HAAM Day

Many things have built this city – education, government, beer, oil, e-commerce, technology and, of course, music. We all know the old trope of how artists & musicians pave the way for change in communities & cities and Austin is no exception. Having declared itself the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin has a vital tie to its creative community. Growing costs of living affect everyone and this is where organizations like the Health Alliance of Austin Musicians (HAAM) comes in. HAAM has been striving to elevate the well-being & quality of life of musicians since 2005 by providing access to affordable health care for Austin musicians. Many have attested to HAAM being a life-saving force in the face of increased medical costs; its services and partnerships continually put up the first, last, & sometimes only wall of defense against catastrophic illness, benign neglect brought on by limited finances, and other needs in-between.
Eat, drink, and be merry with us and the Health Alliance of Austin Musicians as we celebrate HAAM Day with Tyler Stuckey and his band. Forget that contemporary Nashville sound and come check out real deal working-class Austin outlaw country: traditional with an updated sense of humor, Tyler Stuckey hits all the notes you expect from a bonafide country music performer with rowdy numbers and soulful tearjerkers. Please join us from 7pm-9pm for a family-friendly evening with board games, corn hole, food & drink for all. We will be donating a portion of the day’s sales to HAAM, so drink up!

Extravaganza, Extravaganza, Extravaganza! Tuesday, September 10th

Tuesday, 10th of September. To most people, this is just another day. To some people, it’s a sign that we are slowly, but successfully making it through the work week. But for Black Star Co-op Member-Owners, let it be a day of FUN, FRIENDSHIP, BEER, FREE APPETIZERS, and FUN (again).

Yes, you guessed it! Mark September 10th in your calendar as the next Black Star Members Extravaganza! Shrug off the week’s woes and join us at the brewpub for a pint or two with your fellow Members, Workers, and Board Members. Share ideas about the pub (past and future), reunite with tenured cooperators, and meet new faces too.

While you are with us, ask about the upcoming Board elections later this year, as well as the other work of the board and the Workers Assembly in developing the pub to serve you better and bring more value to your community. We might surprise you that Black Star can offer you and your family more than you thought…

Can’t wait to share a beer with you!  Cheers in advance!

Making a Successful Retreat out of a Sunday

What does Sunday mean to you? If you are thinking Black Star Co-op Strategy and planning (and cold beer) then maybe, just maybe, you share a mental link with the Black Star Board Members! For this select group of people that you elected to the board, this past Sunday was a 2019 highlight, as it was the biannual Black Star Board retreat!

Two main goals were established for the day. The first, educational: focusing on the financial and legal responsibilities we have to both the Co-op and to the state of Texas. The second, strategic: laying out committee strategy for the year to come.

The committee strategy discussion was most noteworthy as per its direct influence on members. Three board committees were proposed. The first is charged with financial scrutiny of the Co-op, along with drawing up legal financial statements. The second concerned board proficiency, training, and elections. The third is focused on member development, engagement, and benefits. One key decision made was that the Board and its constituent committees will hold themselves to a higher level of accountability with more defined goals, objectives, and actions.

So, here is the bit when I stop writing about what we did, and ask for your involvement….  The first ask I have is the easiest.

·           –   Next time you are attending a member event or see one of us at the pub, please ask us about our role, the committee work we do, and what we are trying to achieve. Most importantly, hold us to giving you a detailed answer; it’s your brewpub and we are here to represent you!

·           –   If the finances of the Co-op, the member activities and events, or other work on the board interest you, why not get involved? Committees are open to all Member-Owners, not just Board Members. Whether you have just a little time or more to give, this is your pub and you have a say in how it runs. We would be happy to see you get involved!

I look forward to talking to you soon, and can’t wait to hear your questions as you hold me accountable to what I have signed up for in our plans for 2020!

