rocky faint beige head... Respectable retention eventually recedes to leave a nice rich full intricate lacing... Fully translucent medium goldish copper color... Orange and reddish hue highlights when held up to the light...

S - Orange... Tangerine... Strong caramel presence... Cracker... Outdoorsy autumnal scents... Mildly pungent aroma...

T - Bitter citrus... Minor piney hop presence... Strong malt base dominated by caramel... Crust... Nice balance leaning towards the hops as expected without being overdone...

M - Surprising shorted of carbonation on the initial sip... Exceedingly smooth... Creamy... Medium bodied... Slightly burnt texture... Dry finish...

D - Solid and highly accessible IPA... Refreshing... Very easy to drink... Quite sessionable at < 6% ABV... An excellent example of the style...

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

Had on tap at the brewpub 5/11 in a pint glass

Poured a deep orange color, slightly hazy, with a half inch off-white head that fell to a skim and left minimal lacing.

Aroma was of course very hoppy with a lot of citrus, some tropical fruit, and a bit of pine. Malt was not really detectable as the hops were the frontrunners here.

Taste started out with the citrusy hops and a bit of tropical fruit entered in as well followed by a bit of piney hop flavors towards the finish. Pretty bitter overall without much malt character.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, pretty smooth and drinkable, but nothing amazing.

Overall, I was let down by this beer. For being so highly rated in the list of IPAs, it was actually only above average to me. Definitely a beer that doesn't live up to the hype, but by no means bad.

Photo of portia99
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a standard pint glass

Growler opened with a satisfying burst of carbonation. Was a little worried, since I had the growler for about a week in my fridge so I could share with a fellow BA.

A - pours a beautiful copper color with a thin 1/2" white head. Crystal clear with appropriate level of carbonation

S - Good balance of earthy hops and sweet malt. Nothing overpowering - just a really nice balance.

T - Again, very nice balance. I expected this to be a little more hop forward, but this wasn't at all disappointing. Good amount of bitterness, and a nice balance of fruity malt. When first poured, I detected a slight bubble gum flavor that was interesting and not unappealing. As the beer warmed in the glass a little, this disappeared.

M - Solid body, maybe slightly on the thin side, but appropriate for an IPA

D - Extremely drinkable. I could have these all night long. Nothing is overpowering here - alcohol is detectable, but restrained. Malt and hops in perfect balance.

Balance is the key word for this beer. Not a hop monster of an ipa, just a really solid, malty, hoppy ipa that is worthy of the hype.

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

Scored a growler from brian23456. Much props. Pours out of the growler nice and carbonated. Great big head, excellent retention, lacing, great clarity and perfect amber color. Aroma of fresh and fruity hops. Dry yeasty esters. Excellent hop profile here. Nice and ripe - melons, apples, citrus fruits, yet a nice dry, dusty, English-style finish. A nice caramel maltyness rounds out the bitterness and makes for just about a perfect balance. This is definitely something I would drink all the time if it were available. Low (by US standards) ABV combined with lots of flavor and the perfect body makes for a very drinkable brew which isn't compromised in complexity. Excellent.

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

Big thanks to Buebie for sending this long time want my way.
Fresh growler poured into a standard pint glass produced a finger worth of creamy looking head that settled to a thick lace that slides down the glass as you drink it. The body of the brew is a clear somewhat amber copper in color, with tiny bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma hit me as soon as I opened the growler it is an incredible citric smell that wafts threw the air. I put my nose into the glass and it only gets better nice pine and floral hop's come into my head making the drinking experience even better. The flavor is well balanced the way I like my IPA's there is enough sweetness from the malts to keep the hops bitter in check. Don't get me wrong there is enough bitterness in this but, the sweetness makes you come back for more and more of this wonderful nectar. The body of the brew is medium in my mouth with great carbonation for my tongue even from a growler.

This growler isn't lasting long if that is any indication of how drinkable this brew is. I will be going for a second growler of this if possible, in the near future. Truly deserving to be in the top 100 and a must try in my book

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

A- Pours a deep transparent orange color with a nice, thick, chewy, off white head.

