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Apex

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
96
world-class

44 Reviews
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
96
Reviews:
44
Ratings:
116
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
6.86%
 
 
Taps:
50
Bottles/Cans:
200
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
ApexApex
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar

1216 SE Division St
Portland, Oregon, 97202-1017
United States

(503) 273-9227 | map
www.apexbar.com

Notes:
11:30am - 2:30am

Always tons of bike parking.

Added by msubulldog25 on 04-26-2010

View: Place Ratings | Events
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 116
Photo of aevarela
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This is a place that's strictly about beer. No food, no wine, no cocktails, and simple decor so don't bother trying to drag your wife to this place (unless she's a beer geek too).

The tap count is up to 42 and, from the sounds of the first couple of reviews, significantly improved. Kwak (in Kwak glass), Triple Karmaliet, Urthel Saison, Damnation, Aventinus, Racer X, Molten Lava (Double Mtn's dbl IPA), Workhorse, Upright 7 and Upright Pils, and many, many more. Not too many slouches on the list either. Frankly, Horse Brass' selection bores me in comparison (other than the 7 or 8 rotators and special events). I didn't find the prices outrageous either. In fact, I found the Belgian prices typical of this area (I had just paid $9 for a 12 oz pour of Cuvee de Jacobin at the supposedly affordable Beermongers across the street). Belgian kegs are so hard to come by in this town that those prices are a reality for us in PDX. By the way, Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle is no bargain either when it comes to Belgians.

My concern with this place is that its tiny inside. Come this fall when the rains settle in, the huge picnic table area is gonna be useless unless they set up some heated tents.

 1,197 characters

Photo of squaremile
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I am hoping just one of these times that a place in Portland can deliver these qualities in one experience

1) Awesome taplist
2) Outdoor seating
3) Place to watch sports

Apex is the newest place for this and 1-2 are taken care of, I have yet to try for #3 but I'm pessimistic despite the TV. Apex is situated at a relatively busy intersection in SE PDX that is really transforming into a destination. The patio out front leaves some atmosphere to be desired but it's still a good time (unless it is really hot). The service was OK, the taplist was awesome, I liked how accurate the board was to their website. The place is a tad awkward for some reason I can't put my finger on yet, but maybe that will clear up. Also too expensive for the Belgians. Overall I enjoyed both experiences there and will be returning.

 815 characters

Photo of jdense
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Multiple visits weekend of 5.7-5.9.2010.

Located on one of Beervana's top pubcrawl routes, SE Division, kitty-corner from Beer Mongers, Apex is Portland's attempt to replicate the Toronado. While that is a lofty goal indeed, Apex does succeed on several fronts but needs work on others.

Apex is one of the more bike friendly beer establishments in town ala the Green Dragon and HUB. A number of bike racks and a lack of parking make traveling by bike to this beer oasis the preferred method of transportation. The parking lot has been converted to a beer garden with approximately 15 picnic tables arranged Munich beer hall style, communal seating to promote cross-group chatter. Umbrellas will help temper the hot temperature arising from the asphalt former parking lot. The inside of the converted garage features an approximately 20 seat bar, with a few tables under cover for the proverbial PDX foul weather. A small side room features four vintage pinball machines with small side tables for placing your brew while playing. Cash only and no table service, but an ATM is on-site with a two dollar discount on your first purchase if you have to use the machine.

The beer list of approximately 30 taps is shown on a video monitor, certainly more high tech than the Toronado's mesmerizing beer list. The beers are listed alphabetically, so it takes a bit of time to work through the list. The cost of most of the locally brewed beers are quite reasonable, but IMO the Belgians are fairly highly priced $7-8 for 10-12 oz pours. The quality of the taplist is above average and constantly changing. Not a lot of nuggets re very little Russian River (I did see Consecration, though) no Hair of the Dog (!), but overall an above average list.

The barstaff features some of Beervana's top barkeeps, whose seamless service keeps thing moving. The publician is a quite friendly chap, who on grand opening day found himself besieged by brewers, brewery reps and friends giving best wishes, so he couldn't finish his burrito from next store. Note no on-site food, but you can bring in your grub ala Toronado (though the HUGE burritos from Los Gorditos are no Rosamunde sausages).

I like the concept, but would offer the following observations. Apex is a bit too 'clean' to be compared to the Toronado, while I understand the fresh coat of paint, maybe patrons should be allowed to place their stickers on the wall (:. The taplist could use an upgrade, which I suspect will happen overtime, given the short turnaround from OLCC approval to opening there wasn't much time to procure hard to get brews. On that note, establishing a relationship with hard to get brews would certainly help, re some of the harder to get WA and CA brews (good luck getting a keg of Moonlight Death and Taxes, the backbone of the Toronado taplist) would be a step in the right direction, along with the development of a house beer brewed by one on PDX world-class brewers. While the taplist is pretty good, it's not quite of the quality of the Horse Brass, IMHO.

In summation, though, while I am quite sure this place is going to be very successful, let's be honest-there is only one Toronado (SD doesn't quite count) and to be the first Apex-a bike friendly gathering spot with a top quality beer list-may be a lofty enough goal. Most certainly worth a try, and an essential stop for those doing the Division Street (Victory, Avignon, Hedge House, Beer Mongers, etc) beer crawl.

 3,456 characters

Photo of djbreezy
4.5/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

After a recommendation from a friend I decided to head out to this place and give the venue a shot. The tap list looked decent.

The outside of the bar has a huge patio area that is non smoking (thank goodness) with tons of picnic tables and umbrellas. It was a nice sunny day. This will be even cooler as the weather warms up.

The interior is amazing. There is a pinball room with 4 tables and some mirrors on the ceiling which add dimension to the room.

The main room has a unique bar with a clean feel and lots of taps. There is a taplist displayed via a webpage which can be accessed on their site. Big pluses for this as I am a web developer and am shocked that so many places do not take such a practical approach to displaying their taps.

The bartender (owner) was down to earth as hell. Super nice guy, super enthusiastic. Just happy to be there. It was a really nice vibe.

There was some underground hip hop and heavy bass reggae playing on the speakers and it lent itself to a great vibe. The bartender was telling me about the metal show he hit at Dante's the night before. Hell yeah!

If i had one complaint, it would be the prices. $8.50 for a belgian? Bailey's would dare dream of that. This place has insane markup. Like unethically large...especially considering that the cheapest bottle store in town, Beermongers, is across the street.

Overall a great experience but the price leaves me on the fence about an otherwise great location.

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Apex in Portland, OR
96 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.