1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Star Co-op Pub & BreweryBlack Star Co-op Pub & Brewery
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

51 Ratings
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Active Beers: 31
Beer Ratings: 181
Beer Avg: 3.78
Taps: 26
Bottles: 30
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

7020 Easy Wind Drive, Suite 100
Austin, Texas, 78752
United States
phone: (512) 452-2337

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @blackstarcoop

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: MEsquandoles on 12-09-2010)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbaer77
5/5  rDev +19.9%

kbaer77, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of nneighb33
5/5  rDev +19.9%

nneighb33, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of nickhiller
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%

These guys are awesome, my girlfriend and I absolutely love this place. After having some bad experiences at Draught House (they have good beer sometimes but their staff are very unpleasant) we have decided to make Black Star our new go-to bar.

The location is not the best, but the building is new and the atmosphere is clean and roomy. They seem to have gotten some flak in the past for their decor, but I think it's perfectly fine and the layout is really well thought out--I like the end-to-end bar, the dart board area, the outdoor tables, the comfy chairs in the corner.

The beers they brew are decent. I must admit that I'm not a fan of a lot of them, but I think the brewer might still be learning and figuring out where he wants to go with their offerings. I've ordered their most recent beer, Epsilon which is a Scottish Red aged in peat barrels, a couple of times now, it's a great beer and I think it marks a turning point for their beers. I'm excited to see where they go next.

The service is just awesome. I think they have one of the best wait staffs out there and they don't accept tips. On the surface this may seem peculiar and downright insulting to their employees, but they say that it is because all employees are paid a "living wage." I'm not sure what this entails but I do know that every person who works there is incredibly friendly and helpful and they all seem to enjoy their jobs.

As a consumer I couldn't be happier about this arrangement, it's genius. One of the biggest drawbacks for me with bars is that you have to tip after every beer served, regardless of the friendliness of the bartender or the amount of effort it took (objectively it's just not that hard to pour a beer, certainly not as hard as carrying plates of food to and from people in a busy restaurant). Since they have done away with this, I am more than happy to pay more, but from what I can tell it seems that this hasn't really impacted price. Not sure how they do this magic but I love it. If I ran a bar, I would steal this idea, it's just such a good policy.

The non-Black Star beer selection is pretty good, I can usually count on them to get what little rare stuff there is in TX and because this place is less popular than Draught House or Whip-In, they almost always have the special on for more than a day. I sampled Pumpkinator on three different days before they ran out of it, so great.

Then there's the food. The food is some of the best in town. I've never had a bad meal there--ever. I've tried pretty much everything on their menu and everything, from appetizers and snacks to main course and dessert are fantastic. They have a very talented chef back there and it's always exciting to see what their special is. I almost never order off the menu anymore, the specials are that good. And they make some of the best ice cream in Austin, often out of the beers they have on tap (like a New Belgium Kick sorbet, awesome). The best flavor I've had by them was a honey ice cream with Stilton cheese chunks, so f-ing good.

Anyway you just can't beat the value of this place, great beer, great food, great service and I've never walked out of there having spent more than $40 for dinner for two, multiple beers and dessert. That it's a bargain is just an added bonus though, because everything about the experience is great, we've started going here once a week, we're hoping we get on a first name basis with everyone there, it could become our Cheers!

nickhiller, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of Jame515
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Jame515, May 29, 2014
Photo of Theortiz01
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Theortiz01, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of elNopalero
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

I’ve managed to visit Black Star almost every time I’ve been to Austin in the past year. Which is: not often, but enough times to get a good feel for the place. On my first time I was one of just a handful of folks in the place on a mid-week evening. The last visit happened to coincide (happy coincidence!) with their one-year anniversary and the place was completely packed.

Across the board this place is great. They have a no-tipping policy only because, as they are eager to inform, they are paid a living wage and benefits. How many places can boast of that? I’m not sure if this explains why all the worker-owners are amazingly friendly but I’ve yet to visit where I’ve had anything but incredible, welcoming service.

The beers I’ve had have all been interesting. Some worked, some didn’t, and a few really knocked it out of the park in my opinion. I’m glad to see them try some interesting and different things with their brews—like a hoppy dark ryePA or a California common (in Texas!).

Finally, while I tend to be critical of pub grub and brewery food for a number of reasons it’s primarily because if I’m drinking world-class beer I want food to match, especially for the (oftentimes) inflated prices I’m being charged. I’ve had dishes at beer destinations that were fantastic, and I’ve had meals that would have been sent back at the greasiest of greasy spoons. Black Star Co-Op falls firmly into the former, not the latter. On my last visit I had a grilled vegetable sandwich that has, upon reflection and about a month’s passage of time, entered the Parthenon of good food experiences. The bread was grilled and charred with just the right balance between toasty crunch and smoky burn, topped with a series of veggies equally flavorful and filling. I have been to few vegetarian-friendly places that get their grilled veggies this good, and the last time I was at a burger joint/bbq place that had something comparable was almost a decade ago. So my praise is not given lightly.

Thank you, Black Star. Here’s to many more years of welcoming service, fantastic food, and great beer!

elNopalero, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Locapour
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%

We have shot a few episode of Locapour at Black Star. If you would like to see what it is like to get your beer on there you can check out http://locapour.tv/austin/blackstarcoopvulcan or http://locapour.tv/austin/blackstarcoopelba

Black Star Co-op is a leader in the Austin craft beer scene. The cooperative ownership means that the members and patrons really care a lot about the quality of the beer brewed at "their pub."

