Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

BA SCORE
93.5%
Liked This Beer
4.32 w/ 1,372 ratings
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States
townhallbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#484
Reviews:
680
Ratings:
1,372
Liked:
1,283
Avg:
4.32/5
pDev:
9.03%
Alströms:
3.88
 
 
Wants:
873
Gots:
91
Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,372 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

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

Had on tap at none other than Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. 5-17-09.

Poured into pint glass. Color is a clear golden copper. Great, amazing lacing. White head.

Aroma: Citrus with floral hops. A very sweet, inviting IPA.

Taste: Sweet, somewhat mild. The floral/earthy hops want me coming back for more. Not to bitter.

Mouthfeel is sweetly bitter. Medium bodied. Ends fairly clean for an IPA. Medium to high carbonation.

Overall, this is a great IPA. Really easy to drink and very enjoyable. It is easy to just keep drinking this beer. A must dry if you can get some.

 571 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler thanks to rudzud
Nice looking fizzy fluffy head fades semi slowly with meniscus looking side walls head, mostly clear amber copper color

Nose erupts with fresh hops, light tropical fruit, light musty resin and passion fruit, light mango like, but those aromas disappear quickly with now citrusy and light floral candy, more candy and sweet malts with some crystal and fluffy malt sweetness and hInts at a hint of booze.

Taste fluffy malts, with light sweetness and caramel candy. Hint of booze surprisingly. Then hops come on earthy, light grassy, no real resin or tropical fruit. It starts light bitterness that ramps. Quite a bit of candied slight earthy hops with a hint of citrus. Caramel and toffee. Finish is fairly bitter spicy hops, light sticky but mostly dry.

Mouth is med to light fuller bodied fluffy, decent carb for growler.

Overall meh. Is it meh growler or has my palate been jaded from the amazing hoppy beers.

 939 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewpub in August 2009.

A: Poured a dark orange color with a good amount of off-white head.

S: Very, very nice--the nose has a lot of citrus hops with a little bit of a tropical background. Some caramel type malt in the background.

T: I agree with a few others that there might be a little too much malt here; I'd like to be able to feel a little presence without tasting too much of it. Very, very tasty, but I wish the hops had the opportunity to shine a little bit more here.

M: Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonatino and not much alcohol kick.

D: Quite high. Would have liked to have pint after pint of this.

 652 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired from bax72 courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 64oz. growler into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color with a medium off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very hoppy and very fruity (lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit) with a good background of caramelized malt.

T: The taste is extremely well-balanced with strong flavors of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts. The sweeter flavors fade and the hops flavor exerts its dominance. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, excellent representation of style, this is flat out just an incredibly enjoyable IPA. I think it’s the perfect beer to drink all night long.

 935 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of white head on top of a amber-brown body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves decent lace on the glass.

S - Lots of pine and soft caramel with a bit of toffee and a hint of sweet vanilla.

T - Pine and orange hop notes up front it a heavy malt base. Some toffee and more fruity, sweet hops in the middle with a finish of pineapple, vanilla, and caramel.

M - Medium-thick body, average carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This beer has a remarkably clean, pungent hop character for such a relatively dark example of the style. The hops are fruity and blend perfectly with the sweet, slightly caramel malt character.

 666 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

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

On tap @ the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery (Minneapolis, MN) on 8/10/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of bright-white foamy head. Retains with a nice looking foamy richness around the edges leaving heavy patchy lacing behind. The aroma is floral, spicy, and piney smelling with green earthy citric tones and more identifiable grapefruit flavor which cuts through the nostrils like a hoppy knife. Sweet graininess glides along the backend of the bouquet, mixing in with some of the more floral character that is at work here, giving this a malty presence in the back of the nose.

The taste mirrors the aroma, with grapefruit, earth, spice, and citrus rind, all bringing a lot of bitterness to this that then proceeds to linger long and hard past the finish That initial bite though is very well balanced that grainy sweetness of the malts but then that aforementioned beauty of a finish creeps in, leaving behind a spicy and pithy bitter feel that sticks to the tongue. I really appreciate that they don't rely on tropical fruits for added sweetness and really allowing that grapefruit bitterness to control the profile. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sharp crispness to it that sits on top of an equal amount of easy slickness underneath, doing a great job of carrying all of feel and flavors down the hatch. You get a little of that ABV in the body but that's about it, as the slickness of the body really does do a great job here.

