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Biblio Bacchanal: Love & Whiskey

Saturday, 5:00 pm EDT - 7:00 pm EDT July 13, 2024

The Center for Fiction

Join us for a night of whiskey tastings interspersed with the remarkable true story behind one of America’s most iconic whiskey brands.

Nathan “Nearest” Green was an enslaved man in Tennessee with a special skill: he was an ace distiller. After the Civil War, he was hired by Jack Daniel to run the operation at his new distillery. Jack Daniel’s whiskey became world famous, but Green was forgotten. That is, until Fawn Weaver revived interest in his story with Uncle Nearest, a now-iconic brand of Tennessee whiskey. In Love & Whiskey, Weaver weaves together a thrilling blend of personal discovery and historical investigation to share this captivating story.

Reporter and whiskey expert Clay Risen (American Rye)—whose article about Green and Daniel inspired Weaver’s Uncle Nearest brand—will join Weaver for a conversation and readings from Love and Whiskey, interspersed with four rounds of Uncle Nearest whiskey tastings.

Fawn Weaver

In Conversation

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    Fawn Weaver

    Fawn Weaver

    Fawn Weaver has been a serial entrepreneur for more than 25 years. As the CEO and founder of Grant Sidney, Inc., Weaver often serves in leadership capacities behind the scene of the companies in which GSI invests. Weaver is a popular TED speaker, a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, and has appeared on 100s of popular magazines, radio, and morning shows around the world, including FOX Business, the TODAY Show, the New York Times, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fast Company, Washington Post, and Oprah magazine. She is a regular contributor to Inc. Magazine and her revealing How I Built This segment with Guy Raz on NPR had the internet abuzz for months.

    Weaver is the first Black American woman to build a $1B+ company from the ground up, outside of sports and entertainment. She also serves as the CEO of Uncle Nearest, Inc., a company she founded in 2016. Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is the fastest-growing American whiskey brand in U.S. history, the bestselling Black American founded spirit brand of all time and was the most award-winning Bourbon of 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. The super-premium brand has earned more than 1,100 awards and was named “World’s Best” by Whisky magazine two years in a row.

    She is certified as a Corporate Director by Harvard Business School and in March 2021, was named to the Endeavor Group Holdings (NYSE: EDR) board of directors, alongside Elon Musk, where she also serves on its audit committee.

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    Clay Risen

    Clay Risen

    Clay Risen is a reporter at the New York Times and a leading expert on American whiskey. Along with writing for the Times and other outlets, he is the author of four books on whiskey, including American Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Original Spirit and American Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Favorite Spirit, which has sold more than 125,000 copies across two editions. His reporting on the historical links between Jack Daniel and Nathan “Nearest” Green inspired Fawn Weaver to found her company, Uncle Nearest.


    Photo Credit: Kate Milford