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

1,218 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,218
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 828
Gots: 63 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
American style India Pale Ale (IPA) brewed using Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Mt. Hood hops. A beer with crisp hop flavor and bitterness well balanced with American malt sweetness.

(Beer added by: Jason on 01-01-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,218 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to skipanoka2. Thanks for the trade Nate. Had this last night, on the label it has best before date of August 10th, it was filled on monday night so it should be ok, though it made a plane flight as well. Still tasted good to me.

A: Looks amazing, such a deep color that I would call blood orange with outstanding head retention and killer lacing. Thats a 5 for look for sure.

S: Very interesting and unique nose for an IPA, almost like a Belgian IPA or hoppy red, something with extra malt and yeast to it. Huge vegetable mixture of hops with some citrus rind, and then lots of spicy grainy malts as well, quite malty but not in the scary oxidized way. Good.

T: Very nice taste, and the first thing that jumps out is a earthy maple like taste with caramel forward. Some piney hops and grassy hops as well in the taste, quite nice. Crisp and clean finish with a mix of toast and vegetable flavors lingering slightly. Sugary citrus is certainly present in the mid palate as well as something I can only describe as a foresty taste. A malt forward and very unique and tasty beer here.

M: Malty and semi bitter with a clean finish, little bit of lingering bitters.

Overall a great beer that I would love constant access to, though for me just a bit more hops is what I usually like in IPAs. Great to have though and I'll order it if I ever go to Minneapolis.

Photo of warnerry
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the brewpub

A - Pours clear copper with one finger of light brown head. Head has okay retention and leaves a fairly small amount of lacing.

S - pine and citrus, with some other tropicals thrown in. Also a good amount of caramel malt. Quite good overall.

T - Similar to smell. Pungent pine and citrus rind. A few floral flavors and a bit of tropical fruit. There is definitely a nice malt presence to balance things out, but the hop bitterness persists all the way through. Nice to get so much flavor from a modest abv IPA.

M -medium mouthfeel. A bit lighter than most IPAs. Nice lingering bitterness.

O - Very good all the way through. Glad I got to try this.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from biglobo8971 as part of ongoing Regional Growler GIF.
 
Poured into an imperial pint glass.  Beer was a clear, dark orange color, with a two-finger, off-white head.  Light carbonation and thick lacing around the glass. 

Aroma was hops and pine, but also heavy on the caramel and sweet side. 

Taste was bitter hops, citrus fruits, biscuit, caramel and malt.  Well balanced. 

Long, dry, bitter finish.  Somewhat oily and slick.  Love it.  Really thankful for the growler.

Photo of tjkinate
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my second beer at the brewery from a recent trip up to Minnesota.

A: Have to say it was only slightly above average due to its small head and ok lacing. I did enjoy the dark amber appearance which I don't see very often with this variety.

S: Pungent hops overwhelm the other smells, but orange and pine do poke their way through toward the end.

T: Amazingly balanced beer, have to say one of the best single IPAs I have had in awhile. Many may disagree, but after having a few sips of this beer PTE kept coming to mind.

M: Well carbonated, medium bodied

O: Pretty solid IPA, especially in the flavor department. To me this beer could be exceptional if they worked on that head and lacing.

Photo of dubinsky
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a Deschutes snifter. Date on the growler was 6/17/11.

A - The beer pours a very dark rust orange with a nice fluffy khaki color head. The head seems really sticky as it clings with dear life to the sides of the glass with some serious head retention. Eventually the head subsided leaving behind a great looking lace.

S - This is not at all what i expected from a Midwest IPA. Very reminiscent of a West Coast IPA. Fairly piney and resiny with hints of sweet mango, pineapple, and grapefruit. The longer it sits in the glass the more caramel malt i pick up from aroma.

T - Well, the taste is definitely not as west coast as the smell suggested, rather its pretty malt forward with a delicate sweetness present. Very piney and slightly grassy. To Citrus to speak of. The beer is a great example of a Midwest IPA that ranks up there with the big boys.

M - I think i sat on this beer too long. Believe it or not i had a hard time finding someone worth of splitting a growler with and ended up decanting most of it so that i can drink it by myself. The beer is medium bodied, but i fear the carbonation suffered a bit. Its still carbonated, but nearing the flat end. I will not judge this beer based on this category.

O: A great IPA that i wish was more readily available here. Luckily i have great IPA here, but this would be a regular if i didn't have to trade for it.

Photo of ncmussell
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Town Hall Brewing. Nice white foamy head with good appearance in the glass. This has a perfectly subtle nose with nice hops presence. The mouthfeel on this never let's your down nor does the taste. Good mix of hops and fruit create a great balance in this beer. You can never go wrong with this beer.

Photo of beenitty
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of clarkm04
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of Nugganooch
3.73/5  rDev -14.1%
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!

Photo of Reaper16
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of kevinv
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of argock
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of vande
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

Photo of birchstick
4.47/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
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!

Photo of JoshVandy
4.43/5  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.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of Chico1985
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of jsanford
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
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!

Photo of davey
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Photo of jcartamdg
3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
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!

Photo of jampics2
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
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!

Photo of cbeer88
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.