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BY Abu Mubarik, 12:00pm August 05, 2021,

Uncle Nearest Whiskey, created to honor former slave, closes $2.1 million deal to expand distillery

Founder of Uncle Nearest launches initiative to raise $1m for underfunded HBCUs. Photo Credit: Instagram / @unclenearest

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has closed a $2.1 million deal to acquire an additional 53.12 acres of land for the expansion of its distillery. The land, which is near the company’s Nearest Green Distillery, is located on Highway 231 North.

The acquisition of the additional land will bring the distillery’s total acreage to 323.12 and extend its frontage to over half of a mile along the highway, the company said in a statement. Also, the company will dedicate at least 100 acres of its property to plant and grow its own non-GMO, organic corn which will be used to solely create the brand’s portfolio of premium, award-winning whiskeys.

“When we broke ground, we made history as the first distillery in America to be named after a Black person. Every day, our brand continues to make history and we are finding more and more people wanting to celebrate this history with us at record numbers,” said Fawn Weaver, who is the CEO of the company.

“Expanding our distillery allows us to increase our production capabilities, as well as to continue to enhance the guest experience, so every person who visits has a reason to return again and again.” 

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey was founded by Weaver to honor the memory of Nearest Green, an enslaved African American who helped Jack Daniel to start his distillery.

The entrepreneur, investor, and author of “The Happy Wive’s Club” went from reading a story in The New York Times to becoming the first female colored person to run a major whiskey brand. The distillery became the first in U.S. history to honor an African-American whiskey maker, and one of the few distilleries in the country owned and operated by a Black, female lead. 

The whisky brand, which debuted in 2017, is available in more than 21,000 locations and in at least 50 states across the world. It recently became the best-selling African-American-owned and founded spirit brand in the U.S. after selling nearly 1.5 million bottles of its sought-after super-premium whiskey, PRNewswire reported.

Despite the effect of COVID-19 on many businesses, particularly Black businesses, Weaver weathered the storm to top the chart of bestselling African-American-owned whiskey brands. 

“Our bottling and distilling partner did an incredible job of ensuring every area of the distillery was socially distanced and followed the strictest COVID-19 guidelines, which meant we could only move so quickly and had to cap our third full year at 120,000 cases sold,” said Weaver.

In a move to bring black presence to the wine sector, Uncle Nearest Premium collaborated with Jack Daniels to create the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 5, 2021


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