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.

My reviews

Jucifer

Jucifer, Gnarly Barley Brewing
Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Jucifer by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. is a very flavorful and aroma-forward take on the BJCP 21B Specialty IPA – New England IPA style. This one has aroma and flavor aplenty and really stands up for itself very well. 

Extremely dank hop aromas (Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe) dominate the nose upon... Read More

Hypnic Jerk

Hypnic Jerk, Gnarly Barley Brewing
Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Hypnic Jerk by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. is a well-crafted rendition of the 17D American IPA style from the 2015 BJCP guidelines, delivering a very enjoyable overall package. 

Upon popping the bottle, you are greeted with a sweet cotton candy-like aroma with some caramel notes in the... Read More

Witkist White

Witkist White, Odell Brewing
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Witkist White by Odell Brewing Co. is a fruited Wit-style beer. Wheat, Spice, Citrus – yup, all there, as expected for a Wit. However, the fruit character marries so well with the base beer character that it really doesn’t stand out as would be expected for a BJCP Category 29A Fruit Beer. It is... Read More

Found

Found, Upland Brewing Co.
Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Found by Upland Brewing Co. is a very straightforward, uncomplicated American Wild Ale (Cat 28B – Mixed Fermentation Wild Ale as per the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines) that is a bit “wilder” than most, using a culture isolated from the Smoky Mountain wilds for fermentation. It appears that this... Read More

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

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