Jan 1, 2013 - New Year! New Opportunities!
We here at StilL 630 love the New Year, it's a great chance to evaluate ourselves and see how far we've come in the last year and where we want to go in the new year. We enjoy taking the time to remember our past triumphs and disappointments and learn what we can from them. One of the things I hate the most is making the same mistake twice. I try my best never to do that, but to avoid it, you have to reflect. 2012 was a great year in many respects, but unfulfilling in others. We made a ton of progress on the distillery, but weren't able to open like we'd hoped. I made progress on my personal Life Goals, but didn't make time to accomplish some in particular, which is ok because I had other things that deserved priority. Most important of all, I was able to spend quality time with dear friends and family, making wonderful memories that I'll cherish for the rest of my life. And do it all while making relentless progress towards manifesting my dream.
So what do I expect from 2013? Opportunities. What do I expect from myself? A ton.
First off, I'm ecstatic about finally opening the distillery to the public and showing off the first fruits of my hard labors! I can't wait to share my spirits with the world and (hopefully) show my wife that she was correct in believing in me and supporting my dream!
Secondly, I can't wait to put some of the governmental red tape behind me and shift more of my focus to producing the best spirits I possibly can! I am dying to experiment with new flavors and styles, and launch our ambitious barreling program.
Third is a direct result of number 2, I want to engage with all the kindred spirits (if you will!) out there. Both in person and via social media. I am making it a goal of mine to engage much more. No more sporadic blogging! Regular updates and frequent tweets and facebook posts. And they won't ALL be about StilL 630, I want to share more of the things that interest me with all of you, and vice versa! I want to be more well-rounded than a billiard ball, and I'm always interested in cool ideas and intriguing events, so if you come across cool stuff, let me know! I'm @still630.
Fourth (and only fourth because it pertains to me as a person and not directly to the distillery) I want to be the best David Weglarz I can be. That means overcoming bad habits and negative patterns. That means taking a hard look at myself and actively working on improving myself and my life. Most of all it means being the best husband I can be... and in a month and a half or so, it's going to mean being the best father I can be! That's right, Sidni and I are looking forward to welcoming our little future distiller into the world! We're so excited! So come on down to the distillery in a few months and you just might catch little Weglarz riding around on Big Jake!
2013 presents huge opportunities and possibilities. I'm going to capitalize on them because, damnit, THIS is my life and I'm going to make it the best I possibly can!
So here's to us and to taking life by the throat. Stalk your dreams. Never give up. Cheers to the best year yet! #Indomitable.
Jan 20, 2013 - Friends & Family Soft Opening
Greetings Kindred Spirits, Recently we held an event that surely sent tremors through the very foundations of the established spirit industry... We hosted a very private and very intimate Friends and Family Soft Opening party.
This event was a small thank you to all the people who have known us, loved us, and supported us from before this dream even took root. They've been quietly and sometimes vocally cheering us on from the beginning and donating their time and efforts to help us pull this distillery off. So we wanted to honor their support with a special gathering at the distillery.
Several people specifically are worthy of special mention for their selfless hard work helping get the distillery ready for the event.
First and foremost: my dad, Ted. He traveled to St. Louis and stayed with us for two and a half weeks, and even though he's retired, he was there working 15, 16, even 17 hour days helping get things ready. I'm so blessed to have him for a father and a friend. Thank you, Dad.
Jan 22, 2013 - Catching Up…
I figure that it's time I brought you all up to speed on what's going on at the distillery! We've been making progress, though I know it doesn't look like it from the outside... We had our Occupancy Inspections on Jan 11th and they went well. We're looking forward to (hopefully) receiving our Occupancy Permit any day now. Which will be huge because it instantly and finally activates all the state and city licenses that we worked painstakingly to receive last year. And it will allow us to finally share our hard work with the thirsty public! However, we are also waiting on the respective arm of the Federal Government: the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau (bka: the "TTB") to get around to approving our formulas and labels for our first spirits. Something which they have to do before we are able to sell any bottles. And unfortunately, as things with the government tend to do, it is taking much longer than advertised to get -what should be relatively simple and mere formalities- done.
On the positive side, that's all that we're waiting on! We've got the boiler and steam piping all hooked up. In fact, we've been test-running the still and it seems to be working great!
We had some good friends generously donate some long hours recently to help slap some lipstick on the distillery. Trust me when I say though it does not look as comely as it could if we spent five million dollars on it, it does look infinitely better than it did! And so I'll add a note to all future visitors (which we hope is everyone in the world and their brother's mother!): this distillery is a working manufacturing plant. It is not a fancy restaurant or palatial residence. Only the most awesome of people may ever get married there, but many and more will there enjoy some delicious spirits!
There are a few other things in the mix, but I'll save those for another time. So check back often, or if you're really savvy with the interwebs, subscribe to the blog to get notifications when there's a new post. I have some interesting things cooking, and not just delicious whiskeys!
Feb 11, 2013 - OCCUPY STILL 630!
