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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!

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.

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!

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.