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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

1,208 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,208
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 829
Gots: 62 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Masala Mama India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,208 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thagr81us
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to funkydelic for sharing this one! Served from growler into a Mikkeller flute. Poured red-orange with a one finger white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, butter, citrus, and citrus hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The caramel note I got on the nose did quite well with balancing out the acidity of the citrus notes I was getting and made it quite pleasant on the nose. The flavor was also nice with the butter character mixed in with the citrus acidity as well. Just a well done brew that I would enjoy having again and again. A definite must try even if you aren't trying to tick the Top 100 list.

thagr81us, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

growler received from MeLikeBeer. Thanks a million for this! Split it with a BA johnmichaelsen and my brew buddy Jared.

A: Clear amber pour with a gorgeous beige head with great retention and beautiful lacing. Excellent

S: Piney, oily hops with the faintest hint of caramel sweetness. Sharp with a mild floral note.

T: Bitter but exceptionally well balanced. Starts off with a pleasant hop bite with pine and a thin malt presence. Great drying finish with a pleasant bitterness

M: Pleasant carbonation, nice oily mouthfeel, nice dryness on the finish

D: Insanely drinkable, i could have drunk a growler by myself.

DefenCorps, May 31, 2008
Photo of tectactoe
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%

tectactoe, Oct 27, 2014
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish to copper color with a nice tan head. In the aroma, piney hops. In the taste, piney hops and green apples, a touch of nice maltiness. A bitter and medium bodied mouthfeel, with dry, piney hops in the aftertaste. Bigs hops and very nice.

OWSLEY069, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear amber color with a nicely soapy looking white head. Some chunk lacing as I drank which faded into some fine stick as time went on.

S - Really hoppy, a nice amount of citrus, but not too grapefruity, subtle pine notes make up the hop profile. Subtle malt backbone that doesn't detract from the hops or make it to carmelly.

T - I think this might be my favorite IPA, even moreso than PtE and PtY. Would want to do a side by side for comparison. Nicely bitter resin taste with pine notes blends in with the citrus. It's slightly sweet, and balanced by the bitterness which does not become overpowering. The malt backbone is there, but complementary.

M - Finishes bitter, a bit puckering, but not too bad. Definately a medium bodied IPA, with some great carbonation to make it refreshing.

D - Could drink this all day, a great thirst quencher too if you're thirsty.

AgentZero, May 12, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this so many numberous times from growlers and fresh right at the pub, thought perhaps it was time to do a review for the tapped version as the casked version is different but just as good if not better on-tap.

This is from a fresh growler:
Softly dulled bronze color, with a fine and firm capping of ivory hued foam. Head grows consistent and vigorously to a fine foam of puff. Gets bumby and moon-surfaced as it crumbles down slowly. Keeps a fine hazey skim and a load of thickly set lacing closer to the top of the liquid as the rest from towards the top is placed in light webby strings.

Now I've had a super fresh batch and the aroma first off the tap was awesomely peachy and loaded with hoppy goodness. This time around the aroma has been softened by alot from what I know what its capable of. So for now, I lower my number due to its softer touch. Gotta go with ya got. Still quite pungent though, just not as peachafied as those first tappings. What I do like is its fine crispness, very sharp and lofty with a big toasty malt showing its side of things on this day. The rest is made up of some very fresh pine thats fairly resinous. Tinges of orange sweep up along with a few bits of grapefruit and partailly heated hop dust.

The taste is what I've come to love about this beer. Supurb cleanness, carefully bittered, well balanced, citric and toasty. Those fresher batches tend to bring out the peach tones alot more, as does the cask offering, but this still rocks my world. Lovely toastyness, creamy, soft, caramel is slippery within. Buttery biscuits among the toasted stuff. But those hops really just make a nice accompanyment and entice the buds into a ballet of tongue dancing delight. Well placed and quite pungent pine resin grabs with an intense but evenly handled bite with great nuances of citrus tones leading into heavier orange and slighter grapefruit rinds and juices. This time around - very, very slight hint of peach in the creamier areas in the middle where the toasty stuff floats off. But other times I've had this the peach has really pushed forward as the dominate fruit and I love that even more then what it is now. Still... this....This is quite tasty.