I love the fact that the people who work at Black Star are so passionate about the beer and being a part of something special to the Austin beer community. It really comes across in their service.

Workers are paid well and there is NO TIPPING so reviewers should consider that when evaluating the price/value score.

Pro Tip:

There's no table service, you order at the counter. When you get there it might be best to order a pitcher or two beers to make sure you minimize time spent standing in line.

Locapour, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of Lawl3ss
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Lawl3ss, May 30, 2014
Photo of Karibourgeois
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Karibourgeois, May 30, 2014
Photo of DerekSmigelski
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

DerekSmigelski, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of Getalegup
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Getalegup, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of bccocx
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

bccocx, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of paleoplant
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

paleoplant, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of wisegreensoul
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

wisegreensoul, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of jhimstedt
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%

I have to say first off that I haven't been since their beers have been available, but visited multiple times over the first 4 months it was open.

Nice and clean layout, slightly modern but not pretentious. Location isn't the most awesome but the inside seating is wide open with tall ceilings...alot of wood and steel and great outdoor seating as well.

Small tap list but always something there I wanted to drink. Small bottle selection...nothing too crazy but solid.

The staff are great. Good happy people serving up good beers. Overall quite informed and helpful if you need it and very pleasant and relaxed feel largely due to the service folk.

The food puts most brewpubs to shame. Great menu of locally sourced stuff and even some pickled items made in house. Good meat and cheese plates, and the bacon toffee is a must to finish the night out. Prob the first brewpub i've been to that seems to have put as much attention in the food as the beers.

Definite place to hit if you're in austin or passing thru.

jhimstedt, May 26, 2011
Photo of JDV
4.38/5  rDev +5%

Came with the wife a couple weeks ago, and we had a great time here. The house beers were better than expected, and I enjoyed every one of them that I had on the sampler. Everything was clean, fresh and very drinkable and they have a very nice list of guest beers on tap as well.
My wife ordered the grilled cheese sandwich made with fresh baked bread from Easy Tiger bakery in town and served with homemade fries which were awesome! Overall, a cool and inviting environment with a smallish menu with well prepared food and great beers. Definitely worth a visit!

JDV, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of Beertroop
4.38/5  rDev +5%

Great place and concept. It's a Coop with a great following due to great beer in a newer developed part of Austin. If I lived in Austin this is where I would like to live. it's in the outskirt of Austin and is the future area to be. Service is great even on a busy day, food is cutting edge with the feel of great pub fare. Over all a great place. One on my favorite in Austin Texas second to Jester King.

Beertroop, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of UTCengOwl
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%

My first brewpub review. Huzzah!

Black Star is a wonderful place. They have a great selection of local and interesting national brews on tap. They had some Ranger Creek, (512) and Jester King on tap when I've been there... which is amazing. They also had a cask of Independence Convict Hill tonight with some extra coffee beans and coconut. Who's gonna complain about that? They also keep a nice national selection of IPAs, RIS and the occasional sour on tap.

The house beers are just coming out, but they're still impressive. I had a sample of the Low Esteem and it was interesting and well balanced. I'll be looking forward to their more experimental brews.

The food selections are good and reasonably priced. Vie had the pulled pork sandwich and a cheese plate there and both were quite tasty nd impressively laid out.

All being said, I've been really impressed by Black Star and I think I'm going to be there a lot next semester.

UTCengOwl, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of wagenvolks
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%

Black Star Co-op was in the planning stages for what seemed like forever. And, needless to say, it has been worth the wait.

The pub itself opens up with a modern/industrial look, high-ceilings and clean lines around the bar area. Great lighting, too, and while the voices can get loud when the Co-op is packed, it never reaches an intolerable level. Quality is top-notch, and I have a feeling the kegs and tap-lines are regularly monitored for freshness.

The service is a tricky category to rate, as Black Star has its ordering procedure set up similar to the Draught House in which you wait in a (often long) line, order, then take a seat with a number. If you want another beer while you're eating, you usually have to get back in line while your food gets cold. Plus, the cooked-to-order food comes out at different times which can make things awkward for larger parties. Still, I tend to prefer my food that way--piping hot and served when it's ready. And the food at Black Star is nothing short of spectacular for 'pub grub' (if you can call it that). Great variety of high quality snacks (cheese/meat plates, beer-nut toffee, etc.) and the food I've had has been excellent (try the fish and chips!).

Selection is a well thought-out lineup of mostly Texas taps, and Black Star currently is rotating through their house-made beers (only had the Vulcan at this point, which was pretty good). They also have several bottles you can buy.

The prices are somewhat steep for food, and beer is more expensive than other places, but for good reason: the workers are paid well enough that Black Star does not accept tips. So if you factor in ~$1 tip for beer, it all works out.

Bottom line: one of my favorite new places to get a pint in Austin. Kind of wish I had become a member earlier on in the founding of this place...

wagenvolks, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of Dster
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

We went there last night and were very impressed. The beers were good; I think the Vulcan was the best. They also had a seasonal brown named after proposition 660 to allow brewpubs to distribute and breweries to sell beer on premise. If you live in Texas you should get behind this one.

The food was all locally sourced. I mean if you were going to order lamb, for instance, you would know the ranch they sourced it from.

If you have not been to pubs in Europe, the set up could seem wierd at first. You know, there is no table service and no tipping. But the workers were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
But on the other hand, I enjoy not having to wait on a waitress to come back. If you want water, get up and get it.

Dster, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

kjkinsey, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of Todd
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Todd, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of Texas_T
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Texas_T, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Jason, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of n00blar
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

n00blar, Jul 20, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery in Austin, TX
93 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.