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Award winning spirits made in downtown St. Louis
Another local company is racking up awards. Still 630 can be found in about 180 bars, restaurants and liqueur stores but getting there requires a lot of patience.
Heidi Glaus, KSDK 10:56 AM. CDT June 13, 2017
In an old Hardees at 4th and Chouteau fast food has been replaced by the slow aging process of whiskey.
"It takes us several years, often three years to get a spirit from idea, recipe, development, tested, tweaked aged again and then we finally have a good spirit to come out," explains David Weglarz.
Still 630 is his passion project.
"The contrarian in me loves that in this day of instant communication, instant gratification whiskey just refuses to be rushed."
It's not what he originally set out to do, he actually studied English in College.
"That's still one of my ultimate life goals is to be an author I want to write books and novels and stuff," he adds.
He already has enough material for a pretty interesting memoir. After college he spent a year as a white water rafting guide.
"I lived in the tent for half the summer, went rafting twice a day, made next to no money. Moved to Chicago after that became a Futures trader," Weglarz explains.
After about seven years he was done and wanted to own his own business so he dabbled a in beer, but had always been a fan of whiskey both the flavor and the process.
"The magic and the kind of alchemy that happens in those barrels it's special, it's neat."
So on June 30th 2011 he founded Still 630. A spirited company that has won a wall of awards.
"I'm proud to say that we've won 36 bronze, silver and gold medals to date including a couple of best of categories and the 2016 best in class whiskey."
It starts with a grain, but the most important ingredient might be the barrel.
"All these barrels are charred, literally burnt on the inside. It caramelized all those wood sugars so as the temperatures change and the seasons change that whiskey is going in and out of the wood back and forth through this char that's where it picks up it's color and those nice complex flavors," he points out.
Flavors that require a meticulous system of samples to get every batch just right.
"So this is a snapshot in time of the spirit as it's evolving in the barrel," he says holding up a bottle.
It is a constant experiment.
"If we have something everybody loves especially it's an experimental release or a unique barrel that we used that's awesome enjoy it guys one day we might have another batch of it."
At the moment this crew of three makes whiskey, bourbon and rum.
"Our varieties really depend on what time of year it is because we use so many small batch spirits."
And they're diligently working on a gin. Another delicious drink carefully concocted in downtown St. Louis and if you ask me that's something we should raise a glass to.
The tasting room is open on Saturday and Sunday from noon to four, but you need to go to the website still630.com and sign up.
The 5th annual anniversary party is on 6 30. David will be releasing or rereleasing a couple of spirits there. There will also be great food, beer, chocolates, ice cream and live music. It's from 5 to 9 at the distillery. Tickets are $30 in advance. You can buy tickets on the Still 630 website.