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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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1,137 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,137
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 830
Gots: 55 | 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: 1,137 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of necoadam


4.3/5  rDev -1.1%

1/2 gallon growler.

Poured out a musty orange color with a few hints of very light red mixing in as well. A nice head that also stays with you for quite a while.

Smell was outstanding. The first thing you'll notice is the huge fruit notes in this beer. Big pine aromas as well. And of course, a good hops are also in the nose.

Taste was quite good. This beer has a huge malt backbone to it. A lot of toasted malts with a nice hop and citrus taste on top of the malts. Quite a bit of toffee also in there that mixes in towards the middle and the end. But towards the end it just gets hoppy and more hoppy. Some pine flavors also mix in the aftertaste. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel was medium and the carbonation was quite good considering it was sitting in the fridge for 2 and a half weeks. This held up quite nicely.

A damn fine IPA. The drinkability is high since it's less than 6%, but the flavors are everywhere and balanced nicely.

Many thanks to the Monk for sending it this way.

01-03-2005 15:40:51 | More by necoadam
Photo of mtrog313


4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

05-20-2013 18:34:54 | More by mtrog313
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.

10-30-2010 22:50:29 | More by malty
Photo of Erdinger2003


4.68/5  rDev +7.6%

When poured it has a cloud, not unlike a guiness, then it becomes crisp with a great foamy head that doesn't fall and a lacing that's unbelieveably stuck. It has a golden orange color.

The smell is strong and elegant with fruity tones. The malty tones are creamy and soft. The smell is very strong.

The taste is creamy and flavorful, bready and fruity with a hoppy aftertaste that isn't invasive. I tasted a little wateryness, but unsure if that's just a cask conditioned ale.

The mouthfeel is unbelievable, it's smooth and creamy like silk, just great.

I would definetly drink this once a week if I had the chance, but there are not many beers I could have everyday.

04-08-2006 23:01:45 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.9/5  rDev +12.6%

Poured from a most-sturdily packaged growler sent straight from MPLS by Faro -- maximum respect to you, Jeff. Best before 10-13, consumed the very same day with lunch as Buffalo struggled to recover from massive power outages due to the craziest snowstorm ever to hit the city -- and that's saying a lot! The refrigerator had been off for about six or seven hours, so it was definitely time to open this one. Once it finally hit my nonic, it was a deep copper-orange color, slightly hazy with a few streams of carbonation steadily but slowly rising up to a clumpy, meringue-like, yellowed-newsprint head. An abundance of citrus aromas rose up to my nose, with kumquat rind, grapefruit pith, and piney Minneola tangerines being the most prevalent scents. A faint biscuity-caramel aroma was also detectable in the very back of the deepest of sniffs. The taste recalled grapefruit sections in the morning, with the caramelly flavors of oven-fresh bread crust and a slight hint of the butter that one might slather upon said warm bread. The mineral-based taste of the serrated-edge spoon one uses to liberate the grapefruit from its pithy origin also came through near the end of each delicious sip of this magnificently-crafted IPA, which, by the way, also featured an exceptionally smooth and juicy mouthfeel, a medium body, and the perfect level of just slightly peppery carbonation. I should also mention that from time to time my sinuses flared with the grapefruit-spruce flavor of the occasional Masala Mama-induced burps. In short, this is a nearly flawless IPA. I believe I rated Alesmith's effort just a tad higher because of its amazingly floral aroma -- a niche this IPA doesn't happen to fill. However, I believe that Masala Mama is more drinkable than that paradigmatic West Coast offering, due to its combination of exceptional flavor and unsuspecting simplicity. That is to say, there wasn't anything absolutely unique to the flavor, aroma, etc. -- but the overall experience of drinking a growler full of this beer was, in my mind, the quintessential beer-drinking experience. If I ever find myself in the Twin Cities again, I will spend as much time as possible procuring and drinking this beer.

