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:
87
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Elgoods Coolship Sour Mango Ale is very straightforward in that it delivers what is on the label.  It is sour, and it has a Mango flavor, and it does these things quite well.  There is not a lot of complexity beyond this, but depth of flavor might not be necessary in this offering.  Though this... Read More

Teddy Bear Kisses

Teddy Bear Kisses Imperial Stout Upland Beer
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Upland Teddy Bear Kisses is a solid, full-flavored Imperial Stout that exemplifies the style quite well. The aroma has a strong chocolate malt or cocoa character backed by a slightly burnt black malt bite. Visually, this lightly carbonated brew is an opaque, deep brown/black with a tan head that... Read More

Shakedown Street

Southbound Shakedown Street Saison beer
Judges Rating:
91
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

This beer pours a cloudy yellow color with a finely bubbled white head arising from moderate carbonation that lingers for an appropriate time. The brew has a moderately tart lemony character with earthiness and a metal-like carbonic acid zip in the nose. Considering that this is a dry-hopped... Read More

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

Upland Dantalion Dark Wild Ale is a well-crafted American Sour that has the potential to improve with age.

The aroma of this brew is very complex with cherry, apple, sour fruit and spicy notes. There is a strong Lacto character along with some brown sherry aromas. Visually, this well-... Read More

Lonely Blonde

Lonely Blonde Fulton Brewing beer
Judges Rating:
88
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Lonely Blonde by Fulton is a relatively simple beer, as would be expected from an American Blonde Ale. This is typically an entry level style for those first approaching the craft beer world, and as such, Lonely Blonde is a good example of the style – unassuming, yet clean and refreshing with... Read More

Scattered Sun

Scattered Sun Southbound Beer
Judges Rating:
84
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Southbound Brewing Company's Scattered Sun delivers many of the basics that you’d expect in a Wit, but with a few issues. This expectedly cloudy golden-colored brew has an appealing tart aroma and cereal notes along with evident coriander and citrus spice in the nose, which really raises your... Read More

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