Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

1,374 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,374 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of Romulux
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is soft, velvety, seductive. A Nordic goddess if you will. Some piney notes on the smell, but subtle. Our goddess is into seduction and doesn't want to reveal too much, until you are in the web. Mouthfeel is amazing on cask. Creamy and smooth, this temptress is teasing you, but she delivers in the end. Taste is subdued yet powerful, we are not getting hit over the head here, like a west coast IPA. This woman is the total package.

Please, keep in mind. I am talking about this beer on cask, only. I enjoyed it on tap, but cask turns it into one of the best beers I have ever had.

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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

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

Growler thanks to BDR (thanks Brad!). Pours a clear amber with a thick white head. Aroma of grassy hops, a touch of citrus, and sweet malt. Flavor is similar--mostly malty with nice bitterness in the finish. Sturdy palate. Not as citrusy as I like my IPAs, but I can't deny that this was a tasty one!
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

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

Poured from 64oz growler to pint glass.

A: Pours a perfectly transparent copper body with a large puffy off-white head with amazing retention and la good amount of lacing, wish I could have given it a perfect 5 but lacing only made it down about half the glass. I did love pouring this one every time my glass was empty, the head is just beautiful when first poured.

S: Smells strong hops along with orange, grapefruit, and caramel malt along with a sugary note.

T: Tastes citrus hops with a grapefruit note turning into a decent amount of caramel maltiness accompanied by a sugar taste with an almost earth tone to it eventually turning into a bitter pine finish with hints of grapefruit peel. I won't say that this is the best beer that has ever touched my mouth, but for a standard American IPA this is above and beyond what I ever expected.

Overall: Good mouthfeel, well carbonated and medium in body with a nice oily feel as it warms up the carbonation comes out a bit more. Drinkability is amazing, I'm at about half a growler now but the entire thing will be no problem. Amazing beer, best of the style.

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

This is one of the best beers Ive ever had. It is well crafted, perfect for the style and supremely enjoyable.

Pours a crisp clear copper color, with a big rocky head that leaves a thick lace all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Smells like fresh hops, american citrus type hops, Im not good enough to pick them out.

Taste is pure bliss, Its crisp, and clean, the hops are there in spades and the malt sets a nice stage for them to be displayed, I simply love this beer. I'm glad to have this growler all to my self.

Smooth, clean, with a bit of carbonation on the way down.

I would recommend anyone in the twin cities area seek this out. GO TO TOWNHALL.

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Photo of BLACKOUT0213
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
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 brow1901
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On cask at town hall earlier tonight. I want to start by saying that this is one the best beers ever.

A- The beer is pale amber red in color with a perfect two finger white head. The head dies only slightly, and sticks around throughtout the entire beer. The lacing that this beer leaves is so impressive, I couldn't even see through the glass it was so thick. When the beer first arrived the carbonation was beautiful, it created this wonderful cascading effect that made the beer look like it was separating colors.

S- The smell on this beer was wonderful, but not overly impressive. Hops are the dominating smell, the malt is there but its hard to detect.

T- Taste is super. The hops are not overpowering, they hit your tongue but it's not a hop bomb. The beer had less citrus (grapefruit) flavor and less pine flavors than I would have expected. The beer finishes dry. The mouth feel is perfect, the creamyness is wonderful in the mouth. I think the extra carbonation gives it a lighter body that is extra enjoyable.

D- This beer goes down easily, especially from the cask. The alcohol content isn't super high but these ones go down quick, pace yourself.

I don't know how anyone could resist such an excellent beer served at perfect temp with great mouthfeel. It's worth the extra buck!

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Photo of jjanega08
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A= deep brown color almost orange but darker. Two finger head rises from it with great lacing all the way down. Good head retention is noticed as well
S= Grapefruit, pine and regular hop odors. you can notice some of the caramel grain used as well. A little sweet pineapple smell is also noticed
T= Bitter in a different way. Tastes a lot like the juice from an orange peel. Pine, grapefruit and orange. Some of the caramel malt comes through but not nearly as much as in the nose.
M= perfect.
D= really amazing beer. Love this one. Smooth and crisp yet challenging to the pallet very well crafted beer. If they could take the ABV down just a little it would be an amazing session beer.

