Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

679 Reviews

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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 679 | Ratings: 1,368
Photo of travloh
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After many trips to Town Hall I finally decide I will review this gem. I have gone to Town hall to pick up growlers for fellow BA's, and I always have a pint of this.
Pours a dark orangish amber with a creamy, resilient head that hangs around and sinks slightly in the middle as you drink, but it never fades.
Smells of the hop monster that at is...Orange, pine, spice...the bulletproof head oozes essence and smells that overwhelm the olfactories...oh man.
Taste is superb. Hops hops and more hops. Not real well balanced, in my opinion, but hey, you drink an IPA and you should expect an assault of bitterness. Still incredibly smooth.
This stuff is wicked drinkable. I can see myself sometime in the near future knocking back a BUNCH of these.
Since joining BeerAdvocate, I have looked at the top 100 list with a sense of pride that this beer that is local to me rates so high. Us Minnesotans are understandably biased, but try this stuff and you will agree that it is top 10 worthy.

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Photo of moose3285
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DontCallMeSurly for this growler.

A - Clear, amber red. With about a 1 and a half inch off-white head. Good head retention and a fair amount of lacing.

S - Smell is mainly grapefruit and piney hops

T - Wow. This is a hop explosion. The initial taste is that same grapefruit and pine flavor. Followed by some caramel and malt sweetness. The hop bitterness returns and lingers on the tongue.

M - Mouthfeel is good. Highly carbonated and not too thick or thin.

D - Good drinkability. I could see myself drinking a lot more of this.

Overall, a very good representation of the style. I can see why it gets such high remarks.

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Photo of davey
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a growler from mcmussel.

Pours a rusty amber with a huge foamy head. Looking fine! Smell is crisp with citrus hops and marmalade.
This tastes great! Lots of hops, but not over the top. Very well balanced. Medium mouthfeel that doesn't linger too long, and maybe fades a little too quick.
I could drink this all day everyday. A very solid beer that doesn't go to the extreme for attitude. I will be drinking this solo.

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Photo of stupac2
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to theduderules for the growler! Technically sent to my girlfriend, but who's counting?

Pours a very deep reddish brown, surprisingly dark for an IPA. Smell is solid for an IPA, but nothing spectacular. Taste follows it up, very solid hop presence, not overly malty, definitely along what I expect for the style. But, as with the smell, I'm not blown away.

Overall it's a good beer, if I could drink it regularly I definitely would.

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Photo of ndolover
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

-Beer came in pint glass, with nice fluffy head that clings to the side.
-The goldenrod hue complemented the wonderful aroma of fresh geen hops.
-The first sip hit me like a punch to the nose, however it did not have an overly geen hop taste as the aroma might indicate. The following swallows were not as intense as I progressed through the beer. Generally a very hoppy beer, but not overdone.
-The mouthfeel was not thick, it rolled over the tongue wonderfully and allowed me to take in the full hop aroma.
-The drinkablity is second to none. As I can attest 5 to 7 beers in a sitting is definately possible.
Overall, a wonderful example of an IPA

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Photo of rborthwick
3.63/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The appearance was a nice amber with the proper head and plenty of lace. Pleasant aroma and good initial taste balance. To me, the taste of the finishing hops was a bit too aggressive. I noticed a hint of grapefruit in the finish. The beer was good but doesn't quite have the drinkability of some tamer American IPAs like Dogfishhead 60 min.

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Photo of Junnila
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice copper red with 1-1/2 fingers of off-white head that retains for a decent amount of time. Nice lacing throughout the entire glass. Smell is abundantly hoppy, which is what I prefer overall. Taste was very balanced and not overpowering for an IPA. Hops are obviously present but there was some caramel and citrus notes evident. Medium bodied mouthfeel with a good amount of dryness worked in. Goes down very easy and definitely an IPA you can enjoy anytime of year. One of my favorite IPA's, thankfully it is easily accessible.

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Photo of Raugupatis
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was in Wisconsin for a friend's wedding and decided to expand my beer horizons. I was able to convince my wife, sister-in-law and brother-in-law to take a side trip to the town hall brewery just after getting off of the plane.

I was glad I was able to use my powers of persuasion in support of the forces of good.

The Masala was delivered to my table with not much in the way of a head, but the rich color and near-floral hoppiness of the aroma that greeted my senses made up for it.

The hops were mildly bitter and tasty without being overwhelming. This does not taste like the product of Cascade Hops, but I did not get a chance to speak with the brewer to suppor tmy hypothesis.

This one finishes a lot smoother than your typical American IPA.

It is a wonderful example of my favorite style.

