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

Adaptation Ale No. 4

Roughtail Beer Adaptation Ale Beer
Judges Rating:
92
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

This brew pours a hazy gold with a lingering, finely-bubbled white head that leaves an attractive lacing. The aroma in this brew is quite assertively complex and amazingly fresh, with a combination of dankness, lemon and lime zest, melony and fruity hop character along with a hint of sweet malt... Read More

Coffee Okie

Prairie Coffee Okie Beer
Judges Rating:
95
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Prairie's Coffee Okie is a complex, barrel-aged spiced Imperial Brown Ale. This deep brown-colored brew with a rather quickly dissipating white head has a huge roasted coffee aroma with moderate levels of raisin, whiskey, chocolate and oak character. Very appetizing!

The first sip... Read More

Blonde de l'Enfer

Blonde de l'Enfer by Unibroue
Judges Rating:
95
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Unibroue has been tempting lovers of Belgian-style beer for 25 years. To celebrate that anniversary, Unibroue has brewed Blonde de l’Efner, a Belgian Golden Strong Ale (BJCP Category 25C). This offering is a fine rendition of the style, and, while unmistakably a Unibroue product, rivals in... Read More

Thai Peanut

Thai Peanut by Right Brain Brewery
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Thai Peanut Brown Ale by Right Brain Brewery is a unique experience to be sure. This is meant in a very positive way, and if you are a fan of Pad Thai (as I am), this will definitely fit the bill!  This Brown Ale with spicy Thai peanut butter is being evaluated as a Category 30A Spice, Herb and... Read More

Judges Rating:
92
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Roughtail’s Everything Rhymes With Orange is a very hop flavor-centric example of the American IPA style. This slightly hazy, golden-colored brew maintains a solid creamy small head with quite attractive lacing. The assertive aroma delivers a huge citrus and Citra hop character along with a... Read More

Fat Tire Belgian White

Fat Tire Belgian White New Belgium Brewing Co.
Judges Rating:
86
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
33 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Fat Tire Belgian White is a good example of the Belgian Wit (Cat 24A in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines). A Wit is a perfect Summer ale if you are looking for a refreshing light yet flavorful brew that is not a hop bomb.  Unfortunately, this example has a few flaws that impact these qualities. 

... Read More

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