India Brown Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

very good
42 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dfried on 05-11-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of dogger6253
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, brown color with hints of red around the edge. A large, foamy head that never falls, leaving gobs around the edge of the glass.

Huge hop aroma, wonderfully floral. Hints of pine.

The flavor starts off with a nice, malty sweetness then finishes with a dry, bitter hops flavor. Pine and citrus, oranges most likely. There's a taste of oak in the finish as well. A slight hint of chocolate presence as well, kind of buried in the bitterness. The flavors of this beer are so well blended, I can't stress that enough. It makes for quite the experience. I wish more beers tasted like this, aside from the actual flavors, the way they're presented is what makes this worthy of a "5".

Medium bodied, with a little bit of an alcohol warming feeling, but no alcohol taste. Mild carbonation and delicious flavors make this a highly drinkable beer, one of my favorite offerings from Town Hall.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Equal parts dark bronze, brick red and dusky orange; a beautiful hue that looks like a tropical sunset just before full dark. Despite a semi-vigorous pour, the 'buttered wheat toast' colored head was never higher than two fingers. As I've come to expect from Town Hall, the foam lasts seemingly forever and leaves an attractive collar of thick lace. The beautiful beer is the kicker though.

Although a little too subdued, at least while it's still cold, the nose is about what I expected. When I heard the name, I thought 'an IPA brewed with brown malt'. That's pretty much what the beer smells like. Each sniff delivers (increasingly aromatic) scents of pumpernickel bread, with plenty of cocoa and healthy amount of citric-piney hops. By the bottom of my first glass, I love it!

Holy hopped brown ale Batman! My first mouthful tells me that India Brown Ale is, by a long shot, the hoppiest beer of this style that has ever entered my glass. Nothing is even on the same continent, much less the same area code. Some might balk at the blurring of style boundaries. When the beer is this fantastic... who the hell cares?!

Imagine a perfect cross between a malty brown ale and a hoppy IPA and you'll have some idea what IBA tastes like. In fact, I think Hoops just invented a new style. The most amazing thing is how absolutely perfectly balanced it is. I don't mean between malt sweetness and hop bitterness, because hops have the run of the joint. I mean between the luscious brown malt flavor (cocoa and coffee) and the equally luscious grapefruit and pine hop flavor.

I'm sorely tempted to bump the flavor score to perfect, that's how wonderful this elixir is. I'll settle for perfect drinkability since it's off the freakin' charts. I had originally planned to drink two pints now, one with lunch and one with dinner. Ain't no way it's gonna last that long.

The mouthfeel is 'merely' good. It isn't as creamy or as expansive as I'd like, but the beer is still a joy to drink. To my surprise, there's quite a bit of carbonation present. All those bubbles give the beer an aggressive feel that matches the aggressiveness of the flavor profile.

If a genie gave me three wishes right here and now, my first would be for a high-pressure tap line spanning the 254 miles between Town Hall and my kitchen (the other two involve Keeley Hazell and the lottery). I continue to be delighted and amazed by the stunning quality of the beer from 1430 Washington Avenue South. Seriously, do you Twin Cities BAs realize how lucky you are?

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Kenai4
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of dfried
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very impressed with this offering from Town Hall. They do such a good job on their IPA, I did have some high expectations for this IBA, and they came through. You can definitely tell it's a brown ale by appearance but there is a slight amber tinge to it, even a bit of a cherry red if the light catches it right, with a bubbly head that left rings until the last sip. The smell is very hoppy like an IPA, a lot of malt came through in the taste but not the smell. The taste was something else, there was a lot going on in this beer, from deep pale and carmel malts that were pretty sweet, some brown sugar and molasses flavor as well, to the bite of the floral and citrusy hops. This was an above average brown ale, but adding the India in there and you have a really good one, hops definitely dominate this beer. Overall this was a pretty refreshing beer, probably quite strong, but still very drinkable.

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Photo of ZAP
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours an auburn color with a big light tan head.

S-Great aroma...very big canibus and pine first impression was the weed but then a much bigger pine impression comes forward..also a little bit of biscuity maltiness is evident

T-More balanced than the nose leads you to believe...still complex as well...the malt has several layers....mildy roasty at first, then some slight biscuit notes which were also evident on the nose, thena decent chocolate impression as well....hops mimic the nose...herbal and also piney..hops lead on the nose...malt leads on the taste...

