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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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1,158 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,158
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 827
Gots: 57 | FT: 5
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: 1,158 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

From a growler given to be by a killer trader brewnic.

A- two good fingers of light tan head that holds nicely for a bit then settles leaving tons of sticky lace and a skin on top. Deep copper orange in color.

S- bright citrus hops up from with lemon and grapefruit, very juicy and fresh. Dank earthy conifer touches as well, its like walking in a pine forest. Malts give a toasty hit with a light caramel sweetness.

T- bitter fruity hops open things up with grapefruits, oranges, a bit of lemon. Light piney and grassy notes. Malts are well toasted and bring a mild caramel sweetness that does go too far and overpower the hopping. Nice long lasting slightly roasty bitter finish.

M- rather light on the palate a few steps less then medium with a nice carb that works great for the body. Semi dry finish.

D- this brew lives up to all the hype one the best ipa's I've eve had. This is a real nice combination of and east ans west coast ipa and its works beautifully.

oglmcdgl, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of dgfair
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%

64 oz. Growler courtesy of brewnic. Thanks!

Beer is poured aggressively into new Belgium tulip. It has a nice reddish amber color with a brilliant white head that leaves chunky lacing all over the glass. The appearance keeps up through the entire glass. The smell leads off with a nice fresh pine aroma backed up by a rather non-descript sugar sweet maltiness. It is a very basic ipa smell with nothing overwhelming. The taste is a nice albeit light bite of pine with a decent but balanced sweetness to even it out. Definitely not a kick you in the face ipa, but very balanced and extremely drinkable. The mouth is great and i have no problem putting down a few glasses of this in a row. Great ipa.

dgfair, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%

Reviewed from notes 12/3/2010
Many thanks to tmcelvain for providing this growler!

A: big citrus hop presence, but there was a slight malty note to it as well.

Ap: a reddish-golden orange hue with a really big head

B/T: pretty mild carbonation, very smooth, easily drinkable.

Af: hoppy, but a mellow hoppiness. a hint of pine thrown in there.

O: a very respectable IPA from the mid-west.


THECPJ, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of awalk1227
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Consumed 1/7/11 Received in a trade from TheDudeRules, thanks dude, so happy for this opportunity!

Poured into a Stone Brewing pint glass

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange with two fingers of off-white head. Great retention on the head, and as it dissipates it leaves a very messy glass.

S: I was not expecting this nose. It's not very hop-dominant, as I would have guessed. Grapefruit is faint, but the pine/resin is strong. A sweet malt in the background is picked up.

T: Bitter pine and resin abound. I know this growler was filled recently, as the carbonation and hiss from opening indicate, but perhaps it was poured from an older keg/tank? It drinks like an IPA, but I really can't find any citrus or grapefruit notes. It's still a very pleasant flavor, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't say it's like the maltier English or East-Coast IPAs, because it's still very bitter and the malt is shadowed by hops. It's just different from what I expected.

F: Creamy and smooth. It coats my mouth and leaves a pleasant oily feel afterwards, with a hint of bitterness on the tongue.

D: At less than 6.0%ABV with the pleasant mouthfeel, I could drink a lot of this. Hey, I have a whole growler! I'll finish it tonight.

awalk1227, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of phisigben
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%

Appearance - Thick head about two finger width, redish/dark orange color, the head somewhat quickly dissipates after a minute or two

Smell - Fruity hops is the first and foremost aroma with a slight twinge of citric tones

Taste - Really smooth and flavorful with the fruitier hops at the front end then as it leaves the tongue the bitterness comes across the tongue. The bitterness is very good not over powering but exactly what I expect out of a single IPA.

Mouthfeel - I tend to levitate to beers with more of a fuller mouth feel so when it comes to IPA's I usually don't expect a lot, but this beer has hands down the best mouth feel I have ever had from this style.

Drinkability - The drinkability is great the only down side is I can't get this in Indiana

phisigben, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of tewaris
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Served in a shaker pint glass at the brewpub.

Appearance 4.5/5
Deep copper hued, slightly hazy with a creamy and persistent head with good lacing.

Aroma 5/5
Most intense citrus, herbs, flowers, and pine. Dank, flawless, excellent.

Taste 4.5/5
Silky, smooth, and bitter.

Mouthfeel 4.5/5
The crispness is lost on cask and that's a minus in my book when it comes to IPAs.

Drinkability 4/5
I enjoy the regular version more; does that make me a bad person? ;)

tewaris, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of 321jeff
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured from a counter-pressure filled growler with a best by date of tomorrow (12/20/10). Much thanks to yourefragile for sharing this rarity.

Pours a slightly hazy deep reddish amber with a couple fingers of white head that fades to a relatively thick layer on top and leaving lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Piney hops are the feature in the aroma, and there are hints of citrus and some malt in the background. Not particularly potent, but very well executed.

