All posts by AndyMartinec

Island Baby

Island Baby has been an idea in the works for about half a year now but we finally pulled the trigger on brewing it back in August. We wanted to create a series of beers that were inspired by Tiki drinks/cocktails and the first of the series needed to be a big one, so we landed on the Hurricane as our inspiration.

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Space Bear

For those who were are the Texas Craft Brewers Festival this past weekend, you may already know about Space Bear. For those who were not, we have a very exciting beer that we debut at the festival and will be releasing kegs at the pub on the 24th of October and a limited bottle release will be announced later this month. 

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Rational Thought

Over the years, quite a few things have changed in the brewery, and with an ever-evolving craft beer scene, that is to be expected. We have introduced over 50 unique beer recipes, began distributing our beer, won a Bronze(2013) and Gold(2015) medal at the Great American Beer Festival, finally got a Crowler machine for a viable to-go beer option, and all the while we’ve continued to come up with new beer names that are long, tongue-tying or just downright obscure (Jim Crust anyone?).

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Brouwerslokaal Collaboration

Back in January of this year I was approached by one of our board members, Cole, to see if we were interested in a potential collaboration with a brewer from the Netherlands. I was immediately intrigued, so we agreed to start a dialogue via email where I was then introduced to the brewer, Thibo Baccarne.

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Coming Not So Soon, Barrel Aging at Black Star

As many of you know, we just released Aberrant No. 4 in the pub last month. What many of you may NOT know is that was the last bit of the original base beer that was soured in our used bourbon barrels. The base beer that was originally put in the barrels was a malty, slightly smoky beer that was then inoculated with a few different souring bacteria and wild yeasts in each barrel.

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2015 Member-Owner Designed Beer: Part II

After reviewing all of the results from the initial “Member-owner Designed Beer” survey, I feel I have a pretty strong idea of what everyone is looking for in this recipe. The majority of people had very similar ideas about what our next beer should be. Since the feedback we received was so focused, I don’t think it is necessary to release a second survey. This means the sit down sensory analysis gets to happen sooner! 

On Sunday July 19th, we will hold a gathering of Member-Owners (hopefully everyone who participated in the survey will join) at Black Star Co-op, 2pm. There will be a plethora of ingredients present based on our interpretation of everyone’s survey input. Our job will be to guide the you, the Member-Owner’s, through each potential ingredient, then decide which of them will be included in our beer. 

Once we have decided what should make it into the recipe, the Beer Team will brew this collaborative ale and serve it at the pub. 

If you’re a beer-loving member and want to be more involved, this is your chance. Come on out and help create a beer you want to drink at your Black Star Co-op. 

Design for Drinking: Brewing A New Member-Owner Envisioned Beer

Black Star Co-op just recently passed the 3300 member-owners mark (that’s amazing). We are truly fortunate to have so many people who support and care about this brewpub. Because y’all are so great, we want to do something special: let’s make another member-owner designed beer! I mean, think about how well it worked out last time (see: GABF Bronze Medal).

We’re going to manage this design session similar to how Elba was designed some years ago. To help navigate a process with so many contributing voices,  we’re going to start with a couple surveys to fill out.

We need to narrow down what “type” of beer to make. Then we can start focusing on a specific style. Majority decides the winner, so make sure you vote.

After the surveys are completed and type and style are determined, we will invite a group of member-owners to Black Star for an ingredients sensory analysis to determine what will be in the final beer. Once we have gathered as much feedback as possible from our members, we will design a recipe, share it with everyone, and brew it as soon as we can fit it into the schedule (ex: if we end up with a boozy porter, it makes sense for us to wait until the colder months to start brewing).

I am excited to see what y’all will have us cook up. Please give as much feedback as you like. We will try to guide this process so that most of you end up with the beer you’ve always dreamed of. 

Here is the link to the first survey:

You Casked for It: More Cask Releases Moving Forward

Casks! Casks! Everyone loves casks! Well, maybe not everyone… But those who do will be excited to hear that we are going to change the way we manage our cask program going forward. We currently set aside two Mondays out of the month for special cask releases that we market a week or two in advance. This schedule gave us time to build excitement and inform people about the beer that will be on the cask engine.

This has worked great so far, making our Monday nights that much more special when you come to visit! However… I want more. More casks. More hops. More fruits. More puns. More El Vulcano. More manual pulling of beer.  

My aim is to have more casks on the engine throughout the year. As of now, Black Star Co-op releases a cask on a Monday and by Wednesday, it’s often gone. That means a cask is usually only available for 3 out of every 12 days. Though the few days our casks are available may engender an air of exclusivity, which is what we were aiming for, I want to see what happens when it’s more available. Bottom-line: I want to have more delicious under-carbonated beer waiting to be tapped.

This will change the way we advertise our cask releases. Instead of having a two-week heads up for the exact day a cask will be released, we will send out information on Facebook closer to the tapping of each release. We will let you know in the monthly newsletter which house beer you can expect to find casked each month. This month, expect special casks of Pneuma, Vulcan, and Rover. 

That being said, our beer production is highly seasonal, and the warmer months (now) generally yield beers less likely to be casked up. But we’re going to try to implement this new system and pull that engine all summer long (El Vulcano, anyone?).

By doing this, the Co-op will have casks available more often–including during peak weekend hours. For all who have asked “whats on cask?” and too often received the reply “nothing!”—this change is for you. I want everyone to be able to enjoy the traditional re-fermented ale offering that is cask-conditioned ale as whenever the mood strikes.