Not Rated.

38 Reviews
Reviews: 38
Visits: 105
Avg: 4.34
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

Place added by: msubulldog25 on 04-26-2010

11:30am - 2:30am

Always tons of bike parking.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Visits: 105
Photo of BaroomHero
5/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of jpellett251
5/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of plutoxx
5/5  rDev +15.2%
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!

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Photo of AnIslandOfGeese
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of Fluffheady
4.82/5  rDev +11.1%
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!)

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Photo of Fish
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Might be the best beer bar I have ever visited. The selection is outstanding - I got to try some of my top 'wants' here including Pliny the Elder. Strong bottle selection and pinball games along with chilled out servers. A must visit in the PDX area.

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Photo of blastoderm55
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of JamLand
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

I visited Apex recently on a vacation through the Pacific Northwest.

V: Great vibe with tons of outdoor seating, several high tops on the inside and a long bar with seating, as well. It also had some classic pinball machines by the door which we kept ourselves entertained with during our visit.

Ser: This was the biggest knock on Apex for me. After purchasing a few bottles and hanging out with about fours beers I asked for a taster of particular style of beer I do not usually like, but the brewery who made it had impressed me so much on my trip I wanted to try it any way. After squirreling up her face, she did give me a taster, but definitely let me know she was put out by it.

Sel: Apex had probably the best tap list during my visit. They offered a great bottle selection with a lot of limited releases, but you definitely paid for it. It was probably the most expensive "bottle shop" during our visit to Portland.

Overall, a great spot I would highly recommend someone visit during any trip to Portland.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

This place is absolutely amazing and is a MUST visit if you are in PDX.

Cool vibe inside, lots of seating outside too. Tap list was great and the bottle list was even better. Service was also great.

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Photo of aevarela
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of cavemanlawyer
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Probably the best selection of beers you can find under one roof in Portland. A rotating selection of just about everything with an extensive (albeit pricey) list of bottles.

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Photo of brewtalthrone
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
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 :( And oh, by the way, the BEST restroom graffiti you will EVER see. No, I'm not kidding !

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Photo of SportsProphet
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of nomomentwasted
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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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Photo of KDawg
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of Rutager
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Probably my all time favorite bar. Service is often great, but sometimes terrible depending on who's working. Taps and bottle list are consistently amazing.

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Photo of Jason
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Really great looking beer bar, love the video boards that kept the selection very up-to-date. Staff knew how to handle a crowd and were all very helpful. Pretty killer selection, good prices and simply a great place to throwndown.

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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.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
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

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Photo of jera1350
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
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".

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Apex in Portland, OR
95 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.