I had this right after the cask version and it's really hard to say which I like better. Bitterness and carbonation is stronger and there's more of a malt presence here on draft but it's hard to top the pure hop flavors and silky smooth body of the cask. We'll call it a draw for this great IPA. I'd love to be local to this place and start out every visit with a pint.

 1,847 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of billab914
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to biniek13 for sending me a growler of this and crossing another off my want list. Poured from a growler into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. pours a dark amber color with a off-white half inch head. The head subsided but left a nice covering on top of the beer and left excellent lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by the pine and citrus from the hops. There are notes of Grapefruit and pineapple with a little sweetness. The taste is a lot like the nose only the sweetness is more present. The pine, grapefruit and pineapple all come through along with a moderate bitter finish. I love the sweetness to it, it's not overdone and the bitterness helps balance it out as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, it's not going to take the two of us long to finish this growler. It's very good tasting and at a pretty decent abv% that makes it even more drinkable. I would drink this beer all the time if it were possible. I was slightly worried that this was a "hype" beer and not worth going out of my way to get a growler, but I am very happy I did. Easily one of my favorite IPA's

 1,142 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of russpowell
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cheers to justn for this one, been ready to try this for a while

Pours amber with 2+ fingers of rocky sand colored head. Stays effervescent throughout, superior head retention & lacing

S: A riot of grapefruit, piney hops, plus some floral hops

T: Earthy hops, biscuitty malt, grapefruit, plus flowery hops & a touch of dryness up front. Orange rind, pine sap & slight oaky dryness as this warms. Finishes slightly oily, crisp with grapefruittyness & a floral flourish, plus a bit more biscuitty malt

MF: Medium bodied, low but noticeable carbonation, superb balance

Great drinkability, the hops just pop, but enough malt balance ensures my interest never sways...Superior AIPA, with a toe or two stuck across the pond

 723 characters

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to THCPJ for sharing this one! Review from notes 12/3/10.

A: Pours a reddish orange/amber with a frothy head with great retention. Lacing is perfect, remains on most of the glass.

S: Nice pine, citrus, grapefruit. Not as strong as I was hoping, but very pleasant nonetheless.

T: Much more pine in the flavor than the aroma. The bitterness attacks right away. Has a very nice sweetness that follows from the malt and ends in a sticky finish with a nice hop aftertaste.

M/D: Slightly lighter than medium bodied with nice carbonation. Finish is sticky. Overall, I was very pleased with this drinkable beer, a very nice IPA, but not one of my favorites.

Edited after having it on tap at Town Hall.

 708 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having a fresh growler of Town Hall's Masala Mama in one's beer fridge for five days is either the ultimate example of self-control or is the very definition of insanity. Leaning toward the latter, I've decided that today's the day that I 'stop the madness'. Best by date of June 7.

Hazy, dark orange-amber; tawny to be exact. No visible suspended bits to my eye. The head is somewhere between rich, dark cream and light tan and looks as stiff as softly beaten egg whites. It's falling at a glacial pace and I'm beginning to see gorgeous patterns of intricate lace. Eventually there are thick, chunky rings and small sheets all over the glass. Why won't the appearance button go to 6.0?

The nose is incredible and simply cannot be improved upon. Loads of sweet, fruity, citrusy hops comprise the aroma, one that rivals any in IPA-land. The flavor is exceptional as well. A bittersweet, hoptastic, grapefruit pith-like, sprucey bombshell explodes across the tongue and lingers forever, aided by a full, resiny, sticky mouthfeel.

It may be heresy to some, but I feel that this beer contains a bit too much malt (flavor). The toasted caramel malt backbone is a little too prominent for my liking. It doesn't quite take center stage away from the hops, but it does intrude. Keep in mind that I'm a major hophead and have never had a too-hoppy beer.

Also keep in mind that I'm being extremely picky. This is very, very good beer. It's just that the caramel flavor keeps it out of the upper echelon of my very favorite IPAs. I am enjoying every drop though and this growler is unlikely to last until sundown. Anyone who needs a hop fix need look no further than this beautifully made, well-balanced (so sue me!), delicious beer.

