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: 1,367
Photo of DNorm
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Clear with darkish amber color and hints of copper/gold/orange. One finger head, outstanding retention, and good lacing.

(S) I detect citrusy/piney/floral hops, grapefruit, with a hint of caramel/malty sweetness.

(T) Slightly piney and bitter hops, caramel malts, and pineapple. There is definitely a hint of citrus and possibly grapefruit. The malts provide decent balance that leans towards the hoppy side. Decent complexity and overall enjoyable.

(M) Hoppy bitterness. Low to medium carbonation level (good amount for this particular beer). Medium bodied, possibly on the light side. Lasting finish that is dry, bitter, and crisp.

(O) Overall this is a great IPA with great drinkability. It has a relatively low ABV and has solid complexity. I’m glad I finally reviewed this legendary IPA, arguably the best in Minnesota (only rivaled by Surly’s “Furious”). Although some may not consider it world-class, it is definitely a “must try.”

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Photo of camil1mj
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Served from a growler shared by Romulux at a tasting this past fall.

A: Golden-orange. 2 finger, white, foamy head.

S: Citrusy hop notes.

T: Good balance of citrus hop flavors and piney hop flavors.

M: Medium-bodied. Good carbonation level.

O: Great Pale Ale. So glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper-golden color, with a fluffy two-finger head. Fine lacing.

S: Bright grapefruit with nice candied tropical fruits and a detectable malt backbone.

T: Grapefruit, candied pineapple, dry hops, toasty malt backbone, and a dry finish.

M: Dry and syrupy.

I'll always say yes to more hops but for an AIPA, this is excellent and well-balanced. Very drinkable.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler received in trade from phisigben, thanks for the opportunity. Shared after a long day with HopasaurusRex. Pours a deep golden color with a decent bubbly white head that displays moderate retention and lace. Smells fantastic. Floral, pine, citrus and tropical fruity hops with hints of sweet bready malt deep underneath. Taste is resinous, fruity, pine, and citrus hops with a bit of sweet bready almost caramel malt. Fairly dry with a medium to light body. Moderate level of carbonation with a resinous mouthfeel. Nice flavorful hopification of a beer. If I lived in MN I would drink this all the time, but since I don't I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber sunshine fades over a pineapple mango garlic forest. What mad scientist thought that citrus and garlic go together? Whoever he was, he was a genius. The captivating aroma gives way to a sensational dance of hoppiness on my tongue. I could drink pint after pint after pint of this.

Mad props to my BA buddy johnnnniee for breaking out this nectar on an ordinary Monday night.

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Photo of Agold
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this growler from biglobo as a warning shot, to which I say holy crap. This beer is beautiful. It is a clear amber color with a nice dense head which leaves sheets of lacing. The retention is outstanding as well. Aroma is huge. I could smell tropical pineapple other citrus hops the second I opened the growler. The aroma is extremely pungent with a bit of caramel balance to the huge hops. Flavor is again packed with tropical hops. Mild bitterness with outstanding balance. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy for me, but carbonation is on point. Overall this might be one of the best hop beers I have ever had. Outstanding.

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Photo of iadler
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at the town hall tap.

A- pours a very cloudy sunset orange with a fluffy three finger head that dissipates slowly into a nice cap. After some time, the cloudiness turns into a slight haze. Huge sheets of lacing are left behind.

S- orange marmalade, apples including the skin, caramel and toffee malt as well as grassy and piney hops. Pretty different aroma compared to just on-tap as there isnt much bitterness.

T- again orange is present with a jam like sweetness, honeycrisp apples, pear, and grassy hops with a nice amount of caramel and toffee malt.

M- low carbonation and medium body that has a very creamy mouthfeel that finishes slightly bitter.

O- it was interesting how much different this beer tasted when being casked conditioned. More sweetness emerges with the citrus and grassy hops taking a backseat.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generally, my drinking tastes have always run towards stouts/porters, wheat beers, and recently, Wee Heavies. All these beers have in common is that they are not hoppy styles. Not that I disliked hoppy beers, I just wasn't acclimated to them. Back in January I paid my first visit to Town Hall tap. After trying a few things, I ordered a Masala Mama, knowing full well what it was. I finished it, would probably say I liked it, but my buddy got plenty of laughs at my many winces and cringes.

