Fast foward to 2006. Andy and Charlie Nelson, two young men just graduating from college, were running an errand with their father, Bill. They were headed to a butcher shop in Greenbrier, Tennessee, just north of their home town of Nashville to pick up their share of a butchered cow. Running low on fuel, they pulled over for a fill-up and noticed a historical marker detailing the once-influential Nelson's Green Brier Distillery run by Charles Nelson.
Charlie and Andy had heard stories about a distiller in the family's past but they were never sure it was more than a glorified moonshine operation. When they reached the butcher, just up the road from the historical marker, they asked if he knew anything about the old distillery. He pointed to some old buildings across the road that were once part of the workings of Nelson's Green Brier Distillery.
These buildings included an old barrel warehouse, a building that housed fermentation vats and the old spring house with the spring still running after all those years.
After sipping from the spring they headed back to the butcher who referred them to the nearby Greenbrier Historical Society. You might say that old butcher had some idea of what the boys were in for.
It was there that the brothers first set eyes upon original whiskey bottles bearing the family name. Charlie says to this day that it was a moment of clarity unlike any he has ever known.
The decision to bring back the family business, once an industry giant, was made then and there in the hearts of the two young men. If not for this chance encounter with a historical marker, who knows when or if the distillery would ever have been reborn?