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Tapping into the community: Ex Novo taproom opens

Ex Novo taproom Manager Stevo Jeter stands behind the bar after pouring one the brewery’s signature beers. Ex Novo’s taproom offers items made in the Village of Corrales as part of its hyper-local philosophy.
(Stephen Montoya/Rio Rancho Observer)

CORRALES — The wait is finally over for those who anticipated the opening of Ex Novo Brewery in the Village of Corrales for almost a year.

The brewery’s taproom, on the north end of the property at 4895 Corrales Road, adjacent to the cannery and brewing warehouse, has an open midcentury-modern-meets-Southwest feel.

Stevo Jeter, taproom manager, said it was a slow process to get everything finalized and approved for the taproom to open.

“Friday, May 24, at 2:45 p.m., the mayor walked in and signed the final approval, and I threw the garage doors open and posted a photo on Instagram that said, ‘We’re open.’ And before you knew it, we had a line all the way to the dirt until last call,” Jeter said. “So we poured almost 700 pints in seven hours.”

Jeter said nine people — a general manager and eight beer tenders — are on staff.

“If there’s one thing Ex Novo is about, it’s community,” he said. “We love being hyper-local. All of our merchandise is created in Corrales, for example.”

Jeter said the wines Ex Novo carries come from the vineyards in Corrales.

The taproom doesn’t serve food, but has a partnership with three local restaurants.

“The three restaurants we have partnered with all deliver here for free, and we have their menus here,” he said. “You call the number, they bring the food straight to your table, and on Saturdays we have a barbecue food truck. In fact, they brought 600 pounds of barbecue this last weekend and sold out by 4 p.m.”

According to Jeter, the Latin term “ex novo” means “from scratch,” which is exactly what Ex Novo owner Joel Gregory achieved when he built his first brewing equipment from scratch in his own garage.

“In 2014, Joel launched Ex Novo as a non-profit…basically gave away the brewery’s profits to four organizations,” Jeter said. “That lasted for two years, and then the state of Oregon recognized that the brewery wasn’t necessarily a charity, so then Ex Novo flipped for profit but still gives a portion of its proceeds to the same four organizations, anyway.”

For a list of supported causes, beers and operation hours for Ex Novo, go to