Masala Mama India Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,262 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,262
Reviews: 666
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 836
Gots: 65 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-01-2003

American style India Pale Ale (IPA) brewed using Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Mt. Hood hops. A beer with crisp hop flavor and bitterness well balanced with American malt sweetness.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,262 | Reviews: 666
Photo of beagle75
3.65/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with over one finger of off-white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Distinctly piney, with stand-out crystal malt lining up alongside. Otherwise, the smell is very clean.

T: Begins almost dry, with evident crystal malt and savory herbaceous hops. Malt persists into the middle where some late acidity becomes apparent. Bitterness is fairly pronounced in the finish, still retaining residual malt qualities from earlier in the profile.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and balanced on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: Shockingly familiar, this IPA seems to share the same malt bill of a friend's home-brew. As a name-recognition American IPA it is over-rated. On a positive note, it's assertive malt qualities position it most favorably among those other IPAs thought of as East-Coast style.

Photo of bashiba
3.76/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank on cask.

Poured a nice hazzy amber with a great creamy cask head. Very sticky and tons of of lacing.

The smell was a bit light, with mild buscit malt and a bit of grapefruit.

The flavor followed the nose, a malt forward ipa, very rich with english caramal, nice toffee and biscuit. The hops are light and citrusy, with a good medium bitterness.

The mouthfeel has that great medium cask fullness with the silky smooth texture that accompanies a good firkin.

Good cask ipa, could use more dry hopping or some nice fresh cask hopping would really put this over the top.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you to MBrausen for providing me with a growler of this. The growler made a nice, crisp, CO2 pop, which made me happy. Pours a clear, light amber color with a large, off-white head. Scent is nice and hoppy...very nice hop aroma with some floral hops as well. Not much maltiness going on, which is surprising since this isn't from the west coast. Taste is very well balanced with some dry hoppiness and a nice amount of hop resin. Floral hops with pine and a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp finish. Drinkability is very high. Overall, I can understand the hype over this beer...as its drinkability and easy sessionability is ridiculous. I could have drank this whole growler by myself. Unfortunately, I feel like its fame will die off shortly, as there is nothing overly "stand-outish" about this beer. Very well done though.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for orchestrating this trade

Review adapted from notes taken 9/12/11

Appearance: Dark orange/amber, darker than the average IPA - ridiculously clear - really nice white head, impressive lacing

Smell: Definitely an IPA, but malty, too - nicely cooked biscuits - lots of citrus, orange rind, grapefruit rind - floral citrus, pine - balanced

Taste: Balanced with a ton of pith - great malt profile and great hops - very biscuity, with some bread crust - some malt sweetness, as well as some light fruit sweetness - orange and grapefruit flesh, rind, zest - tons and tons of pith, with a lingering pithy bitterness that builds over time - personally, this is too much pith - otherwise great

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, but I would like it to be a bit more dry

Overall: Balanced and unique, but not legendary

The malt profile of this beer, surprisingly, is possibly the most remarkable thing about Masala Mama. Biscuity and bread crusty, it almost has some bock-like qualities that really help balance the hops. The hop profile is impressive, but not exactly what I want in an IPA.

Photo of siege06nd
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks IrishColonial for sharing this growler!

A. Pours a mostly clear copper orange. I love IPAs that pour this deep color. About a quarter finger of crisp white head provides a nice contrast. Really nice tightly beaded lacing.

S. Really good. Tropical fruits, pineapple, orange peel. A nice caramel malt presence too.

T. Zesty, spicy hops. Lots of pine resin and floral flavors. Fairly bitter finish. Nice.

M. Well balanced. Perhaps a bit strong on the carbonation. Good blend of flavors though.

O. A very good IPA. Hop heads will love how bitter and bold this is. I thought the finish was just a bit too bitter and drying and the malt presence a bit thick. Pretty full bodied for an IPA: couldnt have more than one or two.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE thankyou to biglobo8971 for sending this to me in round 3 of the growler BIF (along with a TON of other well thought out selections). Splitting this with my wife as the superbowl kicks off (GO BIG BLUE!!!)

a - poured a crisp transparent ruby amber with a classic frothy head that slowly defoamed away leaving chunky milk shake like lacing all over the glass.

s - really nice prickly sticky piny hops and a splash of citrus and orange peel. classy balance of some toffee like malts...almost a bit like a really fresh hoppy barleywine.

t - bitter bomb. good malt backbone as suggested in the nose, very piny. like a really fresh hoppy barleywine.

m - good carb, balanced feel. touch of a bitter bite in the finish.

o - overall a very solid ipa. great beer to watch my giants with in the big game!

