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2015 Blog Posts

Jan 1, 2015 - Go time!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can't believe that it's now 2015.  Twenty-FIFTEEN!  We are in the future.  And that's awesome.

Obviously, there is a lot wrong with the world, and in our little corner of it as well.  But I personally choose to believe that there is much, much more right with the world.  The media intentionally feeds us death, horror, and treachery, because that gets ratings.  But I think if we step back, we see a much brighter picture.  More human beings across the planet have better access to health care than ever before in history.  Standards of living are on the rise everywhere.  We are living longer and in better quality.  Our technology is mind-boggling.  This very forum I'm writing on was unimagined when I was a kid.  The internet continues to connect us and let us interact and create like never before.  And I think that free-sharing of ideas, experiences, and knowledge is truly our best hope for the future.  The more we understand each other and communicate on the same page, the better off we will all be.

But I also think that in order to improve our world, we must first each improve ourselves. I believe I’m a better person than I was 12 months ago.  Not by magic nor simply surviving another year on this planet, but because I have consistently and relentlessly worked at improving myself.  Little aspects, little tweaks here and there, like drops off the still, eventually add up to something big.  And I’m nowhere near perfect – ask my wife – but you can be damn sure that 2015 David Weglarz is a better version than the 2014 model.

Last year I shared my own personal goals for the year, and I got a lot of positive feedback,so I've decided to do it again.  Here are my personal goals for 2015:

My #1 Goal: -Be the best Father & Husband I can be

Distillery-Related: -Introduce 4 new spirits -Double distillery output -Have 60+ barrels aging on Dec 31st, 2015 -Barrel Age 12 cocktails -Throw a great 3rd Annual 630 Day Party! -Obtain out of state distributor -Add Event Calendar to website -Blog & Social Media Current -Launch cocktail videos -Have an intern -Successful Mardi Gras -Win Spirit Medal -Sell First Private Single Barrel -Frame Posters

Personal: -Read 12 books -Cook 12 new (to me) dishes -Make 24 new (to me) cocktails -Go to 6 new (to me) STL restaurants -Run 100 miles -Bike 600 miles (or MR340) -Bike Katy Trail -Lose 10 pounds (start 248) -Celebrate Birthdays & Anniversaries -Complete 4 Short Stories -Complete 4 Poems -Finish children’s book -Catch up w/Journal before March 1st -Frame Life Goals -Go Diving Twice -Go Camping -Go Hiking -Go Rafting/kayaking -Taxes done before February -Visit Chicago -Visit Indy -Visit Louisville -Visit a new city -Leave the Country -Grow successful garden -Increase Flexibility -Finish Stained Glass for (gift) -Finish Climbing Picture -Finish Guest Room (paint/hang pictures) -Complete An Athletic Event -No Procrastination, FWYS GOADI -Support a Charity -Volunteer -Fully Organize basement

I have high hopes for 2015.  And I think that we must let the past be past and look to the present and on to the future.  We have to actively break free from the negative cycles that have steered our lives so far.  Don't make excuses.  Make plans to achieve your goals.  And then go out there and make it happen.

Dreams don't come true.  They are MADE true.

So we raise a glass, to our best year yet!

Cheers, David

Jan 9, 2015 - RFT Holiday Spirits Follow Up

We had a great time at the very cool Third Degree Glass factory back in December for the Riverfront Times Holiday Spirits event! Here is their recap video:

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Jan 18, 2015 - Starting strong…

2015 is off to a rocking start for us!  We've got in a bunch more barrels that we're slowly filling and we continue to get into great restaurants and bars... perhaps the biggest of the recent victories is Schnuck's at Ladue Crossing. This is the location closest to my house and therefore where I do most of my (last minute) grocery shopping.  It's incredibly satisfying to finally go in there and see StilL 630 on the liquor shelves!!  Each new restaurant, bar, or liquor store that picks us up is a big deal and I get excited each and every time, but this one in particular is meaningful.  This is one of those places I'd envisioned long ago when this distillery was just a dream in my head.  And now it's real.  It's truly an incredible feeling and I hope that all of you get to experience what it's like when your dreams that you've worked so hard for, start to come true.

Cheers!

Feb 15, 2015 - HUGE NEWS!

