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Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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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
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Ratings: 1,375 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

They very good local Midwest IPA. Thanks to a local training partner I was able to get a 64 ounce growler of this Minnesota masterpiece...very good overall IPA but slightly more malty then my normal IPA preference

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Photo of airohead2001
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Parrotbeak for sending out this delicious growler.

A - Typical looking IPA - orange, light copper, sort of hazy with a nice one and a half finger head with excellent retention and good lacing.

S - Layers of different hops. Citrus hops throughout the entire smell with some piney hops up front. Very nice.

T - The taste of Mama is by far her greatest attribute. Fresh, juicy, sweet, citrus hops up front with bitter hops at the finish. The aftertaste is nutty and malty. Mama is all about balance. Perfect amount of malts to balance the juicy citrus hops. Not overly bitter, not even in the finish. The low ABV allows Mama to reveal the layers, complexity, and richness of this beer without any alcohol heat. Nearly perfect for a beer in its class.

M - Very good. A little too carbonated right out of the growler, but the second glass was just right. Not too thick - and it shouldn't be, for a single IPA.

D - Almost perfect. I could drink this IPA all day. Balance is unbeatable and there is no EtOH burn.

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

thanks to egrace84 for the share! Thanks Elliot!

reviewed from notes taken tonite.

poured into tulip glass:

Appearance: Amber orange bodied beer with small white head. sticky lacing left behind.

Smell: Very resinous hop notes; dank, juicy, fresh, chalky. Big pine and big grapefruit rinds. Grassy and orangey too. Really hoppy nose not much smell noted from the malts.

Taste: Huge hoppy bitterness. Ridiculously resionous just like the nose on this beer. Really Dank stinky hops! Really big grapefruit rinds. Pine cones and pine needles. Grassy and a little bit chalky. The bitterness lingers around for a decent amount of time.

Mouthfeel: Low end of medium bodied beer. Moderate carbonation. This IPA is really drinkable, surprisingly...especially with all the big hoppy flavors coming out of this beer.

Overall: Brutally hoppy and redicoulously drinkable IPA. Whats a beer nerd not going to love about this beer? Hopheads seek it out! My first beer from this brewery and I am very impressed.

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Photo of Damian
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 64 fl. oz. growler
Best before AUG 14 2015
Served in a pint glass

Huge thanks to my friends Melissa and Dylan for hauling this from Minnesota as part of our wedding gift.

Clear, crimson amber appearance. A tight, frothy, two finger tall crown of eggshell colored foam topped the liquid. The head faded to a thick, resilient film. Streaky, drippy lacing coated the top portion of the glass.

The aroma was hoppy and bright. Super fruity. Citrusy. Loads of orange zest and candied orange peel. Nice, semisweet caramel malt backbone. Perhaps a touch of brown sugar. Some generic tropical fruit notes were detectible. As the beer warmed, mango was noticeable. I swear I picked up hints of strawberries too. Well balanced overall.

The flavor profile was initially much more dry and bitter than the aroma. Citrus and pine notes came through strong. Loads of white grapefruit. Piney and resinous. Hint of caramel-like sweetness. The finish was quite bitter and contained intense notes of pine sap and grapefruit rind. Dry and resinous. The bitterness lingered long after the swallow. As the beer warmed, the beer became sweeter and more balanced. Juicy tangerine notes came forth.

The liquid contained a frothy, medium effervescence. Medium bodied. Slick and smooth on the palate.

Masala Mama reminded me a lot of a citrusy, piney and bitter, old school West Coast style IPA,
and that certainly is not a bad thing. However, with many of today's IPAs being so bright and juicy, I can see how this might get lost in the fray.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to millah for this one! Poured into Chimay glass.

A: pours a deep orange/red, very clear, this is definitely one of the darker IPAs I've had. Thin white head with little retention, some sticky lacing.

S: huge nose of aromatic hops, tons of tropical and citrus notes including mango, grapefruit, and orange, this is all backed by a piney character which brings a little bitterness to the party. The malt profile comes through at the end with some slight caramel and toast character.

