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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

668 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 668
Hads: 1,292
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 858
Gots: 69 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Masala Mama India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 668 | Hads: 1,292
Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass at the brewery in Minneapolis. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving.

A: Pours a half finger beige colour head of average thickness and cream, but poor (<10 second) retention. Body colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Clean malts, floral hops, hints of pine, clean hops, a hint of hop bitterness. An average to mild strength aroma.

T: Crisp clean malt build with hints of toasted malts, floral hops, and vague citrus. Balanced decently but actually a bit bland. Quite simple, especially for the style. The bitternss does come through, negatively affecting the balance (a critical mistake in an IPA).

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness. Okay carbonation.

Dr: A lackluster IPA. I expected far better given its current ratings. Needs more body and depth. I might get it again, but it's a bit meh. A huge disappointment from Town Hall.

Low C+ (941 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12ox glass on cask at town hall tap

look is an orange amber with a small film of head. smell is spicy grapefruit and pine hops. bright and luxurious smell. taste is more spicy, prickly pine orange hops. like hoppy orange marmalade. feel is a smooth medium, not oily at all. (274 characters)

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

Big thanks to maximum12 for the GROWLER of this Town Hall product.

It pours a crystal clear dull amber-golden color with a stubborn eggshell colored head. This is a nice-looking beer. The nose is right in my wheel house. A lot of grapefruit and a few notes of toasted malt popping through sporadically. Big, full mouthfull with a light carbonation, but some hop warmth to pick up for the carbonation to create that finishing burn. Pine flavors are prevalent. Grapefruit forward, with a peculiar, but not unpleasant flavored medicine taste. Some dried apricot appearing right before the finish. I also noted some allspice on a couple of occasions. Plenty of resiny bitterness on the finish. I really like it a lot. My first experience with Minneapolis Town Hall. Well done. And thanks again, maximum12! (803 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thank you to the most generous Steasy66 for getting me this fresh growler.

Appearance. Pours a fairly clear, rich looking amber-gold with two fingers of bubbly, thick off-white head that has decent retention.

Smell. Fresh, big cirtusy hops, orange, grapefruit and lime rinds with some pine and a little tropical fruit. The toasted caramel malt just barely comes through, but what does smells delicious.

Taste. Big citrus hops, some of that nice toasted caramel malt with more of a presence than the smell. There's a little papaya and pine needles, but the citrus flavours are pretty awesome. Just a hint of alcohol, close to hidden.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with incredibly smooth, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. This is some awesome stuff. Reminds me a little of the first growler of fresh red racer I had. Different with more fruit flavours, but of the same caliber for this guy, and that's saying a lot. (923 characters)

Photo of match1112
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Claire (cofeeguru) for sending this!

Pours a bright copper with three fingers of big sticky clumpy lacing. The glass was wrapped in a blanket of lacing from start to finish. From memory, Duvel is the only beer I've had that showed staying power for the head like this. Nose is really sweet with big tropical fruit aromas. Pineapple, mango, caramel and a touch of brown sugar all dance around on my tongue in perfect wedded bliss. Mouthfeel is sticky and dry. Carbonation is great and the body has a medium to full weight on the tongue. A little oily yet dry on the finish. This is way too easy to drink a growler by ones self. (637 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for the share! Thanks Elliot!

reviewed from notes taken tonite.

poured into tulip glass:

Appearance: Amber orange bodied beer with small white head. sticky lacing left behind.

Smell: Very resinous hop notes; dank, juicy, fresh, chalky. Big pine and big grapefruit rinds. Grassy and orangey too. Really hoppy nose not much smell noted from the malts.

Taste: Huge hoppy bitterness. Ridiculously resionous just like the nose on this beer. Really Dank stinky hops! Really big grapefruit rinds. Pine cones and pine needles. Grassy and a little bit chalky. The bitterness lingers around for a decent amount of time.

Mouthfeel: Low end of medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation. This IPA is really drinkable, surprisingly...especially with all the big hoppy flavors coming out of this beer.

Overall: Brutally hoppy and redicoulously drinkable IPA. Whats a beer nerd not going to love about this beer? Hopheads seek it out! My first beer from this brewery and I am very impressed. (1,002 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to yamar68, poured into a Hill Farmstead stem.

