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Portland brewer bringing Ex Novo home to Corrales

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An out-of-town craft brewer is looking to set up shop in Corrales, but the owner has local ties.

Joel Gregory, the founder of Ex Novo Brewing Company in Portland, Ore., is planning to expand to his hometown of Corrales with a production brewery and tap room some time this year.

“My wife and I would like to move (back) to New Mexico to be closer to our family,” Gregory said in a blog posting. “I (also) would like to bring some of what I started at Ex Novo to the Albuquerque area. I see great opportunity there as the craft beer culture continues to develop.”

The name Ex Novo roughly translates to “from the beginning” or “from scratch.”

Gregory said he closed on three acres of land in January at 4895 Corrales Road, about a mile-and-a-half from where he grew up. “We have big dreams for this property, which will come in phases,” Gregory shared on his blog. The first will be construction of a 10,000-square-foot building for brewing and packaging operations.

“There is an existing building on the property, which will serve as a simple tap room,” he wrote. Phase 2 would see us adding brewing space and a full pub/restaurant with a huge beer garden, and an acre or so of grass and gardens to enjoy the beautiful New Mexico weather.”

Gregory said he’ll be looking to fill the role of head brewer for the New Mexico operation in the coming months. He currently operates one Ex Novo in North Portland and will open another in Beaverton, a fast-growing Portland suburb, this fall.

“It is bittersweet to move from this city I love so much,” wrote Gregory, a former engineer, adding he’ll continue to spend 10 percent of his time in the Portland area.

Gregory said he’s “too familiar” with construction delays to commit to an opening date in Corrales. “But we’re hoping to have Phase 1 complete in 2018.”

In an interview with the New Mexico Dark Side Brew Crew website, Gregory, who founded Ex Novo almost four years ago, said the brewery “had made a name for itself in the extremely packed Portland (craft brewing scene),” but expanding the operation in the Rose City was proving to be more than a bit of a challenge, prompting him to consider his hometown for business expansion.

“I really like the direction that Albuquerque in general is headed, both in the beer scene and in general. I happen to know a lot of cool people that I grew up with that are part of that movement to continue making Albuquerque awesome.”

Calls to Gregory seeking additional comment were not immediately returned.

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