Fawn Weaver is an American entrepreneur, historian, and author who has significantly impacted the spirits industry. As the CEO of Grant Sidney Inc. and Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, and the founder of the Nearest Green Foundation, Weaver has broken barriers as the first African-American woman to lead a major spirits brand and the first American spirit brand with an all-female executive team.
Weaver’s journey into the spirits industry began in 2016 when she traveled to Tennessee to interview Nearest Green’s descendants for a book project. Her work helped reveal the history of the Jack Daniel Distillery, including Nearest Green as its first master distiller and mentor to a young Jack Daniel. Inspired by Green’s story, Weaver founded and launched the Nearest Green Distillery and the Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey brand in 2017, which has since become the best-selling African-American-owned spirit ever.
In addition to her work with Uncle Nearest, Weaver founded the Nearest Green Foundation to honor Green’s legacy with a scholarship program, a museum, a memorial park, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, and a book. The foundation also provides full college scholarships for any of Green’s descendants to attend the school of their choice. Weaver also helped create the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative, a joint venture between the foundation and Jack Daniel’s, which offers apprenticeships and business incubation programs for black micro distillers.
Weaver’s accomplishments extend beyond the spirits industry. She founded FEW Entertainment in 1994, a special events and public relations company, and worked as a restaurant and real estate executive through the early 2000s. She also authorizes two books, Happy Wives Club: One Woman’s Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage and The Argument-Free Marriage: 28 Days to Creating the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted with the Spouse You Already Have.
Named one of Time’s “31 People Changing the South” in 2018, Weaver continues to make an impact through her work with the Black Business Booster program, which helps Black-owned spirits companies with branding, distribution, and capital. In June 2021, Weaver and Uncle Nearest formed the $50 million Uncle Nearest Venture Fund to invest in minority-owned spirits companies.
Weaver’s passion for entrepreneurship, history, and social impact has led to a successful career and a significant contribution to the spirits industry. Her work has revealed a critical chapter in American history and paved the way for a more inclusive and diverse industry.