Andy Nelson ’05 and Charlie Nelson ’06

LMU Alumni Andy Nelson ’05 and Charlie Nelson ’06

from Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

What do you love most about LMU?
Both: It has to be the people. Both of us have such great lifelong friends that we met at LMU and that’s the best you can ask for!

What keeps you connected to LMU?
Both: Same thing – it’s the people and friends we’ve had since our respective Freshman years. With LMU as the common thread between us, it’s kept our minds connected to LMU and made it a necessity for each of us to visit campus anytime we’re in LA.

Why are you proud to be an LMU Lion?
Andy: While LMU may not be as well known in our area of the country, I’m always so excited to tell people that it’s my alma mater. Not only is it the most beautiful campus in the world, which makes it easy for people to be jealous, but LMU has major heart and soul. It’s made it easy to continue to feel connected and wanted by the school even this long after graduating. It’s hard not to be proud of a school for which there is such mutual love and respect.

If not a lion, what animal would you be and why? (thinking of a “Lion” as your spirit animal)
Andy: The wise owl. My philosophy studies at LMU helped hone my search for wisdom, and flying isn’t bad either

Funny memory that comes to mind from your time while you were on the Bluff?
Both: Bomb Day! Our memories are fuzzy on the details, but in probably 2002 or 2003 the whole school got the day off because someone thought they found an old World War II bomb that hadn’t exploded on campus (or something like that). A classic LMU memory for everyone that year.

What’s the most valuable skill you learned at LMU?
Charlie: Learning how to learn and appreciating life and the pursuit of happiness, and learning how important relationships are both in life and in business.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement to recent graduates we’re welcoming into the LMU Alumni Association? 
Both: Try everything, experience everything. Meet people, don’t be afraid to take risks. You learn more from failures than you do from your successes

Another way of looking at it, picture yourself back to the days when you were a graduating senior – what is something you wish you knew coming out of college and heading into the post-grad world?
Andy: The world responds more favorably to self-confidence than it does to most other things. Being confident in yourself is one of the most valuable tools you can have.

How did your business originate?
Both: Our distillery originally began in the mid/late 1800s when our triple-great grandfather grew it into one of the largest distilleries in the country. It shut down in 1909 because of statewide Prohibition in Tennessee. In 2006, we went to buy some meat from a butcher who happened to live on the land that once belonged to the old distillery and we learned a bit about it there. After seeing some original bottles from 150 years prior, we knew we had to start the business back up.

Preferred way to take your bourbon or whiskey?
Generally we both prefer it neat

Favorite cocktail / beer or brewery / wine or winery?
Andy: Boulevardier or Vieux Carre
Charlie: Manhattan or Old Fashioned

Where can our audience find your beverage in their local neighborhood?
Your favorite local liquor store, bar, or restaurant. If it’s not obvious, ask the bartender to pick it up from their distributor

In 6-words or less, share a personal motto
Charlie: Make it do what it do!
Andy: Hunger is the best sauce

Favorite happy hour appetizer?
Charlie: Cured meats and cheeses
Andy: Dips of any kind!

Favorite local happy hour spot/business/restaurant while you were at LMU? 
Tower Pizza – nothing beats a neighborhood dive and pizza joint!

Favorite/highly recommended beverage-n-bites pairing for a happy hour?
Neat Bourbon and a charcuterie board. The balance of the sweetness and spice from the whiskey compared with the salty and savory from the cured meat and cheese is such a fantastic combination.

Favorite bar game?
Double shot (basketball game) or shuffleboard

Song you currently have stuck in your head on repeat? 
“Picture Show” by John Prine