Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

1,372 Ratings

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by Jason on 01-01-2003

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Ratings: 1,372 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of BretSikkink
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange color, somewhat murky. White, soapy head with great stick. Just had one of the tap, and the beer engine version is a little less assertive in the nose, but still fairly hoppy with lemongrass notes. Strangely woody as well.

A little deeper than the regular, but far less drinkable. Slight notes of vanilla mingle with the toffee and caramel for a solid malt backbone - good substance. The hops are quite loud and bright, with a lingering bitterness of citrus and tropical fruits. Smooth off the engine, almost creamy. Finishes clean and bitter.

While not as aggressive as the carbonated Masala Mama, the cask version is a superb choice. A little more peppery and mellow, but the same high quality.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Town Hall Tap in south Minneapolis.

A: Deep amber hue with very slight haze. The thick, light eggshell head settles very slowly to a sticky lace on the surface.

S: Not very potent on the nose at first, but as the beer warms, floral, piney hops become dominant, with a malt backbone consisting of caramel notes.

T: Much like the smell, but in reverse. At first, sweet, caramel notes and hints of bread make up the malt profile, followed by an intense hop burst. Floral, with hints of pine and some citrus, and an edgy, bitter finish.

Notes: This has to be one of the most balanced IPAs I have ever tasted. Medium bodied, with light carbonation and a very long finish. Mouthfeel is incredible! I don't know why it took me so long to finally try this beer. It's simply a rock star. One of my new local favorites!

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Photo of Bierman9
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yo' Mama has held up very well after a journey east from the Land o' Lakes and sitting in my fridge for a week. Opened a growler of this and heard a lovely, strong hissing sound. Poured from the growler a clear, medium-to-dark copper color; quite attractive. Scattered bubbles slowly make their way upwards. Head was tan, creamy and mousse-like, rising about 1" above the bier, and later maintaining well at about 1/4". Head leaves a nice lacing trail on the glass. Nose has a good bready malt lean to it surrounded by a pleasing citrussy hop presence. Body is a solid medium-plus, and it has a creamy, velvety feel on the tongue, with a smidge of bubbliness. Flavor has some toasty malt notes leading off, but they are soon engulfed by lots of floral, citrus notes, though the malt is not totally wiped from the slate. I get some grapefruit rind tastes and a resiny, oily aspect, too. Aftertaste is built long and hard on the citrus, finding all the nooks and crannies of the mouth and throat and sticking there.
Glad to have finally met Yo' Mama. Though perhaps not the "Bo Derek-like 10" that some envision her, she's welcome in my abode any time. Big thnx to FMonk in the Twin Cities for sending this lady my way. Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.4
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of koopa
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to beerbeagle for sending a growler my way.

Appearance: slightly hazy and bordering btw orange and amber, this IPA pours with a mousse like 3 finger foam head. Quite rocky, with good retention and CAKES of lacing! It would have got a 5.0 for appearance if the body wasn't so dark.

Smell: Not overpowering, but a beautiful bouquet of citrus hops and floral hops. Lots of pine sap, some grapefruit, and other citrus fruit notes.

Taste: Much like the nose with citrus fruit dominating the front and a slightly bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel: fairly creamy and a medium body at most with a perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy sipper!

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Photo of Ssippisam
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great color. Pours a deep orange/brown color that's just beautiful. There is some medium bodied beige head here.
Aroma has large fruit/rind notes with some bitter hop smell.
Great smooth flavor. Very acidic fruit taste with bitter flavor blended into sweet caramel flavor.
Bit of a bite on the back end but overall all a great beer.

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Photo of jampics2
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler, traded for at DLD 2011. Thanks to the kind trader who hooked it up, you know who you are! Several pours into my North Peak pint glass while slow cooking a pork shoulder.

Masala Mama looks great in the pint glass, but the copper color with hints of gold and even amber around the edges is a bit darker than I expected. No worries, though – the beer has excellent and attractive color and clarity, plus the steady streams of bubbles rising through the body replenish the bright white one finger head well. Some nice lace is left behind. This is one great looking beer!

