Frederick, Maryland is in the western part of the state and is known more for its church spires than its booze industry. This picturesque town (actually a City) is on the easternmost ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, with new entrants like Dragon Distillery, that could be changing. Mark Lambert, the Founder and Master Distiller at Dragon Distillery (first distillery in Frederick) traces his family roots back 7 generations in Frederick to the early 1700’s…that’s before Frederick was…well, Frederick.
I caught-up with Mark Lambert one afternoon to talk about his fledgling company, Dragon Distillery. Mark is an US Veteran and ran a nuclear company before slowing down and cooking grains. Wait! “Nuclear Company?”…I think I will leave that one alone. But speaking with Lambert it didn’t surprise me that he was into things techie…he’s a sharp guy with a chill demeanor. He is a self-described “nerd”, hence the name Dragon. Nerd or cool cat, Lambert is a likeable guy with a good sense of humor and a trusting smile.
We got to talking about his family and the town of Frederick for a while before talking Booze. I found out quickly that under that mellow, self-anointed nerd disguise was a guy who could tell a few stories…and they are true…as far as I can tell. One such tale was about one of his forefathers who rode into the county courthouse on a horse and shot the place-up…and he was the town doctor! The local paper dubbed him, “Bad Bill” Tutt. Lambert got a bit of badass lineage; I’m not buying the nerd ruse. Of course there were bootleggers in there too, but that was the well-behaved side of the family, apparently.
Lambert started Dragon because he needed to slow-down and simplify his lifestyle after suffering a heart attack. Cooking booze just does not strike me as a prescription most doctors would dispense, but after hearing about Bad Bill, I guess distilling moonshine is pretty tame.
Lambert’s lab is located directly across from the Frederick Airport and was established in 2014, but officially opened in 2015. Dragon produces a variety of vodka, rum, bourbon, whiskey and moonshine. He has a custom-made, 526 gallon still a tasting room, an efficient bottling and packing facility as well as a barrel room.
I purchased a bottle of flavored vodka, Longbow Lemon (Frederick was native-American hunting territory back in the day) and a sweeter moonshine mix of 100 proof, Fannie Tutt’s Lemon Meringue Moonshine. After the 250 mile drive back to New York, I mixed the Longbow Lemon with some OJ and seltzer…it was a hit!
Many thanks to Mark Lambert for his time and hospitality, we wish him well and give his products an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Lambert has earned a BoozeHunter designation for maintaining a badass legacy, being a master story-teller and being a decent soul to boot. Cheers Mark.
In a prior life, Tim held a Series 3 and Series 34 CFTC registration and formerly was a Commodities Trading Advisor (CTA). He is also an expert and specialist in Ichimoku technical analysis. Tim was licensed Property & Casualty; Life, Accident & Health Insurance Producer in New York State. Clearly, Tim had some time on his hands and could not decide what he wanted to be when he grew up...so he stopped trying and started BoozeHunters.
In addition to writing about the Artful Pursuit of Libation, TK writes commentary on Politics and Social issues. This really pisses-off some family members and friends...but TK does not really care.
In the early days TK was a Bartender at a few of the Iconic, Long IslandMega-Clubs such as Spit and Sprat's on the Water. Growing up, his family owned and operated 5 liquor stores throughout the five boroughs of New York City...so as a kid he got free booze.
TK attended Boston College where he studied English Literature and Economics, and also attended the University of Siena, Italy where he studied studio art.
Mr. Kelly has been a decades-long community volunteer in his hometown of Long Island where he Established the community assistance foundation, Kelly's Heroes, he has also been a coach of Youth Lacrosse for over 10 years, Prior to volunteering in youth sports, Mr. Kelly was involved in the Inner City Scholarship program administered by the Archdiocese of New York.
Prior to creating BoozeHunters, TK was a team leader at Bloomberg Financial Markets, where he created Bloomberg Personal Magazine with an initial circulation of over 7 million copies monthly.
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