Uncle Nearest to open Tennessee whiskey distillery

American whiskey brand Uncle Nearest is set to open its Nearest Green Distillery in Tennessee next month.

Phase one of the Nearest Green Distillery will open on 14 September 2019 in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on the former site of the Sand Creek Farms. The other phases of the new distillery will open over the next few years.

The 27-acre property is named after the first known African-American master distiller, Nearest Green.

The site will pay homage to Green and “other innovators and innovations from Tennessee”.

Phase one of the site includes a retail store, a bottling house and the Tennessee Walking Horse experience, where visitors can learn the history of the walking horse. More than 50 championship walking horses reside onsite.

It will also include the Welcome House, a tasting area with a custom-made horseshoe-shaped bar, and the Copper Skies Experience, allowing guests to watch the sunset from rocking chairs. The covered patio is also connected to Toppy’s, a bar named after the CEO’s own horse.

The distillery will also offer a Hard Hat Tour, which allows visitors to visit the other spaces under construction that will open in 2020, including the single barrel warehouse, tasting room and the Heritage Hall.

“When I went to write the invitations for the distillery opening, tears began to stream down my face,” 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 that 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.”

Launched in July 2017, Uncle Nearest claims to be the fastest-growing independent American whiskey brand, and is available in all 50 states.

A special preview grand opening of the Nearest Green Distillery will take place on 5 September.

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