Uncle Nearest tops $100 million
SHELBYVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 5, 2022 — Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, the most-awarded Bourbon and American Whiskey of 2019, 2020, and 2021, announced today that its sales exceeded $100 million through October 2022, with an on-track forecast to more than double that total by the end of 2023. Its recently expanded 323-acre distillery has already welcomed more than 100,000 guests with that number increasing significantly every month.
The company was founded by its CEO Fawn Weaver in 2017. She was then joined by Chief Business Officer Katharine Jerkens and, shortly after, Victoria Eady Butler, the great-great-granddaughter of the company’s namesake, Nearest Green, and four-time Master Blender of the Year recipient. Last year, Uncle Nearest announced it had become the best-selling Black American-founded, owned, and led spirit brand in U.S. history. With today’s announcement, the company has taken on the world’s largest. The company’s whiskey portfolio of seven offerings, available at its distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee and in all 50 states, territories, and districts nationwide, ranges in suggested retail price from $49.99 to $149.
“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.”
On Juneteenth 2021, an expanded Nearest Green Distillery opened to the public, a project that has cost approximately $50 million. On Black Friday, the company released its much-anticipated Single Barrel Black Label at the distillery for $79 and sold out of the first set of barrels immediately, requiring an additional bottling before doors opened the following morning.
“I joined the team this year with one mission in mind: to make Nearest Green Distillery one of the top three most visited distilleries in the world,” said Brielle Caruso, Chief Marketing Officer for Nearest Green Distillery, who two years ago made history as the first Asian American female CMO in the spirits industry. “I have no doubt we will achieve that milestone even faster than we crossed the $100 million sales mark.”
“For the longest time, folks were sitting around waiting for us to fail. First, they underestimated us, then they expected us to fail,” said Victoria Eady 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, y’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.”
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey honors the world’s first-known African American master distiller, Nearest Green. It was the first spirits brand in the world to be named after a Black American. The portfolio is the Most Awarded Bourbon and American Whiskey of 2019, 2020 and 2021, with over 600 awards and accolades since the brand’s 2017 launch, including 394 Gold medals or higher, 68 Best in Class honors and an average critic’s score of 92. Uncle Nearest is currently sold in all 50 states and 12 countries, and is sold in more than 25,000 stores, bars, hotels, restaurants, as well as at its 323-acre Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tenn. For more information, please visit the Uncle Nearest website, and follow on Instagram and Facebook @unclenearest.
Nearest Green Distillery is the world’s first distillery to commemorate an African American. Dubbed as “Malt Disney World,” and named by Travel + Leisure as a “true whiskey destination,” the 323-acre property has become known as a full-blown destination for whiskey lovers, history enthusiasts, and families. It is a master class in storytelling and history-making, paying tribute to the three things Tennessee is most known for: Tennessee Whiskey, Tennessee walking horses and Tennessee music.
At Nearest Green Distillery, visitors can purchase Uncle Nearest’s flagship whiskeys as well as exclusive bottles such as the award-winning Uncle Nearest Master Blender Edition Whiskey and Uncle Nearest Uncut/Unfiltered Straight Rye Whiskey. In addition to world-class attractions as the Welcome Center and Philo + Frank’s, the world’s first non-alcoholic speakeasy, guests can indulge in award-winning BBQ at Chuck’s Barrel House BBQ II, or enjoy drinks, food and music at Humble Baron, the world’s largest bar, opening March 2023. For more information or to book a tour, please visit unclenearest.com/distillery.