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Photo of WilliamD
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a perfect amber into my pint glass. Nice, creamy two-finger head that slowly recedes throughout the drink.
Smells of hops & pine. Slight citrus aroma as well.
Very tasty. Very well-balanced as well, I must say. Some pine, hops, malt, pineapple, what not. Moderate level of bitterness.
Crisp, fresh mouthfeel. Slightly dry, and in a good way.
Quite drinkable. I'll be finishing this growler, and then cabbing to a buddy's place who most likely has nothing but Coors light on hand. I'll be bringing a sixer of single-wide IPA along. And I'll share with anyone who asks.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many cheers go out to justn for this growler.

Pours a beautiful copper with very active carbonation in my Sam Adams sensory glass. The head is of white and thick - and has stuck around quote a while.

Scent is very citrusy hops with a hint of pine. Very sweet in the nose and quite profound a character for a single ipa.

Taste is also quite distinctive for a regular ipa. Very smooth bit still citrus bitter, no sign of alcohol. This is an ipa lovers ipa.

Mouth is medium both in carbonation and body.

Extremely drinkable.. Shame to have to finish this growler myself, but at least that won't be an issue. Is this the best regular ipa? Probably, at least of those I have had. Does it belong in the top 20? I don't know that by definition any ipa couldnmeet that standard, but certai my as of pertains to style, this is the head of it's class.

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

Thanks to deliriumfest for the growler hookup.

A - Pours a radiant combination of amber and orange. The head is a shade away from white and tops out at an inch or more with each pour. Retention is better than expected. Some lacing remains in the glass. This is a very nice looking beer.

S - Pine sap and resin radiate from this one in abundance. Some of the sweeter fruity hops come in to back it up. I'm picking up orange and tangerine. A nice sugary caramel aroma comes through at the end and gets matched with a hint of bread. No alcohol can be found in the nose.

T - Pine comes through in the flavor pretty strong. It is quickly followed by some grapefruit. The hop profile has achieved quite a lovely balance of flavors. The bitterness level is close to perfect. Malt is present but stays relegated to the background to let the hops shine. Caramel and a touch of darker fruit are just perceptible at the very end. Alcohol is also missing from the flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a nice carbonation level. Finish is bitter and hangs on to the palate for just long enough.

D - Drinkability is very good. The low abv and tons of flavor keeps this one interesting throughout. Kind of tough to put the glass down actually. The hop flavors turned are wonderful and the balance is just right in my book. Score "one" for Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery. Highly recommended brew.

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Photo of prototypic
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many, many thanks to csmiley for generously sharing the growler.

Appearance: It's a light golden brown color. It's clear and not hazy at all. The head is vanilla in color and maybe a finger and a half deep. It stuck around longer than I expected and left a nice lacing on the glass. It's a solid looking beer, but nothing about it really dazzles in any way.

Smell: The nose is nothing short of excellence. One could make an argument that it's the standard for what an American IPA nose should be. It's very good, but I'm not ready to go that far. There's loads of citrus sweetness initially. It's the typical gambit of pineapple, grapefruit, and orange. Hops smell pretty aggressive and waste little time taking over the nose. They're very citric and piney smelling and exemplary for the style. I haven't encountered an American IPA that tops this one in the hops department, at least as far as the nose goes. There's some light, sweet caramel malt that emerges and gives me a little pause. It's tough to tell how much effect that will have on the hops. I'm close to awarding a "5," but it's not quite perfect. The malts are just a little too pronounced.

Taste: The flavor is nothing short of excellent as well. This really is an incredibly well built American IPA. It is citrusy and sweet. Grapefruit, pineapple, orange flavors are nice and refreshing. The hops are something else though. They have an excellent citric and piney flavor. It's aggressively bitter, but damn it tastes good. Tastes like there's a mix of caramel and toasted malts. But, they really add a nice dimension to the flavor and do not detract from the strong hop attack at all. I couldn't have asked for any better in an IPA. I was fearful after smelling it that the malts would be a little too much. But, my fears have been relieved. Alcohol is not even close to noticeable. It finishes toasty, bitter, and very dry. There isn't a great deal of depth here. But, what is here is excellent. Not perfect, but excellent.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a really nice, smooth feel. Carbonation is active, but doesn't impede its smooth feel in any way. I'm not ready to call it creamy or lush, but it is nicely done. Drinkability is really off the charts. It's extremely tasty and goes down way too easy. At 5.9% abv, it's extremely inviting and not to dangerous. I'm splitting this growler, but would've happily tackled one by myself. Yes, it is that good.