This distillery started as a dream in my head 5 years ago, and in that time, through relentless hard work and an indomitable spirit, I've manifested this dream into reality.  And today, I got word that StilL 630 is now an AWARD-WINNING DISTILLERY!!!

We won medals at the American Craft Spirits Association's spirit judging at their conference in Austin, TX!  To be more specific, our S.S. Sorghum Whiskey won a Bronze Medal!  Our Soulard Island Rum won a Bronze Medal!  And our RallyPoint Maple Sunset won a GOLD Medal!!

I could not be more thrilled.  Sidni and I were literally jumping for joy (and quickly toasting in celebration!).  It's simultaneously humbling and incredibly validating to receive such honor.  For me personally, it's validation that I was right for pursuing my dream; that I AM good at this, that there IS a bright future for StilL 630.  And also, it is objective proof that all her love and support of me and my dream was well-founded.  I am so incredibly excited!!

And though I'm the one in here making the spirits by hand, this could never have come to fruition without the support and help from countless people.  If I tried to thank them all here, I would fail and forget many people whose help was crucial, and I don't want to forget anyone.  So instead, I'd just like to send a special thank you to a special few.

My wife, Sidni, for supporting me and allowing me to chase this dream for our family.  To my Dad, for all his hard work helping in the distillery and support in general.  To Jennifer and Jeffrey, for their volunteering and encouragement.  To Jim, Dyke, & Ben, for believing in me and stepping up to join this crazy venture.  And perhaps most of all, to Troy & Dana, without whose support, advice, and encouragement this would not have happened.  From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.  And I hope these medals are just another reassurance that you were right to believe in me.

And of course, a huge THANK YOU to all our fans and supporters out there who love our spirits!  Cheers to StilL 630 and even better times ahead!!

Feb 17, 2015 - Geekly Podcast #83!

Last summer, I was at a local event doing a tasting like usual.  And amidst talking to all the interested people, I met a couple guys who produce an awesome podcast called Geekly Podcast.  I began listening to it, and the geek in me really enjoyed it. (I was an English major, I love stories of all kinds... movies, tv shows, comics, etc...) Fast-forward to last month when the Geekly team: Melwheezy, Tech Dre, and D-Jedi came out to the distillery and set up all their equipment and we had a great time talkin' (and drinking!) St. Louis whiskey!

Check it out here: GEEKLY PODCAST #83

Big thanks to Tech Dre, Melwheezy, & D-Jedi for having me on!!

Feb 18, 2015 - Boozy Ice Cream!

There are great combos, historical combos that everyone loves...  Peanut Butter & Jelly, Oreos & Milk, Ace & Gary, Tango & Cash... the list goes on.  But we're about to combine two of your most favorite things: booze and ICE CREAM!  So I'm really excited to announce that we will be the exclusive distillery for St. Louis' own: Clementine's Creamery! Clementine's Creamery is a phenomenal hometown ice creamery that produces delicious ice creams that are locally sourced and hand-crafted to perfection.You can look forward to pints of deliciousness coming soon!  This is the summer's hottest new treat and you're hearing about it in February... You're Welcome!!

Apr 3, 2015 - More Medals!

I am so proud to announce that StilL 630 Distillery has now won medals for our spirits at multiple contests!!  (Read the post about our first ever medals HERE)

Our newest spirit, S.S. Sorghum Whiskey, won a Silver medal and a Best of Category medal at the 2015 ADI Spirits Judging!  The awards are determined on a point basis, like test scores equating to letter grades, so when we won the silver, we were then judged against all other equally-well scoring spirits and won the honor of Best of Category!

I'm so thrilled that this pet project has garnered such great acclaim.  It's a dream come true to watch something go from idea to barrel and then win a medal for excellence.  It fires me up and challenges me to do better.  And that's why I started this distillery, to strive for greatness and continue to improve.  Like the indomitable spirits I create, I am just getting better with age!

Cheers to a bold future!

Apr 22, 2015 - Whiskey, Rebellion, & Wildwood

This past Saturday, Adam and I got to join the Wildwood Historical Society at Strathalbyn Farms Club in Wildwood, MO for an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting, history, and delicious whiskey!

We shot from 14 different stations at clay pigeons, launched two at a time.  Luckily our friend Joe Stuchstedde let us borrow one of his over/under shotguns.  Too bad he didn't let us channel some of his skill too... Joe ended up taking top shot honors on the day for hitting 79/100 targets!  Adam and I were in a dead heat for last place, and I just barely edged him out by a single miss!

We were also joined by our friends, Bill & Kup, owners of The Big O ginger liqueur.  It's always a good time with them!

May 2, 2015 - “SMOKE + WHISKEY” - 3rd Annual 630 Day!

It's almost June and the agonizing wait that started July 1st, 2014 is almost over... just 37 more days until the next 630 DAY! We have an awesome party lined up and it's sure to be smokin'! 'Cause this year's theme is "Smoke + Whiskey", a fantastic pair if ever there was one.

We'll be releasing more and more information all month, but let's start with our fantastic food partner: Sugarfire Smokehouse BBQ!! They will be creating a specialty sandwich & side that comes with some incredible BBQ sauce made with our RallyPoint Rye Whiskey! And best of all, it's all included in your ticket.

Keep your eye on this blog/website and our social media as we continue to announce more of the awesome features that will make this 630 Day one for the books!

Cheers to only a few more weeks of waiting...

Jun 1, 2015 - “SMOKE + WHISKEY” - 630 Day 2015!

Smoke + Whiskey is our theme this year, and it's gonna be spectacular!

BUY TICKETS HERE!

There will be food, cocktails, and beers!  Your ticket entitles you to admission to the party, as well as a plate of food, two drinks (cocktails and/or beers), and a specialty cocktail made with one of our new release spirits!

When you think smoked food in St. Louis, your first thought is Sugarfire Smokehouse BBQ and so we've partnered with them to bring you a specialty sandwich & side, along with a new BBQ sauce made with our RallyPoint Rye Whiskey for your dining pleasure!

We'll be releasing our hugely anticipated second ever batch of Gold Medal winning RallyPoint Maple Sunset!  More info HERE.

Our first full brewery collaboration will finally be released as well.  This was our project with great local brewery: Alpha Brewing Co.  Two variations on their Imperial Smoked Black Ale - the beer itself aged in our used RallyPoint whiskey barrels; and another batch of the beer was distilled into whiskey and aged in new oak barrels!  More info HERE.

Also being released is our collaboration with Kaldi's Coffee!  This is Big Jake's Breakfast Brew.  A divine fusion of coffee and whiskey, destined to bring whiskey back to the breakfast table where it belongs!  Find out more about the awesome origins of this spirit HERE.

For your enjoyment we will also have Clementine's Creamery offering their delicious ice creams, whether you're Naughty or Nice, they've got the perfect cold treat for you!

And last, but certainly not least, to capitalize our Smoke theme, Gran Cru Cigars will be here offering extremely limited edition cigars that were hand-rolled with tobacco leaves aged with our RallyPoint Rye Whiskey!

BUY TICKETS HERE!

Aug 25, 2015 - St. Louis Craft Spirits & Cocktails Week! 9/12-9/27

It's almost that wonderful time of year again: Fall!  And that means it's time for the Classic Cocktail Party, which officially kicks off the extravaganza of local booze known as the St. Louis Craft Spirits and Cocktails Week! Check out all the most up-to-date information HERE.

And the whole time during this great celebration of local distillers, you should "Drink Like a Local" and get your passport stamped at all the great local watering holes!  So many great places, we had to increase it from just one week to two!  Full info here:

Aug 28, 2015 - Glacially Chilled

Talk about an Indomitable Spirit, Tony Rocca, jack of all trades and he of MR340 and Motion-At-The-Still fame; has been at it again.  Traipsing across some of the most rugged terrain on the North American continent, he just returned from an incredible white water rafting trip through interior Alaska.  Luckily, he had the necessities with him to steel himself against the freezing chill of the glacial meltwater.  Check out some of the incredible pics he took.  (Click HERE for full image and others)

And make no mistake, that RallyPoint is floating in 100 year-old glacial ice.  Incredible to think about all those years that water has waited to finally be able to melt into our rye whiskey.  I could use a glass myself to sit on that riverbank, quietly pondering the massive glacier and ponder all that has happened since that rain fell.

