Joseph Formanek

Joseph Formanek's picture
Beer Judge

​Joe Formanek started homebrewing nearly 30 years ago as an undergraduate in Microbiology at the University of Minnesota. He was bitten by the brewing bug after taking a tour of Summit Brewing Company within a year after they had opened in St. Paul in 1987, and he has been going ever since. Joe later went to Graduate School at the University of Illinois and helped found the Boneyard Union of Zymurgical Zealots (BUZZ) Homebrew Club. He currently resides in Bolingbrook, IL, is a Director for a food ingredient company in Itasca, IL, and is a proud member of the Urban Knaves of Grain Homebrew Club. Joe holds a National Judge ranking with the BJCP, and is a previous Midwest Regional Rep and Vice President of the organization.

Over the years, Joe has received many honors related to homebrewing. He has won numerous BOS awards at local and regional competitions, is a 6 time winner of the Midwest Homebrewer of the Year award (1999, 2001-2004, 2007) and won the American Homebrewers Association Meadmaker of the Year award in 2004.  Joe is a 2 time winner of the American Homebrewers Association Ninkasi Award (2000, 2006) for winningest brewer in the final round of judging, and was honored as being named one of the two homebrewer winners of the 2011 Sam Adams Longshot American Homebrewing Competition with his Russian Imperial Stout, which was distributed nationally in the 2012 Longshot multipack.

History

Member for
3 years 7 months

My articles

PicoBrew Model C
In the more than 30 years I have been a homebrewer, I’ve seen remarkable progress in both the homebrewing knowledge base as well as available...

My reviews

Pan a Flores

Pan a Flores, SouthNorte Beer Co.
Judges Rating:
92
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Pan a Flores by SouthNorte Beer Co is a full-flavored holiday treat for your senses. While there are a few quibbles, this brew delivers Holiday cheer quite admirably. This beer is being evaluated as a Category 30A Spice Herb and Vegetable beer as per the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines with “Porter”... Read More

Keypunch

Keypunch, Urban Artifact
Judges Rating:
85
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Keypunch by Urban Artifact is an interesting, quite refreshing offering that delivers very well on the aroma of key lime, but is a little weaker on the presentation for the flavor. This beer is being evaluated as a Category 29A Fruit Beer with a Category 27 Historical Beer – Gose base as per the... Read More

Bent Hop

Bent Hop, Bent Paddle Brewing Co.
Judges Rating:
89
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Bent Hop Golden IPA by Bent Paddle Brewing Co is a rather subtle yet clean IPA. This one goes against the grain when it comes to most recent IPAs as it will not knock you over the head with over-the-top hop character. However, hops are still the star of the show in this one, due to the malt... Read More

Upslope Craft Lager

Upslope Beer Craft Lager
Judges Rating:
88
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Upslope Craft Lager by Upslope Brewing Co. is a refreshing American lager that, when cold, is a quite delicious treat, but when it warms, there are a few issues noted. This beer is being evaluated as a Category 1B American Lager as per the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines.

A light Saaz hop... Read More

Chariot

Chariot, Urban Artifact
Judges Rating:
91
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Chariot by Urban Artifact is an assertively cherry fruit-forward offering that demonstrates a well-crafted solid marriage of tart cherry and Gose beer character. This beer is being evaluated as a Category 29A Fruit Beer with a Category 27 Historical Beer – Gose base as per the 2015 BJCP Style... Read More

Stoaked

Stoaked Upland Beer
Judges Rating:
86
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

Upland’s Stoaked is promoted as an Oak-aged Belgian Quadrupel. While the Quad character is quite evident, the wood notes that would be expected from beers of this style are quite subtle. The aroma of this moderately carbonated, clear, deep amber-colored brew with a fleeting white head is quite... Read More

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