Scarlet & Brown Stories

Jack '11 and Emily '09 Droppa

December 12, 2022 St. Lawrence University Season 2 Episode 5
Jack '11 and Emily '09 Droppa
Scarlet & Brown Stories
More Info
Scarlet & Brown Stories
Jack '11 and Emily '09 Droppa
Dec 12, 2022 Season 2 Episode 5
St. Lawrence University

Jack '11 and Emily Tulip Droppa '09 discuss their Scarlet and Brown stories for our fifth episode of Season 2! A Laurentian couple in Burlington, VT, Jack and Emily met at St. Lawrence and own and operate Weird Window Brewing. Tune in to hear about the Laurentian experiences, opening a small business during COVID, and their love of brewing. 

You can check out their website here:

It's the perfect time of year to celebrate our Laurentians who own small businesses! If you would like to support our entrepreneurial Laurentians while looking for gifts for loved ones this holiday season, check out the Small Business Guide here: 

Show Notes Transcript

Jack '11 and Emily Tulip Droppa '09 discuss their Scarlet and Brown stories for our fifth episode of Season 2! A Laurentian couple in Burlington, VT, Jack and Emily met at St. Lawrence and own and operate Weird Window Brewing. Tune in to hear about the Laurentian experiences, opening a small business during COVID, and their love of brewing. 

You can check out their website here:

It's the perfect time of year to celebrate our Laurentians who own small businesses! If you would like to support our entrepreneurial Laurentians while looking for gifts for loved ones this holiday season, check out the Small Business Guide here: 

[Music Plays]

Beth:   Hello everybody, and welcome back to another edition of Scarlet & Brown Stories, the Laurentian podcast where we break down interviews with faculty, staff, alumni, parents, friends, and anybody else who calls themselves Laurentian, to figure out what does it mean to have a Scarlet and Brown story?

I am your host, Beth Dixon, and I am so excited to be joined once again by my co-host, Dennis Morreale, and we have a wonderful interview this month to celebrate not only the Christmas season with a couple who own a small business, but Dennis, it's our first time having a Laurentian couple on the podcast.

Dennis:   That's right. This one I feel like has really got it all. All the things that I love. It's got a love story. It's got St. Lawrence, it's got beer, it's got entrepreneurship and initiative. It's just a very exciting, as you said, couple coming up to hear about how they met. And as I know that a lot of St. Lawrence couples are certainly out there. So excited to have one finally on the podcast.

Beth:   Definitely. A lot of people find their life partners here at St. Lawrence. Some people find their business partners, and we're excited to have a couple who kind of found both together, especially within the last couple of years since the pandemic began. We are talking with Jack and Emily Droppa, classes of '11 and '09 respectfully, and they are out of Burlington, Vermont, and they have a brewery that they opened during the pandemic, which was not their plan, but we're excited to chat a little bit about them. Not only like you said about their love story, but also a little bit about their small business.

And as it is the holiday season, we also just want to quickly shout out all the wonderful small businesses and entrepreneurs that we have in Laurentian community. So please look at the show notes for this episode so that you can be linked to our small business guide if you're looking for a present for somebody in your life during this holiday season and you'd like to support a Laurentian.

So without any further ado, let's kick it off to the interview. 
 [Music Plays]

Beth:   Well, welcome on in everybody. We are here with Jack and Emily Droppa, who are class of '09 and '11. 2009, 2011. We're very excited to chat with them, not only because this is the first time we actually have a Laurentian couple here together, but because we're excited to highlight two entrepreneurs who are in the Laurentian community, like so many others that have their own small businesses and are doing wonderful things in their community. So Jack and Emily, welcome to the Scarlet and Brown Stories podcast, and we're so excited to have you.

Jack:   Thank you. It's great to be here. Thanks for having us.

Beth:   Before we get going, one of the things that we like to always discuss and talk about is what is your St. Lawrence story? So can you put yourself back in the shoes of right before you moved into St. Lawrence? What are your feelings? What are you thinking that your St Lawrence experience is going to be like? And did it live up to your expectations?

Emily:   You want me to go first?

Jack:   Yeah, you start.

Emily:   Well, I'm from Ogdensburg, so only about 20 minutes from Canton. So growing up in Ogdensburg, we always knew there was this university in Canton, and we always would go Christmas shopping at the bookstore. And so growing up, I always had St. Lawrence hoodies. I was wearing them all the time, and I guess my parents never really knew that I wanted to go there. But when I was in high school and we started talking about colleges and everything, I was like, "Oh, I'm going to St. Lawrence." And my parents were like, "Oh."

