First Look Preview of Ex Novo Brewing

Oregon’s first not-for-profit brewery, Ex Novo Brewing, opens to the public this Wednesday, July 2nd, but we got an early preview yesterday of what you can expect from Portland’s newest brewpub. Located at 2326 N Flint Avenue–just a few blocks from Upright Brewing–the new Ex Novo Brewing has three of its own housemade beers available as of opening: a Session Pale Ale, a Scottish Red, and an IPA.

If you are dying to check out our newest brewery or just join in the party, then you may want to head over on Wednesday for the Grand Opening bash with live music and food carts, but I might recommend holding off until Friday when the in-house food menu will be rolled out.

The space is pretty, almost beautiful except for a lot of finishing touches that need to be added, and though it is in an odd location, I think it will have a great draw from the neighborhood. More importantly, the beer is tasting fresh. I enjoyed a couple of pints of the 4.9% ABV Session Pale Ale; the Scottish Red was just like what you might expect in the best sense; but, unfortunately, the IPA was cloudy and very unfinished. Clearly rolled out early for the opening, I’d bet by the end of the week this beer will be tasting fine. Ex Novo only began brewing 12 days ago and the IPA was rumored to have been only a day old, with the Session Pale being the first out of the gates. Head Brewer Ian Greene spoke to me about setting up hop contracts and running into shortages of the hot varieties like Citra, but seemed confident in the beers and excited to brew more one-offs and start sour and barrel-aging programs. Next on his plate is to brew a stout, and then the brewery’s first festival beer, a Black Raspberry Wheat for the Oregon Brewers Fest.


Ex Novo also connects a missing dot in what now could be a perfect North Portland brewery and cidery pub crawl: starting at Reverend Nat’s, you walk down towards the river to Upright Brewing. Now you can easily walk 2 blocks from Upright to Ex Novo, then to Widmer Gasthaus, and finally up Mississippi to Ecliptic and Stormbreaker.

The Ex Novo Brewing space features lots of exposed wood, including a cool live edge bar top; large communal bar tables with an ingrained glass display of brewing malts ranging from dark to light; a large three dimensional display of letters spelling out “Cheers” above the first floor seating; and a mural (still in the works) leading up to the upstairs dining and event space area. From the bar you also have a clear view of the brewery, which is looking good in its brand new shiny glory, as well as some of the less finished storage and barrel-aging space all the way in the back. The bar was not quite finished and will soon be stocked with whiskey–and just whiskey, as far as liquor goes–and eventually a TV hanging overhead for special occasions like the current World Cup soccer matches.

The Ex Novo kitchen will not have a grill hood, which is required for flammable and fried foods, and thus does not have the brewpub “hamburger” staple! Oh no, but we will just have to get by with house-made brisket, cheese and charcuterie, and beer milkshakes. I think I can handle that.

Ex Novo Brewing opens Wednesday, July 2nd, at 5pm with beers, bands, and food carts. After that the brewery will be open for its regular hours of 3pm until around 10pm. Do not expect the food menu above until at least this Friday.

(Ex Novo Brewing owner Joel Gregory speaks to the crowd)

Ex Novo Brewing

    • 2326 N Flint Ave
  • Portland, Oregon 97227
Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: