Located on the northern end of Alameda on the old naval base, St. George Spirits, maker of Hanger One vodka and other liquors, offers a free tour every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. The tours are an hour long and cover everything from the distillation of the fruits to barrel aging and bottling. Sounds boring, but the tour leader turns the experience into a sketch comedy show and time passes quickly.
Our tour had at least 40 people so it can feel impersonal, but the tasting room is one big party. For $10, you can taste everything from fruity eau de vies to interestingly infused vodkas like buddha's hands and kaffir lime. You can try about 15 different types of liquor, and keep the glass as your souvenir. For $15, you get the regular tasting as well as a sample of absinthe. If liquor isn't your thing or you want to be able to drive home, share tastings.
The tasting room can get busy Saturdays, but the pourers take the time to tell you about each drink. It feels hectic, especially when the birthday parties roll in, but St George is definitely worth a trip to the island.
St George Spirits
2601 Monarch St., Alameda