Nelson's GreenBrier Distillery spirits in Nashville

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville

Visit award-winning Nelson's Green Brier Distillery and more distilleries in and near Nashville, Tennessee.

Nelson's Green Brier Distillery, located in Marathon Village in downtown Nashville, is an award-winning Tennessee distillery located on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. Inside, you can take a tour, sample cocktails at their bar and restaurant and learn more about their distilling spirits craft. After your visit, be sure to plan your route on the statewide Tennessee Whiskey Trail to sip and meet distillers across the state. 

*This is an ages 21+ activity. Please sip responsibly. 

Tennessee Whiskey

Charlie and Andy Nelson went 30 years without fully realizing the extent of their family's legacy in the spirits world. In fact, it wasn't until they went up to the town of Greenbrier, 26 miles due north of Nashville, on a chance outing with their father that they began to slowly unearth a heritage that spanned centuries.

"One mile east on Long Branch, Charles Nelson opened Greenbrier Distillery in 1870. The largest producer in Robertson County of sour mash whiskey and fruit brandy until 1909, Nelson's helped provide economic prosperity to this area," the historical marker stated.

The stories they heard at family gatherings throughout their childhood were true: Their great-great-great grandfather Charles Nelson had moved to Nashville just before the onset of the Civil War, bought a grocery on 2nd Avenue and realized the bulk of his sales stemmed from liquor. So he started a distillery of his own, which by 1885 was one of the most prosperous of its kind in the state (if not the country). When Charles died in 1891, his wife Louisa picked up where he left off and became one of the only women ever to run a distillery.

But Prohibition swept the state at the turn of the century, and in 1909, Louisa was forced to shut down Nelson's Green Brier Distillery. Charlie and Andy realized their life's work was to pick up where their ancestors had left off and revive the distilling company. Three years after careful research and much planning, the Nelson brothers put the family back into business, exactly a century after it shuttered.

Their first product, Belle Meade Bourbon, soon followed, utilizing a bulk high-rye-content bourbon out of Indiana similar to one Charles Nelson once used, since whiskey takes many years to age. In August 2014, they started cooking mashes and distilling in their 30,000-square-foot distillery. The rest, as they say, is history.

Best Bourbon

Since opening, Nelson's Green Brier Distllery has won an impressive amount of best bourbon and whiskey awards throughout the years. Most recently, the distillery's award-winning spirits include the Nelson Brothers Classic Whiskey, Nelson Brothers Reserve Whiskey Bourbon and Tennessee Hand Made Sour Mash Whiskey. The spirits have won numerous gold medals and platinum as well as double gold and double platinum awards from SIP Awards, ASCOT Awards and the New York International Spirits Competition. the Nelson Brothers Reserve Whiskey Bourbon won a Gold Medal as well as Best of Class and Best of Category from American Distilling Institute's 2022 International Spirits Competition.

Whiskey Tastings

Tours of the distillery are daily 11 a.m. to 6p.m. Sundays to Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The tours are 45 minutes to an hour and takes you through the past, present and future of the distillery. You'll learn the distillery's history, walk through the production floor and end with a premium tasting of four seasonal offerings. You'll want to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your tour to check in. Tickets are $25 for those tasting and $20 for military and first-responders with ID, non-drinkers and guests under 21.

Stay for lunch or dinner at the Distillery's new restaurant 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and Sunday brunch 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You'll love the specialty whiskey cocktails, award-winning whiskey and food served with a southern flair.

Other Tennessee Distilleries in and near Nashville

Big Machine Distillery - Nashville and Lynnville

Photo Credit: @kropkreative

With locations in Lynnville (about 65 miles from Nashville), Nashville and Berry Hill (about 5 miles from downtown Nashville), Big Machine Distillery is a great place to spend an afternoon. Take a scenic drive to their original location in Lynnville to enjoy the 28 acres of picturesque farmland and tour the 20,000 square-foot distillery and tasting room. Tours run 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the half hour Mondays to Saturdays. Bonus: You can even bottle your own award-winning Single Barrel Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey straight from the barrel. This makes a great experiential gift - simply add it to your tour.