FINALLY. After months and months of seemingly endless hoop-jumping and permit applying (and of course permit application fee spending) and inspections... we've finally been awarded our Occupancy Permit!! Hallelujah, Holy Oaken Barrel! This is a major milestone along our path to bringing you the best spirits known to man and I can't wait to welcome each and every one of you into the distillery for a chat and some tastings! I think you're going to love our whiskeys, rums, and bourbon... not to mention some other spirits I've got up my sleeve! We've gotten everything squared away, now we're only waiting on our final label approvals. So hopefully in the next month or so, we'll throw open our doors and welcome you all inside... Lord knows you've waited long enough!
Apr 6, 2013 - ADI 2013 - Denver!
I just returned back from the ADI (American Distilling Institute) Conference in Denver. Long time readers will remember that it's our industry's annual conference and the past couple years have been held in Louisville and Portland respectively... It's always fun to visit great American cities and experience their own unique vibes and spirit scenes. This year was no different. I stayed with my good friend Scott and got out there a little early to watch the NCAA tournament and do a little hiking and sight-seeing. I always love walking around when I'm visiting new places. I think physically walking outside -as opposed to riding around in a temperature controlled car - helps you slow down a little and really get to know the distinctly unique feel of a place. Plus it helps you discover little hidden watering holes... and of course, since it's my profession to make booze, it's almost my responsibility to stop in these places and sample the local wares... which is far from the worst professional obligation I can imagine!
During one of my walks, I came across this awning, which I took to be one of life's signs that could be boringly written off as mere coincidence. I don't believe in coincidence.
Apr 14, 2013 - GRAND OPENING!!
WOW. It feels so good to finally type those words... This herculean labor of love has taken so much longer, cost so much more, and been so much more trying and stressful than I ever dreamed. But to those kindred spirits who also nurture that inner indomitable flame, you know that nothing is too much, no challenge too great that we will not eventually overcome. Like I always like to say: "Bite off more than you can chew. And then chew it." And that's what I did. I started eating this elephant one bite at a time and though the weeks stretched into months and then stretched over a year, and almost into two... we finally got to the starting line! Now it's Go Time. I haven't worked this hard and put, not only my own future directly on the line, but also that of my young family, to not succeed. I do not believe it to be a matter of 'IF', but 'WHEN'.
Nor do I claim to do this alone. Let me be the first to say that there is absolutely no way I could've made it to this point without the loving support of so many people. First and foremost: my beautiful wife, Sidni. She is my biggest cheerleader and sometimes gives me the kick in the butt I need to stop feeling overwhelmed and start attacking. Dyke, Jim, & Ben true friends who put their money where their mouth was. My father-in-law, whose advice and support have helped me strategize and execute while keeping me focused. All the members of our family and dear friends, who have contributed to our success by donating their personal time and effort. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Now on to the actual Grand Opening... it was a huge success! We welcomed into the distillery tons of friends, both new and old, and it was fantastic to share with them our passion and our humble beginnings. It was also great to meet some of our twitter/facebook friends in person!
I am truly blessed to have the ability to follow my dream and a huge group of family, friends (new and old and yet-to-meet) that are supporting me every step of the way! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! The best is yet to come.
Apr 16, 2013 - Planting our Flag
Well, my dad gave me an idea about using diagonally laid wooden furring strips for the background of our sign, something I've been trying to create for a while now... and since he's been right about other things (once or twice!) in the past, I took his advice... Then I cut out some letters...
And hung it with the help of some great friends, who donated their Saturday to help us throw our Grand Opening celebration!
Though the doubters were many in the beginning when I would describe my vision for the sign, in the end I think it turned out great. We've officially planted our flag in St. Louis! For, as the Arch is to Mankind, so our humble sign is a manifestation of our own Indomitable Spirit. So whenever you're driving by and you see it, stop in and say hi!
May 7, 2013 - DISORIENTATION 2013
Yesterday, May 6th, we were honored to host 80 members of the Washington University Olin School of Business '13 & '14 classes. These Wash U grad students have a great tradition of self-organizing a week of St. Louis-themed activities at the end of each school year... which they awesomely term: "Dis-orientation".
And what is a more fitting location for their disorientation than the best craft distillery in St. Louis?!
It seemed like everyone had a good time and enjoyed themselves. We definitely made some new friends and went through a lot of whiskey! A hearty cheers and congratulations to those graduating and I hope to see everyone back again soon and often!
May 19, 2013 - INDOMITABLE
Tonight, we went out with Sidni's best friend and her husband to a couple hot spots in STL and it was a quietly huge evening for me. I say 'quietly', because it wasn't outrageous and if you were a by-stander, you probably wouldn't have picked up on the fact that it was a night more special than most. We went to Sanctuaria first. I finally joined their cocktail club. And because I'm me, I have a terribly hard time accepting the challenge of trying all 150 cocktails without trying to stubbornly do it in one sitting. But it was my first time there since our spirits became featured cocktails prominently displayed on the first page of their menu. It was a trip, to say the least.
This thing that I've put my heart and soul into is just now starting to show fruits. And these are the exact things I fantasized about while I was sweating my ass off cleaning out the building and doing the countless things necessary to start up the distillery. And now, after all that hardwork and trying times, here I sat, at one of the premiere cocktail bars in the country, drinking a cocktail made with my own spirits... It was a truly memorable feeling. One I'll cherish for the rest of my life, regardless of what comes after.