The taste really does an excellent job of featuring the piney hops without that crazy bitter hop kick. A pleasant flower and pine taste with the same hints of citrus and a solid caramel malt background.

Medium in body, as expected from a 5.9% IPA with average carbonation, but more than expected from a growler. With the fairly low ABV and the lack of that bitter kick a lot of IPA's have, this one is way to easy to drink and the growler disappeared way too fast.

321jeff, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of yourefragile
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%

A few months back Doug was awesome enough to send me a growler of this. I was awesome enough to smash it in a parking lot. I felt shame, etc. Doug was awesome enough to send me a new one. This is 8 days old, split with others and thoroughly enjoyed.

Appearance is perfect for an IPA, a mostly clear, slightly hazed dark chestnut color with a thick, endlessly retentive light tan head. The head also leaves behind thick, clumpy sheets of spiderweb like lacing. Aroma is fresh, thick resiny citrus hop blend with balancing pine and floral hop notes. I'll knock the flavor down .5 from a perfect five for not having the intensity and flavor of a west coast IPA like Sculpin, while acknowledging that I don't really want it to taste like that either. Flavor is extremely balanced and smooth with a medium-thick mouthfeel and moderate carbonation (almost has a creamy texture to it). While there are a fistful of hops present, less dominant on citrus hops than the nose was. Body has a strong caramel and biscuit malt base that seamlessly transitions to a strong pine and citrus rind hop finish. So this wasn't necessarily as flashy or extravagant as some other AIPAs, but IMO you really couldn't construct a better example of the style.

yourefragile, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of ratedz
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a deep amber/copper color with about a 3/4 inch white head. The head dissipated relatively quickly and left a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

The nose is full of grapefruit and pineapple as well as some piney hops. Some malty sweetness is present in the background, but the hops are the main focus here.

Taste starts off with some bitter pine notes and sweet citrus hop notes. The hops are balanced nicely by the malts.

Mouth feel is smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. The relatively low ABV and excellent taste make this an incredibly drinkable beer.

ratedz, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of zhanson88
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%

Very excited to try this beer when I made it to Town Hall.

Appearance: Deep copper color with amber highlights. This is pretty dark for an IPA. A bit less than a finger of snow white head that sticks around as nice lacing.

Smell: There are nice scents of pine, with quite a bit of grapefruit and citrus. Very fresh and pleasant.

Taste: Very nice amounts of grapefruit and citrus followed by nice resinous piney hops. Not as intense as other IPAs that I've had, but still good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Smooth as hell, with a slightly higher than light body. Very fine carbonation that results in a very smooth beer. Overall it is certainly a good IPA, but not mind blowing. Definitely worth the trip to go and indulge.

zhanson88, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of seeswo
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%

I've been told that this is the best Midwest IPA out there and had to give it a try. Thanks goto my wife for grabbing the growler while she was in the area and keeping good care of it for the trip back.

From the initial pour, I can see that it is a bit darker than I expected, reminding me of Surly Furious (which would be tops, in my opinion and experience in the race for top Midwest IPA). On the initial sip, I can tell that this is not Furious. It is not as spicy as Furious (though Spicier than some IPAs), but has a slightly more robust pine quality. Neither of these are your citrus IPAs, that's for sure.

Consider this through the lens that I really was not feeling all that well when I had it and struggled through the last half of the glass, but I thought this beer was really good, but not great. I prefer Furious for its over-the-top robustness, though Masala Mama tastes more like an IPA as I have traditionally come to understand it. I still think it is worth grabbing a growler if you are passing through the city, I am just not so sure I would trade for one.

seeswo, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -8%

On cask at the brewpub today.

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, showcasing considerable orange citrus, a touch of earthiness and a hint of sweet malt. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though I also get some tropical fruit flavor as well in this flavorful, fairly dry IPA. The beer has a fairly long finish, with some moderate, attractive bitterness. The beer has something of a soft mouthfeel, which I attribute to the cask conditioning. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol well integrated into the flavor profile.

I confess I remain a bit puzzled by this beer. While it's certainly a well made, attractive IPA, I could easily name 20 or 30 I like better. Also, as has been noted before, some IPA's benefit from cask conditioning, and some don't. In my humble opinion, this IPA definitely falls into the latter category (sampled this side by side with the CO2 version, and definitely preferred this IPA on the gas). This is a solid IPA, no doubt, but it's hardly anything to get wildly excited about. I just don't get it.

John_M, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of subheroic1234
4.7/5  rDev +8%

Thanks to joshuaseresse for the growler!

