Masala Mama India Pale Ale | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

Liked This Beer
4.32 w/ 1,372 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,372 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of Morris729
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received as part of the first GIF (Growler-It-Forward).
Pours a deep hazy copper color with a very thick and tall off-white head that slowly recedes leaving behind sticky spider webs of lace. The aroma is apparent from across the room with lots of floral hops with strong notes of pine and citrus. At this point, there’s no doubt that if you love hops, you’re in for quite a treat. Taste begins with an initial sugary sweetness, but that is soon replaced by flavors of juicy citrus fruit, oily pine resins, raw hop tannins, and grapefruit rind that are mouth-puckeringly delicious and leave a bitter coat on your tongue that remains until you take the next sip. Absolutely one of the top IPAs I’ve ever had the privilege to drink. Thanks to BREWER912 for the sample!

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Photo of chrisjws
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bluckbeyes
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Hopsiam14
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kguard
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of MrDarcy
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of EJJ1848
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of stirgy
4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A growler of the infamous Mama reaches me via GIF5. Cracked this half gallon open to start off the labor day weekend. Into a tall twenty ounce glass, this poured out perfectly clear. The color is a bright orange-amber and the beer is topped with a very frothy and assertive head of foam. The head looks like stiffly beaten egg whites. A spotty and sticky lacing was left behind on the glass. Generous carbonation. Light taps of the glass creates cascades of bubbles that rise up from the bottom and joins the creamy head. The aroma is appealing and pleasant. Light, fruity, bittersweet and a bit musty with sweet orange spices. The aroma reminds me of jumping into a freshly raked pile of damp leaves. The taste is fruity, musty and bittersweet. The alcohol is completely hidden behind complex fragrant malts and a solid body. This goes down very easy and is highly enjoyable. An excellent IPA.

Thanks, F’Monk!

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

Picked up this growler today at the brew pub. Cap reads a sell by date of 3-11-09.
Turned the cap and hear it pop followed by a nice hiss.
Poured from the growler into my surly tulip. Its a transparent amber with a bit of chill haze. 1 inch tan frothy head leaving awsome gritty lace all down the glass.

Aroma is pungeant with hops, I smelled it the second I popped the cap. Floral hop aroma, super purfumy pine with good hang time. Buscuity bready aroma with sweet carmelly smells.

The taste upfront is a blasting of the pallet with sweet fruity breadyness, great malt backing. Loads of pine and a touch of citrussy grapefruit. The taste on this is very refreshing.
At the swallow hop bittering comenses, obliterating my pallet. A long crisp hop linger with an earthy pine and a hemp like flavor.

Moutheel is crisp and clean, carbonation abundance, but not overwhelming. Its not thick by any means, its just right for the style.

This is a textbook example of what an IPA should be. Delicious!

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Photo of AnalogErik
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of grumpygerman
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

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 kkipple
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks for Todd1 and his mad shipping skillz. He got me a growler of this (among other things) and I swear the thing was still cool!

A. Dumped into my resurrected Tripel Karmeliet chalice, the brew foams up a fat, off-white head that fades over the top of a clear, rich amber brew. The head never completely dies, and leaves some smidgens of lace behind.

S. Unimpressive at first whiff, but that is probably because this is amazingly well blended. Nothing stands out, nothing overpowers anything else. This is a textbook example of a nose in an American IPA style - pine sap, sweet grapefruit bitterness, grass, sugar, a bit o' honey, oranges, caramel. Blended and bended into each other, this is harmonious and delicious. Avoids smelling like the inside of a hop sack, like so many beers of this style tend to do.

T. Follow your nose and you'll get more of the same. Masala Mama is a sweet, balanced IPA and full of the classic flavors you expect. Roasted and sweet grain sugars blend with sappy, bitter floral hop notes to produce a clean, bittersweet and quenching brew. Finishes wet and asks you to have another. I oblige. It may be a tad on the sweet side for repeated drinking, but I had no trouble with two glasses of this, and neither did my pair of friends.

M. Wet, fine carbonation adds drinkability. Middling body. Pleasing bittersweet aftertaste that avoids being unpleasantly bitter.

Someday I'll brew an IPA this fine, and I will retire. This beer isn't going to win any awards for uniqueness, but as a stellar example of a style you can't go wrong. Highly recommended if you can get it.

