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

Jungle Boogie

Marz Community Brewing Jungle Boogie Wheat beer
Judges Rating:
89
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

Pouring with a golden hue and orange highlights, the beer expresses prominently fruity aromatics of grapefruit and lemon alongside lychee, passion fruit and a touch of white peach. The bitterness is aggressive upon the initial tasting, full of a tannic bite that wine drinkers often describe as... 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

Sweet Potato Casserole

Funky Buddha Sweet Potato Casserole Beer
Judges Rating:
81
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
30 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
15 / 20

When evaluating a beer like this, a judge needs to look at two things: the quality of the base style (in this case an American Strong Ale) and how the added ingredient(s) are expressed in the beer. I give credit here for originality, as the unusual addition of sweet potato creates a gently sweet... Read More

Good People Brown Ale

Good People Brown Ale Beer
Judges Rating:
91
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
38 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

This version of an American Brown Ale does not disappoint. Upfront, there are moderate caramel and light toffee characters that cap off a noticeably biscuity and slightly crackery malt nose. A light nuttiness rounds out an earthy hop quality followed by a touch of floral notes underneath. The... 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

Hop Stimulator

Hop Stimulator by Funk Buddha Brewery
Judges Rating:
89
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
18 / 20

As the name would suggest, your senses will be immediately stimulated with huge hop vapors of pungent resin, pine and spruce – as evergreen-type hops dominate the initial perception. These slowly give way to a citrus hop character with notes of tangerine, grapefruit as well as nectarine and even... Read More

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