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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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1,159 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,159
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 826
Gots: 58 | 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: 1,159 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a growler, shared with Akorsak and Phatz. Selected as my 200th review.

A - Poured a cloudy reddish-orange with a minimal head; left a nice white ring atop the hoppy goodness.

S - I can't imagine a better aroma from an IPA. Starts off with a combination of pine and floral notes, but it's balanced with a sweet and tart apricot flavor. Hoppy bitterness doesn't come racing out with the first few whiffs, but earthy hops are definitely present amongst the complex aromas. One of the best aromas from an AIPA I've ever experienced.

T - Right now I'm used to the kick-in-the-mouth hoppy blast from DIPAs, as that's what I've been drinking lately. So imagine my surprise when I take the first sip and instead of the insane hoppy punch, I notice a delicious - but complex - blend of floral hops and sweet fruit. The hoppy bitterness is well-balanced with the apricot and grapefruit flavors...sort of a sweet tartness that counters any bitterness very nicely. Upon the finish, I get almost a hoppy/caramel aftertaste, which also caught me by surprise. Wonderful combinations of flavors.

M - Medium body with a creamy finish...goes down very nicely.

D - Beer was very-well preserved in the growler and it did not disappoint. A strong start that was solid the whole way down...never pass up an opportunity to pick this one up!

JohnnyM2002, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of I2uss
5/5  rDev +14.9%

I2uss, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of sjstraub
4/5  rDev -8%

sjstraub, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of Ragingbull
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color with a white head. The nose is very hoppy and the attack is very much "hops forward." The mouthfeel is nice and creamy. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable. Despite the hops the finish is pretty clean. The hops seems to be muted a little bit in the cask version of this beer. It seems pretty straightforward as an IPA except for the transition from the finish to the aftertaste where you believe the flavor is done, but then it returns when your mouth dries. I prefer the regular variety of this beer, which is not the norm for me.
This review from notes and beer may not be currently offered as cask conditioned.

Ragingbull, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of SupaCelt
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Masala Mama departed the confines of its growler and now occupies my pint glass where its full beauty can be appreciated. The colour is a hearty orange caramel. Bubbles still lively up the liquid even after days in transit and untold idle time. A small tan cap emerged off the pour but fell away hastily leaving some frothy churn atop this most lovely glass. Lacing stretches across the vessel's horizon and grows in girth as the level drops with each sip.

The nose carries a strange array of fruitiness. Notes of peach or apricot sweetness, or some darn thing or another, seem to float atop an earthy and green citrus charactered base. This thing smells heavily of raw hop material. It is nearly too chlorophyll heavy with greeness, but it holds itself together by the grace of the bizarre fruit presence. This is a hopped up beer with a unique fruitiness that adds a peculiar sort of appeal.

The taste is fruity. The unique fruitiness is delicious but fleeting. It gets wiped away by an exaggerated bitterness that comes close to throwing off the balance. Close. This beer manages to hold itself together though. The mango-peachy-citrus character really is quite appealing. The bitters are a bit on the aspirin side, but they are tolerable. This is a good IPA, but some of the better aspects seem to be shrouded in the bitterness that nearly overthrows the whole union. Tasty nonetheless. Solid.

Mouthfeel is light. This is constructed to be a drinkable brew and it has succeeded as such. Feel is just right.

Drinkability is good. It would be nice to try fresh from the pull. This is a nicely made beer. I could see me drinking these down. In fact, I did. Nice. Maybe a smidge hyped up. Hopped up for sure.

SupaCelt, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of jlogan7
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

jlogan7, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of Cooper
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Cooper, Nov 22, 2012
5/5  rDev +14.9%

MITCHELLMPLS, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of gio540
5/5  rDev +14.9%

gio540, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of dfried
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a phenominal beer. Golden orange color, perfect off white head of millions of small bubbles that retained at about a centimeter for the entire beer and provided spectacular lacing. I have had this beer many times from the regular tap, but from the cask the hops are toned back a bit, eventhough their complexity is still there, which helps reveal a bit more of the sweet, fruity pale malt. At the beginning of this beer, it tastes atleast a little balanced in malt and hops, definitely leaning towards the hops anyway. The finish though is pretty much all hops, a very broad specturm of them that is just delicious, slightly oily resinous pine and floral like, a bit stronger towards citrus zest, orange and grapefruit, maybe even a bit of apricot. It just plain make you go mmm. the mouthfeel is great on this beer, especially from the cask, enough cabonation to retain the sizeable head, but it's far from overwhelming. Extremly silky smooth. This beer is so good, it is virtually impossible to get sick of it. They go through a lot of seasonals at Town Hall, so I usually go for those, but I try to have one of these nearly every time I stop in for more than one or two.

