Contrary to popular opinion, Jack Daniel’s was not the original Tennessee whiskey. In 1885 it sold 23,000 gallons, just a drop in the barrel compared to the 380,000 gallons produced by Charles Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.
Yet Green Brier Distillery, once one of America’s largest, is hardly known today. In fact, just a decade ago, not even Nelson’s great-great-great grandsons knew of its storied past.
It was purely by accident that Charlie Nelson and his brother Andy discovered their whiskey heritage in 2006 – at a gas station where they noticed a historical marker for the old distillery. Soon after, they found the site of the distillery itself – and there was the barrelhouse, still standing.
That was when Charlie and Andy made the commitment to resurrect Green Brier Distillery, nearly 100 years after Prohibition effectively shut it down.