Saturday, January 28, 2012

California 20, or, Alameda Day

Alameda is one of the funniest places in the Bay Area. It's a little island off the coast of Oakland with a quaint suburban feel and a quaint main street that probably should be called Main Street. It was formerly home to a Naval Air Station, which has since been closed. So now, it's home to an abandoned Naval Air Station on a prime piece of real estate that is mostly a Superfund site.

However, it is also home to a couple wineries (or at least their tasting rooms) a distillery, and one of the Bay Area's goofier museums. And you can take the ferry there directly from the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Perhaps the centerpiece of our visit was the St. George Spirits distillery. It is located in one of the old hangars on the Naval Air Base (pictured at top) and is, as far as your correspondents could tell, the only tenant in any of the buildings on the base, the remainder of which sit eerily abandoned (pictured immediately above).

In any case, the good people at St. George are friendly and knowledgeable and offer a variety of delicious beverages in their tasting room. The most broadly distributed are Hangar 1 Vodka in a variety of flavors, including Buddha's Hand, which lemon-related fruit they kindly display in a jar for people wondering what the heck a Buddha's Hand is. They also make some fancy liqueurs, some whiskey, and perhaps most notably, absinthe. The tasting series a great way to wind up a little tipsy in the middle of a ghost town navy base in the middle of the afternoon.

More about our favorite museum in Alameda some other time...

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