dfried, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of PatronWizard
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to awesome new trader deliriumfest for sending a growler of this westward. Because of you, several BAs were able to taste this otherwise pain-in-the-ass to get beer. After being shipped to me, I drove another 100 miles to meet with fellow BA's OlieIPA, Mauerhan, Aimstatus, and Pehlman whom I met for the first time. Kinda chatty.

So my notes are sparse but here goes anyway. For appearance I jotted "copper fire." Wow, must've looked pretty damn good. I know it can make a fierce head as well (Olie pours like an untrained chimp).

I took several big whiffs and smelt lots of fresh cut grass. Nice hoppy aroma.

Taste follows the sniff. Very grassy. Great tasting IPA for sure. All the fuss? Uh, I dunno. It was pretty damn smooth as well.

So I sought this out because it was ranked highly on the BA Top 100 (don't care if you think that's a stupid reason and I don't crap on your hobby). Obviously, it is a very nice, very tasty beer. If I was anywhere near this brewery I would stop in for some and be very pleased. Since I'm nowhere near this brewery, I probably won't ever have it again, unless someone sends it as an extra, which would be uber friggin cool!

Overall: tasty beer, good friends, good experience

PatronWizard, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of TheBungyo
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A hearty thank you to Faro for trading this to me. I'd also like to say that the growler was nearly a week old by the time it reached me.

Yep a week old. You'd think this was freshly poured from the tap by the size of the inch thick creamy head that topped off the picture perfect honey bronze body. Of course there was lacing all the way down.

Nose is meaty and piney. I like. This is a unique nose, especially to one who is used to west coast IPA's. There's a hint of malt in there somewhere but it definitely is overshadowed. If I can find a weak point in this beer it's got to be the nose. It's very good but not as aromatic as I'd hoped.

Taste is piney with a bit of citrus, leathery, and pleasantly malty. Juicey juicey hops! Very bitter in the finish and would leave a n00b puckering for several minutes after a swallow.

The mouth is very rich, dancing over the tongue like Fred Astaire. It's the kind of beer that we as BA's cite as the reason for BEING a BA. If I lived in MPLS I can say that this would be a must order every time I visited. Without question. Not the finest IPA I've ever had, but certainly one of the elite.

TheBungyo, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of sponberg
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Go ahead. Be skeptical. Yeah, it is that good.

Stunning to look at. Medium amber with a pillowy, fluffy white head that laces all the way down. If someone ever asks what an IPA should look like, point at a picture of this one. Aroma of citric, grapefruity hops over a background of honey, bread, and a whiff of sweet tea.

Ever hear the Big Head Todd song "Bittersweet Surrender?" Reminds me of this beer. I cannot find a fault and I'm on my third pint. Starts out with this insanely clean yet bitter hop bite, just full of juicy, fresh floral and citrus rind hoppiness. Then a tea-with-honey maltiness comes in to balance the hops. The longer it sits on the palate a yeasty breadiness comes in as a background note. Stellar finish - lingering hop oil on the tongue, slightly caramelly malt all over the rest of the mouth, and an incredible clean fresh lingering bittersweet tea-and hops flavor. Perfection. I could not ask for more form an IPA. Mouthfeel is moderate and entirely appropriate for the alcohol content.

Drinkability? They don't make growlers big enough. Minnesota needs to pass a law allowing the use of carboys for growlers for this beer.

:bow: to BA JeffKrenner for the growler. I owe ya big time for this one guy.

sponberg, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of Wisconsinality
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from growler into Duvel Tulip.

A- Pours a nice amber that is transparent. About a half inch worth of head that dissipates quickly and leaves some good lacing on the side of the glass. Tiny bubbles make their way up the side of the glass.

