DikinDurt Distillery has a peculiar name and a casual atmosphere. It’s the kind of place you can hang out for a few, sip a few drinks, share a few stories and have a few laughs. That’s precisely the way Co-Owners Eric Boyer and Elizabeth Stack imagined it while hanging out, sipping drinks, sharing stories and having some laughs by the fire a few years back.
Stack, who lives just down the road, used to stop by Boyer’s place on Friday nights. On one of those fateful evenings, he offered her some homemade whiskey.
“I thought, ‘That’s pretty good. We might have something here,’” Stack recalls.
Pretty soon they had the permits and a place to do “something,” as Boyer renovated his former horse barn into a full-on distillery – the first-ever in Herkimer County. Boyer was the first in his family to try his hand at moonshining.
It was just a hobby that happened that eventually produced some pretty good liquor. Ever fascinated by the process and practice, Boyer set his sights on making it his profession.
“That’s how it all started. I was just moonshining and it was fun,” he says. “The science behind it, the fermentation process, different formulas … and getting better and better.”
And that’s what he strives to do with each of the 40-60 gallons he now produces each month. They are primarily funneled into the tasting room (located in Boyer’s backyard), which has seen visitors from all over the country and world as indicated by a map on display.
There’s also a prominent sign on the wall of the tasting room to ensure that guests “Don’t Fear the Clear.” That “clear” – aka moonshine whiskey – is indeed their specialty. They infuse it with primarily local berries, honey and maple that make it a true product of their lifelong home.
“It’s homemade and handcrafted bottle by bottle,” Stack says. “The first thing we tell someone is that our products are naturally colored, naturally flavored, there are no additives, coloring, flavoring. It’s all-natural.”
“We’re proud that we’ve really done something with Herkimer instilled in it.”