August 6, 2014

Alameda: St. George Spirits; things to do

880 South 

St. George Spirits  2601 Monarch St., 4 mi. from downtown, (510) 769-1601.  Tasting on the hour, W-Sat 12-6, Sun 12-4; $15.  Tour+tasting W, Thur, & F at 5:30, Sat at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6, Sun at 1, 2, 3, & 4; $20.  Reservations advised.

exterior of St. George Spirits in Alameda, California

Located way out there, through a residential area and then past a plethora of boarded-up buildings on the former Alameda Naval Air Station, this distillery operates inside a huge repurposed hangar.  The tour is a must and prepares you for your tasting.

interior of St. George Spirits in Alameda, California

You’ll find out how copper stills work and learn that 30 pounds of pears is used in just one bottle of pear brandy!  I heard way more than I could drink in and digest.

absinthe ingredients at St. George Spirits in Alameda, California

I was most interested by the story about absinthe, which just became legal in the U.S. in 2007.  In fact, St. George Spirits was the first American company since 1912 to produce and sell absinthe in the U.S.

celebrity shark Bruce from "Deep Blue Sea" movie at St. George Spirits in Alameda, California

I also enjoyed meeting the celebrity shark Bruce, who ate Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J in the “Deep Blue Sea” movie.

tasting room at St. George Spirits in Alameda, California

After, we tasted five items, including Dry Rye Gin, a gin-whiskey love child; Terroir Gin, which tastes like a forest; and the celebrated olive-oil green Absinthe Verte, which is poured over ice and tastes of licorice.  Suffice it to say that you can get hammered even on the tiny tastes that are poured.  Drink the water provided.

More things to do in Alameda.

Things to do in nearby Oakland.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

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