1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

The Coffee Grounds

Not Rated.
The Coffee GroundsThe Coffee Grounds
BA SCORE
96
world-class

47 Ratings
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: n/a
[ Store ]

4212 Southtowne Dr
Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 54701
United States
phone: (715) 834-1733

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-13-2005

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
to view more.
Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by Ek0nomik:
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%

The Coffee Grounds is a fantastic store if you're looking for a nice selection of different beers from around the country (decent selection of imports too). If you're looking for some microbreweries then this is the place to go if you're in Western Wisconsin. They aren't going to have Leinenkugels, Miller, Budweiser, etc. Instead they have some top notch microbrewery beer like Bells, Dogfish Head, Southern Tier, Lagunitas, etc.

Most of the selection is individual bottles, and not very many six packs. However, the six packs are competitively priced (at least the Bell's Hop Slam and New Glarus six packs are).

I'll be done with University soon so I won't be making to the Coffee Grounds much anymore, but when I'm back in town I'll definitely be visiting again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Schmitfaced414
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place is a real gem. I will be stopping back here if I am in Eau Claire or just passing through. The store includes all your coffee wants (hence the name) and much more. Great cheeses, sausage, soda (welcome to WI), and of course craft beer. There is a small bar with several tappers if you want to sit. The shelves had your local selections (NG, CW) along with regional distribution (TG, 3F, Founders). I was only in EC for two days, and I made two trips.

Photo of joe1510
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Updated Review: 9/30/13

The selection has expanded and includes a large selection of individually priced singles. The selection of northern Wisconsin breweries is great. Two tap handles have been added for growler fills. In-House Stout is always on and on my last trip they also had Toppling Goliath's Golden Nugget. The service is top notch.

Original review:11/4/07

3.95

really dig the atmosphere of Coffee Grounds. It's a beer/wine store and a coffeehouse/cafe. Cozy inside with a small seating area and a small selection of homebrew supplies. The quality of the bottles was a little lacking. I actually purchased two sixers that were past the best by date. I guess that's my fault for not checking but they shouldn't be on the shelf. Everything else was good.

The beer guy was asking me questions and giving me his opinion on recently recieved bottles. He seemed knowledgeable and was very helpful.

The selection was rather small but refined. Almost every brewery they stocked were all around quality. Picked up some Tyranena Brewers Gone Wild, a couple Dark Horse selections, and some others. The Belgian selection was good and the European selection was decent.

Good all around store with a very nice atmosphere. Good selection of coffees and wines as well. Well worth the stop if you're anywhere in the area.

Photo of emerge077
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Stopped in while passing through town, Coffee Grounds was our destination. Toppling Goliath PseudoSue on tap. Need I say more?

This is the top destination in Eau Claire to buy beer. Nearly everything they have is available in singles, and organized by style. Only a place dedicated to beer will do that, and you'd be surprised how few stores have that level of organization and dedication.

Lazy Monk growlers (at least 6), a dozen lambics, at least 50-60 varieties of each style (when available). Berliner Weisse, Gratzer, Gruit, Unblended Lambic, plenty of odd/obscure beers that you can't find anywhere else in town. High-end imports like Carnegie Porter, Italian saisons, Handbryggeriet, De Dolle, as well as limited seasonals like Founders IS and CW BB Barleywine. They even have an exclusive coffee stout brewed with their house coffee!

The staff at the counter were very helpful, even though they weren't beer experts. The beer guy here is a BA, which is a huge plus. They also checked the stockroom for more Tilquin 750s, but I guess we lucked out and got the last one. (Edit: Had a pricing issue on a single that was resolved later by their beer guy, Kyle. Exceptional customer service!)

They gave a short briefing on growler care and it's lifespan, which is more than I can say for most stores. (Edit: The PseudoSue growler I bought was faded. Boo. Make sure you sample the tap beer first! Not sure if due to low turnover or not running the line before a fill.)

They also have a coffee lounge that is a great place for a pit stop on a long roadtrip (clean restrooms too). Not much food, but a small cafe menu and a wide assortment of cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate. Recommended for a detour off the highway.

