All posts by Jodi M

Wine in a Beer World

As brewpubs and taprooms become more integrated into our social fabric, we find ourselves needing options as diverse as our community. Black Star has always strove to cater to all, whether you suffer a gluten intolerance, don’t care for the meats, or simply just don’t feel like drinking beer, WE GOT YOU. A well-curated wine list lends itself perfectly to this scenario, and we make careful selections with a local company to bring y’all the highest quality juice at the best price. One of the coolest, most sustainable innovations of recent years has been wine on tap. A single keg of wine saves anywhere from 30-40 glass bottles from use, and keeps the product from ever seeing the light of day, providing the freshest pour, every time. At Black Star, you can find an Italian prosecco and an old-world style rose on guest taps 1 & 2, perfect for mimosas and patio-pounding. Our current rose on tap pairs amazingly with the spiciness of the shrimp and grits, and our prosecco is divine with chips. Both are also available in a 500mL carafe for sharing (or not). Additionally, most of our offerings are organically or sustainably farmed, being from European regions that have generations of wine-growing practice under their belts. European appellations don’t force growers to label organic, but do have to list added sulfites. Many houses even use cooperative practices to bottle and label in post-production. Bring your friends and family in to try some of our wines with a cheese plate or burger. Look for halfprice bottle night and curated pairings coming on Wednesdays in the next couple weeks!

Message from the Board of Directors

Marcus reporting in with an update from your Board of Directors. Since the elections closed late last year, we’ve had a few changes to the Board that you, as a member and owner of this co-op, should know about.


Some sad news first. Beth Beutel, Black Star board president 2016 – 2018, stepped down and resigned from the Board, effective March 1st. The Board wants to recognize Beth and express our gratitude for her years of service.  We wish her all the best with her new promotion at work.  Her absence will be felt on the Board for a long time. 

A big change like this precipitated a few other changes to the Board as well. Marcus was nominated and voted Board President; Dacia was nominated and voted as Board Secretary. These are the two official officer roles on the Black Star board.  Don’t worry, Marcus’ Extravaganza hosting duties are not going to be impacted, and the Outreach Committee should have a date for the next extravaganza soon.

Going back to the October elections. The members elected two new directors at the end of 2018: Roger Corrales and Graham Green.  At the time, this gave us an eight-person board. A fully seated board comprises 9 directors.  So we, the Board, took action and appointed Charlotte Harper to a one-year term to fill the remaining vacancy. You can get to know these new directors at the Members’ Assembly meeting on April 28th.  Also, please check out the Board of Directors page on the website for more detailed director information.

With Beth leaving in March, we are now back down to eight directors.  So, if you have any interest in running for the Board or working with the Board in some capacity, please let Greg Cumpton, our Leadership Development Committee Chairperson, know.  

We’ll have a full report from the WA during the Spring meeting on April 28th; in the meantime, the short answer is that the co-op is heading in the right direction.  We need you, fellow co-owners of this brewpub to help. The biggest contribution is to come enjoy a pint and a snack at the co-op.  Also, plan to stop by during one of our awesome events.  However, if you are unable to make the trip up to the brewpub, you can still help.  Be an advocate for co-ops, wear your Black Star hat when the sun comes out, and wear your Black Star hoodie when the sun goes down.  We can all contribute in our own way. It’s member involvement that makes a co-op a co-op and not just another generic brewpub. 

See you at the Members’ Assembly Meeting on Sunday, April 28th!

Jodi Goes to Washington

Black Star Co-op has long been an advocate for fair wages and better working conditions in the restaurant industry. As a member of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, I had the privilege of heading to Washington D.C. last month to speak to members of Congress about eliminating the sub-minimum wage (just $2.13 / hr in Texas), and moving to One Fair Wage for all. With overwhelming support from representatives Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Brenda Lawrence among others, restaurant owners and workers from across the country were able to amplify their voices and hearts through the democratic process. Although the South often felt underrepresented with just Black Star Co-op and L’Oca d’Oro in attendance, the mood was very uplifting and hopeful as we met with other likeminded businesses from all different areas, shared our stories, our struggles, and our unrelenting determination to make a positive impact on the 13 million restaurant workers in America. Onward and upward!

Blue Index Update


On Wednesday, February 20th we will be hosting a fun meeting here at the Co-op with our friends from Blue Index. Kevin will be out to chat about the project and his findings as well as have some interesting water BINGO to play for folks who want to hang out and learn more about this awesome project. On top of that, we will be briefly talking about our collaboration “Cause Beer” with Blue Index where we intend to brew a batch with 100% water pulled from Jacobs Well in Wimberly, TX. 


For those who are not familiar with Blue Index, here is an overview:


Blue Index Description 


Come on out and learn a bit about water, drink some beer, and chat with some friendly folks!

Member-Owner Beer Survey Results

Last month we sent out a SurveyMonkey survey in the Newsletter asking for feedback on what types of beers you would like to see brewed here at Black Star. Well, the results are in and we were totally blindsided to learn that people like IPAs and specifically Vulcan. What??!!! Joking aside, we did find some interesting feedback in the data. While IPAs were by far the most cited favorite beer style, behind Vulcan, Recalcitrant Dockhand seemed to be the most favorited beer that Black Star makes. Going into 2019 we expect to brew several IPAs, Pale Ales and hoppier offerings as well as potentially trying to keep Recalcitrant/other Dockhands on more frequently. I sincerely appreciate everyone who participated in the survey as it gives us a more direct line to our Member-Owners and we don’t always get to sit down over a beer and chat about what you would like to see in your business. Keep your Facebook eyes open for some cool releases in the near future as we intend on dominating the back tap wall with more and more house beers. We also intend on keeping casks stocked and on more frequently so please come check out what we’ve got in this beautiful new year!

