Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

679 Reviews

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

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Reviews: 679 | Ratings: 1,368
Photo of unclekeith
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Long time want - thank you Chris P!

4-day old Growler into a tulip - crystal clear honey hue, nice 2-finger head with pretty lacing - biscuit malt, piney hops on the nose - resinous pine, long lasting bitterness, great carb.

An IPA from a different time, a nostalgic classic the predates the hop escalation. Great malt, bitterness, hop balance. Tremendous- wish I had access to this around here.

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
3.77/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Growler shipped to Nebraska. #propertownhallipaglassware

So I'm on this mission to tick BA's Top 250. As I enjoy Masala Mama it sits at #249 on the list.
On this quest of mine I have had so many really great beers this however is not one of them...

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Photo of smakawhat
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Minneapolis Town Hall into a half pint (9 ounces).

Bronze amber, and quite clear, nearly crystal clear body color presented. Top is a little less displayed but is quite creamy looking with a nice collar that laces while drinking slightly. Solid and nice looking brew.

Real impressive aroma. Soft caramel warmth and almost a taffy/toffee mix smell that comes off. Big amounts of chewy biscuit and graham cracker and an excellent hop flavor that hits of pine, dank, and perhaps some citrus grapefruit.

Palate is a real winner. A real nice creamy feeling palate that almost brings out vanilla tones. Hints of light caramel sticky flavors, toasted hazelnuts, and a real washing digestive cookie biscuit aftertaste. The hops really hit on the aftertaste and swallow. Grapefruit slightly with a hot pine that has real nice aromatics on the swallow that are nearly hot, not on booze either. Excellent continuing caramel and a slightly lighter than expected body while drinking as well.

This beer really reminds me of what Fat Tire could be if it was amped up properly and done even better as both have very similar character but with one glaring miles ahead in make and taste. It's striking, and stupidly well done. Excellent beer.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Townhall.

A: Pours a fairly transparent, copper color with a one-inch, foamy, white head with short retention. Thin white lacing throughout.

S: Strong aromas of tropical fruits including mango, pineapple, and peaches accompanied by citrus and earthy hop notes.

T: Mostly citrus notes of grapefruit, orange rind, and tangerine. Milder notes of tropical fruit, pineapple, sweet malts, and piney hops.

F: Light-medium bodied, crisp, and smooth with good carbonation.

O: Overall, a great IPA. Will definitely try this one again. Would like to try some of the other variations as well.

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a growler. Masala Mama is a hop forward IPA with a deep copper coloring and ample white head. The depth of malt flavor caught me off guard, but was a pleasant alternative to some of the 'malt light' IPAs that are all the rage these days. I'd put this more in the category of a 'West Coast' IPA with a bit of Midwest flare. Solidly executed and rather tasty - seek this one out for sure.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker than average ipa, this one is almost light brown. Aroma is its sweet spot, those Amarillo hops are all up in this one. Drops lots of pine goodness.

Taste is malty, but it holds the bitterness down relatively and allows more of those pine notes to drop on the tongue. A little bit of toffee. This is a good, 2nd tier ipa.

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Photo of jcMPLS
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Masala Mama was my first ever IPA and my first craft brew that wasn't Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The first sip blew me away. I never knew what beer could be until that moment, and that one beer kickstarted my love for microbrews. I will always consider this a perfect beer.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
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 jhavs
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Shaker pint at the brewery. Fresh.

A= Pretty dark amber, active carbonation, thick off white head that is slow to drift away into a ring around my pint glass. Some lacing sticks to the glass as I drink.

S= Get a malt sweetness followed by mostly earthy hops including some pine followed by just a bit of citrus rind and zest.

T= Seems like old school IPA goodness. Bit of earthy hop flavor, lots of behind the scenes bitterness and a touch of citrus. This is all focused around a malt sweetness and touch of caramel.

M= Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O= It is what it is. A very well done old-school west coast IPA. Much different than the big juicy IPAs currently in vogue including lots of their neighbor Surly's offerings. Very good, very balanced.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A special treat. Let's check this out. Poured into the work snifter from a 64 oz. growler.

