All posts by Jodi M

Explore Running for the Board: Attend July 22nd Board Meeting

 

It’s that time of year again! If your are considering running for the Board this fall one of the requirements is attendance at a board meeting in the last twelve months. There are only three more chances to get this requirement in before this year’s packet deadline.  It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Black Star Board as we embark on a strategic planning process around our new Ends policy, and deepen our alignment with the co-op’s Workers’ Assembly. If you’d like to join us please meet in front of the pub at 11:45am on Sunday July 22nd, and we’ll walk you over to the meeting space. If you have any questions about running for the board, please reach out to the Leadership Development Committee at ldc@blackstar.coop

Worker Spotlight: Chef David Duvall

Q: How long have you been working at Black Star?

CDD: As of July 1st, I’ve been working at Black Star for one year.  I’m currently waiting for the parade I was promised.

Q: What do you do at Black Star?

CDD: Meat and potatoes.  I cut up all the chicken, fish, beef, shrimp and chips.  Grind and hammer out all the burger patties and occasionally get time to come up with a special or an idea for the menu.  But mostly, it’s cutting meat.  I am the Prep Czar: the Most Dangerous Man in America.  I also yell at people if they don’t leave the kitchen clean.

Q: What is your favorite thing about working in a cooperative environment?

CDD: The lack of micro-managing.  Everybody who has passed their 3-month evaluation period is on equal ground, more than welcome to question, suggest or call out anything and anybody they feel might not be quite correct.  Of course this opens the door for people who can put on a good first impression but eventually start to feel a little more entitled to try and throw their weight around, but those people always wash out.  I also like it because it scares the bejeezus out of most people who can’t imagine a work environment outside of your traditional service industry gig.

Q: What is your favorite dish we’ve ever served?

CDD: Not to blow my own horn, but the last time I cranked out a batch of Caldo de Guero on a cold, rainy February morning, I was very pleased with myself.  Because not only was it tasty, but with a little bit of sliced, fresh jalapeno and avacado, it makes ya feel goooood. Aside from that, Chef T’s etouffee is hard to mess with.  And I still say that we have the best burger in town.

Q:What is your favorite house brew?

CDD: At the moment, Pneuma.  I’m a big fan of hoppy pale ales.  IPAs are okay.  I kind of look at hops as the spice of the beer world.  Too much, and you’re blowing out taste buds, but when you get it just right, so that it’s palatable but still gives you something to “chew on”…now that’s a good beer. I’ve also drunk my bodyweight in Vulcan many times over.

Q:Bourdain’s, ‘Kitchen Confidential’ and Orwell’s, ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ both describe the intense nature of the underground culinary scene in kitchens across the world. How would you compare these depictions to the burgeoning Austin restaurant scene based on your own experience?

CDD: I haven’t read “Down and Out in Paris and London”, but “Kitchen Confidential” made it’s rounds through my circle of friends many years ago, many of whom were already years deep into the kitchen biz before we even graduated high school. 
      As a rule, kitchen staffs are more-often-than-not populated by alcoholics, drug-users, perverts and miscreants of varying degrees of functionality.  Every once in a while, you’ll find some who fancy themselves wordsmiths…..  They’re the worst.  Anyway, the depictions of hyper-aggressive, high-octane, knife-wielding gorillas with hearts of gold is sadly not far from the truth.  Pranks and shit-talk are commonplace, every day occurences.  Whether it be frozen shoes or getting trapped in the walk-in cooler, we find very unorthodox ways of relieving the high-stress situation that can be a busy kitchen line on a Friday night. You’re going to get yelled at, you’re going to be insulted, you’re going to have your life threatened.  And then you’re going to have beers together at the end of the night.  Bourdain was right about everything.

Q: What is the best animal?

CDD: A vaudeville? A nation including one superior creation
           A vertebra? Inverted…quite unheard of…
           Orphan in a family
           And a sole survivor
           He’s a living fossil”

If wrath is a venom-injecting spike, lust is having so many babies you need to lay eggs, pride is owning the nicest homes in the neighborhood, vanity is wearing the quirkiest outfit everyday, envy is murdering potential rivals with poison,  sloth is floundering around in murky river water, and greed is propogating your seed across millions of years when most of your contemporaries are long dead, then you must bow in awe at the webbed feet of Ornithorhyncus  anatinus… The Platypus.  Hail Satan!

Pride Month at Black Star Co-op

In celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month, we’re hosting a fundraising tap takeover with Hops & Grain in support of Out Youth, with $1 being donated for every House Rational and Hops & Grain beer sold. We chose Austin based Out Youth because everyone deserves a place to feel at home. Out Youth provides a safe haven for LGBTQ youth to meet new friends and be part of community where everyone is treated like family. They offer several services to young Austin adults including counseling, youth prom, and more. Out Youth works with the KIND Clinic to help provide resources for counseling, free HIV/STI testing, and gender affirming care for all.