I also bought a growler to take with me to the wedding and it held up well for the three days it took me to open it up.

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Photo of hopflop
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a growler in a trade from travloh. Thanks again Travis for the opportunity to try this amazing IPA.

This beauty pours a nice amber copper color with a nice fat white head with great lacing through out.

The smell is of nice piney and citrus hops and grapefruit. with a touch of sweet malts

The mouth full is great. A very hoppy citrus goodness with a hint of sweet malts and a clean bitter finish.

This has everything that I love about IPA's. Very drinkable with a low ABV. Would love to get my hands on a couple more growlers of this beauty.

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Photo of beaglemac
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Casked Growler

A - Slight Guiness like cascade on this one. Pours a Ruby red, amber with a thick frothy head that is super sticky. Great lacing.

S - Sweet, juicy hops.

T - Great bitter hop bite, well balanced with some sweet caramel malt. Grapefruit and other citrus.

M - Medium to full bodied. Oily hops. Solid carbonation.

D - Super easy drinker. I would drink this all day

I would like to thank JeffKrenner for this great growler... I am jealous that he can get this on a daily basis.

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Photo of tjfontaine
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tasted this beer several weeks ago on the advice of this forum. I usually go mostly for Amber ales with IPAs as a backup. This IPA is amber in color and tastes much like a hopper Amber ale ... very smooth, just a bit of bite, has a great pour.

I will have this beer again - in fact I did today when I was in the neighborhood.

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Photo of LJArsenal
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Justn for setting me up with this Minnesota gem. Almost makes up for what the Vikings did to the Packers this year in Minneapolis. Almost.

Pours with foamy, off-white head about an inch and a half thick. Hint of head remains and leaves great lacing. Color is an opaque orangish-brown. Smell screams of hops. I also detect some hints of pine. Minimal carbonation in comparison to others of the same style. This is a great tasting beer and I'm happy to have acquired it so early in my trading career. The mouthfeel is as good as any I've come across in this style. The only detrimental comment I can make about this beer is the aftertaste it leaves - somewhat more sour than I'd expect. Overall, however, a fantastic brew that I can't wait to try again. Feeling good about the 3/4 full growler in the fridge.

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Photo of TIMMYJ21
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Really creamy looking, huge head with a nice cascade down the glass. A light copper haze which. A real nicely made brew

S- i get a real smell of butterscotch and orange and grapefruit, very nice aroma to this one, the cask, being that its a bit warmer really brings out the smell

T- Much better than on regular cask, very creamy mouth feel to it, like as said the hops just come at ya, great malt profile biscuit like.

Overall awesome brew by town hall if your able to get it on cask get a pint and maybe another

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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 Sidabeef7
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

64oz. growler courtesy of FeloniousMonk.

Poured a hazy orange color with a fantastic white fluffy head. Serious hops in the nose were absolutely intoxicating. This is one of those beers that makes you salivate once you get one whiff of it. Taste is a blast of hops that is balanced very well with the malt. Very easy to drink and an exceptional brew. Too bad you can only get it in Minnesota.

Thanks to FeloniousMonk for the sample.

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Photo of ragnarsword
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that made me fall in love with IPAs. I make it a point to get to the Town Hall at least once a month to partake in this beer. The color is a darker shade of gold than most IPAs and the floral aroma is incredible without being overpowering. I've had it from both the tap and the cask and have not been disappointed with either.

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Photo of BLACKOUT0213
3.83/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

go to townhall brewery at 7 corners and try this beer. it is very good and has a fruity and hoppy taste. full body and very refreshing. plus there is a couple good looking waitresses there to bring your wonderful beverage. they also have a mango masala mama that tastes great as well. very good hoppy beer give it a try.

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Photo of duece27
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed many times over the recent years. I can't decide which is better... drinking it on the Townhall patio or at home out of the growler, ah my dilemma

shimmering orange with not as much head as I would like.

smells of sweet hops without the annoyance of strict alcohol

Exceptional taste. perfect balance of malt backbone

good consistency, not cloing

Drinkability - Yes, all night.

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Photo of kaiserbrown
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first review, so apologies for form. I just bought this growler from Town Hall, which is in my neighborhood and which over the last 2+ years I've enjoyed thoroughly when I'm not slumming it at one of the other fine drinking establishments in the Seven Corners.

A: Poured into a 1 pint glass, the pour is an attractive occluded amber with slight carbonation. Head is light, off white, and has good lacing.

S: Hoppy, as a good IPA should be. Fresh, piney, but not bold or overpowering.

T: Delicious. The hops are perfectly chosen and well balanced with the nuanced underlying malts and citrus notes. Crisp as all get out.

