• The BJCP Board of Directors has one elected representative from each of the seven geographical regions. The current representative, Rex Halfpenny, is not seeking re-election this year. The Board will appoint a person who is eligible under the bylaws to replace him. The following individuals have expressed interest in being appointed, and the Board is conducting a poll to be sure they have the support of at least some members in the region. This is not an actual election, and the Board will not be bound by its results when making the appointment.

    If (and only if) you are a current BJCP member in the Midwest region, please read the statements of the candidates, then follow the link after the statements. Please consider it carefully, since you will be allowed to "vote" only once, and the FIRST vote you cast will be the only one counted. No hanging or dimpled chads.

    The poll will be available until the end of the day (midnight) on May 1, 2005.

    Candidate Statements

    These statements have not been edited in any way, and have not been altered except for format to permit display on a web page. All candidates stayed under the 500 word maximum.

    Scott Dennis

    Joe Formanek

    John Weerts

    Greetings fellow judges and brewers, I am seeking the position of the Midwest Regional Representative for the BJCP. I have been brewing and judging since 1999 and currently hold the rank of National Judge. During this time, I have been a steward, judge, and competition director. I enjoy judging at competitions outside of my area because it gives me a chance talk about all phases of beer with brewers and judges outside of my local clubs and to improve my judging skills. I am one of the founding members of the Iowa Brewers Union and I am also a member of the Raccoon River Brewers of Des Moines.

    Professionally, I have a PhD in Anaerobic Microbiology and I am the Quality Control Manager of the Microbial Division of Pioneer Hi-Bred Int. We research, produce, and market beneficial lactic acid bacteria to live stock producers worldwide. Ironically for a brewer, one of my jobs is to select lactic acid bacteria that inhibit yeasts. I view brewing as a natural extension of my continuing education process as a microbiologist and judging as a tool in improving my brewing.

    At my first competition when I had no idea of what I was doing, the organizer wisely paired me top-notch judges who took the time to explain the judging process and how I could improve my tasting and descriptive skills. I have always remembered how beneficial this was to my development and one of my goals as a judge has been to help new judges improve their skills.

    My name is Joe Formanek. I hold a B.S.(Microbiology) U of MN, 1988, and a Ph.D. (Food Science) U of IL, 1998, and am currently a Principal Research Scientist at a major food company in the Chicago area.

    I am an avid homebrewer, with my first batch being made in 1988. I have won numerous local and National awards, and was named the AHA Ninkasi Award winner in 2000 and the AHA Meadmaker of the Year in 2004. I have been a member of the BJCP since 1995 and attained the rank of National Judge in 1997. I am very active in the hobby, having judged, organized or played some committee role in nearly 50 competitions over the years, as well as being a founder of a brewclub (BUZZ) in Champaign, IL. I am also an active member of the Urban Knaves of Grain Homebrew club in the Chicagoland area.

    I see where the BJCP will need to take a more proactive role in the future. Active judge recruitment in targeted regions, seminars and the like would assist in promoting beer literacy, appreciation and judging skills, which is the true mandate of the organization. I will strive to be an active force in the organization, and be available to act as an advocate on the BJCP board for judges in the Midwest region with any concerns that may arise.

    It would be an honor to represent the Midwest Region on the BJCP board. Who am I? I have been homebrewing since July 17th, 2002 when a good friend took my checkbook shopping and dragged me kicking and screaming in to this wonderful hobby/way of life. My first brewing attempt included two small stockpots and a chicken fryer (don't ask) and yet the beer that came out was very drinkable (wink, wink). I realized that I needed help, so in November 2002 I joined the Kansas City Bier Meisters homebrew club and quickly involved myself in various positions with the club. Over the last thirteen years I have been club President, Vice President, Competition Coordinator, Webmeister, and Newsletter Editor. I have actively participated on the competition committee nine out of the last thirteen years and plan to continue to serve as long as they will let me. One of my greatest thrills as a homebrewer was to be part of the organizing committee for the 1999 American Homebrew Association's National Conference that we hosted in Kansas City. Right after that event, I moved to Hawaii to help assist the opening of Molokai Brewing Company. I served as General Manager until we closed in May 2001. (We set up on the wrong island &emdash; no tourists). I have also worked for Bacchus and Barleycorn, Ltd., a Kansas City homebrew shop.

    I have been a BJCP judge since 1995 and became a Certified Beer Judge in 1997. Like many judges I need to get off my duff and retake the exam to move up in rank. In my travels to competitions throughout the Midwest I have the pleasure of meeting and getting to know many fine judges.

    The influence of the BJCP cannot be underestimated on the practice of homebrewing. Once I joined the program and started to judge other's beers, I realized what changes I needed in my own methods to improve my beers. This is one of the greatest aspects of the program. I am interested in the new continuing education program that the BJCP is working on since it will go a long way to enhance our abilities in judging and brewing beers.

    To reference something important; yes my physical address is in North Carolina which technically is in the South region, but my house is only about ten miles across the border from Tennessee. My choice to move here was based on taking a chance with a future project with the folks I worked for in Hawaii. I currently work with my sister in Kansas and my job allows me to work from home and the ability to live on a mountain was irresistible. I still average one week a month back in Kansas City and I remain an active member of the club there as I did when I lived in Hawaii. The Midwest is where I call home and I shall always remain interested in the development of brewing and judging there.

    To register a "vote of confidence" for ONE of these individuals, click here no later than May 1st.