Our friends at Hops & Grain were a clear choice for a tap takeover because of their work in the LGBTQ community. In April Hops & Grain brewed a beer named Chingona. The American lager is a  collaboration with Hustle for a Cause, an Austin based social impact production firm that highlights and promotes LGBTQ women of color. As a socially conscious cooperative ourselves,  we greatly  admire, and continue to be inspired by Hops & Grain’s commitment to and involvement in the LGBTQ community. We will be tapping their Maibock, Porter Culture and Dispensary Pale Ale.

There will be other opportunities to support these great organizations here at Black Star throughout the month, so be on the lookout!

-By Roger Corrales

Blacklands Malt: OG Texas Maltsters & Longtime Friends

Black Star Co-op has had a long relationship with our friends over at Blacklands Malt in Leander, TX, using several of their malts in a number of beers over the past few years. Maybe you have seen it noted on our beer board or listed in a description on a Facebook event: “Texas grown and malted”. But what does that really mean? Well, it may surprise you to know that Blacklands was the first craft malthouse in Texas. It may also surprise you to know that prior to 2012 malting quality barley was not grown in Texas. Like, ever. It may also, also surprise you to know that this small company, in a industry of enormous scale and automation, back-breakingly produce tons of malt with one very driven owner and a small crew. This story is one we don’t share nearly as often as we should, so we decided to do something about it. On June 27th we will be hosting a Blacklands Malt Tap Take over here at the pub and would love to share this story with as many folks as possible. Along with 6 of our own house beers, we will be showcasing several other local guest beers that share our love of Texas made, Blacklands malt. Join us for a beer or two as well as a Q&A session with the folks from Blacklands and find out what supporting a local craft malthouse truly means.

-It may surprise you that this was written by Andy Martinec

Top Shelf

On a warm spring day Marco from Zilker Brewing Company and Andy from Black Star Co-op were chatting over beers after a brew day and it occurred to them that a collaboration beer between the two breweries was inevitable, and even overdue. After a couple of pints inspiration had yet to strike so a change in scenery was needed. Top Shelf was born where most great ideas are born, in the bottom of a $1 margarita at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. Brainfrozen and lethargic, Marco’s eye began to water and Andy’s heartburn subsided for just a moment when the words “Margarita beer” were uttered. They knew they had struck gold. Starting with a kettle-soured base beer they then added lime juice, tangerine puree and tequila-soaked oak to meld into a delicious beer concoction. Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Top Shelf is the most refreshing beer you never knew was beer.

By Andy Martinec

Member-Owner Extravaganza

Hi Member-Owners! We had tons of fun at the last Extravaganza in February, and are looking forward to the second quarter Extravaganza on May 8th, 2018 from 6pm- 8pm.  The Member Assembly meeting will have come and gone, so we should have plenty to talk about. Pints and appetizers will be provided. I hope to see  you there!

By Marcus Wilson, your friendly neighborhood Board member

Green Day

As April begins and spring starts to show its colors, the reminder of our beautiful world and its need for our attention is revived while we approach April, 22nd. As a company who takes pride in being green, we at Black Star Co-op are excited to announce our celebration in recognition for Earth Day. We are an environmentally friendly business model whose founding put importance on reducing our carbon footprint. As many of you may know, we are a scratch kitchen who proudly serves from farm to table. The majority of our vendors are local, we donate our spent grain to a Texas farm, and every day we practice composting and recycling. All of these choices play an important role in taking care of our planet, and we are not alone. Black Star Co-Op is one of a handful of breweries that are LEED Gold Certified.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

2.2 million

2.2 million +

square feet is LEED certified every day with more than 92,000 projects using LEED.

flexible

Flexible

LEED works for all building types anywhere. LEED is in over 165 countries and territories.

sustainable

Sustainable

LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health.

valuable

Value

LEED buildings attract tenants, cost less to operate and boost employee productivity and retention.

Achieve better buildings with LEED

Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several categories, including energy use and air quality. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then earns one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum

2.2 million

Certified: 40-49 points earned

sustainable

Gold: 60-79 points earned

flexible

Silver: 50-59 points earned

valuable

Platinum: 80+ points earned

In our build-out the founders decided to set indoor environmental quality goals to provide a pleasant, healthy, non-toxic environment for employees and customers. The strategies they chose were:

  • Specifying low-VOC emitting materials
  • Designing the HVAC system with carbon dioxide monitoring
  • Installing separate exhaust systems for the restrooms and the brewery
  • Use exterior shading to reduce the thermal effects
  • Multi-zoned air conditioning
  • Controllable LED Lighting
  • Water efficient plumbing system

We want to commemorate our stewardship by celebrating with our industry peers who also practice sustainability. It’s important to know that your money is going towards businesses who are working on a better tomorrow for all of us, so please join us on Wednesday, April 18th to enjoy a night of appreciation for this wonderful planet. We will have a tap list made from breweries who practice environmentally safe actions, and cheers each other knowing we’re making a difference.

