Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
1,375 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,375 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of ratedz
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber/copper color with about a 3/4 inch white head. The head dissipated relatively quickly and left a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

The nose is full of grapefruit and pineapple as well as some piney hops. Some malty sweetness is present in the background, but the hops are the main focus here.

Taste starts off with some bitter pine notes and sweet citrus hop notes. The hops are balanced nicely by the malts.

Mouth feel is smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. The relatively low ABV and excellent taste make this an incredibly drinkable beer.

 585 characters

Photo of zhanson88
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to try this beer when I made it to Town Hall.

Appearance: Deep copper color with amber highlights. This is pretty dark for an IPA. A bit less than a finger of snow white head that sticks around as nice lacing.

Smell: There are nice scents of pine, with quite a bit of grapefruit and citrus. Very fresh and pleasant.

Taste: Very nice amounts of grapefruit and citrus followed by nice resinous piney hops. Not as intense as other IPAs that I've had, but still good.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Smooth as hell, with a slightly higher than light body. Very fine carbonation that results in a very smooth beer. Overall it is certainly a good IPA, but not mind blowing. Definitely worth the trip to go and indulge.

 721 characters

Photo of seeswo
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been told that this is the best Midwest IPA out there and had to give it a try. Thanks goto my wife for grabbing the growler while she was in the area and keeping good care of it for the trip back.

From the initial pour, I can see that it is a bit darker than I expected, reminding me of Surly Furious (which would be tops, in my opinion and experience in the race for top Midwest IPA). On the initial sip, I can tell that this is not Furious. It is not as spicy as Furious (though Spicier than some IPAs), but has a slightly more robust pine quality. Neither of these are your citrus IPAs, that's for sure.

Consider this through the lens that I really was not feeling all that well when I had it and struggled through the last half of the glass, but I thought this beer was really good, but not great. I prefer Furious for its over-the-top robustness, though Masala Mama tastes more like an IPA as I have traditionally come to understand it. I still think it is worth grabbing a growler if you are passing through the city, I am just not so sure I would trade for one.

 1,077 characters

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

On cask at the brewpub today.

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, showcasing considerable orange citrus, a touch of earthiness and a hint of sweet malt. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though I also get some tropical fruit flavor as well in this flavorful, fairly dry IPA. The beer has a fairly long finish, with some moderate, attractive bitterness. The beer has something of a soft mouthfeel, which I attribute to the cask conditioning. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol well integrated into the flavor profile.

I confess I remain a bit puzzled by this beer. While it's certainly a well made, attractive IPA, I could easily name 20 or 30 I like better. Also, as has been noted before, some IPA's benefit from cask conditioning, and some don't. In my humble opinion, this IPA definitely falls into the latter category (sampled this side by side with the CO2 version, and definitely preferred this IPA on the gas). This is a solid IPA, no doubt, but it's hardly anything to get wildly excited about. I just don't get it.

 1,118 characters

Photo of subheroic1234
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
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.


 859 characters

Photo of EwaldEichstaett
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on on-tap at the brewery. It is essentially a perfect example of the American IPA. My only problem was that it was its flavour almost one dimensional and predictable.

Excellent looking pour. The smell was a mostly pine, citrus spice hop with some fruity overtones. The body was creamy, yet mixed with a strong carbonation. I only wish there was a bit more depth to the brew.

The beer was treading a fine line between great and uninspired... For it to be such a high rated beer, I think there should be a bit more character...

I would really like to try the mango version of this beer. Perhaps the sweetness of the mango would add some depth...

 657 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the brewery before my flight back home. Poured into a pint glass. Review from notes. Had this from a growler a few times and loved it, so I figured the cask version is a must try.

5.0 A: Lightly hazed orange amber color. One finger of super creamy white head with excellent retention and lots of lacing.

4.5 S: Smells a lot like the regular version only has a stronger fruitiness (which may instead be because it is fresh, rather than from a couple day old growler), woodiness, and pleasant yeastiness. Full of C hops - orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango.

5.0 T: Mixture of tropical fruits listed in nose. Some caramel maltiness. Moderate bitterness which is less apparent than the regular. Woody and yeasty.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Super creamy and super smooth. This would be a bit better with a touch more body.

