Get to Know: Dave Weglarz of Still 630
What I do: Founder and owner of Still 630, a craft distillery in downtown St. Louis.
First acts: Before I was a distiller, I was an English major, whitewater rafting guide and futures trader.
Learning the trade: I always wanted to start my own business, but never knew what. I started brewing beer with one of my buddies in his kitchen, and we sat there looking at the beers we made but didn’t want to drink. What we did want to drink, though, was whiskey. So I started going to workshops, and I did an apprenticeship at Woodinville Whiskey in Seattle. I read everything I could get my hands on.
Worthy of the top shelf: We’re grain to glass, so we control the process and do it all by hand from the very beginning. We twice distill all our products.
A big win: Still 630 won a gold and two bronze medals—our first awards—at the American Craft Spirits Association Awards in February. More than 200 distilleries entered. I was mostly self-taught learning this business, and I’m still the sole guy here. To get this kind of recognition is great for me and for my wife, who supported me through it all.
Most valuable lesson I’ve learned along the way: Patience. Everything takes longer and is more difficult than you expect.
St. Louis transplant: I was born in Michigan, and I consider myself a Midwestern boy. My wife is from here, and like all good
St. Louis girls, she came back home and brought me with her. We’ve got two little kids—the oldest just turned 2 in February.
Hopefully they’ll be heirs to my Still 630 empire.
Education: I went to Wabash College, which is a tiny, private, liberal arts college in Indiana. It’s an all-male school, one of only a few in the country.
Go-to-cocktail: A Boulevardier, which is 1/3 rye whiskey, 1/3 vermouth and 1/3 Campari
Favorite St. Louis activity: I love visiting restaurants and breweries around town, and I also love riding my bike around Forest Park.
Favorite thing about this town: All the free cultural activities, museums and parks. I think the city has a great, rich history, and it’s a great place to call home.
Childhood ambition: I wanted to be a novelist, and I hope this distillery will grow big enough to give me time to pursue that.
First job: Paper boy in Midland, Michigan.
Best advice I’ve ever received: Don’t give up.
Best vacation: My honeymoon to Tahiti and Bora Bora.
How I unwind at the end of the day: With a nice cocktail.
Goals I’m working toward: World domination.
Photo: Bill Barrett