Here are the breweries that will be featured for our Earth Day Tap Takeover and some of what they do:

  • Jester King : has installed solar panels and runs a farm on 58 acres of land in the Hill Country
  • Hops & Grains : recycle spent grain into dog treats
  • Circle : Tap handles are biodegradable
  • Texas Beer Co. : Installed solar panels
  • Rentsch : Operates on wind power
  • Alaskan : First brewery to install and operate a carbon dioxide reclamation system
  • Anderson Valley : 2006 installed an array of 768 solar-panels atop their brew house and employee parking structure
  • Bell’s : Recycled 1.24 million pounds of solid waste in 2017
  • Great Divide : Has a storm water protection system
  • Odell’s : 11,000 sq. feet of solar panels = 5 percent total power (the rest is powered by wind)
  • New Belgium : Asheville location tasting room is LEED Platinum, the brewery is Gold and the distribution center is Silver
  • Sierra Nevada : Mills River location was the first production brewery to receive a leed certification and it was Platinum

Please stay tuned to our facebook event for what beers will be on for Earth Day Tap Takeover!

By Roger Corrales

Hop Madness ’18 Results

March has come to an end yielding, the results of Hop Madness!!! Thank you for all the support and follow through by participating weekly. This year’s selections were as follows:

Austin IPAs
1. Last Stand, Citra SMaSh – 10 votes
2. Black Star Co-op, We Got A Winner – 12 votes – Winner
3. Independence, Stash IPA – 5 votes
4. Austin Beerworks, Fire Eagle – 5 votes

Texas IPAs
1. Noble Ray, Tactical Combat Fireman – 19 votes – Winner
2. Martin House, Friday IPA – 16 votes – Consolation
3. Weathered Souls, West Coast IPA – 14 votes
4. Real Ale, Axis IPA – 12 votes

National IPAs
1. Founders, Azzaca IPA – 28 votes – Winner
2. Great Divide, Hop Disciples – 12 votes
3. Alaskan, Husky IPA – 14 votes
4. Sixpoint, Bengali IPA – 10 votes

Finalist
1. Founders, Azzaca IPA – 8 votes
2. Black Star Co-op, We Got A Winner – 11 votes
3. Noble Ray, Tactical Combat Fireman – 12 votes – Winner
4. Martin House, Friday IPA – 5 votes

Congratulations to Noble Ray for making our crowd favorite, Tactical Combat Fireman IPA! It will be on tap for the month of April. Come get some!

P.S. If you liked the blind IPA tasting we’re bringing back Mystery Flight Mondays starting April 9th. Guess two out of four beers correctly (multiple choice guessing game) and receive a free house rational beer! Cheers!

By Roger Corrales

Pink Boots Society

In the flustering month of March where Ausitinites have to share their city with the rest of world it becomes easy to hide from the masses. Here at Black Star we’re going to be celebrating the women of our industry for Women’s History Month. On March 21st we’ll be hosting the Austin Chapter of Pink Boots Society for a Tap Takeover!

The beers we’ll have on will represent who is participates in the community. These are the female movers and shakers in the beer industry. They get the beer brewed and fermented with the highest possible quality. They also own breweries, package the beer, design beers, serve beers, write about beer, and cover just about any aspect of beer, and they are all women. Most importantly, they teach each other through their own seminar programs, and help each other advance their beer careers by raising money for educational scholarships.

P—Passion I—Integrity & Inspiration N—Networking K—Knowledge
B—Beer & Brewing O—Opportunity O—Open Exchange of Ideas T—Teach S—Success

Come by and meet all the bad ass women influencing the beer industry as they will also be having an open chapter meeting with a meet and greet portion as well. Hope to see you all here.

Cheers!

RSVP

By Roger Corrales

Beer Positive Brewery Challenge Blood Drive

During the first couple weeks of March we are participating in Beer Positive Brewery Challenge Blood Drive hosted by We Are Blood where several breweries will be competing in good faith to get people out to donate some blood on their behalf. This is for a great cause and we are extremely excited to be included in the group of businesses asked to participate in this event. This is, however, still a competition. With trophies. And we really want a trophy. Like, really really. So, we are asking whoever is able to try and make it out to donate some blood between March 1st-16th at any We Are Blood fixed or mobile location, just let them know you are donating for Black Star.
Tell your friends, tell your family and tell your neighbors so we can prove to this city, once and for all, that we have the most blood. Or something like that.

Cheers!

RSVP

By Andy Martinec