Photo of drowland
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/23/10. Huge thanks to DalzAle for this growler at the QC Christmas tasting! Growler. Nice orange pour with a fluffy off-white head. Huge tropical fruits, pine, citrus, and a dash of caramel in the aroma. Awesome sweet tropical fruits blended nicely with caramel and more. Stellar.

Photo of MattyG85
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

64 oz. growler bought straight from the brewpub today. Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear copper amber orange with lots of rising bubbles and a huge five fingers of white head with decent retention. Lots of lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Big aroma of fresh citrus hops with lots of grapefruit, pineapple, orange, and mango. Good hints of pine resin underneath the citrus aroma. Light hints of sweet caramel malts in the background. Very hop forward here. Smells very good.

Taste: Big taste of citrus fruit hops upfront with notes of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, and mango juice. Midway comes a good taste of pine resin which pricks the tongue with some spice. Some sweet malts come through with notes of caramel and toffee. Taste is hop forward but not quite as bitter as one might expect. Fairly sweet and juicy. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and very smooth for such a hop forward beer. Finishes moderately dry.

Overall: A great IPA. One of the better ones in the Midwest.

Photo of quirkzoo
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to biglobo8971 for including this one in round 2 of the Growler+ BIF

This has been a want since I heard about Town Hall.

Growler opened with a nice release of pressure and pours a bright, golden amber with fluffy white head. The smell is all american hops. Tons of citrus fruit, grapefruit, pineapple with a touch of pine. Taste is more of the same. Lots of hops with a strong bitterness and very little malt character to speak of. The mouthfeel was nice, the counter-pressure filled growler really held up well. Overall, this is a very solid IPA and worth trying. I would put it in the same category as Odell's IPA which is readily available to me, and from memory, no better or worse than this one. Bottom line, if you can get it, it is worth trying, but I won't specifically be seeking this one out again.

edit: I checked my scores for Odell's IPA and they were actually exactly the same, for what that is worth.

Photo of MBrausen
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured on tap at Town Hall Brewery into a pint glass.

A. 1.5 finger thick head, golden red hue, soft for ring ever after sitting

S. Smells sweet, grape fruit, pine and lots of citrus

T. The tastes is sweet, slightly bready, a tiny bit bitter like grapefruit, and a little bit tart. Light pine overtone.

M. Medium body, mildly chewy with a very wet finish. Very easy to drink

O. This is a great beer. A go-to anytime IPA for me. I could drink this every weekend. Wait! I do! Great flavor and easy to drink keeps you coming back for more.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.47/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap on a trip to Minnesota and even brought a growler home. The bartender told me that this is the beer that they hand their collective hats on. While I thought it was good, I was not as impressed as others.

The golden orange color gave a half inch head in the pint glass. It had a rather hoppy aroma, but I did not detect the same citrus hints that others detected. The hops hit you in the initial taste with some citrus notes following. It follows with a bitter hoppy aftertaste that entertains the sides of the tongue for some time.

As far as IPA's go, this is better than most. Still, I was not overly impressed. The citrus hints were well hidden and I could not find a strong note of anything particularly unique.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from growler into Globe glass. Thanks to Jesse for hooking this one up.

A. Pours a 2 finger head. Excellent retention. Almost a permanent centimeter of continuous head. Solid lacing. Color is very dark orange.

S. Smell is about the hop. Tropical citrus aroma, mixed with a little pine. Grapefruit, and a pretty bitter hop aroma.

T. Smooth. Nice dry biscuity malt lies beneath really nice hop flavor. Incredibly easy drinking. Grapefruit and other tropical citrus hop flavors; oranges, apricots. Like the malt base to this beer. Tongue coating bitterness. Not over the top, but definitely present bitterness. This might be what is missing the most from a lot of other IPAs.

