Constellation Brands has purchased a majority stake in Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.

In 2016, Constellation made a minority investment in Nelson’s Green Brier through its venture capital group.

Co-founded by brothers Andy and Charlie Nelson, Nelson’s Green Brier craft whiskey distillery produces a wide range of products under the Belle Meade Bourbon brand. It is planning to release a Tennessee Whiskey later this year.

Constellation Brands president and CEO Bill Newlands said: “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.

“Our dream has been to return the Nelson’s Green Brier profile to the national, and even international, marketplace.”

“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.”

As per the terms of the deal, Nelson’s Green Brier will continue to operate with the existing management team and its employees.

Charlie Nelson said: “Our family distillery was one of the largest producers of whiskey and spirits in the country prior to prohibition.

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“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 honouring the principles our customers have come to appreciate.”

Last month, Constellation Brands acquired a minority stake in the parent company of Mezcal El Silencio.