A - This might be the darkest IPA I've ever seen. It's a deep orange/red, very transparent. Head subsided to a yarmulke of bubbles, but those seem to be staying. This is pretty.

N - Wow, not at all what I expected. There's a deep woodiness to it, as opposed to hoppiness. Doesn't smell at all like an IPA. Smells good, I'm just nervous.

T - Definitely an IPA. It's a very woody, tree-like IPA, as opposed to a dank, piney situation. I'm blown away, not so much by how good it is, but how interesting and unique it is. This is fascinating; I taste the hops, for sure, but the bitterness I get seems to be unrelated. I'm not sure exactly how to explain it, but it's hoppy and bitter, but it's not a hoppy bitterness.

M - Love the immediate froth that you get from some IPAs. Not a liquid in the mouth at all.

O - A truly unique experience; one I am glad to have had. Cheers!

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Photo of T_Hass
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My friend brought me back a howler of this from her trip to MN. The beer pours a clear golden amber color. A white fluffy head quickly emerges and lasts through a good portion of the bee drinking experience. The beer smells mallty and sweet with some citrus on the finish. The taste is about the same. Very balanced malt and citrus flavors with a sweet finish. Overall a nice beer but the more IPAs I drink the more I realize that I'm a hop forward typ of guy.

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Photo of pagriley
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Freshly filled growler (2 days old) poured into a snifter

L - Deep golden amber with 1 inch off white head that lingers
S - Big Honey sweetness followed by tropical notes of mango and a touch of sweetness
T - Malt sweetness to begin followed by earthy citrus, a touch of tropical, then a thump of old school alpha bitterness
F - medium to fuller bodied, with fine carb and a soft finish

Overall a really classic style IPA with an amazing honey mango nose. The flavors are more muted than the nose would suggest, but the harsh bitter finish might be masking some of the underlying complexity. A very good beer, and worth seeking out - I just wish the taste followed the nose a bit more, but other than that (rather picky) complaint, it is text book malt balanced IPA

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Photo of Damian
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
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 costanzo_mike
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep Amber color. Thick off white head that lingers nicely. Some lacing on the glass. Earthier hop aroma and malt present on the nose. Very well balanced hop-malt flavor profile. Starts with the sweet malt flavor and leaves you with nice bitterness on the aftertaste. Reminds me of a rye-style IPA with that crisp dryness. Medium feel with good carbonation. Overall a nicely done beer

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Photo of Hootie159
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear red. Beyond amber. Beautiful and bubbly. Thick foam head that might not have ever gone away if I didn't start drinking it. Not much on the nose. More sweet malt than the earthy hops. Well balanced taste. Sweet flavor followed by a crisp bitterness. Very smooth, but carbonation present.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank a 64oz growler of this over a day. Solid IPA overall, poured darker than expected but great head retention from a 3 week old growler. Hop profile was good but the beer was maltier than I expected.

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Photo of wolfpac255
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - Amber color about 1 finger thickness

S - Smells prety good, a little bready.

T - Taste is not what I expected, heavy carmel and some bitterness to finish

F - Same feel as a bitter IPA with no fruitiness at all, on the other side of the spectrum.

Overall - A decent IPA with nothing really memorable for me. Lots of Carmel flavor.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

