There has to be a king.

Austin is awash with them. As we make our way about the city eating and drinking we naturally assign fiefdoms and take our consorts to these giants. We have a brisket king: John Mueller. A food truck king: Raymond Tatum. A sausage king: Tom Micklethwait.

There’s probably a radiator king out near Pflugerville. And now we have a Russian Imperial Stout king. Or rather a pair of them: Brian Peters and Amos Lowe of ABGB.

This late Autumn has found Austin drowning in a surfeit of brilliant stouts. 512 Brewing came out with their 5th Anniversary Ale, and we thought we’d died and went to heaven. Finally we could ignore the tractor beam-like gravitational pull of North Coast’s Old Rasputin, and instead heft a bottle of local brew from the market for our evening porch rituals.

Then Austin Beer Works released their Sputnik, and our growler immediately saw heavy action, and at a heavy price as ABW’s brawny Russian incorporates the mother lode of high dollar, carefully sourced Cuvee coffee in the brew.

But we hadn’t seen anything yet.

Enter Drago, ABGB’s beastly Russian Imperial that toppled the would-be kings.

At 9.5% you’re not going to want to drink more than five or six of them; but inspite of the high gravity this killer goes down so easy it will be hard to contain yourself.

We wandered down to this local beer garden a few days ago and posted up at the bar while a polka band tuned up. It may as well have been Doug Sahm as the vibe on the room was so old Austin we found ourselves looking around to see if Clifford Antone was holding court over in the corner.

Families were eating pizza, neo-bohemians were smoking in the beer garden, crowded around big wooden spools heaped up with tankards of cold beer and hot pies.

Peace came and beamed down with the warm winter sun as we sipped the finest stout in all of Austin.

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