August 23, 2022

Business, Entertainment, Feature, Trends

The Premium Tennessee Whiskey Distillery’s Growth of 693% Lands the Brand in the Top 1000, Making it One of the Only Black-Owned Spirit Companies To Do So in the List’s History


SHELBYVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 23, 2022 — Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, the most-awarded American Whiskey or Bourbon of 2019, 2020, and 2021, has been ranked among the top 1,000 companies honored on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list. With growth of more than 3,000% since its first year, and nearly 700%


during the capture period of this Inc. 5000 list, Uncle Nearest joins an illustrious group of honorees like Microsoft, Facebook, Under Armour, Chobani, Patagonia and many other behemoths who first gained national exposure on the Inc. 5000 list. Every year, Inc. releases the ranking of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America, based on percentage of revenue growth. Uncle Nearest is one of few spirit brands to ever be featured on the list.

In 2021, Uncle Nearest announced it had become the best-selling African American owned and founded spirit brand in history, selling 1.5 million bottles of its sought after super premium whiskey. The company has since gone on to sell more than three million bottles. Its whiskey portfolio, which ranges from $49.99 to $149 suggested retail price, is currently made up of its small batch whiskey, its Master Blend Edition, and its original aged whiskey offering, and is available in more than 25,000 U.S. locations.

“This year alone we are on track to sell more bottles than we did in our first three and a half years in business, and we’ve not even begun to scratch the surface,” said Katharine Jerkens, Chief Business Officer of Uncle Nearest.

“When we entered the bourbon market, we had no idea we were making history as the first and only brand to commemorate an African American, and the first major spirit company to be founded and led by a leadership team of all women,” said Fawn Weaver, Chairman, CEO and founder of Uncle Nearest. “The question on the mind of so many in the CPG and spirits industry was, could a brand with a story broaching American topics no one had ever attempted be embraced by consumers of every background, gender and race? That answer has become abundantly clear. The world had been waiting for Uncle Nearest for more than 160 years, they just didn’t realize it until our bottles hit shelves.”

Fawn Weaver (left), Chairman, CEO and Founder, and Victoria Eady Butler (right), Master Blender of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey.
Fawn Weaver (left), Chairman, CEO and Founder, and Victoria Eady Butler (right), Master Blender of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. PHOTO COURTESY: Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey.

Since its debut in 2017, the super-premium whiskey from Tennessee has swept major spirit competitions, garnering 509 awards, including 59 Best in Class, and 335 Gold, Double Gold and Platinum medals. In 2022 alone, the brand has so far won 116 medals including 12 Best in Class awards, and with an average critic score of 92 points, continues to solidify the brand’s recognition as the most-awarded American whiskey or Bourbon for the fourth year in a row.

Nearest Green Distillery welcomes thousands of guests every weekend from all over the world. Its 323-acre property in Shelbyville, Tenn. is a masterclass in storytelling and purpose-driven marketing. “Our goal is to cement the legacy of Nearest Green in the history books and in the hearts and minds of people all over. We are grateful to the Inc. 5000 for this honor that reminds us we’re on track to make him a household name,” said Victoria Eady Butler, fifth generation Nearest Green descendant and Uncle Nearest Master Blender.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey honors the world’s first-known African American master distiller, Nearest Green. The portfolio is the Most Awarded American Whiskey or Bourbon of 2019, 2020 and 2021, with over 500 awards and accolades since the brand’s 2017 launch, including 335 Gold medals or higher, 59 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.

The brand has sold more than three million bottles of its super premium Tennessee Whiskey and continues on pace to break all prior records for fastest-growing American whiskey company.

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.

For tour and other information visit the Uncle Nearest website, and follow on Instagram and Facebook @unclenearest. 

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