La Cave à Bulles
Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
4.7/5 rDev +0.4%
It was an overcast drizzly morning on our last day in Paris. My wife, Kathy and niece, Jennifer and I decided it would be a good time for gift shopping and to visit a museum or two. I figured, might as well attempt to find a beer seller on BA near to where we planned to venture out. And lo and behold! La Cave a Bulles is right next to The Center Pompidou! Plus, it's achieved a 100 rating!
We trudge off into the drizzle towards La Cave.
45 rue Quincampoix is easy to miss. It rests on a small alley-like street, amongst similarly-styled, well-worn store fronts. Some beer bottle-type signage might help the casual beer buyer. Folks like us (on a mission from Ninkasi or Ceres (choose your own Beer God) will find this Beer Mecca come hell or high water!
Upon stepping inside,I'm a bit dumbstruck because; 1. All the shelves and rows of different, foreign beers to choose from are, well, FOREIGN 2. I don't speak French very well. 3. I'm somewhat dyslexic 4. So many beers, so few arms to carry them. What's a soul to do?
We are met by Brandon, an Expat living in Germany but visiting and assisting for the day.
Once Kathy and Jennifer are assured I won't need to rely upon my own version of the French language, they depart for the Centre Pomidou. I am in my own little museum at the moment.
There are 3 separate sections, broken into regions dedicated exclusively to French beer. These are all craft beers! (Artisanale Biere!) Off to the right, they've got quite the collection of Belgian beers. To the left, a nice assortment of beers from the US, Italy and elsewhere.
The beers are simply priced. As of Mar. 25, 2014, € 3,85 for most of the bottles, all different styles with just a few exceptions. Brandon helped me choose ten French beers and bubble-wrapped each bottle and boxed them, complete with carrying handle!
The owner Simon Thillou welcomes beer trades with all of his visitors. Before you go carrying beer gifts from afar, you might want to contact him directly to see what he's interested in trying.
This place should be on all travel guides to Paris! It's that good!
03-29-2014 18:06:19 | More by BeerResearcher
4.93/5 rDev +5.3%
A must visit when your in Paris if your into your bottled beers, they have around 250+ beers with a great selection from Paris and France itself, plus a good Belgium selection as well as Norwegian, Swiss, Dutch, Danish, Italian...
The staff are very helpfull and informative, and will wrap your selections for flying.
Needless to say I'll be returning to this fantastic shop!
02-15-2014 16:52:50 | More by Jerseyislandbeer
4.88/5 rDev +4.3%
I just happened upon this place by chance since the AirBNB we were staying at was right down the street. We were literally on our way back to the apartment to look up a beer shop to go to.
The first thing that struck me was the selection of American beers. Well-curated, well displayed and the prices seemed quite fair. Next thing that struck me was the impressive Belgian selection, including Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen in quantities that would make any American drool (like the other American in the shop at the time, who was buying as much as he could carry). Since I had just come from Belgium, I was all set on sours. When in France, drink French beer, I would think.
They have an extensive selection of French beers with a smattering of craft Italian as well. Well-laid out, with plenty of glassware as well. Prices throughout the store are set for 330ml bottles, 500ml bottles and 750ml bottles, with limited release bottles priced individually. I picked out a handful of beers and brought them to the counter. The gentleman working asked if I knew what I was picking out which for the most part I did. We talked about my selections and then he made a few suggestions to fill the holes so I could get a true snapshot of French craft beer. Then he asked if I'd be flying with the beers (I would) and if I would like them wrapped in bubble wrap (I did) free of charge!
Really a top notch beer shop with a passionate proprietor and incredible service. A must-go stop for any beer enthusiast in Paris.
01-05-2014 23:07:43 | More by myspoonistoobig
4.58/5 rDev -2.1%
I stopped by Cave a Bulles after arranging a trade with Brandon, an American currently employed there.
Atmosphere fits right in with the area of Paris. It's a nice, small shop with wood floors. A really cool tasting was put together while I was there, where people sat down at a table in the middle of the shop and sampled French Craft Beer. Although the tasting was conducted in French and seemed to be locals only, it appeared to be going quite well.
Service is outstanding. Simon and Brandon are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. My metro stop actually closed while I was buys there shopping. After discovering this, I returned to the shop, and not only did they let me borrow the phone to contact my tour group, Brandon helped me figure out the best way to use the Metro to get where I was going.