This beer has an amazing aroma. I’m starting to see why this is so highly regarded – there are huge hoppy notes that come across as citrus. Orange peel, tangerine, grapefruit and pine are all distinctly represented in the very nice citrus and tropical bouquet. Sure, when compared to the extreme beers in this genre, the smell could be just a bit more expressive, but the hops are perfectly balanced by a touch of toasted sweetness from the malt. This is very enjoyable so far!

The taste is, simply put, delicious. There’s a very nice hop expression from the plethora of juicy hops. I get distinct grapefruit and peach from the Amarillo, as well as that signature Centennial and Cascade grapefruit, orange pith and pine. The hops jump out of the glass and are pretty bitter, but nowhere near off-balanced. There’s a reason for this – a nice malt backbone supports with caramel, bread and toasted notes. There’s absolutely no booze in this at all. This may not be the most extreme, but this is a classic American IPA up there with the big names in the business.

Just when I thought this beer had peaked, I considered that the mouthfeel is perhaps the best part of this beer. This is really nice and creamy with a nice sparkle of carbonation. The body is medium to light. This is close to perfection, especially the way the beer feels soft but the carbonation makes it refreshing. Overall, this is a very, very good beer. Is it one of the best in the world? I have no problem with saying it is certainly elite and one of the best examples of flavor and balance working together. Seriously good beer here!

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Photo of gibby
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler received through trade with younger35..thanks Dan.

A: Nice deep amber color with a rocky head after each pour, crystal clear.

S: Big piney scent, some citrus, toffee. Pine pretty much dominates in this area.

T: Very tasty and enjoyable. Pine again, citrus notes, toffee. O polished off the entire growler over the course of a few hours so I was not complaining. Fairly balanced but the hops certainly dominated over the long haul.

M: Very nicely carbonated for being in a growler at least 5 days before I opened it up. Very drinkable but I did notice it got a little thicker and syrupy as the growler got lower.

D: Very high if you like the piney IPA's. I dont mind them at all so I had no issues with this brew. At only 5.9% abv it is a very sessionable ipa. I could certainly have a few of these in the fall when the weather gets cooler.

Overall it was a very good ipa and I would certainly trade for another growler of this down the road. If you are a hop lover and have not tried this I would recommend setting up a trade with some one in MN. I would say its a very good ipa but no the best. The surly furious I received in the same trade edged it out quite a bit. Highly recommended.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
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.


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Photo of hoppymeal
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium copper in color, clear, with a large light cream colored head that recedes pretty slowly with some major lacing. Aroma is a nice mixture of piney hoppiness with some soft sweet citrusy candy and grapefruit. Taste is more of the good piney hoppiness balanced by a good amount of softly sweet maltiness, decent amount of pepperiness dances on the tongue and a fairly drying, good sized bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium in body, malts are well proportioned to the large hoppiness and keep it slightly to the thicker creamier side of things. Decent peppery and bitterness as well. A great ipa, feels fairly full, but easier as pie to drink. Thanks Eben for the sample.

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Photo of dill
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice golden with a frothy head and the smell of citrus stands out right away. It was so much like orange juice I just kept smelling it to take it in. The taste was lots of citrusy hops but it wasn't as balanced as I would have liked it to have been. Nevertheless it was a joy to drink.

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Gusler
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of WCW
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served cool in a Boston Lager glass from a growler courtesy of Scoobydank.

Orange in appearance with a massive, fluffy off white head that leaves loads of lacing all the way down the glass.

Aroma is big with hop complexity: fruity, minty and piney with a hint of malt behind it.

Flavor is really balanced, rich for the ABV almost like an amber ale.

Mouthfeel is light and bitter, with a lingering resiny hop aftertaste.

This is an exceptionally drinkable IPA. Very impressed and glad I had a whole growler to enjoy and share.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

wow. this is a brewpub. i'm not an IPA man but two in the same week really does it for me. this is a very solid beer. not too amber but almost there. great retention. had a strange zing to it. cardamon in odor. very subtle. lost in the hop. great hop though. fruity grapefruit and dry pine. can't wait to go back to minneapolis for that pub.

