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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 I2uss
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of hu5om
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Localdrinklax
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of SconnieJohnny
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of JakeAnderson
5/5  rDev +15.2%

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

Beautiful bronze color, firm white head. Aroma is a bubbling, bristling bouquet of intensely fruity hops, just what I love in an IPA! Great citrus, grapefruit, peach notes, on the palate a huge bite of hops, but mellow thereafter. Tingly and tasty, this should please any hophead. If I was a teaching assistant at the nearby U of M and I just got away from the maddening throng, this would be my solace. If I was an actor at any of the nearby theaters and I got off the boards before bar close, I'd rush here for my relief. Heck, I'm going to make it my business to have more business in this neighborhood, just to enjoy this beer more often.
Did I mention that I liked it?

10-04-03...the above was written in the infancy of my relationship with this beautiful brew, and our affair has only grown stronger. Sure, at times, I try another style on occasion, you know, variety is the spice of life and all, but it's this Bad Mama Jamma I always come back to on every visit, and I'm visiting more often to taste her sweet juiciness, and nearly every night, at home, through the magic of growlers. Consequently, I've tweaked the numbers a tad to reflect how addictive and seductive this gorgeous gal really is!

Over a year later, 1-09-04, I still don't think I've impressed on you all how magnificent this brew is, and I've touched up my ranks even further, for I can find no flaw at all, everytime I drink it, it's perfection! Everytime it touches my lips, happiness ensues, and an incredible case of hop burps begins!

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

Beers which I have given a Perfect Five (in descending order of tastiness)

Breakfast Stout
Gumballhead
The Abyss
Dark Lord
Shakespeare Stout

I've never bought in to the logic that fives should almost never be given out, that no beer is completely perfect and so none should be given a perfect score. Yes, I suppose there is no objectively "perfect" beer, in the philosophical sense, but this is not a philosophy midterm. This is a beer rating website. And there are plenty of beers that are perfect enough, in my opinion, to warrant a perfect score.

But then there's the question of style and that nagging guilt you feel whenever you try to quantify a personal preference in some dramatic way. Weihenstepahner's Hefe is easily the best I've ever tried--why doesn't it get a five? While delicious, Gumballhead is hardly XTreme enough to fit into too many beer geek's definition of a perfect beer (that is, as one that burns your tongue)--so in spite of its poetic pallet, perfect balance, and prodigious potability, does it still deserve a five? What separates Devil Dancer from I2PA, really?

It boils down to context, I suppose. Whoever is drinking it, whatever is happening to that person while he's drinking it, whatever beers he's tried before and whatever tastes they've caused him to develop. There's nothing scientific about it, even if we assign numbers to it. Some people's tastes should rightfully carry more weight than others, of course, and there are plenty of cases in which tastes are so ignorant or offensive that it's perfectly fine to think of them as incorrect or wrong. But there is and always will be a fundamental subjectivity to taste, same as there will always be a subjectivity about beauty or love or happiness. That doesn't mean these things don't exist. That doesn't mean they don't hold any weight.

Masala Mama on cask gets a perfect score because it is the far and away the best American IPA have I ever had. IPAs are a style that I normally enojoy, but do no normally enjoy to give excessively high scores to. This one goes beyond all that, though. I've written about its mindblowing balance before, read those old reviews if you're interested in that kind of stuff. On cask, it's better. It's got the best body of any beer I've ever had, ever. Everything clicks. I would move to Minneapolis just to be closer to this beer.

Photo of gio540
5/5  rDev +15.2%

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

First let me thank garymuchow for getting this fine brew to my doorstep served from the Town Hall 1/2 gallon brown growler with a plastic heat sealed layer for protection. Appearance: Pours a deep caramel amber crystal clear hue with an amazing tannish head forms thick leaving heavy intricate patches of lacing, very nice. Aroma: Copiously hopped lines my nostrils with aromatic grapefruit and pine cone scented hops, all topped off with a fortified caramel nut edge completely amazing. Taste: Flavor consists of a lucious juicy hop profile with a malty backbone to balance her out. Talk about hops, man the nut edge evens out a perfect amount of sweetness from the malts but the waves of grapefruit and pine swarm the palate with a rush of bitterness making the finish completely fantastic leaving me, the drinker with hop burps. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied resinously textured what a lucious body even perfect carbonation can't ask for much more, I'm satisfied. Drinkability: Wonderfully flavored with massive hops and a unique malt character holds a spot as the best American IPA I have ever tasted. The sessionability of this brew is unlike any other waxed off a growler with two fellow BAs (beergeek279 and cupbeerman) and wow I was yearning for another to exist.

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

YUMMM! Got a growler of this from a friend. I looked pretty good in my English Pint glass, little darker than most IPAs I thought. The smell was a real wallop of hops, beautiful, floral-like bouquet. The taste was explosive, hops, then malts, then more hops and malts, followed by hop notes that lasted until my next chug several minutes later. Amazing. The carbonation level was just right, and the overall drinkability was smooth and flavorful. The growler disappeared WAY too fast, and I didn't feel any worse for wear, so highly recommended if you get the opportunity.

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 Raugupatis
4.97/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was in Wisconsin for a friend's wedding and decided to expand my beer horizons. I was able to convince my wife, sister-in-law and brother-in-law to take a side trip to the town hall brewery just after getting off of the plane.

I was glad I was able to use my powers of persuasion in support of the forces of good.

The Masala was delivered to my table with not much in the way of a head, but the rich color and near-floral hoppiness of the aroma that greeted my senses made up for it.

The hops were mildly bitter and tasty without being overwhelming. This does not taste like the product of Cascade Hops, but I did not get a chance to speak with the brewer to suppor tmy hypothesis.

This one finishes a lot smoother than your typical American IPA.

It is a wonderful example of my favorite style.

I also bought a growler to take with me to the wedding and it held up well for the three days it took me to open it up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sampled from a 64oz growler on 3/18 with a best before date of 3/22 fresh from the brewery via the felonious one, too who I am now indebted.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear pure copper color with a huge off-white, bubbly head. Leaves thick webbing of lacing all over the glass. Even after time and near the bottom of the growler there is a thin covering of head.

Smell: Grass, hops, hops, and more hops. Fuggles, maybe Centennial, and more that I know, but can't quite separate. Scents of pine and musk with subtle hints of citrus and cloves. A plethora of American hop varieties make this beer come alive. Pure aromatic bliss.

Taste: Surprisingly sweet malt in the beginning. Then the hops smoothly slide in and glide through pine and hops into bitter finish with light hint of citrus. Fantastic and wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, medium body, little carbonation with a sticky finish.

Drinkability: All day, everyday and long, long, long into the night. Hell I'd have this with a spicy omelet for breakfast, in fact I think tomorrow I will.

Photo of hero27
4.95/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

½ gallon growler.

Took home a growler from the brewery...after sampling it again on cask (which still deserves a 5, in my book). The hops are more predominant on-tap, both in aroma and flavor...they really jump around on the tongue. Absolutely yummy.

Not quite as smooth as on cask, but still delicious. Unless you're allergic to hops, you must try this brew...and I personally think it's even worth it if you were..it'd be one helluva way to go.

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

Please allow me to boost this fantastic beer up the charts of the BA Top 50...

I was lucky enough to be able to visit fellow BA AKSmokedPorter this past weekend and he was gracious enough to save the growler he got from feloniousmonk until I arrived. Two small swingtops made their way back to Virginia and I eagerly tapped these two vessels to personally experience this nectar of the (beer) gods.

This lovely brew poured a truly wonderful baked orange color with just a trace of lacing off-white head. The aromas were what you would sense when standing in a pine forest after a heavy rain...thick and weighty on the nostrils, these pine cones wedge themselves into every nook and cranny of you nasal passges to give you a awesome wake-up call. But who knew that grapefruits grew on pine trees? A fresh and brisk grapefruit spray squirts forth from this glass and catches you in the eyes and nose, coating the pine cones in a dreamy mix of hoppy beauty.

Flavor is over the top. There is a honey sweetness that builds the foundation for what will be a glorious ride across your palate. On top of that are about 40 bushels of sweet, fresh Georgia peaches. An amazing addition to the flavor profile. Cast in with these two is some pine sap and grapefruit juice. Bitterness is there, but in moderate levels, as it is balanced nicely by a doughy malt sweetness. Finish is sweet and dry, with another taste of grapefruit right at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium, no fizz in this one...and coating of the palate is fantastic.

Drinkability? Yes. Very balanced, yet each flavor is distinct and plays a vital role in making this beer what it is. It reminds me so much of an Imperial IPA, yet at 5.9% ABV, this is a beer you could shack up with for the whole night, and the next, and the next...

Note: Make sure you let this bad boy warm up quite a bit before you drink this. It was much better and really brought out the complexities of a stellar beer-drinking experience.