5.0 D: Really great beer to begin with, but absolutely excellent on cask. IPAs are perfectly suited for cask. The added woodiness (yes, I know it isn't from a wooden cask, but that's the flavors that come through in any vessel) and yeastiness are great.

 1,110 characters

Photo of Macky20
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Kbutler1 for this growler... I appreciate it Kevin!
This was consumed a couple months ago, but I made good notes and really enjoyed it.

Poured from growler into pint glass. Aroma consists primarily of pine, but a great citrus aroma as well. Small amount of head, but with good consistancy. Beer is a dark tan in appearance with little transparency.

Big hop bite in this one, which I love. Just sweet enough with the malt, but a dry finish leaving a bitterness on the back of the tongue. The bitterness isn't bad, but it's very evident.

Thinner than I would have though, but then again... I did go through this growler a little fast :) Bold IPA, which I think is why I'm a fan.

 693 characters

Photo of ccrida
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! On draught at the brewery, Masala Mama is dull orange with a small off-white head that leaves scattered, foamy lace.

Smell is pretty hoppy, more on the woodsy pine side of the house, spicey, a bit of sweetness.

Taste is quite good. Nice fruitiness, but not cloying or overly citrusy. Pine resin, a restrained bitterness that mostly lingers on the aftertaste, and a hint of biscuit malt (not nearly as much as I expected by the color). Something about it is very thirst quenching, I could guzzle these all night long.

Mouthfeel is smooth, dry, with a nice, light body.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is a solid IPA. Not the most aggressive by any stretch, but definitely in the west coast style, and most importantly, fresh! While it wouldn't cause a stir in Portland, I assume the hopheads of MN are happy to have it. And it is very drinkable...if I didn't limited time in town to work through their line-up, I'd be having lots of these!

 957 characters

Photo of callmescraps
3.65/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been wanting to try this beer since I've been a member of this site. A highly rated IPA? Sounds up my alley. A buddy scored a growler in a trade, we proceeded to have at it.

Appearance- Clear and copper. A slightly off-white soapy head. Laces.

Smell- A nice fruitiness. Good hop burst. Plenty of tropical fruits, mangoes, apricots, a tad subdued.

Taste- Too much fucking malt. Sorry. It starts with plenty of earthy, piney hops. It's very bitter. The tropical fruit doesn't come through on the taste. Bitterness plus more malt than I'd prefer. Just not the way I like this style.

Mouthfeel- It's a little syrupy, which can be nice.

Drinkability- Had a glass. Then had a second. Didn't ask for a third, and wouldn't bother trading for it.

Just not my style. I love IPAs and DIPAs, but this is a little maltier, less fruitier than I prefer. More for everyone else I guess.

 888 characters

Photo of malty
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired this growler from an EXCELLENT trader, maximum12, at the Great Taste of the Midwest on Aug. 13th, but it's been stored in my fridge ever since.

Poured into my scientific Sam Adams glass a brilliantly clear perfect copper color with a settled 1/2" light beige head. Minimal visible uprising carbonation, even with the snazzy scientific etching on the inside bottom of the glass. Nice smattering of lacework all the way down the glass.

More of a malt-forward nose, maybe due to the age of this sample. A few swirls of the glass evokes an iced tea like aroma. Not much hoppiness detected so far. A hint of vanilla creme in the nose as well.

The hops are definitely tasted upon initial quaff, although they are very damp and earthy tasting, not zesty, zippy or floral. A bit of caramel hides in the background while the rustic hop profile continues to satisfy and steal the show.

The body if a solid medium with a very low amount of carbonation, but still remains airy and creamy. The chalky bitterness lingers in the back of my mouth with just a tinge of biscuit flavor.

Drinkabilty is very high as this IPA is very unintrusive and friendly.

Overall an IPA that I'm very glad I scored a growler of and shared with a good friend, churchKey. The flavors remind me of exactly how many MANY samples of this at The Great Taste, so I'm thinking this didn't suffer too bad with 2 1/2 months of age IMHO.

