What to know about Naked River Brewing Co. in Chattanooga

Photography by Olivia Ross / Naked River Brewing Co. is at 1791 Reggie White Blvd.

* Location: 1791 Reggie White Blvd. (across from Max Finley Stadium)

* History: Naked River was opened in November 2018 by Chattanooga native Jake Raulston and Nathan Woods, who earned a degree in professional brewing science at South College in Asheville, North Carolina. Woods recalls that when they first looked at the site across from Max Finley Stadium that would become Naked River's home, the space had "no floor, no roof and three walls."

Undaunted, they forged ahead with their two-pronged plan. "We wanted to make beer, and we wanted to do that in Chattanooga," Woods says. Raulston adds that the site was "a good fit for us," given the potential for business connected to concerts, football and soccer games, and other events at the adjacent First Horizon Pavilion.

Raulston says it cost about $800,000 to overhaul the space and get Naked River up and running. He says the sales goal for 2019 was $600,000, but Naked River did about $850,000. Sales topped $1 million in 2020, despite the pandemic, and went to $1.5 million last year.

"We're shooting for $2 million this year," Raulston says. "We had to learn how to fight on our feet [during the pandemic] when the bar was shut down."

* Products: Raulston recalls that in March 2020, "within an hour" after the pandemic forced closure of Chattanooga-area restaurants, the Naked River staff was selling product at a makeshift drive-through window.

"The line stretched back to the [First Horizon] Pavilion," he says.

Woods said Naked River got through the pandemic due, in no small measure, to the fact that it increased its production of canned beverages by about 80 percent. He says Naked River has different beers available at different times, including Docks Brown Ale, and MoonPie Stout.

Now Naked River has partnered with Chattanooga-based Landrance Bioscience to produce River High, a non-alcoholic hemp seltzer that "tastes like Sprite and has zero alcohol, 5 milligrams of Delta 8 blend [from Landrace] and 5 mg CBD" per 12-ounce can. It's also "one of our fastest package products going out the door," Raulston adds.

As the effects of the pandemic waned and foot traffic rebounded, Raulston says they've pulled back a bit on distribution of Naked River canned products.

"When spring [2022] hit, people were ready to drink," he says. "We wanted to make sure we could take care of our customers here in Chattanooga."

* Online: nakedriverbrewing.com

* Facebook: @naked_river_brewing