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Black-Owned Whiskey Brand Uncle Nearest Reportedly On The Brink Of Reaching Unicorn Status

Founder Fawn Weaver’s Uncle Nearest is on the brink of reaching unicorn status, Fortune reports. As AFROTECH previously mentioned, Weaver leads the Black-owned whiskey company created in 2016 to commemorate Nathan “Nearest” Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. The company has made significant strides in the spirits industry and is currently available in over 30,000 stores, bars, hotels, and restaurants in 12 countries, per Fortune. The company also boasts a 432-acre distillery located in Shelbyville, TN, which attracted 200,000 visitors in 2023, and has expanded to include an estate in Cognac, France, which encompasses “over 100 acres with Charente River frontage and a unique island.” A part of the company’s continued success has been its ability to secure funding from individual support. Weaver previously mentioned to AFROTECH that the company has raised $225 million that way, its total since launching. “I’ve never sent a pitch deck,” Weaver...

Feb 16, 2024

Uncle Nearest CEO Fawn Weaver Opens Up About How Naysayers Reacted To Her Decision To Buy A $50M Distillery

Uncle Nearest CEO and Founder Fawn Weaver will consistently place her trust in the excellence of the premium whiskey brand.

Nov 13, 2023

Black-Owned Whiskey Brand Uncle Nearest Hits $100M In Sales — 'They Expected Us To Fail'

‘Tis the season to be jolly means different things for different people, but one common denominator in bringing in Christmas joy is seasonal cocktails and spirits. From eggnog to cranberry-infused drinks, the option for a holiday beverage is endless. Building the base for these drinks starts with solid liquor, and Black-owned whiskey brand Uncle Nearest’s latest revenue mark proves it is a possible choice for all to enjoy. via GIPHY  

Dec 7, 2022

Black-Led Uncle Nearest Whiskey Closes $2.1M Deal To Acquire Land To Extend Distillery

Black woman-owned Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is breaking ground in new territory! Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is on the right track as the fastest-growing American whiskey brand in U.S. history. Now, the company has announced that it just closed a $2.1 million deal to acquire an additional 53.12 acres of land on Highway 231 North which is in close proximity to its Nearest Green Distillery. According to PR Newswire, the land will not only bring the distillery’s total acreage to 323.12, but will also extend its building to over half a mile along the highway. Thanks to this expansion, Uncle Nearest will be able to utilize 100 acres to plan and grow its very own non-GMO organic corn, known as the “Field of Dreams.” The sole purpose of the corn will be to create the brand’s premium, award-winning whiskeys and continue the Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey reign as the most awarded whiskey or bourbon for the fourth consecutive year. Currently, they hold the title for 2019, 2020, and 2021...

Jul 29, 2021

Uncle Nearest Launches $50M Venture Fund To Invest In Minority-Owned Spirit Brands

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey , the fastest-growing and best-selling Black-owned spirit brand in all of U.S. history, has just announced a multi-million dollar initiative to give back to its fellow spirits brands. According to a press release, the award-winning whiskey brand has launched a $50 million venture fund designed specifically to invest in rapidly growing, minority-founded and owned spirit brands. The announcement was deliberately timed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the destruction done to Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK. “On June 1, 1921, an entire community of wealthy and successful African Americans was wiped out in a matter of hours. We are talking about 35 square blocks known as Black Wall Street,” Uncle Nearest founder/ CEO Fawn Weaver said in a statement. “As an African American, learning about that history broke my heart because we, as a people, were really onto something in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were lifting one another up and creating wealth within our own...

Jun 2, 2021

Uncle Nearest CEO Fawn Weaver is Creating A Pipeline For More Blacks to Enter the Whiskey Industry

Fawn Weaver is committed. As the first Black woman to lead the world’s first major spirits brand on record to commemorate an African-American, she has dedicated resources to bringing more people of color into the industry. In June, the Jack Daniel’s Distillery and the Nearest Green Distillery announced the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative, an accelerated apprenticeship program designed to promote diversity and Black leadership in the American whiskey industry . Weaver is also working with the two Tennessee distilleries to create the Nearest Green School of Distilling, whose STEM-based curriculum is being developed in partnership with Motlow State Community College. Weaver says the diversity problem results from many things, including representation, qualifications, and cultural beliefs. But while other spirits brands tap celebrity ambassadors to generate in-house brand interest, Weaver doesn’t believe that’s the answer to increasing diversity. “That’s not what we need. What we...

Aug 31, 2020

Serial Entrepreneur Kenny Burns is Amplifying Black History With Uncle Nearest Whiskey

The name Kenny Burns is associated with several big labels—Hennessy, Heineken, DeLeón, Ciroc, and more. However, the most impactful moniker in his business portfolio to date is Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey , named after the first Black master distiller, Nathan “Nearest” Green. In 2018, Kenny Burns joined Uncle Nearest CEO Fawn Weaver to help amplify the little-known history story behind the brand: Green, a slave, taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey , which later became Jack Daniel’s. “I’m one of the first investors,” Burns told AfroTech. “I’m the biggest ambassador for the Nearest, but at the same time, I’m an owner, so I’m very active, whether it’s using my likeness or leveraging my relationships. I’ll do whatever I have to do to make sure this is the biggest story ever. And whiskey.” A son of Washington, D.C., Burns is an ever-present figure in the entertainment industry. His success began in the Atlanta party scene where he married his hustle, personality, and marketing...

Jun 24, 2020

Jack Daniel's and Uncle Nearest Take Action to Give Blacks a Shot in the Whiskey Industry

Last week, the Jack Daniel’s Distillery and the Nearest Green Distillery announced the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative, a program designed to promote diversity and Black leadership in the American whiskey industry . According to PRNewswire , the joint initiative, between the two Tennessee distilleries, will give $5 million combined toward providing expertise and resources to Blacks entering the spirits industry as entrepreneurs. The money will be allocated to create the Nearest Green School of Distilling, whose STEM-based curriculum is being developed in partnership with Motlow State Community College. In addition, the pledge will offer apprenticeships specifically to African-Americans already in the whiskey industry via the Leadership Acceleration Program (LAP) and establish the Business Incubation Program (BIP), which will provide access to top marketing firms, branding executives, expanded distribution networks, plus other assets and opportunities to grow their spirits...

Jun 15, 2020