Selection is as good is it can be considering the size of the shop. Tons of French Craft that I had no idea about and was glad to pick up a sampling. They still had a few Westy XII bricks left, so I grabbed one. Someone had recently pillaged their Cantillon inventory, so they usually have more than what I saw.
I highly recommend stopping here while in Paris. Great people and great beer.
06-28-2013 18:52:13 | More by videofrog
4.86/5 rDev +3.8%
Good selection of French and other European beers. Limited selection but very good quality US beers. Very knowledgeable owner and very helpful. He is happy to talk to you about beers and offers great recommendation. Will definitely go back there again!!
06-25-2013 18:29:39 | More by ystazi
4.31/5 rDev -7.9%
Hunted this down on a visit to friends and was happy I did; they're a great resource for beers from all over Europe with, of course, a French focus. The staff was generally friendly and helpful and the selection is excellent, especially considering the size of the shop. If you're looking for an overview of European craft brews, this is a good place to start.
Yeah, the bottles were expensive, and the per-size pricing is funny, but I'm noticing mine is the second lowest rating, and I did like it. Just think 4+ is in the damned good category.
05-28-2013 13:12:05 | More by ItinOcean
4.82/5 rDev +3%
Can't say too much more about this place that hasn't already been said. It's only a few hundred yards away from the Metro on Rue de Rivoli, and basically smack dab in the center of the city. The shop is in kindof an alley way type deal and would be easy to miss if it weren't for the beer logos on top. It's pretty small, and not much room for people, but the owner and assistant (Brandon) speak English and are super knowledgeable and friendly.
It was interesting that all of the French beer had the same price (3.5 EU for 33cl, I believe it was), unless it was a seasonal/older vintage, and the focus was definitely on French beer. They had a lot of French beer of Belgian styles, and had a good selection of Belgian beer too including gift boxes of Westmalle, Tripel Karmeliet, and even Westvleteren bricks (for around 75 EU, although I abstained from purchasing one). Additionally, they understand a lot of customers are here on travel and will be taking beer back on the plane, so they have bubble wrap and other boxes that make it easier to transport the stuff, and also offer to wrap things for you. I really liked how extensive their selection of individual 11.2/12 oz. bottles were.
Unfortunately I came in at a time where there were quite a few other customers demanding the employees' attention, so I only talked for a couple minutes and bowed out of the shop - but they definitely seem like good people to talk to, and that you could talk with them forever. One observation is that the staff seemed to advocate buying French beer and wanted to inform people coming on what French beer was all about, as most Americans don't hear much about French brewed beer. Prices were about what you would expect to pay for individual bottles of craft brew, maybe slightly on the expensive side but not bad at all considering it's Paris. As a sidenote, if you come here as an American and ask for rare Cantillon brews, you might be mocked by Simon :p
04-03-2013 20:07:41 | More by Rohkey
4.94/5 rDev +5.6%
It's been one year since I've reviewed a place on BA, but I finally hit one noteworthy enough to get me started again. I've tried unsuccessfully to get here many times over the years, my own fault as they do post their open hours. It was well worth the wait though, this is just a wonderful store.
The location is ideal for visitors to the city, just north of the Chatelet Metro stop. Chances are that you'll be strolling Rue de Rivoli at some point in your visit anyway. The shop is small (but what real estate isn't small in Paris, palaces and cathedrals notwithstanding?). Most of the beers are placed on shelves, and understandably the heaviest selection is French beers. So many of them! I didn't know most (all?) of the names. Luckily the owner (Simon) speaks very good English, and he is a true lover of beer. Even better, he has an American BA working in the store (Brandon) who also knows his stuff. They walked me through the choices and I trusted them based on their detailed descriptions of what they liked and disliked in different beers.
There are also 2 small coolers. One is stocked with their vintage/"expensive" beers, and the other cooler is stocked with a variety of large and small bottles for people who want a beer that has been chilled to some extent for take away.
Beyond the French beers there's a good selection of Belgian beers, and also some Nordic and USA selections. I even saw Hopping Frog from OH, so surprised to see this. I didn't travel 9 hours by plane to drink OH beer though!
Overall I can't recommend this store highly enough. I will be back any time I'm in Paris.
03-13-2013 19:40:20 | More by TurdFurgison
La Cave à Bulles in Paris, France
100 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.