2013 was sure a banner year for new beer venues around the Bay Area, many of which were instant classics. Among these worthy destinations is Hog’s Apothecary in Oakland, a special place for beers and for dishes made from pigs.
Surprisingly, HA is a year old today. Like several of its “classmates” from last year, including CellarMaker, Faction and The Rare Barrel, it seems both newer and older than a year old.
The beer program at Hog’s is the work of the passionate beer program director Sayre Piotrkowski, whose earlier influence can still be felt at Monk’s Kettle and St. Vincent’s in San Francisco.
Sayre seems to have embraced Hog’s and Oakland as much as he has embraced the select beers and brewers he brings into HA. It’s gratifying to see that Sayre is celebrating with a collaboration beer made with Craftsman Brewing Company of Pasedena. Late Sumac Summer Ale, a sour beer made with sumac spice, will be around for at least a little while. Homebrew hop expert Nathan Smith did an innovative collaboration kolsch with Marin Brewing’s Arne Johnson to look out for, too.
This evening HA is closed for a private birthday party, but there will be plenty of time during the week to drop by and celebrate their milestone. Hog’s is not a beer-hall with extensive snacks, but a restaurant built around great beers.
The sausages and meat dishes at Hog’s have many fans. (It’s not an easy place for a vegetarian to find a full meal, but eating nearby and then dropping by for beer will usually work nicely, which is a good thing, because HA has become a must-visit Bay Area beer destination.)
Happy anniversary, Hog’s.
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