Photo of OriginalMnBeerGuy
1/5  rDev -77.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1

This is the worst beer place I've ever been to. They don't have any special releases on their shelves and in order to get one you need to be considered a "regular" by somebody on their staff. Also, the beer is crazily overpriced here. I'm really surprised that in a college town there would be a place like this that is trying to gouge prices since college kids are, and have always been, broke. Odd place with terrible service by a bunch of girls who know nothing about beer. Avoid this place.

Photo of JosephThompson
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

This is a place that should be a planned stop for anyone traveling on I-94. The building on outside doesn't show anything special. Inside is a well laid out and pretty large area where one side is dedicated to cafe and the other side to beer. Sounds strange but it works really well.

Three to four large, maybe six feet, racks hold bottles from all over the country and international. The Belgian section is pretty decent for a place this size but the real winner for me was the singles selection, both regionally and domestically.

Was able to stock up on some New Glarus treats without buying four packs of everything. Tons of Central Waters including their Y2K barleywine. You could also find the rest of Wisconsin like O'So, couple of the Milwaukee breweries, some smaller names I hadn't head or seen before.

Prices are good. You can grab a bite if needed. Cup of Joe. And, the place seemed well employed with some UW-Eau Claire co-eds. All in all, a stop well worth it.

Photo of sacrelicio
5/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Wow, this is one of the best stores I have ever been to. I heard about the store when Kyle (darklordlager) sent me a BM in response to a thread I posted about Central Waters BBBW. Not only did Kyle promise me some, but he also offered to sell me some from last year that he had sitting in the wine cellar plus some BORIS and Saison Rue. That was the beginning of the amazing service I experienced.

The place is a combination coffee shop/liquor store with a nice artsy, homey vibe. After ordering a 24 ounce coffee to drink while browsing (not often you see that size offered at a coffee shop) I took a look around the store. A very impressive selection to say the least. Highlights were LOTS of Central Waters, some Three Floyds, some Bruery 750s, tons of Bells Expedition Stout, Pannepot, Weihenstephaner Vitus and Korbinian (which I can't get in MN), plus tons more. Everything was well stocked, clean, well marked, organized by style, and laid out neatly. They seem to have a good wine and liquor selection too, but I didn't browse that too much. Service was great as I mentioned before, and I was able to chat a bit about beer with Kyle before I hit the road. A world class establishment, and I wish I lived closer.

Photo of AleWatcher
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

We stopped here on the way home from darkness day... All five of us thought it was one of the best stores we'd ever wandered into!

The exterior is, well let's face it, crap. We seriously thought we were pulling up to a total craphole, but we proceeded nonetheless...
Man was I impressed.

The employees were great-- very helpful. They checked the balk storage room like 3 times and found us a bunch of awesome beer we happily bought.

The free wifi and coffee bar was really nice, though we didn't order anything.

They did have 2 tap handles for what seemed to be a growler filling station, but we were too rushed to give it much notice.

The fine cheese selection was excellent, and the free samples of several varietals was a great touch. No cheese curds though, so that was a disappointment.

Photo of mahaffeymax
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I loved this place. I stopped in on my drive back from a camping trip just north of Eau Claire.

As far as bottle shops go, this is one of the nicest I've been to. Lots of high-end coffee paraphernalia and snacks... tables with WiFi... good selection of sodas as well as beer. You'd never guess it since the exterior of the building is so horrendous, but the ambience on the interior is really quite nice. I'd hang out there if I lived nearby.

Most all of their beers are available in singles - a fitting way to sell the Wisconsin locals. I left with about $75 worth of beers that I could never find in Chicagoland. Oskar Blues, Squatters, Rush River, Dave's Brewfarm, New Glarus, a bottle of 2010 Expedition stout, and some Dark Horse Perkulator (which - for whatever reason - I haven't been able to find here, despite DH distribution to my area)

The employee was immensely helpful in explaining his opinion on all of the WI stuff. He didn't BS me on which breweries were worthwhile and which ones were solid, though maybe not worth bringing back. Also, I really respected (and prefer) the style of customer service I was given. I was asked once if I needed help... when I said no they allowed me to browse at my own pace, until I approached that same employee and asked a question.

Overall, just a great place and I'll definitely go back to try some of their coffee and their In-House stout.

Photo of Duff27
4.5/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped here back in February on the way through headed up to Minnesota. Convenience to the interstate and other BAs write-ups are what helped me picked this place as opposed to somewhere else.

The thing that I loved the most were the singles available for sale. And not just ho-hum offerings that are available in six packs everywhere. No, they had rarer, hard to find stuff as well. Off the top of my head I was able to procure singles of CW Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout (which I had never seen before believe it or not), '09 GI BCS, Capital Square Series beers, and "retired" Tyranena Brewers Gone Wild Series beers.

The staff was very helpful, going into the back to hunt down more New Glarus six-packs for me. Also, bought an iced-coffee on the way out...looked like a nice place to get a coffee and a pastry of some sort.

Would recommend to anyonre passing through on the interstate to find some harder to find beers.

Photo of redbird
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Chose this stop here because of its convenient distance from I-94 and it did not disappoint. Not only is the craft beer selection excellent, but there are all sorts of other things to browse. My wife normally hates beer shopping with me, but really enjoyed this store.

Main reason for this stop was for the Wisconsin beers, and they had plenty. New Glarus, Central Waters, O'so, Capital, Tyranena, etc etc. Also I imagine every microbrew available in Wisconsin was covered here: Bruery, Three Floyds, Smuttynose, to name a few. Nice balance of beers available in the cooler or on the shelf. And the mix a six selection was great.

I imagine you can't do much better if traveling through Wisconsin and looking for a quick stop.

Photo of arboristfish
5/5  rDev +14.4%

When I moved to the area I wanted to find a homebrew shop and a really good beer store. When some of the locals told me about The Coffee Grounds I pretty much thought they were joking, considering the name. When I first walked in I was shocked to see the selection of beer. They dont carry and domestics which is great. They have a wide selection of craft and foreign beers. Most of the beer are sold by single bottles, which can make it a little expensive but if you are looking to try different beers and create your own six pack this is the place to go. There isnt a lot fridge space, so there are a lot of beers stored at room temperature. At first I was concerned about this and had asked if they ever had any quality issues. From what I have been told the guy that runs it keeps up to date on when the beers dates are up so there is always fresh beer presented. I havent asked about getting different beers, but im sure you could ask them to get something if they didnt carry it.

Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%

Yet another stop on our way over to Darkness Day. By far the best stop we made.

The name makes sense since it really is a Coffee House, but with an excellent beer selection next to it. The selection is really quite good with alot of Midwest breweries in attendance, but also by far the best import selection on our stops too. Always nice to see Cantillon and 3F and Fantome on the shelf and at good prices as well. My only minor complaint is the amount of sunlight coming in that almost/could shine on the imports shelf made me a little worried, but otherwise a topnotch place.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.15/5  rDev -5%

Another must stop on our way out west for DD. I had to stop here since the beer guy is a BA and a friend of mine.

The place has a total coffee house vibe going on. With one half being nothing but beer, wine and liquor.

The beer selection was top notch. Tons of domestic craft options. As well as a fantastic selection of imports. They had things I've rarely ever seen in Milwaukee. This was our kind of place. We joked you know it's a good beer store when you have to pace the isles for a half hour deciding on what to buy since there are so many you want.

The service was friendly and asked if we needed help. They offered to write our numbers down if we had any questions. Since the beer guy wasn't in yet. We declined since Kyle is the "beer guy". That made us laugh.

Prices and dates seemed reasonable.

Overall a great stop if you are in the area. I will stop from now on when I'm heading west.

