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Apex

Not Rated.
ApexApex
BA SCORE
96
world-class

81 Ratings
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: n/a
Taps: 50
Bottles: 200
Cask: N
[ Bar ]

1216 SE Division St
Portland, Oregon, 97202-1017
United States
phone: (503) 273-9227

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @apexbar

Notes:
Place added by: msubulldog25 on 04-26-2010

11:30am - 2:30am

Always tons of bike parking.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by Fluffheady:
Photo of Fluffheady
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Somehow every time I go to Portland we end up here until close. They have an insane selection, both in draft and in bottles. They supposedly always have a secret Pliny tap, but they were out last week. Some people think the place is a little snotty, but I don’t get that vibe. Every bartender I’ve interacted with has been nothing but nice. Don’t listen to any of it. They have a huge outdoor space and I guess a lot of people try to sneak in. If you’re visiting Portland, you should go here. (If you need a cab, they have a button beneath the bar they can push for you. Try it!)

More User Reviews:
Photo of blastoderm55
4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Solid bar. Tap selection one of the best I've seen. Bottles priced very high, but a good selection of whales. A single-guy type bar, not somewhere I would take my wife.

Photo of G_Z_a
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

One of the best tap selections in town, but can be a little overpriced.

Photo of Harvest06
4.26/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

This is a great place to go for their outstanding craft selection on tap. The bottled selection is just ok. The bartenders aren't very friendly.

Photo of DCgolfpro
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%

Customer service was impressive and I loved that hard to find bottles (including vintage bottles) were available. You're going to pay hefty prices for them however. Very hefty.

Photo of PotlandOR
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

The "New kid in town" has a killer selection on digital screens and a great selection of bottles.

Photo of brewtalthrone
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

If you don't like this place, you hate beer and life. Summer time - doors rolled up, hard rock & "metal" (ahem, not REAL metal, but anyways), huge patio area out front on Division Street, beer selection. Cash only, I do believe, but they have an ATM for your "convenience". While you're there, ya gotta make time for the Beer Mongers across the street - bottle shop that reeks of awesome, & ya might even catch a li'l badass young jazz trio freestylin' some jams. Miss Apex and you miss out. When in PDX, this is at the top of your list (if you love beer like you think you do). Portland = BEER, and Apex is the apex of beer in Portland, jus' sayin'. God I miss PDX in the worst way :(

Photo of AnIslandOfGeese
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

First time in Portland. First bar we went to. Came highly recommended by friends. Amazing draft selection. Heavily focused on IPAs it seemed, just what I needed for my first time in Portland.

Digital draft menu was cool.

Clean bathrooms with funny graffitti on the walls

Bar tender, i forgot her name, was really great and knew what she was talking about.

Open late. Was not crowded. Not much of an opportunity to mingle with other patrons.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

We all dined at this fancy restaurant called Roe and as we were driving down Division, it turns out that Apex is about a mile away! So let's check it out...

Apex reminds me of some of the best beer joints in Austin, with that big patio and chairs outside and the low-lying shack-like building behind it. Breweriana inside, music not too loud and not crowded on a Saturday night. It's all good, particularly after reading so many bad reviews about this place and the employees. The place is small, though, and there are one or two employees only, so I can see how it could get crowded and slow (in fact, as the night progressed, music got louder and service slower).

Their beer selection is outstanding indeed. So many rare, strong and barrel-aged beers! On tap, I tried Banished Double Cross ($4, 6-oz), Against the Grain Attila Hen ($1 taste), Mikkeller Frederiksen ($5, 6-oz). And beyond, they had Black Albert, Pliny, Evil Twin Ashtray, John Barleycorn'10, Midnight Sun Moscow, Beer Geek Mus, Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti, De Garde Spears Gin Barrel Wild Ale... you get the picture. This is my kind of tap list.

I love the different servings and small portions, and how the bartender warned me about the flatness of Bourbon Fred.

