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Uncle Nearest Acquires Square One Organic Spirits

Uncle Nearest, the top-selling Black-owned spirits company and producer of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey at the Nearest Green Distillery, has announced the acquisition of Square One Organic Spirits

This is the second such acquisition by Uncle Nearest which last year acquired the Domaine Saint Martin vineyards in the Cognac region of France. These acquisitions constitute a notable expansion for the brand. Uncle Nearest aims to become “the first spirits conglomerate in America founded by a woman or person of color,” according to founder and CEO Fawn Weaver. 

With whiskey, cognac, and vodka now in its portfolio, we can expect Uncle Nearest to make leaps and bounds towards this goal in the coming years. 

Square One Organic Spirits

Square One Organic Spirits’ current range. Credit: Uncle Nearest

Square One Organic Spirits was founded by Allison Evanow in 2004. Evanow, who had worked in the spirits industry for many years, founded Square One with a vision to create organic spirits with a focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness. 

In the same year as its founding, Square One Organic Spirits became the first company “dedicated to producing exclusively USDA certified organic spirits and was the first organic rye vodka brand.”

In 2024, over $22 million worth of spirits have been produced and sold by Square One. 

The company will remain committed to environmental practices following the acquisition by Uncle Nearest. Evanow, who will remain a large part of day-to-day operations, aims to introduce a more diverse range of spirits that cater to those who are gluten intolerant. 

Uncle Nearest will unveil a rebrand of Square One Organic Spirits later in 2024. 

Speaking about the acquisition of Square One, founder Allison Evanow said: “While we have really loved being an independent brand so that we could focus on quality organic ingredients and unique flavor profiles, the intense demands of handling nearly all sales personally underscored the need for stronger backing. 

“Uncle Nearest will not only preserve our independent spirit and world class quality, but also bring the robust sales and distribution capabilities we need to reach our full potential.” 

Fawn Weaver added: “There is a clear demand for brands that are authentically owned and culturally resonant. Consumers are increasingly discerning, seeking products that not only deliver high quality but also maintain genuine ties to the communities they represent. 

“This shift towards authenticity has created a pivotal opportunity for a company like ours. With Uncle Nearest’s extensive national distribution network and our deep commitment to heritage and authenticity, we are perfectly positioned to meet this growing demand. By entering the vodka market, we’re not just expanding our portfolio, we’re responding to a consumer call for transparent, culturally connected brands.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey 

The current range of whiskeys produced at the Nearest Green Distillery. Credit: Uncle Nearest

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is a brand that pays homage to Nathan “Nearest” Green, an African American distiller who significantly contributed to the history of American whiskey. Green, born into slavery in the early 1800s, became the first known African American master distiller. He is credited with teaching Jack Daniel, the founder of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, the art of distilling.

The brand was founded in 2016 by Fawn Weaver, an entrepreneur and historian, who sought to bring Green’s legacy to light. Through meticulous research, Weaver uncovered Green’s vital role in the whiskey industry and established Uncle Nearest as a tribute to his contributions. The whiskey is produced using the Lincoln County Process, a charcoal filtering method Green himself utilized.

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has garnered critical acclaim for its exceptional quality and dedication to preserving Green’s story. The brand’s portfolio includes various expressions, such as the 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey and the 1884 Small Batch Whiskey. 

 

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Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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