As intrepid adventurers ourselves, we dream of tackling a trip like Tony's.  And so we raise a glass to his Indomitable Spirit.  (though my ice is only hours old...)  Cheers to you, sir.  Thanks for taking us along in spirit!

Aug 31, 2015 - A Kindred Spirit

What an interesting morning.  I love getting into the distillery in the peacefulness of the early morning and it's always better to have a little bite to eat and some cold brew coffee to jumpstart my ass-kicking for the day.

But at Bread Co. there was a guy with a bicycle that greatly intrigued me.  He had a WSU insignia on his bike shirt and a US map on his bike loaded with cross-country-type gear.  That's when I met a kindred soul: Ben Kincaid.

When I came out, I couldn't pass up this opportunity, so I sat down and talked with Ben for awhile, more like assaulted him with questions, and enjoyed one of the most fascinating conversations I've ever had.

Having left Portland, OR June 2nd, Ben is currently a mere 4,000 miles into his meandering journey to Portland, ME.  Yeah, he's riding his bike coast-to-coast, Portland-to-Portland, across this great continent.  He talked lovingly about the Tetons; Yellowstone  was unfortunately plagued with 4th of July traffic; and Missoula, MT is one of his favorite towns.  But he kept raving about the Katy Trail (calling it an incredible treasure we have here and he only learned of it in CO) and our great city of St. Louis.  As a proud St. Louisan, it was great to hear my city described by such passionate fresh eyes.

His flexibility and openness to whatever the road has in store seem to keep rewarding him and I think that's the right way to do it.  Have a rough plan and then take advantage of whatever unforeseen opportunities present themselves.  Like the midnight ramble bike ride he stumbled across and wearily joined in on even though he'd ridden hard that day.

We talked about so much, but the main themes he expressed seemed to be founded upon a boundless love of life and an unquenchable desire for new experiences.  He is truly a wanderer at heart.  And the unmistakable serendipity of our lives was incredible.  He is originally from Wichita, KS, like my mom.  Had a bike shirt from there with the WSU logo on it, where my dad played football and met my mother.  He loved Missoula, MT and I just happened to be wearing my Moose Drool hat from the Big Sky Brewing Co in Missoula.  He is out seizing his life and living his dreams, just like how I envision myself.  His days of hopping freight trains were similar in take-away life lessons to mine as a raft guide.  An old rider he met, upon Ben's questioning, shared this nugget of wisdom: "To get to be old and wise, you gotta be young and dumb first".  We learn from our experiences.  The more and varied, the greater the potential wisdom gained.

Ben started with $400 and has been "just blown away by the kindest and generosity of humanity".  He's followed his passions in life and has a fantastic knack of seeing the positive side of everything.  He mentioned that some people are amazed he doesn't carry a gun or weapon for self-defense.  He says that he "doesn't carry a gun, he carries a smile."  And that led into a lengthy treatise on positive vibrations and the universe returning whatever vibrations you put out into it.  There are precious few wandering souls in our settled society, far too many of us feel shackled by jobs and responsibilities.  And here's Ben, who's been invited into countless homes of total strangers showing this rogue wanderer unusual kindness.  Or maybe the message of his ride is that he's revealing a shared, universal human kindness, which is found in all people, not just these great mid-Westerners around here.  He claims he's on his soul-searching journey, but he projects a harmony and comfort with his own self that is magnetic.

He's only been mugged once, as he slept under a bridge, but it eventually led him to seek help which led him to a group of people he'd never have met if he hadn't, and they in turn helped redirect his life so that he discovered an unknown, but intense passion for agriculture.  He had several stories like this, events that would discourage or destroy others, yet he recalls them as some of the best things that ever happened to him.

For example, he started on this trip before.  In fact, he made it 500 miles before a car smashed into him, destroying his bike and breaking his back in two places.  (spinal injuries, another shared experience between us).  His rehabilitative doctor laughed at him when Ben spoke of his cross-country biking dreams.  Now Ben sends him an email every thousand miles in the hopes that it'll inspire the doctor to give more hope to other patients.  Which seems to be the essence of Ben Kincaid.  Passionately, intensely, living his life.  Trusting in the positive vibrations of the universe and inspiring others as he follows his own path.

