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The Coffee Grounds

Not Rated.
The Coffee GroundsThe Coffee Grounds

46 Ratings
Ratings: 46
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 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-13-2005

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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by emerge077:
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

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 kenzilka007
3/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of jarrgal
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of egrace84
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of ZippyF1
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of cervezango
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of gmtisme99
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of BigSlick
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of JJWIGHT
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of majorbase2
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of mattmarka1
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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


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 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

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The Coffee Grounds in Eau Claire, WI
96 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.