California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Alameda Vodka Distillery Produces Quality Alcohol

The Hangar One distillery, located in the old Naval Air Station in Alameda, uses all-natural flavorings for its products.

Nestled on the waters at the west end of Alameda and overlooking the San Francisco skyline is the Hangar One vodka distillery and tasting bar.

Hangar One is an all-in-one vodka distillery, bottling facility, tasting bar and distributor based out of the old military structure on Alameda’s now-defunct Naval Air Station.

Just $10 buys you a 12-flavor spread of vodka, brandy, whiskey and a couple specialty liqueurs to taste, including a souvenir tasting glass.

Well-trained, friendly bartenders and staff make you feel comfortable and informed about the various kinds of alcohol offered on site.

The distillery prides itself on never using artificial ingredients, only fermenting real fruit to flavor the various kinds of liquors. A coffee liqueur, a specialty of the distillery, is also all natural and made with cold-brewed coffee beans.

The ‘Straight’ flavored Hangar One brand vodka is offered in various bars and restaurants around the Bay, and is famous for its smoothness and easy drinkability.

Hangar One was one of the first producers of absinthe, a high alcohol content beverage, since the ban on the drink was lifted in 2007, nearly a century after it was deemed illegal to make or consume in the United States in 1912.

Originated in Switzerland, absinthe is commonly referred to as “the green fairy” due to its psychoactive quality. The hallucinogenic properties of the beverage—the drink of choice for such figures as Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde—have been widely exaggerated.

The feared fantastical effects of the alcohol, as showcased in some modern movies like “Moulin Rouge,” prompted prohibitionists to ban the making and consumption of absinthe in Europe and the United States in 1912.

By 2000, the European Union revived the beverage and the U.S. soon followed.

Absinthe is not included in the $10 tasting price, but for an extra $5 you can discover what the country had been missing out on for almost 100 years.

Somewhat hidden and hard to find on the naval base, the Hangar One building, or St. George Spirits bar, showcases breathtaking views of San Francisco, when the weather permits.

Even when faced with a foggy, dreary day, the tasting bar’s atmosphere of friendly staff and high quality vodka can brighten up the somber scene of a massive gray canvas just outside the window.

Just 10 yards from the tasting bar is a sitting area, supplied with water jugs and cups to help sober up customers before their drive home, looking over the distillery and bottling areas. Hangar One also offers tours on Saturdays and Sundays.

While the tasting experience is fairly priced for the great tasting and educational experience at the bar, some of the liquors can be a little high priced. Some of the specialty alcohols can be upwards of $60, such as the St. George Absinthe Verte.

All vodkas are reasonably priced at $36 a bottle. Though a little steeper than an average grocery or liquor store, the quality of the product makes the money well spent for the value-conscious drinker.

All in all, the experience and quality of the products being served is worth the time and money spent for a good time.

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California State University East Bay
Alameda Vodka Distillery Produces Quality Alcohol