Pour: Clear, golden orange with hints of amber mixed in. Nice puffy nearly white head, that leaves a lot of lacing. Sticks around for a bit too.

Smell: Pineapple, mango, and some tangerine, with a significant caramel sweetness. Pretty much sums it up.

Taste: Really pineapple and mango forward, with some citrus to support. Caramel maltiness has a nice presence, but not too much.

Mouthfeel: For the malt presence, this beer is incredibly drinkable. Bitterness is nice, but not too strong.

Overall: A really awesome beer, and one I didn't think I'd get the chance to try, at least for a long time. Awesome stuff, thank you Bennett (698 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
3.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of beeranddogs. Pours a hazy reddish orange with a big yellow, creme head that has good lacing. Nose of red fruits, pineapple, unripe pear- overall dank tropical hops with a big malt presence. Taste is heavy, dry, bitter, cedar, woody, well-balanced. Pretty earthy but not piney or astringent. 8/4/7/4/14=3.7 (325 characters)

Photo of markh814
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a good IPA. I am not crazy about them normally but this seems as close to perfect as you ar going to get. very nice smell and very drinkable but it still has that dishwater IPA appearance. not overdone of over complicating it, tehy have a winner here. i would drink this again without question. (302 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours orange-amber with a half finger of creamy head. Light lacing. Smells of pine, pineapples and mangos. Taste is a bouquet of hops..pine, citrus, pineapple, mango..moderate bitterness delivered throughout, refreshing, wet, with a medium creamy mouthfeel. Finishes dry with light bitterness. No need for a long winded treatise, this is excellent from start to finish and a very very good IPA. (394 characters)

Photo of Ilafan
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delightfully hoppy, this local Twin Cities beer SHOULD be the one everyone seeks out (as opposed to the similar but inferior Surly Furious). Very smooth pour and bitter taste, this has a hint of sour fruit to it that I enjoyed much. The Town Hall Brewery is also a very fine venue with lots of great atmosphere and beers to choose from on any given day. The piney smell of this beer previews a delightful tasting experience. (424 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at thebrewery:

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, moderate carbonation, golden-brown in color, clear

Smell: tangerine, citrus, frsh hop--a really amazingly fresh smell

Taste: The big citrus, orange and tangerine flavors burst in the start followed by a touch of pine and light caramel backbone

Mouthfeel: bitter but not overly so,very dry end, medium carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: Liked this one a lot. Not sure if it is my top 50 but a very good beer and worthy of hype. I love the smell and the citrus here. I would get this again. (561 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler thanks to rudzud
Nice looking fizzy fluffy head fades semi slowly with meniscus looking side walls head, mostly clear amber copper color

Nose erupts with fresh hops, light tropical fruit, light musty resin and passion fruit, light mango like, but those aromas disappear quickly with now citrusy and light floral candy, more candy and sweet malts with some crystal and fluffy malt sweetness and hInts at a hint of booze.

Taste fluffy malts, with light sweetness and caramel candy. Hint of booze surprisingly. Then hops come on earthy, light grassy, no real resin or tropical fruit. It starts light bitterness that ramps. Quite a bit of candied slight earthy hops with a hint of citrus. Caramel and toffee. Finish is fairly bitter spicy hops, light sticky but mostly dry.

Mouth is med to light fuller bodied fluffy, decent carb for growler.

Overall meh. Is it meh growler or has my palate been jaded from the amazing hoppy beers. (939 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade, pouredinto a Kate the Great tulip. Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured a nice crystal clear amber copper hue with a nice one finger white creamy head that just won't quit! Leaves a nice creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of light citrus hops and tropical fruit notes. Faint pineapple and mango. Wish it was a little brighter.

T - Taste is surprisingly bubblegummy, which I definitely wasn't expecting. Some slightly danker tropical hops with some light bready notes. Finish is lightly bitter with that lingering bubblegum flavour.

M - Mouthfeel is nice and light and drinkable. Enjoyable.