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Photo of amaass2
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of warrendietrich2001
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of markh814
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a good IPA. I am not crazy about them normally but this seems as close to perfect as you ar going to get. very nice smell and very drinkable but it still has that dishwater IPA appearance. not overdone of over complicating it, tehy have a winner here. i would drink this again without question.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler thanks to skipanoka2. Thanks for the trade Nate. Had this last night, on the label it has best before date of August 10th, it was filled on monday night so it should be ok, though it made a plane flight as well. Still tasted good to me.

A: Looks amazing, such a deep color that I would call blood orange with outstanding head retention and killer lacing. Thats a 5 for look for sure.

S: Very interesting and unique nose for an IPA, almost like a Belgian IPA or hoppy red, something with extra malt and yeast to it. Huge vegetable mixture of hops with some citrus rind, and then lots of spicy grainy malts as well, quite malty but not in the scary oxidized way. Good.

T: Very nice taste, and the first thing that jumps out is a earthy maple like taste with caramel forward. Some piney hops and grassy hops as well in the taste, quite nice. Crisp and clean finish with a mix of toast and vegetable flavors lingering slightly. Sugary citrus is certainly present in the mid palate as well as something I can only describe as a foresty taste. A malt forward and very unique and tasty beer here.

M: Malty and semi bitter with a clean finish, little bit of lingering bitters.

Overall a great beer that I would love constant access to, though for me just a bit more hops is what I usually like in IPAs. Great to have though and I'll order it if I ever go to Minneapolis.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many thanks go out to Mothman...aka Ben. You totally rock with this LIF win beer.

A- Pours a slighty hazy darker amber color with orange highlights. Nice 2 finger off white creamy head just stays for a little while. Good sticky lacing just covers the glass. A mighty fine start to a fine IPA.

S- The nose of this is a earthy piney hop scent from the get go. I don't know for sure I smell a little sweet malt along with a lot more sweet citrus hops to this. Big hints of mango and pineapple in the end of this beer. Smells sweet but not too overly sweet like some west coast IPA's for example. This is more balanced and I like it....a lot!

T- Bigger piney resin taste than the aroma would suggest. Right off the bat it's piney tasting with a semi-sweet malt backbone to it that I enjoy ending with some sweeter citrus hops. This beer is wow....good as I stated before.

M- Medium mouthfeel to this. Carbonation is perfect with this and the lets the beer march all over your palate before making a home in your stomach. Big hop resin on your tounge and teeth make this a heavy hitter long after the beer is gone. Nice bitter hoppy aftertaste.

D- Besides all the hype...which there is good cause for this is a very drinkable IPA. I got a growler of this and I'm almost out. This is a very sessionable beer that I would love to have on tap at my house. I'm really greatful I got to try this beer. Very well worth it in my book.

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Photo of SpanishUnicorn
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Enola
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is hoppy, that's for sure. The color is a reddish brown. There is a thick, creamy head atop the brew. Lots of lacing accent the glass. The smell is like a hop vine. The taste is very bitter. No harsh bitterness and not too sweet. Balanced as far as hoppiness goes. The mouthfeel is very bitter and sticky. There is a sweetness on my lips. The drinkability is pretty darn good too. This is a good IPA. Certainly in my top three or four for the style. I could drink this beer again but the availability may limit that. If you like hop bombs this your ticket.

Many thanks to wcudwight for being more than generous with his growler.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
4.35/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a pint glass at the brewpub on 5/22/10

The color is a darker shade of scorched amber. Though slightly cloudy, it still maintains a nice radiance. The pour featured an 1/8th inch head that quickly entered "skim" territory. Good lacing despite head retention.

The aroma is impressively chock-full of American hop goodness. Smells quite resinous & piney. Spicy citrus notes via grapefruit, tangerine & lemon zest. The Amarillo hops really cut through the mix. I'm not picking out a whole lot in the way of malts.

The taste upfront is piney bitterness working in conjunction with a prevalent spiciness. Citrus is there as well, just not with the same fortitude as the nose. Biscuity malt notes round it out. Just a touch of sweetness. I really like the overall dryness.

Medium to full bodied with appropriate carbonation that places focus on the zestier qualities of the beer. Bitterness lingers on.

Drinkability is great. More balance than I expected, but Masala Mama is so dang tasty. Most definitely recommended if you are in the area.

On a side note, Town Hall's sweet potato fries are excellent.

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,372 ratings.
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