Dennis:   Did you have friends who went ahead of you?

Emily:   No, not really. Not really. I mean, my mom's dad actually, so my grandpa actually went there to get his masters, and my uncle, my mom's brother also got his masters there, but I don't really think that was part of even why I was wanting to go there. I just knew it was a great university and it was really close. So anyways, growing up, I always wanted to go there. And then when my parents asked me where I wanted to go, and I said, "St. Lawrence," they were kind of like, "You can't go to St. Lawrence. It's really expensive."

And I was like, "Oh, well, they have this Augsbury scholarship thing. I'll apply for it. And I ended up getting it, and that's one of the big reasons I was actually able to go there. So it was really amazing. Yeah, I would definitely say that it lived up to my expectations. I mean, I didn't really know exactly what to expect because like I said, I grew up in this really small town, and then I go to college only 20 minutes away. But I mean, I met Jack there and I met my best friend there who she actually grew up in Pierrepont, New York.

Dennis:   Wow.

Beth:   I can identify with this as a fellow north country. I'm from Gouverneur.

Emily:   Oh yeah, exactly.

Beth:   Yeah. So I totally get it. And all of my really good friends ended up being people from Norwood and Potsdam, these places where I was like... We have all these wonderful people from all over the world. And all a sudden the people I ended up clicking with the most were the people from the north country. So good to see another fellow North country alum here too. What about you, Jack? What was your experience getting to St. Lawrence like, and did it live up to your expectations?

Jack:   So yeah, I grew up in Maryland, and then I went to high school in Maryland, and then I did a PG year at a prep school in Jersey. And then I went to St. Lawrence and prep school in Jersey was kind of like 13th grade for people that don't know PG or most people do it for sports or something like that. I did it so that I could hopefully get into a better college because I wasn't quite the best student in high school.

And so I was living away from home and seeing all my friends go off to college, and I'm kind of going back to high school. I was in this limbo thing, but the school that I went to in Jersey was Lawrenceville, and it was awesome. I loved it. I wish I had gone for four years just with the community and the people that I met and the campus. It was awesome. And I felt at home there. And then the college counselor I had at Lawrenceville was fantastic, and she suggested St. Lawrence, I go take a look at St. Lawrence University. And when every time I tell the story, people get confused that I went to a high school named Lawrenceville and then St. Lawrence.

Dennis:   Right. Naturally. Yeah.

Jack:   Anyway, so I remember... I believe it was March that I went to visit St. Lawrence and my dad and I fly into Syracuse, drive up, pull into Canton, there's snow on the ground. It's sunny outside, it's like 40 degrees. There's people wearing hoodies, shorts, and flip flops. And we get out of the car and I look around and I was like this is... I had that same feeling that I did when I got to Lawrenceville, that it was like this is where I wanted to be.

The campus was beautiful. People walking around in shorts and flip flops with there's snow on the ground, and it felt like home. And that feeling really never left. And I met my wife there, I met my best friends there, people in our wedding. Most of our wedding party went to St. Lawrence.

Emily:   A lot of them.

Jack:   And it was such a fantastic experience and I couldn't have imagined anywhere else. And like I said, just that feeling. And my friends had talked about it high school, they got to a school and they just got this feeling this is where they wanted to be. And I got that feeling when I was at Lawrenceville and I got that feeling at St. Lawrence.

Emily:   And you did early decision too-

Jack:    Oh, I did. Yes, I did.

Emily:   We both did early decision.

Dennis:   Oh, very nice. Yeah.

Beth:   And that makes sense too, because back then, I'm assuming, not to age us a little bit, but did you also have to fill out a paper application for college…

Dennis:   I did, yeah.

Beth:   Oh, Yeah. I remember my mom used to make me write out the entire application on lined paper over top of where it would've been as practice and then fill it out. It was very tedious. The students today don't know the struggles that we had with handwritten paper applications.

Dennis:   So I'm wondering about, I want to hear about how you guys met. Was it early? So naturally it would've been at the earliest it could have been, would've been Emily your junior year, but I assume it was not that first week or anything. So-

Emily:   It was actually Jack’s first night on campus.

Dennis:   Yeah. Right.

Beth:   Was it really?

Emily:   Mm-hmm.

