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

662 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

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Reviews: 662
Hads: 1,274
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 850
Gots: 67 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 662 | Hads: 1,274
Photo of beenitty
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rebis1bear for helping me get this long time want. Growler leaked a little bit but still good.

A: Pours amber/red, and looks amazing. Reddest IPA I've seen, I cant wait to dive in. Great white foamy head here that dissipates somewhat but easily reconstituted with a slight swirl

S: Hops, Spice, Grapefruit smells great.

T: Juicy, resiny sweet. Excellent. Taste like a much better version of Ithaca Cascazilla. Goes down like nectar.

M: Sweetness is just right and not very bitter IMO.

D: Very nice. Low ABV, I finished this growler off with no issues.

My expectations were pretty high for this beer and the hype was definitely validated, definitely best IPA I've had. (684 characters)

Photo of clarkm04
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a orange/amber color with a white head retention that stays fairly long and has lots of lacing.

S- The smell is truly amazing. Lots of my favorite hop flavors: grapefruit and a variety of citrus/passion fruit. The hops were balanced by the malts and is one of my favorite smelling IPAs I've had.

T- Definitely follows the nose well, with grapefruit, citrus and pine notes mingling together nicely up front and clear tasting throughout the flavor profile especially up front. A malt backbone balances the hops well and it has a nice bittering finish. This beer is highly drinkable and I really enjoyed drinking two of them on my visit to the Town Hall.

M- Smooth with medium carbonation. Very smooth on the palate.

O- A great IPA and hits what I want in an IPA. Great aroma and taste. Outstanding balance. Complex but also easily to drink. Just a great beer. I've had few IPAs that I thought are better so this one deserves the praise it is receiving. (964 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.69/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler shipped courtesy of Mid - Thanks for the wants hook up bro!

*Notes taken on 07/03/11

A: Pours a deep amber color for an IPA but super clear in appearance with plenty of heady head. Shipping had no effect on the carbonation whatsoever here. Bountiful peaks of frothy off-white foam adorned my pint and left quite the clingy lace.

S: Aroma fell a bit short for me and seemed rather muted. I did pick up some spicey and herbal hops there with a soft caramel maltiness overall.

T: Nice hops. Somewhat juicy. More dominant with an earthy spice and some pine but I think the caramel sweetness takes the driver's seat a bit. Almost butterscoth candy like. Especially on the aftertaste. It does have a rather light and dry clean crisp finish which is refreshing. Aroma had me worried but not bad at all actually.

M: Solid carbonation and hop bitterness gives this one a light medium body with a nice dry crisp finish and slightly slick tongue feel. Crunchy!

D: A good drinking IPA but not the hop bomb I was hoping for with such high reviews on here. More of a caramel and spice combo with very little aroma. I could see MM would definitely pair well with spicy foods.

Glad to have had the opportunity to try this brew and check it off my wants list. Perhaps I just had too high of expectations here but this one doesn't even come close to some of the West coast IPA offerings IMO. Or perhaps this palate is just spoiled! (1,430 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served on-tap @ Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery into a pint glass

Pours a burnt amber color that looks to be completely translucent but is a dark enough beer that you can't really see through it all that clearly. 1.5 fingers of loose-ish eggshell white head sit on top.

You can tell by the smell that this beer is imbalanced towards the hoppy side of things (which is a good attribute), but the hops aren't all that intense. Grapefruit, pine, resin, and some distant pomegranate -- well, more specifically POM brand juice -- are there in the nose, but it isn't all that strong. A lightly caramely malt presence is down there somewhere.

Forget what I said about the hops not being intense. This is a full-flavored IPA. Lush bursts of pomegranate and passionfruit meet an abundance of grapefruit and oily resin. It's a very focused IPA, but that focus also doesn't lose interest throughout multiple pints. This is less bitter than it is full of citric acid like flavors. It's really wonderful stuff.

