category Membership

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!

Fall Members’ Assembly Meeting Recap

 

THANK YOU to the quorum of Black Star Member-Owners who gathered at the Co-op for the Fall 2018 Member-Owner Meeting last Sunday, October 21st.
After some rousing Co-op trivia, we kicked off the meeting with introductions from the current directors and with speeches from the four candidates running for the board: Beth Beutel, Roger Corrales, Graham Green, and Marcus Wilson.  They represent a fantastic mix of experience and fresh perspectives.  To summarize their stump speeches, Beth loves co-ops, Roger loves/lives worker self-management, Graham loves beer, and Marcus is lovable.  Read their candidate questionnaires on the blog (you’ll need to scroll down) and VOTE for your favorites here!
From there Beth Beutel, Black Star Co-op Board President, reviewed the priorities and accomplishments of the board so far in 2018.  She highlighted an increased focus on board training, the implementation of a more rigorous policy review process, and improved Worker Assembly (WA) solidarity.  Chris Byram, Black Star Co-op Board Staff Liaison, provided a retrospective as the most tenured member of the WA and described 2018 as a “breath of fresh air” compared to the financial struggles of early 2017.  He thanked everyone for their continued patronage and reminded them that the Co-op exists to support the Member-Owners.
                     
Given that the Co-op finances have improved in 2018, the WA asked Member-Owners for input into where the Co-op should focus in 2019 for growth.  Everyone has a favorite idea (“Year-Round Chili!”), so second-year board member, Kyle Voosen, led us in a business strategy activity that encouraged Member-Owners to prioritize their 2019 areas of focus.  This input process was similar to the August 2018 board retreat exercise.  Of the 16 different proposed strategies for 2019, the Member-Owners selected the following three as their top priorities:
1) Expand revenue from existing Member-Owners through enhanced and better promoted membership benefits
2) Improve dining experience and better communicate brand through updated facilities
3) Build demand through official partnerships/special benefits with customer organizations
We wrapped up the Member-Owner meeting with a Q&A session that covered topics including Member-Owner outreach, the upcoming lease renewal, the improved parking situation, and yes, when chili would be back on the menu.  Thank you again to the Member-Owners who took the time to support their Co-op and join us for a beer or three in the sun last Sunday!

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

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

Black Star Co-op Financial Condition FAQ

1.     Why did I not know sooner about our financial condition?

The Board has communicated regularly to the membership through our annual reports, membership newsletters, and member assemblies regarding our financial condition as well as actions being taken to address the issue.  At the last annual members meeting held on October 30, 2016, we discussed our declining sales, challenges facing the co-op, our ends policies and the 2015 annual report, which stated:

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