Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
675 Reviews
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States | website

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
Reviews:
675
Ratings:
1,348
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.97%
 
 
Wants:
874
Gots:
86
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 675 | Ratings: 1,348
Photo of Hootie159
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of wolfpac255
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served on tap at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Arriving in house pints, the beer showed a reddish honey coloring. A one finger head of soapy, tan bubbles stop atop the liquid, and retained excellently. Cakey chunks of lacing were eventually left in its wake. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be light. The aroma offered big fruity nectary, grapefruity, and herbal hops, amber and pale malts, chalked cornmeal, chemical phenols, spicy booze, light bubblegum esters, tropical pineapple and mango fruitiness, Juicy Fruit gum, raw ginger, black pepper, cherry flesh, Sprite lemon-lime sugars, cough syrup, vinyl plastics, and syrupy pear juice. Subsequent flavoring boasted pale and caramel malt toast, big bubblegum esters, juicy pineapple, heavy fruity hops and lighter piney and citric hop zing, tomato acidity, apricots, sweet creamer, bittering dried oregano and lemon balm, lemon and lime rind, mallow sugars, red apple juice, hairspray, and cucumber skins. With warmth and through the aftertaste, the hops took on a much more surprising herbal bitterness. The body stood on the full side of medium, which carbonation was medium to high, with wet and frothy prickle to the hard palate. Otherwise, slurp, smack, cream, and pop were okay, and the mouth was left puckered and dried of tannins. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank more as a sipper.

Overall, we were so excited to find this so close to where we were staying in Minneapolis. This was quite exactly the closest building to our hotel, and we ended up going here almost every night of our visit to try their vast array of different brews. Here, we met a big IPA, with hearty malt presence to work with such massive, massive, hoppiness. The latter became much more bittered than expected, especially through the end of the sip and its aftertaste. The hope, here, became heavily piney, herbal, and harsh to the palate, but in the best way possible. We actually drove to Minneapolis from Detroit the day we sampled this, and due to weather delays it turned into a fifteen hour drive. Getting in late, we only had the time and energy for a single beer to complement our midnight meal of burgers, and boy was it a nice end to our night. Highly recommended if you can find it.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

After a pretty disappointing seasonal flight at Town Hall last weekend, I opened this growler in hopes that this IPA would live up to my memories of it (5 yrs ago or so). Happily it was just what I remembered - very fragrant with a fine balance between malt and fresh hops flavors. Hints of grapefruit, pine and maybe bubblegum? Medium-thick body with smooth mouthfeel. This does seem more in line with an English-style IPA in my opinion - a bit sweeter up front, providing a good counterweight to the bitter yet fresh finish. One might argue that it lacks subtlety but the Masala Mama is a crowd pleaser with good reason.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a hazy, amber with a thick cream colored head. Grapefruit, pine, brown sugar, and floral hops on the nose. Pine resin, malt, and citrus zest on the palate with a hint of sour apple. Bitter. Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall a bold IPA from Minnesota.

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Photo of papat444
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

Thanks to Tricerahops for a growler of this. Stamped Sept. 24, 2014 on the cap.

Nice dirty orange color, flavor is peaches and bitter grapefruit rind. Has a nice creaminess to it that balances things out,. A flavorful, drinkable IPA.

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

Had this on tap at the brewery. Pours a amberish orangish color with a 1 inch finger of head. Has nice lacing. Taste is very bitter with an old school hop flavoring. Lingering dry finish. Not much malt character with this beer. Overall an ok IPA.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at the brewery, Minneapolis.

Dark amber with crusty white froth that trails.
Deep twinkly candied orange with hints of resin and powder.
Dried apricot, and clean, even C-hop citrus, pine, and resin.
Pineapple finish and humming orange oil linger.
Light side of medium, crisp, slightly clingy.

Not much at first taste, but has not only bright but effervescent citrus and solid IBUs to the hops. Still, it’s a bit of a throwback. Very good, but not Indeed Let it Ride.

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Photo of gabrielsyme
3.37/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the brewery. Appearance is golden in color, a tad darker than a typical IPA. I don't get much aroma, maybe some pine. Taste is bitter - grapefruit, and spruce. Carbonation is medium-high and it goes down easy despite the bracing bitterness. Overall an enjoyable beer but nothing special.

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Photo of hoody711
3.84/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Gift from a buddy in Minneapolis when he came down last weekend. Brought me this and their altbier. Heard a lot about it, so pretty excited. First try - grossly underimpressed. However, I preceded that one with a Permanent Funeral, so it deserves a second, clean chance.

A - from the growler into a tulip. Head is slight, maybe a fingerbreadth, and settles quickly with minimal lacing. Almost no carbonation, but it is 3 days old. Color is a glorious blood orange. Good clarity.

