USA, OR: Ex Novo Brewing puts its two Oregon locations up for sale
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Ex Novo Brewing, the North Portland brewery founded in 2014 with a mission to give back to the community, has put its two Oregon locations up for sale, owner and founder Joel Gregory confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive on March 3.
Gregory founded the brewery on North Flint Avenue then in 2019 opened a pizza pub in historic downtown Beaverton. He confirmed both of those are up for sale as turn-key operations, ready to be taken over by new ownership and immediately continue operating.
“This is a decision that my wife and I have come to,” he said. “It’s been something that’s been stewing for quite a while.”
Gregory grew up in New Mexico, and in summer 2019 he opened Ex Novo’s third location — in Corrales, New Mexico. He moved back home with his immediate family to be close to extended family and open the brewery.
The Southwest has provided a “really good market,” Gregory said at the time. He recently announced a second location will open in Albequerque, New Mexico, while simultaneously scuttling plans for a third Oregon location in Hillsboro.
But he said the pandemic made it exceedingly difficult to run several locations in two states.
“Try as we have for the past four and a half years, I just feel like we’re missing some things operationally and not being as good of stewards as what we want to be there,” he said. “It’s had more than its fair share of struggles,” including the death of head brewer Ryan Buxton last year.
“It’s been nine years there on Flint, and it’s time for someone else to come in and start a new chapter there under their own brand.”
A business listing that landed on March 2 on the BizBuySell site offers the “assets and infrastructure (no brand) of a brewery and two unique pub concepts that has been around going on a decade. The brewery operates a 10 barrel brew system with approximately 4000 barrels of capacity (and produces and sells to capacity). Main brewery includes a Brew Pub that serves a refined pub food menu. The other location has no brewery on site and beer is transported from the brewery location. This location operates as a Pizzeria in a high visibility downtown area.”
The asking price is listed as $1.79 million. The listing says the two locations and brewery together did nearly $4 million in revenue in 2022, almost returning to pre-pandemic levels.
“If there’s a good fit out there,” Gregory told The Oregonian/OregonLive, “then let’s throw it out to the world and see what comes back.”
Gregory said he is planning for Ex Novo beer brewed in New Mexico to be distributed to Oregon and is also open to some contract brewing in Portland, possibly in the current Ex Novo brewhouse, if an agreement can be worked out with the new owners.
He said the difficult thing about deciding to sell has been the effect he knows it will have on the Oregon team, which “has just been nothing but great.”
“The last thing in the world I wanted was to be one of those breweries that just closes,” he said. “I can’t picture that happening.”
Gregory said that he would continue to own and operate the Oregon locations until a buyer is found and would not close the locations.
“Despite some struggles, we’re strong enough as a company to be able to float some of the down cycles and tough business weeks and months and to continue on,” he said. “I want that for my team, to find someone who can come into a turn-key place and put their own spin on it.
“We’re proud of what we’ve built at Ex Novo over the years, and we’re bummed we couldn’t keep it going longer,” he said. “But at the same time we’re people, and we’re humans. And we’re tired sometimes, and we have to do what’s right for our family. We have four kids now. It’s a lot to juggle.”