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Apex

Not Rated.
ApexApex
BA SCORE
96
world-class

65 Ratings
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.78%
Taps: 50
Bottles: 200
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: 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:
11:30am - 2:30am

Always tons of bike parking.

(Place added by: msubulldog25 on 04-26-2010)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%

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

barleywinefiend, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

Rifugium, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of jpellett251
5/5  rDev +14.7%

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.

jpellett251, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of cbarrett4
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

cbarrett4, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of ramnuts
2.4/5  rDev -45%

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.

ramnuts, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Apex is a gem of a spot to have a beer. In Southeast, there are a bevy of options for where to spend a few bucks for a good pint, and Apex is a worthy contender for the top spot, among much more established places such as Horse Brass, Green Dragon, etc.

The taplist is long, easy-to-read, and with a nice variety of local vs national vs international selections. I do wish they had a bit more turnover, as I can return two weeks after my last visit and many of the taps will be the same. I can say comfortably, however, that many of there taps will blow and be replaced with more of the same, so beer freshness has yet to be an issue for me, especially during the summer.

Which brings me to my next point: I don't think there's a better place in Portland to sit outside on an afternoon or evening when the weather is nice. It's fantastic. The bench-style seating can be an issue at some places, but the crowd here is Portland through-and-through. I'm sure that's in no small part due to the absolutely abundant bike parking and eclectic and friendly waitstaff. I've been pleasantly surprised by how friendly everyone has been upon my visits, with many of the servers knowing what's up. Most can talk shop, and many of those most are knowledgeable enough about beer to actively discuss beer as a topic in general, not just what's on tap (a welcome reprieve from many local establishments who know little beyond their own beers).

There are a few bummers, however: when it's slow, and the weather keeps everyone inside (quite often in this city), it's a completely different beast. This place really thrives off of the environment when it's lovely out, and becomes all the more fun when its packed. It's also cash-only, which can be a real drag if you're not carrying an ATM card or any cash. Note that if you use the ATM and show the receipt to the bar, they'll offset a dollar of the costs of your beer(s). Nice gesture. Last little gripe can be that it is a little pricey for a pint, but nothing more than $0.50 to $1.00 over what I'd hope.

Apex is fantastic, and if the weather is nice, I don't think there's a place in Portland better for good beer, good service, and good people. Absolutely worth a stop by.

nomomentwasted, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of CapitalGains
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%

Oh Apex you are quite the enigma. Despite there being some very unorthodox things about your establishment I still manage to come over frequently and enjoy myself. Maybe that's because I live five blocks away, but I digress...on to the actual review.

I'm not a huge fan of the overall atmosphere but it seems to attract a sizable crowd. The music is often a bit too loud at night if you're trying to have a conversation. As many reviewers have pointed out there is one small TV that exclusively streams/plays either (a) a racing event involving a two-wheeled vehicular device or (b) something resemblant of Planet Earth. Not that I go to Apex to watch sporting events or anything in general but the whole TV situation strikes me as odd. Maybe some people like it, shrug. Fairly long bar area with maybe 6-7 indoor tables. Lots of benches for outdoor seating. Lots of room for bikes.

Quality and selection are remarkable. Approximately 40-45 taps on at any time (I've never counted all of them) and a secret tap. On a normal day there is always something on tap worth trying. There are bottles for purchase towards the end of the bar but I have never bothered to check them out since the tap-list is always stellar. On special anniversary nights or "invasion" nights the tap-list is unbelievable. Absolutely worth checking out if you know about it ahead-of-time. Some of the sours and Belgians seem to be a little steeply priced at times (relative to bottles) but the prices are still quite reasonable.

Service has been a mixed bag. I have had some very friendly and helpful bartenders at times while at other times not so much. Service has always been prompt but then again I've never been in there when it has been ridiculously packed. Recently it has improved...maybe that's because I'm in there fairly often.

The cash-only policy isn't that big of a deal but sometimes it's a thorn in my side. I usually don't carry a lot of cash on me so if I head over with some friends I either have to (a) eat the ATM fee or (b) ask them to pick up my tab. A minor inconvenience. I've also been carded at the door about 95% of the time even though the guy probably knows who I am by now. Maybe not. Could be a bummer in the event you forget your ID as they seem to card everyone, regardless. Unlike most good beer spots in Portland Apex does have two advantages: it's open until 2:30 AM and there is a lot of outdoor seating. So if it's late night or you have a desire to sit outside when drinking then, well, this is one of better places to visit. Considering it is right across the street from BeerMongers this combo is a powerful one-two punch if you're visiting SE Portland and definitely worth checking out.

CapitalGains, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of cavemanlawyer
4.58/5  rDev +5%

Apex is a serious beer bar. There are no major league sports on tv here, just cycling. They love cycling. Apparently if you ride up on your bike you get $1.00 off your first beer. Gotta love Portland!

Apex has the highest quality tap selection in Portland. This cannot be challenged. Though places like Green Dragon and Henry's may have MORE taps, the consistent quality and hard to find beers at Apex make it the winner.

No food is served, but you can bring in Mexican food from next door. For me, Mexican food and craft beer does not mix. It would be nice if they offered some basic meat and cheese to go along with the awesome beers.

Bottle wise, they have a nice little collection for sale but it can be pricey. That being said, if you really want that giant bottle of Chimay, Apex is the place.

They have a huge patio so when the weather is nice, ride your bike over and check it out.

cavemanlawyer, May 12, 2011
Photo of gkunkle
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%

Visited Apex with a buddy of mine on a wednesday night, so I am sure my impression of the atmosphere isn't perfect. there were a couple people down at the end of the bar, a group of 10 celebrating a birthday, a few smalll groups of 2 or 3 chatting and one lonely guy playing Pinball in the back corner. I am sure it would be more upbeat and happening on a friday evening. The beer they serve is great. I had a lagunitas little sumpin' sumpin' ale and my friend had some amber ale recommended to him by the bartender. The man tending bar the night we were there was a large bearded man who seemed to know his beer. It wasn't too busy, so the service was pretty good. Later on in the evening another guy showed up behind the bar so everybody was really well taken care of. Up on the wall there is a flat screen TV listing all of their beers on tap along with price and ABV. (this is also uploaded to their website so you can find out whats on tap before you go) They had about 30 beers on tap and I believe I saw a refrigerator of bottles down at the end of the bar but did not make any further investigation. Overall, this is a fun place, its a pretty basic bar, but they do beer and do it well.

gkunkle, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

Mixed feelings about this place.

Pros: Great beer selection at very reasonable prices. I found several regional beers that were fantastic, and there were good Belgian & German beers represented as well. The electronic board with the beer listing is a cool idea too. There's abundant seating too *when* the weather is nice.

Cons: Service was horrible. At one point the only bartender there went for a smoke, and nobody could order a beer. Seating is atrocious when it is raining, and they have an ASSININE barricade wall to make you walk all the way around to get the Mexican food next door. Really? No little gate? No lower wall there by the Mexican food door? Music was also obnoxious and loud, and I was sitting outside. I can't imagine the pain when it is raining hard and you have to be inside.

yemenmocha, Aug 08, 2010
Apex in Portland, OR
96 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.