Annie P. (recent distillery tourer) happened by and joined in our conversation for a while, which was very nice.  Ben explained that he's planning on riding across europe and asia, from the atlantic to the pacific after he finishes this American Odyssey.  And he's trying to gain followers via Facebook so that hopefully he can get sponsored for the next ride.  I wanted to do anything I can for this guy, it's so inspirational to meet someone so in tune with their life and operating on a high plane.  He didn't seem concerned with material possessions or promotions, he hungers to experience all life has to offer; and I find that very refreshing in our reality-tv, superficial society.

Call him a hippy-soul or eternal optimist, he resonated a genuinely good-feeling.  This is the kind of guy I want my sons to dream about being... tackling enormous challenges and embarking on great adventures; all the while learning from others and gathering pearls of wisdom wherever they are to be found.  And, personally, I absolutely love meeting people who are actively living their dreams.  My life has been enriched by this fateful encounter.  And it brings to mind the suspicious events that led to me following along as S/V Pura Vida circumnavigated the globe.  Today I met a man in the process of doing the same thing via bicycle.

So cheers to you, Benjamin James Kincaid, on this incredible, life-affirming journey.  God Speed, and may the road be ever downhill.

Please check out his Facebook page (Benjamin James Kincaid) and follow along on Travelin' Ben's amazing American Odyssey.

If you're impressed and inspired by his story, please chip in a couple bucks (Travelin' Ben's Travelin' Fund) and help him make necessary bike repairs or grab a bite to eat along the way.  Or if you happen across him playing his saxophone on the street, his music is worth stopping to listen.

(UPDATE: Ben just stopped by the distillery and we talked more, what a great guy!  I conned him into taking this pic:)

It's encouraging to know that there are people out there daring great things.  Here's to you, Benjamin James Kincaid, a true Indomitable Spirit.

Aug 31, 2015 - A Kindred Spirit

What an interesting morning.  I love getting into the distillery in the peacefulness of the early morning and it's always better to have a little bite to eat and some cold brew coffee to jumpstart my ass-kicking for the day.

But at Bread Co. there was a guy with a bicycle that greatly intrigued me.  He had a WSU insignia on his bike shirt and a US map on his bike loaded with cross-country-type gear.  That's when I met a kindred soul: Ben Kincaid.

When I came out, I couldn't pass up this opportunity, so I sat down and talked with Ben for awhile, more like assaulted him with questions, and enjoyed one of the most fascinating conversations I've ever had.

Having left Portland, OR June 2nd, Ben is currently a mere 4,000 miles into his meandering journey to Portland, ME.  Yeah, he's riding his bike coast-to-coast, Portland-to-Portland, across this great continent.  He talked lovingly about the Tetons; Yellowstone  was unfortunately plagued with 4th of July traffic; and Missoula, MT is one of his favorite towns.  But he kept raving about the Katy Trail (calling it an incredible treasure we have here and he only learned of it in CO) and our great city of St. Louis.  As a proud St. Louisan, it was great to hear my city described by such passionate fresh eyes.

His flexibility and openness to whatever the road has in store seem to keep rewarding him and I think that's the right way to do it.  Have a rough plan and then take advantage of whatever unforeseen opportunities present themselves.  Like the midnight ramble bike ride he stumbled across and wearily joined in on even though he'd ridden hard that day.

We talked about so much, but the main themes he expressed seemed to be founded upon a boundless love of life and an unquenchable desire for new experiences.  He is truly a wanderer at heart.  And the unmistakable serendipity of our lives was incredible.  He is originally from Wichita, KS, like my mom.  Had a bike shirt from there with the WSU logo on it, where my dad played football and met my mother.  He loved Missoula, MT and I just happened to be wearing my Moose Drool hat from the Big Sky Brewing Co in Missoula.  He is out seizing his life and living his dreams, just like how I envision myself.  His days of hopping freight trains were similar in take-away life lessons to mine as a raft guide.  An old rider he met, upon Ben's questioning, shared this nugget of wisdom: "To get to be old and wise, you gotta be young and dumb first".  We learn from our experiences.  The more and varied, the greater the potential wisdom gained.

