Ever since they shut down the Air Naval Station on the western end of Alameda, there has been a number of cool businesses that have moved in to call the leftover gigantic air hangers their home.
St. George’s Spirits – a required stop when visiting the island – they offer tours of their distillery floor and will tell tales of their innovations and experiments that have resulted in the first modern (legal) absinthe and their award-winning single malt. Be sure to ask them about their wasabi vodka experiment.
The Bladium – when you’ve got an entire hanger, you can do a lot with the space. There’s a boxing ring and an indoor rock wall.
Rock Wall Winery – speaking of rock wall, Rock Wall was founded by the daughter of Kent Rosenblum who ran a very successful winery down the street.
The Rake – a pub attached to Admiral Maltings. They serve up beers that are brewed using their malts. Their beers are, of course, wonderful but the whole WPA, union shop design ethic is really cool too.
The Ocean Cleanup – boy genius Boyan Slat threw out an idea at a Ted talk and proposed a clean-up of all the plastic in the ocean. When it came time build a huge boom that they sent out into the Pacific Ocean to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, he chose Alameda. They are also working on a thing I call Roomba for Rivers.
Makani – a Google X graduate, this “moonshot” make huge kites which they fly in the jet stream and use to harness power.
Astra – just out of stealth, this rocket start-up that looks like a garage project that went pro. Astra has hired on some big guns and aims to launch their micro-rockets on a regular (daily) basis to serve the soon-to-be-booming commercial space industry. They will not launch out of Alameda but they found a jet engine testing facility from the Naval Air Station perfect for their undercover tests.
There are more on the way I’m sure – the old Mythbusters used to use the runway to blow stuff up. That same runway has been used to test drive an autonomous motorcycle startup of an unknown name and the movie studio behind The Matrix movies is back for more filming of their dystopian universe.
Who knows what will be next.