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October 5, 2020

Introducing our first newsletter sponsor

We’ve found a brand that shares our love of storytelling

When we launched Unpretentious Palate more than two years ago, we knew excellent journalism was worth paying for. So we put our entire website behind a paywall, accessible only to our members. We believe being ad-free is key to the UP experience.

This newsletter, however, is read by paying and non-paying subscribers alike. We’re happy to have all of our readers, and hope one day the work we do here motivates our newsletter-only readers to support us with an Unpretentious Palate subscription. But if it doesn’t, we’re contradicting ourselves by giving away content for free.

So we wanted to find a newsletter partner, a brand that could offer thoughtful content that our readers would enjoy reading. We found a company that goes beyond that — one that shares our love of storytelling. In fact, it’s a brand built on a story.

For the next three months, Nearest Green Distillery, maker of Uncle Nearest whiskey, will sponsor a recipe in our Thursday newsletters. Uncle Nearest is named in honor of Nathan Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to distill some of the nation’s best whiskey. Green’s story has long been overlooked, but Uncle Nearest is bringing him to the prominence he deserves by sharing that story.

“We didn’t have to make up anything,” Uncle Nearest co-founder Fawn Weaver tells us. “We didn’t have to add anything, exaggerate anything. We were able to tell the story exactly as it was.”

The story is an inspiring one, and like many African-American stories in history, Weaver is still trying to piece together Green’s life. What she’s found is a man who played the fiddle, instilled strong values in his family, and remained an overlooked pioneer in the evolution of American whiskey.

“I think one of the reasons the brand is doing so incredibly well is that the authenticity has really reached people,” Weaver says.

That, and the whiskey had to hold up to the legacy it represented. The recipes will be written by Leah & Louise’s Justin Hazelton, and tie back to other forgotten stories. You can look forward to the first one on Thursday. In the meantime, you can read our full Q&A with Weaver about Uncle Nearest and the man who inspired the company here — as well as see why we’re so excited to have found such a great partner.

Read our full Q&A with Weaver here.

Have a question for us? Send to to editor@unpretentiouspalate.com and we’ll answer it for you next week!

Posted in: Editor's Dish, Latest Updates