Don't miss the bottle list. One of the best I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot). I had a Hair of the Dog Bourbon Fred'11 for eighteen bucks, and they have Fifty Fifty Eclipse, Firestone PNC ($50), Cherry Adam'08 (sixty bucks).... browse and be amazed.

I would say the only negatives here are the silly cash-only policy (although they do give you a one-dollar discount if you show your ATM receipt) and the fact that is is a smallish place with not much atmosphere. But the beer more than makes up for that!

Photo of bryc9194
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75

The staff just doesn't make an effort to explain the beers to customers. The board with the beer list doesn't give enough information to justify the bartenders not offering constant help. The selection is absolutely amazing, but with most of the foreign beers they are not in English so there is no way to even tell the beer style.

Photo of SportsProphet
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5

We came in here after leaving the Holiday Beer Fest downtown. 50+ beers on tap, and the taplist was on a big screen TV. John Barleycorn, among others, on the taplist. That was an excellent choice. Several other craft brews to try on another venture here. Can't wait to return.

Photo of jera1350
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5

Beware- CASH ONLY here so come prepared. They do have a cash machine though too.

Probably my favorite bar of our whole trip to the Pacific Northwest. Larger indoor bar with garage doors opening up to a massive patio with umbrella covered tables. A little side room with pinball machines available for play too. The decor is unique and cool. Interesting things to peer at and read while imbibing. On this particular day, they had old school gangsta rap like Snoop and Dre playing with F-bombs on the blaring speakers. Not my thing, but interesting none the less.

Amazing selection of top notch brews from the west coast and beyond. Firestone Walker PNC and Parabola, Evil Twin Biscotti Break to name a few. Several solid local options as well. Just a wide variety with something for everyone. I even tried a Habanero Golden form El Toro which was very unique and hot!

For food, go straight across the street to Double Dragon which has the most amazing Vietnamese sandwiches or get delivery from the El Gorditos place right next door.

We were there around 11 am and the bartender seemed like she just woke up from a late night bender. She was kind, but just didn't go out of her way in any shape or form to help. She would answer questions, but just kind of stood there and waited for us, rather than asking to help or offering up advice or suggestions. Her demeanor could have been more positive in my opinion. Regardless, outstanding place in Portland and a "do not miss".

Photo of rikatine
3.23/5  rDev -25.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75

We went to Apex as a part of our walking tour of beer venues in the SE. We were there on a Tuesday, shortly after noon. It is on a interestingly busy little corner, with Beermongers, Los Gorditos, and Double Dragon. Lots of outdoor seating with large umbrellas. Heading inside with the "open to the outside" seating was cool.

That tap list was stacked after their anniversary event over the weekend. We had the Boneyard Nefarious, 6oz for $5 and the Boneyard Armoured Fist CDA Both big beers. Sippers. Awesome chance to try there two beers.

Atmosphere and service here did not impress us at all. Although we were greeted when we came in, of course we needed a minute to study the tap list. After that we were left hanging a little longer than we would have liked. The bartender was busy doing chores. We chose to sit out at the picnic tables 'cause we just weren't feeling the heavy metal music indoors. We decided to move on after one beer since there are so many places, too little time.

Photo of Shoeflypie
3.19/5  rDev -26.8%
vibe: 1 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

A great selection of beer, but appears to be modeled after a Cosco deli , with the addition of ear splitting music, and a roving server who snatches your glass even when you haven't finished. The decor consists of signs such as "Climb the fence, get kicked out" and warnings that bike parking is for "customers only. I would go here as a last resort- i.e. if no other place has what you're looking for.

Photo of Fish
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I've been here a few times and have to say it rocks! Great selection, fair pricing, and did I say great selection!

My first impression was that they were very pricey (they do have above average pricing IMO) but they consistently have stuff that I just don't see anywhere else, like Cascade and barrel-aged HOTD offerings. To me that makes the price a good value.

The worst part about this spot is deciding what to try with limited time/money. Their tap list is the best I've seen. Boneyard, Russian River, Bruery... My mouth waters just thinking about it. And the big screen display of what's on tap is cool.

