category Uncategorized

e-xtravaganza Catch up with member-owners, co-op workers, and friends! Learn how your co-op is faring during these interesting times.

A friend gave me advice recently not to accept my solitary day-to-day
situation as the “new normal” but to challenge myself to achieve a
normality despite a global health crisis. This has led me to consider how
to maintain activities, responsibilities, and friendships until these
difficult times have passed – yes there are compromises to be made,
but just putting everything on hold should not be a viable option.
In the spirit of this, just as the word church is said to represent the
people not the building, I would suggest that words Black Star Co-op
represent the personalities, the ideals, the beer, and the community –
all of which can be enjoyed beyond the confines of Easy Wind Drive. So
lets get together (virtually), raise and glass, and check in on how we are
all doing.
Our first Virtual Extravaganza Members event is scheduled for Sunday, June 7th at 4pm . Fill up a growler or grab a 6 pack from the co-op and join us to learn about how your coop is doing. The hardworking staff from the Co-op will give an update as to how they are doing, how the business is
adapting to its situation, and how they are making decisions at this time
founded in our ethics and guiding principles. If you are lucky, Marcus
might treat us to a little co-op trivia, and Dacia will give the board
perspective on how the coop is operating with reference to the long
term financial stability we are all looking to secure.
Above this we want to hear from you! How are you doing? Have you
any stories to share with your fellow members? Questions about the
co-op? Beer ideas? Groan-worthy jokes? Bring it on!

I’m going to schedule around 30-40 minutes content as big zoom calls
are always better with a little structure. After this we can descend into
more general chat. We shall be naming and shaming those who are not drinking Black Star beer…

I joke, we would never do that. But if you can stop by the co-op,
say hi to the pub team and fill up a growler or two, they would love to
see you! I can’t wait to see you. Stay safe and all the best

Black Star Co-op Needs YOU!

Run for the Board! Directors review and craft policies and principles, represent the interests of all Member-Owners, and collaborate with the Workersʼ Assembly. Interested? Now’s the time to attend a Board Meeting—from your own home!

Our next meeting will be virtual at 9:30am on May 31st!
Contact the Leadership Development Committee (ldc@blackstar.coop) or the board (board@blackstar.coop) so we know you’re planning on coming and can share the connection link.

Be Our Guest Taps

Hey folks, hope all is well on your end of things. As we get closer to our 10 Year Anniversary Party, there will be less guest beers but I will make sure y’all get nothing but the best no matter what. With that in mind, please note that our Special Tap Saturday for March will be on the 28th featuring Real Ale’s Black Quad, their fantastic Belgian-style quadrupel that is part of their Bomber series.

We will be rotating different hard seltzers to see what you like best. Right now we have Austin-based Shotgun Seltzer’s Ranch Water w/ Agave & Lime. As far as current guest beers, we have some delightful brews such as Firestone Walker’s Luponic Distortion #15 IPA, Ranger Creek’s Imperial Brown bourbon barrel-aged brown ale, 4th Tap Co-op’s Brut of All Evil: Wine IPA, Orf’s Oocheenama white ale and more; meanwhile, on deck, we have Save The World’s Cherry Bonus Pastor Belgian-style scotch ale/wee heavy, (512) Brewing’s Working Class Zero pale ale, Woodcreek’s Texas Star Bock Vienna lager and Hedgehog’s newest ale called Mango Tango, a farmhouse ale with mango & habanero, plus so much more. Hope to see you soon. Cheers!

So What is Blacklands Malt Anyway?

If you have visited Blackstar anytime recently you will have seen numerous beers on the menu proudly stating that they are brewed using local Blacklands Malt from Leander, Tx. Ok, it sounds good to be drinking something local but what makes Blacklands so special? I went on a mission to find out…
The first thing I found was that prior to 2012, no barley, wheat, or rye was grown and malted in Texas for use in beer and spirits…..ever! This it seemed crazy to me, it’s not like we are short of space! Now some farmers grow it for animal feed, but all the craft brewers were importing from hundreds or even thousands of miles away! It also seemed crazy to Brandon Ade who back in 2012 commissioned public research with Texas A&M into cultivating barley for the Texas climate. Named after the “Blackland Prairies” a grassland stretching from Dallas to San Antonio, Brandon and the team finally realized their dream of 100% Texas grown barley malt in 2016!
Their mission is to promote sustainable food production and bring agricultural back to a local level, reconnecting consumers with their natural ties and local agriculture. BlackStar has had a long relationship with Blacklands for many years but we can’t take credit for a Texas business that has been groing from strength to strength, from Balcones to Jester King, ABW to Oskar Blues, Blacklands is become the malt of choice for many Texas industries. The word has got out too, their “Brown Field 10 Texas Munich” Malt won the 2020 gold medal from the craft masters guild.

