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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

1,207 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,207
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 830
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: 1,207 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to JeffKrenner for hooking me up with this for BC2 via Dark Lord Day! Served in a Town Hall pint glass from bax72 also from BC2. Thanks Chris and Jeff! Cap says 5-8 which I'm assuming means drink before May 8th, but I may be wrong.

Pours a very slightly hazy copper/orange, chunky white head forms, settles to a nice layer, tons of lace everywhere, looks really fantastic. Smell is heaveny, citrusy grapefruit, some pineapple, caramel, nice malts, very balanced, floral, bit of grass, very integrated, I think I get just a hint of chocolate malt too. Taste is very nice, like the aroma, nice caramelly malts, some pine, lots of grapefruity floral and citrus, very well balanced, and just the right amount of bitterness, bit of grassiness in the finish, very drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, little bit of warmth, but very smooth, perfect balance. One of the better IPA's I've had, kind of tastes like one of my own! Thanks again Jeff for providing this growler, its a great gift, and thanks to bax72 for the appropriate vessel!

Viggo, May 01, 2007
Photo of Bighuge
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a perfect shade of copper. A medium sized creamy looking egg shell colored head graces the surface. The retention is excellent. Lace patterns are intricate and web like. Eye Candy? Oh yeah. But it gets better.

The aroma is exquisite. The nose blends heavy hop attributes like pine resin, burning leaves, pungency, citric tones and orange rind with an underlying caramel malt sweetness. Makes for one helluva a blend that leaves you breathless.

The flavors subject your senses to more of the same. The caramel malt sweetness and some brown sugar lay down the foundation. The heavily pungent resin attributes are the main course though. I don't think the IBUs are off the charts by any means with this one, but the hop flavors are delicious. Adding to the pungency is a nice grapefruit/orange rind quality. And also some pine sap. The bitterness is nice and appropriate for the style.

The mouthfeel is creamy and the body is about medium-full. I love drinking this IPA. One of my favorites. Thus I give drinkability a 5.

This is top of the line material here. And very consistent to boot. I've had many gallons of this big Mama over the past few years, and have yet to experience a subpar offering (let alone a bad one). This one is tops!!

Bighuge, Sep 12, 2003
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: Do not base a beer review off drinking it when you have an ear infection. Yeah, I was totally underwhelmed with this when I drank my first beer of it. 72 hours later, I was much happier (because the taste was back and my infection was gone).

Anyways, you probably want to know about the beer more than my inner ear. Darker than most ipas, this one came out light brown, good size head to it. Amazing aroma, really did well with the dry hopping here, simcoe, amarillo and some others I'd guess, maybe even summit. Piney.

Bitterness held in check, quite malty delivery here, was pretty surprised about this one. Caramel sure, but the color and the smoothness had me thinking there was more to this than the ol' standby caramel description, perhaps even some darker tropical type fruit or toffee presence to get it smoother, darker etc. . .

A definitely worthy ipa, but top 100? Come on, there's simply not enough Minnesota ipa's out there to divide homerism amongst. Furious and this are damn good beers, don't get me wrong.

Alpine makes 5 better ipas. Pizza Port makes 5 better ipas. But because there's a million of them in that neck of the woods. . .you know how it goes.

Check this out though, I wasn't disappointed, but I also think its clearly at the top of the second tier of very good ipas rather than where it is collectively here.

Beerandraiderfan, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of DrJay
4.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks goes out to grub for sending me a growler during his recent visit to the twin cities. After chilling for a day, I popped this baby open. Off the pour, I got a creamy 1" head of dense, yet rocky, off-white foam. Things receded a bit, but plenty of head stuck around to produce thick, clumpy lacing. Very balanced aroma, with some malt sweetness providing counterpoint for the tangerine and piney hops (with a little grapefruit too). Solid bitterness with significant malt sweetness to start, along with some floral orange, grapefruit and pine. The bitterness slowly grew into the finish, where it became fairly intense. Along the way there were notes of toasted, biscuity malt and peaches. Kind of a sweet-tart character too. Medium bodied with medium/low carbonation. A bit creamy on the palate too, with some hop dryness. Overall, this has great balance. My taste buds were put through a work out but didn't get tired too fast, which let me enjoy quite a bit of this in a single sitting. I'd love to try this at the brewpub. Highly recommended and not overhyped.

DrJay, May 21, 2006
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz. growler poured into multiple pint glasses. My wife was supposed to help me drink this, but I ended up with a solid 48 oz. of it!

Appearance - Deep amber, maybe copper body with a nice, creamy off-white head. The lacing is tremendous. A continuous coat of foam down the sides and all over the top of the beer. Well made, but very dark for an IPA, especially a single IPA.

Smell - I don't get the pungent hop aroma I expected from an IPA rated so well. Sure, it's citrusy and piney in equal measures, but really I get a lot of biscuit malts. The aroma just isn't all that strong, either. When it's cold I don't get much of anything.

Taste - Taste is good, though. Definitely a strong hop flavor up front. Again, equal parts citrus and pine, which pair well with a toasted malt backbone. Lots of malt, though. It reminds me of an amped-up English IPA. The finish is toasty and very bitter, almost unpleasing.