S - a couple days ago all I got was caramel malts. Today I'm getting some nice tropical fruits with a constant sour apple backbone. Very, very interesting. Almost no malt, but it has been in the growler for 3 days. It's good though.

T - very good. Fresh, sour apple at the beginning that almost puckers you up. Then there comes the caramel malts that fade quickly and a huge bitterness massacres your tongue then goes away real quick. The aftertaste is there, but it's only a shadow of the main show.

M - although the bitterness fades quickly, it does leave a lasting coating on the tongue. Faint oilyness. Not sure I could have 3 or 4 of these, but definitely a second.

O - Seems like a good cross between heavy, malty DIPAs and some West Coast tropical fruit. The apple that has almost permeated this growler probably isn't there at the brewery and reflects unfairly on this one. Would love to try some fresh, but it was cool to see how this one changed over 3 days.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a mostly clear, glowing orange color. Thinner head. It leaves smaller rings of lacing.

S-Big juicy citrus notes. Highly hopped complementary aromas of tropical fruits and grass. Freshly squeezed hoppiness with resinous notes. Lightly balanced by some dough and caramel.

T-A huge duet of tangerines and grass. Light mango and serious, lingering piney bitterness. The bitter aftertaste lasts and lasts. Light breadiness as well as caramel come in but quickly give way to the erupting bitterness.

M-Super drinkable. Agreeable body with softer carbonation. Again, long, seemingly endless bitter aftertaste which I loved.

O/D-A really awesome IPA. Maybe a step below elite but it clearly delivers. A definite winner. Wouldn't complain if I had this again!

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

Big thanks to yamar68 for this one.

64oz Growler poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Orange/amber with a big fluffy 2" to 3" head that leaves curtains of sticky lacing.

Smell: Hoppy citrus with some nice bready malt.

Taste: Very well balanced IPA, grapefruit citrus, hoppy bitterness in concert with a nice bready malt backbone. Really more citrus hop flavor than pine (which is a personal preference of mine).

Mouthfeel: Smooth, well carbonated, and clean on the palate.

Overall: Excellent example of a well balanced flavorful IPA, so glad to have the opportunity to try a fresh growler.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Growler

Thanks for sending this my way, yamar68!

A darker than anticipated IPA. This is kind of a light copper or very dark amber with a somewhat large, quite persistent near-white head. Lined lacing down the glass.

This smelled fantastic as soon as I twisted off the top of the growler. Strangely, it didn't seem to have a similar punch when I stoke my nose down inside a full glass of this beer. Definite citrus notes emerge, however, which are welcome and in abundance. There's also definite caramel sweetness and some light toasted biscuit aroma as well. A well balanced aroma, but certainly not as hop-forward as some of my San Diego favorites.

The flavor follows the aroma very similarly. Well balanced, somewhat bitter, and incredibly drinkable. Citrus (grapefruit mainly), sweet, complementary caramels, and lightly toasted biscuit.

Medium to near full in body with moderate carbonation.

A long-time want checked off the list! I'm so glad I got to try this one!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Masala Mama pours a deep cooper color with a small lacing head. There was an enjoyable mild floral aroma. The taste had a well balanced flavor, but then finished with a nice floral taste. Full bodied flavor, and finishes very crisp. Overall a very high quality IPA.

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Photo of nickfl
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two finger dense head with scattered lacing on a clear deep amber body. Aroma is excellent with floral, toffee, grapefruit and orange peel citrus, earthy hops and subtle pine notes. Flavor also is excellent with strong hop presence with a toasted malt base. Hop character includes tart citrus, floral, pine, earthy and slightly herbal hops. Basically all major hop notes in one but the impressive part is how they are still distinct and well defined making this one very complex. Medium body and moderate carbonation. One of the best IPAs I have had. This one is up there with Pliny the Elder just more on the tart and pine side.

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Photo of kevanb
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

64oz growler courtesy of BierVogel poured into a Town Hall tulip glass.

Masala Mama pours a lovely copper color, medium amber, hues of orange with a clear complexion, a nice finger of thick white head that has great retention leaving behind a great layer of frothy film atop the beer with nice webbed lacing. The aroma is nice and pine forward with a nice grassy presence, bright citrus tones with a really nice sweet malt presence. The nose is very well balanced, not overly complex, but pleasant and inviting. Pine jumps onto the tongue, very resinous and sticky on the tongue, earthy lemongrass flavors pop as well, a bit of dandelion weediness as well, some bright grapefruit comes across as well with a light floral presence that is lost on the nose. Smooth sweet malt eases it's way forward with a nice dry bitter lingering finish that really hits the spot. The body is great, full and rewarding but not overly soapy, medium carbonation, great for the style.