Body is nearly full, great crispyness; clean, toasty, creamy in the middle, bittered with juicy citrus and pine, but not overloaded so as to burn the tonsils out the back of your throat. Its feverant, but mellowingly bittered. And as always, way to drinkable. So much so, this could possible be liquid crack for some folks out there. And as Hugey states, I too have yet to recieve a faultered pint full or growler full of this stuff. The peach tones weren't as present this time around, but when it does, it just adds another wave of magic to this already fantastic IPA.

Notes of difference: Cask body is fuller and more rounded where the edges blurr with hops and warmth. Cask tends to be more set with fruitier juices and bitterly tamed. Tapped body is cleaner and crisper with more edgeyness to the hop profile and with its bitterness it tends to give a sharper return quicker. Where as the cask version is more gradual in the hop profile and warming.

The tapped Mama is always available so when its on-cask, try em both side by side, you'll have lots of fun comparing and contrasting each of their subtlities.

tavernjef, Apr 16, 2005
Photo of eawolff99
4/5  rDev -7.8%

eawolff99, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of WOLFGANG
5/5  rDev +15.2%

WOLFGANG, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of ZAP
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

---
7-4-03
Hazy, but extremely rich looking copper...nice little frothy head on top...the nose is sweet, fresh and fruity....some citrus but also some sweeter fruits..like a cocktail of grapefruit/strawberry/mango...

The taste is big on the west coast citrus..grapefruit big-time...big juicy hop flavors...very big bitterness...not for the weakhearted...malt is secondary all the way...hops dominate...The mouthfeel is almost slightly unbalanced as the hops overwhelm but what the F#ck, this is an IPA right?? Bitter me up!!

This will be too bitter and hopped up for some..I lvoe it but a little more balance would make this even better..hops heads will love this...good for a pint or two...tough to drink a lot more in one sitting..

ZAP, Jul 04, 2003
Photo of champ103
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to GregMcQ for sharing this with me and some other BA's.

A: Pours a copper/orange color. A perfect, frothy, two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Sticky lace is left in rings. Really impressive coming from a growler.
S: Juicy hops up front. Citrus, pine, grapefruit. Some buttery malt balances everything out well.
T: Follows the nose. Tons of juicy hops. Citrus, pine, grapefruit. A substantial bitterness, but it does not overpower. Well balances with some residual sweetness lingering.
M/D: A medium body. Very crisp and dry. Creamy and smooth at the same time. So easy to drink. A relatively low alcohol IPA, and something that is not just bitter. I can put a few away with no problem.

This is an excellent IPA, and I am not a big fan of the style. I really enjoyed this. So much hop flavor going on. That is the key, hop flavor, not bitterness. Highly recommended.

champ103, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -7.8%

aasher, May 12, 2013
Photo of RoyalT
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This was one of the most beautiful beers that I have ever seen. The color is a perfect, dark hazy, mysterious orange. The head is thick, not fluffy. It looks like you could stand a spoon up in it. It showed great retention and left some terrific lacing on the inside of my Ruination glass.

Smell – This is a hop-lover’s dream. The profile is very complex. The floral notes are very pleasant and there is a small hint of citrus. But the big bopper here is the thick pine resin. It jumps across the room with sharpness and distinction.

Taste – Oh, yeah. Forget the hype; this is the real deal. The awesome malt base, which I totally missed at the nose, came out wonderfully on the tongue. The toasted malt, rich toffee, and chewy caramel flavors are so smooth they just melt in your mouth.

Not to be outdone, the hops are large and in charge. They mate perfectly with the malty base. The hop profile is very complex and harmonious. This one has it all.

