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How I Built This with Guy Raz

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey: Fawn Weaver (2021)

In 2016, Fawn Weaver became fixated on a New York Times article telling the little-known story of Nearest Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel—yes, that Jack Daniel—how to make Tennessee whiskey.

 After diving deeper into the story, Fawn ended up purchasing the farm in Lynchburg, Tennessee where Nearest had taught Jack how to distill; and she began meeting the descendants of both men. She eventually decided the best way to preserve Nearest’s legacy was with a bottle of the best Tennessee whiskey she could make.

 With no background in distilling, she threw herself into the insular world of spirit-making, an industry mostly dominated by white men. In the eight years since Fawn first discovered his story, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has become one of the fastest-growing whiskey brands in the world, and one of the most awarded American whiskeys.

This episode of How I Built This was produced by Liz Metzger and edited by Neva Grant. Research help from Claire Murashima, with music by Ramtin Arablouei.

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How I Built This with Guy Raz
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