Mouthfeel - That aftertaste takes away a little bit, but otherwise it's easy drinking. Good thing, too, because 48 oz. of this would be tough to put away otherwise.

Overall - A solid IPA. Not something I'd seek out again, but if I was in MN, I'd make the trek to the Town Hall brewery for it. Other MN IPAs definitely stand above this one, though.

Alieniloquium, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Cynic-ale, Oct 25, 2014
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From growler to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/5/11
*From notes

A HUGE thanks goes out to ncmussell for this one. Cheers, Nate!

A: A 2.25 finger head on a careful pour. Amazingly icky, sticky and bubbly lacing. Just a gorgeous shade of dark sunset amber.

S: Citrus! From the moment I removed the growler's cap, it hit me - and hard. Intense pine and fruity resin, with bitter hops and faint, mild malts off in the distance.

T: One word: balance. This is one of the most balanced and delicious beers I've ever had. It's extremely fresh, leading to a massive amount of tropical fruits up front. A run of malt in the middle lays down a track for the bitter yet slightly sweet hoppy finish.

M: The creamiest of IPA's. I can't begin to describe this one - it's like Christmas morning for your mouth. Rich and slightly heavy, the carbonation here is spot-on and simply perfect.

O: If anyone had a timeshare in Minneapolis, lemme know. I could easily see myself going on a week-long bender just killing pints of this heavenly nectar 24/7.

Believe the hype, folks. Masala Mama is worthy of all the praise you've heard and then some. In my opinion, this is the quintessential American IPA.

Two BIG thumbs up. This one should be on your bucket list.

*Paired with a medium-rare, grass fed ribeye and homemade mac & cheese.

Rhettroactive, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity. Shared after a long day with HopasaurusRex. Pours a deep golden color with a decent bubbly white head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smells fantastic. Floral, pine, citrus and tropical fruity hops with hints of sweet bready malt deep underneath. Taste is resinous, fruity, pine, and citrus hops with a bit of sweet bready almost caramel malt. Fairly dry with a medium to light body. Moderate level of carbonation with a resinous mouthfeel. Nice flavorful hopification of a beer. If I lived in MN I would drink this all the time, but since I don't I'm glad I got to try it.

johnnnniee, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Growler opened on 4.17.12 thanks to Schlais.

A - Pours a dark, clear orange with a foamy light tan head. Good retention.

S - Bready, oranges, light carmel, and pine.

T - A roller coaster or carmel, bread, citrus, oranges and hoppy pine.

D - Good carbonation, whew! I was worried since it was a growler, but the counter-pressure fill helped here. No bitterness at all.

O - Very, very well balanced. Bread, orange, and pine. All present, but not one dominates. I usually prefer my IPAs as hop forward, but this has to be the best balanced IPA I have ever had.

HuskyinPDX, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of chippo33
2.5/5  rDev -42.4%

chippo33, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of glid02
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this courtesy of gford217 - thanks!

Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head is surprisingly robust for a growler pour and the lacing is thick.

Smells of citrus and floral hops and lots of them. Some malt aromas are present, but the hops are certainly in charge.

Tastes a bit maltier than it smells. Big citrus flavors and milder pine flavors are backed up by a combination of pale and caramel malt flavors. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with solid carbonation that makes this go down very smoothly.

Drinkability is great. I could very easily polish off a growler of this.

Overall this beer didn't disappoint. The aroma is the best part about this beer, but the flavors and drinkability are not far behind. Definitely worth a shot, and thanks again to gford217.

glid02, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

TheSevenDuffs, Oct 23, 2014
Photo of Gusler
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler
This beer disembogues the growler a luminously clear deep rusty red color with a monstrous light tan head that is frothy in texture with the residual lace a fine coat upon the glass. Nose is nicely floral, sweet with malt, fresh and citrus crisp, amazing as it has made a long trip from cool Minnesota to a hot Arizona and as it set also for 3 days in my neighbor’s apartment. Start is lightly sweet, the malt presence pleasing and the top fair to middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is light to moderate in acidity, the hops powerful in their bite, the dry aftertaste continues the hop bite to the very end, a quite good IPA I’d say, and my appreciation goes to tavernjef for this growler, which will be consumed quickly with much gusto!

Gusler, Jun 15, 2004
Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

drummermattie02, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My brother brought 3 growlers of this with him from Minneapolis for the 4th of July weekend. I owe him big-time for the chance to try this beer.

The growlers hold the carbonation pretty well, giving a psst sound when the cap is opened. I poured it into tumblers, and it looked pretty good, clear orange color with oily looking white foam. The smell was pine needly hoppy, really good but a little difficult to distinguish from loads of other IPA's.

Like-wise with the taste, the main flavor is hops (which is good but still similar to many other beers). There was a slightly fruity after-taste too which was nice for an IPA.

Overall this is a really good IPA, but I can't see why it's rated #10 on BA. I'd place DFH 90 Minute or Stone Ruination above Masala because they both have more complexity and balance with the malt.