T: big hops up front, just like the nose, the taste features more of the piney hops which then gives way to the malt profile. This IPA is expertly balanced and the hops transition into the malt flawlessly. The finish features some biscuit and caramel with a touch of bitterness.

MF: medium carbonation, smooth mouthfeel

D: well this IPA certainly lives up to all of the good things I've heard/read about. Very well balanced with a strong hop profile.

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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.

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

Had this on tap at the brewpub. Pours a very pretty orange amber brown with medium tan head that sticks around for a long time. Nice lacing on this one for sure. Nose is where this rocks for me. Very fresh citrus hop aromas, with some leafy notes that add to the freshness as well. The flavor follows with a solid IPA, big citrus notes, followed by a good deal of bitterness, carried through over a slightly sweet malt bill. Assertive and well-done. A very good beer here. Nice body, and wayyy too easy to drink.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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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.

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

Growler, courtesy of a ratebeer trade. Split several ways, but with a full portion poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich, robust, hazy brown amber with plentiful and very active carbonation. The one-plus-finger tan head that rose out of an aggressive pour has average to slightly above-average retention and leaves tons of streaky, runny lacing, though there is a firm layer of solid, sticky foam around the lip of the liquid itself.

Aroma: Superbly balanced, but with a wonderful array of hop notes. Sweet, sticky grapefruit, pine sap, and floral notes greeted me as soon as I cracked the growler and continued on throughout the entirety of the experience. Pungent and strong, they do their best to keep a heavily roasted, slightly buttery caramel/toffee malt backbone in check.

Taste: Moderate bitterness permeates, and it weaves its way in and out of those same heavy citrus notes and pine overtones. The flavor has tons more leafy herbalness - tobacco, mint, and basil are how I interpret it, but I also get flourishes of other herbs and a general, pleasant "forest" note. Quite the hop bouquet.

Mouthfeel: There's a strong estery, "minty" afterfeel, sort of the way that mint opens up your throat and tingles it all up. The body itself is medium, fairly pregnant with residual sugars, though that's cut through ever so slightly by the crisp, fine effervescence. This lends itself to a very creamy mouthfeel, though it is slightly uneven. Let it warm - it smooths out considerably.

Drinkability: A phenomenal IPA. Even though I don't necessarily think it's deserving of a top 10 rating, it's a really, really good beer, and perhaps it would be even fresher straight from the brewery (though this growler was sealed pretty damn tightly, screw-capped, shrink-wrapped, and taped - nice job). It's definitely a top 5 IPA for me, perhaps top 3. The alcohol is undetectable and reasonable for the style, the aroma amazing, the taste solid, the feel wonderful ... just a great all around beer.

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Photo of mikevanatta
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jae61
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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 dctriman
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%

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

Being fortunate enough that my first trip to Town Hall finds the Masala Mama on cask, I simply could not pass this up.

It came to me in a pint shaker with the type of turbulence commonly associated with nitro beers. That's always a good sign with cask ales. When it did finally settle down, I ended up with a beautiful, clear deep copper IPA with a head I would swear under oath was made of Tempurpedic material. Simply gorgeous.

The nose was, well, it IS an IPA after all. The nose was exactly as expected, full of citrusy hop aroma. It wasn't as "in your face" as it could be, likely due to the fact it's on cask. There is a subtle malt aroma hiding back in there, giving you just a hint that this isn't simply hop juice.

The flavor, again due to the cask, was a bit subdued. There's good hop flavor to this, with a little less bitterness than one might get from the CO2 version. It's still plenty bitter, though, and that's a good thing, because it has to stand up to the malt. That subtle hint of a malt aroma is a full blown malt taste. Much more malt than many American IPAs, even in cask, which works out well as this is a very balanced beer. The bigtterness, sweet malt, and floral hop flavors seem to argue back and forth as to just which exactly is supposed to be at the fore. You, as the drinker, come out the winner in this particular fight. Nice!

Being a cask ale, there's a creaminess to the body that is just so silky smooth and inviting. It's good on CO2, but it's dreeeeamy on cask.