M-This is fantastic....medium bodied....slightly acidic on the finish from the piney hops..

D-Very good-to-great stuff...wish I would have gotten two growlers of this.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mattmarka1
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tavernjef
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From the Growler: A slightly tarnished ruby hued brown. Thin cap of lightly tanned foam whisps away quickly to leave a thin collar and very little lacing. Just a few small spotty areas.

Aroma is partially rubbery in a malt tang and chocolate hued with tinges of dark orange citrusy hop notes and a slight roasted hilt about the edges. It seems to have weak points and heavy points in the nose. Inconsistant. But when ya can get it, its fairly complex.

Flavors are wonderfully blended with a great pale roasty malt backing with hovering chocolate notes hitting here and there. The hops have a unique woodish tint as it goes through the middle. Finish brings in some mildly and quite yummy tones of dark orange citrusy bitterness and alpha acidic parching cruising along the chocolaty/roasty backing. One complex finish thats very interesting; its kinda smokey, deep, grassy, herbal, chocolatey, and orangely bittered. Wow. And nothing really stands out, it just all takes seats to one another until they all grow together to fade away slowly into the end... into memory. Hmmm...I tend to think of a toned down version of 3F Alpha Klaus after ever sip. A good thing to have a comparison to. Yummy, delicious, yum!

Feel is clean within a slippery medium-light tilted body, respectfully quick without leaving out much action on the tongue as the flavors tend to do the most part of its character. Eagerly pleasing to quaff. Man, Oh, man does this stuff just float right down. Absolutely fine and dandy - just like chocolate hop candy!

 1,539 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a good glass of beer. On tap during happy hour, right before a pint of Masala Mama. The appearance is a clear cola color with a sublime creamy tan head. I didn't get much from the nose light malt, light hops, not a harbinger of the rich full, hoppy flavor to come. The taste has a lot of roasted malt flavor up front with much milk chocolate, then the hops take over, making a delicious union of the two styles, this is what an India Brown Ale should be like. Dogfish Head's offering gets trumped, no question about it.

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Photo of seangibbs60
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a reddish brown, an inch thick head of super creamy smooth off-white head, lacing in splotches, bubbly, strings and rings. A lovely beer. The aroma though is pretty faint, nice notes of citric hops and sweetish malts. I wish I could score it higher, but it just almost wasn't there. But the taste, so delicious, and paired with a stellar mouth, this beer makes for a beer on par with Masala Mama in terms of drinkability. No lie.

It combines some lovely herbal and citrus hop notes with chocolate malts, biscut, its like a medium hoppy IPA combined with a standard brown, with the better parts of both coming through strongly. And with the cask conditioning giving it a fantastic mouth, this is a really lovely beer, again another victory for Town Hall.

 764 characters

Photo of aaronh
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice surprise. A clear, medium brown body topped by a dense, long lasting off-white head. Aroma had some nice caramel notes and a touch of American hop spiciness. The flavor was very hoppy, with a nice solid bitterness up front that was then followed by a nice caramel note and a hint of roastiness. Mouthfeel is also fairly solid, and the drinkability is also nice. This was a nice take that pushes the typical example of the style. Much more enjoyable than expected. Bravo.

 486 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clear chestnut brown with a huge pillowy and sticky tan head.

The nose is dominated by nicely aggressive dry hopping, nice citrus and tropical fruit with a nice dank green quality.

The flavor is a nice mixture of light roasty notes, nice light chocolate, and big green flavor. The malt notes are very good, but the hops really shine, big citrus and tropical flavors.

Nice oily and resiny hoppy mouthfeel.

Very good Brown IPA, I like the mixture of the tropical Nelson Notes with the very west coast citrusy flaconers flight.

 542 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruddy brown the color, cream-toned the foam, of stable size, if thin, and adorned with copious bubbles.

Miild, sweet cocoa in the aroma, little bit of nuts. And then the hops come shining through. Pleasant enough.

Bright, bold, and delicious once in the mouth. Clean, smooth and indubitably drinkable. Chocolate tones remain in the flavor, hops persist on the tongue. A twist of citrus, lacing the chocolate. Zesty, medium bodied, long, hoppy finish.