10-15-2006 19:51:20 | More by orfeu
Photo of FightingEntropy


5/5  rDev +14.9%

08-27-2014 03:07:49 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of mjstacker

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

07-06-2014 20:56:10 | More by mjstacker
Photo of Cyclone8


4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

02-20-2013 04:31:02 | More by Cyclone8
Photo of ngandhi


4.55/5  rDev +4.6%

All the west coast IPAs got together and met up in Minneapolis. They chatted, exchanged many pleasantries, but by night's end the weak were sent home and the strong fought to the death. We all know how tough IPAs can be; not one would concede defeat. They all died that night. The janitor, his name Pete, was left to mop the killing floor. Cascades here, Centennials there, Chinooks and their carcasses rotting holes in the floor. He sent everyone home, said he'd close up, and took the mop bucket in back. When folks came to work the next morning they smelled a bready funk in the air. There was a new brewery in town.

With a perfect citric/mango nose that implements all the greatness of West coast hops without ever being cloying or cliche, this smells like a brewer's wet dream.

On the tongue the beer (not the wet dream) is the smoothest IPA I've ever had and, excepting SN Celebration, the most complex. It's Two-Hearted without the butterscotch diacetyl, HopDevil with more body and resin, Stone Ruination without the phenolic bite. Deep with fruity hops, clean, unintrusive yeast, barely noticeable malt, and the right threshold for bittering with a lightly resinous finish, this is the American IPA. Though not as challenging, ultimately, as Celebration, nor as elegant as the British-influenced HopHearty, it's within arms length.

Most impressively, no matter how MM stacks up against other IPAs, there's nothing it can do to be better. Every now and then you get a beer that does what it should do and can convince you, no matter what your taste, that it has achieved its goals. This is one of those brews.

The finish is eternal. The hops are in church choir harmony. And I need to get my hands on their imperial.

Relax, relax.

03-26-2004 02:33:16 | More by ngandhi
Photo of oakbluff

Manitoba (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +5.7%

Review is based on drinking from growler, but also had on cask and regular on tap from the brewery. First growler experience. Its like losing your virginity to a super model!

Colour- perfect, clear copper. Prototypical IPA colour. Fluffy off white head (which had excellent retention)
Nose- a fresh pine forest. Beautiful fresh hops in this one! The smell was the best part of this drinking experience. I could sniff it for days and days..
Taste- pine, citrus, juicy hops. There is a bitter dry finish, but not astringent. Solid malt backbone. Toasty caramel malts. Just enough to be balanced , but they know where the top billing is. Hops. Not sure what kind of hops- can only tell there is some (lots) high alpha acids suckers in it. Outstanding beverage and lived up to its high billing.

05-06-2007 20:57:53 | More by oakbluff
Photo of MSchae1017


4.53/5  rDev +4.1%

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a growler shared with me by timtheenchanta.

This beer was poured an amber orange with a rediculously frothy white head. The beer also laces quite nicely. The smell is very sweet and full of citrusy hop aromas. The taste is full of bitterness and hop flavors. This is truly a showcase for the hops. There isnt a lot of malt character, but the hops really give this a fantastic flavor. Nice mouthfeel, right on for an American IPA, thick enough but not syrupy, also carbonation is good. Overall a great IPA, glad to finally get my hands on this one.

06-08-2006 02:42:25 | More by MSchae1017
Photo of Viciousknishs


4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

07-26-2012 00:51:19 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of Schlais


4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

11-25-2011 04:45:58 | More by Schlais
Photo of fisherman34

Manitoba (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +4.1%

Slightly copper in colour with a wonderful nose of citrus (a combination of orange and grapefruit) and spice (somewhat peppery) hops. Very fresh hoppy flavor and a long finish. Not overly malty or heavy, but that was a good thing in this case. Medium carbonation and high drinkability. A fantastic IPA to say the least.

08-25-2005 20:24:30 | More by fisherman34
Photo of ghostwalker


4.53/5  rDev +4.1%

Growler from a trade with tavernjef. Thanks!