I've only been there a few times, so don't have much to say about the service or the atmosphere, but haven't had any negative experiences. Fortunately that does say something positive about Apex, because I have been to other places that have given off a bad vibe even after only one visit.

I plan on hitting it up much more often especially as the weather warms. The outside seating should be great on summer nights. Overall this is a must visit place if you're in PDX.

Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Very cool spot - right across from Beermongers, adjacent to a quality taco-slinger.

Huge picnic tables out front, decent sized interior with lots of light. Pinball machines, ~50 taps and a huge bottle list. It would be pretty impossible not to be happy here - went after the RR Blind Pig and Commons Myrtle on this stop. There was also a 5 or 6 year draft vertical of Celebration Ale on. I need to incorporate this into the PDX routine going forward.

Photo of AxesandAnchors
4.01/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

This place is probably the largest taproom in Portland (if you include the patio/parking lot) so if your wanting to go with a big group of people (provided it's not raining or winter in general) Apex is your place. The atmosphere feels like an Oktoberfest tent (without the tent), basically a bunch of wooden picnic tables covering the entire parking lot. The atmosphere isn't the greatest, but on a nice summer evening it's a pretty great place to hang out.

Huge tap list (50)! And an even bigger bottle selection. They always have a lot of great stuff, so you really can't go wrong.

If you find yourself on the East(SE) side you should definitely stop by. If I was rating them on beer alone they would easily get a 5-out-of-5 from me.

Photo of BaroomHero
5/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Atmos: Parking?! F parking! APEX took the entire parking lot for the original space and turned it into a HUGE outdoor patio lined with picnic tables complete with GIANT Octoberfest umbrellas for those drizzle Portland nights. Not to mention more bike parking than almost any other spot in town (and for PDX that's saying something). But APEX isn't just about the bikes, it caters to anything two wheeled with motorcycle only parking, MotoGP on the tube, and "bike" flash all over the place.

Quality: is APEX's middle name. From super clean lines and great brews, they actually have clean bathrooms and an even cleaner bar. Not to mention a SICK pinball area.

Service: From the owner down to the door guys, the entire crew knows their beer upside down and sideways. While they won;t kiss your @$$, you'll def leave with an education in addition to a decent buzz.

Selection: This is what really makes APEX... Tons of legit taps; old favorites and tip-o-tha-spear stuff... HUGE flat screen touting the beer, brewery, ABV, IBU's, and price so you always know what's ON tap without even if you can't SEE the taps (it can happen depending on the crowd). Coupled with regularly occuring craft events feturing breweries from SoCal to Canada and you'll be hard pressed to find more "good" beer in one place anywhere in the world, period.

Food: No. And it's great bc you can bring/order anything you want from outside of the bar.

Value: $3 pours to hard to find bottles, they have what you want at a fair price. But bring your cash, because APEX is also famous for being cash only.

Bottom line- one of the BEST Bars on the planet. And believe me, I've seen many in my travels.

Photo of plutoxx
5/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Jesse McCann owns the King of all beer bars in Portland, OR ... Top Notch! This place is bicycle/motorcyle friendly with plenty of secure lock-up stations and has probably the best west coast beer selection ever! Not a place to go if your looking for food since they serve none, but cool vintage pinball machines and a bottle list thats quite impressive! Courtney our Bartender was awesome at her knowledge about the beers we ordered, the bathroom grafitti is even quite impressive... Please DO go when in Portland even with so many choices there!

Photo of KDawg
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Stopped in here on a thursday afternoon. The patio was nice and open, so that's where I decided to sit down.

The atmosphere is definitely hipster, but that's no big deal to me. The patio is nice and a good place to relax.

The selection was very deep. There were something like 40+ draft selections at the time and a whole bunch of bottles as well.

It would sometimes take a bit to get a beer from the bartender. It wasn't like it was slammed, but there would be a slight wait considering the amount of people there. Still, it wasn't that big of a deal in the end.

