Ex Novo Brewery – Drink Beer. Do Good.

Not too long ago I posted about our current favorite breweries in Portland.  True to form I’ve been spending plenty of time at them!  Recently, I took another trip back to Ex Novo and thought I’d write up a deeper dive.


It was a sunny 100 degree Sunday so my buddy and I decided to walk the mile over to the brewery.  To say we were thirsty by the time we got there would be the understatement of the week.  As soon as we sat down we ordered a cold The Most Interesting Lager In The World.  It hit the spot!  This beer is a Mexican lager brewed with Vienna and Pilsner malts with a hint of flaked corn.


As I mentioned in the previous article, Ex Novo is a non-profit brewery that aims to donate 100% of their net profits to a variety of causes.  These causes include Friends of the Children, IJM, Impact NW, and MercyCorps.  They’ve been open for two years in the Eliot neighborhood of North Portland.  They have an inviting atmosphere that is perfect for families (the bathrooms actually have baby changing stations complete with diapers) as well just grabbing beers with buddies. Sitting at the bar for a few hours will show that many from the neighborhood come in often and the beertenders/waitstaff know them well.  There is also plenty of sidewalk seating to enjoy the nice days and they brew the beer in the back. The perfect one stop shop brewery!


The first couple pints of lager went down well so we decided to branch out and sample a few of the current seasonals.  I’m not a huge sour beer fan but the beertender talked me into trying their newly released version, Cactus Wins The Lottery!.  This Berliner Weisse with prickly pear was surprisingly easy to drink and actually refreshing.  We also tried the Stiff Upper Lip which is made with British malts, East Kent Golding Hops and a London Ale strain.  Might have been the lagers talking but ended up buying bottles of both to drink later.


Per the usual, each trip to Ex Novo makes me wonder why I don’t get there more often. If you’re in the city looking for a brewery that exemplifies everything that makes the Portland beer scene so amazing, this is the place to visit.