Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 15, 2014

Getting into the spirit of things

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Looks like Alameda Point’s “Spirits Alley” or is it Spirits Row is in full swing with between Rockwall, St George’s, Hangar One, and the newly added Faction Brewery.   Just a note, Rockwall apparently will be moving into a different space in that same row expanding their operations in the same building.   The outfit that purchased Hangar One, Proximo, wants to continue the Hangar One brand in Alameda and looks like it will continue to commit to keeping that brand in Alameda for the next ten years.

Proximo is a company based out of New Jersey and according to the staff report has these labels under its wing: 1800 Tequila, Azul Tequila, El Zarco Tequila, Gran Centenario Tequila, Jose Cuervo, Maestro Dobel Tequila, Hangar One Vodka, Three Olives Vodka, The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Matusalem Rum, Agavero Liqueur, Boodles Gin, and Stranahan’s Whiskey.

Also according to the staff report it looks like Proximo is going to expand production of the Hangar One brand and actually put some money into improving the customer experience by creating a “brand/tourism center” at Alameda Point.  From the staff report:

Proximo’s goal with the five-year build out of Building 22  is to triple the production capacity of the Hangar One vodka brand and create a world class brand and consumer experience in Alameda.  The company anticipates investing several million dollars in the build out of the hangar.

In addition to retail and tasting room staff,   Proximo will need to assemble a full production staff for distilling and bottling. During the first 6 months of the lease term, Proximo will undertake the construction of major tenant improvements to Building 22. Upon completion of those improvements Proximo will receive an “Improvement Credit” in an amount not to exceed $10.00 per square foot ($325,000).   The credit will be received in the form of a “Monthly Base Rent Offset” of $2,850.87 per month until the amount of base rent so offset equals the total Improvement Credit.

Given the development of all these interesting beverage companies in Alameda, I feel like Alameda’s really missing out on a huge opportunity to duplicate something that is happening in Walla Walla, OR WA at a former army base which is a wine making incubator to help flesh out the whole “spirits alley” experience.   Here’s how it works:

The incubators were built by the Port of Walla Walla out of a state economic stimulus grant and are leased to start-up wineries to help them work out the kinks. Adamant and Trio Vintners were the first to open, in 2006. The latest, Cavu Cellars, opened just this past April.

Because they’re meant to foster beginning businesses, rents start out at a ridiculously low $1,200 a month and inch up on a sliding scale, maxing out at $2,500 at the end of the maximum six-year lease, when the wineries have to move out.

“The goal is that you’ll then go out into the community and build another building and put a whole bunch of people to work,” Stinger says.

Of course it could be a beer making incubator or something like that as well.  Just a thought.

In other boozy news, there was an article about the urban wine trail in Alameda and Berkeley.



  1. Stranahan is decent whiskey with a unique character but it’s a poor value. For that price (~$60) there are many better choices. I salute them, though, for actually making it themselves. Most quote-unquote craft whiskeys are just wholesale juice purchased in bulk from a commodity producer with a slick (and FAKE) story cooked up by the marketing dept.

    Comment by dave — January 15, 2014 @ 9:06 am

  2. WW is in WA not OR.

    Comment by Drake — January 15, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  3. Ah thanks! those Northwest cities always trip me up.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 15, 2014 @ 9:52 am

  4. I work at Rock Wall full time…and we are not moving.

    Comment by B — January 15, 2014 @ 10:46 am

  5. Rock Wall is not moving. Please verify your information.

    Comment by Chelsea — January 15, 2014 @ 10:48 am

  6. City Staff mentioned that they could not renew the lease of another Alameda Point tenant — the one that converted buses to electric buses — because Rock Wall had indicated interest in that building after the lease for the electric bus company expired.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 15, 2014 @ 10:52 am

  7. Ah, figured it out. Alameda Bus Repair (regular bus to electric bus conversion company) occupies the other part of the same building that Rock Wall is currently in. I thought it was two different buildings since I was relying on my memory of the meeting I watched. Alameda Bus Repair’s lease is not being renewed because Rock Wall wants the whole of the Building 24 space. Sorry about the confusion.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 15, 2014 @ 11:01 am

  8. Hangar One is a product of St George’s isn’t it? Did Proximo buy just the vodka label or the entire distillery? We took out of town friends for the tour ( their son lived in Portland Or. and has moved back to Portland ME to start a micro brewery). it was totally cool, history of absinth etc.. great presentation and tasting was fun too. Besides distilling their own products St George’s “blends” bourbon which by definition can only be distilled in Kentucky. something we learned on the tour.

    Before realizing all the complexity of paying for infrastructure upgrades, etc. and the fact that many buildings at NAS pretty much defy reuse, I was of the opinion that the entire place should be clusters of businesses like Spirit Alley, live work conversions and leases like Fort Mason. Utopian fantasy? maybe. not sure what to make of current EIR, but sometimes reality sucks. If Alamedans think there should be no cars at the Point, those who drive should sell their cars and also not squawk about bike infrastructure.

    Comment by MI — January 15, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

  9. That is a common misconception, Mark. Bourbon can be produced anywhere in the US. Almost all of it is from KY, but legally it just needs to be made in the USA.

    Comment by dave — January 15, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

  10. Proximo just purchased Hangar One vodka, the rest of the St. George line still belongs to them according to the website.

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 15, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

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