Many thanks,

Graham
Member Development Committee Chair

Well Shot

Late last month we surprisingly released a pretty cool beer called Well Shot. This beer went under the radar and we felt obliged to give a quick spiel about why we think this beer deserves some hype. Well Shot was created on a whim to try to produce the beer equivalent of a shot at a bar. We started by building a base wheat wine recipe that was packed with Blacklands Malt Red Winter Wheat and then boiled extensively to impart some slight caramelization flavors on the wort. The base was then fermented with high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast to yield a 12% ABV beer that was then moved into the Stranahan’s Whiskey barrels, previously housed by Moebius (our imperial stout). 
Months passed after filling the barrels. We tasted the progress, and… it was pretty lame. Although the first round of beer aged in these had less character than we expected, we did not imagine we would get nothing from a second aging. Well, the barrels were already full and we did not need to free up the space, so we decided to just sit on them for a while and see what happens.
Months go by again. Another sample was taken, and… it was dope! All of the caramel and wheat from the base beer melded with the char and vanilla from the oak barrels and created a beautifully whiskey like beer that hit on the notes that we were originally trying to capture when this project was conceived. 
Aged for 7 months in whiskey barrels and served still (no carbonation), Well Shot is pretty damn close to what we intended it to be. We will be serving this beer in 5 oz tasters for $4/each to emulate the feel of a shot of whiskey. Because of the high alcohol content, 5 ounces of this beer contains almost the same amount of alcohol as there is in an actual shot of whiskey. I recommend letting this beer warm slightly as the nuance of the barrel really starts to come out at higher temperatures. 
Weather you sip it or shoot it, I hope you get a chance to try Well Shot before it is gone!

Black Star Co-op Elections: Call for Candidates!

Every Fall, Black Star Co-op Member-Owners vote for Board of Director positions.  Directors review and craft policies and principles, represent the interests of all Member-Owners, and collaborate with the Workersʼ Assembly.  Take your love of Black Star Co-op to the next level by running for the Board.  To run for the Board, you must:

  • Be a fully invested Member-Owner;
  • Attend at least one Black Star Board Meeting within the last year;
  • Attend a Candidate Orientation Session at Black Star (roughly a 15-30 minute conversation)
  • Submit your Declaration of Candidacy form.
    • Download the Election Packet here. It contains information about the election, important dates, candidate questions for the website, and the Declaration of Candidacy form.  All forms must be submitted no later than September 27th, 2019 by 11:59pm

Interested, but have questions before you decide to run? Ready to run, but want more information about how to start the process?  Your first step is contacting the Leadership Development Committee through email: ldc@blackstar.coop.

Members’ Assembly Meeting Updates

Member-Owners & Friends of Black Star Co-op,

Although member-owner turnout has been on the decline the past few years, we were excited to host a more interactive and tasty meeting during our Spring MA. We released a draft of our 2018 Annual Report, and in finalizing the draft, we have made a few adjustments. The final version of the 2018 Annual Report will be presented at our Fall Members’ Assembly Meeting (hopefully to a larger turnout!), and will be available to share upon request. We are currently in the planning stages of the next meeting, and if we can’t get you here with the threat of free beer and food, then we’re sure nothing will. We look forward to another fun meeting come Fall!

Summer Menu

This past Monday (July 1st), we were excited to release our newest menu changes for the summer months. Our new Kitchen Team Leader, Damien Lawrence, wanted to focus on a fresh, light menu for the hottest part of the year. For the first time in Black Star’s history we will be consolidating the lunch and dinner menu into one static menu that will be available all day long, so you won’t miss out on any of the dishes no matter what time you come in. A few highlights for this menu change are:


– Catch of the Day: a rotating seared fish dish with seasonal vegetables and basmati rice

– Fried Avocado Tacos: two beer battered avocados, dressed arugula, pickled red onion, corn tortillas

– Wings are on the menu! Both fried chicken and vegan wings tossed in house buffalo sauce, with a rotating selection of additional sauces.

