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Thornton Distilling Co.

400 East Margaret Street , Thornton, IL 60476


Brewing is in our Foundation. The colorful history of the Thornton Distilling can be traced back to 1857. The 20,000-sf brick and limestone building was built by the John S. Bielfeldt family on the west bank of Thorn Creek in the Village of Thornton.

Thornton Distilling Co., maker of Dead Drop Spirits, specializes in traditional malt whisky production. Their single malt whisky is the first to utilize locally sourced Illinois’ peat. The colorful history of Thornton Distilling begins with Illinois' oldest standing brewery. The historical brick and limestone building was built in 1857 by the John S. Bielfeldt family on the west bank of Thorn Creek in the small Village of Thornton, Illinois. The original subterranean artesian well is still on the property where a log cabin saloon and brewery had operated in 1836. The Bielfeldt family built a residence above the well and The Bielfeldt Brewing Company began producing exceptionally fine beer using the pristine artesian well water, the same water used today. At the onset of Prohibition, the Bielfeldt Brewing Company was sold.

The new owner bottled soda-pop and captured the eye of Chicago bootlegger, Al Capone, who had a network of beer and booze suppliers for speakeasies throughout Chicagoland's South Side. The building became the largest bootlegging facility in his network. Inevitably, federal agents launched a raid. Newspapers reported thousands of gallons of beer were dumped into Thorn Creek. After prohibition, a handful of breweries operated in the building, the last of which closed its doors in the early 1950's. Pristine limestone-filtered water still flows from that very well. The adjacent, award-winning cocktail lounge, restaurant, and distillery tasting room is known as The Well. Thornton Distilling Co. also plays host to large private events and weddings in the recently restored Coopers Hall and Bielfeldt Bridal Suites.

Guests are invited to sign-up for a tour and guided tasting. Tickets are available for purchase online in advance. Afterward guests can enjoy a craft cocktail made with Dead Drop Spirits and have dinner at the recently opened restaurant. Live music, stand-up comedy, and large festivals are scheduled throughout the year.

Dead Drop Spirits are available for purchase at fine retailors throughout Illinois, Indiana, New York, Florida, & California.

Find us on IG & Facebook: @thorntondistilling &

Please visit to book a tour, plan a visit to our restaurant, and to learn more about Dead Drop Spirits & our unique wedding venue/event space.

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