Fast forward ten months. I've been seeking craft beers much more actively, and I can fairly say I've become hop acclimated. In fact I would actually say I LIKE hoppy beers. And here we are, back at THT. So, Masala Mama, my old foe, we meet again.

The pour is an impressive, though standard gold, with half-finger head. The smell is assertive and fresh, with a strong boquet of hops. Hops again on the tongue, along with citrus, pine, a little bit of ma...damn it all, am I wincing again? Yes, I am, jeez. Still a hop weenie? Or is this one just too unbalanced on the hopometer.

Still, way, way short of a drain pour, in fact, I'm still happy to drink this beer. It's well made like all THB/THT offerings. But I found it too dry and too hoppy to be outright tasty. This may get lynched by purists around town who will at the very least revoke my hop-nerd credentials, but I found Masala Moom only good, not great.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2011-11-18 in Minneapolis, MN. Our group bought a growler to take back to the Holiday Inn next door to the brew pub. Since it had been less than an hour since leaving the pub, the brew tasted the same as on-tap.

A - Clear orange-amber with a 1.5-finger white head with moderate lacing.

S - Tropical, mild citrus, floral, pale malt.

T - Orange flesh first then some pineapple/mango. Light pine, nutty/pale malt followed by some grapefruit flesh bitterness and a sprig of mint. Dries nicely with a touch of fruit and caramel sweetness to compliment the bitterness.

M - Light-medium body and medium-high carbonation. Crisp and a touch prickly.

O - This is a very fine APA. Lots of flavor for this ABV level with a good balance between bright-citrus and sweetness; somewhat-like a Troegs Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of Holland
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: golden amber color, clear, with a decent head that stays as a thin layer for the glass. Sticks to the sides of the glass very well.

S: tons of citrus, sweetness, pine, and malt.

T: the taste is surprisingly awesome, even for expectations. Amazing blend of flavors, with the citrus, pine, and malt and sweetness all hitting up front. The aftertaste is hop bitterness. Awesome.

M: smooth and crisp at the same time. Or at different times. Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: this is full of win. Growler it is...if only they sold them on Sundays.

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Photo of MrTopher
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Jim (RatedZ) and his brother for this Growler! Another shell shocker!

A – Pours a nice golden copper color and hues of golden rod, nice 1” of off white head that disperse and then leaves a nice lacing.

S – Awesome pineapple/grapefruit/pine aroma and just hops, hops and more hops.

T – Super hop tang on the sides of the tongue, they stand out the most, it’s like an onion type flavor but not onions. Really enjoy the balance though throughout this beer, nice sweet malts and just the pop of hops is amazing!

M - Exceptional, not overly carbonated and not under, just what I like for a lower ABV IPA. Thickness was perfect also.

O – For such a low ABV I was astounded by all the flavors that were present. I can scratch this one off the bucket list. Its awesome!

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Photo of jsprain1
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden copper color. White head is one and half finger and lasts quite well.
S- Smell is piney hops and a splash of a tropical, pineapple juice flavor.
T- It's fairly sweet. A decent malt base props up a big pine flavor. Very heavy on the pine flavor with a touch of tropical fruit.
M- Fairly firm body, low carbonation. Flavor sticks around in a long finish.
O- A very good IPA. Easy drinking and packs a solid hop punch. Definite recommendation.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.57/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by ??? at Darkness Day... Thanks random guy!
Reviewed from short voice notes dictated into iphone.

Dark amber body... Weak head, decent lacing.
Sweet malts up front dry out to leave a bitter and surprisngly dry finish (surprisingly because this smells so sweet, looks so dark, and initially hit with a big burst of sweet malt!). I REALLY like the way this beer finishes, but it just isn't enough to save it for me.

Nice body-- good carbonation level touch of prickliness that I love...

Overall-- this is a pretty well-balanced IPA, but it lingers on the sweet/malty side for my liking. I respect what they've done with it-- and I could see this being a nice "daily drinker" for people that stop into the brewpub nightly, but it isn't one that I deem worthy of going crazy over.

