Photo Credit: Uncle Nearest Whiskey
Black-Owned Uncle Nearest Distillery Expands After Historical Recognition
Based in rural Shelbyville Tennessee, Uncle Nearest is a successful Black-owned whiskey brand that has just closed its largest investment deal to expand the historical distillery. Named after Nathan “Nearest” Green, the formerly enslaved African American trailblazer is widely-recognized as the man who helped Jack Daniels reach its success.
The distillery was founded in 2017 and just 4 years later, was offered a $2.1 million deal to gain more land for a total of 323 acres. An additional 53 acres was purchased close to Highway 231 in Nashville to grow organic farm produce for the distillery and their agricultural efforts.
The distillery was established by Fawn Weaver, a 45-year-old author and entrepreneur. She is the New York Times-bestselling author of Happy Wives Club: One Woman’s Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage. After Weaver’s conversations with Nearest Green’s descendants for a book project, she learned that Nathan Green was the mentor to emerging distiller, Jack Daniels. This is when she decided to bring to life the Nearest Green Distillery, which is significant to the Black contributions in the distillery industry.
Weaver’s distillery is the first manufacturer to be named after a Black person.
The distillery hosts guests with appealing activities that all relate to the history and production of whiskey. The Tennessee-based brand uses its welcome center to discuss the long history of whiskey in the state and how Black distillers built the legacy of these famous alcoholic products.
Weaver uses the #MoreThanWhiskey to highlight more of the cultural contributions that Black people have made in largely white industries, where their craftsmanship and efforts tend to go unseen. The speakeasy, tasting room, and on-site barbecue restaurant are great places to indulge in Nearest Green’s tasty whiskey beverages.
Uncle Nearest is targeted to sell 250,000 cases of whiskey in 2021 and the products are held at over 21,000 storefronts across the country. The whiskey brand is featured in 11 other countries and is present in all 50 states of the United States which makes the brand the most profitable Black-owned alcohol brand ever.
Coined as the most awarded American whiskey brand of 2019 and 2020, Fawn Weaver is making history.