Chattanooga is due to get another microbrewery.
Naked River Brewing Co. plans to open in mid to late summer in Chattanooga's Southside neighborhood in an old, brick warehouse that was saved from the wrecking ball by developer John Wise and by the historic preservation group Cornerstones.
Wise's building is across the street from Finley Stadium and next to the First Tennessee Pavilion.
Naked River Brewing Co. has three men in their late 20s as its principals: Jake Raulston, the brewery's president, Nathan Woods, the head brewer, and David Frank "Trey" Trundle III, head of marketing and assistant brewer.
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Learn more about Naked River Brewing Co. online at nakedriverbrewing.com and at facebook.com/NKDRiverBrewing
The beer isn't a household name in Chattanooga — yet.
"Right now, it's just test batches," Woods said. "We haven't sold anything, yet."
"We're starting from the bottom and moving our way up," Raulston said.
Naked River Brewing Co. will be a fully-operational brewpub, Raulston said. It'll have the capacity to produce 30 kegs of beer a day, he said, at least six beers on tap and a full food menu.
Raulston grew up in Chattanooga and is employed in geology and engineering projects on offshore oil rigs. Woods recently left Ashville Brewing Co. in Ashville, N.C. where he worked as an assistant brewer for almost two years. Trundle is a lifelong Chattanooga resident.
Naked River Brewing Co. will join a number of new microbreweries that have opened in Chattanooga since 2015, including three that seem to be thriving in the downtown area: Hutton & Smith Brewing Co. at 431 E. M.L. King Blvd., Oddstory Brewing Co. at 336 E. M.L. King Blvd. and Heaven & Ale Brewing Co. at 304 Cherokee Blvd.
Chattanooga has not hit the saturation point for new breweries, a local expert said.
"Yes, there's more room for breweries," said Calvin Cummings, the beer specialist at Imbibe Chattanooga, a beer, wine and liquor store at 1616 Broad St.
As one example of the thirst for local brew, Cummings said that Hutton & Smith Brewing Co. just started to can its beer, and Imbibe got about 35 cases on Halloween that sold out in a week.
"They've just been crushing it," Cummings said of Hutton & Smith.
Chattanoogans' beer palate has gotten more sophisticated in the past two years, Cummings said. For example, he cited the "skyrocketing" sales of beers from Nashville's Bearded Iris Brewing Co.
"It's like my most expensive beer per ounce," Cummings said.
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or on Twitter @meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.