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

I am doing a second review of this beer, but this time had from cask at town hall tap.
Typical IPA color with 1inch head. Nice floral can really smell the hops and floral notes. The taste is classic IPA but smoooth. The hops really don't smack you in the face, but are somehow hidden under actual flavor! Nice job!

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange/amber with a 2 finger creamy sticky head.

A bit of malty sweetness with heavy citrus/floral tones to the aroma.

A bit of citrus up front with some sweet caramel. Rounds into a dry mix of pine and floral leaving the tongue coated in bitterness.

Fairly creamy with good carbonation levels.

Very good IPA, but falls just short of world class for me. Still going to enjoy drinking the rest of the growler.

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Photo of DCon
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-cask @ the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, MN w/ Pete & Paul from the Town Hall. Tapped from the cask into a 16oz Pint Glass. Enjoyed this back to back with the Masala Mama on-tap to see the differences...

Aroma- Compliments the style very well again! Has very light hop aroma and has the a good amount of sweetness behind it. A bit of citrus is easily caught but no grapefruit.

Appearance- Received with almost no head at all on the top of the beer. Has a dark golden/light amber color body with great clarity. Nice lacing afterwards.

Flavor- Strong hops from the beginning but not aggressive. Has a nice amount of citrus, sweetness, and piney flavor. Medium bitterness finishes this brew.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, Smooth, Smooth, and then very creamy at the finish.

Overall Impression- I would suggest getting this one fresh on-tap or even waiting for the Coconut Mango Mama! This was the reason of even coming here but no worries... I will be back! Fun to enjoy both these back to back. I would like to see if you think the tap or cask offering was better!

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Photo of gregshead
3.91/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoiyed on 8/22/11. Reviewed from notes. A huge thank you to BT for hooking me up with this one:

A: Pours a copper color with 2+ fingers of head.

S: Good grapefruit astringency. All I smell is grapefruit.

T: Grapefruit, grapefruit and grapefruit. Not over the top but very tasty hop flavor w/ a good malt backing to keep it from going over the top.

M: Nice levels of carbonation with a beer with these properties

O: A very solid IPA. Not necessarily a hop monster but plenty of tasty hops that make it a winner.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this growler from skipanoka2, thanks a lot man I've wanted to try this for years. Split this three ways so I had a good 21 ounces of this stuff. Color is dark orange and the head is billowing and huge, no lack of carbonation here. Smells like caramel and a bit of hops thrown in for good measure. The taste is really chewy caramel with a bit of pine and a very strong bitterness on the finish, very bitter. Overall I liked it.

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Photo of Heatwave33
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64oz Town Hall growler into a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: Amber with an off white head.

Smell: Sweet notes from fruit, nice hops

Taste: Hops, sweet tone, grapefruit

Mouthfeel: Smooth and Dry

Overall: Delicious IPA! Thanks to my brother bringing this back from the brewery on his trip to Minnesota. Love the sweetness and hop bitterness. Great balance. Cheers!

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Photo of Klym
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unmitigated thanks to klikger for this wonderful growler. Really, the best trader. Poured into a surly pint glass.

A: As dark as IPAs get, a translucent raisin brown/red. A nice off-brown head of foam leaves draping lacing all over the glass.

S: Milky caramel, a little bit of hazelnut, nougat, and caramel swirl together with an expert craft slightly pine hop character. This is really different but damn it just smells delicious, and it all comes together too well.

T: An initial hoppy caramel taste comes through and transitions into a nougat, slight dark fruit middle that builds into a bitter toffee and hop ending. So different, and mad delicious.

M: A medium-heavy body that has enough creaminess to support its sweeter side and enough carbonation to make sense of the hops. Really perfect balance for the taste profile.

O: I didnt know what to expect and I was very, very happy. This is an amazing IPA. You really can't get more flavor out of a single IPA. This sort of caramel/toffee/nougat taste was blended and balanced so well with the hoppiness, I cant not give this an A.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass at the brewery on 10/14/11.

Pours a Very pretty amber with an off-white head of 2 fingers. Very clear not a hint of sediment. Huge large bubble lacing all over the glass. I can't fault this beer on its appearance.