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Photo of theminutemen
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice hazy copper, with an off-white head and lacing is lovely. Very good looking beer for sure. Aroma is a bit different from tap, but in a nice way I suppose. Nicely malted still, caramels, pines and fruits, grapefruit and peach, not as much of a blow to the nose as on tap, but wonderfully subdued I suppose.

Taste, though, not as I remember it. I have to say first, I do'nt like IPAs on cask, and without the carbonation, I just don't recognize it. Not that it tastes bad... it tastes great in fact. The wonderful caramel in the nose comes moreso in taste, the pine and fruity hops battling for control, and the increadably smooth ride from cask makes this oh so great to drink. Just, different from the Mama on tap.

So, as the theme here goes, I'll be enjoying from tap from now on, but for those Real Beer fanatics out there, go ahead and have this one, its delicious.

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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.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served on-tap @ Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery into a pint glass

Pours a burnt amber color that looks to be completely translucent but is a dark enough beer that you can't really see through it all that clearly. 1.5 fingers of loose-ish eggshell white head sit on top.

You can tell by the smell that this beer is imbalanced towards the hoppy side of things (which is a good attribute), but the hops aren't all that intense. Grapefruit, pine, resin, and some distant pomegranate -- well, more specifically POM brand juice -- are there in the nose, but it isn't all that strong. A lightly caramely malt presence is down there somewhere.

Forget what I said about the hops not being intense. This is a full-flavored IPA. Lush bursts of pomegranate and passionfruit meet an abundance of grapefruit and oily resin. It's a very focused IPA, but that focus also doesn't lose interest throughout multiple pints. This is less bitter than it is full of citric acid like flavors. It's really wonderful stuff.

I love the mouthfeel on this beer. It's nearly perfectly carbonated, and the body is quite thin (which is always my preference with hoppy beers). Overall, this is a fantastic IPA. It's worth the hype and I am stoked that I finally got the chance to try it.

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Photo of udubdawg
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of yamar68
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From growler, poured to imperial Surly pint glass. Brewed three days ago, bottled a few hours ago:

Pours a dark gold, pushing crimson. Clear as a bell, slow and steady beading. A sweet sticky head leaves behind all sorts of lacing.

Prickly pine, resinous, nectarine, citrus syrups, some darker creamy malts keep things in balance. This beer's got quite a nose on it.

Smooth on the tongue considering the strong coniferous element. Orange peel bitterness, aggressive hop presence that somehow manages to avoid hindering the overall drinkability. Delicious. The body is a bit thin but that doesn't take much away from an otherwise spectacular beer.

If you're ever in Minneapolis, most definitely try this one out.

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Photo of hero27
4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

½ gallon growler.

Took home a growler from the brewery...after sampling it again on cask (which still deserves a 5, in my book). The hops are more predominant on-tap, both in aroma and flavor...they really jump around on the tongue. Absolutely yummy.

Not quite as smooth as on cask, but still delicious. Unless you're allergic to hops, you must try this brew...and I personally think it's even worth it if you'd be one helluva way to go.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another big thanks to mothman for hookin me up with this growler.

A: Clear, copper, orange color. The pour produces two full fingers of kahki head that retained for the entire glass, and left sheets upon sheets of thick lace.

A: Big citrus, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, maybe some mango as well. Nice use of crystal and sweet malts to try and give it some balance. But this one is obviously about the hops.

T: I get all the flavors I got in the nose, but the sweetness really hits me here. I'm getting some nice honey. The beer finishes very bitter from the great use of citrusy hops.

M: Medium body, aggressive carbonation. This one has a tingle.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is as high as an IPA could be. This one I could session all night. Overall, this is one fantastic beer. Is it the best IPA out there, maybe. Easily in the top five I've ever had. Great Skal.

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Photo of TheRuss9585
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Rastacouere
3.68/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brownish copper pour surprises by its darkness, but the generous beige head compensates any ill thoughts. Fully malty nose offers a broad range of varied dark malts aromas, caramel and fitting butterscotch being omnipresent. Strong biscuity feel. The hops, in that regard, are not the prime focus, but just a half of the couple, procuring mostly earthy, anise-like notes that evolve into leafiness in mouth. Quite sweet for an IPA, obviously rather round, more citric in mouth than the nose would let know and definitely less fruity. Expertly hidden alcohol and no astringency join forces to explain the desirable reputation. Reminds me of stuff like Nogne O Batch 100 for its sheer barleywineish malt orientation. Still very tasty and appealing though, a different take.

 776 characters

Photo of Roger85
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Masala Mama India Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 93.5% out of 100 with 1,372 ratings
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