Andy Nelson of Nelson's Greenbrier Distillery - Biography

Nashville, TN

January 2014

In charge of operations and production for Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee, Andy Nelson may seem similar to his brother and co-proprietor Charlie: a tall, handsome, well-mannered Southern gentleman. But the two brothers walk to the beat of their own drummers, especially when it comes to their respective talents in the whiskey making business.

The more analytical, introverted of the Green Brier brothers, Andy graduated from Loyola Marymount (also Charlie’s alma mater) with a degree in the humanities with an emphasis on philosophy. One of four Nelson brothers, Andy grew up as physical as they come—playing basketball, pounding drums, dominating the high school high jump—but he always had quieter, contemplative side. Following an internship at the Country Music Association right after graduation, Andy went to work for his father’s education company. There he worked with Charlie and together realized their shared longer-term goal: reviving the family’s historic whiskey business.

The brothers immersed themselves in whiskey culture, seeking exposure to all aspects of the industry. An elite whiskey consultant schooled them in the finer points of distilling, refining their palates, and helping them through the intensive process of blending their brand’s very first offering, Belle Meade Bourbon, at a contract distillery. Andy and Charlie hope to re-establish the family name, honoring the memory of Tennessee whiskey legend Charles Nelson, their great-great-great-grandfather. Unfazed by the challenge of mastering the art, craft, and business of whiskey production, Andy hasn’t lost any of his intellectual, introspective side, working as a kind of philosopher-distiller, spreading his inherited and hard-won wisdom and the wonder of Tennessee whiskey.