Black Star Co-op’s name and logo were inspired by the Black Star of Ghana. In 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African nation to break free of colonial rule by gaining independence from Britain. The Black Star was adopted as a symbol of Freedom and Justice, immortalized in Accra’s Black Star Gate in the historic Black Star Square. The founders of the co-op felt that this sentiment worked in solidarity with the internationally adopted Co-operative Principles and Values adopted by the Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery – Johnny Livesay.
Before becoming the world’s first Cooperatively owned and worker self- managed brewpub, Black Star took root from an idea that looked beyond the path of conventional wisdom. A pub and brewery – owned by the community, for the community.
Co-founder Steven Yarak spread the idea of this unique business model throughout the neighborhood, which led to a meeting of 16 people in a vacant lot in Austin, Texas on January 14, 2006. Together, they assessed what it would take to give the neighborhood the brewpub it deserved. Among that initial group was Jeff Young and Johnny Livesay, Black Star Co-op’s eventual first Beer and Kitchen Team Leaders.
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