Masala Mama is clearly an excellent IPA. It's easily among my favorites for the style. There really isn't a single flaw that's material enough to warrant a lot of discussion. It really is that solid all the way around. I think the degree of malt flavor really keeps it from being a "perfect" American IPA. It's not exactly a huge fault here, but it's enough to keep it from reaching a perfect flavor score. I guess I could perhaps also criticize Town Hall for not bottling and distributing Masala Mama. The world would be a better place if they would. But, I guess that doesn't really have anything to do with the beer. I'm just bitchin' to bitch obviously. Seek out a growler. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of LJArsenal
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
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 Buebie
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this growler today at the brew pub. Cap reads a sell by date of 3-11-09.
Turned the cap and hear it pop followed by a nice hiss.
Poured from the growler into my surly tulip. Its a transparent amber with a bit of chill haze. 1 inch tan frothy head leaving awsome gritty lace all down the glass.

Aroma is pungeant with hops, I smelled it the second I popped the cap. Floral hop aroma, super purfumy pine with good hang time. Buscuity bready aroma with sweet carmelly smells.

The taste upfront is a blasting of the pallet with sweet fruity breadyness, great malt backing. Loads of pine and a touch of citrussy grapefruit. The taste on this is very refreshing.
At the swallow hop bittering comenses, obliterating my pallet. A long crisp hop linger with an earthy pine and a hemp like flavor.

Moutheel is crisp and clean, carbonation abundance, but not overwhelming. Its not thick by any means, its just right for the style.

This is a textbook example of what an IPA should be. Delicious!

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of all, let me state that I am trying this beer after a four day shipping period. It might have lost some of it's freshness, and I will try to be as fair as possible. Best by date is 2-26, so this one should be ready to tango.

Appearance - Orange amber in color and a little bit clearer than I thought it was gonna be. Head is a dark white creamy color, and is a pretty thick coating of head. Lacing is a patchwork of beauty.

Smell - This one must have died a bit, cause I can't smell much of anything. A tender bit of citrusy hops. I really believe that if this was sampled at the brewery it would yield a heavy handed smattering of hop aroma. Even after 5 days a faded hop bite is still noticeable.

Taste & Mouthfeel - This is so sad it crushes my soul. This beer has indeed somewhat softened, but I can tell exactly what it's trying to be. It's almost like finding an artifact thats been damaged over time and wondering what it was like when it was fresh and beautiful. I know this would be a beast fresh! Hopy and citrusy with a toasted malt backbone. A caramel taste gives it a touch of sweetness to blend with the bitterness of the hops. Even though it has faded it still wants to pop in my mouth and pucker my tongue.

Drinkability - In all fairness I can see this being an incredible IPA fresh. So easy to tell what it is and where it's trying to go even after 5 days in a growler across country. When i'm near Minnesota I will certainly make sure to stop in, and try it out the tap.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Compliments to skinnyguy for the hookup...

The appearence is a deep rusty copper color with a nice white head that settled in quite nicely. The lacing is thick around the edges.

The nose is delicious. It has wonderful citrus hops, maybe grapefruit, piney hops, and a smooth caramel malt.

The taste is perfect. At first I get a little hop citrus sweetness, then a bitterness leading into smooth malt and then piney hop bitterness. The balance is just so even keel.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Its very pleasent refreshing.

The drinkability is perfect. This is so well balanced its just not right. Every flavor has its moment that shines and explodes in your mouth. I wish I lived in Minnesota with regular access. This was quite a treat. Thanks again to skinnyguy for the growler.

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Photo of calise1122
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Justin!

iTunes shuffle lands on John Coltrane - On Green Doplin Street, and away we go.

A rough pour yields a 50/50 split of body and head, the body looks amazing... not cloudy at all, somewhere between burnt orange and rusty red. Frothy off-white head slowly dissipates leaving thick cobwebs of lacing and crater like pockets on the surface. It looks great, but the smell... oh man, the smell is so sweet and strong. For some reason I am resisting the urge to dive in, and it hurts... it actually hurts as I hold myself back

Nose is firmly planted on the rim of the glass, letting the aroma of grapefruit, lemon, pineapple... yeah, lots of pineapple, tangerine, and other citric smells that remind me of a place I once was. This is what my perfect IPA would smell like. Minutes have passed, and gravity has caused this nose on the rim situation to turn uncomfortable... but what a smell...