A tasty, tasty ale you drink all the live-long day and not likely tire of. Does some playful tricks on the tongue, and rewards the imbiber. I like that. Must stop in for more before it goes away. That's how they get ya, man!

 685 characters

Photo of morimech
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Clear reddish brown with one finger of head that quickly settled to a thin cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass. The growler is a week old so not surprised by the less than perfect appearance.

An unique aroma of tree nuts, chocolate, citrus, pine, and dank herbal ness. Smells like this has been dry hopped which is surprising for a brown ale.

This is not a brown IPA, but a hoppy brown ale. Plenty of brown ale qualities can be found. Notes of nuts, chocolate, dark bread, and just a faint hint of roast. The hops soon take over with citrus, pine, and grassy herbal qualities. Bitterness is moderate but has a nice balance.

Carbonation is a little low, another result of a growler sitting around. Medium body.

A very enjoyable hoppy ale with different flavor qualities not usually found for hop heads. Better at the source.

 845 characters

Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

the colour is a fairly light copper red, with a solid 1/2" of thick head that holds up strong for a long time. lots of lacing down the glass.

the aroma is hops initially, but quickly gives way to a strong malt presence.

the taste is hoppy with a deep biscuity malt flavour. the hop bitterness is fairly mild, but the taste/aroma is grapefruit and citrus. just a hint of roasty malt presence. the alcohol isn't really noticeable.

the mouthfeel is good and feels about right for the style.

drinkability is also good, and probably slightly edges out the masala mama in this category, but just by a bit.

overall i found this beer really intersting. based on the taste, colour, and aroma it seems like they definitely hit the "india" part, but slightly missed the "brown". the colour is definitely a bit light for a brown and i felt like the taste/aroma is closer to an IPA than a brown ale. still a really intersting combination that i'd be happy to have again.

 972 characters

Photo of jamesdergen
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent caramel color with a huge, thick frothy off white head that will not die out!

S: Grassy, herbal hop aroma. Not very strong.

T: This beer takes the super smooth malty taste from TH's West Bank Pub Ale and the citric hoppiness and complex flavors from the Masala Mama IPA. I am a big fan of both, so this beer is a fantastic combination.

M&D: One of the best facets of this brew (and the West Bank Pub Ale it reminds me of) is the smoothness. The carbonation is well done, making for an easy-drinking delicious hybrid brew!

I was skeptical at first, but after tasting this beer we ordered a pitcher to drink while we shot pool at TH. I had to go get a growler of it to enjoy at home too, highly recommended.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful fresh Am. hop aroma right off the bat. Settles down in time and brings on the complexity of hop aromas that presents as through there are a several different hop varieties. Initially with the citrus then some grassiness and finally some earthiness. Faintest background of malt with just enough to know it's not a pale malt foundation but not quite enough to be clear that it's a brown ale.
Classic brown ale color with distinct reds in a brown body. Very clear all the way to the bottom of the growler. Never a very big head, but always showing one with each pour and rarely losing it all together.
First drink is a full hop flavor and again showing a complexity of flavors hinting at multiple types. Only after it warms up does any malt sweetness show, otherwise malt is mostly foundation and difficult to distinctively call a brown ale. Long tasty bitter finish, and never to any excess. The earthiness of the hops intertwine with the citrus and prominent bitterness.
Full carbonation in the feel, but not distracting. Moderately light body.
Drinks very close to English style IPA with the hop flavorings. Easy for all attending to finish off the growler.

 1,168 characters

Photo of koopa
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shipped back to me by beerloco while he was spending the holidays in MN thanks!

Appearance: Pours a really attractive transparent burnt umber with a 2 finger off white (khaki and burnt umber) crown that shows major retention and loads of lace.

Smell: Caramel, chocolate, and herbal hops.

Taste: Chocolate dominates, caramel malt supports, and herbal hops with decent bitterness finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with very nice carbonation.

Drinkability: The bitter herbal hops take away from the malt in my opinion.

 527 characters

Photo of richkrull
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of mmulebarn
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of fuzzcherry
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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India Brown Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.03 out of 5 based on 42 ratings.
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