Masala Mama India Pale Ale
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American IPA
Ranked #18
ABV:
6%
Score:
96
Ranked #641
Avg:
4.33 | pDev: 9.01%
Reviews:
685
Ratings:
1,398
From:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
 
Minnesota, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  867
Gots
  92
SCORE
96
World-Class
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 685 | Ratings: 1,398 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask pour at MTHB. Cloudy, medium amber with cap of thick creamy head. Aroma is light hops with some fruity overtones. Taste adds a layer of hops to the bready malt base, subtle. Cask brings a nice creaminess to the brew, but hard to believe this is a Top 50. Not impressed.

Nov 05, 2019
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metter98 from New York

4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cask at Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN

A: The beer is crystal clear amber yellow in color and lacks visible carbonation. It kind of looked like a beer on nitro when the waiter brought it to the table with the yellowish and amber colors settling down and mixing together. It poured with a finger high white head that this excellent properties and consistently left a quarter finger high head covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose along with notes of floral hops.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of citrusy hops - orange and grapefruit stand out in particular - along with notes of floral hops and hints of herbs. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels very smooth and creamy on the mouthfeel and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I;'m really glad that I had this beer from a cask as it was a pleasure to drink, especially with the smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

Serving type: cask

Aug 04, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Copper brown with a finger of white foam. Smell stars the hops in a bitter and herbal way, with supporting caramel malt. Taste was pretty average, with the hops truly starring, but wasn't super memorable beyond the hops. Somewhat bready in feel with the hop textures interceding. Good ipa, but nothing outstanding

May 22, 2019
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Beers-es from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery, pours a very clear copper. Lots of lacing. Older school American IPA but that’s not a criticism. Hops and malts in perfect balance, nice bitter finish. Glad to finally enjoy one of these.

Feb 01, 2019
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MuddyFeet from North Carolina

4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cask ale. Solid copper color. Big giant head tho but I dug the color. Nose is floral with some of the wood. Feel is silky. Thanks to the cask. Taste is good from the front end to the back going thru the rainbow of bitterness but well balanced with the malt.

Jan 03, 2019
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the source.

This one pours a completely clear dark reddish amber, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This one smells like crusty and bready biscuity malt, resinous piney hops, orange peel, and grapefruit peel.

This is super old school- I can tell this was an absolute banger back in 2006 or so. It's still really great. The malt character is fascinating here- bready, crusty, and just the tiniest bit sweet. There's a great reasinous and very bitter backbone, with slight grapefruit and orange sweetness. It's not tropical or hazy or jooooosy, but it's still great.

This is medium bodied and incredibly drinkable- I was able to take down a 32 oz growler in about half an hour. It's really crisp.

I've been looking to try this beer forever, and I finally just pulled the trigger and traded for a few growlers. It's an exceptional example of how American IPAs used to be.

Feb 17, 2018
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mrsockless from Minnesota

4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely lovely IPA in the style of Size 7 or Surly Furious, Town Hall's Masala Mama has inspired many imitators, but few can compare with the balance, delightful aroma and subtle bitter taste of the original.

Jul 04, 2017
Photo of unclekeith
unclekeith from Alaska

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Long time want - thank you Chris P!

4-day old Growler into a tulip - crystal clear honey hue, nice 2-finger head with pretty lacing - biscuit malt, piney hops on the nose - resinous pine, long lasting bitterness, great carb.

An IPA from a different time, a nostalgic classic the predates the hop escalation. Great malt, bitterness, hop balance. Tremendous- wish I had access to this around here.

Mar 12, 2017
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SinjaminBentek from Nebraska

3.77/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Growler shipped to Nebraska. #propertownhallipaglassware

So I'm on this mission to tick BA's Top 250. As I enjoy Masala Mama it sits at #249 on the list.
On this quest of mine I have had so many really great beers this however is not one of them...

Nov 18, 2016
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Minneapolis Town Hall into a half pint (9 ounces).

Bronze amber, and quite clear, nearly crystal clear body color presented. Top is a little less displayed but is quite creamy looking with a nice collar that laces while drinking slightly. Solid and nice looking brew.

Real impressive aroma. Soft caramel warmth and almost a taffy/toffee mix smell that comes off. Big amounts of chewy biscuit and graham cracker and an excellent hop flavor that hits of pine, dank, and perhaps some citrus grapefruit.

