Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

BA SCORE
96
world-class
1,369 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
Ratings:
1,369
Reviews:
679
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
877
Gots:
90
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,369 |  Reviews: 679
Photo of number1bum
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh growler shared by mymrnngjckt at a recent tasting.

Poured a somewhat hazy burnt orange color. Nice creamy head that kept really well.

Smell was full of grapefruit and pine, with tons of both. Pithy grapefruit and fresh spruce sprigs.

Likewise with the taste, with a ton of grapefruit flavor and so much pine that I felt like I was munching on a spruce branch, but in a good way. Nice amount of bitternes and just a ton of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and quite dry in the finish with the herbal hop bitterness. Prickly, active carbonation as well.

This was my first time having Masala Mama and it did not disappoint. So drinkable and so tasty. Great beer.

 679 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this courtesy of barleywinefiend at last night's central coast BA gathering. Thanks Josh!

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pour yielded a big, white, sticky, bubbly head that retained well and drug tons of lacing. Body is crystal clear and ruby-amber. Awesome!

Smell: Huge herbal hops! Wow! I also catch whiffs of toasted bread, whole grains, and grapefruit, but this smell is all about sweet, herbal hops. I got very close to giving this a 5.0.

Taste: Toasted whole grains and piney hops, along with lighter contributions from lemon, grapefruit, salt, and wood. Finishes dry and bitter. Not as sweet as I had hoped, but solid.

Mouthfeel: Prickly and oily, but finished dry and clean. Body is on the lighter side, and carbonation is moderate. Feels fresh. Sturdy bitterness. Great!

Drinkability: Pretty light and very hop-centric. I'd like a little more sweetness, but that's about it. This is a great IPA!

 920 characters

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

Poured a light orangish color with good carbonation. Nose is outstanding. Fresh hops, floral, dry itterness and caramel. Taste is very smooth and subtle. Floral notes, just enough hop bittering, balanced, light booze. Mouthfeel is a bit think, dry and floral. Very drinkable.

 275 characters

Photo of pdoran10
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally made it over to Town Hall to try this one this holiday season with family.

This beer was the first thing on my mind when I walked through the heavy oak front door even though I hadn't eaten in six hours. Ordered one right away from our server who was excited that someone was getting this great beer. Haha, he's getting me even more interested. The waiter came back quickly with a pint of this. It was dark amber in appearance with a bit of lacing on the top of the glass that looked like it was from a decent amount of head, but no head was left.

The smell was surprisingly not that strong considering the beer's dark color. I get a bit of citrus and some hops nothing spectacular.

The taste is crisp and very clean. Again, citrus and a good amount of malt that is blended well. Very refreshing and not super flavorful but the flavor that is there is well done.

Mouth feel is good, about what to expect from an IPA not too thick, not too watery.

This beer really shines in it's drinkability. I like the taste a lot, but its not overwhelming at all and extremely sessionable. That reminds me, I need to go get the empty growler on my fridge refilled with this soon. Great beer.

 1,194 characters

Photo of billab914
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to biniek13 for sending me a growler of this and crossing another off my want list. Poured from a growler into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. pours a dark amber color with a off-white half inch head. The head subsided but left a nice covering on top of the beer and left excellent lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by the pine and citrus from the hops. There are notes of Grapefruit and pineapple with a little sweetness. The taste is a lot like the nose only the sweetness is more present. The pine, grapefruit and pineapple all come through along with a moderate bitter finish. I love the sweetness to it, it's not overdone and the bitterness helps balance it out as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, it's not going to take the two of us long to finish this growler. It's very good tasting and at a pretty decent abv% that makes it even more drinkable. I would drink this beer all the time if it were possible. I was slightly worried that this was a "hype" beer and not worth going out of my way to get a growler, but I am very happy I did. Easily one of my favorite IPA's

 1,142 characters

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.4/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting to try this for a while and a final thanks to mnjeff for this!

The beer poured out darker than I imagined. Straight-up dark amber color. Smell was mainly hoppy. A piney hop scent mixed with a bit of spicyness. The head was normal. Lacing was normal for the style.

The taste had a crisp hop flavor right off the bat. A little bit of caramel malt shined through on the finish. Mouthfeel was nicely carbonated with a little creaminess.

This beer was insanely easy to drink, and that's what I like most about it. I just see this as an easy drinking IPA and nothing to rave about. It tasted good but I can name a ton of IPAs that I like more, many of which are accessible to me. If this was widely available I could see it getting lost in the shuffle. I'm still glad to have tried it though.

