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

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

Standard Lager

Judges Rating:
93
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Standard Lager by Fulton is being evaluated as an International Amber Lager (Category 2B) from the 2015 BJCP guidelines. As such, it is expected to be a relatively simple mild beer with a touch of interesting caramel malt character. This beer fits that bill quite well. This is an unassuming, yet... Read More

300

Fulton Beer 300 West Coast IPA beer
300
Judges Rating:
92
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

300 IPA by Fulton is a Mosaic hop bomb, pure and simple. From the first whiff upon opening the bottle to the final lingering aftertaste, the expression delivered by the generous use of Mosaic hops is the star of the show, and this brew could be a wonderful learning tool for those wanting to... Read More

3rd Anniversary Ale

Roughtail 3rd Anniversary Ale Double IPA beer
Judges Rating:
95
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Roughtail’s 3rd Anniversary Ale is a very solid Double IPA. It is also an example of the recent trend in the industry towards murky, hazy IPAs. Visually, this moderately carbonated brew pours a very cloudy gold with a solid, creamy and small head with some lace. The assertive aroma in this brew... Read More

Concrete Dinosaur

Concrete Dinosaur by Right Brain Brewery
Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Concrete Dinosaur Brown Rye IPA by Right Brain Brewery is a great example of a well-crafted very flavorful Rye IPA with amazing balance and drinkability, and should be a definite go-to brew if available in your area. Due to it being a Brown Rye IPA (combination of Brown IPA and Rye IPA), this is... Read More

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