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

Chillwave Double IPA

Great Lakes beer Chillwave Double IPA
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Chillwave, by Great Lakes Brewing, is a fine example of a Double IPA that is trying to keep it simple. This one delivers big alcohol and big, dank, tropical Mosaic hop character throughout the experience, coming off like a SMASH version of the style compared to other brewer’s versions, which... Read More

Sour Saison

Sour Saison New Belgium Brewing Co.
Judges Rating:
91
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

New Belgium Sour Saison is being evaluated as Mixed Fermentation Sour using a Saison base beer (Cat 28B in the 2015 BJCP Guidelines). This brew is described as being a Saison that has been blended with a Foeder-aged Sour Golden Ale.  While the character of the Sour does come through in the... Read More

Bomb!

Prairie Bomb Artisan Ales Beer
Judges Rating:
98
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
40 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
20 / 20

Prairie Bomb! is a very aptly named concoction. The quite amazing complexity exhibited in this specialty Imperial Stout delivers a massive explosion of delicious flavors and aromas that linger in the memory well after the drinking is done. This deep black-colored opaque brew with a moderately... Read More

Hopslam

Hopslam Bell's Beer Double IPA
Judges Rating:
96
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

When you hear the words "Hop Slam" the immediate expectation is of a brew with an overwhelming and one-dimensional hop character assault on the senses. In fact, while there is solid hop presence in this beer, it offers much more – delivering a well-crafted and delicious overall package.  

... Read More

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