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

Moondance

Southbound Beer Moondance
Judges Rating:
91
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Southbound Brewing Company’s Moondance is another one of the brewery's creative and interesting specialty beer offerings. There have been Belgian takes on a wide range of traditional beer styles by many breweries over the past few years; in this example, Southbound tried its hand at “... Read More

Upslope Citra Pale Ale

Upslope Citra Pale Ale, Upslope Brewing Co.
Judges Rating:
91
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Upslope Citra Pale Ale by Upslope Brewing Co. is an extremely dank rendition of the BJCP 18B American Pale Ale style. Interestingly, while it is advertised as being Citra hopped, the hop character comes out more as a Simcoe-dominant offering.

Hop aromas leap from the glass upon the pour,... Read More

Bad Elmer's Porter

Upland Beer Bad Elmer's Porter
Judges Rating:
86
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Upland’s Bad Elmer’s Porter is an approachable example of an American Porter with a few minor problems. This brown-black brew with a medium cream-colored stand of head and moderate carbonation has an aroma of black malt sharpness with a background of chocolate. The flavor has an evident base... Read More

Leviathan

Leviathan Harpoon IPA
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Harpoon’s Leviathan IPA is a monster! This aroma of this massive brew is loaded with melon and citrus character with a light resinous background combined with substantial base malt notes. The appearance is outstanding, with very light carbonation delivering a fine, lingering, creamy, lacy head... Read More

Persimmon

Persimmon by Upland Brewing Co.
Judges Rating:
86
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Upland Persimmon is an interesting attempt at using a rather obscure fruit in an American Sour application, though it is an offering that might improve with age. The sample was evaluated as a 28C Wild Specialty Beer (according to the 2015 BJCP guidelines), and was bottled on January 2017... Read More

Osiris Pale Ale

Osiris by Sun King Brewery
Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Osiris Pale Ale by Sun King is a very well-crafted APA (2015 BJCP Category 18b).  In a time where hop bomb IPA’s rule the roost, it’s nice to have a flavorful and well balanced option that still satisfies the lust for hops yet delivers a certain level of harmony and drinkability.

You are... Read More

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