Established in 2015, Alameda Island Brewing Company is the third brewery in this small suburb of Oakland, California, where a naval base moved out and legions of hipsters moved in. Here you’ll find one of the most richly cross-cultural communities in the U.S. (want Lithuanian food, you got it!), despite a tiny population of well under 100,000 residents.
You’ll also find some incredible beer here: Our pop-in to Alameda Island, which brews some 19-plus beers at any given time, all sold on premise in its taproom and at select establishments around the Bay Area, turned up some really impressive beers. Turns out that in less than three years, Alameda Island and owner Matthew Fox have learned an awful lot. We tasted 10 of the brewery’s offerings and took a short tour around the facility. Thoughts on all brews, and a few pictures, follow.
Alameda Island Uncommon Common – A pre-Prohibition dark cream ale, toasty and rustic, with a touch of smoke to it. 5.7% abv. B+
Alameda Island Island City IPA – West coast style, straightforward with a boldly piney bitterness. 7.3% abv. B+
Alameda Island Sea Haggis – A massive Scotch ale, barleywine in style with big fig notes and a hefty malt profile. 8% abv. A-
Alameda Island Control, ALT, Delete – A German ALT bier, bready and malty, with pretzel notes. 5.5% abv. B+
Alameda Island Cavanaugh Kolsch – Probably the most boring beer that Alameda makes, a straightforward brew with a bit of fruit, otherwise quite mild. 5% abv. B
Alameda Island Island Haze – An unfiltered IPA with a pineapple bomb that absolutely explodes on the tongue. The haze gives it a silkiness on the palate that only enhances the experience. Utterly beautiful. 6.1% abv. A
Alameda Island El-Ager – A dry-hopped lager with notes of citrus, lemongrass, and apricots; an entertaining hybrid. 8% abv. B+
Alameda Island Nacht – Schwarzbier, black as night, chewy and dank, with a touch of smoke and mushroom notes. 5.4% abv. B+
Alameda Island Mt. Olympus – A classic double IPA, with ample tropical notes and a massive bitterness that punches hard on the finish. A beautiful bruiser. 9.5% abv. A