O - Overall this beer kind of threw me a curveball. I know the Growler is fresh, but it has almost an older hop feel to it. Still I respect and enjoy this one. (763 characters)

Photo of wspscott
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pint glass at the bar (best conference bar ever)

A: Light copper color, crystal clear with a thin off-white head
S: Massive hop bomb, citrus, tropical fruit, floral, smells sweet from the hops
T: Very bitter, but not aggressively so, tastes "refined", lots of citrus and fruit. A very small amount of malt/caramel sweetness, almost dry.
M: Lots of carbonation helps keep it dry, a hop delivery mechanism
O: An over the top IPA, tastes like an over the top homebrew IPA that was made with no regard to hops use/efficiency, one of those beers that if this was a 5 gallon batch would take a pound of hops. Absolutely love this beer. I would be in heaven if I lived around the corner of the bar, I would have one of these every night. (731 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler, poured to imperial Surly pint glass. Brewed three days ago, bottled a few hours ago:

Pours a dark gold, pushing crimson. Clear as a bell, slow and steady beading. A sweet sticky head leaves behind all sorts of lacing.

Prickly pine, resinous, nectarine, citrus syrups, some darker creamy malts keep things in balance. This beer's got quite a nose on it.

Smooth on the tongue considering the strong coniferous element. Orange peel bitterness, aggressive hop presence that somehow manages to avoid hindering the overall drinkability. Delicious. The body is a bit thin but that doesn't take much away from an otherwise spectacular beer.

If you're ever in Minneapolis, most definitely try this one out. (715 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a pint glass

A big thanks haveanother1 for sending yet another long time want over in a trade. Thanks John.

A: Pours a crystal clear, dark amber with reddish hues and 2 fingers of light tan colored head.  Heads takes a long time to dissipate down and leaves a good amount of cobweb lacing.  

S: Very hoppy aroma!  Piney, citrusy, resiny.  I get notes of grapefruit, mango, mint, juniper and a solid sweet malt base to balance it out. This smells wonderful.  

T: Pine, juniper, and mint.  Right off the bat this is very earthy.  Not much citrus on the tongue, maybe some citrus rind.   Has a nice strong bitterness but not overly so.  Citrus characters comes out as it warms, including orange and lemon zest.

M/D: I was worried about the carbonation, it being a growler shipped 1,500 miles and all, but no issues here.  In fact the carbonation is perfect.  Body is medium, with a big drying finish. Drinkability is average for the style.  

O: Overall, it's damn good but not top tier IMO.  This may be a case of limited availability equating to hype.  That being said, it is rather unique in that it has huge piney/resiny characteristics but the bitterness is held in check, so if those flavor are your cup of tea I could see how this cold be your holy grail.  Personally I prefer my hops to be of the citrus variety, so this one comes up a bit short in my eyes.  Still very good though, and worth seeking out.  I will have no trouble finishing and enjoying the rest of this growler.   (1,529 characters)

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

On-tap at the brewpub. Finally reviewing this, one of my hometown's renowned brews. I can't believe I've waited so long.

Pours a clear medium amber with light orange hues. Brought with only a thin cap of head, but I suspect there would have been more at the pour. Fantastic lacing, like cobwebs stuck all over the inside of the glass.

Smell is delightful. Rich and full, with the perfect malt base to present the fine character of the hops. Hop aromas are a mix of sweet orange and sticky pine. Very nice. The weird thing about this is that the malts provide the absolute perfect stage, and I don't think the hops quite live up to it.

Taste is pretty much what I'd expect from a relatively low-ABV IPA. Fairly grainy, followed up quickly by a bitter burst that carries little other flavor with it. There is a bit of juicy fruit, like peaches.

Medium-bodied with a juicy, slightly sticky feel. Carbonation is medium-low, but right where it should be. Nice dry finish that allows the bitter to last just long enough.

A good, fairly balanced IPA. I like it, and am particularly impressed with the malt base. IMO, the hop aromas and flavors don't quite measure up to the best that I've had. If I had to describe it in one word: juicy. (1,235 characters)

Photo of brystmar
3.62/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler shared by a generous BA at our tasting this weekend.

Cool looking growler; reminds me of the Russian River ones. Floral, piney, slightly citrusy aroma -- full of fresh hops!