I love the mouthfeel on this beer. It's nearly perfectly carbonated, and the body is quite thin (which is always my preference with hoppy beers). Overall, this is a fantastic IPA. It's worth the hype and I am stoked that I finally got the chance to try it. (1,256 characters)

Photo of kevinv
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to KeefD for hooking it up with a fresh growler of Masala Mama, a long time want of mine. Cap has a best-by date of 6/29. The growler was consumed 6/26.

A - Pours a deep amber color with red-ish hues. Fairly clear with visible carbonation bubbling from the bottom of my glass. Absolutely monstrous creamy off-white head with great retention. Nice sticky lacing throughout.

S - HOPS - and lots of them. The hops smell fresh and sweet with pungent aromas of grapefruit, pine, and orange. A slight caramel malt undertone, but the hops keep it pretty well subdued.

T - Extremely hoppy. Way more so than I expected. The taste falls right in line with the aromas. Big flavors of grapefruit and a nice piney-ness. The malt is pretty much overpowered with an intense bitterness, but it still provides a well balanced taste profile. The finish is oily.

M - High-medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Nice and smooth. Very creamy for an IPA.

O - Overall, this was an awesome brew. It packs an intense hoppiness, but remains sessionable. So glad to finally have given this one a try. (1,094 characters)

Photo of argock
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fresh brown growler into a clear glass mug. Best by 6/24/11 on the cap. My brother Greg came up big with this one -- great job brother.

A: Orange-amber hue with prodigious, 2-3 finger- off-white, frothy, sticky head with good retention and a sheet of fine lacing at the top of the glass with a few random spots.

S: A top-tier IPA aroma combination of mangoes, pineapple, pine resin, grapefruit, and floral components. The maltiness is more caramel than you'd imagine.

T: No wonder this one gets raved about. The maltiness is solid and adds quite a bit of caramel sweetness. If this was still present but lessened, I think this could challenge the biggest boys in the style. The hoppiness is exceptional with big blasts of pine resin, grapefruit, pineapple, and floral flavors. The flavor is big and brings the goods, yet remains moderately dry and thus very drinkable. A superb brew that I think could be even better with a few mild tweaks to the malt bill.

M: The mouthfeel treads the line of lush and dry expertly. I think I drank 90% of this growler in about 2 hours and I think I could probably have had most of another. The coating and tackiness is right-on.

O: A beer like this makes me wish I lived back in Minneapolis again. This beer nails the aroma of a top-shelf IPA with an excellent flavor and feel. I will need to be very nice to my brother from now on. (1,384 characters)

Photo of vande
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A ~ Golden amber-copper in a color....with a slightly off white colored half finger thick head.... not bad for sittin in the fridge for about a week

S ~ hoppy, piney, fruity -- grapefruit up the nose

T ~ A blend of what the nose experiences first; grapefruit, pine, citrus hops with a nice malt backbone and a bitter finish.

M ~ Smooth and creamy. A lighter, extremely easy drinking beer... Wish it wasn't storming outside, or else me and my growler would be on the patio enjoying the evening...

O ~ A great beer. Someday, I'll make it up there myself to try it fresh off the tap. This one I was lucky enough to get from a friend who was visiting people up North and brought it back for me! (695 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours an amberish orange from the tap and puts on a fun show that most cask beers perform, akin to a Guiness on tap. When the storm settles, it left a really nice creamy head that never left.

S - this one is grapefruit and citrus all the way. A bit of cereal malt is in the mix too, but the hops are by far the most dominant feature.

T - juicy hops bombard the palate with grapefruit deliciousness upfront. The onslaught continues through the middle and all the way to the finish. Hidden beneath the hops are some cereal and a healthy amount of caramel malt (let's get real, though, this beer isn't meant to showcase the malts). Ends with a little bit of herbal pine bitterness and some malt sweetness.

M - full and creamy. Zero flaws in the body...no way it isn't a 5.

D - awesome IPA. I can see why it is so highly regarded. There were other beers I wanted to try but couldn't stop ordering this one. Too bad it is only on tap, otherwise I wOuld drink the he'll out of his one. (987 characters)

Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I was eating & drinking and loving life. The Masala Mama was a world-class IPA. Quenching with a nice resiny bitterness of grapefruit. Super session-able at under 6% - now if they only put this gold into bottles the world would be a much better place.