And then, we went back to The Libertine for another round of food and drink. Seeing my bottles up on the shelf, right next to the 'big boys' of spirit royalty... it was awe-inspiring. But best of all, the thing that made me most proud, was ordering a glass of the 'double-oaked high rye whiskey'... ON TAP. How badass is that!?! They literally have my whiskey on tap at The Libertine!
Short of winning a medal for best whiskey ever, I can't think of a better night. Great company. Great food. Great cocktails. And humongous pride in my accomplishments. I hate to toot my own horn, but damnit, I am proud tonight.
Most of all, I owe a very heartfelt 'Thank You' to Matt & Nick, the talent behind Sanctuaria & Libertine respectively, as well as their bar manager's -coincidentally both named Nate. Without you guys believing in me and my spirits, this night and this feeling would not have been possible. Thank You.
May 28, 2013 - Best Internship Ever.
I've been lucky enough to land a spot in the coveted Internship program at my alma mater Wabash College. A top ranked, but tiny (< 1000 students) Liberal Arts college in Crawfordsville, IN. So after the near impossible job of filtering through 15 great applicants, I finally found my guy: Spencer Peters. He's about as Indomitable as they come. Starting attacker on the varsity Lacrosse team. Lived in Italy for six months, Daughters of the Revolution humanitarian of the Year, and pretty damn smart. So smart he earned himself a Lilly Scholarship to Wabash (that's a full ride)! They only give out two of those per year. And look at him attack that monster BLT from Crown Candy Kitchen!!
He started working with me on May 20th, and the poor guy's been a champ as he deals with the grueling, random, and often tedious hours. Plus, he's got a taskmaster for a boss... But he's hard-working, extremely good-natured, obviously very intelligent, and a great conversationalist. Basically everything you could ask for in an employee.
Here he is "time out"... cleaning the mash tun.
So stop in and meet Spencer! He's a great guy to grab a cocktail with.
May 30, 2013 - The Libertine
Nick Luedde and his wife, Audra, have a phenomenal restaurant going over in Clayton. With Josh Galliano as chef, how could it not be? Obviously many of you are already hip to the newest hot spot in St. Louis, because I've already re-filled their whiskey barrel... twice!
Yes, that's right. They have whiskey ON TAP. My whiskey. To be more precise: StilL 630's RallyPoint High Rye, Double Oaked Whiskey. They use it in their excellent Tom Waits for No Man (manhattan) cocktail. As well as some of their other delicious cocktails. Or you can order it neat or on the rocks!
I particularly love the Grilled Mushrooms, She-Crab Soup, and Crispy Pigtails. But the food is great. The people are awesome. The cocktails are delicious. And the decor is dead on. You should be on your way there right now.
Jun 9, 2013 - Market St. Culinary Tour
Yesterday, we were honored to be a part of the Market St. Culinary Tour put on by St. Louis Culinary Tours. The tour started out at 360: Rooftop Bar for drinks and apps, then headed over to Tony's for what I heard was a delicious grouper dish. Then the tour visited our distillery, where they got an in-depth tour of our operations and sampled our spirits. Then I joined them at Mike Shannon's Steaks & Seafood for the debut of the amazing Bahn Mi Filet created by executive chef Nick Zotos.
I have to admit, it doesn't necessarily sound like something I might've blindly ordered, but I'm so glad that I got to try it because I would've missed out...it was delicious! I'll definitely be taking Sidni there to get it when it debuts on the regular menu on June 25th. The filet was paired with StilL 630's Barrel-Aged Missouri Mint Julep and the cocktail was a hit.
It's a huge honor to have a cocktail that I personally created be paired with such a unique and gourmet dish, especially at such a top level restaurant like Mike Shannon's Steaks & Seafood! I'm really excited that my MO Mint Julep will be the featured cocktail pairing with the steak when it launches on the menu later this month!
Before we left Mike Shannon's we also got a private tour of the kitchen (which has got to be completely controlled chaos on a busy night!) and their lower level... which included an old bank vault - with really awesome huge metal vault door - that has been transformed into a wine cellar and private dining room. The table inside is hands-down one of the coolest tables I've ever seen. The stone is from Turkey and the lighting beneath brings out incredible colors. I can't wait to have an event there in the future... maybe a spirit pairing dinner or something...
The tour then moved on back to 360 where it wrapped up with more cocktails and great views. It seemed like everyone had a phenomenal time and I was honored to be a small part of that great St. Louis experience! You should definitely take one of the tours. It's so cool to meet the chefs and see the private sides of such great restaurants, as well as sometimes getting to try food that isn't even on the regular menu! Check it out: STL Culinary Tour Schedule
Jun 16, 2013 - Father’s Day
I am the luckiest guy on Earth. Where some people are lucky to have one, I've been blessed in my life with several great male role models. While they've all had meaningful positive impacts on my journey in life, none more so than my father: Ted Weglarz. ("Thaddicious" to some who know him well)
He leads and teaches by example.