Member-Owner Beer Survey

In years past, we have held surveys and in-person sensory analysis to develop beers like Elba and Ceres with our Member-Owners.  This year we have decided to take a step back and get a general feel for what our Members like to drink, straight from their mouths (or keyboards), to hopefully give us better insight into what we are lacking/doing right in the brewery. Linked below is a 5 question Survey Monkey that is very straight forward. You tell us what you like, we read what you say, we brew beers that you say you like. This is a super short survey, so I am hoping to get quite a bit of feedback on this one. Please feel free to let us know any and all of your drinking desires and we will try to make 2019 the best beer lineup we have ever made. Cheers!

Introducing: Good Work Austin

Born through shared values discovered during the fight to pass the Paid Sick Ordinance, Good Work Austin is a group of local business owners and managers dedicated to creating a better work environment for all. With the support of Council Member Greg Casar and Mayor Adler, representatives from L’oca D’oro, Brew & Brew, Sweet Ritual, The Purple Fig, and Black Star Co-op among others have decided that now is the time to level the playing field for all Austin businesses.  As a group, we are dedicated to creating good jobs for all workers, ensuring a quality workplace, and supporting and amplifying the voices of like-minded businesses. We value cooperation, inclusion, shared opportunity, equality, and fairness in the operation of our businesses.

After a very successful launch party last week at The Vortex, we look forward to introducing ourselves to representatives at the December State Legislative Briefing in Austin, and learning more about how we can advocate for policies that raise workplace standards here in Texas. We are excited to continue creating a supportive environment for employers who want to do the right thing for their workers, the economy, and the environment.

Be on the lookout for more from Good Work Austin in 2019!

Wine Down Wednesday featuring Chef Chad 11/28/2018

Q: What’s your earliest food memory?

CC: My parents’ and grandparents’ kitchens. My Papa had a lake that had lots of catfish where we’d go fishing and cook it southern style after. 

Q: Who has influenced your cooking the most?

CC: My dad and grandmother. 

Q: What’s your favorite go-to ingredient?

CC: Potatoes. I can do anything with potatoes.

Q: What are some of your signature dishes?

CC: Good colcannon, enchiladas, and gourmet burgers.

Q: What did you choose to make for Wine Down Wednesday?

CC: Chicken Fried Steak, mash, and veggies paired with Prince de Lise, Blanc de Blancs Brut, champagne.

Q: What was the inspiration for the dish?

CC: It got me into eating meat again. I had been a vegetarian since I was 23 and Chicken Fried Steak got me. 

Q: If you could cook a meal for anyone, who would it be?

CC: My mom.

Q: Dumbest thing you’ve ever done with food or in a kitchen?

CC: Mac & Cheese with sour cream, and an onion glaze. It wasn’t edible. I’d advise to not try it. 

Q: What would we find in your kitchen at home?

CC: Pork loin and potatoes for sure. Carrots, celery, and a handful of spices.

Q: Most memorable meal? 

CC: With my mom and dad at a steakhouse by the woods. I love their Chicken Fried Steak.

Q: What food is your guilty pleasure?

CC: Burgers, not good for you. But I love ‘em.

Q: What’s your last meal on earth, if you had the chance to choose?

CC: Chicken Fried Steak breakfast would be a good comforting meal. 

Wine Down Wednesday featuring Chef Jim

Q: What’s your earliest food memory?

CJ: Young and microwaving pizza.

Q: Who has influenced your cooking the most?

CJ: The internet and travel channel. I enjoyed watching Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods and Anthony Bourdain on No Reservations.

Q: What’s your favorite go-to ingredient?

CJ: Chicken thighs

Q: What are some of your signature dishes?

CJ: Cajun chicken, coleslaw, collards,  Guinness beef stew and green curry.

Q: What did you choose to make for Wine Down Wednesday?

CJ: Peruvian tamarind citrus chicken over amaranth with tres leches for dessert.

Q: What was the inspiration for the dish?

CJ: Gas station chicken place that does Peruvian chicken off St. Johns.

Q: If you could cook a meal for anyone, who would it be?

CJ: Chris Farley, he would be a fun guy to eat a ton of food with.

Q: Dumbest thing you’ve ever done with food or in a kitchen?

CJ: When I was sixteen working in a pizza shop. My coworkers made garlic and cinnamon sticks. We also made garlic chicken wings and thought it was a great idea to make cinnawings and dip it in frosting. It sounds worse than you think.

Q: What would we find in your kitchen at home?

CJ: Lots of hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, and grape seed oil.

Q: Most memorable meal?

CJ: First time I had tacos in Austin.

Q: What food is your guilty pleasure?

CJ: Ketchup and Mayo too much. Also, meat sticks, gas station meat sticks.

Q: What’s your last meal on earth, if you had the chance to choose?

CJ: Gyro, fries and General Tso’s chicken.