Ben started with $400 and has been "just blown away by the kindest and generosity of humanity".  He's followed his passions in life and has a fantastic knack of seeing the positive side of everything.  He mentioned that some people are amazed he doesn't carry a gun or weapon for self-defense.  He says that he "doesn't carry a gun, he carries a smile."  And that led into a lengthy treatise on positive vibrations and the universe returning whatever vibrations you put out into it.  There are precious few wandering souls in our settled society, far too many of us feel shackled by jobs and responsibilities.  And here's Ben, who's been invited into countless homes of total strangers showing this rogue wanderer unusual kindness.  Or maybe the message of his ride is that he's revealing a shared, universal human kindness, which is found in all people, not just these great mid-Westerners around here.  He claims he's on his soul-searching journey, but he projects a harmony and comfort with his own self that is magnetic.

He's only been mugged once, as he slept under a bridge, but it eventually led him to seek help which led him to a group of people he'd never have met if he hadn't, and they in turn helped redirect his life so that he discovered an unknown, but intense passion for agriculture.  He had several stories like this, events that would discourage or destroy others, yet he recalls them as some of the best things that ever happened to him.

For example, he started on this trip before.  In fact, he made it 500 miles before a car smashed into him, destroying his bike and breaking his back in two places.  (spinal injuries, another shared experience between us).  His rehabilitative doctor laughed at him when Ben spoke of his cross-country biking dreams.  Now Ben sends him an email every thousand miles in the hopes that it'll inspire the doctor to give more hope to other patients.  Which seems to be the essence of Ben Kincaid.  Passionately, intensely, living his life.  Trusting in the positive vibrations of the universe and inspiring others as he follows his own path.

Annie P. (recent distillery tourer) happened by and joined in our conversation for a while, which was very nice.  Ben explained that he's planning on riding across europe and asia, from the atlantic to the pacific after he finishes this American Odyssey.  And he's trying to gain followers via Facebook so that hopefully he can get sponsored for the next ride.  I wanted to do anything I can for this guy, it's so inspirational to meet someone so in tune with their life and operating on a high plane.  He didn't seem concerned with material possessions or promotions, he hungers to experience all life has to offer; and I find that very refreshing in our reality-tv, superficial society.

Call him a hippy-soul or eternal optimist, he resonated a genuinely good-feeling.  This is the kind of guy I want my sons to dream about being... tackling enormous challenges and embarking on great adventures; all the while learning from others and gathering pearls of wisdom wherever they are to be found.  And, personally, I absolutely love meeting people who are actively living their dreams.  My life has been enriched by this fateful encounter.  And it brings to mind the suspicious events that led to me following along as S/V Pura Vida circumnavigated the globe.  Today I met a man in the process of doing the same thing via bicycle.

So cheers to you, Benjamin James Kincaid, on this incredible, life-affirming journey.  God Speed, and may the road be ever downhill.

Please check out his Facebook page (Benjamin James Kincaid) and follow along on Travelin' Ben's amazing American Odyssey.

If you're impressed and inspired by his story, please chip in a couple bucks (Travelin' Ben's Travelin' Fund) and help him make necessary bike repairs or grab a bite to eat along the way.  Or if you happen across him playing his saxophone on the street, his music is worth stopping to listen.

(UPDATE: Ben just stopped by the distillery and we talked more, what a great guy!  I conned him into taking this pic:)

It's encouraging to know that there are people out there daring great things.  Here's to you, Benjamin James Kincaid, a true Indomitable Spirit.

Sep 2, 2015 - Classic Cocktail Party!

The Classic Cocktail Party continues to grow every year and just get better and better.  Where else can you sample ALL the local Missouri craft distilleries in one place?!?  And not only do you get to sample their spirits, they also whip up delicious cocktails so you can taste great cocktails that showcase their spirits! It all happens on Sat Sept 12th in Lafayette Park in Lafayette Square in St. Louis.  It's a classy evening event with two bands this year and a fun, festive atmosphere.  From 6-9pm enjoy great spirits and great company as you embark on a tasty tour of Missouri's finest craft distillers!

Don't forget to check out our other events for St. Louis Craft Spirits & Cocktail Week (9/12-9/27):

Sep 29, 2015 - Brewery Collab #2!