Palate is a real winner. A real nice creamy feeling palate that almost brings out vanilla tones. Hints of light caramel sticky flavors, toasted hazelnuts, and a real washing digestive cookie biscuit aftertaste. The hops really hit on the aftertaste and swallow. Grapefruit slightly with a hot pine that has real nice aromatics on the swallow that are nearly hot, not on booze either. Excellent continuing caramel and a slightly lighter than expected body while drinking as well.

This beer really reminds me of what Fat Tire could be if it was amped up properly and done even better as both have very similar character but with one glaring miles ahead in make and taste. It's striking, and stupidly well done. Excellent beer.

Oct 18, 2016
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BeerGuy8315 from Iowa

4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Townhall.

A: Pours a fairly transparent, copper color with a one-inch, foamy, white head with short retention. Thin white lacing throughout.

S: Strong aromas of tropical fruits including mango, pineapple, and peaches accompanied by citrus and earthy hop notes.

T: Mostly citrus notes of grapefruit, orange rind, and tangerine. Milder notes of tropical fruit, pineapple, sweet malts, and piney hops.

F: Light-medium bodied, crisp, and smooth with good carbonation.

O: Overall, a great IPA. Will definitely try this one again. Would like to try some of the other variations as well.

Sep 14, 2016
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Fireman_RK from North Carolina

4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a growler. Masala Mama is a hop forward IPA with a deep copper coloring and ample white head. The depth of malt flavor caught me off guard, but was a pleasant alternative to some of the 'malt light' IPAs that are all the rage these days. I'd put this more in the category of a 'West Coast' IPA with a bit of Midwest flare. Solidly executed and rather tasty - seek this one out for sure.

Apr 15, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker than average ipa, this one is almost light brown. Aroma is its sweet spot, those Amarillo hops are all up in this one. Drops lots of pine goodness.

Taste is malty, but it holds the bitterness down relatively and allows more of those pine notes to drop on the tongue. A little bit of toffee. This is a good, 2nd tier ipa.

Feb 23, 2016
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jcMPLS from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Masala Mama was my first ever IPA and my first craft brew that wasn't Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The first sip blew me away. I never knew what beer could be until that moment, and that one beer kickstarted my love for microbrews. I will always consider this a perfect beer.

Jan 08, 2016
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YodersBeerEmporium from Iowa

4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

They very good local Midwest IPA. Thanks to a local training partner I was able to get a 64 ounce growler of this Minnesota masterpiece...very good overall IPA but slightly more malty then my normal IPA preference

Dec 11, 2015
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jhavs from New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shaker pint at the brewery. Fresh.

A= Pretty dark amber, active carbonation, thick off white head that is slow to drift away into a ring around my pint glass. Some lacing sticks to the glass as I drink.

S= Get a malt sweetness followed by mostly earthy hops including some pine followed by just a bit of citrus rind and zest.

T= Seems like old school IPA goodness. Bit of earthy hop flavor, lots of behind the scenes bitterness and a touch of citrus. This is all focused around a malt sweetness and touch of caramel.

M= Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O= It is what it is. A very well done old-school west coast IPA. Much different than the big juicy IPAs currently in vogue including lots of their neighbor Surly's offerings. Very good, very balanced.

Nov 16, 2015
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CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A special treat. Let's check this out. Poured into the work snifter from a 64 oz. growler.

A - This might be the darkest IPA I've ever seen. It's a deep orange/red, very transparent. Head subsided to a yarmulke of bubbles, but those seem to be staying. This is pretty.

N - Wow, not at all what I expected. There's a deep woodiness to it, as opposed to hoppiness. Doesn't smell at all like an IPA. Smells good, I'm just nervous.

T - Definitely an IPA. It's a very woody, tree-like IPA, as opposed to a dank, piney situation. I'm blown away, not so much by how good it is, but how interesting and unique it is. This is fascinating; I taste the hops, for sure, but the bitterness I get seems to be unrelated. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but it's hoppy and bitter, but it's not a hoppy bitterness.

M - Love the immediate froth that you get from some IPAs. Not a liquid in the mouth at all.

O - A truly unique experience; one I am glad to have had. Cheers!

Oct 21, 2015
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T_Hass from Georgia

4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My friend brought me back a howler of this from her trip to MN. The beer pours a clear golden amber color. A white fluffy head quickly emerges and lasts through a good portion of the bee drinking experience. The beer smells mallty and sweet with some citrus on the finish. The taste is about the same. Very balanced malt and citrus flavors with a sweet finish. Overall a nice beer but the more IPAs I drink the more I realize that I'm a hop forward typ of guy.

