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Mike Castagno

Mike Castagno's picture
Beer Judge

Mike was born and raised in the Philadelphia area before going to school at Furman University in Greenville, SC for Chemistry. There he discovered craft beer from all of the local and nearby Asheville breweries. After moving back up north to Wilmington, DE, Mike stumbled upon an AHA Rally at a local brewpub and discovered that people were making high quality beer at home. He quickly jumped into the hobby and developed a passion for beer making. He’s been brewing since 2005 and has won a number of awards over the years. He relocated to Atlanta in 2007 and works in the field of polymer research & development. He loves to apply his chemistry and engineering knowledge to his brewing set up, always testing and optimizing. He decided to begin beer judging in 2009 to help make better beer and with dedication he has advanced to the rank of Master Beer Judge.

My reviews

Austin Amber

Independence Brewing Austin Amber beer
Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

English-style ales are a dying breed here in the U.S. The ones that make it over from the U.K. are often riddled with oxidation due to a long boat ride across the Atlantic, and are many times a weak representation of the style to begin with. The few made here in the U.S. tend to migrate towards... Read More

Snake Handler

Good People Snake Handler Double IPA Beer
Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

Note – This beer was shipped in a vacuum-insulated growler. More on this later.

A moderate hop nose laced with grapefruit and pine hit you initially. Underneath are low levels of passion fruit and guava with a bit of a floral tone and a touch of hay. The alcohol is obvious with some... Read More

Power & Light

Independence Brewing Power & Light beer
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
19 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

This is a smooth, soft, subtle beer that would go down easy on a hot summer day. A hint of sulfur is first noted but that quickly dissipates and gives way to a floral, almost rose-like aroma paired with a light grainy, doughy malt and a touch of sweet honey as it warms. Continental-style hops... Read More

Good People Pale Ale

Good People Pale Ale Beer
Judges Rating:
84
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
19 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

This example of an APA is a divergence from the traditional American Pale Ale. Typically you expect to see a bright citrus hop aroma and flavor with a noticeable yet pleasant bitterness. In this beer, however, there is a moderate level of bready, doughy malt with a touch of cracker and a... Read More

Steampipe

Otter Creek Steampipe Cali Common beer
Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

The beer here seems to deviate a little from the traditional expectations of the style. California Common is an amber-colored beer that is hallmarked by the use of Northern Brewer hops and fermented with a lager yeast at warmer, ale-like temperatures. The beer here is much lighter in color,... Read More

Good People IPA

Good People IPA Beer
Judges Rating:
92
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

A billowing cloud of hop essence hits you right as the beer is poured. Heavy grapefruit, ripe orange, pineapple, guava and a wisp of pine fill the air. Way underneath all that is a slight bready malt component and a touch of caramel. Another wave of hops appears as it warms: earthy and grassy,... Read More

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