(I apologize for sharing so much personal information, Dad. Few people know what I'm about to share.) He was born to second generation Polish immigrants on the southside of Chicago. His own mother died when he was just a boy. But he molded himself into a great athlete and scholar, earning a scholarship to Wichita State University as a Div. 1 college football tight end. While there, he witnessed the tragic plane crash that killed many of his close friends and teammates. But he also met my mother.
He was drafted into the Canadian Football League, but chose to take a job with Dow Chemical company in Midland, MI instead. A job which he kept and relentlessly worked up through the ranks for 31 years. In 1995, the love of his life, my mother, lost her decade long battle with breast cancer and he was left to raise my younger sister and I alone.
Growing up, my father was an intimidating figure. Easily large enough to turn my stubborn, sarcastic butt into mud if I stepped out of line. But more than that, my father is a man of keen intellect and an enormous heart. I still recall all the long hours he spent teaching me sports and the countless conversations we had(have) about books we've shared. He has sacrificed so much for the sake of my sister and I. Never missing a game of the countless sports we both played, he was always on the sidelines or in the dugout coaching and keeping score. I know for a fact that he has had a profoundly positive influence on my close friends, who grew up with ol' Thaddicious looming over us and demanding we give our best.
He instilled in us kids a deep and enduring love for nature and the outdoors, as well as literature and travel. When he retired from Dow several years ago, he continued to teach us by example as he opened a new chapter in his life and (for the first time in years) made one of his own dreams come true. He applied for a job as the front desk worker at one of his (and my) favorite places on earth: Yellowstone National Park. And despite his professed desire to "have the least amount of responsibility possible", he has naturally worked his way to a manager position the last two seasons. (Which I suspect he only accepted because it awarded him his own private cabin!). So now he spends his summers living in Nature's greatest park, fly-fishing (he taught himself how to tie flies a couple years ago), hiking, and 'hunting' for the amazing animals with his camera. He keeps a great blog about his adventures out there that is worth checking out: Ted's YNP BLog
In the off-season, he ties more flies, combs through the thousands of pictures he took last season, and eagerly helps out at the distillery. It is no exaggeration to say that StilL 630 wouldn't be where it is today without his relentless, tireless, and un-paid help!
My father has taught me so much about life and being a man. And though I've disappointed him countless times in my life, he's never given up on me and remains one of my biggest supporters. No matter what life has thrown at him, and as I said, it's thrown him some terrible obstacles, he has faced it all with grit and determination, only to emerge stronger. Molding himself into the man he wants to be and always striving to improve. He is the quiet embodiment of the Indomitable Spirit that StilL 630 espouses.
He is my inspiration as the father I want to be for my son. He is the best man I know. He is my father. And I love him with all my heart. Happy Father's Day, Dad.
Jun 16, 2013 - Summer Sippin’ for 6/30 Day!!!
You've all been waiting for it your whole lives, and now it's almost here! Sunday, June 30th, 2013 will be our 1st ANNUAL 630 DAY Party!!
From 1-6:30pm at the distillery, we're going to be enjoying some "Summer Sippin'. We'll have awesome bartenders from some of the best places around St. Louis pouring their own craft creations: delicious cocktails specifically designed for sippin' all day on those hot summer days.
There will also be some of the best local STL Food Trucks here to provide delicious food. There will be music, games, and prizes, possibly even debuting new products from StilL 630, but you'll have to be here to find out!!
Your $5 admission will be donated to the STL MADD chapter and you'll receive a complimentary cocktail. Then you, can get all the delicious Summer Sippin' cocktails you want for only $4 apiece!
It's going to be a GREAT time and years from now, you know that you're going to humble brag to your friends that you were there that first year... so come out and don't be a liar!
We're going to keep rolling out more info and specifics over the next two weeks leading up to 6/30 day, so keep a weather eye on @still630 and our facebook page for all the info! Can't wait to party with you at the distillery!
Jun 19, 2013 - WHOOMP, THERE IT IS!
Check it, check it, let's begin... party on party people, let me make some noise:
Jun 24, 2013 - Maximum Exposure!
I was fortunate enough to be deemed worthy of an interview with FOX2's own Randi Naughton in advance of 630 Day!! Check it out here:
And then come to our big party June 30th!!
Jun 25, 2013 - 1st Annual 630 Day - Summer Sippin’
I dreamt it up, now it's happening for you to enjoy... Our 1st Annual namesake day! Date: Sunday 6/30, 2013 Time: 1-6:30pm
No longer will Sunday be a mere 'recovery' day. You don't have to work. It's still the weekend, Sunday deserves to be enjoyed in it's own right. And where better to enjoy Sunday Funday than at your local craft whiskey distillery!?
We're going to some of the best local bartenders pouring delicious and refreshing cocktails specifically designed for Summer Sippin'. Think of them as similar to session beers. Intended to be enjoyed over longer periods of time, without that feeling of over-indulgence. Not too sweet for a hot summer day, but refreshing and, above all, delicious. The master bartenders will also be leading short talks about their creations and how you can duplicate them at home!
And we'll have great food to nosh on from some of the best local food trucks will be there to satisfy your appetite while you listen to great music and enjoy our delicious cocktails. There'll be some games, giveaways, and maybe even some other surprises!