Mouthfeel – Rich, thick, chewy, and much bigger than medium-bodied but not full, this one has a finishing dryness that will please the IPA lover to death.

Drinkability – I don’t think I’ve ever had a smoother, tastier, more enjoyable IPA than this guy right here. Having said that, I actually am exercising the self-discipline needed to save half this growler for a fellow BA. With that kind of willpower I should be bending spoons.

Comments – I can’t thank feloniousmonk enough for sending me this crown jewel of Minnesota.

RoyalT, Jul 03, 2004
Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev -7.8%

enelson, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

pathman, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of gford217
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to MeLikeBeer shared at the BA get-together at the Brick Store. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep clear cooper with a fluffy off-white head that lingers for a long time leaving very good lacing.

S: Smell is very well balance with big pine and grapefruit scents up front balanced by a sizable bready malt aroma in the background with a hint of caramel.

T: Taste is amazingly smooth and balanced with the hops dominating but not overly bitter. The citrus hits up front with grapefruit and gives way to the sweet malts. The finish is a smooth pine hoppiness, very crisp and clean.

M: As stated above, the mouthfeel is super smooth for an IPA and medium bodied with little bitterness on the palate.

D: This is a very balanced and drinkable IPA and big thanks again to Brent for sharing this great brew with me.

gford217, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a tulip. Huge thanks to beerwolf77 for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish mahogany color that produced a great off-white head with good retention behind it. Left tons of lacing behind.

(S)- A big dryness with a bigger malt profile. Some good notes of lemon and lime.

(T)- Pretty much just like the smell. A bigger malt profile than most, but is counter acted with a good hop backbone of lemon and lime.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A happy medium between malt and hops. Bitter, but supplemented well with a big malt background and creamy citrus hops.

(D)- A good IPA. Maltier than most, but that does not really bother me when enjoying this one. A happy medium between malt and hop additions. Solid stuff.

sweemzander, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of rudzud
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

rudzud, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of illidurit
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an amber copper color, with a thick and dense head that cascades upwards for several seconds after the pour is completed. The off-white head sticks around forever and the lacing leaves a series of rings around the glass.

Strong pine in the aroma, some citrusy notes, floral hops, caramel.

This beer has a strong malt profile which in most other IPAs would be too much competition for the hops, but here the pine resin barrels right through the caramel sweetness and smacks you around. A little orange/grapefruit in the hop profile as well. Really bold and full but still well balanced.

The carbonation is perfect here. This is a big IPA but it's not too syrupy. You'd think there's more alcohol judging by the big maltiness but it's a very modest 5.9%. If I hadn't split the growler with a friend I'm sure I would have no trouble finishing it solo. Top notch IPA.

illidurit, Sep 25, 2007
Photo of francisweizen
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew is fresh out of a 1/2 gallon grolwer thanks to all-star BA Tavernjef. So, I open the packaged, open the growler, and a loud "swish" sound ensues. This brew pours out of the growler with a medium reddish/orangeish copper colour with an ample head of foam that is as big as the rocky mountains. The aroma of this brew is huge. First there is the huge smell of freshly cut citric and floral hops. Than a lovely, English-like, buttery, biscuity, bready, malty aroma shines through. The taste follows suit. It is big bolshy hops up front, and lovely biscuity malts in the middle. The balance achieved in this brew is excellent. The hops hit first up front. They are bitter, but for a regular IPA, they are not too bitter. The hops are placed in the background when the middle of this brew comes through with the flavors of buttery biscuits, and fresh baked french bread. The hops come back in the finish of this brew, but this time they have been mixed in with the buttery flavor of the malts. The finish of this brew reminds me of the "candy coated" hop flavor in Weyerbachers Hops Infusion. This brew reminds me of what the Hops Infusion would taste like if Weyerbacher did it up right. The mouthfeel is perfectly balanced and reminds me of a pint of freshly pulled cask ale from England. The carbonation is soft, and luxurious, and really makes the flavor of this brew explode on your tongue and in your mouth. The after-taste is dry, but flavorful, and it produces some very heavy hop burps. Nice! The drinkability is perfect, as this brew has just the right abv, aromas, flavors, and textures to make it a reall "all-night-drinker". One hell of a session IPA, they really have to start bottling this stuff. The number one single IPA on BA for a reason, but to me, there are still a few IPAs and 2XIPAs that I like better. Still, if I lived close to this brewery, i'd be a happy camper!

francisweizen, Feb 13, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: A brown Grolsch like, flip top, EZ Cap brown glass 'mini-Growler'. Simply has the letter ‘M’ in black pen scrawled on the white ceramic top. A present all the way from Minneapolis. Hell Yeah!

Appearance: Gorgeous rustic brown copper body that is perfectly lucid. Carbonation perfect, given that it was rebottled, this is impressive in of itself. A lovely collage of milky tan bubbles swirl 3 inches below the liquid surface as the Mama rises in my Imperial Pint glass, all the timing assisting the formation of a nice 1” thick tan head. Knowing this was rebottled, I kept some Mama back in the bottle for top-ups and to reinitiate any disappearance, but I shouldn’t have worried, head retention was pretty good. Nice slaking expanded ring lacing as I take each sip. Has a remarkable English Yorkshire Bitter appearance to it.

Nose: Lots of deep luscious hoppy aromas, light but inviting Satsuma odors with the zest of freshly squeezed pungent oranges. Slick hop oils, some pine smells and lots of chewy coniferous needles. Deep inhalation reminds me of the sharp wakening smell of Grapefruit on a morning. This will most certainly wake you up!

Taste: Concentrate hard, and at first you can detect biscuit, malts, caramel and some toffee, yet this is quickly consumed by the hoppiness of this one. Bitter at first, but a hoppy pine sharpness with an orange/lemon twist and a biting grapefruit feel in the back end. Lots of hops, hops, hops, hops. Maybe not the bitterest IPA, but it does impress the hell out of you with the resin like hop profile, yep this is certainly hoppy!

Mouthfeel: This is only 5.9%, and whilst it drinks well, personally I find that initially it has a bigger mouthfeel after the swallow, rather than during the preliminary imbibing experience. The lingering hoppy after-taste, mixed with the pine encrusted malts in the background, lend a bigger accent to the next mouthful. Sharp grapefruits induce saliva, all adding to the massive overall mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Easily imbibed, I dearly love the pine-hop-grapefruit flavors and long lingering aftertastes and, pardon the pun, the cascading mouthfeel that builds as you drink this. More, more, more Mama!

Overall: Absolutely superb, and to think that this was rebottled!!!! Wow, this would be a serious kick-ass beer fresh from the Cask - I simply must get to Minneapolis and the Town Hall Brewery!

A very impressive IPA, from an equally impressive BA! What to say, words are simply not enough. A *Serious* “Cheers Mate” to BigHuge for this offering. Top Marks all round. It really is true, wherever you find great beer, you *will* find great people. We must get to share a beer in person one day Joe, and I cannot think of a better place than the Town Hall Brewery when this monster Mama is on Cask. The first Cask is on me!!

TheLongBeachBum, May 20, 2004
Photo of popery
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to deliriumfest.