Beth:   That's amazing.

Dennis:   That's incredible. So wow, that supersedes the questions I was going to ask about. This is so much better than where I thought it was going to go. So okay. Take us back and I mean-

Jack:   Sorry to interrupt. So-

Emily:   You start with the pre-trip stuff.

Jack:   Yeah. So I went on a pre-trip. So I was on the rafting pre-trip when I was a freshman. And like I said, I had gone to prep school and I'd already been away from home, living away from home. And I was a year older than the rest of the incoming freshman. One of the pre-trip leaders was a senior, and he was young for his class. He wasn't turning 21 until September of his senior year. And so I was older than most people on the pre-trip, and he was younger than most people in his year, and he and I were fairly close in age.

And so we hit it off and I happened to sit in the front seat of the van that he was driving, put in his van, and he and I just hit it off throughout the pre-trip. So we fast forward, get back to campus, he were like unpacking, and he's like, "Hey, we're having a party at my townhouse tonight if you want to come." "Well, of course I do. I'm a freshman, I have nowhere else to go. I'm sure I can figure out how to get to your townhouse." And I lived in Lee and they were in townhouse 202 and 201. It was the group of best friends that had two townhouse right next to each other. And I was in Lee North, and I could see him from my room. So I'm like, "oh, I know I can get down there easy enough." And I walked in the door, I saw Jason, I was like, "Hey." And he's like, "This is my girlfriend Emily." Not this Emily. 

Beth:   Oh, that was going to get really juicy really quickly if that happened.

Jack:   Oh yeah. Exactly. So Emily Maine is Emily Cullock. [inaudible 00:   11:   09] grew up as best friend.

Emily:   We're best friends.

Jack:   Still best friends.

Dennis:   No kidding. And was she from Ogdensburg as well?

Emily:   She's the one I mentioned from Pierrepont.

Dennis:   Right, okay. That's right.

Beth:   Very cool.

Dennis:   It's coming together here.

Jack:   So I meet Jason and I say hi to Jason. I meet Emily Maine, and I find out later that as I'm meeting Emily Maine, she's like, "I'm going to introduce you to my friend later. And so then later that night I met Emily, and then they couldn't get rid of me at the townhouse, and neither could Emily and whatever it is, 15 years later, here we are.

Dennis:   That's wild.

Beth:   That's incredible. Emily, I need to hear your side of the story on this.

Emily:   I mean that, that's pretty accurate. Obviously I was a junior, so I had a great experience at St. Lawrence my freshman and sophomore year, but I felt like I didn't really find my place until spring of sophomore year. I joined a sorority and I was in KDS, and I met some of my best friends, including Emily Maine. So like I said, I had a good experience freshman and sophomore year. I actually had a boyfriend from my hometown sophomore year, and then we broke up. So I was going back to school as a junior, being like, I'm in a sorority, I'm going to have fun. And I was so excited. And then it was one of my first nights back on campus because I go back early, even though I wasn't really there for a particular reason, I could just go early because the house was open.

Dennis:   Right. Yeah. I remember that.

Emily:   I went early and Maine was like, "Oh, we're going to go to a party at Jason's townhouse tonight." And I was like, "Okay." And I can remember being in that townhouse and them being like, "Oh, this is Jack." And I was like, "Hi." But he was a freshman, and I don't know. That's what happened.

Beth:   That's pretty great.

Dennis:   That's wonderful. And so obviously it worked out, and here you are now running a brewery all these years later. I mean, you didn't know then that you were going to be a brewer, right?

Jack:   No. I mean, not at St. Lawrence, but funny, funny story. I actually started brewing in the townhouses when I was a freshman with all that.

Beth:   Is this at Jason's townhouse?

Jack:   Yes. Not that night. But that would've been... No but-

Beth:   Boy that was such a life-changing night. Not only did meet your future wife, but…

Jack:   So Jason and Chris Printer and Seth Husking, Ben Burdett, Barrett Goodman were all in that townhouse cluster, and they all were brewing beer. And as this freshman that just kept hanging out with them and not leaving, I got into brewing with them and we'd brew beer on the stove in the townhouse and ferment it in the closet and then drink it. And it was awful. However, we were making beer, which was cool. So then that's how got my start brewing was in townhouse 201 and 202, making really, really bad beer.

Beth:   So did you perfect it over the years at St. Lawrence and then say, "Mm, I've got a knack for this." Or did it take some time post St. Lawrence for this to come together?

