Portland’s latest brewery, Ex Novo Brewing Company, will open its doors to the public beginning today, July 2nd. This non-profit brewery’s grand opening celebration will be from 5:00 until 11:00pm today. The celebration will feature their three new beers, food trucks and live music.
Ex Novo was founded by Joel Gregory. His background was in electrical engineering all the while being a long time beer geek and an advocate for social justice. After he was laid off from his engineering job Gregory decided to make a go of his non-profit brewery vision. He decided it was time to brew and sell quality beer with a slight twist. Ex Novo is committed to donating 100% of their net profits to organizations that are working to affect positive social change both in Portland and around the world.
With a logo that is very reminiscent of the highly recognizable logo from paint manufacturer Sherwin Williams, Ex Novo plans on covering the earth with donations to assist their favorite charitable organizations. Their non-profit partners include Impact NW, Friends of the Children, Mercy Corps, and International Justice Mission.
Since Gregory did not have a strong background in brewing he was wise to seek out a head brewer for this new venture. During this search Gregory found Bend, Oregon native Ian Greene. His brewing resume is quite impressive as he has brewed for Stone, Boneyard, and most recently he’s been making award-winning beers overseas on a one-year contract at Norway’s Voss Bryggeri. Greene is a graduate of Edinburgh, Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University with a degree in Brewing and Distilling and will now take this knowledge and skill set to Ex Novo Brewing.
The location of Ex Novo Brewing is in North Portland, across the street from Lillis Albina City Park. The brewery is also about 6 blocks and equal distance from Widmer Brothers Brewing and Upright Brewing.
Ex Novo means “from nothing” and they built their brewery the same way. After finding the building they built a brewery from the ground up. The brew system that sits just behind the pub area is a 10 Barrel Brewhouse that was manufactured locally by Practical Fusion from Tualatin, Oregon.
The space itself is very inviting with a large garage door that on warm days will offer up great views of Lillis Albina City Park. Once inside, the space is full of wood from the walls of slatted wood panels to the open air wood beams in its ceiling.
When you look past the pub you will see the brewery that is separated by a short wall. One will feel part of the brewery while drinking their freshly crafted beers.
The beers that Ex Novo will be serving for their Grand Opening will be Session Pale Ale, Elliot IPA, and Scottish Red Ale. Having had the opportunity to sample all three ales, all taste quite fresh and intriguing. Their appearance may be a bit murky from being a bit rushed but Greene assures us that this will be remedied in the future. The consensus was that the three beers are very solid. Their Session Pale was quite refreshing with a strong citrusy hop profile.
In the coming weeks they’ll be adding an American wheat with Amarillo hops, a dry stout and a Black Raspberry Wheat, which will also be their entry into the Oregon Brewers Festival later this month.
Ex Novo’s core lineup of beers will eventually include a Pale, IPA, Red, Saison, Pilsner, and Stout along with rotating seasonals coming out all the time. One of these will be a Mexican Lager to be released later this summer. Then once their brewing is more established, Ex Novo plans to self distribute draft beer around Portland.
Here are descriptions of their 3 current beers that they’ll be serving up later today.
Session Pale Ale
Dry, light bodied, hoppy, summer beer using Mosaic hops.
Light, sessionable pale. Pineapple and grapefruit aroma carries through into a nice refreshing beer with a crisp finish.
Tropical fruit aromas of mango and papaya, carrying through to a delicious fruity IPA that uses Centennial and Simcoe hops.
Scottish Red Ale
Traditional malty, Scottish red using Northern Brewer hops.
A full-bodied, sweet malty red ale. Showcasing caramel and toasted flavors of the crystal malt, balanced with mild hop bitterness.
And if you’re looking for something more than just a beer, Ex Novo does have a full liquor license. However their plan is to only carry a selection of around 20 different whiskeys. Kind of strange to only carry whiskeys but with time that may change.
Since they have a full liquor license this means that Ex Novo will have a full kitchen. This kitchen will not be open for their first few days. Gregory hopes to have it in operation by the weekend. For the time being his plan is to have a food truck or two parked outside so you have something to eat while sampling their new beer this week.
The hours of operation at Ex Novo will be Mondays 3:00 – 9:00pm, Tuesday – Thursday 3:00 to 10:00pm, Saturday Noon to 11:00pm, and Sunday Noon – 9:00pm.
Ex Novo Brewing
2326 N Flint Ave
Portland, OR 97227