Masala Mama is good to begin with, per my small samplings at GABF. To be lucky enough to find it on cask at my first visit to the pub is serendipity, to say the least. if it's on when you're there, kill whomever you have to in order to get a pint on cask. It's worth the prison time. Great stuff.

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

Growler sent to me by younger35.

A- Dark amber/copper in color with a frothy, billowing white head on top. Excellent lacing left behind, a flawless appearance.

S- Tons of tropical fruits, grapefruit, pineapples, oranges with a hint of pine. The amount of citrus in it leads to a very sweet smell, some of it could be from malts, very caramel like with a bit of toffee.

T- Loads of citrusy hops, pineapple and grapefruit once again. Finishes off very bitter, exactly what I expected. The rating for this could be little higher, but there was just nothing that blew me away about the flavor. It was still good but not over the top good.

M- Medium body, slightly prickly mouthfeel. Hop resin lends an oily characteristic to this one, very pleasing.

D- Very good, easily knocked back two pints of it and probably would have drank more if I didn't have to drive.

Thanks again, Dan! An outstanding brew.

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Photo of Cooper925
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kmanjohnson
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of moose3285
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DontCallMeSurly for this growler.

A - Clear, amber red. With about a 1 and a half inch off-white head. Good head retention and a fair amount of lacing.

S - Smell is mainly grapefruit and piney hops

T - Wow. This is a hop explosion. The initial taste is that same grapefruit and pine flavor. Followed by some caramel and malt sweetness. The hop bitterness returns and lingers on the tongue.

M - Mouthfeel is good. Highly carbonated and not too thick or thin.

D - Good drinkability. I could see myself drinking a lot more of this.

Overall, a very good representation of the style. I can see why it gets such high remarks.

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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 drseamus
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer looks very syrupy as it pours into the glass. The body is a cloudy dark amber color with no head. The aroma jumps from the glass and hits hard with citrus and caramel. The flavor has a bunch of bitterness with grapefruit and caramel in the background. The flavor is balanced, but is definitely bitterness dominated. This might be a bit too bitter for my taste, but a great example of an American IPA.

 410 characters

Photo of LittleBreeze
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the growler...

Aroma - Floral and piney hops, caramel...bready.

Taste - Nice citrus hop and sweetness balanced with bitterness. Malty. Impressive IPA.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Great feel.

Drinkability - This is easy drinking. I wish we could get a keg.

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Photo of wingnutter
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I have the elusive Masala Mama in my hands, thanks to an iFriend who send a 64oz growler to me in Florida. Thanks, Tip Top!

A slight "PSSS" as I unscrew the top of the growler, and the pour revealed a nice, orange/amber beer that had a nice, 1 finger head. Smell was typical IPA as expected - nothing shocking or marvelous - just good ole hops, citrus, floral aroma. And for the record, that's a GOOD thing.

Taste: First sip reminds me (hop wise) of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. But there more to it, as I soon find out. Very smooth beer, with nice citrusy notes and floral hints playing off each other and complimenting the malt nicely. Excellent balance. Nice bitterness that disappears as I swallow. Taste lingers on the tongue for a few minutes, then dsiappears, making me want another sip. This is a very well crafted beer, even after a 4 day trip from Minnesota to the Florida heat, and then 2 days in my fridge. Impressive.

Mouthfeel is about what I expected - about medium, and about perfect for an American IPA. Not too heavy, not too light.

I put this IPA among the best Ive had. As it warms, more fruitiness starts to show, maybe subtle apricot?? Drinkability is top notch, as Im on my 3rd of 4 pints, and Im not getting tired of it one bit - this is a very sessionable brew.

Ive been after this beer for a while now, and it did not disappoint. One of the better IPAs on the market...now only if they would bottle, so it would be easier for IPA fans to aquire. Good stuff!!!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish to copper color with a nice tan head. In the aroma, piney hops. In the taste, piney hops and green apples, a touch of nice maltiness. A bitter and medium bodied mouthfeel, with dry, piney hops in the aftertaste. Bigs hops and very nice.

 252 characters

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