A top tier American IPA. This beer pours a rich amber with orange highlights. It has an excellent head and lots of lacing. The beer looks right at home in my Anchor Christmas pint glass. Also, I'm a sucker for growlers, particularly growlers from afar. While that's not part of the beer's appearance, strictly speaking, the beer would get the same appearance score, no matter the serving type. The aroma is easily my favorite part of this beer. It's a combination of hops, mostly floral and piney. There's a touch of sweet citrus, but it's a minor player compared to many IPAs. Underneath the hop aromas, there's an incredible and surprising maltiness. It has a fruity, nutty aroma and flavor that makes me think of an Amber Ale. Befitting the geographical location of the brewery, this is neither an East coast nor a West coast IPA. It's all Midwest and delicious as hell. I'd like to give the flavor a 4.25. Without the utter success of the aroma, I might give it a 4.5, but it just doesn't live up to the promise of its bouquet. The flavor is a tad dry and yeasty, a bit like a real English IPA. That's not really bad, but it's just not entirely my thing. That said, the bitterness is extremely well-balanced, while maintaining a good hop bite. The malt might be my favorite aspect of the flavor. They really hit a note with me on the subject of the malt. It's an excellent beer and not quite like anything else I've ever tasted. I'd love to have easy access to it. It's always a shame when great beers go unbottled, but I can understand the impetus to keep things simple.

popery, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this growler from skipanoka2, thanks a lot man I've wanted to try this for years. Split this three ways so I had a good 21 ounces of this stuff. Color is dark orange and the head is billowing and huge, no lack of carbonation here. Smells like caramel and a bit of hops thrown in for good measure. The taste is really chewy caramel with a bit of pine and a very strong bitterness on the finish, very bitter. Overall I liked it.

ArrogantB, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of cpetrone84
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours a brilliant glowing reddish copper color liquid that has a nice op haze. the head is thick, pillowy, off white in color. Lots of head from an aggressive pour that has huge retention and sticks all over the glass. Looks so good!

S-the nose is big and hoppy, good caramel malt with floral notes hitting the nose hard, extremely oily and juicy, tons of grapefruit take over and don't quit with plenty of pine to accompany. Big time single IPA, very impressive nose!

T-the taste is big, thick and syrupy. floral esters are light but present, strong caramel malt to balance the huge hop presence, grapefruit comes in hard and the taste is quite big. A big time oily hop flavor, hints oily pine, more grapefruit bitterness at the finish that doesn't linger at all. this is a hop-a-rific beer!

M-smooth and creamy, full to medium body. wow is this thick and syrupy, creamy but smooth. Light carbonation, crisp finish but not biting at all. it is wet and juicy throughout coating the mouth completely.

D-this is an exceptional beer, notes of balance with big time hop flavors, great mouthfeel, easy drinking. This would rival most double IPA's for supremecy, gives the feel of a pliny, right up there with anything else, the only thing that keeps it from the perfect score is the huge oily hops that do seem to stick a little

cpetrone84, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of cokes
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There are people up in the Twin Cities that worship this stuff. Not just the normal, sit-around-and-proclaim-how-good-it-is type worship, but full-blown, black mass, hood-cloaked, blood-spilling, chicken-sacrificing worship.

To outsiders, it might seem ridiculous.
But once you've partaken, it all makes sense.

I, in fact, have testified before the alter of Masala Mama. The chamber glowed an orange shade of copper. Overhead the air was filled with dirty white, billowy smoke.

The hall filled with pungent hop incense. Grapefruit and pine with toasty malt backing. I expected this. But I was not ready for the fuzzy tangerine embrace that greeted me next.

Blindfolded now, I was thrown into a chair (or perhaps a barstool). I was already a bit compromised. But that mattered naught, it was now time to pay homage to Her.

They poured it down my throat without a moment for me to even brace myself.

Sudden bound enrapture!

Glorious bitter potion!

Malt and hop enchantment. Toasty witchcraft and orange-peel devilry. The finish lingers. For a minute and for eternity.
Branded by pine-fueled bitterness, tinged with grapefruit and resin, I was changed.
I was converted.

My mind swelled with each additional draught. So...right! Ripe oranges, fuzzy peaches, burnt toast and pine sap. Encased in a medium body that screams for gluttony.

Knowing I had fell sway to Her magic, the blindfold was removed, and I stared into the smiling faces of Bighuge and feloniousmonk. Both grinning because they knew they had won Her another disciple, and would be rewarded appropriately.

cokes, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of BMart
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

BMart, Oct 21, 2014
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,208 ratings.