Jack Daniel’s and Uncle Nearest are celebrating the first business to graduate from their Business Incubation Program, which is one of three prongs of the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative designed to encourage and advance diversity within the American whiskey industry.

During its tenure, Minneapolis-based Du Nord Social Spirits, which produces gin, vodka, liqueurs and whiskeys, was able to receive mentorship around multiple areas of the distilling industry, including marketing, branding, and distribution. Du Nord also announced that they have partnered with Delta Air Lines to make their Foundation Vodka available on all domestic flights.

“Our experience in the Business Incubation Program has been a game-changer while providing the foundational elements of strong branding and helping us develop a path of growth. Without this program, we would not be in the position we are now,” said Chris Montana, Du Nord CEO and Head Distiller, in a press release. “Our partnership with Delta Air Lines is only possible thanks to the support from Jack Daniel’s. The Nearest & Jack initiative and Brown-Forman.”

Nearest Green Distillery was launched in 2016 and is named after Nathan “Uncle Nearest” Green, a former slave who became one of Tennessee’s premier whiskey distillers. Green eventually taught Jack Daniel how to distill, and became the historic brand’s first master distiller. The story was unearthed by CEO Fawn Weaver under whose leadership Uncle Nearest has become one of the most lauded whiskey brands on the market, having recently expanded their whiskey line to five Tennessee Whiskeys and two ryes.

The Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative will soon begin accepting applications for the 2022 Business Incubation Program. More information can be found at NearestandJack.com.