 807 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to BigDank for sending me this growler. Shared with my girlfriend's dad before Christmas dinner.

A: Poured from the growler to the glass to reveal a perfectly copper colored beer with a fluffy off-white head.

S: Lots of great grapefruit and pine aromas fill the nose. There is also a hint of sweet tropical fruit, such as pineapple and mango, on the finish.

T: The same great fruits that were present in the aroma are picked up on the tongue as well, but perhaps not quite as intense. There is also a nice bitterness on the finish.

M: Despite the long trip in the growler, this beer was still very well carbonated. A nice medium body on this beer.

D: This is definitely one of the more hoppy and aromatic IPAs that I've had from outside California. A very easy drinking, one, however. And at 5.9% ABV, it's not too tough to have a few glasses of.

 863 characters

Photo of photomike
3.35/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper in color ("like a penny," as noted by bulletrain76 Senior), with moderate wet lacing and minimal retention. "Meh."

Smells quite malty--very bready, with a nice wallop of herbal, pine hops.

Taste is surprisingly malty as well. This ain't your West Coast IPA, pal. Strongly bitter with more pine hops and a bit of mandarin orange/mango flavor. Tasty, but nowhere near a world-class IPA, IMO. There's nothing here that keeps me wanting more--simply a basic IPA that lacks balance and harmony.

Semi creamy and nicely carbonated, but somewhat light in the body. Not bad.

The light body and crisp finish makes this go down easy, but I'm not horribly interested in drinking more.

Far from worth trading for a growler, especially in the land where the Pliny flows in the streets like so much runoff. I hate to sound like an elitist, but I think the homers may have inflated the ratings for this one.

 912 characters

Photo of dpnelson1978
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz. growler into a glass pint.

$9.49 / ea.

40°F

S: Strong floral hop aroma with just the faintest grapefruit citrus. Difficult to discern any malt characteristics through the hop aromas, but that is part of the fun.

A: Clear deep straw body with a loose medium head that quickly subsides without significant lacing, and little to no cover.

T: The taste profile leans more toward citrus than the scent. A light caramel malt flavor makes an appearance, but the hops is the star here (and rightfully so). Great example of an American IPA.

M: Light body with medium to high carbonation. Extremely dry finish that lingers on the tongue and the roof of the mouth.

D: Very good beer that drinks even better with food to fight off the lingering bitterness. This style in particular is very hit and miss, but I could do it all night.

O: Great IPA. My family wasn't as enthusiastic, but I think they had a hard time with the distinctive scent and strong flavor. I'll be buying this again.

 990 characters

Photo of bulletrain76
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by bret27. Copper colored with a lasting white head. The aroma has a nice spread of fruity hops: peach, pineapple, citrus. There is also a sweet floral side and a hint of caramel. The flavor is mild on the bitterness, which is a little more apparent than IBU numbers might suggest due to a strong bready, crackery malt side. Fruity and floral hop flavors blend in pretty well, creating a pretty balanced overall package. Lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Lots of malt flavors for an IPA, with just enough hops to balance them out, but it is not a sweet beer, adding to a very drinkable, almost session-like presentation for the style. I would peg this more like a hoppy pale ale, but a fun beer with an interesting mix of flavors for the style.

 766 characters

Photo of bret27
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of dougofthefuture

S: pine, floral, sweet maltiness

A: clear, deep copper, med. white head

T: Piney floral hops, hops perfectly balanced w/malt tasting a bit like bread.

M: medium. perfect for style, malty bready fullness

D: good

Overall: Pretty darn good. Very balanced and drinkable ipa.

 312 characters

Photo of Casey10
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from supercolter was looking forward to trying this one for ahwile and did not disapoint.

A - Red copper hue with a huge head once poured from a growler to the glass.

S - Pine and a small amount of citrus, slight malts.

T - Nice balance smooth fresh hops and earthy tone make this a fantastic beer.

M - Leaves a nice lingering feel that stays with you after drinkng one.

D - I thought that the brew was nice becasue of the fact this would be hard to aquire on a regular basis it lowered the score some but nice none the same.

 548 characters

Photo of juhl31
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thank you to craig who brought this growler all the way back from the Minn.

-really dark for an IPA...like a lighter colored brown, solid head and lacing

-good malty smell with a touch of hops and some grapefruit for sure

-crazy malty for an IPA...like the maltiest i've had. really like an americanized english IPA based on decent hoping

-extremely smooth and really how it should be. easy and no real bite to it

-this maybe have ruined the next couple IPA's after this because it is so malty that i feel that is all i am going to notice for a bit. very tasty, but i wouldnt go to it regularly if i was in the mood for IPA

 628 characters

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

Made a special trip to Town Hall Brewery upon visiting my future in-laws. This destination beer, the rest of their quality brews and excellent decor make for a truly epic brewpub experience.