M. Great mouthfeel for an IPA. Lingering bitterness.

O. Been waiting a long time to try this one. I would very much consider myself a hop head so this has always been on the radar. The guy that brought me this growler said Masala tastes like marmalade. I think that is an extremely accurate description. Super easy drinking, and very flavorful IPA.

Photo of DNorm
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Clear with darkish amber color and hints of copper/gold/orange. One finger head, outstanding retention, and good lacing.

(S) I detect citrusy/piney/floral hops, grapefruit, with a hint of caramel/malty sweetness.

(T) Slightly piney and bitter hops, caramel malts, and pineapple. There is definitely a hint of citrus and possibly grapefruit. The malts provide decent balance that leans towards the hoppy side. Decent complexity and overall enjoyable.

(M) Hoppy bitterness. Low to medium carbonation level (good amount for this particular beer). Medium bodied, possibly on the light side. Lasting finish that is dry, bitter, and crisp.

(O) Overall this is a great IPA with great drinkability. It has a relatively low ABV and has solid complexity. I’m glad I finally reviewed this legendary IPA, arguably the best in Minnesota (only rivaled by Surly’s “Furious”). Although some may not consider it world-class, it is definitely a “must try.”

Photo of camil1mj
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Served from a growler shared by Romulux at a tasting this past fall.

A: Golden-orange. 2 finger, white, foamy head.

S: Citrusy hop notes.

T: Good balance of citrus hop flavors and piney hop flavors.

M: Medium-bodied. Good carbonation level.

O: Great Pale Ale. So glad I got to try this one.

Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper-golden color, with a fluffy two-finger head. Fine lacing.

S: Bright grapefruit with nice candied tropical fruits and a detectable malt backbone.

T: Grapefruit, candied pineapple, dry hops, toasty malt backbone, and a dry finish.

M: Dry and syrupy.

I'll always say yes to more hops but for an AIPA, this is excellent and well-balanced. Very drinkable.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity. Shared after a long day with HopasaurusRex. Pours a deep golden color with a decent bubbly white head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smells fantastic. Floral, pine, citrus and tropical fruity hops with hints of sweet bready malt deep underneath. Taste is resinous, fruity, pine, and citrus hops with a bit of sweet bready almost caramel malt. Fairly dry with a medium to light body. Moderate level of carbonation with a resinous mouthfeel. Nice flavorful hopification of a beer. If I lived in MN I would drink this all the time, but since I don't I'm glad I got to try it.

Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber sunshine fades over a pineapple mango garlic forest. What mad scientist thought that citrus and garlic go together? Whoever he was, he was a genius. The captivating aroma gives way to a sensational dance of hoppiness on my tongue. I could drink pint after pint after pint of this.

Mad props to my BA buddy johnnnniee for breaking out this nectar on an ordinary Monday night.

Photo of Agold
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this growler from biglobo as a warning shot, to which I say holy crap. This beer is beautiful. It is a clear amber color with a nice dense head which leaves sheets of lacing. The retention is outstanding as well. Aroma is huge. I could smell tropical pineapple other citrus hops the second I opened the growler. The aroma is extremely pungent with a bit of caramel balance to the huge hops. Flavor is again packed with tropical hops. Mild bitterness with outstanding balance. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy for me, but carbonation is on point. Overall this might be one of the best hop beers I have ever had. Outstanding.

Photo of iadler
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at the town hall tap.

A- pours a very cloudy sunset orange with a fluffy three finger head that dissipates slowly into a nice cap. After some time, the cloudiness turns into a slight haze. Huge sheets of lacing are left behind.

S- orange marmalade, apples including the skin, caramel and toffee malt as well as grassy and piney hops. Pretty different aroma compared to just on-tap as there isnt much bitterness.

T- again orange is present with a jam like sweetness, honeycrisp apples, pear, and grassy hops with a nice amount of caramel and toffee malt.

M- low carbonation and medium body that has a very creamy mouthfeel that finishes slightly bitter.

O- it was interesting how much different this beer tasted when being casked conditioned. More sweetness emerges with the citrus and grassy hops taking a backseat.

Photo of lurpy1
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generally, my drinking tastes have always run towards stouts/porters, wheat beers, and recently, Wee Heavies. All these beers have in common is that they are not hoppy styles. Not that I disliked hoppy beers, I just wasn't acclimated to them. Back in January I paid my first visit to Town Hall tap. After trying a few things, I ordered a Masala Mama, knowing full well what it was. I finished it, would probably say I liked it, but my buddy got plenty of laughs at my many winces and cringes.