Must be 21 or better to drink. Admission: $5* (includes free cocktail.) Add'l cocktails: $4/each. All admission proceeds go to benefit the STL chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Jun 26, 2013 - UPDATE - 630 Day - 1st Bartender Announced!
We are very proud to announce the talented bartenders who will be pouring their delicious Summer Sippin' cocktails for you! First up, is the lovely and talented Christy Tiernan, and here she is to tell you about herself:
Hi, my name is Christy and I'm a Pittsburgh, Pa native. My ultimate favorite cocktail to make is the Stripped Steeler Martini; Espresso vodka, Amaretto liqueur, coconut rum and powdered chocolate. Simply delicious! I work at Mike Shannon's a couple nights a week cheering on the Cardinals and whipping up cocktails. During the day, I work my tail off running a company which I co-own; it is a graphic design company called Flipt! We specialize in mobile websites, wedding apps and restaurant design! I'm so happy that StilL 630 is alive and prospering, what a great addition to St. Louis' downtown scene! Come by and try a Mint Julep, it's the perfect summer cocktail!
Christy's Summer Sippin' cocktail for 630 Day will be the "Missouri Mint Julep"! A fantastic local rendition of a classic.
Christy and her fellow cocktail gurus will be pouring their Summer Sippin' cocktails THIS Sunday. Each cocktail is only $4!! Don't be the one person who missed out!
Stay tuned for more info...
Jun 26, 2013 - UPDATE - 630 DAY - FOOD TRUCKS ANNOUNCED!
Yeah, you're thinking to yourself: "well, all these Summer Sippin' cocktails sound great, but if I'm going to be sippin' on them all afternoon, I'm gonna work up a powerful hunger... what then?" You're in luck. We've secured two of the best Food Trucks in the business to be parked outside providing great food to feed your need.
Recently named one of the Top 100 Food Trucks in the U.S. of A. two years in a row, Seoul Taco truck will be here serving their famous Korean BBQ!
Also, one of the food trucks from the famous Hill restaurant: Zia's will be here! Slice of the Hill truck will be filling your hunger slice by delicious slice!
Like 'em on Facebook: Seoul Taco on FacebookSlice of the Hill on Facebook
Follow 'em on Twitter: @SliceoftheHill@SeoulTaco
Then eat 'em in person at the 1st Annual 630 Day this Sunday!!
Jun 28, 2013 - UPDATE - 630 DAY- 2nd Bartender Announced!
Next in line is the Hobo Squirrel, himself... Ben Bauer!
Ben Bauer is the head barkeep and all around booze guru at The Libertine in St. Louis. It was at an early age that Ben fell in love with the art of the cocktail. During his time tending bar at the award winning Farmhaus Restaurant in St. Louis his true passion of fine spirits began to take shape. In November of 2012 Ben made the move to the highly acclaimed Elaia and Olio, where he enveloped himself in the study and art of creating classically crafted cocktails. Ultimately finding his current home at The Libertine, Ben shares his passion and pushes himself to surpass traditional levels of quality, taste and imagination on a nightly basis. Ben's most current interests include drinking bottles of warm Fernet Branca in the rain, giving back massages WHILE receiving foot massages, occasional apologies and cake eating.
That's Ben in his own words, but come out on Sunday to experience Ben's passion for yourself (in cocktail expression!). His specially crafted, Summer Sippin' cocktail is called: "Requiem for Jani Lane." You gotta try it!
Jun 28, 2013 - UPDATE - 630 Day - 3rd Bartender Announced!
The man behind the bar at Mission Taco Joint, literally and figuratively, is our third and final bartender! Joel Clark will be slinging his delicious Summer Sippin' concoction: Big Jake O'Collins at our 1st Annual 630 Day party!! Here's some more info on Joel:
I moved to StL at the end of 2005 from rural Illinois. I had country dive-bartending experience, but that was it. At the beginning of 2006 I was hired as a barback at Brennan's in the CWE. In my 3 yrs there I went from barback, to bartender, to wholesale tobacco "everyman" for Select Cigars, Inc., to wine and spirits buyer. This was where I developed my expensive palate! From Brennan's I dove headfirst into craft-bartending by joining the original crew at Eclipse at the Moonrise in its inaugural summer. From there I became bar manager for Pi and was a part of the opening teams at the Kirkwood and CWE locations. Then, in the winter of 2010, I was approached to become full-time bartender at Sanctuaria in the Grove. We turned Sanctuaria into one of the most recognized cocktail bars in the midwest, if not the country, and were nominated at the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards for the World's Best Cocktail Menu, and the following year recognized as one of the world's Ten Best Drink's Selections by the same organization. This past January, after 2 1/2 yrs with Sanctuaria, I was selected by the Tilford brothers to spearhead Mission Taco Joint's beverage and bar program. I like to think we've made a pretty big splash on the StL culinary and libations scene since opening in late February, 2013.