M: Near perfect, with just the right level of bitterness on the tongue.

D: I tend to like heavier beers, but this is a perfect brew for a warm Minneapolis summer day. Probably not a session beer, but drinking a few is easy and enjoyable. My favorite of the overall quality beers made by Town Hall.

Overall: One of my favorite beers, and a real treasure from the heartland. It deserves its rating.

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Photo of dzturner
4.61/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Simply Amazing!!! Had a friend bring it all the way from Minneapolis to Tacoma, WA for us. Poured in to Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery Mug.
Appearance: Hazy deep amber clearly unfiltered. Not much head on my pour but it did come from a growler.
Smell: citrus, very aromatic but not its strongest point.
Taste: So bitter and last forever yet super malty. The intense bitterness and intense maltyness manage to be extremely balanced. I noticed bitter on the front malt in the middle and then it end hard with a great bitter aftertaste. In fact, minutes after taking a sip a still had the most delicious hops flavor in my mouth. However, it maintains it complexities throughout.
One thing the caught me off guard was its ABV. It tasted a lot moor heavy then a 5.9.
All together it rocked my socks off!!!

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Photo of yam
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - a beautiful golden copper with a lovely head and long-lasting lace

S - citrus with a lovely flowery aroma -- crisp grapefruit (oxymoron?)

T - a tang of hops -- a cascade of sweet acidity with a malty background. A well structured beer with even flavors of hops and malt

M - a mouthfeel like like silk. Even in a growler, the carbonation pretty much matches the online feel.

D - as a decent example of the type, this is a fairly easy drinking beer.

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Photo of jrdegriselles
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a golden deep orange color with a thick very creamy white head that last for quite a while. Floral hops of pine with notes of light toasted malt or carmel hints.
Hops Hops and more hops with a nice chewy sensation. A crazy strong IPA that I will have again and again.

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Photo of oner0002
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wish there was an easier way in these reviews to differentiate between the cask, tap and growler versions of this IPA because they are practically different beers!

The cask is served warmer and has a wonderful creamy mouthfeel. The cask serving method tends to mellow out the hop edge, but you can still taste Mike Hoops' complicated hop schedule.

The tap is served cooler and most assuredly has a bracing bitterness and CO2 bite. Here you can play guess that hop in the aroma and taste. I'll tell you there are at least 3 ... maybe it was 4, or was it 5 varieties in there?

The growler is similar to the tap version, but I find it to be much less carbonated and the hops can change and mellow out quite a bit depending on how old your growler is.

This goes for nearly all of Town Hall's beers, but the differences in the IPA is the most dramatic. I'm afraid y'all will just have to come on up here and try all three.

Super Secret Tip: The Cask IPA is so popular that is is almost always on these days.

Super Secret Ninja Tip: If you are coming from afar, the Town Hall is a 30 second stumble from the Holiday Inn Metrodome.

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Photo of DNorm
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Clear with darkish amber color and hints of copper/gold/orange. One finger head, outstanding retention, and good lacing.

(S) I detect citrusy/piney/floral hops, grapefruit, with a hint of caramel/malty sweetness.

(T) Slightly piney and bitter hops, caramel malts, and pineapple. There is definitely a hint of citrus and possibly grapefruit. The malts provide decent balance that leans towards the hoppy side. Decent complexity and overall enjoyable.

(M) Hoppy bitterness. Low to medium carbonation level (good amount for this particular beer). Medium bodied, possibly on the light side. Lasting finish that is dry, bitter, and crisp.

(O) Overall this is a great IPA with great drinkability. It has a relatively low ABV and has solid complexity. I’m glad I finally reviewed this legendary IPA, arguably the best in Minnesota (only rivaled by Surly’s “Furious”). Although some may not consider it world-class, it is definitely a “must try.”

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Photo of subheroic1234
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to joshuaseresse for the growler!

A: Open the growler to a small pop that notes that carbonation is still very present. From what I've heard, MTH has amazing growler quality. Pours a somewhat translucent copper color with a one inch head that subsides somewhat quickly to a thin head that stays around.

S: Wow, I can smell it far away from the glass. Bitter hops come through first. I can also sense some citrus hop and sweet malt notes.

T: Starts off with a bitter, piny hop taste that transitions into a malty, citrusy taste. The only difference between the scent and the taste is that the bitterness of the hops last much longer than any other taste.

M: The carbonation and great malt backbone (as small as it might be) makes the mouthfeel silky smooth.

Overall: Hands down, my favorite IPA to date. I'm very glad I got a chance to try this.


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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,368 ratings.
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