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Apex

Not Rated.
ApexApex
BA SCORE
96
world-class

73 Ratings
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 10.57%
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: 73 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rikatine
3.23/5  rDev -25.7%
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 -26.7%
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 +10.3%
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%
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 -7.8%
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 +14.9%
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 +14.9%
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 +2.1%
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 -1.4%
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 -3.2%
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 +14.9%
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 +1.4%
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 -44.8%
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.

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of CapitalGains
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of cavemanlawyer
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 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.

Photo of gkunkle
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.96/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of John_M
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5

Have visited Apex many times since they opened back in the Summer of 2010, but will not be returning any more. IMHO, customer service here has deteriorated to the point I really feel as if I need to re-write my original review, something I've never done before.

I think Apex has roughly 40 beers or so on tap and the selection here is generally first rate, running the gamut from Belgian lambics and tripels, to NW IPA's and saisons. Over the years I've enjoyed things like Upright 7, Trip III, Dreadnaught from 3 Floyds, Boneyard notorioiuis and nefarious, and many, many other great beers. If you can overlook some of the weird pricing and service hiccups at Apex, there's no doubt this is the place to come for a great selection of beer.

I noted in my original review that there was just something a bit unfriendly about the Apex, but that the beer selection was so good, I was willing to overlook it. That was back in 5/11. However, it's reached the point now that I'm just not willing to overlook that aspect of the Apex experience.

As others have noted, this place does not take credit cards, and so they accept cash only. That's certainly the owner's prerogative, but it's unusual in Portland, and I just think they need to do a better job making customers aware of the fact. As near as I can tell, there is just the one sign (cash only) behind the bar, and it's not all that obvious. On a number of occasions I've see customers surprised by the cash only policy after ordering a round of drinks. It's an annoying discovery to make, regardless of the nearby ATM machine (In fairness to Apex, they're aware of the ATM service charge, and they deduct that charge from the first round of drinks). I would also add that although the bar area has a couple of good size TV's, the house policy is that they only show non mainstream sport shows. So that means you can watch biking events, mountain climbing and the like, but don't ask the staff to put on a popular baseball, football or basketball game. Again, obviously the owner here can do whatever he wants, but for the life of me I can't figure the point or purpose behind this policy. People hanging out and drinking good beer while watching a baseball game is a bad thing? Another weird, one time policy of Apex, was that they wouldn't list PtE or Blind Pig on their on-line draft list whenever they had it on draft. When I asked the bartender about that policy, his comment was that everyone would just come in and drink it if they listed it online. I gather it finally dawned on the owner that maybe that wasn't such a smart policy to have, so he's now come up with a much better way to make sure customers don't drink up all the PtE whenever they have it on tap (as I'll commnet on in a moment).

In the past, I used to defend Apex's various idiosyncracies (even if I didn't agree with them), because at least their prices were reasonable, and they had a great selection and were always friendly and accommodating to customers there. The selection is as great as ever, but that's the only thing that hasn't changed at Apex.

Over the years, Apex's prices have slowly crept up, and they're now pretty much commensurate with the PDX norm... with a few exceptions. The brilliant idea the owner has come up with to slow down sales of PtE is to price it higher than any other bar in town (at least that I know of). Prices for PtE are $8 a pint, which is easily the highest price I've seen in PDX. When I asked the bartender about the pricing, she said that as they're the only ones who have it in town, the price was justified. That response was such utter BS (I can easily name a half dozen other places where one can find PtE on a regular basis), I was just stunned. Bottle prices here also tend to be very, very high (half bottles of Cantillon for $70 anyone?), and while the selection is outstanding, I've never bought a bottle of anything here (as soon as I hear the price, I suddenly lose all interest in the beer I asked about).

All that aside, the beer selection is very good, and some of the folks working at Apex are great. So I'd chalk up most of the problems at Apex to the owner. In any event, the final straw for me occurred a couple weeks back. I'd ordered a pint of Boneyard RPM, when I noticed that they had the Elysian SuperFuzz on tap. A buddy of mine back East had told me he really liked it, and wanted to know what I thought about it. Having never tried it and having no knowledge of it, I asked if I could try a small sample of the beer, before committing to a pint. In the past the bartenders had always been completely cool about allowing me (and other customers) to try a couple of different new beers, but this time the young lady behind the bar told me she would allow it this time, but their new policy was to not allow free samples, no matter how small, and that she would have to charge me a $1 a taste for anything I wanted to try in the future

I'm done with this place.

Photo of aevarela
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of squaremile
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of jdense
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of djbreezy
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
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 73 ratings.