Apex

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

44 Reviews
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

PLACE STATS
Score:
96
Reviews:
44
Ratings:
119
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
6.62%
 
 
Taps:
50
Bottles/Cans:
200
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 119
Reviews by CapitalGains:
Photo of CapitalGains
4.04/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 2,707 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of cd34
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of Btip1969
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of BYOFB
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Boston970
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of brewskifan55
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Another must in Portland. One of the best tap selections I've seen. I tried a Speedway Stout; how often can you find that on tap? Interior is nice and the bartender is fast and friendly. But the best part is the huge outside area; lots of tables and umbrellas. The Apex is a terrific place to chill and enjoy the Portland beer scene. Don't miss The Beer Mongers bottle shop just across the street.

 403 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

A must stop in Portland. Tap list on flat screens and easy to read. Great selection, friendly service, and clean. Nice interior. Big points for outdoor seating. An easy place to hang out and train your liver.

 209 characters

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of rjd722
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I was here in January so wasn't able to utilize the outdoors area, the inside was pretty small but it has a nice environment. Plenty of great beers to choose from on tap and a massive bottle selection. The bartender was very helpful and helped me choose between two DIPAs I had my eye on (ended up going with a Boneyard brew). My girlfriend and I played The Walking Dead pinball game until we ran out of quarters and dollar bills; they provided a coin machine as well, which was key. Looking forward to going back on my next trip to Portland, hopefully sometime when it's warm out!

 581 characters

Photo of Bwagner1122
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of mklisz
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of South2NW
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75

Photo of flexabull
4.38/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

I dug this place.

Kind of small inside, good spot outside though. It was January when I visited, so outside wasn't really an option though. Small game room when you enter which has some cool pinball machines. (a nice touch, but I could see times were more seating would be better) And then a nice open bar area and some coolers full of bottles.

Quality and selection is phenomenal. Nothing but dozens of excellent beers are poured here. I had Boneyard and Barley Brown, both were great.

Service was good. The girl who helped was pretty attentive and speedy considering the crowd inside.

I could see some people not digging the "edgy" sort of vibe this place kind of puts out. I certainly didn't care, This is now a must stop every time I am in Portland.

 757 characters

Photo of derftron
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Best selection in town usually. Constantly have great things on tap that nobody else has.

Cash only is just dumb. It really is. Its not "quirky" or "different" or "cool", its just a stupid inconvinience that has kept me away more than 10 times.

Service is usually good.

Bottle prices and some tap prices are WAAAAY too high.

 330 characters

Photo of BSiegs
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Phenomenal beer list, always changing and always great quality. We were there on a gorgeous day, so the picnic tables outside were perfect. The bartender was knowledgeable and helpful.

 184 characters

Photo of JamLand
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 1,018 characters

Photo of domdomdomdom
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Yeti1979
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of dwagner003
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Highbury09
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

 204 characters

Photo of LEDIII
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Place rocks. Such a sweet selection. They may have multiple taps from same brewery but its a great one. Eg Barley Brown's

121 characters

Photo of Barnoloid
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 250 characters

Photo of Dicers
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Stevedore
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

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