That was my original review... opening fresh growler tonight! (320 characters)

Photo of JoshVandy
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Having been wanting to try this for some time, so big thanks to Chriscrundwell12 for the growler. Greatly appreciated.

64oz. growler into a Town Hall tulip glass.

A- Pours a very nice dark orange/amber color with a brilliant 1.5 ginger white head that looms above for a long time before settling to a fine rim. Fantastic lacing and retention as I empty the glass, even after 45+ minutes.

S- Lots of fresh grapefruit, orange, and plenty of hop presence integrated perfectly with sweet caramel malts. I could smell this beer for hours and still be happy. What a beautiful aroma.

T- Definitely follows the nose quite well, with nice grapefruit, citrus and pine notes mingling together nicely up front. A sweet caramel malt backbone with some slight bread characteristics makes it appearance and really rounds out the flavor. Great bitter kick in there at the end as well.

M- Smooth, light and somewhat creamy, with medium carbonation. A very easy drinking beer that feels like silk going down.

O- Went into this beer expecting the world, or at least a semi-life changing experience, and didn't come up empty. A very well balanced IPA that has one of the best smells and mouthfeels I've had for the style. Goes down way too easily, which shouldn't be a surprise. Bottom line, this is something any fan of hoppy and balanced beers should seek out. Now, if I only lived closer. (1,377 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on draft at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewpub into a pint glass.

A- Two finger frothy bubbly head dissipates slowly to a nice frothy layer on top, very clear, dark bronze color, very nice lacing.
S- Delicious hops upfront, very nice aroma, grapefruit, citrus, pine, nice malts to balance it out, very refreshing.
T- Very hoppy, bitter upfront, citrus, grapefruit, you pretty much taste what you smell, nice malt backbone that balances the big hoppy flavors, very tasty.
M- Medium mouthfeel, nice bitterness, dry after taste on the palate, well carbonated.
O- Very easy drinkability, I just love this beer, the Mango mama is one of my favorite beers out there and this one does not disappoint as well, lives up to its reputation, hops galore, solid tasty beer, that I will be drinking as long as I live near Town Hall. (822 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from knelson, unfortunately leaked a bit in transit, so wound up pretty much drinking this solo. Stoked to finally try this one.

Pours a clear amber with some flecks on later pours. Off-white head starts huge and retains well leaving nice lacing.

Smell/taste - Really nice, lots of fresh grapefruit, orange, mango, lemon and resiny piny hops. Sweet caramel malt and toasty bread malt backbone. Light and tasty and pretty good balance.

Mouthfeel is nice, a bit on the thin feeling side, good carbonation. Leaked growler might've affected this part of the beer but it was fine overall.

Great drinkability on this one. I wasn't really prepared to tackle this growler by myself but it was no chore, really good IPA. (723 characters)

Photo of jsanford
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get to try this one courtesy of THECPJ! Cheers, Shane! Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Dark reddish-amber with a creamy off-white head that settles to a nice cap and leaves a sheet of sticky lacing. Absolutely beautiful, picture-perfect IPA!
S - Oboy, this smells great! Huge pungent aromas of fresh hops, mainly grapefruit, pine resin, tangerine, and a spot of pineapple. Malt aroma is slightly sweet, with a touch of caramel. Exactly how I like my IPAs, pungent, tropical, and floral.
T - Malt profile is a bit bigger and sweeter then the nose suggest, but that's not saying the hops are playing second fiddle! More pungent flavors of grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, and pine resin with a lasting bitter finish. Very tasty!
M - Pretty crisp and juicy, with a touch over medium mouth-feel and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, especially at 6% ABV.
O - Definitely worth the wait, this is one of the best IPAs I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Thanks again Shane! (984 characters)

Photo of davey
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a growler from mcmussel.

