Nearest Green Distillery opens in Shelbyville

At the Phase One preview grand opening event Thursday, Sept. 5 at the Nearest Green Distillery are (l-r): Alberta Wilks, Cass Teague, Fawn Weaver, Carlton Crutchfield, and Cassandra Teague-Walker.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, the super-premium whiskey from Tennessee and the fastest-growing independent American whiskey brand, has opened Phase One of its highly anticipated Nearest Green Distillery Saturday, Sept. 14, in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Named after the first known African American master distiller and the whiskey brand’s namesake, Nearest Green, the new distillery will serve as a place where Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is distilled, aged and bottled, and will pay homage to the innovators and innovations from Tennessee. The distillery will turn the former site of the famous Sand Creek Farms, a Tennessee Walking Horse farm and event center, into a full-blown destination for whiskey enthusiasts, Walking Horse lovers and families.

Before Phase One of the Nearest Green Distillery officially opened to the public Sept. 14, visitors were invited to a special preview grand opening event Thursday, Sept. 5. Guests experienced all of the open attractions as well as enjoyed food by Barrel House BBQ, which will open its second location at the distillery next year, Uncle Nearest cocktails, live music by No. 1 Billboard country music star Lucas Hoge and a fireworks show produced by Tennessee’s own Pyro Shows.

“When I went to write the invitations for the distillery opening, tears began to stream down my eyes,” said Fawn Weaver, co-founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest.

“I’m not a person who cries often, but something about this history just chokes me up. When I wrote the opening line, ‘If Nearest Green could have owned his own distillery, would he have?’ I could only think of this incredible master distiller who likely never had the chance. And posthumously, we are working to ensure his name is cemented in the hearts and minds of people around the world for generations to come. The Nearest Green Distillery is his legacy and that of his descendants. Being able to bring that to life, quite frankly, still blows my mind.”

Travelers visiting the Nearest Green Distillery during its Phase One opening this fall can expect to see the first of what is to be built on the 270-acre property, with buildings and experiences continuing to open over the next few years. Phase One will include: A Tennessee Walking Horse experience; The Welcome House; A Copper Skies Experience; A Full Retail Store; The Bottling House; and A Hardhat Tour.

To build out the Nearest Green Distillery, Weaver has brought together a team of the most reputable designers and builders in the business. The overall design and visitor experience for the Nearest Green Distillery is being overseen by Peggy Noe Stevens & Associates. To book a distillery tour or to learn more about Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, visit, and follow @unclenearest on Instagram and Facebook.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is inspired by the best whiskey-maker the world never knew, the first African American master distiller on record in the United States, Nathan “Nearest” Green. The Uncle Nearest brand, wholly owned by Uncle Nearest, Inc., encompasses a premium aged whiskey, an 11-year-old single barrel product and a 7-year-old small batch offering, all distilled, aged, bottled and hand-labeled in Tennessee. For more information, please visit the Uncle Nearest website, and follow on Instagram and Facebook.