Tuesday, January 12, 2016


US based drinks producer and marketer Constellation Brands, has announced that it has acquired a minority stake in Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery will continue to operate independently to produce, market and sell its range of craft whiskies, which include its Belle Meade Bourbon and Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee White Whiskey brands.

Andy and Charlie Nelson - reopened Nelson Green Bar Distillery in 2014
following its closure in 1909

The investment is the second for Constellation Ventures, the company’s corporate venture capital arm, which focuses on identifying small scale investment opportunities related to innovative concepts and emerging categories within alcoholic beverage sector.

Constellation Ventures made its inaugural minority stake investment in August 2015 with Crafthouse Cocktails, a producer of authentic, ready-to-drink, super-premium spirit-based cocktails created by the well-known Chicago mixologist, Charles Joly.

Commenting on the news, Bill Newlands, Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer at Constellation Brands, said: “Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery brings together two of today’s hottest trends in spirits – whiskey and craft. The entrepreneurial spirit that made Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery great nearly 150 years ago is winning accolades and enthusiasts again today. Constellation Brands’ support of this entrepreneurial spirit will help Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery accelerate growth as they continue to re-introduce these unique whiskies.”

Founded in 1860 by German immigrant Charles Nelson, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery was one of the largest whiskey producers in the US, before state-wide Prohibition closed the distillery’s doors in 1909. Charles’ great-great-great grandsons, Andy and Charlie Nelson, reopened the distillery in 2014, using the original family recipe for their Tennessee whiskey.

Posted by Steve Rush