Smell is of citrus and a little of that earthy hops as well as some gentle malt sweetness in the background. I love masala but every time I have it I wish there was a stronger citrus hop aroma. Great smell though.

Taste is tons of bitter citrus hops and a nice balance of sweet malt. This beer has a great bitter character up front and then the mat smoothes everything out at the end of the pallet.

Mouthfeel is moderate and it has a great carbonation that lets it just trickle through your pallet and down your throat. Good dryness keeps it fresh but delicious.

Overall there is a reason this is in the top 100. Wonderful appearance, a solid smell, a taste that is swarming with hops but has a nice malt on the back end, and the dry mouthfeel keeps you wanting more. What can I say my favorite single IPA.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.91/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64 oz. growler poured into multiple pint glasses. My wife was supposed to help me drink this, but I ended up with a solid 48 oz. of it!

Appearance - Deep amber, maybe copper body with a nice, creamy off-white head. The lacing is tremendous. A continuous coat of foam down the sides and all over the top of the beer. Well made, but very dark for an IPA, especially a single IPA.

Smell - I don't get the pungent hop aroma I expected from an IPA rated so well. Sure, it's citrusy and piney in equal measures, but really I get a lot of biscuit malts. The aroma just isn't all that strong, either. When it's cold I don't get much of anything.

Taste - Taste is good, though. Definitely a strong hop flavor up front. Again, equal parts citrus and pine, which pair well with a toasted malt backbone. Lots of malt, though. It reminds me of an amped-up English IPA. The finish is toasty and very bitter, almost unpleasing.

Mouthfeel - That aftertaste takes away a little bit, but otherwise it's easy drinking. Good thing, too, because 48 oz. of this would be tough to put away otherwise.

Overall - A solid IPA. Not something I'd seek out again, but if I was in MN, I'd make the trek to the Town Hall brewery for it. Other MN IPAs definitely stand above this one, though.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.71/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to injuredreserve for the growler pour.

Pours a nice rich garnet color, with a good 2 fingers of cream colored head. Nice spongy lacing.

Big floral notes, with a good deal of citrus but a huge caramel malt backbone.

Floral hoppiness, with a pleasant bitter bite, and again, a very rich maltiness. Definitely pretty hoppy, but just as malty too.

Creamy, full bodied for an IPA. Good feeling stuff.

Drinkability is good, and overall, it's a really well done IPA.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to younger35 for the hookup on this growler. Split with angrybabboon. Filled 9/19/2011. Consumed 9/24/2011.

Appearance: Deep copper with strong orange tone. So pretty. Head is off-white, slightly thick, creamy, and rocky. Leaves some solid lacing. Head dwindles to a thin cap on the beer that lasts for the duration. A little darker than I would have expected, but it's damn near perfect.

Smell: Biscuity malts, and a big hit of 'em too. mango, citrus, and a touch of pine, but it's all about balance on the nose. Caramel malts, straight up bitterness, pith, and a solid sweetness to round it out. Bread crust. Floral hops abound. Big oily hop presence.

Taste: Caramel malts. Straight bitterness comes through each sip and builds without ever letting up. Pith in it's purest form, outside of real pith that is. Sweetness is solid and welcome addition to the hop attack. Still about balance, just like the nose. By the end of the growler, the hops had obliterated any chance at balance.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Drinks like a champ. Medium body lends itself to the style overall.

Overall: Definitely worth seeking out. I'm wondering what the difference is between 5-day old and straight off the tap is, but 5-day old is damn tasty. Raw hop aggression, but it has enough malt to make it highly drinkable.

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Photo of jethrodium
3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of dougofthefuture. Thanks Doug. Pours a reddish amber with a finger tall white head that has good retention and lacing. The aroma is bready malt, biscuit, a lot of mango, and a bit of pine. The taste is sweet bready malt, some biscuit, a bit of pine, with mango flavors coming in late. Nowhere near as much mango as in the aroma. The finish is bready with a decent bitterness. Light bodied and very drinkable. Medium-low carbonation. I really enjoyed the mouthfeel. Not the best IPA I have had, but quite good. Definitely one of the better malt forward IPAs. The aroma is quite awesome, but the taste is slightly disappointing.

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Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,367 ratings.
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