I'm super excited to announce that as I sit here writing this, the first stripping run of the second spirit in our Brewery Collaboration Series is coming off the still! For this exceptional project, we have partnered with our good friends at Modern Brewery.  (With whom we partnered for a barrel-aged version of their Arkham's Finest (which was sensational!) and the Motion At The Still adventure filmfest we held last Nov)

Because the goal for this project is a release at 630 Day 2016, we decided to go with a summer appropriate beer, to wit, a Biere de Garde - which is basically a strong pale ale.  This one has some incredible floral notes and the right amount of body to be delicious now, but traditionally these beers are meant to be cellared before drinking.

As we did with our first collaboration (read HERE), I'm planning on double distilling this beer and aging it in new 15 gallon charred oak barrels to impart the oak flavor and develop some more complexity as a spirit in the time we have available.  (as I write, 630 Day is exactly 9 months from tomorrow!)  They are also aging a couple hundred gallons of the beer in our used RallyPoint barrels in the classical style of maturing a Biere de Garde before consumption and we will be releasing them together to enjoy the two different expressions of this delicious alcohol.

And so it goes without saying that Modern Brewery will be our official craft beer partner for 630 Day 2016!  They'll be here pouring their barrel-aged Biere de Garde... and probably another of their fantastic beers!

Heads-up: Modern Brewery is about to open their tasting room and I highly recommend you go check it out, brewmaster Ronny Fink and the brew crew are making some fantastic beers!

Oct 28, 2015 - 50th Anniversary of the Arch completion

Today is a special day for StilL 630, as it is the 50th Anniversary of the completion of our beloved Gateway Arch! To us, it is a great symbol of hope and potential, the audacity of the settlers.  It beckons to the dreamer inside all of us who imagines carving out a life amidst this crazy world.  And while the Western frontier is more corporate sprawl than bison range these days, it's still a great big world in which to stake out your place.

The Arch was built to commemorate those brave men and women who set out to create their American Dream.  And that's exactly how I view this distillery.  StilL 630 is MY American Dream.  And I can't think of a more fitting place to make our spirits than in the shadow of this beautiful monument.

And so I raise a glass to the Arch, and hope that it will inspire countless more people to chase their dreams, as it has inspired me.  Cheers!

Nov 21, 2015 - Whiskey in the Winter 2015!

Whiskey In The Winter Nov 20th, 2015 @ The Hyatt, downtown St. Louis.

We had a great time at Whiskey In The Winter, which has definitely proven itself as one of the premier spirit events in the region!  Where else can you sample over 300 spirits from great distilleries around the world (and some of us from right down the street!) in one place?

Another amazing Whiskey In The Winter has come and gone. We want to thank everyone who came to see us, especially all those who tried our spirits and then dragged friends back! We saw a lot of old friends and even made some new ones. We are truly humbled by your overwhelming support because without you we do not exist. Thank you.  Until next time, we'll keep making the best spirits we can!

Nov 26, 2015 - Thanksgiving Thoughts

Throughout the year, we make a big deal about our spirits and drinking in general.  And it's all fun and good-natured and I do really believe that a great spirit or cocktail really does bolster the good times shared with family and friends.  But it's obvious that the shared time with dear friends and loving family that is most important, whether you're drinking together or not. And I can not be more thankful for my loving wife, for supporting me and this wonderful adventure and being an incredible mother to our kiddos; for my boys, who make all this nonstop hard work seem worthwhile, they are the absolute best things in my life; for Big Jake, for making all of my clothes white and always being happy to see me; for the rest of my family on all sides, who are just a pleasure to be around; and for my dear friends, who are really more like extended family.  My life wouldn't be the same without every single one of you and I'm incredibly grateful to have you in my life.  You people are the reason I'm trying so hard to make spirits that are worthy of celebrating with you.

And also, an extra special Thank You to all the fans and supporters of my humble little distillery.  It's directly because of your encouragement and support that I am able to continue to live my dream.  I'm thankful for the opportunity you give me to continue to hone my craft and I hope that the results continue to make it worth your while.

And no matter what anyone says, I'm thankful to be an American and live here in this great country.  While not perfect, it's got many more positives than you'd know simply by watching the news.  I'm thankful that so many people are working to make it a better place.

I'm incredibly blessed and on NO day does it go unappreciated.  I hope that you too can find many things to be thankful for in your life.  So, Cheers!  And here's to perspective and the important things in life.

Dec 31, 2015 - HALFWAY TO 63O DAY!

