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

Southern Drawl

Great Raft Beer Southern Drawl Pale Lager
Judges Rating:
87
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

The immediate perception with this beer centers on its soft, grainy and doughy malt aroma that's reminiscent of oyster crackers and freshly baked bread. It was visually striking with a straw yellow color and a clean, pale white head. The beer is soft and smooth up front with a pleasant spicy hop... Read More

Julius

Tree House Beer Julius IPA
Judges Rating:
88
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
24 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Julius by Tree House Brewing was reviewed as an American IPA (BJCP style 21A). The aroma outperforms the other dimensions of the beer, whereas the flavor underperforms the promise of the aroma and the body leaves something to be desired. There was a strong hit of grapefruit aromatics along with... Read More

Reasonably Corrupt

Great Raft Beer Reasonably Corrupt
Judges Rating:
84
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
7 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

I am initially hit with a strong roast character that's full of burnt toast, ash and coffee grounds. This slowly gives way to a subtle bread crust and graininess with a bit of caramel notes to follow. The caramel amplifies as the beer warms, strongly affecting its body and balance. The beer... 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

Commotion

Great Raft beer Commotion Pale Ale
Judges Rating:
90
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

With the first tasting, there was an exaggerated, obvious ruby red grapefruit aroma, almost seeming to be artificial in nature. The second tasting, however, provided a much more natural hop character: generically “citrusy” with notes of grapefruit, orange and a bit of lime. There was a... 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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