I’m really spoiling myself this week.

I ran down to Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery on the West Bank of the U. of Minnesota campus, and grabbed myself a growler of their finest…Masala Mama IPA. Currently rated the 10th best beer in the world according to Beer Advocate.

Opposite end of the spectrum from a style standpoint compared to what I had last night. But quality-wise, it’s right up there. I even had it with a heaping portion of chicken pad thai from one of my favorite Thai spots downtown, and it paired beautifully.

Huge bubbly head poured from the 64 ounce growler. Great amber color. Also a peppery aroma mixed with grassy hops. The head took a long time to fade, leaving a spiderweb pattern of hop oils behind on the glass. 5.9% ABV.

From the moment the beer enters your mouth, there’s a fully hopped bite that enwraps your entire palette from start to finish. There’s a real strong tang to this one. Raw. But I like it. This is pretty different than some IPAs that make a passing attempt to balance the bittering hops and the malt. With Masala Mama, the malt is just there as some kind of vehicle to deliver a hop explosion in your head.

So bottom line. Is this Top Ten in the World material? That’s hard to say. Maybe Top Ten according to beer lovers in the United States, as I have a sneaking suspicion most of the BA members hail from this side of the pond. Folks in Belgium might have a different opinion about, say, Surly Darkness.

Regardless, it’s damn good. There’s a couple others I’ve enjoyed that might be better (DFH?). However, while it isn’t the most balanced IPA I’ve ever had, it doesn’t detract from what is a highly drinkable beer.  

Rating: A-

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