Fast forward ten months. I've been seeking craft beers much more actively, and I can fairly say I've become hop acclimated. In fact I would actually say I LIKE hoppy beers. And here we are, back at THT. So, Masala Mama, my old foe, we meet again.

The pour is an impressive, though standard gold, with half-finger head. The smell is assertive and fresh, with a strong boquet of hops. Hops again on the tongue, along with citrus, pine, a little bit of ma...damn it all, am I wincing again? Yes, I am, jeez. Still a hop weenie? Or is this one just too unbalanced on the hopometer.

Still, way, way short of a drain pour, in fact, I'm still happy to drink this beer. It's well made like all THB/THT offerings. But I found it too dry and too hoppy to be outright tasty. This may get lynched by purists around town who will at the very least revoke my hop-nerd credentials, but I found Masala Moom only good, not great.

Photo of Tucquan
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2011-11-18 in Minneapolis, MN. Our group bought a growler to take back to the Holiday Inn next door to the brew pub. Since it had been less than an hour since leaving the pub, the brew tasted the same as on-tap.

A - Clear orange-amber with a 1.5-finger white head with moderate lacing.

S - Tropical, mild citrus, floral, pale malt.

T - Orange flesh first then some pineapple/mango. Light pine, nutty/pale malt followed by some grapefruit flesh bitterness and a sprig of mint. Dries nicely with a touch of fruit and caramel sweetness to compliment the bitterness.

M - Light-medium body and medium-high carbonation. Crisp and a touch prickly.

O - This is a very fine APA. Lots of flavor for this ABV level with a good balance between bright-citrus and sweetness; somewhat-like a Troegs Nugget Nectar.

Photo of Holland
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: golden amber color, clear, with a decent head that stays as a thin layer for the glass. Sticks to the sides of the glass very well.

S: tons of citrus, sweetness, pine, and malt.

T: the taste is surprisingly awesome, even for expectations. Amazing blend of flavors, with the citrus, pine, and malt and sweetness all hitting up front. The aftertaste is hop bitterness. Awesome.

M: smooth and crisp at the same time. Or at different times. Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: this is full of win. Growler it is...if only they sold them on Sundays.

Photo of MrTopher
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Jim (RatedZ) and his brother for this Growler! Another shell shocker!

A – Pours a nice golden copper color and hues of golden rod, nice 1” of off white head that disperse and then leaves a nice lacing.

S – Awesome pineapple/grapefruit/pine aroma and just hops, hops and more hops.

T – Super hop tang on the sides of the tongue, they stand out the most, it’s like an onion type flavor but not onions. Really enjoy the balance though throughout this beer, nice sweet malts and just the pop of hops is amazing!

M - Exceptional, not overly carbonated and not under, just what I like for a lower ABV IPA. Thickness was perfect also.

O – For such a low ABV I was astounded by all the flavors that were present. I can scratch this one off the bucket list. Its awesome!

Photo of jsprain1
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden copper color. White head is one and half finger and lasts quite well.
S- Smell is piney hops and a splash of a tropical, pineapple juice flavor.
T- It's fairly sweet. A decent malt base props up a big pine flavor. Very heavy on the pine flavor with a touch of tropical fruit.
M- Fairly firm body, low carbonation. Flavor sticks around in a long finish.
O- A very good IPA. Easy drinking and packs a solid hop punch. Definite recommendation.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.57/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by ??? at Darkness Day... Thanks random guy!
Reviewed from short voice notes dictated into iphone.

Dark amber body... Weak head, decent lacing.
Sweet malts up front dry out to leave a bitter and surprisngly dry finish (surprisingly because this smells so sweet, looks so dark, and initially hit with a big burst of sweet malt!). I REALLY like the way this beer finishes, but it just isn't enough to save it for me.

Nice body-- good carbonation level touch of prickliness that I love...

Overall-- this is a pretty well-balanced IPA, but it lingers on the sweet/malty side for my liking. I respect what they've done with it-- and I could see this being a nice "daily drinker" for people that stop into the brewpub nightly, but it isn't one that I deem worthy of going crazy over.

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,262 ratings.