To close, I'd like to quote St. Victor from a Monty Python skit:

"This...is fantastic! Oh....this is terrific!"

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

I've had this brew on-tap, cask-conditioned, and I have a growler in the fridge. Cask-conditioned is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy it.

a - copper color with a moderate sized white head with good retention, lacing is very nice

s - very floral and fruity nose with lots and lots of hops, very strong aroma, the nose screams powerful IPA

t - wow, this is the best-tasting IPA I've had that's not called Dreadnaught, taste is similar to nose, lots of fruity and sweet hoppy bitterness but not overwhelming, cask-conditioned version definitely has a more depth than the regular version in the taste category, the finish is very long and is a wonderful balance of sweetness and bitterness that lasts until the next drink

m - moderate carbonation, the cellar temperature of the cask verson is perfect for this brew even though I usually think of IPAs as being served a bit colder, finish is not overly dry

d - I could (and did last night) sip on this brew all night, amazing depth to the flavor keeps you sipping and ordering more

Quite simply, one of the best beers I've ever had. The regular MM is a wonderful brew, but the cask version is where is exceeds any other other IPA. This brew makes me oh so sad to leave the Twin Cities tomorrow.

Photo of mikeys01
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh Mama...Mama I'm Comin' Home...Yo Mama Didn't Raise no Ugly beers...too many euphemisms to apply to this one. I received a super fresh growler of the Masala Mama courtesy of a trade with Tavernjef, and I am certainly glad to have tried it, and given that I'm most of the way through the growler, I must have liked it...OK enough banter, on to the beer.
Mama poured herself into my glass a scintillating orange copper/color piled high with two fat fingers of persistent off white foam...and we're not talking lacing here, we're talking full length curtains. Aroma is dripping with fresh hops, I picture myself wading through a fresh mown field on the verge of an evergreen forest...was that pine sap I just felt dripping on my shoulder? Taste is a stealthy assault of bitterness at first before blossoming into true hop glory, with myriad flavors of grapefruit, pine, and green grass. All that hop flavor is packed in without being overpowering or astringent. After getting over the hop blitzkrieg imparted in the first wave, a good sweet maltiness becomes apparent with just a hint of biscuit/Victory malt flavor. Finish brings back the bitterness and stays with you as a silent reminder that Mama's always watching. Body is medium to a bit thick for an IPA but the mouthfeel is smooth enough to make you cry for Mama. Flavors and complexity build as the Mama warms a bit, bringing out orchard peaches and other fruity esters. This stuff would be great on a hot summer day or, well any other time you can get it....damn good stuff.

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

Thank you Faro for sending this to me in a trade. I shared this beer with my wife. Upon opening the growler a very audible pst greated my ears. The beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer pours a very lovely clear deep copper coloration. The beer has a two finger biege head that never gives up. Thick sheets of lacing stream down my glass.

Smell: This beer is loaded with piney resin. It isnt to the level of a christmas tree in pineyness but its at least a wreath. This pineyness is married to a generous grapefruit and citrus zest combo. The beer has a hint of caramel maltyness. I swear I get a minty zephyr on the tail end.

Taste: The flavor of this beer delivers on the smell big time. The beer is loaded upfront with lots of grapefruit and pine resiney hops. This gives way to a very pleasing caramel maltyness. The beer finishes on a oily earthy hoppy tone. This is just fantastic!

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is a very full bodied IPA. This beer was well balanced. The oily hops made the taste last a long time. The beer is very refreshing. This is overall a very outstanding IPA. I wish I had traded for at least two of them. If this was available locally I would drink this beer often. This is the kind of beer I could drink all day long. Faro- or any other BA who has access to this will almost always have a trade with me.

Once more I would like to thank Faro for the trade. This beer was a birthday present to myself.

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

On tap at Town Hall

I had this about half a year ago and thought it was fantastic. Half way through the first glass out of the growler, I was already wondering when I would get to have it again. Today is the day!

Orange/gold fluid, with just a touch of haze. Large, creamy, ivory colored head.

Hops are first impression. Big citrus and pine. Grapefruit & oranges. Next up is a crackery malt backbone.

Taste more than lives up to the nose. Big hops - citrus of all varieties - grapefruit, lemon and oranges. Sweetness follows, peach and fruits on a biscuity middle. Finish brings you back to a nice lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is just about perfect. Medium body, with medium + carbonation. Dry enough to keep you coming back for more.

Overall, an exceptional IPA. I have drank quite a few of them, and this one remains my personal favorite.

