Joe's Rants and Raves

  • Jan 09 - 05:40 PM: Closed Tomorrow : Joe McBane

    Well it's been about a year and it is time to roll out the Christmas staff party. It was a fairly epic holiday season and the staff have truly earned a good knees up. I am sorry if this causes any inconvenience for any of you but I hope you understand.


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  • Jan 02 - 02:40 PM: 2009 in Review. 2010 in Preview : Joe McBane

    A another year comes to a close and I have a few minutes to reflect on some of the key moments.

    Overall it was a fantastic year here at the pub. You continued to support us by buying good beer and food even though it has been a hard year for some of you in this economy. Thank you.

    We built a bigger deck to accommodate your outdoor needs. Due to extreme City of Rochester coding I am sure that will still be there long after the apocalypse has swept through. On the plus side of the extreme City coding I got to play with a back hoe for the day. If you ever get the chance, do it.

    Collaboration between breweries. It seemed that every couple of weeks someone else was doing it. Brooklyn and Schneider got it started back in '07 with Hopfen Weisse and it really became a trend in '08. I thought that Dogfish/Sierra Life and Limb and Stone/Brewdog Basha were the highlights. Cripes you emptied the Life and Limb keg in 18 minutes!

    McBane's Best Bitter was respectfully killed off. I didn't love it in the end and it had to go. McBane's beer project was then dreamed up. Work with different breweries brewing different one off batches of beer. Myself and Jordan Sunseri then of Custom Brewcrafters, now of Victory came up with McBane's Strawberry Wit. Delicious beer with a shortage of strawberry flavor. I should have called it McBane's Wit and left it at that. It's funny, when you give something a name you create an expectation and people only judge it based on that.

    The pub was voted Rochester's Best Beer List by readers of City Newspaper. Ever since I arrived in Rochester back in 2000 I have wanted to win that award. 2009 was the first year that I truly gave up all hope and resigned myself to losing out to MacGregors again. You see, Mac Gregors has a big advantage in that they have four or five locations that all have regulars. All of their votes get pooled into one. Oh, that and they do sell a fair bit of good beer. Thanks to every one that voted. Just remember when the last glimmer of hope fades away, don't give up.

    As the overall quality of craft brewing improved, the importance of branding and packaging grew. It is a very competitive marketplace and clip art won't cut it anymore folks. Good beer can get lost. Equally there are examples of mediocre beer that is marketed very well. Listen up brewery owners, don't skimp on the marketing department and send out your carefully made beer looking like a hillbilly high school art project. Ok.

    We saw less sour ales in 2009 than 2008. I was a trend that this young craft brew culture had to go through I suppose. Thank fully we have gone through it and it is back to being very niche. That is just my taste buds talking.

    I see less and less mystique when it comes to European beers. Want to know why? American craft beer is freakin good and has got much better in the last few years.

    The bar stools continued to deteriorate. No major injuries were reported.

    New bar stools have been picked out and will have backs.

    Keep an eye out for beer dinners. We have sold out of tickets for the Great Lakes January event and will plan more.

    I think that one of our weaknesses at times is our ability to get guests out in a timely fashion when they are done with their meals due to our hand written checks. This all about to change as I bought an electronic POS system that is going to launch this coming week. Service should be streamlined and generally improved.

    Look for a new brewery to open in Canandaigua. It will not be called the Chosen Spot.

    Brewdog. These guys are making good beer. They get their name out there in a massive way. They are going to be a presence for a long time. If you haven't already read about them. Drink some of the beer.

    I think organic and locally grown will really become a huge trend in 2010 as craft beer drinkers demand environmentally responsible products.

    The next McBane's beer will be brewed with Brian O'Reilly of Sly Fox. West Coast style hop bomb with an Eastern twist I am currently thinking. Brewing sometime in February.

    In addition I am sure there will be a whole host of surprises along the road.........


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  • Dec 16 - 11:39 AM: Android app : Joe McBane

    We have just launched our Android phone app. Just like the iphone app it will allow you to get all our menus right on your phone. It saves on paper and is super cool.

    Thanks to James Mann for making it happen!

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