Now if you are still reading, I assume that you are really into your beer, and want a little more detail. What makes a good malt? Like brewing the process of converting barley to malt is simple enough. You take some barley, you germinate it to get the enzymes just starting out and then you dry it in a kiln halt the process at the optimum time for brewing. But like brewing, while the process may be established, perfecting it can take a lifetime of finesse. For example. That gold medal winner we mentioned earlier had to be perfected for over 6 months using a proprietary steaming method in their kiln to produce a high-dried, melanoidin-rich, Munich-style malt from their Texas grown, high-nitrogen two-rowed barley, to give a rich malt, and light toast character, well suited for rich, aromatic full-bodied beers. And if you said that whole sentence in one breath you deserve a gold medal yourself! If you are looking to taste some Blacklands malt, stop by Black-Star Coop for a house beer, and see how that local Leander sunshine, community focus and small scale attentive agriculture makes the difference.
Got further questions? Feel free to ask the bar staff for more info on our beers or reach quiz me about what I learned at our next members extravaganza… March 5th!
Many thanks

Shine On June Crazy Kombucha

Howdy y’all, Ish, your Black Star beer buyer here. Hope you have been enjoying both our house & guest beers. If you missed the Special Tap Saturday featuring Jester King’s Rare Corals (Batch 2), there is still some left, so hurry on over to grab the last dew pours. This coming Saturday, 1 February, we will hosting our local JuneShine rep. Besides JuneShine’s Blood Orange Mint Hard Kombucha on draft and in cans, there will also be some free glassware and great company — but if you can’t wait to try some, come on over as we just added it on the tap wall.

After that, our next Special Tap Saturday will be on 22 February featuring a rare gem from Cascade Brewing — the 2015 version of Figaro, their Chardonnay barrel-aged sour golden ale with dried white figs, lemon peel, and orange peel.
Of course, our tap wall presents the craft beer enthusiast a range of choices that currently includes: Roughhouse Brewing’s Little Reward (Festbier w/ Pretzels), Rahr & Sons’ Midnight Cab (Cabernet Barrel-Aged Dark Saison) and Middleton’s Third Coast IPA. On deck, we have some gems like new Houston cidery City Orchard’s Cherry Red, Vista Brewing’s Lady Bird Texas Wit with Native Herbs, San Gabriel River Brewery’s Wee Heavy, Buffalo Bayou’s Figaro FigaroFigaro Figaroooo Belgian Quadrupel with Figs, and many other Texas brews.
Hope to see you sometime soon this leap year. Cheers!

Happy New Year from the Board Member Dev Committee

January is traditionally a time for new years resolutions, but as these often involve cutting out garlic chips and reducing beer intake, lets skip this and instead look at what opportunities 2020 will bring. Lions fans may be getting used to a rebuild year (every year*) but we at BlackStar Co-Op aren’t willing to settle for that**. Here is how will we ensure a winning record this coming season…

·        Membership Events: Look out for an increased schedule of membership events in 2020 with the goal of continuing the community aspect of membership

·        Pub Facility Investment: If you have been to recent membership meetings you will be aware, we have been polling for ideas on how to physically improve our space. In 2020 we have an opportunity to put this into action and we may be enlisting your help in elements of this to ensure the result meets your needs.

·        10 years of Black Star: It’s party time all the time in 2020 as Black Start celebrates it’s a decade of great beer, food and people. Look out for the special events and activities on the calendar, if ever there was a time to go over the top…. this is it!

