The Coffee Grounds
Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 34 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by nflmvp:
4.3/5 rDev -2.3%
quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped into the Coffee Grounds on 4/13 AND 4/14/06. I was pleasantly surprised because there really isn't much selection in Eau Claire....but this is the place to stop if you're in the area.
A nice selection of micros and craft beers. Belgian beers are well represented, as are local and regional beers..., Two Brothers, Flying Dog, Founders, Sand Creek/Pioneer, etc. Many imports line their shelves as well. While I was there, I "Stole" the remainder of their Three Floyd's Dreadnaught which (UNBELIEVEABLY) was on their 50% clearance rack.
On top of the beer selection (Not a single BMC product, btw) they've got a walk in humidor and a nice wine selection and as you can imagine by the name, it's also a coffee bar with some snacky type foods. I was there long enough to suck down 2 - 16 ounce vanilla latte's so you can imagine I was content to browse.
I spent some time talking with the owner and another "beer guy" and was very pleased to find that they were both very knowledgeable.
Whether you're just passing through, or if you are from West Central Wisconsin, you need to stop by this place.
Many of the beers I saw can be had for less in other places but most of these beers don't seem to be available anywhere else in Eau Claire. However, I paid $10 for a sixer of Capital Blonde Dopplebock, only to find it at a local grocery store for $8.29.
Other beers were right in line for the prices I've seen at some of the most competitive places around so all in all, I have to rate them as reasonable.
I'd love to be able to give this place an even better review. In terms of Eau Claire, they are a "5". However, in terms of the OVERALL scheme of things, they have a short way to go. If more and more of you craft beer lovers frequent them, they'll be able to achieve a "5" in no time. Considering what they've been able to achieve in the five short years that they've been in business, I think the sky is the limit.
Oh, and did I mention that they have their own
In House" Stout? It's brewed by Sand Creek/Pioneer. I didn't get a chance to try it but I intend to and I'll review it when I can.
"Cerevisia Supra Omnia"
04-15-2006 01:39:04 | More by nflmvp
More User Reviews:
4.46/5 rDev +1.4%
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.
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.
09-30-2013 12:54:37 | More by joe1510
4.44/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25 | $$
Stopped in while passing through town, Coffee Grounds was our destination. Toppling Goliath PseudoSue on tap. Need I say more?
This is the top destination in Eau Claire to buy beer. Nearly everything they have is available in singles, and organized by style. Only a place dedicated to beer will do that, and you'd be surprised how few stores have that level of organization and dedication.
Lazy Monk growlers (at least 6), a dozen lambics, at least 50-60 varieties of each style (when available). Berliner Weisse, Gratzer, Gruit, Unblended Lambic, plenty of odd/obscure beers that you can't find anywhere else in town. High-end imports like Carnegie Porter, Italian saisons, Handbryggeriet, De Dolle, as well as limited seasonals like Founders IS and CW BB Barleywine. They even have an exclusive coffee stout brewed with their house coffee!
The staff at the counter were very helpful, even though they weren't beer experts. The beer guy here is a BA, which is a huge plus. They also checked the stockroom for more Tilquin 750s, but I guess we lucked out and got the last one. (Edit: Had a pricing issue on a single that was resolved later by their beer guy, Kyle. Exceptional customer service!)
They gave a short briefing on growler care and it's lifespan, which is more than I can say for most stores. (Edit: The PseudoSue growler I bought was faded. Boo. Make sure you sample the tap beer first! Not sure if due to low turnover or not running the line before a fill.)
They also have a coffee lounge that is a great place for a pit stop on a long roadtrip (clean restrooms too). Not much food, but a small cafe menu and a wide assortment of cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate. Recommended for a detour off the highway.
05-20-2013 15:29:09 | More by emerge077
1/5 rDev -77.3%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | $$$$
This is the worst beer place I've ever been to. They don't have any special releases on their shelves and in order to get one you need to be considered a "regular" by somebody on their staff. Also, the beer is crazily overpriced here. I'm really surprised that in a college town there would be a place like this that is trying to gouge prices since college kids are, and have always been, broke. Odd place with terrible service by a bunch of girls who know nothing about beer. Avoid this place.
10-16-2012 22:59:41 | More by OriginalMnBeerGuy
4.09/5 rDev -7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
09-09-2012 15:36:01 | More by JosephThompson
5/5 rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Wow, this is one of the best stores I have ever been to. I heard about the store when Kyle (darklordlager) sent me a BM in response to a thread I posted about Central Waters BBBW. Not only did Kyle promise me some, but he also offered to sell me some from last year that he had sitting in the wine cellar plus some BORIS and Saison Rue. That was the beginning of the amazing service I experienced.
The place is a combination coffee shop/liquor store with a nice artsy, homey vibe. After ordering a 24 ounce coffee to drink while browsing (not often you see that size offered at a coffee shop) I took a look around the store. A very impressive selection to say the least. Highlights were LOTS of Central Waters, some Three Floyds, some Bruery 750s, tons of Bells Expedition Stout, Pannepot, Weihenstephaner Vitus and Korbinian (which I can't get in MN), plus tons more. Everything was well stocked, clean, well marked, organized by style, and laid out neatly. They seem to have a good wine and liquor selection too, but I didn't browse that too much. Service was great as I mentioned before, and I was able to chat a bit about beer with Kyle before I hit the road. A world class establishment, and I wish I lived closer.
02-17-2012 06:45:13 | More by sacrelicio
4.8/5 rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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.
11-03-2011 02:20:51 | More by AleWatcher
4.7/5 rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I loved this place. I stopped in on my drive back from a camping trip just north of Eau Claire.
As far as bottle shops go, this is one of the nicest I've been to. Lots of high-end coffee paraphernalia and snacks... tables with WiFi... good selection of sodas as well as beer. You'd never guess it since the exterior of the building is so horrendous, but the ambience on the interior is really quite nice. I'd hang out there if I lived nearby.
Most all of their beers are available in singles - a fitting way to sell the Wisconsin locals. I left with about $75 worth of beers that I could never find in Chicagoland. Oskar Blues, Squatters, Rush River, Dave's Brewfarm, New Glarus, a bottle of 2010 Expedition stout, and some Dark Horse Perkulator (which - for whatever reason - I haven't been able to find here, despite DH distribution to my area)
The employee was immensely helpful in explaining his opinion on all of the WI stuff. He didn't BS me on which breweries were worthwhile and which ones were solid, though maybe not worth bringing back. Also, I really respected (and prefer) the style of customer service I was given. I was asked once if I needed help... when I said no they allowed me to browse at my own pace, until I approached that same employee and asked a question.
Overall, just a great place and I'll definitely go back to try some of their coffee and their In-House stout.
07-21-2011 12:42:53 | More by mahaffeymax
4.5/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
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.
06-24-2011 02:23:25 | More by Duff27
The Coffee Grounds in Eau Claire, WI
96 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.