Nearest Green Distillery Expands With Major Land Purchase
Uncle Nearest, the fastest-growing American whiskey brand in US history, has made a major purchase of 53.12 acres of land, expanding its footprint from 270 acres to 323.12 acres. The deal was closed at $2.1 million.
This expansion will help the brand lean into farm distilling: 100 acres of the distillery’s land will be used to plant and grow the distillery’s own non-GMO organic corn—a “Field of Dreams,” as Uncle Nearest declares.
It’s the newest announcement in a range of massive expansion efforts from the award-winning brand. The Nearest Green Distillery initially opened on September 14, 2019. In its recent Phase Two expansion, launched in June, the distillery opened a sprawling welcome center, a non-alcoholic speakeasy, a single barrel rickhouse, and a tasting room. The additional acreage will continue to be used to create a state-of-the-art distillery experience, which will continue to be unveiled over four phases.
The $50 million project pays tributes to three of Tennessee’s biggest draws: Tennessee walking horses, Tennessee music, and of course, Tennessee whiskey.
Nearest Green is the first distillery in the world to commemorate an African American. Nearest Green was a formerly enslaved man who is now known as the first African American master distiller on record — he notably taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. The brand is Black and female-owned.
“When we broke ground, we made history as the first distillery in America to be named after a Black person,” said Fawn Weaver, CEO, and founder of Uncle Nearest in a statement. “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. 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.”
In early June, the whiskey brand launched the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund, a $50-million fund investing in BIPOC and female-owned spirits brands. Jack From Brooklyn Inc, the first Black-owned distillery in the US since prohibition, was one of the first to receive $2 million. The money was used to relaunch Sorel Liqueur, a spirit made with Moroccan hibiscus, Brazilian clove, Indonesian cassia, Indonesian nutmeg, and sugar; a recipe inspired by traditional Caribbean recipes. The investment has also allowed the brand to roll out a website and expand to a series of new markets.
Equiano, an Afro-Caribbean rum founded by Ian Burrell and Aaisha Dadral, which celebrates the legacy of abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, received the second $2 million. A third company is currently undergoing an approval process.