Had on tap and on cask. This review is for the on tap version.

Nice appearance. A deep gold to amber beer with a crowning head of two fingers of white solid head. The foamage quickly dissipated and yielded to substantive lacing that marked the tracks of consumed beer.

The nose is immediately citrus. Grapefruit, grapefruit and more grapefruit come up to meet my sniffer and I begin to wonder if there's anything more there. But at a second inhale I get a hit of bready malt and instantly change my opinion on this beer from a hop bomb to a 90 Minute-esque malt forward IPA.

Lovely mouthfeel. The liquid has a delightfully small carb bite to it that lets you know you're drinking a carbonated beverage but also enough body to make you think its important. Truly delightful.

This is what 90 Minute should be. The substantial malt character of this brew is immediately evident with a bready backbone, it's almost overwhelming at first and could use a slight reduction. That said, the hop follow through is nearly as potent. Citrusy notes of grapefruit and even lemony vibes parade across the tongue and clear out the bread to remind you that you are in fact drinking an IPA. Stunning.

I can see the breadiness of this beer getting in the way of a long session but the hop oils aren't cloying and can be tolerated in heavy doses. The surprisingly low ABV on the brew makes for easy consumption as well.

 1,597 characters

Photo of rpstevens
3.58/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of Faro, I've been itching to try this beer for a while, and I was a little disappointed. The beer pours a darker amber orange that I usually associate with imperial IPAs. There is a thick bone white frothy head that fades to a tight ring, leaving behind small traces of oily lacing.

The smell is a nice blast of citrus, lemons, oranges, orange peels and pineapple. There is also a small amount of pine resin and a nice background of caramel malt. The malt doesn't over power the hops, but it accentuates it nicely.

The flavors follow the smells exactly. The citrus notes (oranges, lemon zest, pineapple) hit the tongue first, followed by pine resin and a noticeable amount of caramel malt before the bitter hops come back and really kick it up a notch

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is spot on for the style. There is a nice dry finish from the hop bitterness, that really takes over at the end of the flavors. I think this one is a bit too heavy on the malt character, and there's just not enough hops for me. Glad I got to try it though.

 1,080 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a growler of this brew in a trade with feloniousmonk, Thanks a ton Al!

Served in a standard pint glass this brew is a hazed, amber color with a creamy beige head that left a nice sheet of lacing.
Wonderful aroma of piney and citrus hops.
Taste is very well balanced, lots of citrus hop with enough malt to make it absolutely delicious.
Medium bodied and very smooth which adds up to easy drinkability.

 408 characters

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

Got this in a recent trade, wanted to drink it while it's fresh but slowly to savor it so I have been nursing it slowly the past couple days. Thanks again, Brad!

Pours a murky orange with a little bit of head. Granted this growler has already been open from last night so I wasn't expecting big time carbonation and a huge head or anything but it still has a decent one. Enough for me, to be honest.

Smell is a huge hop aroma. Tons of hops come jumping out of my tulip glass and up my nose. They didn't go anywhere. I know it'd still be like this when I opened the growler again tonight because I was welcomed by a big hop aroma. It smells great. Also, some malts can be detected in there and really round out the smell. Is this really only 5.9%? It's hard to believe they got so much aroma out of a beer of this ABV

Taste is excellent. Everything that is in the smell is there. This is basically like taking a blend of hop juice and fermenting it.

As you sip the beer it caresses your throat with a medium body and just enough carbonation. It's great.

Drinkability is through the roof. Delicious hops and lower ABV. Doesn't get much better than this.

Man, if this were local this would be an amazing go-to beer. Not too much alcohol, TONS of hops and a smoothed out body that just keeps you kicking 'em back. All the flavor of a big DIPA without the alcohol is the best way to put it. Well done, Townhall! Wish I could get a growler of Mango Mama, I bet that'd be even better.

 1,485 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mistofminn for this one from the 8 Men In Baseball Playoff BIF.

A - Dark orange vergiung on a golden caramel color. Bright rust colore hues when held up to light. One finger foamy khaki coored head from a moderate pour. Quickly fadew to a thin ring of foam around the glass and leaves behind rather thick sheets of foam.

S - Lots of hops in the nose, primarily citrus. Grapefruit is the primary fruit that comes to mind. A little green apple as well. As it warms a little more pine and spruce come through. Throughout the drink there is an underlying caramel maltiness that is just barely noticeable but provides just enough balance in the nose.