S- Smell is dominated by citrus and grapefruity hops with some sweet caramel malt in the background.

T- Nice and bready, substantive with citrus notes all the way through. A very bitter grapefruit finish stays on the tongue long after the brew is gone.

M- Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

D- This was an excellent IPA. I went in this expecting to be disappointed because of it's high rating (which I thought it couldn't live up to) but I was certainly wrong. If this was available around here it would be my go to.

Photo of Sean9689
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a growler into my nonic.

A - Pours reddish/copper with a off-white head which vanishes and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S- A mix of hops and malts with a slight sweetness, a perfect balance of hops and sweetness...nice!

T - Floral hoppy flavor (not a whole lot of grapefruit/citrus), which I really like and a slightly bitter finish...very clean and smooth

M - Very "slick", coats the inside but not a think beer by any means. Perfect carbonation from the growler.

D - I would drink this beer every single day if I wasn't so far away. One of my favorite IPAs of all-time.

Photo of bsp77
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally made it to Town Hall! And they have Masala Mama on cask!

Serving glass: Cask pour into Pint Glass.

Appearance: Hazy reddish-orange, thin head but considerable lacing. Love the way the cask pour looks as it settles, which took a couple minutes.

Smell: Citrus, pine and bitterness. Very slight malt presence, but not much.

Taste: Similar to smell - citrus, pine and very bitter. Small malt presence leading to a soft sweet counterbalance. However, the malts don't provide too much balance, this is an especially bitter IPA.

Feel: Expected feel for a cask beer, which is wonderful. Very, very dry.

Drinkability: Strong drinkability due to how smooth it is, but the persistant bitterness limits my intake.

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

Got a growler in a trade with Deliriumfest - many thanks! Poured into a pint glass after letting warm up a bit. Growler opened with a loud hiss. It was a slightly hazy copper color with some carbonation and slight lacing. It had an average sized off-white head that settled into a partial thin film and good collar.

The aroma was excellent. Floral and citric hops as expected but missing the grapefruit hit that I usually find in the style. Aroma was great without it so didn't hurt it. The taste was amazing as well. Starts out smooth at first and then smack the hops hit and ramp up to a nice bitter finish. Get the great hop bite and finish and then fades so you are ready for next drink without shredding your tongue. Very drinkable. The only thing keeping from a 5 for me is that there was something just a bit off in the aftertaste. Tried but couldn't pin it down. It hit after the bitter started to fade and had a medicinal taste to it almost like penicillin. Odd but thankfully short lived. If this was straight out of the tap, I might knock it down more but since a growler that I was very fortunate to get I mostly let it pass. Mouthfeel was excellent. Great carb balance.

Overall, an amazing beer that deserves the high ranking and hype. Can't wait to try this fresh next year during my upper Midwest trip. Most highly recommend. Obviously not available here but if it was it'd find a home in my regular rotation. For now, more growlers trades and a trip are in my future.

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


Perfect Copper Color with a light fluffy head that has great retention and good lacing.

Excellent Nose of Hops and citrus with some floral notes

Taste was awesome..Piney and hoppy with a wonderful think and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonated to where it makes it dangerously drinkable..

A DIPA in a low ABV body. Cant wait to have some more...

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

I've heard about this, seen a ton of posts about this and never figured I'd get to try a fresh growler of this. A tip of the hat to Justn for sending me a fresh growler of this fine American IPA! Over 300 reviews as of this posting so I'll just affirm that it's got an amazing hop nose and a wonderful balance between intense hop flavors and nice bready sweet malts. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance!

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


pours deep copper with a slight murkiness to it. light head and light retention. some lacing left on the sides.

HUGE citrus and floral hops, with a smidge more floral. very sweet smelling.

nice bitterness, a mix of pine and red grapefruit with light floral notes hidden. light malt backbone holding this together but is only really detectable in the back.

light carbonation and light in general, not too full. crazy easy to drink. could use a smidge more body.

this is amazing. stupid easy to drink and with a low ABV, this could not be more drinkable for an IPA

overall - ok, this is well worthy of its score. why? this is what many DIPA's taste like but this is an IPA with the DIPA flavor and w/o the DIPA ABV. this is your session beer for lovers of all things hops.


Photo of BZero007
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a Growler threw a trade, thanks to maximum12!

Pours a amber and cooper color with great head retention and lace. The aroma that this beer gave of was great!! Every time that I inhaled it seemed new to me. Lots of citrus hops with floral accents and fruits in the background. maximum mentioned to me that this was one of those rare beers that tasted different with every glass, and it really did live up to that. With every glass I was noticing more and more flavors being dominant. Dominant bitter hops power this brew for sure! with only the slight hint of malts in the background with floral notes. This could be a great session beer and was for me!!

Photo of Gyle41386
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks go out to br3wmeister for hooking me up with a growler.

Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Growler opened with a huge POP! Nice to see it held up so well after the trip from Minnesota to South Carolina.

Pours a darker orange version of amber. Amazing giant fluffy head. Excellent retention. Thick rings and big chunks of foam everywhere. Leaves behind gorgeous spiderwebs of lace. Phenomenal looking beer.

I love this aroma. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I love big citrus in my IPA's. Well, Masala Mama is giving me bushels of sweet citrus in my nose. It's funny, because I've never considered myself a fan of grapefruit, but I absolutely LOVE grapefruit in my IPA's. Who knew? Maybe I should give the actual grapefruit itself another shot.

Flavor is as delicious as the nose. Nice pine in the finish and aftertaste. In the land of BA, where double/triple IPA's and imperial stouts are king, it's nice to see a beer like this holding it's own near the top. The caramel malt backbone provides superb balance. Some people may think that detracts from an IPA, but not me. There's a time and a place for super bitter hop bombs, and I enjoy them, but there's also a time and a place for a magnificently crafted IPA.

Medium body, nice creamy texture. I can't imagine another beer topping this in drinkability. Hey, Bud Light, take notice. This is how you make a truly drinkable beer.

I almost felt bad for marking so many 5's...well, not bad, but like I wasn't doing it right. After all, we're even told on this page that 5's should be rare (ie cannot improve anymore). Well, after reading the parenthetical statement, I stand by my 5's. I can't imagine this beer improving in any one of those categories without lowering the ratings of another, or moving the beer into another category.

Again, huge thanks go out to br3wmeister. This wasn't part of our trade. I just happened to mention I loved citrusy IPA's, and he said he'd be sending a surprise. And what a surprise it was.

Photo of glid02
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this courtesy of gford217 - thanks!

Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head is surprisingly robust for a growler pour and the lacing is thick.

Smells of citrus and floral hops and lots of them. Some malt aromas are present, but the hops are certainly in charge.

Tastes a bit maltier than it smells. Big citrus flavors and milder pine flavors are backed up by a combination of pale and caramel malt flavors. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with solid carbonation that makes this go down very smoothly.

Drinkability is great. I could very easily polish off a growler of this.

Overall this beer didn't disappoint. The aroma is the best part about this beer, but the flavors and drinkability are not far behind. Definitely worth a shot, and thanks again to gford217.

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

Appearance is soft, velvety, seductive. A Nordic goddess if you will. Some piney notes on the smell, but subtle. Our goddess is into seduction and doesn't want to reveal too much, until you are in the web. Mouthfeel is amazing on cask. Creamy and smooth, this temptress is teasing you, but she delivers in the end. Taste is subdued yet powerful, we are not getting hit over the head here, like a west coast IPA. This woman is the total package.

Please, keep in mind. I am talking about this beer on cask, only. I enjoyed it on tap, but cask turns it into one of the best beers I have ever had.