Fresh Ideas on the Board: In December we confirmed James Farris and Gabe Prado onto the board of directors. If you haven’t said hello yet please do they are nice guys! The Board calendar kicks off at the January offsite in a few weeks so look out for an update soon with our action plan for the year

·        Co-Op Message: The Black Star Co-Op is special in that we run our business differently, we treat people differently, and we provide a different service to the community than your run-of-the-mill beer bar. In 2020 if Black Star is to thrive, this story needs to be told more loudly, more widely and more clearly, and for this we need your help. As a member owner we shall be looking to work with you to champion our Co-Op and ensure its long-term success in Austin. More to come on this subject…

·        New Beers and Menus: Have you tried the latest Dockhand variant yet? When was the last time you tried the cask ale special that is often at the bottom of the black board***? How many flavors of homemade bread pudding can you say you have tried? With the Beer and Kitchen teams constantly updating the menu why not try something new in 2020 and surprise yourself?

Once again, Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you for a pint soon

Graham 
Board Member Development Committee Chair

*This burn is for you Ozz (Black Star Member-Owner from Michigan)
** Especially as we already have the dream team on staff so a favorable draft pick isn’t really an advantage
***Did you know cask beer is considered a rational pint and so member discount applies?

Allow Me to Ishtroduce Myself

Hello everyone, my name is Ish Archbold and I have been the new commercial beer buyer for a few months now. Been filling some big shoes, so I hope you have been enjoying our guest beer selection. My goal is to feature more Texas beers than ever and have a monthly special featured brew, all the while complimenting our house beers. For y’all and your friends who are into hard seltzers, we will continue to offer White Claw but plan to switch to something more in the craft brewing vein; we will also start carrying JuneShine Hard Kombucha soon, so keep an eye out for that.
The special monthly tappings will be happening on the 4th Saturdays of each month; the first two kegs we have on deck for these are Jester King’s Rare Corals (Batch #2) and Cascade Brewing’s Figaro Sour Blonde Ale (2015). Stay tuned here to keep up with other offerings down the line. In the meantime, please enjoy our offerings which, at the moment, include perennial favorite Circle Doppel Blur Imperial Hefeweizen, the latest interation of 4th Tap Kung Fu Double Dragon DDH IPA, Bitter Sisters Cranberry Family Trip Belgian Tripel, Blue Owl Professor Black Sour Cherry Stout as well as some solid TX selections on deck like Middleton Third Coast American IPA, Fairweather Smell The Van Dry Cider with Gin Botanicals and Community Brewing Yessir! Pale Ale.
Have any requests for Texas beers? Please feel free to fill out a comment card or email me at isha@blackstar.coop. Happy New Year!

It’s the Most Wunderbar Time of the Year

As we beer barrel into festival season this year, we wanted all of our Member-Owners and friends to be privy to the events we will be participating in and hosting this Oktober. We’re fresh off of the Texas Craft Brewers Festival that took place at Fiesta Gardens in Austin this past weekend, but there is no time for rest. The cooperative way is to persevere through even the headiest of beer struggles. Today, we’re packing up a super chic rented minivan, loading up a select crew of tenured Black Star workers, and heading up to Denver to participate in the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. As you may know, both Recalcitrant Dockhand and Elba are past medal winners, and this year we are incredibly excited about our eclectic submissions. Wish You Were Queer, Waterloo, Recalcitrant, Hop Ons, and Roze Sap are all in it to win it this year, so fingers crossed that we take home more than just some good ol’ Rocky Mountain High memories. 

Hopefully you were able to attend our (very last minute!) Oktoberfest Kellerbier tapping this past Sunday. These pourings are really unique to Black Star, and it’s fun to see how serious our guests are about their favorite steinware (you know who you are). If you were unable to attend, you’re in luck! We’re hosting our official Oktoberfest Beer Release and Party next Saturday, October 12th. We’ll be slinging a bunch of traditional German foods, special guest pours, exceptional German wines, and limited edition branded glass boots to boot! You really don’t want to miss it, and trust, we’ll know if you did. 

You may have noticed that we’ve been teasing the specials board with housemade bratwursts these past couple of weeks, but did you know we’re also hosting a VEGAN Oktoberfest?! That’s right, y’all. In collaboration with ATX Vegans, this month’s PLANTED event is honoring favorite traditional German dishes, veganized! If you’re vegan or vegan-curious, you won’t want to miss it. We’re kind of becoming pros at the whole vegan game, and it’s awesome. 

And there you have it. It’s festivus for the best of us, and YOU’RE a PUB OWNER. Come on out and feel the gemütlichkeit at your favorite neighborhood brewpub; where everybody knows your name, or at least your drink. 😉

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

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!