Jack:   Yeah, it took some time. So the short version of how we got here is started brewing at St. Lawrence on a stove top. I brewed, I found townhouses to brew in when I was a sophomore with some senior friends. I think I did one or two batches on a stove in Dean Eaton when I was a junior. And then senior year we lived off campus, and Emily bought me my first real big kit home brew kit when we were living up by the fire station on Riverside.

Is that Riverside? Yeah, just past the fire station. And so Emily bought me my first home brew kit. And so I was brewing in that house. And then when I graduated, we moved out to Utah for a few years. I was skier patroller out in Utah. Emily was a school counselor, and then we wanted to move back east. Emily wanted to be back closer to her family, so came back east and I knew I didn't want to continue ski patrolling on the east coast because it's very different in terms of what you're doing and skiing conditions and all that. So I went to California and interned with Jason at a brewery that he was running in California.

Beth:   Oh so cool

Jack:   Yep. So Jason taught me how to home brew, and then he taught me how the production, professional side of brewing as well. So I came to Vermont, I was looking for a brewing job. There wasn't really a brewing jobs that would hire me with, even with a little bit of experience. And so I got a job on the Otter Creek packaging line. I was on the packaging line for three months, and then I got moved into the sellers at Otter Creek. I was in the sellers at Otter for a year and a half probably, I think. And then I moved up to the brew deck. I was a brewer at Otter for just over a year, the last nine months as the lead brewer. And then I left Otter, I went to Frost. I was a brewer at Frost for a year. And then this opportunity to open Weird Window presented itself and here we are.

Dennis:   It's very cool. I've got to tell you, your brewing origin story has kind of a Rocky Balboa thing to it, except instead of boxing a piece of meat in a butcher shop, you were brewing on a stove top in Dean Eaton.

Jack:   Exactly.

Dennis:   How about you, Emily? Have you always had an enthusiasm about brewing? Or is that something you guys developed as a couple?

Emily:   Oh, I mean, I wouldn't say we developed it as a couple. I mean, you guys were brewing in the townhouses, but I don't actually ever even remember trying any of that beer. I mean, I must have, but I mean, we were probably just mostly drinking Busch Light. I feel like when we were in Utah though, I did get a little bit more interested in craft beer, and I would help Jack a little bit with his home brewing. We were out in Utah mostly just putting the caps on the bottles and learning a little bit about some of the process. And then I did that when we moved back to Vermont too. And definitely when we moved into Vermont, back to Vermont, I started liking craft beer more. I mean, they've got a great craft scene. And I remember moving here and they have this Vermont, what is it?

Jack:   The brewery passport.

Emily:   It's like a brewery passport.

Dennis:   Oh yeah.

Beth:   Oh cool.

Emily:   It's like a little paper. Now they have an app.

Dennis:   I haven't made it all the way through, but I've gotten a bunch of them.

Emily:   Yeah, exactly. So we started doing that when we moved here. And I did eventually... I feel like I come a long way in my beer tasting palate.

Beth:   So how did Weird Window Brewing come together? I mean, it sounds like there was an opportunity, but how did the two of you decide, "You know what, let's do this together."

Jack:   So we joke that having a brewery, well, we did joke back when we were under construction, that having a brewery was in that three to five-year plan, not the three to five-month plan.

Emily:   I feel like we always were going to open a brewery, but it was more like we weren't really being serious.

Jack:   We were like, one day it'd be great.

Emily:   Yeah, like I'm going to quit my job. I'm going to work in the brewery. It'd be so much fun.

Dennis:   Yeah. that was-

Jack:   And all of a sudden we had a brewery but... So what happened was is January 5th of 2019, I know that date because it's my parents' anniversary. I blew my knee out skiing at Stowe.

Beth:   Oh.

Jack:   And it took a little bit for the MRI and until I knew what was going on with my knee, I couldn't work at Frost in case I slip and fell, hurt myself more stuff like that, just liability. I had to figure out the MRI before [inaudible 00:   20:   04].

And on the way to one of my doctor's appointments, one of the guys I know in the neighborhood that was associated with another brewery here in Vermont, we were talking, he's like, hey, did you hear there is a brewery, one of the breweries in South Burlington at the time was closing and they were selling, it was kind of on the down low. It wasn't officially out there. And I said, no I did not. And I started to do some investigation into it. And that was in probably late January, early February. And we closed on the space in July. Actually, so alumni weekend was KDS's 50th anniversary-

Emily:   Reunion.