Photo of blackie
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%

before attempting to navigate here, be sure you've got the right location, as there are apparently a few other hits for "Coffee Grounds" in the area

quick stop through for some refreshments and bier browsing enroute to Grand Marais

it's a clean, comfortable store with both a large range of beers as well as a selection of wines, liquors, and various gourmet items

sizable selection spread across both room temperature and refrigerated shelving, nice range of local Wisco items but nothing that can't be found in some of the better stores in Madison (my only point of reference in the state), the rest of the selection spans the styles, regions, and countries quite thoroughly, loads of singles, prices reasonable

the staff were friendly and help was offered but unnecessary

muffin was good and the coffee just fine but pretty average

Photo of dirtylou
4.15/5  rDev -5%

stopped in at the Coffee Grounds on a drive northwards from Madison due to the BA hype

industrial location, pretty conveniently located to highway travel. The interior is very open and expansive with the beer concentrated in areas upon entrance.

There was a good selection of WI micros, including some one-off's that have been sitting on the shelves for quite some time. There were a few things around that I haven't seen in Madison including some of the more high-end bruery releases (mischief, coton).

There's a nice selection of singles and some well-chosen belgian releases to be found as well.

I'm not sure how to score this one - it doesn't approach the selection that you'll find in Madison or Minneapolis, but this is Eau Claire afterall. This is probably the best stop in a significant distance but a stop isnt really warranted for those who live in Madison or Milwaukee.

Baked goods selection was sparse and the coffee was pretty average i thought.

Photo of pettis
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%

[Highway 93 Flagship Store]

Very well-run store with a great selection of Wisconsin beers, especially from the north-central region of the state (Central Waters, Sand Creek, Rush River, Viking) and of course New Glarus. Sadly, no Lake Louie or Ale Asylum. They also have a number of beers not distributed in Illinois, such as Oskar Blues, Weyerbacher, and Smuttynose.

Six- and four-pack prices are reasonably average ($8-$11 for most sixers and $10-$15 for premium four-packs), while all beers are also offered for sale as singles with a $0.40 to $0.60 mark-up per bottle. For out-of-state travelers like myself this premium is well worth it, allowing you to sample dozens of harder-to-find beers without having to buy several cases. (Of course, if you have the money and trunk space, go for it!)

The coffee was also excellent, which I enjoyed in the in-store cafe. The lunch fare, while extremely tasty, came in rather small portions for the price. Service in the cafe and in the beer section was excellent.

Overall, this is a great store just a few minutes from I-94. I highly recommend it to fellow BAs traveling this stretch of interstate between Minneapolis and Chicago.

Photo of crossovert
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

This is definitely a great store. About a quarter of the store is beer and a quarter of that is in coolers. They also have a tap which currently had something form surly (unfortunately i noticed the Belgian section after I already had paid and was leaving.

They have a couple of shelves tightly packed with various micro brews and imports. The only macro I saw was Grain Belt. It has a lot of limited beers that are old but still available.

This is a quality stop in Eau Claire I didn't check any o the other liquor stores out but this one probably had everything you can get out there.

Photo of aleias
5/5  rDev +14.4%

I have traveled extensively in Wisconsin visiting the local beer stores in whatever town I happen to be in. This is one of the top beer stores in the entire state. I am not sure what to rave about first the excellent selection of beers or the fabulous service. The beer manager has a real passion for beer as well as customer service and obviously knows his beer better then any other store owner I have come across. Anyone who loves beer and is traveling through the Eau Claire area must stop here and stock up. I am frequently traveling between Milwaukee and Minneapolis and have made it a habit to stop at The Coffee Grounds and have consistently found the service and selection to be second to none. The excellent quality of the service is not just confined to the beer manager the other people at the store are also very friendly and helpful. They always seem to be doing a good business which is great since this store is a real gem that I hope to be able to visit frequently.

Photo of jyambert
5/5  rDev +14.4%

My husband and I stopped by on 8/10/09 our way out of town to vacation at a lake house in Shell Lake. The bartender at BW3s recommended the place.

AWESOME. The service was helpful and knowledgeable. The salesperson described their selection as the beers you won't see at the regular carry-outs. Hence, no Leinenkugle, etc...

We purchased several 6s based on the suggestions of the salesperson, as well as local cheese, some mixed olives.
In addition to the beer selection, there was also wine, liquor, gourmet grocery, coffee shop, and kitchenwares. Oh and free WIFI.

If only there was someplace like this at home in Ohio.