Body is reddish-orange with a huge frothy, almost cake-like, off-white head. Massive lacing from top to bottom in my Duvel tulip. This is visual IPA perfection.

Nose is citrus with a sweet wrapper. Really nice!

Flavor is a wonderful candy citrus blast with a resinous pine finish. The hoppiness really reminds me of SNCA. Has a substantial malty backbone that holds up well and does not get too intrusive. Taste manages to be very intense, yet not fatiguing to the palate. A real treat!

Mouthfeel is almost creamy, yet still quite tangy with a little tooth-strippiness.

Drinkability is insane. Town Hall needs to bottle this ASAP.

06-14-2006 23:07:22 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of einman


3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

06-16-2014 21:48:47 | More by einman
Photo of Beerontwowheels


3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

09-27-2013 13:37:19 | More by Beerontwowheels
Photo of GuisseppeFranco

New York

4/5  rDev -8%

06-03-2012 16:25:40 | More by GuisseppeFranco
Photo of kenito799

New York

3.1/5  rDev -28.7%

On tap at the Town Hall BrewPub, Minneapolis.

Since my family lives in the Twin Cities now and this beer sits so highly near the pinnacle of the BA top 100, of course we stopped to check it out on the way from the airport. This scenario is a set-up for a let-down, as happens whenever hype precedes an experience...what's more, American IPA is not my favorite type of beer. However, I made my best attempt to set preconceived notions aside and evaluate this beer objectively.

Appearance was average for an amber tap beer, nice lacing, not too much head. I appreciate and enjoy the floral aromatics that massive hopping provides to our national hophead style; piney, grapefruity, nice to inhale deeply.

The hop flavors come through in the drinking, walloping one's (hop-)head with overtly strenuous bitterness, endlessly lingering and puckering the tongue. Nice with food. I have admitted that the style isn't my favorite, nevertheless, I think American IPAs succeed more when the hop slam is balanced by careful attenuation with mellowing malt flavors. Anyone can dump hops into a brew at all steps of its creation...it takes skill to harness their intensity. I don't think that was really done here. For me a more successful attempt is found over at Smuttynose in New Hampshire with their Finest Kind IPA. If you are looking for a full-on hop bodyslam, though, you'll find it here.

12-24-2006 16:40:42 | More by kenito799
Photo of Tyecko


3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

07-31-2014 13:27:12 | More by Tyecko
Photo of letsgopens


4.7/5  rDev +8%

Sent from a generous trader, this selection poured a crimson amber from the growler. The thick off white head holds well and leaves some nice lace.

The aroma is very citrusy and tart with plenty of hops and some light malt complimented by pine.

Most definitely some great hops and lots of tangy citrus are the main flavor components. Grapefruit and orange provide a refreshing twang. The sharp pine notes accentuate the brew's complexity. A nice bit of light malt provides balance. The lingering bitterness of hops leaves me wanting more.

Moderately carbonation makes for a well balanced IPA. Somewhat dry in the finish, very satisfying. An awesomely complex IPA.

07-16-2007 03:22:25 | More by letsgopens
Photo of Franch

New York

4/5  rDev -8%

03-12-2013 15:10:53 | More by Franch
Photo of Azrael

3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

02-21-2013 04:19:14 | More by Azrael
Photo of ubufan2112


4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

01-30-2014 23:20:50 | More by ubufan2112
Photo of Axic10

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev -3%

Growler thanks to nbeattie. Thanks for this Nick! Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an amber hue with a finger of fluffy khaki-colored head. Leaves some decent lacing while I'm drinking this.

Smell: Very nice mixture of citrus and piney hops, with a nice malt character as well.

Taste: Bitter grapefruit, pineapple sweetness, and piney hops. The aftertaste is malty and bitter with hints of caramel malt and some toffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very smooth.

Drinkability: Another gem from Minnesota! This beer is easily in my top 3 of ipas. I will be seeking this out again for sure.

07-25-2010 17:34:03 | More by Axic10
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,137 ratings.