Some personal achievements include:
BarSmarts Advanced certified, April 2011
National Finalist at the Bombay Sapphire/GQ Magazine most Inspired Bartender competition. Summer 2011, Las Vegas NV. Drink name : "Bollywood Nights"
Regional Winner, DiSaronno Mixing Star, Spring 2012, New York, NY and national finalist Summer 2012, Las Vegas NV. Drink name : "Saronno Sling"
Named one of Fifteen Best Mixologists in Missouri by Missouri Life Magazine, Summer 2010
"Between Piety & Desire", a cocktail recipe of mine, was selected by Gaz Regan as one of the 101 best cocktails of 2012
Most Recently, named A-List Bartender of the Year in St Louis Magazine's annual A-List issue.
So come out Sunday and taste the talent of the man behind the hype!
Jul 3, 2013 - 1st annual 630 Day - 2013
THANK YOU to all of you whiskey fans who came out to celebrate our 1st Annual 630 Day. Thanks to all of you, almost 200 thirsty fans, it was a great success! Because we believe in living responsibly, we're proud that you helped us raise our donation for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Here are some pictures from the day to relive the awesomeness:
Ben Bauer from The Libertine preparing his cocktail: Requiem for Jani Lane. Get the recipe HERE.
Christy Tiernan from Mike Shannon's shaking up her Summer Sippin' cocktail: Missouri Mint Julep!
Joel Clark from Mission Taco Joint, proudly touting Big Jake, the base for his Summer Sippin' cocktail: Big Jake O'Collins.
The bartenders killed it, pouring their awesome cocktails. The food from Seoul Taco and Slice of the Hill was delicious. And the smooth crooning of Frank Ruvoli put the finishing touches on a great evening. But most of all it was the friends, old and new, that made the party such a success! Go on our facebook page and tag yourself in pictures and let us know how much fun you had!
From all of us, to all of you, Thank You for making our 1st Annual 630 Day such a great success!! Can't wait to go bigger and better next year!
Jul 4, 2013 - Treasure Map Revealed!
You've all been asking for it. Literally. So, without further ado, I'd like to direct you towards our brand new Treasure Map! This is a map complete with listings, addresses, phone numbers, and website links to all the premier restaurants, bars, and liquor stores that carry our fine spirits.
As you can see, we've been fortunate to get into a lot of great places. However, if there is a bar or restaurant or liquor store you love that doesn't yet carry us, the best thing you can do is to ask for StilL 630 every time you go in there. When the bartenders, managers, and owners realize there is a demand for a certain product, they respond by picking up what the customers want. So make your voice heard and demand the best. Demand StilL 630 everywhere you go because the best days require the best spirits.
Use this new power wisely, and help promote your favorite local distillery. Cheers!
Aug 1, 2013 - So long, Spencer
Well, the grand experiment has finally come to an end. After 11 weeks, StilL 630's first intern is retiring from the distillery game. He was hands-down the best intern that has worked in the distillery. He was a big help throughout the summer, and the 1st Annual 630 Day wouldn't have been the success it was without his hard work.
I do really appreciate your hard work, Spencer. (and the tanks) You helped move the distillery forward and allowed me to be in two places at once. I hope you enjoyed your time here. As long as the doors are open, you'll be welcome.
I, for one, can't wait for that epic bags match between you and Brandon...
Aug 1, 2013 - Under My Host Podcast
So I guess Cori Paige and Matt, the wonderful people at Under My Host are really hard up for guests because they deemed it wise to bring me on their podcast... and here is what followed: UnderMyHost-StilL 630-PODCAST
Honestly though, I had a great time talking with Cori and Russell Davis and Drew Fox. Russell is a world class mixologist and "Bar Expert" on the tv show "Bar Rescue". Drew is the owner/brewer of 18th St. Brewery in Gary, IN. Highly talented people with whom I'm honored to be involved in their conversations. The hour long conversation drifted all around and we touched on some interesting stuff.
I'd like to throw out another 'Thank You' to STL's own Scientist McGee (Dennis Thien) who put me in touch with Cori to begin with.
And just re-listening to it again, there are a ton of great ideas casually tossed around. Some of which I'm going to make manifest. So I've got that going for me... which is nice.
Rare is the conversational genius who can weave Bill Laimbeer into any conversation.
Aug 20, 2013 - LABOR DAY WEEKEND HOURS!
I can't think of a better way to celebrate all your hard labor than with a tour and tastings of your favorite local craft whiskey distillery! So as a small reward for your hard work so far this year, I wanted to extend our hours for public tours for the upcoming holiday weekend. So, for Labor Day Weekend 2013, our hours are as follows:
Friday, August 30th: Open from 2-6:30pm
Saturday, August 31st: Open from 12-5pm
Sunday, Sept 1st: CLOSED
Monday, Sept 2nd: 12-5pm
So please, gather your family or friends (and hopefully they're both!) and come on down to visit the distillery. We'd love to show you what we're up to!
Sep 3, 2013 - St. Louis Craft Spirits & Cocktail Week, Sept 7-15
That's right! DELICIOUS LOCAL BOOZE!
Starting this Saturday and continuing on for 8 more days is the Second Annual St. Louis Craft Spirits and Cocktail Week! Check out those awesome events above! And you thought Labor Day Weekend was fun.