Verdict: A really rewarding IPA from Town Hall. While not overly complex or testing the limits of a hoppy beer, the balance of hoppy flavors and the sweeter malt profile is artfully executed. This is definitely a beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of Treebs
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

64 oz. growler served in a CBS snifter. Huge thanks to supercolter for the growler. Thanks Jeff!

A: Pours a clear ruby color with a tooth colored head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to a thin cap and thicker ring. Sticky, splotchy lace.

S: Nice citrus hop profile up front. Some orange marmalade sweetness with lemon sorbet. Lime zest with a pronounced piney bitterness on the finish. Sugar cookie malt backbone. Mild dank resin in the periphery.

T: Lemony citrus with a hint of red apple sweetness. A little pear with some candied limes and a little honey. Same cookie malts provide a nice sweet balance to it. Less bitter than the nose, but it adds a touch of piney flavors that that compliment the sweetness. Definitely dankness as well.

M: Light bodied with a medium carbonation level. Hop oils leave themselves across the palate for a great finish. Clean, but flavorful.

O: Worth the wait. Very drinkable with a great flavor profile. Time to bring on Mango Mama!

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Photo of jegross2
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Masala Mama IPA from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the description tells, this IPA is brewed using Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Mt. Hood hops.
Score: 95

Tap pour served in a 16 oz pint glass at the brewery. Enjoyed the night before Darkness Day (10/26/12). Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Served with a thin layer of head that settles to a ring around the glass. The beer is a clear and clean copper color. Pretty nice lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Resinous pine and dank citrus. Fresh tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple and peaches galore. Excellent! 4.5

Taste: Tastes just like it smells. The hops are crisply bitter, piney, dank and resinous with a light spice and prickle on the palate. Behind the hops are mango, pineapple, grapefruit and caramel malt. Hoppy, but smooth drinking thanks to a good counterbalancing sweet citrus backbone. Lingering hoppiness. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Oily on the tongue, with a very dry finish. Crisply bitter. 5/5

Overall: An outstanding IPA that is available year round. I am jealous of the Minneapolis beer scene for having such easy access to this treasure of a brew.

Recommendation: Hop heads need to seek this world class IPA out.

Pairings: The hamburgers they serve on premise -- yum!

Cost: $5 for a pint at the bar.

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Photo of flexabull
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of younger35, thanks again!

Pours a bright and clear amber color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are of mangos, light grapefruit, and some resin. The nose is nice, but a bit faint.

Taste is fairly bitter up front. Some sugar, hard candies, and mildly sweet citrus. Finish is bitter, with notes of pine and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. With nice carbonation.

Overall, a nice IPA. A bit out of balanced to the bitter side, but still a solid beer. Doesn't quite live up to its high marks on the site in my opinion though.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass at the brewery in Minneapolis. Reviewed from notes taken around Thanksgiving.

A: Pours a half finger beige colour head of average thickness and cream, but poor (<10 second) retention. Body colour is a clear copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Clean malts, floral hops, hints of pine, clean hops, a hint of hop bitterness. An average to mild strength aroma.

T: Crisp clean malt build with hints of toasted malts, floral hops, and vague citrus. Balanced decently but actually a bit bland. Quite simple, especially for the style. The bitternss does come through, negatively affecting the balance (a critical mistake in an IPA).

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness. Okay carbonation.

Dr: A lackluster IPA. I expected far better given its current ratings. Needs more body and depth. I might get it again, but it's a bit meh. A huge disappointment from Town Hall.

Low C+

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Photo of jimmah120
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12ox glass on cask at town hall tap

look is an orange amber with a small film of head. smell is spicy grapefruit and pine hops. bright and luxurious smell. taste is more spicy, prickly pine orange hops. like hoppy orange marmalade. feel is a smooth medium, not oily at all.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to maximum12 for the GROWLER of this Town Hall product.

It pours a crystal clear dull amber-golden color with a stubborn eggshell colored head. This is a nice-looking beer. The nose is right in my wheel house. A lot of grapefruit and a few notes of toasted malt popping through sporadically. Big, full mouthfull with a light carbonation, but some hop warmth to pick up for the carbonation to create that finishing burn. Pine flavors are prevalent. Grapefruit forward, with a peculiar, but not unpleasant flavored medicine taste. Some dried apricot appearing right before the finish. I also noted some allspice on a couple of occasions. Plenty of resiny bitterness on the finish. I really like it a lot. My first experience with Minneapolis Town Hall. Well done. And thanks again, maximum12!

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 675 ratings.
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