Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

BA SCORE
4.32/5
1,374 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:
#480
Reviews:
680
Ratings:
1,374
pDev:
9.03%
Bros Score:
3.88
 
 
Wants:
872
Gots:
91
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,374 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of HopHead84
3.5/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the chance to sample a good amount of this from a fresh growler shared generously by BMan1113VR at The Lost Abbey tasting bar on the evening before Christmas in July.

The beer appears orangish amber with a large white head from my vigorous pour.

The nose is caramel malt with some dull citrus hops. Some grapefruit, orange, and lemon are apparent. The citrus is there, but it's pretty muted and doesn't stand out much from the caramel sweetness. Some pine is also evident.

The hops are pretty dull in the flavor as well. I'd like to say the grapefruit and pine really stand out from the lackluster caramel malt sweetness, but that isn't the case. The beer has a nice medium level of bitterness, but the hop flavor is definitely lacking. I'm not impressed; maybe the growler experienced some trauma on its journey from Minnesota.

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Photo of pepsican
3.89/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Growler, have had it on tap/cask as well. Pours amber with a thick white head. Strong pine hops in the aroma. Flavor has quite a bit of caramel up front, with some bitter pine hops in the background. A touch of citrus rounds it out. Finishes bitter, very bitter. This is definitely one for the bitter freaks. I could definitely use some more flavoring and aroma hops in the one, then it might be amazing.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
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- Oh...this...is....good. 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 popery
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to deliriumfest.

A top tier American IPA. This beer pours a rich amber with orange highlights. It has an excellent head and lots of lacing. The beer looks right at home in my Anchor Christmas pint glass. Also, I'm a sucker for growlers, particularly growlers from afar. While that's not part of the beer's appearance, strictly speaking, the beer would get the same appearance score, no matter the serving type. The aroma is easily my favorite part of this beer. It's a combination of hops, mostly floral and piney. There's a touch of sweet citrus, but it's a minor player compared to many IPAs. Underneath the hop aromas, there's an incredible and surprising maltiness. It has a fruity, nutty aroma and flavor that makes me think of an Amber Ale. Befitting the geographical location of the brewery, this is neither an East coast nor a West coast IPA. It's all Midwest and delicious as hell. I'd like to give the flavor a 4.25. Without the utter success of the aroma, I might give it a 4.5, but it just doesn't live up to the promise of its bouquet. The flavor is a tad dry and yeasty, a bit like a real English IPA. That's not really bad, but it's just not entirely my thing. That said, the bitterness is extremely well-balanced, while maintaining a good hop bite. The malt might be my favorite aspect of the flavor. They really hit a note with me on the subject of the malt. It's an excellent beer and not quite like anything else I've ever tasted. I'd love to have easy access to it. It's always a shame when great beers go unbottled, but I can understand the impetus to keep things simple.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this from both cask and tap on the same night, side by side. The appearance on both were relatively the same... mildly cloudy yellow-orange with a fantastic frothy head that lingers the entire time and great lacing.

The smell was muted and a little flat. The hops are presented as grassy and piney scents, followed by a sweet tangerine.

The taste was loaded with hops and dominated by the sweet tangerine and grass. The cask version had a little more pronounced floral perfume notes that weren't showing up in the regular version. The malt is a faint caramel.

The biggest separation in the cask vs tap is the carbonation. The cask-conditioned ale almost completely lacked carbonation and the mouthfeel was very oily and sticky while the tap version was cut with more carbonation and had more of a crisp and fresh mouthfeel, but it too was oily.

This is a very sessionable ale and is light in body so it's not filling.

I enjoyed it and glad I had a chance to give it a try with all the hype surrounding it, but I can easily name a few more IPAs that I enjoy more and are more accessable.

While the cask-conditioned and on-tap versions have slight nuances that distinguish each, I think the scores remain the same and I can't say I'd prefer one over the other.

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Photo of McDiddyPop
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade with younger35. Thanks for hooking me up, Dan!

Poured from a growler into a Cigar City pint glass. This beer was a nice orange/ amber color with a bit of haze. It seemed to glow in my glass. A steady pour brought 2 fingers of dense, rocky foam that receded to an off-white cap, leaving sheets of impressive lace throughout the entire glass. Each sip left another ring. It smelled like fresh fresh fresh hops. A bit minty. Grassy. Mildly citric (think oranges and ruby red grapefruits). Very inviting. The taste was very well-balanced between minty and herbal hops followed by a sharp citrus bitterness in the finish. Malts don't have any chance to shine in this one, but the hops alone do this beer justice. Good carbonation and a dry finish made this a very drinkable brew. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap July 7th right before the Twins v Yankees game. Ordered 2 pints, each one about a 13oz pour with very little head well below the rim.
Chill hazed orange with an off-white head. Creamy with slight citrus tart up front, a melange of navel orange & white grapefruit. Still subtle tasting, when some really nice hop flavor sneaks up. Pleasant, citric bitterness. Smooth and hoppy. Simple IPA, great flavor and very balanced. Extremely drinkable and refreshing.

Glad I got to try this very well received IPA. Got a growler in a trade last year that seemed to lose a little in the journey. I would like to have this beer along a fresh Racer 5 and Liberty Ale to really tell the differences.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Comes copper colored, some straw highlights around the edges, a thin but dense 1cm head sits on top, sort of falls back, and stays as a little pad of bubbles that leaves bits of lacing here and there. The smell is of sticky resinous hops. There are strong notes of grass clippings and pine, some lemon zest, with a hint of tropical fruits, like mangoes etc. That must be where I'm smelling the sweetness at. The taste starts with a bit of resin, like bitter citrus peel, then it fills up with some pine, kind of shart, and also reminds me a bit of a bite out of an underripe mago. The bitterness, surprisingly isn't as bad as I may have just described it, it's actually quite pleasant. There's a nice presence of light bready malts, that still fit pretty well within the dryness of the beer. The finish comes up with resins, running up on the sweet side, like biting into a sweet lime, or drinking sweet lime juice. Very enjoyable. The mouthfeel is spot on. It's nice and full without ever being heavy, and the resinous hops and bready malts fit in really well with the slightly prickly carbonation. Great delivery on this beer. I don't think the alcohol here is too powerful, and it actually comes up a bit short of most American IPAs. This one is a bit warming and filling though. It really makes you want a bit more with every sip, and I think it goes without saying that this is the beer you should order if you come toe MTHB.

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Photo of Ragingbull
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber in color with a white head. The nose is very hoppy and the attack is very much "hops forward." The mouthfeel is nice and creamy. The flavor is smooth and enjoyable. Despite the hops the finish is pretty clean. The hops seems to be muted a little bit in the cask version of this beer. It seems pretty straightforward as an IPA except for the transition from the finish to the aftertaste where you believe the flavor is done, but then it returns when your mouth dries. I prefer the regular variety of this beer, which is not the norm for me.
This review from notes and beer may not be currently offered as cask conditioned.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper amber color with a 1 finger off white head with great retention and leaves some nice lacing.

Lots of pine with a hint of citrus in the aroma. Really grabs your attention.

Taste again reveals a lot of piney flavors with some light citrus notes in the background.

Medium bodied and very refreshing. Possibly one of the most drinkable IPAs out there. Very good but not at all overwhelming in any regard...some of the hop bombs out there may be a little intense for some but this is a great tasting IPA that goes down extremely easy. Would gladly try again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A--Golden/copper color with a finger and a half of off white head in my pint glass that left a thick web of lacing

S--Subdued floral hops, a bit of a citrus kick....this has the scent of a great west coast IPA only it is not near as powerful

T--The taste is a fantastically balanced blend of biscuity malts and earthy hops, with a bitter pine resin aftertaste. I took my first sip expecting to be blown away and at first had to scratch my head wondering what really sets this beer apart from the rest. I have had better tasting IPAs, I have had better smelling IPAs...but what I have not had is a better balanced/drinkable IPA. This is what brewpub beer is supposed to be. My mouth is watering for a cheeseburger right now, but unfortunately I'm going to have to settle for frozen chicken nuggets.

M--Medium bodied and oily, a bit sticky on the palate which I love. Pine resin aftertaste.

D--Like I said, one of the more drinkable IPA's I've ever had. It gets even better as it warms too. I really regret not ordering this on cask when I was at Minneapolis Town Hall...I was so disappointed that there was no more Mango Mama that I panicked when I ordered my beer and totally for got about the regular Masala. D'oh

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

had on tap at town hall.... pint was a nice brown/orange color with a smooth head and some good lacing it was really fresh..the smell was floral first then a hop/spice smell with malts..the taste was the same its very smooth and creamy with a nice IPA feel with grapefruits and hops and malts pretty well balanced...the mouth feel is smooth and creamy and really easy to drink..this is one tasty IPA that is not an over the top hop bomb but just really good there is something about this ipa its not the best or the most flavorful but it is one of my favorites that i will have again..ill buy a growler next time at town hall ..oh yeah its recommended

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Growler into Sam Adams lager glass, big thanks to MBABJJ (Jason) for the chance to try this! Growler is best-by dated on the 24th and arrived on the 24th, drank today, on the 26th.

Pours a nice clear copper with a creamy one-finger bone-white head that settles into a thin cap, thanks in part to the laser etching.

Nose is kind of light - caramel malt and piny hops are the main stars, but there really isn't that much going on.

Taste is bitter up front, raw, fairly astringent, carrying notes of grapefruit rind, resiny pine, and underpinned by a moderate caramel sweetness. Really hard to pull that sweetness out by the finish, though, as the bitterness stats early and charges hard right through to the long, very bitter finish. Lots of early addition hops in this one; not my style of IPA by a long shot. Would like to try this one both on cask and fresh at the source on tap and see if the bitterness levels are the same.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lingering bitterness on the finish, carbonation is a bit sharp and big bubbled.

Drinkability is about on part with taste for the same reason; the long bitterness builds and builds and isn't ideal for multiple pints. Yet another IPA where the experience is dominated by bitterness instead of hop flavor; everything a beer like Sculpin or Alesmith IPA is, this one isn't. Rather disappointed.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
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 Hojaminbag
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice copper body that is amber at its core with a big, fluffy white head that dies down to a ring that crowns the body. Lots of thick, sticky lacing stays behind too.

Sweet citrus notes, piney, resiny notes, a touch of apricot. Some lightly toasted caramel malts.

All of the hop characteristics from the aroma make appearances in the flavor also. Big sweet grapefruit flavor that brings with a good blast of bitterness also. Lots of piney, resiny hops and some more sweet, fruity hops that remind me of apricots or peaches. Along with this nice hop profile is a pretty big flavor of toasted caramel malt that makes this a well balanced IPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lively with just a touch of oily feel.

Pretty drinkable IPA here. Honestly, I liked Masala Mama, but it isn't a top IPA for me. Overall, pretty good and well balanced.

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Photo of mwa423
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a growler with thabobfater and degerbah.

The growler was still fresh even after over a week, poured with plenty of head that stuck to the glass all the way down. Color is a dark amber and perfectly clear.

Masala Mama has a slightly different hop profile then most epic ipas, it is a very different bitter profile. Overall a fantastic flavor that I could drink all day.

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

Light copper, light orange with an off white head.
Pine, citrus and a malt presence.
The pine character dominates but has a malt backbone to contribute to the overall.I sense a little rye although I dont think it is in the beer. A bitterness lingers but is slightly more than ideal.
Fantastic mouthfeel that is very silky. Possibly the ideal mouthfeel for an IPA.
A very good beer. Not deserving of number 11 in the world however.

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Photo of cvaypai
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand pumped from the cask at the Town Hall Brewery. Taken from notes at brewery.

Appearance - Amber-brown, yet transparent with 1 finger head that leaves a beautiful lacing as I drink. Head retention is very good.

Smell - Smells of grapefruit, lemon, and lime. Small amount of malt detected. Beautiful floral hops smell. Smells so delicious, wish I could smell it all the time.

Taste - Amazing taste, creamy, yet bitter and sharp. Extremely tasty with grapefruit and citrus tastes. Small malt taste at end, perfectly balanced. This is how a single IPA should taste.

Mouthfeel - Extremely smooth, awesomely carbonated, perfect in most every way to do with mouthfeel.

Drinkability - I could drink all night if I lived in town at 5.9%. Awesomely tasty beer that goes down easy and refreshes.

I wish I lived in town so I could enjoy this all the time, took home 2 growlers but don't think it will be enough :(

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Photo of TheViceBlog
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to CaptainsChair!

Beautiful. Fragrant. Flawless hops bitterness. One of the best single IPAs I've ever had and one of the truly great session beers of all time. Not sure it deserves its lofty place on the Best of BA list-I reserve best beer in the world status for bigger *sskickers-but it is truly a great beer.

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Photo of bobsy
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer certainly made for a great refresher after helping Eric move in - cheers for sharing a growler from your epic cross-continent trip.

Pours a radiant orange with a large creamy white head that put down sheets of lace. At first smell the aroma is typical IPA - grapefruit and caramel malt, but as the beer warms mango and pineapple elevate the aroma to a whole new level. I'm not sure what hops they used, but the flavour is great, bursting with citrus and tropical fruit. Again I pick up the mango and sweet pineapple, and this is what helps the beer stand out from the crowd. Another great thing to observe is how well-balanced this beer is. A lot of highly ranked American IPAs are purely an all-out hop assault on the tongue, which isn't exactly a fine example of the craft. The mama has a large sweet malt backbone which reels in the bitterness a touch, and adds a delightful subtlety. Light body and moderate carbonation also combine to make this beer disappear far too quickly.

How does it compare to the other highly-regarded IPAs I've been lucky enough to try? Its definitely up there, and on a par with Surly's Furious and Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye. For once, the beer lives up to the hype.

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Photo of aglose45
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery growler, courtesy of user0317, cheers!

A: Beautiful golden brown color, with a very nice off-white, frothy head. Left a thick film of lacing around the glass as well.

S: Strong citrus note consisting of orange , lemon, and a hint of grapefruit. I also picked up some grassy, earthy notes as well. Not the citrus last I am accustomed to, but I enjoyed it none-the-less.

T: This is a more balanced IPA, when compared to the west coast hop bombs that I usually pursue, but the flavor pleasant regardless. The first thing that I noticed was the bitterness. I enjoy a good bitter beer, and this is one of them. After I sifted through the bitterness I found some tart grapefruit with a hint of orange, and I also tasted a bit of pine flavor. Following the hop attack came the malts. For the most part I was getting some caramel and a hint of bread. As the beer progressed I found it to be a bit more bitter, very enjoyable.

M: This is a lighter bodied beer, which was pleasant, especially during these warmer months. There was a fair bit of stickiness left from the hops, but was also a very, VERY surprisingly smooth beer. Excellent carbonation for the style.

D: I've been trying to get my hands on this beer for awhile now, and am extremely happy to finally enjoy it, a whole growler of it!

While this is not a top two IPA in my opinion, it is still an excellent beer. Whether you prefer balanced IPA's or hop forward IPA's, this is a must try if you can get your hands on it!

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Photo of nrbw23
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a ever bit slightly hazy golden orange well maybe golden red color with an off white head. Head has great retention and leaves a tremendous amount of lacing.

S- Smells of citrus, grapefruit, pineapple and orange. A nice solid backbone of caramal malts is also very apparent.

T- Taste is grapefruit, pineapple, orange flavors and the hops are just plain awesome. There's a nice balance between the hops and caramel malts.

M- Medium in body and good amount of carbonation.

D- Wow this is an awesome beer and incredibly easy to drink.

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

Got this courtesy of StoutsnIPAs. Poured from a growler into a pint glass. It pours a nice copper color. A light tan 1 inch head forms and slowly reduces to a full coverage lacing with some islands.

The aroma includes nice pine and citrus notes combined with a pleasant floral/earthy component. A mild sweetness backs it up.

The taste is also good with a great balance of grapefruit/pine, with more earthy notes. A very nice sweetness balances it out and some spicy notes are also present.

The mouthfeel shows a light/medium body. Good carbonation makes the taste better and gives a clean feel to it. It is smooth and leaves a nice dryness on the upper and lower palate.

Overall, this is a great beer. The low ABV saves me as it is very easy to drink. It is well balanced for an American IPA and has great flavor. Yum!

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the stops on my cross-country tour.

Arrives a typical dark orange, nice stiff foam head that leaves sticky lacing down the glass.

Smells so fruity: mango, grapefruit, oranges - dashes of pine resin, hints of caramel sweetness.

The taste explains why this is the number 1 IPA in America. Big mango (really!), oranges, strong bitter, dry finish that blows your mind, dashes of citrus, a hint of the sweet malt backing that is hidden behind the hops. You could swear this is a big ABV IPA.

Bright carbonation, bold body. This IPA has the whole meal deal. I could drink this all night - and probably will.

Edit: Also growler brought back. The thing to say about this beer is balance. Balance between hops, balance with the malts, complexity of flavors - damn near perfect.

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

Finally got around to making it out to Town Hall to give this mammoth a shot. I've been meaning to for quite sometime, but never had time or company to go with. I finally made it today when my girlfriend picked me up from work and took me out for dinner and a brew.

As soon as I sat down I knew what I was ordering. Masala Mama please. Food? Eh, doesn't matter, as long as I get my beer. I ended up settling on a Seven Corners Burger (good choice).

Served in a pint glass, this one is a clear orange-amber color. Beautiful. I looked around me, nearly everyone had one. Had a nice one finger off-white head. Healthy carbonation and impressive lacing.

The aroma is strong on citrus fruits, mostly grapefruit. Lots of hop bitterness and a surprising amount of sweet malts. Great balance. This one is a treat to drink in with the nose.

The first sip...ah...nirvana. I love the bitter grapefruit citrus sweet maltiness combination. Finishes clean with the nice lingering taste of quality hops. You can definitely tell this is fresh. It better be, it only traveled a few feet from the brewery to my mouth!

Clean, full bodied and well crafted, you can't ask for much more. I truly consider myself lucky that I can come here after work and get a pint for $3.75 (during happy hour). All this time, and I never really appreciated the gravity of the situation, that one of the most highly regarded beers was just a few blocks away from my university, my work and my home.

This isn't the best IPA I've ever had, but it is certainly up there. I have no problems with this brew being rated 10th in the world (on this site). It is an extremely well crafted beer, and something I plan on enjoying for quite some time.

Now, the next step is to try more of there brews, maybe Mango Mama, or there Hefe.

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 1,374 ratings
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