Photo of beergeek279
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a growler into a Celebrator glass. The color was a darker amber, with a solid white head and excellent lacing. The smell was a nice bouquet of grapefruit and piney hops. The taste was an amazing blend of hoppiness, with piney hops and grapefruit hops, with a bit of a nutty character to it, and somehow the malt managed to keep it balanced, and a welcoming bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel was very resiny, with hop oil left coating the mouth after drinking. As for drinkability, one growler just for myself wouldn't be enough of this one...could drink all day long!!

Thank you very much to WVbeergeek for the sample of this one! Well, all I can say is that the hype was very much true and Masala Mama is the real deal!! With just an amazing hoppiness that somehow manages to remain balanced (this wasn't just hop juice), this is easily the best non-Imperial IPA in the world! All I can say is that I envy the lucky Minneapolis BAs who get to enjoy this on a regular basis. I definitely want to get my hands on this Mama in the future!!

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

Got this in a recent trade, wanted to drink it while it's fresh but slowly to savor it so I have been nursing it slowly the past couple days. Thanks again, Brad!

Pours a murky orange with a little bit of head. Granted this growler has already been open from last night so I wasn't expecting big time carbonation and a huge head or anything but it still has a decent one. Enough for me, to be honest.

Smell is a huge hop aroma. Tons of hops come jumping out of my tulip glass and up my nose. They didn't go anywhere. I know it'd still be like this when I opened the growler again tonight because I was welcomed by a big hop aroma. It smells great. Also, some malts can be detected in there and really round out the smell. Is this really only 5.9%? It's hard to believe they got so much aroma out of a beer of this ABV

Taste is excellent. Everything that is in the smell is there. This is basically like taking a blend of hop juice and fermenting it.

As you sip the beer it caresses your throat with a medium body and just enough carbonation. It's great.

Drinkability is through the roof. Delicious hops and lower ABV. Doesn't get much better than this.

Man, if this were local this would be an amazing go-to beer. Not too much alcohol, TONS of hops and a smoothed out body that just keeps you kicking 'em back. All the flavor of a big DIPA without the alcohol is the best way to put it. Well done, Townhall! Wish I could get a growler of Mango Mama, I bet that'd be even better.

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

tavernjef sent me a growler of this just in time for me to take it to NC to share with my brother. THANK YOU! Let's start by saying- wow, what a nice treat, and it held up very well against (in fact, shone brighter than) Titan IPA, HopHog, Alesmith IPA - all also sampled over the weekend.

Rich copper pour with thick head. Superb lacing - lots of fun to see those patterns in my glass.

Aroma seemed wonderous for a single IPA. Really nice blast of hops hits first, and then a balance of sweet smelling malt rounds out the experience.

Well, after the smell, we both expected the beer would taste good, but damn Sam, this was heavenly - a great balance between the hops and the malt, which became even more apparent as the beer warmed in the glass.

Mouthfeel is almost creamy in the finish, and features a medium-light body. Carbonation level, even being in a growler, is really good.

Drinkability - well, do you need to ask?!? Holy cow - if this were available in GA, I'd be knocking em down left and right. Tremendous beer out of a state not often the first to come to mind when you think of brewpubs - however, this is one fine offering - might be the best single IPA I've ever had. Really does rival the Alesmith IPA and the Alpha King and a few others I love.

Thanks again, tavernjef...

Photo of duece27
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed many times over the recent years. I can't decide which is better... drinking it on the Townhall patio or at home out of the growler, ah my dilemma

shimmering orange with not as much head as I would like.

smells of sweet hops without the annoyance of strict alcohol

Exceptional taste. perfect balance of malt backbone

good consistency, not cloing

Drinkability - Yes, all night.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one hell of a beer. I got this in a trade. A fresh from the pub growler. About one week old.

The color is that of dark amber. Not entirely red though, more of a hazy orange. It has the possibility of pouring a three and a half finger head, really beautiful. The head is white, and never goes away. Once drank, the brew leaves a medium sticky lace.

The smell is amazing. You get some fresh citrus hops. Really great. Smelling some fruits other than citrus, maybe a type of berry. Cannot really specify what fruit is in this, but smells excellent, especially with the hops aroma just knocking you around.

The taste is exquisite. Just a great mouthfeel with incredible drinkability. Tastes like hops and just a really good IPA. It gives you that hop punch that I really respect with IPA's, but it is incredibly drinkable, more than most brews. Overall I am going to try and get some more growlers to share. Really exciting brew and understand why it is in the top ten.

J

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