San Francisco Chronicle: Alameda embraces innovative food, drink history, May 11, 2018


Craft distilleries are now springing up everywhere. The 1982 launch of St. George Spirits (and their subsequent post-St. George’s effort Hangar One vodka from the old eponymous Naval Air Station structure) has had Alameda in the craft-cocktail loving collective consciousness long before the current millennial moment.

As such, it’s only appropriate — if not destiny — that Alameda not only has a bevy of newer microbreweries, but is also home to Admiral Maltings, California’s only floor-malted barley producer.

“A former military base is a great place for an operation like ours; floor-malting is a labor and space intensive process,” said co-founder Ron Silberstein, a veteran of San Francisco’s ThirstyBear Organic Brewery. “After we steep the malt in water, we spread it on the floor and turn it three to four times a day for four to five days, and then we dry it in a kiln, which is what gives flavor to the malt. It’s something of a lost art. We’re offering a choice where artisanal craft is being put back into the product, where you have single-origin malts that come from one field that really develop a terroir.”