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

Pacer IPA

Pacer IPA, Avery Brewing Co.
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Pacer IPA by Avery Brewing Co. is a quite dank rendition of the BJCP 21B Specialty IPA style, with the offering being session strength. The hop character satisfies very well, though the malt components are a bit wanting, as is seen rather often in sessionable IPAs.

Big dank sulfur hop... Read More

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

Puff Puff Pastry Stout

Puff Puff Pastry Stout, Gnarly Barley Brewing
Judges Rating:
96
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Puff Puff Pastry Stout by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. is an amazingly complex rendition of the current pastry stout fad. There is a lot of goodness going on in this brew, with much complexity and a surprising level of balance that really makes this one quite the treat. This brew is being evaluated... 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

Judges Rating:
97
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Barrel Aged Imperial Korova by Gnarly Barley Brewing Co. is an amazingly rich, complex and delicious concoction! This bourbon barrel-aged milk porter is being evaluated as a 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer with Baltic Porter as the base beer.

The aroma has an incredible complexity of bourbon... 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

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