The only real downside to apex is that it's cash only. That does limit me on how many beers I can have there as I don't keep too much cash on me that often. Still, the selection is sick and it's one of portland's best bars.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

A: Walked across the street from BeerMongers and landed here. Inside Old Metallica, Motorhead and some Poison the Well loudly blared. Outside is rather quiet, peaceful patio with lots of outdoor seating. The place is a garagefront and the garage doors come up when the weather is nice. Upfront, inside is seating upfront with a long narrow area with bar extending the length of the establishment. Cash only.

Q: All beer here is top notch and I know these lines are clean. My Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux was simply amazing

S: Nothing to complain about. Forget trying to make small talk with servers lol.

S: Out of this world. Nice big list of rare, vintage bottles but be willing to pay the markup. Fifty Fifty Eclipse, FW14, Old 3l Samiclaus. The works. 50 handles of well chosen craft. Among the best draft lineup I have ever seen.

F: No food, oh an no growlers either

Photo of Rifugium
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Stopped in here briefly to examine the take out selection, and I'm kind of sorry I didn't have more time to explore the tap list as well. Basic layout, simple decor, kinda pleasantly grungy. There's a long bar with plenty of room, and ample table seating, including an outside area. There are even a few arcades / pinball machines in the foyer, which is always nice to see. Service was on the ball, knowledgeable and friendly, though it was very non-busy when we visited. There was really nothing to complain about as far as selection goes. With 50 beers on tap, there's bound to be something for everyone, including lots of good local stuff. The fridges contained a great bottled selection including lots of stuff we couldn't find anywhere else, including such venerable spots as Belmont Station and Beermongers (right across the street BTW). Prices were reasonable, though obviously for some of the higher end / rare bottles, you're going to be dropping some coin. But buying such beers is a personal choice, after all.

Photo of jpellett251
5/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Outside of my local favorites in Atlanta, this is my favorite beer bar in the country. Bartenders are cool and the owner was awesome. On my last week long trip to Portland my girlfriend and I went 4 times. A sampling of what we drank this time: Hair of the Dog Matt Batch I (Bottleworks X)!, Cascade Vlad the Impaler, Alesmith Speedway Stout, Boneyard Suge Night, Anchorage Love Buzz Saison, Anchorage Bitter Monk, and Anchorage Whiteout, Fantome Noel, and Pliny.

The selection on the 50 taps is always great (and update in real time on their website) and the bottle list has a fair number of rarities, prices are great, and the Mexican place next door has awesome burritos you can bring in.

Photo of cbarrett4
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

A welcome establishment for Portland. This is a great bar with tons of outdoor seating. The inside is rather cramped and it can get a bit crowded on weekends.

The bar accepts CASH ONLY, so remember to bring your dollars. They do have an ATM, but you get all those nasty fees....

Service is always great! The bartenders are nice and extremely knowledgeable. I confessed my appreciation of Vortex IPA and the bartender pulled me a pour of El Toro IIPA which I loved! Sometimes they get a little backed up when it's busy (most nights they have been).

I've scored some of these gems here (most on tap): Dogfish Head 120, Pliny the Elder (tap and bottle), Supplication, Beatification, Temptation, Consecration, Sanctification, Benediction, various Mikkellers, various limited release Stone ales, rare Bear Republic brews, and various limited release Dogfish Head brews. The bottle selection is also decent.

It's worth checking out, just be prepared to wait a few minutes for service if they're busy.

Photo of ramnuts
2.4/5  rDev -45%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 4

Been here a couple of times. Each and every experience was an utter disaster. Today was no exception. I arrived mid week at noon, only about five or six customers seated in the patio and nobody at the bar. Nobody. Not even an employee. I waited and waited. And waited. There was even some cash on the bar, suggesting that someone else had dropped their money there and had taken off before I arrived. I finally gave up and left. Just awful. Will never, ever return there. Incredible that they are still in business.

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Apex in Portland, OR
96 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.