Wabash College prides itself on producing successful careers for all its graduates, especially when those opportunities break the “traditional” career paths of our world. This was especially true for David Weglarz ’03, whose career path has not followed any mold set before him. Weglarz may have been an English major in his time at Wabash, but that certainly has not stopped him from pursuing an award-winning career producing craft spirits with his Saint Louis-based distillery, StilL 630
Weglarz began his post-Wabash experiences as a whitewater rafting guide in the Smoky Mountains. Following half a year of living in a tent rafting every day, Weglarz was looking for something with more stability. He left the Smokies for Chicago and began working as a futures trader.
“I was working as a trader by day and a bouncer and bartender by night, trying to make ends meet,” said Weglarz. “It was the hardest time of my life, but it was very formative.”
Weglarz credits his time as a student-athlete on the football team for helping him to build the resolve to make his career work.
“Making those 6 a.m. workouts at Wabash gave me the confidence to realize I can do whatever I set my mind to.”
While earning six figures and enjoying his job as a futures trader, Weglarz felt unfulfilled with this career path. He wanted to make an impact and contribute to other people’s lives, and wanted to make something to accomplish this goal.
“I am the hero of this journey; I can make it whatever I want.”
While in the midst of the economic recession of 2008, Weglarz took notice of the rise in popularity surrounding craft breweries. On June 11, 2011, he founded StilL 630 in St. Louis, Missouri, with the idea that if craft brews are so popular, craft spirits can be too.
Since its founding, StilL 630 has garnered the title of top awarded distillery in the State of Missouri, including Best Craft Gin from the American Distilling Institute for his Confluence Gin.
In a way, each spirit StilL630 releases allows Weglarz to tap into his creative side.
“The English major in me wants to write a story,” said Weglarz. “I’m trying to add a little flavor to the historical lore of Monon Bell by putting out a bourbon every year.”
Weglarz has been aging The Monon Bell Straight Bourbon Whiskey for the past four years to prepare for Saturday. Despite acknowledging the somewhat frivolous nature of the product, Weglarz still finds fulfillment in crafting such a personal spirit.
“It’s whiskey, it doesn’t matter,” said Weglarz. “But the point is that some people attach some significance to it.”
The spirit was formed with a corn and rye base in coherence with other ingredients before going into the barrels. Similar to how no Bell Game is the same as any of its predecessors, the flavor profile of each year’s spirit differs from the last. This is intentionally done by selecting different barrels each year, keeping a unique experience year-to-year. Weglarz’s Monon Bell spirit is enjoyed by many in the Wabash community and beyond, because of the high-quality product that is released. The spirit often sells out in minutes, including both the 90 proof and cask strength variants.
Amongst all his awards and accomplishments, Weglarz is most proud of his contributions back to alma mater.
“One of the proudest things I’ve ever done is contribute to the Wabash internship program,” said Weglarz.
StilL630 has hosted seven Wabash interns to date, with each leaving gaining valuable experience in the field of distilling and business operation.
Most recently, Sphinx Club President Cooper Jacks ’24 interned with Weglarz for two months this past summer. Jacks enjoyed the challenge presented by interning with a small business. Despite being far from Indiana, Jacks still felt at home with StilL630.
“A lot of my hobbies ultimately boil down to making something by hand, which made this internship feel more like a hobby rather than labor,” said Jacks.
Both Weglarz and Jacks reflect on the summer experience as a positive time.
“Cooper Jacks has become a dear friend and almost a family member,” said Weglarz.
Jacks echoes Weglarz’s thoughts, reflecting on the valuable career and personal experience the internship provided.
“I aspire to be able to implement leadership techniques I’ve learned from him over the summer, as he has absolutely earned my respect,” said Jacks.