category Culture

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.

Parking Update

Hello Member-Owners! If you have been to Black Star in the last year or so, you may have noticed two parking gate kiosks installed at each entrance of our parking garage. These systems were purchased by our property management in hopes of alleviating some of our parking woes but were never activated. A couple of weeks ago we were informed that they intend to activate these gates and start charging for access to the garage in the very near future (maybe the next week or two?). As soon as the gates are activated, the pay structure for parking in the garage will look like this:

0 – 2 Hours Free

2 – 4 Hours $5.00

4 – 8 Hours $10.00

8 – 10 Hours $15.00

10 – 24 Hours $20.00

However, we will have parking validation for up to 5 hours, so be sure to ask someone at the registers for your ticket when you park in the garage. 

Again, we do not know when this will be in full effect (but it should be soon), so keep an eye out for a social media post letting everyone know! 

Cheers, 

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!

Custom Branded Growlers!

This month, we are excited to announce that we are bringing back branded vacuum sealed growlers to our merchandise inventory. Not only are they laser etched with our logo, but we are including a branded backside with our values and address etched on them as well. But wait…there’s more!!! We have decided to run a special campaign for you, our Member-Owners, of custom branded versions of these growlers. They will be etched with our logo and values as well as your Name and Member-Owner ID number. Check out our website store and grab one as soon as possible. We will only be running this campaign through March, so get your order in now!
Orders on custom growlers will be processed once a week and we will ship all orders to Black Star for pick up. Once they arrive we will send out a confirmation email for you to swing by and grab them.

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!