Beer has been like the thing over in the East Bay in the last couple of years, with a veritable explosion of beer gardens and beer bars just in the last six months. Today we note the quiet opening of Hog's Apothecary (375 40th Street), the latest entry, which is a sausage- and beer-focused venue from co-owners John Streit and Bradford Earle, is on the ever-improving stretch of 40th Street near MacArthur BART.

The decor is bare-bones, described as an "American-style beer hall," with long tables and benches and, with its two walls of windows, resembling an enclosed beer garden. They've got 33 beers on tap, partly curated by trained beer sommelier Sayre Piotrkowski — the same guy who did the beer program at St. Vincent. The food menu, as the East Bay Express earlier reported, is beer-friendly and "gastropubby," centering on house-made sausages and Bavarian-style pretzels. Streit is handling the food, and he has previously worked at Pizzaiolo, Pizzeria Delfina, and Emeryville's Rotten City Pizza.

The beer program is primarily local, focusing on the West Coast from Seattle to San Diego, and the many varied styles that craft breweries have been making in California in the last decade. And you can expect your beer to arrive in proper glassware.

And then there is the mascot: A 7-foot-tall, carved wood pig that they've named Theo.

Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for now, and we'll link you to a menu once we see one.

[Inside Scoop]