A mere five years after its founding, Uncle Nearest is solidifying itself as one of the most successful whiskey brands on the market — and certainly one to watch in the coming year.
Through Oct. 2022, Uncle Nearest reached $100 million in total sales since its founding in 2017, according to a Dec. 6 press release. The Black-owned distillery is on track to double that amount in the coming year, with a projected $200 million in total sales by the end of 2023.
Its whiskey portfolio includes seven different expressions, ranging in age and style, with a suggested retail price from $49.99–$149. Its 323-acre distillery sits in Shelbyville, Tenn.
Current CEO Fawn Weaver formed the brand in 2017 and was joined by chief business officer Katharine Jerkens and Nearest Green’s great-great-granddaughter (and the brand’s master blender) Victoria Eady Butler.
In 2021, Uncle Nearest became the best-selling Black American-led spirit brand in the United States.
“To reach this and every other milestone on our horizon, we continue to push nonstop, ” Weaver states in the release. “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.”
As the brand grows larger, it aims to provide community outreach and resources for minority-owned businesses. The Black Business Booster program, the Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative, and Uncle Nearest Ventures help to foster the next generation of distillers.
“For the longest time, folks were sitting around waiting for us to fail,” Butler states in the release. “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.”
Cheers to this accomplishment — and more in the future.