This week is a celebration of all the hard-working local entrepreneurs who pursue their passion of making delicious hand-crafted spirits right here in and around St. Louis! In conjunction with the St. Louis Chapter of the US Bartender's Guild, the uber-talented men and women who craft those delicious cocktails we all love!
The distilleries make a wide and tasty range of spirits, from vodkas to gins to whiskey and rum and ginger liqueurs, etc, etc! You've got to come out to these events and enjoy your favorite local spirits and try new spirits you've always wanted to or weren't aware of.
Here is a link to the Facebook page of the kickoff event: the St. Louis Classic Cocktail Party on SEPTEMBER 7th in LAFAYETTE SQUARE PARK from 5:30pm-9pm! And it will feature delicious hand-crafted cocktails that are available by the taste or as a full cocktail. While there, meet the real people behind your favorite spirits and other like-minded connoisseurs of good taste. All while listening to the Powerplay Band - who rock out with a great mix of Jazz/Blues/R&B/Motown/Disco. Great listening music to enjoy some tasty cocktails to!
Obviously, you already know about StilL 630 Distillery, but I encourage you to click on the following links, all great local distilleries run by good people!
Big O Ginger LiqueurPinckney Bend DistillerySpirits of St. LouisMastermind VodkaCardinal Sin VodkaWood Hat DistilleryCrown Valley DistillingMad Buffalo Distillery
Come out to the St. Louis Classic Cocktail Party, I guarantee you a good time! Come to that one, realize it's an awesome week showcasing great local people doing great things and then realize that you owe it to yourself to check out the other events too. You're welcome in advance. *I can tell you right now that Swig & a Swine event is going to be awesome.
Sep 5, 2013 - Expert Kickoff to St. Louis Craft Spirits & Cocktail Week
It's almost upon us, the St. Louis Craft Spirits & Cocktail Week starts this Saturday! But, because you're awesome and have your ear to the ground, here's a pro-tip for you cocktail connoisseurs... The Libertine restaurant in Clayton is having a special menu this weekend in honor of the St. Louis Art Fair taking place in Clayton. Find more information about this awesome art fair HERE. So I'm going to do you, dear reader, a big favor. I'm going to take all the pressure off you and plan your weekend for you.
FRIDAY: Enjoy a perfect sunset and dinner from atop the Moonrise Hotel while sipping their delicious (AND ON SPECIAL) Rally Squirrel Cocktail!
SATURDAY: Go to the Art Fair during the day, check out the Creative Castle, fun for everyone and lots of great kids activities. Then roll over to Lafayette Square Park for the Classic Cocktail Party and smooth jams of PowerPlay Band!
SUNDAY: You have the day off to enjoy the Rams & Cardinals games. Then head over to The Libertine for their Sunday Supper, you won't regret it!
Oct 1, 2013
Lots of great things going on at the distillery lately... Towards the end of Sept, I traveled up to Chicago to take part in the Chicago Craft Spirits Expo. The night before, I was part of a spirits tasting event at Jerry's on the Northside. Very cool place and was fortunate to have a great turnout that set the tone for an even better night the next day.
Going back to Chicago is always special for me. I lived there for 8 years, during my 20s and it was a formative time for me as I struggled mightily early on but through hard work and perseverance, I eventually became reasonably successful as a futures trader and was able to take advantage of so many of the great opportunities in that great American city. Sidni and I still have many dear friends who live there, so it's always fun to return.
This trip was especially significant because my friend Colin Joliat, who started as a trader with me years back and is now an incredibly talented alcohol writer and creator of the single best website ever created: www.theflintskinny.com (since retired) (check him out here: http://guyism.com/author/colinjoliat follow him on twitter: @FlintSkinny) and I went to our first whiskey expo several years ago, back when my dream of starting my own distillery was just that, a dream. And now, here we are, having both moved on from trading into alcohol-related fields and I'm actually pouring my own whiskey at the expo. It was one of those great scenic viewpoints on life's hike where you can take a moment and enjoy the view while marveling at how far you've come. It was very special to be able to share it with Colin, I'm thankful for that.
The Expo itself went really well. Our great friend, Jenny, was there making StilL 630 much more attractive than I ever could! She and I met hundreds of people, distillers, distributors, industry people, and whiskey fans. We had a great time sharing our spirits and spreading the good word. It feels like it was a very successful trip and it felt great to return triumphantly to my old hometown.
My take-aways from the trip: incredible thanks to the huge out-pouring of support from old friends; very excited to have met new friends and whiskey fans; encouraged about the chances to break into the IL market. We'll see what comes next...
Oct 15, 2013 - Reappearance Under My Host!
Lots of things have been happening lately, but one of the most fun was joining Cori Paige, Drew Fox (of 18th St Brewery) and Jared Rouben (of Moody Tongue Brewing) on the 50th podcast of UnderMyHost.
It was a blast talking with all these passionate and creative people. I just wish that we could've all been in the same room and drinking together. Something to look forward to, I guess! Do yourself a favor, listen to the greatness HERE.
Nov 20, 2013 - Awesome Times Ahead!
