Entrepreneur, author and CEO of Uncle Nearest, Fawn Weaver, made a stop in the Queen City this week to sign bottles of her company’s trademark spirit.
The signing took place at the ABC Store on 1609 Graham Street.
CEO of the Mecklenburg Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Keva Walton was also in attendance.
Walton expressed the importance of Uncle Nearest as a brand and lack of Black representation in the spirits business.
“Every single time we ship into Charlotte it sells out so fast that we haven’t been able to actually get here and sign bottles and meet people,” Weaver told QCity Metro. “I don’t think they’re going to have any of these bottles here tomorrow.”
According to Weaver, stores can’t keep Uncle Nearest Whiskey on the shelves here in Charlotte.
The name honors Nathan “Nearest” Green, a former enslaved Black man who mentored Jack Daniel. Though Nearest was the first known African American master distiller, his story largely hadn’t been told outside of Lynchburg, Tennessee — where the Jack Daniel Distillery is based.
In order to revive his legacy, Weaver created the whiskey brand encompassing his story, and she brought on Victoria Eady Butler, Nearest’s great-great granddaughter, as master blender.
In 2017, Weaver — who did not have a background in the spirits industry — invested $1 million of her own money to found Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey.
She has since raised $60 million, and Uncle Nearest is now the bestselling African American-owned and founded spirit brand of all time.