Fawn Weaver and the Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey team continue to blaze trails in the spirits industry. Already solidifying itself as the most awarded bourbon and American whiskey three years running—2019, 2020, and 2021—the brand's recently expanded 323-acre distillery recently accomplished another major feat.

Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee, has officially grossed over $100 million in sales and welcomed more than 100,000 visitors since opening on Juneteenth 2021, making it the most successful Black-owned distillery in the world. The spirits company, founded in 2017, is already on track to double that by the end of 2023.

Image: Stacy Preston Photography.

"To reach this and every other milestone on our horizon, we continue to push nonstop. Every penny this company has earned has gone back into the business, as well as to put Nearest Green's college-age descendants through college and to invest in minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs through our Black Business Booster program (BBB), the Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative (NJAI) and Uncle Nearest Ventures," said Weaver. "Every cent we make in the future will continue to do the same. We have an entire generation of women and people of color, who represent 70 percent of our country but still feel marginalized and underrepresented, counting on us. This group continues to look to Uncle Nearest as proof that anything is possible. We will not let them down. With the support of one of the most loyal consumer bases in spirits, we will continue to do the ‘impossible’ so they know, as long as they operate in excellence and refuse to give up, they can achieve whatever their heart believes."

Weaver has always worked closely not only with the descendants of the company's namesake—Nearest Green—but she has also built a powerhouse team that includes: Chief Business Officer Katharine Jerkens and Victoria Eady Butler, the great-great-granddaughter of Nearest Green, and four-time Master Blender of the Year recipient.

"For the longest time, folks were sitting around waiting for us to fail. First, they underestimated us, then they expected us to fail," said Butler. "I guess they do that with independent companies owned by women or people of color. Well, more than five years into this level of growth, you all can stop waiting. We are not a fad or some trendy brand; we are a purpose-driven, mission-oriented company. Uncle Nearest and Nearest Green Distillery aren’t just here to stay, but to grow and sustain at a pace never seen before in our industry."