By Erica H.
There's no question that Austin, TX is a cooperative city. There's a University co-op, a popular grocery co-op, co-ops for housing, nursery schools, radical books, and raw-food pet diets. It's hard to live here for ten years, as I have, without becoming invested in one of these movements. My co-op is for beer.
Black Star Co-op kicked off in 2010, and not only am I a member-owner, I am a CHARTER member and my PICTURE is on the wall and I have BANGS in it, so everyone should probably check that out next time you're in town. But even if you aren't a VIP of my level, Black Star is a nice spot for anyone who 1) likes beer, 2) likes food, and/or 3) needs a place where the small children they are toting won't be a spectacle.
The main draw, of course, is the house-made beers, and while I haven't been crazy about every one I've tried (there was recently something involving watermelon that I could have lived without), I love the constant rotation of seasonal items and the unusual selection of things like cask-conditioned ale.
The food is just as, if not more, tempting. The "snack plate" lets you choose amongst several types of cheeses, pickles, and meats, many of them local. We had one on our last trip there and it was great! (In that I learned that I do not like chicken liver mousse, and every learning experience is a valuable one.)
The less adventurous could always opt for a burger with garlic fries.
Or hope that they do another Sunday roast soon.
You know what that is on the side of the plate? It's Yorkshire freakin' pudding, is what. They also have criminally good macaroni and cheese, nice pub-style fish and chips, and I recently defied the Texas summer heat with a hot and spicy bowl of Frito pie. Something for everyone! Beer for all!