Photo of roadhouse
4.5/5  rDev +3%

I stopped at this place with spointon on our way to the Twin Cities. The place was really cool overall, it sold cigars, coffee, and cheese as well as beer. Kind of a modern looking place, I really appreciated the lighting in the store, which wasn't those glaringly white fluorescents that most places have. Makes it much more conducive to browsing for long periods. As for the beer selection, well I have never seen so many single bottles for sale in my life. They had at least 6 tall shelves full of single bottles, all for a reasonable price. There was also several coolers full of bombers. I ended up with two mixed six packs of mostly locals and it only cost me around $22. The service was very helpful and actually seemed to have knowledge of the product. He recommended several beers that I try and described them. A very nice place indeed, highly recommend it.

Photo of spointon
4.5/5  rDev +3%

I visited this place on 5/11/2009 (with BA roadhouse on a beer trip).

This place was pretty easy to get to off of the highway and parking seemed plentiful enough. The theme of this store is way cool - great beer, gourmet coffee, fine cigars, wine, cheese, etc. Its like all of the best vices under one roof!

The beer selection was outstanding, especially the single bottle offerings (which was most of the warm beer). There were also 8 or so cooler doors offering cold six packs, bombers, and 750s. In the warm singles I was able to find many rare beers and unique stuff. I scored 4 Belgian ales I have never even heard of, 2 different braggots, a KBS, and several other tasty treats. The only downside to all this selection was that the prices were medium to high on most things.

Service was friendly and knowledgable. The guy working the beer area asked us several times if we needed help and he actually knew good beer and made several nice suggestions.

All in all a great store that I wish I had near my house. Even though the prices were a little steep, the selection and the obvious care they give their beer is a winner for me.

Photo of solargoat
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%

After finally finding the place after three tries, my wife and I were very pleased with what we found. And we will be going back, for sure.

Service was sub-par, as in I was not looking for help, but know one aproached me either. It seem like that is always the case for me though probably because I look underage.

Great selection of single bottles, and bombers best in Eau Claire by far. Saw a couple things I have never seen before, O'So, and four packs of limited Sprechers.

I would not go for the homebrew supplies that part was pretty weak. But I'll be back for more.

Photo of SykDoc
4.5/5  rDev +3%

This is a very unique place. The have an excellent assortment of beers to be purchased as singles or 6 packs. The beers are wide in variety. The have the usual Wisconsin suspects including Capital, New Glarus, Tyranena, as well as some of the Michigan favorites including Bells, Founders, and Dark Horse. Many of the beers are in refrigerated coolers or on shelves at store temperature. She will also find an odd mixing of imported beers. I was most recently impressed by the service. They certainly know their beers and when I was discussing a harder to find beer, they took my information and called me the next day regarding whether they could get it or not. The pricing is reasonable given the caliber of beers that they were selling.

This is interesting store. YOu can go there and have a nice cup of coffee and a good sandwich for lunch. The also have a small Italian good section, a small wine section, a small tea section, and a small cigar humidor. Each of these is stocked with a few quality products. They also have occasional beer tastings and such. It is important to keep a close eye on what you're buying from the beers as the aging could be an issue. Overall, this is a great place.

Photo of Greggy
4.5/5  rDev +3%

I was pretty impressed that I was located exactly 30 minutes from an impressive store. Menomonie doesn't have much for beer so this was a good boost to my beer moral. When you first walk into this place you smell delicious coffee. Luckily that smell kind of soaks into any beer you buy so you can take a bit of that smell home with you. Doug, the beer manager, I would assume, greeted us and was very helpful during our visit. He seems to have a real passion for beer and said that he's bringing in another 70 something beers soon. I was pretty impressed with the singled selection and ended up getting 12 singles and a bomber. My highlights were Founders, Rarer Stones, and some other nice singles. Good stuff is to be had here. Prices seemed to be affordable ranging from $1.49-$8.99 (WorldwideStout). I'll definitely be back here again as it seems to be the best in the Eau Claire area.

to view more.
The Coffee Grounds in Eau Claire, WI
96 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.