A: Open the growler to a small pop that notes that carbonation is still very present. From what I've heard, MTH has amazing growler quality. Pours a somewhat translucent copper color with a one inch head that subsides somewhat quickly to a thin head that stays around.

S: Wow, I can smell it far away from the glass. Bitter hops come through first. I can also sense some citrus hop and sweet malt notes.

T: Starts off with a bitter, piny hop taste that transitions into a malty, citrusy taste. The only difference between the scent and the taste is that the bitterness of the hops last much longer than any other taste.

M: The carbonation and great malt backbone (as small as it might be) makes the mouthfeel silky smooth.

Overall: Hands down, my favorite IPA to date. I'm very glad I got a chance to try this.


subheroic1234, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of EwaldEichstaett
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

Had this on on-tap at the brewery. It is essentially a perfect example of the American IPA. My only problem was that it was its flavour almost one dimensional and predictable.

Excellent looking pour. The smell was a mostly pine, citrus spice hop with some fruity overtones. The body was creamy, yet mixed with a strong carbonation. I only wish there was a bit more depth to the brew.

The beer was treading a fine line between great and uninspired... For it to be such a high rated beer, I think there should be a bit more character...

I would really like to try the mango version of this beer. Perhaps the sweetness of the mango would add some depth...

EwaldEichstaett, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%

Had this at the brewery before my flight back home. Poured into a pint glass. Review from notes. Had this from a growler a few times and loved it, so I figured the cask version is a must try.

5.0 A: Lightly hazed orange amber color. One finger of super creamy white head with excellent retention and lots of lacing.

4.5 S: Smells a lot like the regular version only has a stronger fruitiness (which may instead be because it is fresh, rather than from a couple day old growler), woodiness, and pleasant yeastiness. Full of C hops - orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango.

5.0 T: Mixture of tropical fruits listed in nose. Some caramel maltiness. Moderate bitterness which is less apparent than the regular. Woody and yeasty.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Super creamy and super smooth. This would be a bit better with a touch more body.

5.0 D: Really great beer to begin with, but absolutely excellent on cask. IPAs are perfectly suited for cask. The added woodiness (yes, I know it isn't from a wooden cask, but that's the flavors that come through in any vessel) and yeastiness are great.

DavoleBomb, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Macky20
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Big thanks to Kbutler1 for this growler... I appreciate it Kevin!
This was consumed a couple months ago, but I made good notes and really enjoyed it.

Poured from growler into pint glass. Aroma consists primarily of pine, but a great citrus aroma as well. Small amount of head, but with good consistancy. Beer is a dark tan in appearance with little transparency.

Big hop bite in this one, which I love. Just sweet enough with the malt, but a dry finish leaving a bitterness on the back of the tongue. The bitterness isn't bad, but it's very evident.

Thinner than I would have though, but then again... I did go through this growler a little fast :) Bold IPA, which I think is why I'm a fan.

Macky20, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of ccrida
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%

Finally! On draught at the brewery, Masala Mama is dull orange with a small off-white head that leaves scattered, foamy lace.

Smell is pretty hoppy, more on the woodsy pine side of the house, spicey, a bit of sweetness.

Taste is quite good. Nice fruitiness, but not cloying or overly citrusy. Pine resin, a restrained bitterness that mostly lingers on the aftertaste, and a hint of biscuit malt (not nearly as much as I expected by the color). Something about it is very thirst quenching, I could guzzle these all night long.

Mouthfeel is smooth, dry, with a nice, light body.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is a solid IPA. Not the most aggressive by any stretch, but definitely in the west coast style, and most importantly, fresh! While it wouldn't cause a stir in Portland, I assume the hopheads of MN are happy to have it. And it is very drinkable...if I didn't limited time in town to work through their line-up, I'd be having lots of these!

ccrida, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of callmescraps
3.63/5  rDev -16.6%

I have been wanting to try this beer since I've been a member of this site. A highly rated IPA? Sounds up my alley. A buddy scored a growler in a trade, we proceeded to have at it.

Appearance- Clear and copper. A slightly off-white soapy head. Laces.

Smell- A nice fruitiness. Good hop burst. Plenty of tropical fruits, mangoes, apricots, a tad subdued.

Taste- Too much fucking malt. Sorry. It starts with plenty of earthy, piney hops. It's very bitter. The tropical fruit doesn't come through on the taste. Bitterness plus more malt than I'd prefer. Just not the way I like this style.

Mouthfeel- It's a little syrupy, which can be nice.

Drinkability- Had a glass. Then had a second. Didn't ask for a third, and wouldn't bother trading for it.

Just not my style. I love IPAs and DIPAs, but this is a little maltier, less fruitier than I prefer. More for everyone else I guess.

callmescraps, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of malty
4/5  rDev -8%

Acquired this growler from an EXCELLENT trader, maximum12, at the Great Taste of the Midwest on Aug. 13th, but it's been stored in my fridge ever since.

