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.

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History

Member for
3 years 4 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

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

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

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

Black Circle

Southbound Black Circle Double Black IPA Beer
Judges Rating:
89
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Southbound Brewing's Black Circle Double Cascadian Dark Ale is a well-balanced, approachable brew that should find fans even amongst those beer connoisseurs who do not prefer this particular style. This deep brown to opaque brew with ruby highlights has a solid tan creamy head along with an... Read More

Takeout Rye IPA

Squatters Takeout Rye IPA beer
Judges Rating:
84
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Takeout Rye IPA is a well-crafted example of a mild rye-based ale, but is a bit too subtle to be considered a truly exemplary Rye IPA.

This brilliantly clear, amber-colored brew with a somewhat fleeting white head starts out with a touch of woody hop aroma with a background rye spicy note... Read More

Upslope Brown Ale

Upslope Brown Ale, Upslope Brewing Co.
Judges Rating:
91
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Upslope Brown Ale by Upslope Brewing Co. is a delicious malt-forward rendition of the BJCP Category 19C American Brown Ale, though the hop character of this offering is perhaps a bit more representative of a 13B British Brown Ale.

Deep rich toffee, caramel, coffee and roast malt notes... Read More

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