 1,410 characters

Photo of thetomG
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mostly clear amber color with some a layer of sticky foam that leaves spotty lacing all around the glass.

Aroma is great - nice bitter hops. Flavor is similar, but somehow not quite as appealing as the smell - still very nice though.

Carbonation is right where you'd expect and the resulting mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth - not too thick or thin.

This is a very tasty IPA, and something I'd definitely drink again.

 423 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one straight from the source while in town for Darkness Day. Reviewed from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass with 1 finger of frothy, sticky, white head with great retention. Beer is a semi-cloudy reddish-orange. Lacing is extravagant. Great legs and excellent stick that displays a beautiful cascade pattern.

S: Nose is pine, citrus, ruby red, brown sugar. Not the most aromatic but very well balanced with a pronounced sweetness and a clean hop presence.

T: Opens with a mouthful of hops. Pine and astringent bitterness assault the palate. Bark, big citrus characteristics. Good balance towards the middle as a nice sweetness fades in. Sappy, sticky finish. Bitter, stick, resiny hop aftertaste that clings to the cheeks.

M: Light bodied and well carbonated. Makes this one lively in the mouth at the beginning and smoothing out as it warms. Goes down slightly tingly. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that is sticky and lingers.

D: One of the best IPAs ever? Probably not. Worth the hype? Definitely. This is up there with among probably the top 5 IPAs that I've come across. Great balance with a big, bold, hop presence. Real nice and mellow in the mouth, and super drinkable. Wish they'd consider bottling this some day so others can enjoy the experience!

 1,280 characters

Photo of duece27
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

 390 characters

Photo of punkrkr27
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orangish-copper pour with a big, loose, white head. Loads of mango, melon and citrus in the aroma, with notes of yeast, toffee, lemon zest, and orange zest. The flavor follows through from the aroma with lots more mango and melon dominating. There's a bit of resinous pine and a distinct dankness in there too. There is also just some slight perceptible alcohol on the finish as well. The body is medium-full and dry with soft carbonation.

 439 characters

Photo of hophead247
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a million Brandon....This doesn't look like it was poured from a growler that traveled half way across the country just several hours ago. Aroma of citrus rind, grapefruit some bready notes from the malts and even some a slight touch of piney hops as well. Medium to fuller bodied with average carbonation and a slight bitter finish. Flavor of fresh floral hops, grapefruit, citrus rind and some earthy notes mixed in there as well. One of the most balanced IPA's I've ever had the chance of enjoying.

 508 characters

Photo of hiphopipa
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to mothman for this growler!

Poured into my beloved Sebago Brewing tulip.

A: Pours a clear medium copper with red/orange highlights.
S: Inviting aromatic piney hops with tropical and bigger caramel malt notes.
T: Complex and full flavored! Very nicely balanced hops and malts.
Tastes sweet and malty at first taste and then transitions to a nice dry bitter finish of dominant hop resin.
M: Smooth, creamy with soft carbonation and a sticky finish.
D: This is exactly what I was looking for and could drink it all day. Absolutely excellent & perfect example of a well thought out and balanced IPA. Very Victory Hop Devil-ish, I love it!

I'll be raving about this one for a long, long time. Nice pic Ben, right on point.

 740 characters

Photo of MsMandy
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep amber color, nice lacing, thick creamy head

S- Bitter grapefruit

T- Starts off with a light caramel flavor, strong bitter grapefruit middle and super bitter finish. Acidic aftertaste that lingers.

M- Medium body, well carbonated, even from growler

D- I'm not a hop-head yet, so this was difficult for me to drink because of the excessive bitterness. I could see how a true IPA drinker would love this, and maybe someday I will too. :)

 448 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to the world class Translucent for this one. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice amber color with a thin white head and thin lacing. The smell is great, nice piney hops with a solid malt backbone. A faint aroma of sweet caramel with a bit of tropical juiciness. The taste is upfront with hops and leaves a nice bitter finish. The hops compliment the rest of the flavor profile pretty well. The malt comes through nicely with a slight juiciness. The body is very light with good carbonation. Very drinkable beer, I'd love to get more of this stuff.