Because MM is (almost) always available at Town Hall, it's going to take every ounce of the self-control that I mentioned above not to jump into my car and head north whenever the Masala Mama jones overtakes me. Given the current price of gasoline, I figure that a fresh pint of this delicious nectar will cost me $53.50. Yeah, that's about right.

 2,078 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived with a big, fluffy, white head with a lot of bubbles coming to the top. I continued to note a beautifully floral hoppy nose. The mouthfeel was thicker and more effervescent on the palate. The hops were still up front and in your face, but tempered a little bit by the carbonation. The finish had that nice burst of malt that stood in utter juxtaposition to the combination sledgehammer/blind file of hops that slugs you, pulls your tongue out of your head with a pair of pliers, and begins running back and forth like a cheese grater. Waitress, another please.

 573 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: ½ gallon growler. A big thanks to tavernjef for the sample. Nice psst when I popped the cap.

Appearance: Excellent frothing, rocky and bubbly. The stickage factor is up there, the head clings most of the way down the glass. Sunset amber hue, a bit darker than I expect for an American brewed IPA.

Smell: Flowery and oily hop all over the nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Super hops, old school micro style with a raw bitterness. There is something missing, I found it hard to focus on the maltiness even in a balancing sense. Every time the malt tries to come though the hops blur it out of the way. Slight alcohol and nutty yeast in the back. Minty, vaguely piney and with a slather of citric peel in the hop flavor. The long road of bitter hops leaves the palate only able to taste hops.

Drinkability & Notes: This one brings back memories of the Fort Hill Brewpub in Boston. Sadly they we one of the first victims of the BIG DIG as far as restaurant closings. I remember they had a super hoppy red ale … that is what it was called “red ale” nothing earth shattering but fresh, drinkable with a nice hoppiness to it. I’d certainly sit down again with this beer for the night as I am right now.

Note after the second pint: The after taste is actually annoying ... the hop character does not really impress me all that much.

 1,350 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

64oz Growler poured into several Pint Glasses and shared amongst friends

A - Poured a deep rich dark orange tinted amber with a nice full two fingers of head on the top. Nice clarity as there was not too much haze in this one, but lots of carbonation streaming up toward the top. Very nice retention led to a good amount of side glass lace left over.

S - The aroma was full of deep citrus hops and pine resin. It had a very fresh smell to, it was obviosuly just bottled. The aroma was thick with neverending waves of hoppiness and a slight malty earthen smell way deep in the back trying to round it out.

T - What a wonderful full flavor this had. I was worried whether it could live up to its hype, boy did it ever. This was a fantastically good ipa. From the first sip it was a full on bath of citrus hops. Deep flavors of orange, tangerince and a touch of grapefruit washed over the tongue. As it warmed some more bitterness started to fall into place with hints of sugar and pineapples rounding it out. A very nice earthy backround provided all the neccasary balance in this one.

M - Great smooth creamy feel. This was a nice light to medium bodied ale that was more then adequatly carbonated and really had a nice feel to it. The carbonation stayed till the last drop and the finish was very long and drawn out with a great residula bitterness.

D - Perfect is all I can say about this here. I really enjoyed evry last drop of this and really could have went for some more when it was done. Easily one the better IPA's I have ever had.

Overall this lived upto ever ounce of the hype around it. A superbly crafter IPA it tatsted fresh until the last drop and had a great profile that just would not quit. I would love to have this again one day, especiaally on tap. A wonderful brew.

 1,792 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received a growler of this in a trade with cope0021, thanks man! Poured into my SN 30th Anniversary tulip.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one finger of off white head that has great retention and lacing. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus fruits and hops, especially grapefruit. Also smells of smooth caramel malts. Hint of pine.

t - Tastes of citrus and piney hops, grapefruit, and some smooth caramel or bready malts. Nothing is too overpowering and no real bitterness to it. Quite enjoyable.

m - Medium body and light carbonation, very smooth and creamy.

d - This is a great IPA. At 5.9% ABV this is insanely drinkable; I feel like I could drink this all day. The smell and taste is a great combination of hops and malts and several things are notciable, yet nothing overpowers it. This is not a crazy hop bomb and does not have a lot of bitterness to it, but if you like balanced IPA's you'll love this. Would highly suggest checking out.

 966 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.91/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

 1,265 characters

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 93.5% out of 100 with 1,372 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.