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

Cheers to justn for this one, been ready to try this for a while

Pours amber with 2+ fingers of rocky sand colored head. Stays effervescent throughout, superior head retention & lacing

S: A riot of grapefruit, piney hops, plus some floral hops

T: Earthy hops, biscuitty malt, grapefruit, plus flowery hops & a touch of dryness up front. Orange rind, pine sap & slight oaky dryness as this warms. Finishes slightly oily, crisp with grapefruittyness & a floral flourish, plus a bit more biscuitty malt

MF: Medium bodied, low but noticeable carbonation, superb balance

Great drinkability, the hops just pop, but enough malt balance ensures my interest never sways...Superior AIPA, with a toe or two stuck across the pond

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

Growler thanks to BDR (thanks Brad!). Pours a clear amber with a thick white head. Aroma of grassy hops, a touch of citrus, and sweet malt. Flavor is similar--mostly malty with nice bitterness in the finish. Sturdy palate. Not as citrusy as I like my IPAs, but I can't deny that this was a tasty one!
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

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

Poured from 64oz growler to pint glass.

A: Pours a perfectly transparent copper body with a large puffy off-white head with amazing retention and la good amount of lacing, wish I could have given it a perfect 5 but lacing only made it down about half the glass. I did love pouring this one every time my glass was empty, the head is just beautiful when first poured.

S: Smells strong hops along with orange, grapefruit, and caramel malt along with a sugary note.

T: Tastes citrus hops with a grapefruit note turning into a decent amount of caramel maltiness accompanied by a sugar taste with an almost earth tone to it eventually turning into a bitter pine finish with hints of grapefruit peel. I won't say that this is the best beer that has ever touched my mouth, but for a standard American IPA this is above and beyond what I ever expected.

Overall: Good mouthfeel, well carbonated and medium in body with a nice oily feel as it warms up the carbonation comes out a bit more. Drinkability is amazing, I'm at about half a growler now but the entire thing will be no problem. Amazing beer, best of the style.

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

This is one of the best beers Ive ever had. It is well crafted, perfect for the style and supremely enjoyable.

Pours a crisp clear copper color, with a big rocky head that leaves a thick lace all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Smells like fresh hops, american citrus type hops, Im not good enough to pick them out.

Taste is pure bliss, Its crisp, and clean, the hops are there in spades and the malt sets a nice stage for them to be displayed, I simply love this beer. I'm glad to have this growler all to my self.

Smooth, clean, with a bit of carbonation on the way down.

I would recommend anyone in the twin cities area seek this out. GO TO TOWNHALL.

Photo of BLACKOUT0213
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

go to townhall brewery at 7 corners and try this beer. it is very good and has a fruity and hoppy taste. full body and very refreshing. plus there is a couple good looking waitresses there to bring your wonderful beverage. they also have a mango masala mama that tastes great as well. very good hoppy beer give it a try.

Photo of brow1901
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On cask at town hall earlier tonight. I want to start by saying that this is one the best beers ever.

A- The beer is pale amber red in color with a perfect two finger white head. The head dies only slightly, and sticks around throughtout the entire beer. The lacing that this beer leaves is so impressive, I couldn't even see through the glass it was so thick. When the beer first arrived the carbonation was beautiful, it created this wonderful cascading effect that made the beer look like it was separating colors.

S- The smell on this beer was wonderful, but not overly impressive. Hops are the dominating smell, the malt is there but its hard to detect.

T- Taste is super. The hops are not overpowering, they hit your tongue but it's not a hop bomb. The beer had less citrus (grapefruit) flavor and less pine flavors than I would have expected. The beer finishes dry. The mouth feel is perfect, the creamyness is wonderful in the mouth. I think the extra carbonation gives it a lighter body that is extra enjoyable.

D- This beer goes down easily, especially from the cask. The alcohol content isn't super high but these ones go down quick, pace yourself.

I don't know how anyone could resist such an excellent beer served at perfect temp with great mouthfeel. It's worth the extra buck!

Photo of jjanega08
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A= deep brown color almost orange but darker. Two finger head rises from it with great lacing all the way down. Good head retention is noticed as well
S= Grapefruit, pine and regular hop odors. you can notice some of the caramel grain used as well. A little sweet pineapple smell is also noticed
T= Bitter in a different way. Tastes a lot like the juice from an orange peel. Pine, grapefruit and orange. Some of the caramel malt comes through but not nearly as much as in the nose.
M= perfect.
D= really amazing beer. Love this one. Smooth and crisp yet challenging to the pallet very well crafted beer. If they could take the ABV down just a little it would be an amazing session beer.

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