Pours a rusty amber with a huge foamy head. Looking fine! Smell is crisp with citrus hops and marmalade.
This tastes great! Lots of hops, but not over the top. Very well balanced. Medium mouthfeel that doesn't linger too long, and maybe fades a little too quick.
I could drink this all day everyday. A very solid beer that doesn't go to the extreme for attitude. I will be drinking this solo. (428 characters)

Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Really creamy looking, huge head with a nice cascade down the glass. A light copper haze which. A real nicely made brew

S- i get a real smell of butterscotch and orange and grapefruit, very nice aroma to this one, the cask, being that its a bit warmer really brings out the smell

T- Much better than on regular cask, very creamy mouth feel to it, like as said the hops just come at ya, great malt profile biscuit like.

Overall awesome brew by town hall if your able to get it on cask get a pint and maybe another (518 characters)

Photo of jcartamdg
3.76/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to my surly pint glass out of my growler from theduderules. Pours a bright amber with a two finger head. Aroma of hops and almost a butterscotch malty note. Taste follows the nose very tasty and smooth. If I lived in MN this would be my go-to beer! (258 characters)

Photo of jampics2
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler, traded for at DLD 2011. Thanks to the kind trader who hooked it up, you know who you are! Several pours into my North Peak pint glass while slow cooking a pork shoulder.

Masala Mama looks great in the pint glass, but the copper color with hints of gold and even amber around the edges is a bit darker than I expected. No worries, though – the beer has excellent and attractive color and clarity, plus the steady streams of bubbles rising through the body replenish the bright white one finger head well. Some nice lace is left behind. This is one great looking beer!

This beer has an amazing aroma. I’m starting to see why this is so highly regarded – there are huge hoppy notes that come across as citrus. Orange peel, tangerine, grapefruit and pine are all distinctly represented in the very nice citrus and tropical bouquet. Sure, when compared to the extreme beers in this genre, the smell could be just a bit more expressive, but the hops are perfectly balanced by a touch of toasted sweetness from the malt. This is very enjoyable so far!

The taste is, simply put, delicious. There’s a very nice hop expression from the plethora of juicy hops. I get distinct grapefruit and peach from the Amarillo, as well as that signature Centennial and Cascade grapefruit, orange pith and pine. The hops jump out of the glass and are pretty bitter, but nowhere near off-balanced. There’s a reason for this – a nice malt backbone supports with caramel, bread and toasted notes. There’s absolutely no booze in this at all. This may not be the most extreme, but this is a classic American IPA up there with the big names in the business.

Just when I thought this beer had peaked, I considered that the mouthfeel is perhaps the best part of this beer. This is really nice and creamy with a nice sparkle of carbonation. The body is medium to light. This is close to perfection, especially the way the beer feels soft but the carbonation makes it refreshing. Overall, this is a very, very good beer. Is it one of the best in the world? I have no problem with saying it is certainly elite and one of the best examples of flavor and balance working together. Seriously good beer here! (2,201 characters)

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Town Hall Tap in south Minneapolis.

A: Deep amber hue with very slight haze. The thick, light eggshell head settles very slowly to a sticky lace on the surface.

S: Not very potent on the nose at first, but as the beer warms, floral, piney hops become dominant, with a malt backbone consisting of caramel notes.

T: Much like the smell, but in reverse. At first, sweet, caramel notes and hints of bread make up the malt profile, followed by an intense hop burst. Floral, with hints of pine and some citrus, and an edgy, bitter finish.

Notes: This has to be one of the most balanced IPAs I have ever tasted. Medium bodied, with light carbonation and a very long finish. Mouthfeel is incredible! I don't know why it took me so long to finally try this beer. It's simply a rock star. One of my new local favorites! (824 characters)

Photo of cbeer88
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into matching Town Hall pint glass, both courtesy of rebis1bear via n00b BIF #4.

Appearance: Moderately aggressive pour leads to two fingers of big fluffy off-white and creamy head. Pretty. Dark Orange to reddish light brown in color. Head dissipates after a few sips, leaving nice chunky lacing.

Smell: Initial blast of citrus comprised mostly of notes of orange. Followed up with malty (caramel) smell and hints of black pepper.

