Like so many bushy-tailed do-gooders, nonprofit Ex Novo had a tough go at the beginning. The 10-barrel brewery is a nonprofit, donating its proceeds to supporting Syrian refugees, providing housing services and mentoring poor kids. Unfortunately, the beer was in rough shape when it opened last July. Ex Novo picked itself up, hiring new brewmaster Jason Barbee just six months into its existence. The improvement has been dramatic. A recent Coup de Foudre Saison balanced fruitiness with a spicy rye kick, while the Cardinal Sim IPA—brewed exclusively with Simcoe hops—was fantastically juicy. With its reclaimed wood tables, high ceilings and designer light bulbs, the tasting room has a rustic chalet vibe that's as welcoming to 30-somethings on a first date as Blazers fans glued to the TV above the bar. Also, knitting circles. How wholesome.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm daily. $1 off pints.
Entertainment: Blazers on the TV, occasional knitting.