You only have to encounter a person displaying the highest level of courage to realize how much of it you may actually be lacking.
Fawn Weaver is the CEO of Grant Sidney Inc. and Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey.
While traveling abroad in Singapore with her husband Keith, Fawn Weaver saw a photo of Jack Daniel and George Green, the son of a previously unknown master whiskey distiller, Uncle Nearest. Uncle Nearest, was a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to make Tennessee whiskey. After learning about Uncle Nearest and Jack Daniel’s interconnected history, Weaver followed the story down to Tennessee, which is where her storytelling efforts began to unfold.
In 2016, Weaver went to Tennessee to interview Nearest Green’s descendants for a book project. Weaver’s work helped reveal the history of Jack Daniel Distillery and made sure it included Nearest Green as its first master distiller and mentor to a young Jack Daniel. This inspired her to found and launch the Nearest Green Distillery and the Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey brand without any experience in the industry. With this move Weaver became the first African-American woman to head a major spirits brand, and also the first American spirit brand with an all-female executive team. By 2018, the brand had expanded into all 50 states and 12 countries and is now the best-selling African-American owned spirit ever. In September 2019, Uncle Nearest opened its first distillery, set on a 300-acre ranch in Shelbyville, Tennessee where Nearest taught Jack how to distill.
When courage goes top tier.
I got a chance to meet Mrs. Weaver at a special event held at the Uncle Nearest Distillery. For starters the Uncle Nearest facility is phenomenal with plenty of mixed media storytelling, merchandise, and yes premium whisky. There is also a Barrel House II BBQ Restaurant located on the premises and a new event venue called Humble Baron. The 15,000-capacity event venue features the world’s longest bar which has been confirmed by Guinness World Records beating a 25-year record at 123.7 meters. This feature along with indoor and outdoor stages, a spacious outdoor patio with a cigar lounge plus a reimagined food and drink menu will only add to the tourism economy of Shelbyville and nearby Lynchburg, home of Jack Daniel’s.
In addition to being at the helm of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, Weaver is also the founder of the Nearest Green Foundation. This 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offers full scholarships to every descendant of Nearest Green, the world’s first known African-American master distiller. In 2020 the Foundation allied with Jack Daniel Distillery to create the Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative to elevate people of color within the American whiskey industry, and significantly increase the diversity of the spirits industry.
Congratulations to Fawn Weaver and the team at Uncle Nearest and Humble Baron. This is a pure example of when we move beyond excuses and conquer doubt, we can unlock our most ultimate dreams through pure ambition and passion.
To find out more about Fawn Weaver, Uncle Nearest and Humble Baron check out the links below and make sure you read the Forbes.com article by Dominique B. Fluker which leaves us with this:
“Fail faster and harder, because if you are trying to play it safe, you’re never going to reach any true dream that makes a difference for anybody else. Failure isn’t failure unless you give up before you succeed. Strive to become someone more extraordinary than you were the day before. The best way to achieve today, is to figure out your gifts in the beginning. Because if you look at every person who is genuinely gifted, talented, and successful, what they’re doing now, you can find in a direct line to what they were doing when they were five years old. It’s just a matter of which one of us decided to stick to it.” – Fawn Weaver
CHECK OUT OUR VISIT TO HUMBLE BARON
Guinness World Records names Tennessee distillery’s 518-foot bar longest ever
How Fawn Weaver Created Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey from Hidden History
Forbes.com, Dominque B. Fluker