Aug 31, 2015
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pagriley from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Freshly filled growler (2 days old) poured into a snifter

L - Deep golden amber with 1 inch off white head that lingers
S - Big Honey sweetness followed by tropical notes of mango and a touch of sweetness
T - Malt sweetness to begin followed by earthy citrus, a touch of tropical, then a thump of old school alpha bitterness
F - medium to fuller bodied, with fine carb and a soft finish

Overall a really classic style IPA with an amazing honey mango nose. The flavors are more muted than the nose would suggest, but the harsh bitter finish might be masking some of the underlying complexity. A very good beer, and worth seeking out - I just wish the taste followed the nose a bit more, but other than that (rather picky) complaint, it is text book malt balanced IPA

Aug 21, 2015
Photo of Damian
Damian from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 64 fl. oz. growler
Best before AUG 14 2015
Served in a pint glass

Huge thanks to my friends Melissa and Dylan for hauling this from Minnesota as part of our wedding gift.

Clear, crimson amber appearance. A tight, frothy, two finger tall crown of eggshell colored foam topped the liquid. The head faded to a thick, resilient film. Streaky, drippy lacing coated the top portion of the glass.

The aroma was hoppy and bright. Super fruity. Citrusy. Loads of orange zest and candied orange peel. Nice, semisweet caramel malt backbone. Perhaps a touch of brown sugar. Some generic tropical fruit notes were detectible. As the beer warmed, mango was noticeable. I swear I picked up hints of strawberries too. Well balanced overall.

The flavor profile was initially much more dry and bitter than the aroma. Citrus and pine notes came through strong. Loads of white grapefruit. Piney and resinous. Hint of caramel-like sweetness. The finish was quite bitter and contained intense notes of pine sap and grapefruit rind. Dry and resinous. The bitterness lingered long after the swallow. As the beer warmed, the beer became sweeter and more balanced. Juicy tangerine notes came forth.

The liquid contained a frothy, medium effervescence. Medium bodied. Slick and smooth on the palate.

Masala Mama reminded me a lot of a citrusy, piney and bitter, old school West Coast style IPA,
and that certainly is not a bad thing. However, with many of today's IPAs being so bright and juicy, I can see how this might get lost in the fray.

Aug 11, 2015
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costanzo_mike from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep Amber color. Thick off white head that lingers nicely. Some lacing on the glass. Earthier hop aroma and malt present on the nose. Very well balanced hop-malt flavor profile. Starts with the sweet malt flavor and leaves you with nice bitterness on the aftertaste. Reminds me of a rye-style IPA with that crisp dryness. Medium feel with good carbonation. Overall a nicely done beer

Aug 06, 2015
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Hootie159 from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear red. Beyond amber. Beautiful and bubbly. Thick foam head that might not have ever gone away if I didn't start drinking it. Not much on the nose. More sweet malt than the earthy hops. Well balanced taste. Sweet flavor followed by a crisp bitterness. Very smooth, but carbonation present.

Aug 06, 2015
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MOVERTON1284 from Alabama

4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank a 64oz growler of this over a day. Solid IPA overall, poured darker than expected but great head retention from a 3 week old growler. Hop profile was good but the beer was maltier than I expected.

Aug 03, 2015
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wolfpac255 from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - Amber color about 1 finger thickness

S - Smells prety good, a little bready.

T - Taste is not what I expected, heavy carmel and some bitterness to finish

F - Same feel as a bitter IPA with no fruitiness at all, on the other side of the spectrum.

Overall - A decent IPA with nothing really memorable for me. Lots of Carmel flavor.

Jul 25, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

this is very good ipa, no doubt about that, but i expected (with all the hype and very high ratings) this to be memorable and world class, and i think its a league below some of the best ipas out there. that said, its also excellently made, and just a slightly different take. its more in the english style it seems, and not because it has any real appreciable yeast to it, but because of the richer grain bill and the focus on balance rather than hop explosions. this may also have been ahead of this time, if i tasted this beer however many years ago they first brewed it, it would have seemed a lot more unique than it does now. i say the same about pliny, the rest of the world has caught up to that beer a little bit, and the same may be true here. its got a clear shiny copper hue, with a full inch of white head on it. smells balanced, i get as much crystal malt sweetness as i do the hops, which seem well dosed but not insanely interesting as far as the aroma is concerned. in the taste, its familiar northwest hop varietals, with some resinous elements, but really quite reserved in terms of weight and bitterness. the balance is exceptional, but in my heart i wanted this one to stand out for flavor, not just for quality. still an excellent ipa, but i think its not all that distinct.

Jun 01, 2015
Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1398 ratings