Jack:   Reunion. I came, Emily went to Canton, or back to Ogdensburg. I drove back to Burlington with one of our friends who was in KDS as well, to close on that Monday.

Beth:   Oh wow. So it was-

Emily:   Reunion was in June.

Jack:   So it was in June.

Emily:   But remember when we were driving to Reunion, you got that email that it was like, he went for the deal or whatever.

Jack:   Oh yeah. So as we were driving to Reunion, it is like, okay, we agreed that we were going to close on Monday.

Beth:   Wow.

Jack:   So we closed-

Dennis:   That's amazing.

Jack:   In June, started construction in-

Emily:   September.

Jack:   September. I had to sell a bunch of the stuff and break down all the brewery. I sold all his old tanks. And then we had to do some demo. And then we started construction in earnest in September of 2019. If we had hit all of our construction targets, we were targeting to open in March of 2020. So it's a good thing that we missed a few of those construction targets.

Beth:   Absolutely.

Jack:   We were about a week away from completion on March 15th when they shut everything down in Vermont. We finally, we were able to have a smaller crew in there through the first couple months of the pandemic. And then we opened Weird Window. Excuse me. We opened Weird Window in July of 2020 and then closed in November, and then reopened in May, and now we're still there.

Beth:   It's so interesting to hear, especially when you're trying to open a business and Covid hits, I imagine many other people had, were there any delays in construction materials and those kind of things that put a delay for you as well? Or did you kind of luck out that a lot of the things were maybe already ordered and you didn't have to worry about that?

Emily:   The latter.

Jack:   Yeah, the latter. The latter. So we were very lucky that we had no supply chain issues. None of the super inflated cost materials at the time. Steel, wood, et cetera. So in March when everything shut down, we were 95% complete. So it was just finish carpentry, the electrician kind of just putting light covers on and doing some touch up electric work, the plumbers just finishing things up. So we had everything ordered and everything in the building that we needed.

Dennis:   That's huge.

Jack:   And so then we had a little bit of a smaller crew. The electrician was in there with just me and him for the first little bit. And this was March of 2020 when nobody knew what this was anyway, and when we opened in July and eventually opened in July for the first, once we had everything complete, we probably finished construction in April. Mid-April. And I was doing some test brews on the system and everything. So we're like, "Okay, I think we're pretty ready to open. But they keep saying, two weeks, two weeks, two weeks. We'll just hold off. It'll be fine. We don't want to open right now. We'll open and when this is all better."

Emily:   We kept trying to wait it out, until they were going to get rid of masks and everything. Everything was just going to be back to normal. We kept trying to wait to open the brewery and then-

Jack:   And then it was like, well, we can't just keep sitting here. We got to open. And yeah.

Beth:  I have to imagine, did you have to basically run it yourselves or did you have employees already to go? Or how did this all work in the context of COVID?

Jack:   So I mean, the plan was always that we were going to run it ourselves really.

Beth:   Great, yeah.

Jack:   So we ran it by ourselves for the first year exclusively, just us. We had one of our best friends come and help us on some bigger days, but from July, 2020 to May, 2021, it was just us.

Beth:   Wow.

Jack:   I was doing all the brewing and then helping Emily in the tap room. Emily takes care of the tap room, merchandise, events. And so then we were both working tap room shifts.

Emily:   The tap room was closed though.

Jack:   From May, from November to May.

Emily:   Right, but during that time is when we started canning, which we weren't planning on doing that early. And we started doing to go orders and setting up our whole Square online store. All of those things we hadn't really planned on doing right away, but because Covid and because the tap room wasn't open.

Jack:   So then we did get employees and we have some tap room, we have some really great tap room employees now. One of which our first employees, she's a current St. Lawrence student now.

Dennis:   Oh nice.

Jack:   But still, I'm pretty much the only one still in the back brewing all the beer. I have one guy that helps me once a week, a couple times a week, but for the most part it's just me. Well, up until we had our daughter in March, up until then, I was working six to seven days a week.

Beth:   Wow.

Jack:   95 to about 110 hours.

Beth:   Wow.

Jack:   I was told that we had our daughter, that needed to stop. So now I'm not working as much. But still probably 75 hours a week.

Dennis:   Congratulations on that in general, by the way. How has it been? How are you both feeling? How are you sleeping at this point?