Taste: Healthy mix of malt, grapefruit, and pine intertwined with hops throughout. Extremely well balanced. Really strong lingering bitter hop flavor that doesn't leave my mouth until my next sip - the aftertaste is my biggest (and only) gripe with this beer.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium to full bodied, perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Incredibly high. This growler probably will not last the night. Goes down very easy, and at only 5.9% this isn't one you need to share.

Overall: Great IPA that doesn't try to be anything special, yet still succeeds better than most. Would definitely be a regular in my lineup if it were local. (1,084 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

growler poured into tasting glass - thanks to biglobo

Pours a slightly hazed golden orange, nice fluff of white head. Decent retention and balance, plenty of spotty lacing on the glass.

Strong scents of citrus fruits with blood orange, grapefruit and pulp. Some softer biscuit malts with sweetness; very inviting.

Nice burst of juicy hop flavor up front with a decent wave of citrus bite. Grapefruit and orange, some more biting pine as well on the tongue. Decent malt backbone with a biscuity base, some sweetness with caramel. Finishes bitter and hoppy with little residual sweetness.

Medium body, crisp, refreshing, and drinks really well. The ABV is also at a nice level if you're looking for an IPA without too much of a boozy bite. (743 characters)

Photo of zrab11
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice copper orange color with a 1 finger off hwite head.

S- Has a nice hop aroma followed by some sweet maltiness. Also has come citrus tropical fruit smell.

T-Starts off with a nice malty grainy taste. Then in the middle you get the citrus piney flavors then finish's with a nice hopy orange flavor.

M-Light bodied, very crisp and refreshing.

D- Overall this is a Great IPA. Im more a DIPA fan as i feel there is more going on in those beers than in IPA's but i was plesantly surprized that this had enough going on that i enjoyed this IPA alot. Would love to have this again. (592 characters)

Photo of jwinship83
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

growler received from mnbears fan this year at DLD. drank the night after back at my place. the glass used was the sierra nevada hop tulip. best by date on the cap reads 5/9.

A- this one pours out a translucent copper colored body with a slight haze to it. there is a finger of neat bright white head on top that has good retention and leaves behind complete rings of lacing. very nice.

S- the initial whiff brings forth a plethora of hops. mostly pine with a lesser amount of grapefruit and just a touch of earth. sweet caramel malts attempt to add some balance.

T- the taste starts out with some of the sweet caramel malts that i could smell and then this beer quickly becomes all about the hops. tons of resiny pine with a far lesser amount of grapefruit and just a touch of earthiness.

M- the body is a solid medium and the carbonation is spot on. nice and bitter. leaves my mouth feeling dry.

O- in a market over saturated with IPAs, i find myself really enjoying this one. the ABV makes it possible to have a couple without risking a terrible next morning. im not taking this one off my gots, im going to need another. thanks again matt for the chance to try this. (1,175 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery poured into a pint glass (I also had the Masala Mama cask beer - which was very delicious and creamier than the regular IPA)! Pours a hazy reddish/orange amber with a great creamy meringue like head and super sticky lace. Nose of fruity hops both citrus and tropical notes, floral and piney hops as well as a good deal of caramel malt sweetness. The flavor is full of hops, lots of citrus and tropical fruitys, floral and pines, strong caramel malt, somewhat sweet with some residual sugars as well. Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonatinon and not much alcohol kick. Overall, one of the better brewery-only IPAs I ever had especially the cask version! (689 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Exiled for sharing this growler. This has been on my wants for a long time.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the candy hops, orange citrus, pine and biscuit malt. A very well balanced smelling IPA.

The flavor is similar, but not quite as good as the aroma. I get a lot of orange and brown sugar notes, as well as some toffee. Low to medium bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this one. (485 characters)

Photo of sliverX
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a nice rich copper, with a thick foam cap that left great lacing.
smell is sweet malt toffee note backed with a citrus rind note
taste is sweet malt followed by some pine notes with a very sweet orange citrus hoppyness
mouthfeel is medium to full
overall this is a real nice beer that I'll gladly share anytime I can pick one up in a trade (347 characters)

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 662 ratings.