Our cool Couchsurfing hosts told us about quite some breweries in the San Francisco area. One of them, Faction Brewing, was on a big island in the San Francisco Bay, which sounded cool so we paid a visit and got ourselves a flight of five beers. I decided to review the Faction Pilsner for my drink of the day. It was really pale clear and not too fizzy. The smell was quite hoppy and slightly bitter. It was crisp and refreshing as a pilsner should be, with a slightly bitter finish. An average 4.8 percent alcohol content, an alright taste and easy to drink.
Faction Brewing’s taproom is one of the coolest we’ve been to so far, not because of the taproom itself (though it was nice!), but because of its banging location inside an old US naval air base just outside of San Francisco.
The base was closed in 1997, and since 2000 the city of Alameda has been working to reclaim the area and transform it into a viable area for the community. Now known as Alameda Point, the former base is home to a community garden, weekly antiques fair, offices, a skate park, gymnasium, aircraft carrier-turned-museum, and….. wait for it…. a brewery, a winery, and a distillery.
Known as “Spirits Alley”, the row of former aircraft hangars houses a pretty unbeatable trio: Faction Brewing, Rock Wall Wine Company, and St George Spirits. All three have tasting rooms, two with views right out into San Francisco Bay. Behind the hangars are the old runways, which are now protected areas and home to a colony of cute and unfortunately very endangered California Least Tern.
We had to drive so we unfortunately couldn’t take advantage of the situation, but Alameda’s Spirits Alley is definitely a powerhouse drinking destination. Two thumbs up for Faction!!