this is very good ipa, no doubt about that, but i expected (with all the hype and very high ratings) this to be memorable and world class, and i think its a league below some of the best ipas out there. that said, its also excellently made, and just a slightly different take. its more in the english style it seems, and not because it has any real appreciable yeast to it, but because of the richer grain bill and the focus on balance rather than hop explosions. this may also have been ahead of this time, if i tasted this beer however many years ago they first brewed it, it would have seemed a lot more unique than it does now. i say the same about pliny, the rest of the world has caught up to that beer a little bit, and the same may be true here. its got a clear shiny copper hue, with a full inch of white head on it. smells balanced, i get as much crystal malt sweetness as i do the hops, which seem well dosed but not insanely interesting as far as the aroma is concerned. in the taste, its familiar northwest hop varietals, with some resinous elements, but really quite reserved in terms of weight and bitterness. the balance is exceptional, but in my heart i wanted this one to stand out for flavor, not just for quality. still an excellent ipa, but i think its not all that distinct.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served on tap at Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Arriving in house pints, the beer showed a reddish honey coloring. A one finger head of soapy, tan bubbles stop atop the liquid, and retained excellently. Cakey chunks of lacing were eventually left in its wake. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be light. The aroma offered big fruity nectary, grapefruity, and herbal hops, amber and pale malts, chalked cornmeal, chemical phenols, spicy booze, light bubblegum esters, tropical pineapple and mango fruitiness, Juicy Fruit gum, raw ginger, black pepper, cherry flesh, Sprite lemon-lime sugars, cough syrup, vinyl plastics, and syrupy pear juice. Subsequent flavoring boasted pale and caramel malt toast, big bubblegum esters, juicy pineapple, heavy fruity hops and lighter piney and citric hop zing, tomato acidity, apricots, sweet creamer, bittering dried oregano and lemon balm, lemon and lime rind, mallow sugars, red apple juice, hairspray, and cucumber skins. With warmth and through the aftertaste, the hops took on a much more surprising herbal bitterness. The body stood on the full side of medium, which carbonation was medium to high, with wet and frothy prickle to the hard palate. Otherwise, slurp, smack, cream, and pop were okay, and the mouth was left puckered and dried of tannins. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank more as a sipper.

Overall, we were so excited to find this so close to where we were staying in Minneapolis. This was quite exactly the closest building to our hotel, and we ended up going here almost every night of our visit to try their vast array of different brews. Here, we met a big IPA, with hearty malt presence to work with such massive, massive, hoppiness. The latter became much more bittered than expected, especially through the end of the sip and its aftertaste. The hope, here, became heavily piney, herbal, and harsh to the palate, but in the best way possible. We actually drove to Minneapolis from Detroit the day we sampled this, and due to weather delays it turned into a fifteen hour drive. Getting in late, we only had the time and energy for a single beer to complement our midnight meal of burgers, and boy was it a nice end to our night. Highly recommended if you can find it.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

After a pretty disappointing seasonal flight at Town Hall last weekend, I opened this growler in hopes that this IPA would live up to my memories of it (5 yrs ago or so). Happily it was just what I remembered - very fragrant with a fine balance between malt and fresh hops flavors. Hints of grapefruit, pine and maybe bubblegum? Medium-thick body with smooth mouthfeel. This does seem more in line with an English-style IPA in my opinion - a bit sweeter up front, providing a good counterweight to the bitter yet fresh finish. One might argue that it lacks subtlety but the Masala Mama is a crowd pleaser with good reason.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a hazy, amber with a thick cream colored head. Grapefruit, pine, brown sugar, and floral hops on the nose. Pine resin, malt, and citrus zest on the palate with a hint of sour apple. Bitter. Medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall a bold IPA from Minnesota.

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Photo of papat444
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%

Thanks to Tricerahops for a growler of this. Stamped Sept. 24, 2014 on the cap.

Nice dirty orange color, flavor is peaches and bitter grapefruit rind. Has a nice creaminess to it that balances things out,. A flavorful, drinkable IPA.

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Photo of lupercmda
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the brewery. Pours a amberish orangish color with a 1 inch finger of head. Has nice lacing. Taste is very bitter with an old school hop flavoring. Lingering dry finish. Not much malt character with this beer. Overall an ok IPA.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at the brewery, Minneapolis.

Dark amber with crusty white froth that trails.
Deep twinkly candied orange with hints of resin and powder.
Dried apricot, and clean, even C-hop citrus, pine, and resin.
Pineapple finish and humming orange oil linger.
Light side of medium, crisp, slightly clingy.

Not much at first taste, but has not only bright but effervescent citrus and solid IBUs to the hops. Still, it’s a bit of a throwback. Very good, but not Indeed Let it Ride.

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Photo of gabrielsyme
3.37/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the brewery. Appearance is golden in color, a tad darker than a typical IPA. I don't get much aroma, maybe some pine. Taste is bitter - grapefruit, and spruce. Carbonation is medium-high and it goes down easy despite the bracing bitterness. Overall an enjoyable beer but nothing special.

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,368 ratings.
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