As I tilt the glass for my first sip I notice that a clump of foam sliding up the glass... this isn't lacing, it's a pile of snow. Really cool

The flavor doesn't meet the expectations that the smell has set here. Not sure if it is to cold, or after the growler long trip thru snail mail caused the hops to thin a bit... but the smell set an almost unfair expectation. Now, all that said, it's a great tasting IPA... While the hops are DJing this party, the malt keeps trying to get a request in. Lots of lemon or grapefruit peel, and on the finish I am left bitter hops.

Mama is well carbonated, medium bodied and something I can drink easily. Really excited I finally got to try this, I shipped over a CL Imperial IPA in return and I think they are comparable... if I could take this smell with CL's taste, it may be my dream IPA.

I still can't get over how good this beer smells.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to BgThang for sharing his growler.
Poured a deep orangey color with a billowy 2 finger head.
Incredible lacing on the glass.
Smell: citrus hops, piney hops, caramel malt, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon.
Taste: Well balanced slightly bitter. carmel notes.
Mouthfeel: great moutfeel. dry finish
Drinkability: One of the most drinkable IPA's out there. I could polish the whole growler off myself.

Masala Mama deserves its place in the Best of BA. I wish it was available around here.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub while in town on business.

A: pours amber orange with white head and lots of lacing

S: hops, citrus, slight pine, slight grapefruit

T: just like the smell with moderate bitterness

M: what you'd expect and want from a good ipa

D: super session beer!

Reminds me of sn celebration ale but refined

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this last night during the SB. We had a growler and split it 4 ways. It pours and nice amber color. The scent is floral and citrus hops, with a hint of acid from the hops as well! It was a well balanced beer with a touch of honey sweetness to it. IT was good, but I like Furious a touch better. This is a good beer though and it's easy to drink for sure.

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Photo of caskstrength
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at brewery a few times.

nice pour, orange, almost clear. 1/2 inch white head. typical IPA look.

smell is typical IPA. citrus. pine. Nice, but nothing unique or spectacular.

taste is an easy drinking, citrusy and piney IPA. not too thick, not too thin, just right. Some batches I get more butter and floral notes than I prefer, other times it's only crisp pine/citrus. Some batches are maltier than others as well.

very drinkable. want another when the glass is done. I think that's my favorite part about the beer.

A solid and refreshing IPA.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one hell of a beer. I got this in a trade. A fresh from the pub growler. About one week old.

The color is that of dark amber. Not entirely red though, more of a hazy orange. It has the possibility of pouring a three and a half finger head, really beautiful. The head is white, and never goes away. Once drank, the brew leaves a medium sticky lace.

The smell is amazing. You get some fresh citrus hops. Really great. Smelling some fruits other than citrus, maybe a type of berry. Cannot really specify what fruit is in this, but smells excellent, especially with the hops aroma just knocking you around.

The taste is exquisite. Just a great mouthfeel with incredible drinkability. Tastes like hops and just a really good IPA. It gives you that hop punch that I really respect with IPA's, but it is incredibly drinkable, more than most brews. Overall I am going to try and get some more growlers to share. Really exciting brew and understand why it is in the top ten.


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Photo of BgThang
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to tyroanderso for these growler. I am reviewing from notes as this was sent to me and consumed 4 months ago.

The appearance is yellow slightly hazed with a good head that lingered around the entire time.

The nose is that of slight pine, citrus, lemongrass. alot of the things you expect in a solid IPA.

This beer has a lot of hype behind it and is rated on BA as the top IPA. It is well deserving of this. Although not as balanced as the alesmith IPA it is certainly damn good.

The mouth feel. this hit with a tingle that starts out slow then emerges on the back end. Its almost like a light pale ale then when you finish the bite comes in so slightly.

This is a beer that even the hop haters would love.

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Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sample from a growler at Capone's in Norristown, PA. Graciously poured by Matt from a growler generoulsy provided by Frank.

A: Clear, deep orange/amber body. Lacing left on the legnth of the glass.

S: Full of citrusy and floral hops.

T: Again, plenty of hops. Nice citrusy, grapefruit bitterness.

M: Light to medium body. Crisp and clean.

D: Good and very easy to drink.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler: Poured a deep orangey color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and great lacing. Aroma of citrus hops with a nice mix of caramel malt and a nice bitter aftertaste. Taste is also a very well balance mix between some some c-hops citrus notes with some floral undertones and deep caramel malt. Full body with great carbonation. Very well done but I still thinks its lacks the grapefruit punch that I really look for in this style.

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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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