Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Best of 2009: #4

Town Hall Mango Mama

Brewery: Minneapolis Town Hall, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Style: India Pale Ale

ABV: 6%

Rating: 5 stars

It took me far too long to give the mangoed version of Town Hall's Masala Mama a look. There was some initial hesitance: Kristie is allergic to mangoes and mango flavor (yeah, we don't get dessert that much), and therefore we never have them around the house. Also, mangoes aren't near the top of my favorite fruits list (pineapple is). And why mess with an already outstanding IPA? Masala Mama, sadly available only on location, is one of the can't-miss IPAs of the upper midwest.

The positive reviews kept pouring in from friends, though the online responses are strikingly polar. It seems to be a love it or hate it beer, with the haters citing the overpowering mango. More fruit than hops. You can see why this would be a concern of mine due to my distaste for mangoes. In fact, earlier in the year I got my hands on a Virgin Islands Tropical Mango, and compared the taste to paint chips.

Well, the first sip of Mango Mama eased my worries. The detractors' point is not lost: the mango is very strong in both the smell and the initial lip smack. It's big, but not bigger than the Masala hops, which carry the beer out the back of your mouth. An extremely pleasant finish.

How good was this beer? Near the end of our June patio stay, a moth found its way into the last swig of my beer. As it struggled, I weighed my options: give up on the final sip due to contamination fears, or fish the moth out and finish the beer, consequences be damned.

I finished the beer.

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