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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

Rare Trait

Cerebral Brewing Rare Trait IPA beer crowler
Judges Rating:
96
Appearance:
4 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Creamy. Velvety. Luscious. Tropical. These are the main characteristics of this beer, but it is also much more than that. The beer puts down my skepticism for both "crowlers" (32-oz. cans that are filled from the tap then sealed) and hazy IPAs. With a massive citrusy nose full of grapefruit,... Read More

20 Year Storm

Heavy Seas Beer 20 Year Storm
Judges Rating:
96
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
39 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Pouring reddish-orange with brilliant clarity, this beer offers an incredibly complex aroma chock-full of caramel, toffee, oak and bourbon. There are hints of cocoa with a touch of dried figs and a subtle, spicy and soft alcohol note. While an ESB may lead you to expect some earthy hop notes,... Read More

GFJ

Sun King Brewing GFJ Grapefruit IPA beer
GFJ
Judges Rating:
85
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
19 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

The initial aroma was a bit perfumy and off-putting but if you can get past that, there is a nice beer underneath. This particular example was a little oxidized so the caramel became apparent while the hops slid to the background. There was a touch of wet cardboard behind it all as well. The ... Read More

Coffee Oatmeal Stout

Good People Coffee Oatmeal Stout Beer
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
6 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Roasted coffee beans with a note of espresso and a touch of dark chocolate should hit you once the beer is poured. This is followed by some supporting caramel notes and a moderate malt character of bread, toast and biscuit. There is a faint hint of anise in the background along with a touch of... Read More

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

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