Full blast of hops confront my palate, seemingly devoid of malt (as expected from a Single IPA). Despite others' insistence that this beer was rather malty, I didn't detect any.

Although Single IPAs are not my thing, I can appreciate a job well done. If you like this style, you'll love Masala Mama. (484 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hand pull into a shaker pint, at the brewery.

Lovely golden cascade settles out to a brilliantly clear amber body capped by a perpetual magnolia head. Ultra-fine lacing.

Fruity aromatics suggest citrus and flowers. Delicate, and inviting bouquet.

Bursting with an ever-shifting hop complexity - rosewater, melon, tropical fruit, grains of paradise, orange-zest, tangerines, on and on and on... A mild bitterness pairs with crisp malt into the bright medium finish. Superlative.

Medium-bodied with fine lovely carbonation - the cask delivery elevates the mouth-feel to perfection.

Some might find this beer a touch sweet, but the mastery of craft is clearly on display, with the hops contributing the maximum in flavor with a minimum (yet still sufficient amount) of bitterness. The emphasis is on flavor and drinkability. I've had vanishingly few pints of the style that provided this much enjoyment. (907 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared at FosterJM's birthday celebration courtesy of smarcoly.

Pours a clear dark orange with an orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and some herbal hops. There is also a faint hint of funk in the aroma. Taste is pretty much the same without any funk in the flavor. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but the slight whiff of funk in the nose is a bit off putting. (612 characters)

Photo of azdback
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a Spaten tumbler. A clear dark toasted orange color. Millions of large carbonation bubbles lead to a large two finger head that is dark tan in color and very creamy in appearance.

Smell is a fantastic tropical fruit bomb. Pineapple, tangerine, orange and just a bit of earthy bread.

Taste is balanced. The malt body tastes of bread and earth go side by side with the fruity tones of this one. I am getting some over ripe orange, blood orange mixes with some pink grapefruit.

Mouth is smooth with creamy carbonation. Body is balanced and the finish is long and dry.

Overall I must first thank TIMMYJ21 for this growler. This one is a bit hyped, so I must ground the myth. This is a great IPA but not (IMO) the holy grail. Very good and a must try if you get the chance but don't trade the farm for this one. (831 characters)

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler received in trade from Schlais, big thanks for a longtime want.

Beautiful bronze/copper elixir poured in SA glass, thick white two-finger head, copious Belgian lacing throughout.

Subtle pine, more caramel, bready malt, sugar.

Well balanced between the hops and malt. Some orange rind, citrus.

Well carbonated, faint bitterness.

A bit of a disappointment. Rated #2 IPA. Hardly. Very well balanced and a quality brew, but not within the top 10. No IPA rated this high should have this much of a malt bill. (516 characters)

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

Thanks to younger35 for the opportunity to try this.

A vigorous pour nets two finger rocky off white head over a copper hued crystal clear body. Great retention with a bit of stick on the glass.

Bready with quite a bit of caramel sweetness lay down a solid foundation for the hops to shine over with lots of tropical tones, mango, pineapple and orange citrus notes, gets quite floral with a bit of alcohol coming out as well.

Caramel malt with some bready flavor, hops are flavorful with more citrus and lemon pith than tropical with a good amount of sticking herbal hemp bitterness and a smooth transition.

Medium bodied, carbonation is smoothed out from being poured from a growler but in no way is it flat. Doesn't dry horribly well but leaves a pleasant hop flavor and bitterness behind. Alcohol is moderately hidden.

A very good ipa with great tropical aroma and big citrus hop flavor. Rather balanced, just a few rough edges keep this from being a top tier ipa. Still very delicious and I'm glad to pour another glass. (1,030 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler opened on 4.17.12 thanks to Schlais.

A - Pours a dark, clear orange with a foamy light tan head. Good retention.

S - Bready, oranges, light carmel, and pine.

T - A roller coaster or carmel, bread, citrus, oranges and hoppy pine.

D - Good carbonation, whew! I was worried since it was a growler, but the counter-pressure fill helped here. No bitterness at all.

O - Very, very well balanced. Bread, orange, and pine. All present, but not one dominates. I usually prefer my IPAs as hop forward, but this has to be the best balanced IPA I have ever had. (562 characters)

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 668 ratings.