Poured into my scientific Sam Adams glass a brilliantly clear perfect copper color with a settled 1/2" light beige head. Minimal visible uprising carbonation, even with the snazzy scientific etching on the inside bottom of the glass. Nice smattering of lacework all the way down the glass.

More of a malt-forward nose, maybe due to the age of this sample. A few swirls of the glass evokes an iced tea like aroma. Not much hoppiness detected so far. A hint of vanilla creme in the nose as well.

The hops are definitely tasted upon initial quaff, although they are very damp and earthy tasting, not zesty, zippy or floral. A bit of caramel hides in the background while the rustic hop profile continues to satisfy and steal the show.

The body if a solid medium with a very low amount of carbonation, but still remains airy and creamy. The chalky bitterness lingers in the back of my mouth with just a tinge of biscuit flavor.

Drinkabilty is very high as this IPA is very unintrusive and friendly.

Overall an IPA that I'm very glad I scored a growler of and shared with a good friend, churchKey. The flavors remind me of exactly how many MANY samples of this at The Great Taste, so I'm thinking this didn't suffer too bad with 2 1/2 months of age IMHO.

malty, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of thetomG
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

Nice mostly clear amber color with some a layer of sticky foam that leaves spotty lacing all around the glass.

Aroma is great - nice bitter hops. Flavor is similar, but somehow not quite as appealing as the smell - still very nice though.

Carbonation is right where you'd expect and the resulting mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth - not too thick or thin.

This is a very tasty IPA, and something I'd definitely drink again.

thetomG, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%

Had this one straight from the source while in town for Darkness Day. Reviewed from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass with 1 finger of frothy, sticky, white head with great retention. Beer is a semi-cloudy reddish-orange. Lacing is extravagant. Great legs and excellent stick that displays a beautiful cascade pattern.

S: Nose is pine, citrus, ruby red, brown sugar. Not the most aromatic but very well balanced with a pronounced sweetness and a clean hop presence.

T: Opens with a mouthful of hops. Pine and astringent bitterness assault the palate. Bark, big citrus characteristics. Good balance towards the middle as a nice sweetness fades in. Sappy, sticky finish. Bitter, stick, resiny hop aftertaste that clings to the cheeks.

M: Light bodied and well carbonated. Makes this one lively in the mouth at the beginning and smoothing out as it warms. Goes down slightly tingly. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that is sticky and lingers.

D: One of the best IPAs ever? Probably not. Worth the hype? Definitely. This is up there with among probably the top 5 IPAs that I've come across. Great balance with a big, bold, hop presence. Real nice and mellow in the mouth, and super drinkable. Wish they'd consider bottling this some day so others can enjoy the experience!

SpeedwayJim, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of duece27
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%

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

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

smells of sweet hops without the annoyance of strict alcohol

Exceptional taste. perfect balance of malt backbone

good consistency, not cloing

Drinkability - Yes, all night.

duece27, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of punkrkr27
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%

Orangish-copper pour with a big, loose, white head. Loads of mango, melon and citrus in the aroma, with notes of yeast, toffee, lemon zest, and orange zest. The flavor follows through from the aroma with lots more mango and melon dominating. There's a bit of resinous pine and a distinct dankness in there too. There is also just some slight perceptible alcohol on the finish as well. The body is medium-full and dry with soft carbonation.

punkrkr27, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of hophead247
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Thanks a million Brandon....This doesn't look like it was poured from a growler that traveled half way across the country just several hours ago. Aroma of citrus rind, grapefruit some bready notes from the malts and even some a slight touch of piney hops as well. Medium to fuller bodied with average carbonation and a slight bitter finish. Flavor of fresh floral hops, grapefruit, citrus rind and some earthy notes mixed in there as well. One of the most balanced IPA's I've ever had the chance of enjoying.

hophead247, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of hiphopipa
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%

Many thanks to mothman for this growler!

Poured into my beloved Sebago Brewing tulip.

A: Pours a clear medium copper with red/orange highlights.
S: Inviting aromatic piney hops with tropical and bigger caramel malt notes.
T: Complex and full flavored! Very nicely balanced hops and malts.
Tastes sweet and malty at first taste and then transitions to a nice dry bitter finish of dominant hop resin.
M: Smooth, creamy with soft carbonation and a sticky finish.
D: This is exactly what I was looking for and could drink it all day. Absolutely excellent & perfect example of a well thought out and balanced IPA. Very Victory Hop Devil-ish, I love it!

I'll be raving about this one for a long, long time. Nice pic Ben, right on point.

hiphopipa, Sep 28, 2010
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,158 ratings.