Hello whiskey fans and fans of all things awesome! Things have been very hectic and excitingly fast-paced around the distillery lately and I'd love to share some of that with you. I'm working on mashing the whiskey for the BarrelMaster Home Whiskey Aging kits, so those will hopefully be ready in early December!
We've got some new, updated labels that we'll be rolling out that I think are improvements on the earlier version. Love to hear what you think...
Here's some highlights of events StilL 630 is a part of over the next couple weeks:
-Wednesday, Nov 20th Private Tasting with Maryland Heights Seniors
-Thursday, Nov 21st Whiskey Tasting at the Old Rock House from 6-7pm before the awesome stand up comedy of Joey "Coco" Diaz and Ari Shaffir! They added a second show, so it's not too late to get tickets. (you should, it's gonna be great!) These guys are regulars on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast (which if you're not listening to, you should be) and monsters on the stand up comedy scene. This will be the best stand up comedy in St. Louis this year, mark my words.
Joey Diaz/Ari Shaffir Info/Tickets
****Saturday, Nov 23rd from 12-4pm is the last chance for public tours and tastings this month! So make plans and come on in with your friends and visit St. Louis' best craft distillery!****
-Also on Saturday, Nov 23rd is the 2nd Annual Whiskey In The Winter Festival at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown St. Louis!! Over 200 whiskeys to sample all in one place! Tickets are still available: Whiskey In The Winter Info/Tickets
****Distillery will be closed Nov 23-Dec 1st for Thanksgiving!****
-December 6th, 7th, & 8th is the "Eat, Drink, & Listen Festival"! It's going to be a really cool series of events focusing on the fusion of music, booze, and food! More details to come soon, but the first event will be at 4Hands Brewery Friday Dec 6th and feature improvised cocktails to accompany and accentuate the improvised jazz music of New York City based "Trio TBD", should be a great time!
-December 7th Whiskey&Cigar Event at Gran Cru Cigars in Soulard! Starting at 2pm, we'll be sippin' whiskey and puffin' on cigars in a special pairing that is open to the public! Come on down, learn a little about whiskey, a little about cigars, and a lot about enjoying them with good people! Plus, this cigar bar is BYOB!!! Gran Cru Cigars
-December 10th is the Dishcrawl Cocktail Wars! where 5 uber-talented local mixologists will compete in the North American Spirits Championship! Watch them prepare their fantastic concoctions, taste the cocktails, and vote for your favorites! Tickets still available, if you love cocktails (like I do), then this will be an event you want to attend! Info & tickers: Dishcrawl Cocktail Wars
Very exciting couple weeks, hope to see you out at all of these events!
Nov 28, 2013 - Giving Thanks
All throughout the year I think about it, but given this specific holiday I figured it would be a good time to share those thoughts...
Sitting here (this was written Wed Nov 27th) in the distillery, working on my 20th hour of distilling in the last 23 hours, maybe I'm a little woozy from the delicious smelling fumes, but I keep reflecting on where I am and how far I've come. And all of this modest success I've been blessed to achieve this year, is due more to everyone else than my own hard work. Though I'm well aware I'll fail spectacularly, I'd like to use this post to try and thank some of those people who've been instrumental in getting us to this point.
First and foremost, my wonderful wife for supporting, encouraging, and giving me a needed kick in the butt from time to time. She's been my cheerleader and my co-dreamer and it's for us and our family that I'm trying to create the future we've envisioned. Thank you, Sidni. I love you.
I want to thank our parents, for their support and encouragement, sage advice and challenging me to rethink my plans to make sure I'm focused on what's most important. And for their help in the distillery and in all aspects. I couldn't have done it without you guys and it's been incredibly special to share this journey with you.
To Jim, Dyke, & Ben, Thank You for your belief in me, you're willingness to come along on this journey, and making the long trips to help out for various events. I'm so excited that we'll be able to toast our great success together in the years to come. That will make it even more special.
To all our family and friends and friends who are family, thank you so much for you selflessness and willingness to help out. Whether it was remodeling the inside of the distillery, bottling, cleaning, and just generally helping promote the distillery in any and every way possible, I sincerely thank each one of you. I am extremely blessed to have the people in my life that I do, family & friends. Know that I do not take you for granted, even if it may seem that way sometimes.
And perhaps most of all, I want to thank our fans. You are the reason that I can continue to chase my dream. You great conneisseurs of whiskey, with your impeccable taste and discerning palate, you're willingness to try and then embrace a tiny start-up company like this... is truly phenomenal. Without your support, we couldn't keep doing this. So I thank you. And believe me when I say that it's only going to get better, so stick around!
And to everyone else who's helped me and the distillery out, I truly appreciate it. Please don't be mad at me if I didn't name you specifically. It's unintentional and only because I am indebted to so many wonderful people for helping in myriad different ways that my tiny brain can't keep everything straight. Know that you are appreciated.
This venture has led me to run-ins with some unsavory folks, but those few are dramatically outnumbered by all the kind, sincere, and genuinely good people that I've been fortunate to come into contact with. It's been an amazing path so far and I absolutely love it. I pray that it continues on, for I will.
THANK YOU. Happy Thanksgiving!