S- A nice array of floral hops with a little bit of pine in there. The malt is barely detectable over the burst of hops. Also there seems to be a faint grassiness in there.

T- The first taste is a rush of hops that is surprisingly smooth without a lot of bitterness. Pretty piney much like the smell and there is barely any malt to speak of. This tastes almost like a DIPA but without the alcohol peaking through.

M- As it should be, this is a medium bodied brew with nice carbonation. What intrigued me was there wasn't the up front bitterness that usually accompanies an IPA. I like.

D- When I was at the brewpub I was able to have three of these and was able to get the full effect every time. No real palate fatigue to speak of and since it has a low ABV, it makes for a great session beer. It's a shame that you can only get it at the brewpub and it is 6 hours from Milwaukee. If you get a chance, do so, you won't be disappointed.

Wisconsinality, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of Powderhornphil
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Powderhornphil, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of BeerGreg
4/5  rDev -8%

BeerGreg, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.4/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting to try this for a while and a final thanks to mnjeff for this!

The beer poured out darker than I imagined. Straight-up dark amber color. Smell was mainly hoppy. A piney hop scent mixed with a bit of spicyness. The head was normal. Lacing was normal for the style.

The taste had a crisp hop flavor right off the bat. A little bit of caramel malt shined through on the finish. Mouthfeel was nicely carbonated with a little creaminess.

This beer was insanely easy to drink, and that's what I like most about it. I just see this as an easy drinking IPA and nothing to rave about. It tasted good but I can name a ton of IPAs that I like more, many of which are accessible to me. If this was widely available I could see it getting lost in the shuffle. I'm still glad to have tried it though.

BearsOnAcid, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of seangibbs60
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

seangibbs60, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of genog
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler acquired in a trade with franksnbeans

Pours a rich burnt amber color with massive, thick and creamy off white kinda tan head. Foamy, and leaves bubbles along the side. Smell is earthy, grapefruit, pine, grassy, mt. hood hops. Taste is different on several sips. I get fruity, then grassy, then pine with a delicious carbonation that kicks back. I also taste a spice that lingers on the back of my tongue. Awesome IPA, and can't believe this isn't a Double IPA

genog, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of SykDoc
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this courtesy of StoutsnIPAs. Poured from a growler into a pint glass. It pours a nice copper color. A light tan 1 inch head forms and slowly reduces to a full coverage lacing with some islands.

The aroma includes nice pine and citrus notes combined with a pleasant floral/earthy component. A mild sweetness backs it up.

The taste is also good with a great balance of grapefruit/pine, with more earthy notes. A very nice sweetness balances it out and some spicy notes are also present.

The mouthfeel shows a light/medium body. Good carbonation makes the taste better and gives a clean feel to it. It is smooth and leaves a nice dryness on the upper and lower palate.

Overall, this is a great beer. The low ABV saves me as it is very easy to drink. It is well balanced for an American IPA and has great flavor. Yum!

SykDoc, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of EJJ1848
4/5  rDev -8%

EJJ1848, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of TooGood
4/5  rDev -8%

TooGood, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of wspscott
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

wspscott, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of rudylaw
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of all huge, Huge, HUGE thanks to MasterSki for the opportunity to taste one of beer's holy grails.

It pours copper/amber with a thick, 2-3 finger, off-white head. It looks about as delicious as any IPA I've ever come across.

The smell is also outstanding. Hops, malt, citrus... from the outset, this looks, and smells like, a killer delicacy.

I get a lot of orange, grapefruit, pine, grass and honey upon my tastebuds. There is a very fresh hop presence as well. Just fanfuckingtastic execution. Balanced, even, perfect. It's' very creamy and finishes dry. Make no mistake about it, this is a session beer. I'm over half way through the growler and I think I'm going to finish it off in one night... well, maybe I'll wait until after work tomorrow.

This beer is well worth the effort to seek out as it's everything an IPA should strive to be. I will absolutely have to try this on a hot summer day sometime. I'm so glad the midwest has this worthy contender to go against the best of California in this class. I would drink this every week if I lived in the land of 10,000 lakes.

rudylaw, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of callmescraps
3.63/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 1,159 ratings.