American By Nino Marchetti / May 2, 2019 Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery out of Tennessee has emerged in recent years as a solid craft whiskey success story. The brand was originally founded back in the late 1800s, eventually falling by the wayside around the time of Prohibition. It was later resurrected by Andy and Charlie Nelson, descendants of the original founder Charles Nelson, and under their leadership the name has thrived. This has brought them to the attention of liquor giant Constellation Brands, and now a majority share of the distillery is owned by that company.Constellation originally, through its venture capital group, made a minority investment in Nelson’s back in 2016. After more than three years of “collaborating, sharing consumer insights, and gaining deeper knowledge” of the brand and the craft whiskey industry in general, the decision was made to increase this investment percentage. It is said that the now majority stake by Constellation “allows for Nelson’s Green Brier to continue to operate with its existing management team…and its employees running the day-to-day operations.”A Nelson’s Green Brier bourbon (image via Nelson’s Green Brier)“Our ventures group was created to identify up-and-coming brands, and we’re excited about one of our first ventures investments being folded into our portfolio,” said Constellation’s President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Newlands, in a prepared statement. “Whiskey is a red-hot category, and Tennessee whiskey fills a white space for us. Once integrated into our wine and spirits division and benefitting from our market reach, distributor partnerships and consumer insights, we see Nelson’s Green Brier scaling even further in the next few years.”“Our family distillery was one of the largest producers of whiskey and spirits in the country prior to Prohibition,” added Charlie Nelson. “Ever since we revived the company, our dream has been to return the Nelson’s Green Brier profile to the national, and even international, marketplace. The relationship we’ve enjoyed over the past several years with Constellation has made it clear they’re the ideal partners to help us achieve the kind of growth we’ve been moving toward all along, while honoring the principles our customers have come to appreciate.”“We are so thankful for the community of supporters and fans who have been with us since the beginning,” said Andy Nelson. “One of the things that’s really attractive about Constellation is that they understand the value we, as family members and founders, have. Working together, we are committed to taking Nelson’s Green Brier beyond our region.”As is often the case in transactions like this, terms of the increased investment were not disclosed.