Making Whiskey with Dragonfyre Distillery

“Watch for Low-Flying Dragons”

“Watch for Low-Flying Dragons” is just one of the signs you’ll encounter at Dragonfyre Distillery. Nestled in the rolling hills between Marathon and Willet, Dragonfyre Distillery is a family owned distillery by Vince and Donna Pedini. Dragonfyre takes great pride in using local grains for the whiskeys and moonshine. The rye and barley come from Willet Hop & Grain, just down the road which is the second largest hops farm in New York State.

Handmade 25 gallon copper still

The act of distilling the whiskey is a true art and science with meticulous measurements taken at each step. The 25-gallon copper still used in the process is a work of art in itself, handcrafted by Vince and used to distill both the whiskey and moonshine. Visitors will get a unique opportunity to see the distilling process up close from a peek inside a masher, to a whiff of the fermenting grain and watching the copper still in action.


Some of the names of the spirits are inspired from their dragon ascetic, like Dragon Moon Shadow and Scorched Orchard Apple Brandy. Vince pays homage to being a third-generation distiller with his JP’s Brown Bag bourbon mash whiskey. The label features a 1970s photograph of his father making moonshine in the kitchen sink.

Tasting Room

Tastings are offered in their tasting room that feels like a quaint medieval pub.  Designed by Donna the tasting room features a dragon or two and the two  knights,  Sir Leak Salot and Sir Char D’ A lot.  As you are sampling, if you take the time look closely you may see a tiny fairy doors and perhaps even a tiny fairy. Vince said that he wanted to create more than just a distillery, he wanted to create a destination. With its unique theme and picturesque setting, Dragonfyre Distillery is certainly that.

Vince Pedini, Keeper of the Distillery

Watch our interview with Vince!

One of the sites around the distillery

Watch the making of their Bourbon Mash Whiskey!

Looking for more brews?

Check out other Cortland distilleries, tasting rooms, and breweries!