Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery
Active Beers: 39
Beer Ratings: 194
Beer Avg: 3.92
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
3.18/5 rDev -24.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
I love the idea of a Co-op brewpub, but the execution needs some work. As I walk in there is a line out the door, and every table was full. No big deal, it is a Friday night. The building has that sterile, or industrial kind of feel to it. I think it is intentional, kind of a hip thing I guess. All the tables, chairs, and stools look like they were bought at Pier One though. There is a concrete patio outside as well. I was lucky to find a seat at the bar. Though it was right by the cash register, and I had to share elbow space with everyone else trying to order.
There is no table service, just get in line and order. They do not wait, so you better know what beers you want and what you want to eat the moment your turn comes. It seems like they try to shuffle as many people in and out as quick as possible. Which is annoying to me.
I had a pulled pork sandwich. I enjoyed it. Nothing special, but filling and good.
The beers are mostly standard. A pale ale (that was out), amber, IPA, and stout. After trying the house beers, I think I would be happier with the other local options they have instead. I do like that they have a bunch of other local Texas beers as well. I was just unimpressed with their beers. Nothing bad, just bland. The quality was not very good for me. They need to get some of the yeast out of the beer. Literally, I could of scooped the chunky yeast out of some of the beers with a spoon. The one other non house beer I had (the new Circle Brewery) just tasted off as well.
I get that a Co-op is going to be run a little different. Though this place was just to much of a hassle for me to go back.
01-29-2011 03:33:48 | More by champ103
3.49/5 rDev -16.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75 | $$
Went to Black Star on a beautiful spring-like day in January. As soon as you walk in you notice that this place is pretty unique - emphasized by the fact that it is the only brewery co-op in America. There are two lines when you walk in - the line to the left is for food; the line to the right is for beer.
We ordered a burger/fries and a cheese/snack plate. Both were very good. Bread was slightly stale on the snack plate but the burger was cooked and prepared nicely and the large fries were great. There are no waiters which is actually kind of nice b/c no one bothers you for anything. When you want another beer you walk back to the line at the front and order it.
A very nice beer choice with a lot of very good imports. I enjoyed a SixPoint Diesel stout and a Live Oaks Hefe; both were very enjoyable. I did not see a consolidated beer menu anywhere. It would have been helpful to see the menu. But, the beers were listed on chalkboards at the front in an easy-to-read format. They have a number of house brews but I didn't get a chance to try them.
This place has a outdoor picnic table area which is nice to drink/eat on. Only down side - it's next to a fairly busy street. There are two dart-boards inside which made the place pretty fun.
I definitely recommend this place. It is north of Austin so you don't have to deal with the crowds that are normally down on 6th street. Enjoy it!
01-26-2013 17:44:02 | More by AAG
3.83/5 rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5 | $$
A: Went on a mid-Saturday afternoon (7/27/13) with family, baby included. Nice mix of people; wasn't loud, but wasn't dead either. Good, mid-level din and exactly what you would expect for the time we visited. Decor was very modern brewpub-y, if that's a word. Clean look with good foot traffic flow.
Q: I had two draft beers and both were served at a what I guessed was upper 30's temp. Perfect. Food was freshly prepared and not frozen. Seating was comfortable.
Serv: This would be one of the few times I didn't chat up the "beer dudes" like a big nerd, but they were friendly taking orders and our food came out quickly. Usually, one line is for food and drink and the other is for beer only, which is clearly indicated by multiple signs. But, since there wasn't much of a line forming, the guys in either line would take a complete order of food and beer.
Sel: I'm guessing around 30 taps were available. They had about 6 or so house offerings, one of which is always a rotating cask selection. They also have a great mix of locals and other U.S. offerings. Didn't notice any macro or international offerings on draught. Growlers and bottles of house beers are available to go. Not sure if other beers are growler-filled.
F: We originally ordered the fried jalapenos, and our tongues like to have fell off. Seeds poured out of it, which I guess would be the culprit. However, the breading was great and they weren't greasy, just too much heat (which was on par with what an Indian restaurant would put 4 peppers next to on their menu). We then decided to get the mixed nuts and caramel bacon popcorn, both of which were much more palate friendly and $5 each. The others in our party ordered a cheese plate and were very impressed.
V: On par with what you would expect from the area and a brewpub. Most draught beers are $5-$6 and the food is reasonable.
Overall: Will be going again during non-peak hours, as it is family friendly and a mellow, but lively atmosphere. Prices are reasonable and selection is of great quality. Clean glassware and speedy service make this place another great brewpub in Austin. Didn't try any house beers this time, but look forward to doing so in the future.
07-29-2013 14:12:38 | More by videofrog
3.84/5 rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3 | $$
I really want this place to succeed. I love the concept behind the place. However, every time I go I am continually disappointed. The atmosphere and service are always good. The beer selection can be hit or miss. It depends largely on how many local brews they are selling. We have a booming beer scene in Austin, unfortunately, not all of our breweries make great beer. I've tried most of their house beers and nothing has been special, so far. The biggest problem I have with this place is the food. Everything I/my wife/my friends have tried has been below average.
Overall, I will still keep trying this place because I want the concept to work. However, for someone visiting Austin, if you are in the area, stop in for a beer, but eat some where else.
10-08-2013 16:22:26 | More by JamLand
3.88/5 rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $
I like the vibe of Black Star. I used to ride the commuter rail and would pop in for a pint between trains.
The beer is great. I love Vulcan IPA and several others. Growler fills are available too.
The atmosphere is Austin-industrial. The staff and vibe remind me of a communist commune a little; the staff doesn't accept tips and the place is closed on May 1, International Labor Day. The food is decent, but the last time I had a burger it was really overcooked and dry. The service is a bit slow, but what do you expect from employees who don't care about tips.
06-08-2014 16:03:16 | More by utfiero
Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery in Austin, TX
93 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.