We had a great event for our inaugural launch of our Rare Release Barrel Series!  I can't thank everyone enough for coming out to support us!  Not only was our Double Barrel RallyPoint a huge hit, but we were able to raise $400 for the Shriner's Hospital for Children!  And we're very proud to support such a great organization. Matt & Beth Sorrell of Cocktails Are Go! did a wonderful job pouring delicious drinks like the Ginger Old-Fashioned, Beauty & The Beast, and Breakfast with Mozart (all delicious, but my favorite was the Breakfast with Mozart).  And some more good news for those who couldn't make it: 'though we sold many of the limited edition Rare Release bottles, there are still some left and they'll be available in our tasting room until they're sold out!

And I bet you didn't realize our barrel room is SO big you can drive in it... provided you have an appropriately sized car!

I am so humbled and honored that so many of you wanted to come out and get your hands on our brand new release whiskeys.  It's natural at this time of year to reflect and I couldn't be more thankful to witness such overwhelming support from all of you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We had so much fun we might have to make this an annual tradition...

Dec 31, 2015 - 2015 Recapped

Wow, time flies by when you're busting your ass.  I can't believe that it's Dec 31st, 2015.  What a great way to cap off a great year with our Halfway to 630 Day party last night that was a rousing success!  Thank you again to all who came out and made it so much fun.  And I can't say enough how grateful I am for all of your continued support and enthusiasm for my spirits.  I literally couldn't be doing this without it.  And 2015 was the year that I was able to fully devote myself to my dream job, so for that alone it was a memorable year! 12 months ago, I set out a list of goals for the year, I've copied it here because I believe in holding yourself accountable.  As you can see, there were many places I fell short.  That's great, I know I still have much improvement to make and new victories to strive towards.  And I like to bite off more than I can chew.

My #1 Goal: -Be the best Father & Husband I can be  (I'd like to say YES to this one!)

Distillery-Related: -Introduce 4 new spirits (YES) -Double distillery output (YES) -Have 60+ barrels aging on Dec 31st, 2015 (YES!) -Barrel Age 12 cocktails (NO) -Throw a great 3rd Annual 630 Day Party! (YES!) -Obtain out of state distributor (n/a) -Add Event Calendar to website (YES) -Blog & Social Media Current (YES) -Launch cocktail videos (NO) -Have an intern (YES) -Successful Mardi Gras (YES) -Win Spirit Medal (HELL YES!!!) -Sell First Private Single Barrel (YES!!) -Frame Posters (YES)

Personal: -Read 12 books (YES) -Cook 12 new (to me) dishes (NO, 7) -Make 24 new (to me) cocktails (YES, new favorite: Big Jake/Drambuie) -Go to 6 new (to me) STL restaurants (YES) -Run 100 miles (NO) -Bike 600 miles (or MR340) (NO) -Bike Katy Trail (NO) -Lose 10 pounds (start 248) (YES, 238lbs) -Celebrate Birthdays & Anniversaries (YES) -Complete 4 Short Stories (NO) -Complete 4 Poems (NO) -Finish children’s book (NO) -Catch up w/Journal before March 1st (NO) -Frame Life Goals (NO) -Go Diving Twice (NO) -Go Camping (NO) -Go Hiking (YES) -Go Rafting/kayaking (NO) -Taxes done before February (YES) -Visit Chicago (YES) -Visit Indy (YES) -Visit Louisville (YES) -Visit a new city (NO) -Leave the Country (NO) -Grow successful garden (kinda) -Increase Flexibility (YES) -Finish Stained Glass for (gift) (NO) -Finish Climbing Picture (NO) -Finish Guest Room (paint/hang pictures) (NO) -Complete An Athletic Event (NO) -No Procrastination, FWYS GOADI (NO) -Support a Charity (YES) -Volunteer (YES) -Fully Organize basement (YES)

Clearly, my focus was on my growing family and the distillery this year, that was my life.  I had little time for anything else, particularly my other hobbies.  That probably won't change in 2016, but that's fine, because in 2015 I got to work my dream job and I grew my company and made great spirits.  Best of all, I can proudly say that both my family and my company are in better shape than they were Jan 1st, 2015!  So cheers to a record setting year and for bettering it next year!!

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