T - Slightly abrasive bitterness up front with lots of grapefruit hoppiness. Hints of lemon zest as well and touches ofpine. The malt backing provides a faint caramel sweetness that is rather overwhelmed by the hops. A big mouthful of American hops with this one.

M/D - Medium bodied and a very lively carbonation. Bitterness is rather strong, but I like that in a big American IPA. Rather easy drinking.

 1,064 characters

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

This growler managed to make it all the way from Minnesota to Brooklyn in fine form. The pour is pretty. Fluffy white head and a deep amber color. Scents are punchy and lovely. Floral hop aromas with a mild sweetness. Hop flavors are mostly grapefruit which is not my favorite hop profile but I can't deny the tasty that lives in here. Plenty drinkable with an edge of a seltzer finish. I think I was expecting a bit more of an impact given all of the praise but this is indeed a fine friend. I would love to be able to get this on a regular basis fresh from the tap.

 567 characters

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

Made a bee-line to Minneapolis Town Hall when I got into town for Darkness Day. First serving was a Barrel Aged Grang Cru that was amazing (another story). I've had this from growler thanks to maximum12. This one from one of the cask engines. Pours a surprisingly cloudy and a dark shade of amber with better than full finger stiff chalky yellow head that resists fading, leaving sheets of Belgian lace behind. The smell is aggressive and an amazing sweet lemon-orange citrus combo. Slightly less carbonated than my growler, the mouth feel is medium bodied and creamy smooth. Full flavored, the taste isn't as sweet as the nose; the presence of citrus mix is overridden by oily notes of pine that linger nicely. At less than 6% ABV this one is a killer session.

 761 characters

Photo of discovolante65
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler....thanks Lordsloth!!
I was worried about the freshness on this one, but nothing to fear after having it.

Pours a blood orange with a nice inch and a half or so of slightly off-white head. Great legs/lacing. nice amount of carbonation.

Smells like fresh grapefruit with some other orange/citrus smells going on as well. Slight malt/honey smell with it too.

Taste is just awesome. Perfect amount of hops explosion that lingers but never gets too bitter. Great hop resin stickyness that is balanced out by some malt sweetness that is very reminiscent of honey on toast. I am happily surprised by the balance in this one.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Good medium body with a nice amount of carbonation that I think plays a good role in the taste. Maybe that sounds weird, but I'm sticking to it.

Drinkability - well, I wish I had more than a growler of this. So sad to finish this an know that I will have to beg someone for another one....this is a top 10 IPA for me!

 987 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has a beautiful amber orange color with an off white head with good retention.Smells like grapefruit peeling with some mango. The taste is the same, has a nice combination of sweetness from the malt and bitter hops. This is a well balanced beer, and is very smooth and easy to drink. This is a very good beer. I recommend trying it if you get the chance.

 354 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewpub in August 2009.

A: Poured a dark orange color with a good amount of off-white head.

S: Very, very nice--the nose has a lot of citrus hops with a little bit of a tropical background. Some caramel type malt in the background.

T: I agree with a few others that there might be a little too much malt here; I'd like to be able to feel a little presence without tasting too much of it. Very, very tasty, but I wish the hops had the opportunity to shine a little bit more here.

M: Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonatino and not much alcohol kick.

D: Quite high. Would have liked to have pint after pint of this.

 652 characters

Photo of will4240
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Town Hall, one of those "holy shit did I really just drink that?" beers.

A- Very orange-y in my opinion. Fantastic 1.5 finger head coupled with unfreaking believable lacing. This is one sexy looking brew.

S- Very much a hoppy smelling beer. Orange-y and citrus-y smelling. Yummy to say the least.

T- Wow, talk about smoooth. Fantastically balanced with just enough kick with from the hops to leave you astounded. Complex and yet quite subtle. AMAZING.

M- VERY smooth up until you hit the hops, then you get what you expect.

D- I can and have and will drink this all day.

Wow, just wow...

 608 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a growler into a chalice.

It pours a very dark orange with a big white. There is great lacing and it is surprisngly clear for its darkness of color.

The aroma is nice and subtle. Orange zest hits on the front end but the hops are present.

The tatse is complex with a nice sweet start, hops are present always and really show them self on the end. Its a nice bitter finish but not to bitter so it allows for big swigs and heavy drinking.

The feel is great, lasts several seconds, the hops stay even after you swallow.

Is it drinkable? Hell yeah, crushed a growler with my girlfriend in about an hour.

This is great IPA, slightly higher in my book than PtE.

 680 characters

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,369 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe