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

Judges Rating:
86
Appearance:
5 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

This beer starts off with a booming hop bouquet dominated by pine needles and resin. This quickly fades to a less pronounced herbal character with background notes of tangerine and grapefruit. Underneath it all there are hints of caramel and bready malt. The color is bright gold with a slight... Read More

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

Judges Rating:
94
Appearance:
6 / 6
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
19 / 20

Initially there is a huge waft of toffee in the nose, though this quickly calms down to allow for a generous maple syrup character mixed with the aroma of a coffee house – espresso and fresh-brewed coffee. To add to the complexity, there's a touch of smokiness underneath it all. There is a very... Read More

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