Belle Meade Bourbon + Nelson’s Brothers Lead in Honoring Business Women + 125th Anniversary

Let’s Hear it for the Girls

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery Announces the Inaugural Louisa Nelson Awards

Belle Meade Bourbon + Nelson’s Brothers Lead in Honoring Business Women + 125th AnniversaryFor Charlie and Andy Nelson, the remarkable first two years since opening Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery have been an unbelievable and exhilarating ride. Their valued voice in Nashville is resonating among the locals and they want to show their gratitude with an in-kind gesture. Such is the genesis of the Louisa Nelson Awards, an annual accolade honoring women of achievement, inspiration, and vision in Nashville who show exemplary successes in their field and leadership in the community. It will be first bestowed on Monday, September 19, 2016, at a ceremony in the Oak Room at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.

“Many know the story of our great-great-great grandfather, Charles Nelson — the pioneering founder of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery and the leading producer of Tennessee Whiskey in America in the late 1800s,” says Charlie Nelson, “but few know about Louisa, his devoted and hard working wife who assumed control of the family business after his death in 1891, until Prohibition forced her to shutter it in 1909. At the time, she was one of the only women ever to have run a commercial distillery. In addition being a powerful business owner, Louisa Nelson was a woman who refrained from judging others, a characteristic exemplified by her consistent leadership in employing disabled and minorities. Today, her foundation and business model remains a driving force in our own practices, and we named the big copper still that anchors our production floor ‘Miss Louisa,’ in her honor.”

2016 marks the 125-year anniversary of Louisa taking the reins. To commemorate her role in the brand’s history, the Nelson brothers have established the Louisa Nelson Awards to be given to three Nashville-area business women who embody the characteristics of their ancestor: hard working, excelling in their industries, and making a positive impact in their community. To celebrate each of them, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery will make a significant donation to a local charity of each woman’s choosing.

Nominations for the award are now open, and will be accepted on the Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery website ( until Sunday, August 14, 2016; recipients will be notified soon thereafter.  The Nelsons have drawn an impressive Advisory Board together to review the submissions. Together with the brothers themselves, the team will exercise its depth of experience and dedication to Nashville in choosing three women to be honored with an award so meaningful to Nelson’s Green Brier history — and to its vision for the future. Advisory Board members include:

  • Business journalist turned food writer, Carrington Fox has followed restaurants, food security, and sustainability for Nashville Scene, Southern Living, Food Network, Culture, NFocus, Creative Loafing,, and The Tennessean.
  • Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery co-Proprietor Andy Nelson, a direct descendant of Louisa Nelson, and the head distiller of the family business he has revived with his younger brother, Charlie.
  • Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery co-Proprietor Charlie Nelson, also a great-great-great-grandson of Louisa Nelson, and namesake of Charles Nelson, who travels the country sharing the history and spirits of the company he has proudly re-established with his brother Andy.
  • Civic and social advocate Renata Soto, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Conexion Americas, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Latino families realize their aspirations for social and economic advancement by promoting their integration into the Middle Tennessee community.
  • Emilee Warner, the Marketing Director for CityWinery Nashville and former publicist for popular musicians like Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, and more.
  • Technology entrepreneur Marcus Whitney, the President of Jumpstart Foundry, healthcare innovation fund, and CEO and Founder of The Unlikely Company, a public benefit corporation designed to identify the Unlikely Entrepreneurs who will lead the future.
Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery | 1414 Clinton Street Nashville, TN | @TNWhiskeyCo