One Fine Day: Spirits Alley in Alameda
Sip locally crafted wines, brews, and distilled beverages while taking in the views at Spirits Alley in Alameda.
St. George Spirits
Photos top to bottom: Michael Rosati; Jason Tinacci; Laurel Dailey
It’s known by the name of Spirits Alley, but given its location at the northernmost tip of the former Alameda Naval Air Station, it’s more runway than alley. The collection of distilleries and tasting rooms provides gorgeous vistas of the San Francisco skyline—a perfect destination for day-trippers in search of a view to go with great beer, wine, and spirits. Bottoms up!
Building 43 Winery
Located across from the main hangars, Building 43 Winery offers a quirky and comfortable tasting room in a former explosive ordnance disposal locker. The handcrafted varietals from the Sierra Foothills include a fine selection of red blends. Be sure to check out Bomber Red No. 3. building43winery.com.
The family-friendly Faction Brewing features more than a dozen locally brewed beers on tap. Looking to catch some rays? The indoor-outdoor brew house offers a patio with picnic tables and free sunscreen, and it sells $8 sunglasses for the forgetful. Bonus: The seasonal IPA is outstanding. factionbrewing.com.
Hangar 1 Vodka
Hangar 1’s tasting room recently underwent an upgrade, adding a back-patio bar and an upstairs event space that can host up to 75 people. But the star is still the vodka, including a version made from locally collected fog. The small but smartly decorated space connects to Runway Spirits Co., where you can purchase Hangar 1 vodkas to take home. hangarone.com.
Rock Wall Wine Company
The largest and most well-rounded of the Spirits Alley venues, Rock Wall Wine Company offers regional wines alongside a simple but tasty menu of burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas—all courtesy of Scolari’s in Alameda. Rock Wall’s landmark geodesic dome and expansive outdoor seating area allow plenty of room to enjoy premium wines. rockwallwines.com.
St. George Spirits
At St. George Spirits, take a tour of the immense former fighter plane hangar–turned–distillery that crafts an impressive line of vodkas, brandies, and gins. The $20 tour ends with a tasting of six spirits of your choice. Don’t miss the NOLA Coffee Liqueur. stgeorgespirits.com.