 562 characters

Photo of domtronzero
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Biglobo8971 for this! I've been dying to try this, so here it goes...

A - Clear deep orange copper with a huge rocky ultra-long lasting frothy white head. Tons of lacing.

S - Clean caramel and bready malts. Light citrusy and piny hops. Little bit of fruity esters, but otherwise very clean.

F/M - Piny hops and bready malts with a touch of caramel. Very well balanced IPA. Medium bodied. Moderately high hop bitterness with a clean finish without any astringency. Moderate CO2.

D - Great. Clean, refreshing and easy drinking.

 543 characters

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

Poured from the growler into my Duvel tulip. Got this in a trade with chixdighops. Thanks!

A - Nice orange/amber body with a big white head. Nice lacing on the glass as well.

S - Nice piney/floral aroma with a hint of sweetness

T - mostly a piney hop flavor with a solid malt backbone to try to balance it out a bit. The malt mostly does it's job balancing but the hops win out in the end. While pine is the dominant flavor I get from the hops I am also getting a nice citrus bite as well.

M - fair amount of carbonation, a slight stickyness, medium bodied

D - Pretty drinkable. Nice hop flavor but not hop dominating like a standard west coast ipa. I'm glad I got to try this one and wouldn't ind drinking it again but won't seek it out.

 743 characters

Photo of dougofthefuture
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this a few times on cask - I finally took some notes recently. I don't mean to be a homer, but I'm finally ready to declare this beer (on cask) perfect.

A - A toasted copper color with a nice creamy head. It is clear carbonation is minimal, but lots of lacing makes it very attractive.

S - The hops dominate the nose, but remain very mellow. Lots of fruit - orange, marmalade, and just enough bready malt quality.

T&M - Rich balanced hops from start to finish. This beer tastes amazingly fresh without being at all biting. The mouthfeel is absolutely amazing. There is very little carbonation, but it is so creamy and balanced between the resiny hops and dry malt backbone.

D - This is a masterpiece. I really like the regular version, but the cask brings it to an entirely new level.

 797 characters

Photo of ballz50401
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 64oz. growler (filled 8/9/10) into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a reddish/copper with a big sticky head that retains itself very well and leaves great lacing around the glass. After every pour the head seems to get fluffier and fluffier. Very nice looking IPA!

Smell: Very bold aroma. Huge hop character with grapefruit, mango, and pine. A very good blend of caramel malts balance things up.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Full frontal explosion of American hops. A nice hop combination of the cirtus and pine variety. Nice firm caramel backbone balances things out perfectly. This has a meduim mouthfeel and finishes with a crisp hop bitterness.

Drinkability: This brew surprises me everytime I consume it. What a great IPA. Very easy to drink. Strong aroma and flavor. This represents what a great American IPA should be.

 842 characters

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

Growler (filled 8/11/10) shared with all in attendance at the September BA tasting in Austin...many thanks to ballz50401 for the trade!

Masala Mama pours well, with a rustic copper body that's clear and shows a healthy dose of carbonation. Great retention and sticky lacing make for an all around visually-pleasing brew. Aroma brings forth herbal notes of pine needles and green hop cones, with a touch of citrus and caramel malts. Not the strongest nose on an IPA I've come across, but it gets the job done.

Flavor picks up the pace, lending a clean bitterness that drips with hop resin and citrusy grapefruit notes. Tropical fruit esters of pear and peach interplay with a crisp pale maltiness and a hint of caramel. Hop flavor bursts across the tongue and lingers long into the finish. Body is crisp and nicely carbonated with a medium-thin consistency...very satisfying. Masala Mama is a hype-worthy IPA that drinks wayyy too easily. Superb stuff!

 953 characters

Photo of squaremile
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had thanks to writerljberg at a recent BA tasting.

Pours a golden orange. Nose is full of citrus hops, but seemed a tad subdued from what I read previously. Taste is all citrus. Mango, tangerine, grapefruit, passionfruit, and a touch of pine creates a new dimension after the citrus fades. Finish is soft and dry with a touch of bitterness. Very smooth. A lovely beer.

 369 characters

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 1,375 ratings
  • About Us

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

    Learn More
  • Our Community

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

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

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