TurdFurgison, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of THECPJ
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Cheers!
The CPJ

THECPJ, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Marsala Mama IPA was quite good. the Appearance was a nice copper color and clear. The beer had a nice white thick head that laced great. The smell was a combination of hop (four hops used - amarillo, cascade, centinnial, and semcoe (I think I have it right) and malt. the malt is used to balance the flavor and bitterness of the hops. The taste was very good, but not as nice as the West Bank. The combo of hops gave pine and citrus notes with some bitterness that was balanced by malt. The mouthfeel was good, but 1-3 per sitting would be sufficient.

WoodBrew, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The infamous Masala Mama. I know i've had this once or twice at the great taste of the midwest and i've definitely had the mango mama a few times

on-tap and cask at the brewpub

appearance: the cask version is beautiful, but i'm going to review the standard tap...rich orange body, foamy white cap

smell: well hopped, citrus zest, grapefruit, pine, grassy

taste: The tap and cask versions were both very good but I still think it's crazy how carried away the ratings get with this one - being the 2nd best IPA in the world according to ratings seems a bit much. The mama has a very nice hop profile - bright citrus zest, grapefruit/tangerine, light pine sap

mouthfeel: very different on cask - bright hop profile that is light on the palate

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of Bitterbill
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a Growler of this in a trade with TastyTaste:

Poured a copper red with a nice thick head of foam. After a while, the foam shrinks down to a fine but solid layer and...look at all the lacing. Wow.

The smell is of citrus and pine and grass and has floral notes as well. Nice smelling IPA that's tickling my smell buds.

The taste up front is hugely hoppy with grapefruit, pine, grass...a wide variety of bitter tones all in one ale and they work really well together. Heck, midway through and just before the finish there's even a good amount of caramel malt.
The finish is superb, leaving me with a good, long aftertaste that let's me savour the flavours long after the liquid has left the scene of this....anti-crime. ;^)

The more I sip on this one, the more I *want* to sip on it...great batch of tastes but easy drinking, light on the carbonation, refreshing as all heck...


Bottom line: I give a big salute to TastyTaste for enabling me to try this wonderful nectar. I *love* it!

Bitterbill, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of xnicknj
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

growler poured into tasting glass - thanks to biglobo

Pours a slightly hazed golden orange, nice fluff of white head. Decent retention and balance, plenty of spotty lacing on the glass.

Strong scents of citrus fruits with blood orange, grapefruit and pulp. Some softer biscuit malts with sweetness; very inviting.

Nice burst of juicy hop flavor up front with a decent wave of citrus bite. Grapefruit and orange, some more biting pine as well on the tongue. Decent malt backbone with a biscuity base, some sweetness with caramel. Finishes bitter and hoppy with little residual sweetness.

Medium body, crisp, refreshing, and drinks really well. The ABV is also at a nice level if you're looking for an IPA without too much of a boozy bite.

xnicknj, May 04, 2011
Photo of ccrida
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 jrallen34
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a growler into a chalice.

It pours a very dark orange with a big white. There is great lacing and it is surprisngly clear for its darkness of color.

The aroma is nice and subtle. Orange zest hits on the front end but the hops are present.

The tatse is complex with a nice sweet start, hops are present always and really show them self on the end. Its a nice bitter finish but not to bitter so it allows for big swigs and heavy drinking.

The feel is great, lasts several seconds, the hops stay even after you swallow.

Is it drinkable? Hell yeah, crushed a growler with my girlfriend in about an hour.

This is great IPA, slightly higher in my book than PtE.

jrallen34, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz growler shared and poured into an American tumbler pint. 5-5 written on cap. (Tapped over DLD weekend and brought down).

Thanks, Beerwolf77, for having me come over to share this guy.

A - Poured into the pint, the beer was a lightly hazy golden orange-amber color with a thin tan head floating on top. Good retention held on for a while and left the small area of glass coated in thin lace.

S - The aroma is low but good with a nice aromatic hop nose of flower pedals and grapefruit citrus with pine resins and a nice caramel and toast backbone. A solid IPA aroma all around.

T - The flavor has a strong pine and hop resin kick to the taste followed up by a pretty potent bitter grapefruit citrus finish. The Backbone that holds it all together is a good balance of toasted caramel malts.

M - Masala is medium-bodied and fairly smooth with a pretty decent carbonation sparkle to the finish. It's also got to have pretty high IBUs cause it's got one bitter kick to it.

D - The bitterness is pretty strong, not that deters very much, but otherwise its a really good IPA with solid drinkability. It's definitely not something I'd session but two pints would be a tasty treat.

BeerFMAndy, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of bsuedekum
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

bsuedekum, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Neverending thick frothy head on a crystal clear dark red beer. Lacing is awesome and so is everything else. Step lacing on the sides of the pint glass.

S- Piney. Centennial hops? Great smell.

T- Follows nose. More of a piney IPA than a citrus one. Awesome. This is one of the best IPAS I've ever had.

M- A tad on the watery side if only complaint.

D/O- Soooo drinkable. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery is doing some incredible things. If this is the reason you go, make sure to try some of their other brews as well, you won't be disappointed!

Duff27, Feb 20, 2011
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,207 ratings.