Corsair Distillery - Nashville

Corsair Distillery in Nashville has been awarded more than 450 medals for their spirits. Tour the distillery and sample their innovative whiskeys, gins and more. You can find Corsair's distillery and taproom at Marathon Village in downtown Nashville and Corsair's headquarters on Merritt Avenue in Nashville. At their headquarters, public tours are offered and include a close look at the barrel aging warehouse and bottling line as well as tastings of six spirits selected by your guide. Non-tasting options are available as well. The tour with tasting is $20. You can also enjoy the craft cocktail bar, gift shop and outdoor decks with games. Looking for a great date or friend outing? Sign up for one of the themed Cocktail Creation Courses that will teach you how to whip up unique cocktails. Light snacks are provided. 

Ole Smoky Distillery at 6th & Peabody - Nashville 

At 6th & Peabody, you can take a distillery tour of Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery, enjoy Ole Smoky Moonshine tastings as well as live music, the large outdoor beer garden, cheer on your team on the large screen TV's, play cornhole and grab a bite to eat from White Duck Tacos and Daddy's Dogs. Reservations are required for the guided tours which include a behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery, plus 13 sample tastings of moonshine and whiskey. Reservations aren't required for tastings.  

Nearest Green Distillery - Shelbyville 

Photo Credit: @whattoseewithab

Nearest Green Distillery's spirits are the most awarded bourbon and American whiskey for four consecutive years (2019-2022). The distillery in Shelbyville, named after the first known African-American master distiller Nearest Green, honors the unlikely friendship of Green and another Tennessee whiskey legend, Jack Daniel. Learn the story of the former slave who became Tennessee's premier master distiller, known for producing whiskey that had an uncommon smoothness and character. Uncle Nearest's legacy lives on in the exceptional whiskey you can taste and purchase. Tours and tastings are available 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Jack Daniel Distillery - Lynchburg

All whiskey connoisseurs will want to make a pilgrimage to Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg. And, even if you're not a whiskey lover, you will be after the tour. The Angel's Share Distillery Tour is a fan favorite. The Single Barrel whiskey, drawn from the barrels in the highest reaches of the barrel houses, is shared on this tour. Take a tour of the world-famous distillery which includes hearing Jack Daniel's story, the process of whiskey making, seeing production, the barrel houses and bottling production as well as a sampling of several whiskeys from the Single Barrel Collection as well as two limited edition whiskeys.

Old Glory Distilling Co. - Clarksville

Old Glory Distilling Co. is a small batch, artisan distillery in Clarksville that creates every drop of Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon on-site. They also create a true Tennessee Vodka that elevates martinis and gimlets, you'll want to have a bottle always in stock on your bar cart. Daily tours are offered every day and you'll see the production operations and can enjoy tastings at the Craft Cocktail Bar. Enjoy a signature cocktail with spirits like the blueberry lemonade smooth shine, moonshine, white rum and more.

Tennessee Legend Distillery - Nashville and Cookeville

First started in Sevierville, Tennessee Legend Distillery has grown to have 3 more locations in Tennessee, including one in Cookeville and one in Nashville. Take a day trip to the downtown Cookeville location. You'll love the small town charm of the downtown. Inside, you can enjoy free samples at the two-sided bar as well as in-house whisky cocktails. The tasting room is open noon to 8 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday. In downtown Nashville, head to Marathon Village for a look at the production through the window where you'll see distillers crafting the spirits you can then enjoy in free samples and cocktails.

Short Mountain Distillery - Woodbury

A day trip to Short Mountain Distillery in Woodbury, about 56 miles southeast from Nashville, is a scenic drive through rural countryside. Once you arrive, enjoy the mountain views and a tour of this small batch distillery. Tours take an hour and are offered at 4 p.m. Fridays, 1p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays. You'll get a close-up view of production of the authentic Tennessee moonshine and whiskey, learn the history of the distillery as well as sample some of the products produced. You can even enjoy elevated Southern dining at the farm-to-table Stillhouse Restaurant (open for the season early 2024). 

For more distilleries close to Nashville and to plan your route on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, visit our Trip Planner

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