– Fried Cheese Curds, Bangers and Mash, and Shrimp and Grits are gone 🙁

  • The Impossible Burger has switched to The Beyond Burger due to ongoing availability issues. We will do our best to get the Impossible whenever we can, but we are (as we know many of you are) pretty disappointed about this shortage.


We will still have a separate Brunch Menu Saturday and Sunday. Changes include:


– Chicken and Waffles is now Chicken and Grits

– Quiche with Seasonal Vegetables and Cheese

– Avocado Toast now on the brunch menu! This item will be super modifiable/customizable.

 – Quarter English and Tri-tip and Eggs both gone 🙁


We hope everyone enjoys this new menu as much as we do. We look forward to your feedback, and we’ll see you at the pub soon!

Welcome, Damian! Our Fearless New Kitchen Team Leader

We are beyond excited to announce our new Kitchen Team Leader, Damian Lawrence. Although Damian has been with Black Star for over a year now, he has recently stepped into a leadership role to much acclaim from patrons and co-workers alike.

Born and raised in the Carolinas, Chef Damian has an 18 year long history in the service industry. From fine dining to food truck experience, his culinary journey has led to a strong focus on seafood, developing amazing vegan recipes, all while adding little bit of sweet and spice to all of his dishes. His past 8 years in Austin has inspired a strong love for Texas style cooking, while the local community has allowed for many collaborations with chefs and friends alike.

Buy a beer shot and raise a glass to this guy the next time you see him through the window!

Black Star Co-op Elections: Call for Candidates!

Every fall Black Star Co-op Member-Owners vote for Board of Director positions.  Directors review and craft policies and principles, represent the interests of all Member-Owners, and collaborate with the Workersʼ Assembly.  Take your love of Black Star Co-op to the next level by running for the Board.  To run for the Board, you must: Be a fully invested Member-Owner;

If you have not yet paid your balance, you can do so online or at the Co-op.

Attend at least one Black Star Board Meeting within the last year;

Attend a Candidate Orientation Session at Black Star (roughly a 30 minute conversation)

Friday, July 19th from 5 to 7pm.

Other days will be available starting in August (TBD, will be in August Newsletter)

Other days and times are available, contact ldc@blackstar.coop

Submit your Declaration of Candidacy form.

Download the Election Packet here. It contains information about the election, important dates, candidate questions for the website, and the Declaration of Candidacy form.  All forms must be submitted no later than September 27th, 2019 by 11:59pm.

Interested, but have questions before you decide to run? Ready to run, but want more information about how to start the process?  Your first step is contacting the Leadership Development Committee through email: ldc@blackstar.coop.

Good Work Austin Fundraiser

If you’ve been keeping up with our Good Work Austin (GWA) communications for the past year or so, you already know what GWA is: A socially responsible community of local businesses in Austin, Texas invested in creating good jobs for all workers, ensuring a quality workplace, and supporting and amplifying the voices of like-minded businesses. Born of our communal efforts in supporting the Paid Sick Leave ordinance, GWA leadership has taken the past year to become a legitimate, community oriented 501c3 nonprofit organization, and we’re almost there. Now we just need a little help from our friends and community members! Our likeminded business associates (aka best besties) at L’Oca d’Oro are hosting a 3rd Birthday Party on Thursday, June 27th benefitting (you guessed it) Good Work Austin. While you can purchase tickets here, we are also seeking donations for items to be auctioned at the fundraiser, so feel free to reach out to me at jodim@blackstar.coop if you got the goods!

But can we quickly talk about how fun this event is sure to be? In addition to a night of open bar that you can actually feel good about, the lineup of featured local chefs is a food force to be reckoned with. Included are Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie, Sarah Heard and Nathaniel Lemley of Foreign and Domestic, Fermin Nunez of Suerte, Abby Loven of L’oven Bread, and Mari Soto of Sweet Ritual. Enough said. See ya there.