Ex Novo Brewing owner Joel Gregory
Portland-based Ex Novo Brewing is opening s highly anticipated new Beaverton pizza pub location today, Wednesday, February 6th at 11am. Ex Novo Brewing opened its original North Portland brewpub in 2014 in a unique business model that directed profits towards non-profits/charities with the tagline, “Drink Beer. Do Good.” The New School first broke the news that Ex Novo Brewing was planning a Beaverton location in the under-served suburbs that would focus on the trendy up-and-coming Detroit-style pizza that had become a popular special at the Portland brewpub. The new pub’s tagline, emblazoned on stickers and hats: Eat Pizza. Do Good.
The Ex Novo Brewing Beaverton Pizza Pub does not have its own brewery, but it does have 16 draft lines, more than the 11 at the flagship Portland brewpub. The extra few draft lines will allow the pub to feature more limited, small batch beers like barrel-aged and vintage beers from the cellar as well as a guest hard cider on tap which is currently from Alter Ego Cider as of opening. Personally, I was enjoying Mass Ascencion, a straight-up west coast-style IPA with bold citrusy hops and a little bit of haze, but more bitterness than the NE-style trend. It’s hard to miss with the variety, where else can you get classic lagers, new school IPA, fruit sours and a very old school English-style dark mild.
The L-shaped Beaverton pub was made possible by a grant from the city of Beaverton that allowed the company to renovate a historic building in the old town area of the city. Beaverton is almost completely bereft of breweries, and the city is on the hunt for more great businesses and breweries to open there. This situation reportedly made it much easier for Ex Novo to do a quick buildout than Portland’s notoriously difficult regulations and obtrusive hurdles and costs. The Cady Building was built around 1914 and became the home to Beaverton’s first city library in 1925, and more recently the space that Ex Novo now occupies was a mattress store.
Ex Novo Brewing has built a following for all-around excellence, from the trendy rotating 16oz can releases of Hazy/Juicy IPAs to year-round Mexican-style lagers and impressive barrel projects like the clean Nevermore black barleywine to funky fruited sours like ‘Protect Your Nect’ nectarine sour. Ex Novo beers are available in 22oz bottles, 16oz cans and yes even 500ml bottles. One two-door cooler to the side of the bar in Beaverton offers a wide selection of all formats and styles.
Ex Novo Beaverton is a casual yet classy counter service spot with an inviting but also dimly lit lounge feeling. The front bar is built on old brick with new white tile laid on the floors. The tile gives way to hardwood floor as the high tops give way to communal tables and sloping white wood booths. Beautiful arched glass windows nod towards the building’s historic significance. The walls are a dark blue, cool yet moody. Decorations are sparse but not all that necessary in a simple yet elegant space. Cactus and a patterned knit cloth on display hint at Ex Novo Brewing’s future in New Mexico. Behind the bar you will find a selection of 10+ whiskeys and bourbons plus a few other select spirits and four house cocktails. You will also find Case Study Coffee, Steven Smith Tea, soda, Townshend’s Tea, and even milk for the kiddies.
But what everyone really wants to know about is the pizza. The pub also serve four different kinds of baked grinders and four salads, as well as sides like cheesy bread, dip, buffalo cauliflower, and straight-up bacon. The real specialty is Detroit-style pizza, an obscure style of pizza that’s been quickly gaining in popularity as of late. It’s a bit like Chicago-style deep dish meets flatbread only, it’s baked in pans where the cheese melts and gets crispy around the edges of the pie and it doesn’t have any crusts on the edges, just below. The sauce is also on top of the pie above the cheese and toppings and each pie is a personal size, sliced into four square pieces. It’s a small but rich and very filling pie; two slices will fill up almost anyone.
Rooty Tooty Point & Shooty pizza
Ex Novo dabbled in Detroit-style at the flagship Portland pub ,but here they go all-in with ten different pie options and let you build your own if none of those suit you. The different types of pie run $16-$20 from classic pepperoni to some fun original creations like the Rooty Tooty Point & Shooty (roasted garlic ricotta, gorgonzola, beets, wild mushrooms, fresh rosemary, and a balsamic glaze). Check out the double-smoked sausage and bacon pies for intense savory flavors that go great with the brick cheese and many roasted and smoked veggies and herbs. Try the Meatzza if you are all about that rich smoky meats (crazy sauce, brick cheese, pepperoni, mortadella, meatballs, double smoked sausage, bacon). Yes, there are veggie pies and even one vegan pie called the Veginator (house crazy sauce, cashew mozzarella, castelvetrano olive, fresh basil, and aberquina olive oil).
Ex Novo Brewing Beaverton (4505 SW Watson Avenue. Beaverton, OR 97005) is open 7 days a week at 11am and has single slice specials and combos with a salad or soda until 2pm. The 90 seat pub is all-ages for all open hours, which are Sun – Thurs. 11am – 10pm and Fri. – Sat. 11am – 11pm.
Ex Novo Brewing Beaverton in the historic Cady Building