Emily:   Pretty good now. I mean-

Jack:   I mean, we kind of joked that we didn't get much sleep before, we had the baby brewery and then we just had a real baby. So the sleep was pretty much the same between the two of them. Just little bit more crying in the middle of the night from one of them.

Dennis:   Right. No, that's great. So I'm curious, just going back a little bit to that point, when it really became clear that this was going to happen, that the brewery was going to... You were going to actually own a brewery, did you in your mind already have a starting all star lineup of beers for that first batch? Or was it to the drawing board?

Jack:   No, so I've been developing, I mean, I've been home brewing now since... So this was 2019, since 2007. So I had 12 years worth of home brew recipes that I had done. And I went from just on the stove syrup or DME or which is dried malt extract or liquid malt extract, is the easy way to do on a stove if you don't have a bunch of grain and stuff, to all grain brewing, which is more along the lines of how professional breweries do it.

And so I've been developing beers and recipes that entire time. I have our basement, basically brewery basement. I have fermenters, I have vessels in my basement that... We have five taps in our house that we can have beer on. So I've been developing recipes and forcing friends to drink beers and trying to refine them for a while.

And so when I knew this was going to happen, I did concentrate on a few of the beers that I thought needed a little bit more work. And then there were a few beers that I had been developing for a long time that I felt pretty comfortable just being able to scale up from where I was in that part of the recipe development. And I mean, still with beers that I brew a lot and or popular tap room I can always find... It's always trying to change some things and try to make it better. I don't ever think that... Any beer that I put out, I can always make better.

Dennis:   What's your flagship?

Jack:   So we don't have a flagship. I try to keep a pretty rotating tap list. I like to have a diverse tap list. We have nine taps available. I try to keep a couple lighter beers, lagers, things like that. And then have, we're in Vermont, so we'll definitely have a few of them as IPAs, double IPAs. I like to have a darker beer year round.

Dennis:   That's talking my language.

Jack:   Yeah. So we have a brown ale that's popular actually. We're canning that tomorrow. And then one of the other beers that is very popular that I do from March or April to now is our Jalapeno Cream Ale, is called Cersei's Wildfire. So that that's been popular as well. We name the-

Beth:   Nice Game of Thrones reference.

Jack:   So I have another beer Game of Thrones reference, that's Rains of Cashmere, because cashmere's hot.

Beth:   I love. What would you say are your favorite flavors, each of your flavors, but that's a probably very simplistic way to ask that. What's your favorite flavor of beer? What would you say is your favorite beer that you make?

Jack:   Favorite beer that I make, probably by the German Pilsner, which is like, it's called Centenarian. So it's called Centenarian because it takes about a hundred days from grain from the day I brew it to the day it's on tap.

Dennis:   Oh, cool.

Jack:   Takes about one hundred days. So I'm very right now, I drink a lot of lagers, lighter beers. I've drank a lot of IPAs. They're good. But I gravitate more towards lagers and lighter beers now just because the nuances and the subtle flavors like they are, they're harder, even though they're a simple beer, they're a hard beer to brew at the same time. And so I like drinking my lagers.

Emily:   And I like the IPAs. So IPA, double IPAs. We name the [inaudible 00:   30:   56] are probably my favorite. It only has citrus grass. It's only 6%, so it's really tasty.

Beth:   I do love a citrus hop, so that sounds right up my alley.

Dennis:   In the summer I can definitely get into that kind of thing. I'm definitely the one who will order the brown or the porter in July. Yeah, I will be sure to be coming to check you guys out next time I'm in town.

Jack:   Perfect. Well, I think we were at Reunion this past year and I think we'll be back at Reunion this next year on the quad with some beers. So if you're there, I'll make sure to bring the brown for you that I made.

Dennis:   Yeah, very nice.

Beth:   Oh, awesome. I'm just definitely going to... I wasn't able to go to Reunion this past year, so now I'm already looking forward to going and staffing the quad. That's what I'm going to ask for. That's great.

Jack:   Perfect, there you go.

Beth:   So if you had any advice for either other or alums who are looking to potentially start their own business, or to students who may be listening, who are looking for, do you have any advice for them?

Jack:   Don't. Just kidding.

Don't do it in the middle of a pandemic. That I would definitely say that. No, I mean, if you want to do it, you got to go for it. It might work out for you and it might not, but if you have a good idea and you believe in yourself and there's people that will support you, you got to go for what makes you happy. I mean, like I said, I work insane hours. I think at one point last fall I did something stupid like 51 days straight at the brewery.

Beth:   Oh my goodness.

Jack:   And it's exhausting. But I was working for myself and that's what is awesome. That's the dream. It working hard, but I get to do something I love every day.

Emily:   Find something you're passionate about.

Jack:   Exactly. And I know that's super cliche, but it's like, "Go find something you're passionate about. You never work a day in your life." Well, you'll work and you'll work hard at it, but it's working seven days a week from four in the morning till nine o'clock at night when you're doing it for yourself feels different than when you're doing it for somebody else. And if you're passionate about it and if it's something that you want to do and you believe in yourself, then it's still work. But at least hopefully you enjoy it.

Beth:   Absolutely.

Dennis:   I don't think we're going to have a better spot to call it a night than that. But before we do, where can people find you and where can they look you up or follow you or, I know I'm going, like I said, definitely going to want to stop in next time I'm in Burlington, but maybe I want to follow you on Instagram or something of that nature.

Emily:   Yeah, we're on Instagram, it's just Weird Window Brewing. Facebook is just Weird Window Brewing. Our website is

Dennis:   Very nice.

Emily:   We're in South Burlington on Ethan Allen Drive.

Jack:   We're right next to the airport, so if you ever fly into Burlington, you can get your car and we're about five minutes away from the runway. So there you go.

Emily:   And we're also like five minutes off route nine, so you're going-

Beth:   I was just going to say, that's such a good traffic area then. So there's no excuses. If you're in the Burlington area, you got to check them out. Come on everyone.

Jack:   If you're a student that's driving from St. Lawrence to Boston, you know, got to come across and come down on 89, so you might as well stop in for a beer.

Beth:   That's right.

Jack:   As long as you're 21.

Beth:   As long as you're 21 and you're not driving, or at least you're just picking up cans to then drink at another time. Those kind of things. Yes, yes. We're going to all put all the safe stuff out there. Well, Jack and Emily, thank you both so much for joining us. It was so nice to get to know you and your story as a St. Lawrence couple, as well as some... What do you call yourselves? A brewer, is that the right way to say?

Jack:   A brewer.

Beth:   Okay. Yeah, brewer extraordinaires, we'll say. Well, thank you both for joining us and we hope that everyone here has a wonderful holiday season.

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Dennis:   And there you have it folks, Jack and Emily Droppa. If you find yourself in the Burlington area or anywhere even close, highly recommend going. Check out Weird Window Brewing, try out some things in the tasting room and maybe bring something back for your Christmas gatherings this coming holiday season.

Beth:   Yeah, I think that some of the beers sounded so interesting. I've really become kind of a beer connoisseur. Not really. I shouldn't say connoisseur. That's sounds like I'm an expert. I'm certainly not, but I've definitely tried-

Dennis:   An enthusiast.

Beth:   An enthusiast. I like that.

Dennis:   I think we can both call ourselves enthusiasts.

Beth:   Here we go. So being able to not only support a Laurentian couple, but also engage in my enthusiasm for beer, I think would be a lot of fun. It was so cool to hear about their love story. I had no idea. When you joked that you had... Oh, so you met Jack on his first night on campus and then that was true that really caught me off guard.

Dennis:   Not where I thought that was going. I know. Well, that's great about getting people on here. You never know, as Dano would say.

Beth:   It's so true.

Dennis:   So if you're out there and you've got a great Laurentian love story, get in touch. And maybe we'll have you on the podcast sometime.

Beth:   Oh my gosh. We should do that. That should be our annual Valentine's Day podcast.

Dennis:   Absolutely.

Beth:   Or something like that. So yes, please do be in touch if you have a great Laurentian story or if you know anybody who does, you can connect with us at and feel free to send those connections and stories there.

We will be back next month in 2023. Hard to believe that we're entering a whole other new year, but I guess that's how the calendar works. And we are so excited to have another wonderful interview joining us next month with another just amazing Laurentian. Until then, we'll see you next time.

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Beth: Scarlet and Brown Stories is produced and edited by Amanda Brewer, Beth Dixon, Megan Fry Dozier and Dennis Morreale. Our music was written by Christopher Watts, inspired by Eugene Wright, class of 1949. Subscribe to Scarlet and Brown stories on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Consider leaving us a rating review as well. If you have a story to submit to us, you can email us at

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