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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Writing about Rogues'

We blog. We tweet. We facebook. It's big fun. However, when the on line writing began, I (that would be E, owner, operator, occasional writer) made a promise to self not to post anything negative, or any personal political or religious views. Writing is personal for me no matter the subject and sometimes this is not any easy promise to keep. Sarcastic thoughts creep in. I could have some fun with a Bourdainesque witty blog or espouse my views on the global economic plague, but no. No bitter rants here. The hardest to resist is writing about people. There's an abundance inappropriate material, yet I manage to keep my word.
The very best and the very worst aspect of operating a restaurant, microbrewery and inn is the people. Staff and customers alike are 99.9% wonderful and .01% ...well you know, difficult. Our staff is a tight knit group of hard working team players that generally love one another, but occasionally feel like killing each other, kind of like an actual family. They often provide way too much information. Late night stories from the drunken evening before, shopping expeditions, self loathing, dating nightmares, family's all shared for better or for worse. The male servers are especially horrified by the education they receive while prepping for the dinner rush. I think the female staffers are saving the male staffers from making some painful dating errors. One, "big" is a word never to be directed towards a woman you like, ever. Two, inviting a woman to your apartment to see your pet snake is a conversation that will never end well, even if you really do have a pet snake. All learned while filling salt and pepper shakers and setting tables. Those are extremely tame examples, but you get the idea. Then there's battles over covering shifts, who's making more money, who's hooking up with whom, who's taking the wrong order from the kitchen and serving it! and then the immediate colorful screaming, utensil throwing tirade from the chefs (which is entirely deserved by the way). It's all great fodder for twitter, but alas i must keep it clean and positive. It's a tall order, but i persevere. Customers too can really make or break our day. Most are wonderful- they enjoy the history, the food, the beer, the cushy rooms, the friendly staff... While a few have legitimate complaints, others are just plain nuts. We are left to sort it all out. Some drink a bit too much, and possibly shouldn't tell us about their about their recent cross dressing escapades. Others are just clearly under medicated and shouldn't be out in public. And the worst is a mid dinner break up. Really, you couldn't have held on 20 more minutes and let the poor guy cry it out in the car instead of in the middle of a crowded restaurant? Again, more fabulous facebook stories. But, not the right thing to do, so I refrain. I have an iron will.
Instead, we write about what we're cooking: fresh local foods, yummy specials, and new menu offerings. We write about what we are brewing, local hops, and future brewing ideas. We write about re-decorating rooms, what we are serving for breakfast and cool places our guests are visiting: Ithaca Farmer's Market, the Cayuga Wine Trail, Sapsucker Woods, the Finger Lakes Beer & Cheese Trails... It's rarely insightful, I know, but hopefully informative and sometimes funny, because that's us.
We cook. We brew. We welcome overnight guests. It's all about what we do and where we live. Someday, I'll write the hilarious tell-all. But for now, whether you work here, eat & drink here or you're visiting- what happens at Rogues', stays at Rogues'. But, one day some of you will have your own chapter. You know who you are. :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oktoberfest Comes to Rogues Harbor!

The German Oktoberfest may have officially ended October 3rd, but at Rogues we're just gearing up for some Fest spirit of our own. Sometime this week we will begin pouring our next Brewers Choice beer, an Oktoberfest inspired ale! While a traditional German Oktoberfest beer is of the lager variety and spend a good deal of time lagering before being served we're making use of an ale yeast that was more comfortable fermenting in our current climate. We've used much the same malt and hops that you'll find in a German beer, and we think you're going to really like the result.

So what exactly is Oktoberfest all about? The festival began as a wedding celebration for Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen(say that one three times fast.. Or try saying it even just once!). A few years later they moved the date from the middle of October to the beginning of September to have a chance at better weather for the festival. They also incorporated a celebration of the harvest in to the festival; the Munich citizens would celebrate their fortunes of harvest prior to the coming of winter. Overtime Oktoberfest has spread from Munich and the rest of Germany to a world wide celebration of beer, especially German lagers. A true Oktoberfest beer is one that has been brewed in the city limits of Munich and then designated as an Oktoberfest beer. Many breweries throughout the world brew their own Fest beers at this time, often calling them Oktoberfest beers as an homage to the Munich brewing tradition.

At Rogues we will celebrate the tradition of giving thanks to bountiful harvests, good friendships, and tasty beer with our Fest beer brewed right here in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I've been told to be on the lookout for some menu items fittingly designed to go with our newest beer and to help everyone celebrate a piece of German tradition and history in a Centeal New  York style!