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Nashville History, Distilled

Editor's Picks

Liquor and Learn

Take a tour of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, and learn how whiskey and bourbon really get made. The site’s lore dates back to 1835, when Charles Nelson was born. The son of a German soap and candle factory owner, Nelson traveled to America when he was just 15 years old. After years of trying out different jobs in Cincinnati and Nashville, he realized what a great demand there was for whiskey. He opened his own distillery in Greenbrier, Tennessee, and began turning out some of the state’s best. 

In 1885, Nelson was already selling around two million bottles of Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey. In 1909, Prohibition forced him to shutter, though the building remained a local landmark. In 2006, a new crop of Nelsons made their ancestor’s work into their own business. The brand mythology, lucky for them, was already firmly in place.