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La Cave à Bulles

Not Rated.
La Cave à BullesLa Cave à Bulles
BA SCORE
100
world-class

62 Ratings
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 8.33%
[ Store ]

45 Rue Quincampoix
Paris, 75004
France
phone: + 33 1 40 29 03 69

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: thierrynantes on 05-02-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hnandez
3.18/5  rDev -32.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4

My wife was in Paris so I asked her to stop by here because I heard that you can pick up Cantillon here.

The gentleman was very rude to her because she doesn't know about beer. She explained it like he was Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.

She was able to pick me up a couple of bottles after being treated like an idiot.

Photo of Jeffo
3.31/5  rDev -29.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5

Visited La Cave on a recent trip to Paris. Probably the best known beer shop in town. Thanks to Brandon and Tommy for recommending this place to me.

Pretty nice little place inside. It's got a big tasting table in the middle and the table, and whole shop for that matter, is appropriately messy. For some reason a beer store can't be too tidy. It's just not right. Small and quite, making it a rather cozy place.

If we think of quality in terms of rarity, then there's some rather fun stuff here. If you're into obscure craft, then this place has lots of small, French breweries that you will never have heard of. There will be small batch stuff too that barely even makes it to the French market at all. No space is wasted on regular French grocery store brands.

Unfortunately service was a little disappointing. The guy was passionate and interested in giving recommendations, so that was very nice. This type of service is expected at small beer shops in this part of the world, however. Where this guy completely screwed it up was that he took product out of my hands.

I was very happy to see some Mamouche, which I had completely missed in Holland this year. There were three bottles on the shelf, so I was going to happily buy two. I don't like buying the last bottle of something unless it's something I've never had before, but there would still be one more on the shelf. As soon as he saw me pick up one, he jumped up, ran over and pulled the other two off the shelf. He said he wanted to keep them for his friend but that I could buy the "last one" in my hands. I explained myself and put it back. That seemed to offend him. He then went on to tell me that he had two more boxes of Mamouche in the back that he was holding for his friends too. He shrugged it off... "They are my friends... What can I do?..." This was a complete ass move. If you forget to pull something off for your friends, suck it up. They will understand. Pulling product out of customers' hands is just poor practice.

Selection is great if you're interested in the French scene. The walls are packed with small French breweries that most people will never have heard of. Ask for some recommendations and give some stuff a try. There is also a good selection of Belgian lambic at the back. Other imports are scarce, but there's the odd Dutch, Danish and American brew sitting at the front of the store. These are probably just some random things the distributor brought in, or random stuff he's traded tourists for, as there doesn't really seem to be any rhyme or reason to anything there. Still, interesting to sift through.

Prices are fine. Most things are reasonably priced and follow a format structure, though there are some brews, mostly the more interesting ones, that are priced differently. I was prepared to spend a lot of money there before the Mamouche incident, and if I had spent the money I brought, I could have walked out with piles of stuff. Prices are fair for the most part.

Anyways, this is a great little store in the middle of Paris; worth going to if you're there and/or are a big fan of the French scene. It would be nice, however, if the proprietor thought ahead about how he wants to sell his product.

Photo of sfprint
3.86/5  rDev -17.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Nice little shop right around the corner from Centre Pompidou. Most extensive French beer selection I've seen, though they didn't have many French beers that I like. I know Paris is expensive, but I thought the beers were as well, nothing cheaper than 3.30 for a 33cl bottle. Very sparse international selection. I think there was one US beer. Cantillions were nearly 20. I would go back, but only for the French beer and it saddens me that French beer is more expensive than Belgian beer in Belgium. But that's just how it is.

Photo of kermis
4/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of atpca
4/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of -NESTO-
4.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of SStein
4.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of ItinOcean
4.31/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.43/5  rDev -5.3%

This place rocks! Stopped in while in Paris because their website said they had LP Framboise and Fou Fone in stock. That--as with most places’ websites--was out if date. But not unexpected this late in the Cantillon season and I’m sure they have that stuff regularly. Nevertheless walked in and store clerk (assume the owner) spoke English off the bat. Asked if they had Cantillon: "of course". Loads of Gueuze, Kriek, Rose, and Iris, as well as vintage bottles of Iris and Grand Cru (2005 through 2008 I think). Snagged 3 Iris, a 2008 (05 label) Grand Cru, a couple Quetsche Tilquins, a 2008 Thomas Hardy’s, Giardin Framboise, and 3 barrel aged Mikkeller 250 mls (Cognac George and Brunch Weasel and Calvados George). Those latter ones were way on the pricey side, and overall not cheap but an awesome selection. Even had Pipeworks, AleSmith stuff. A bit from BrewDog, De Molen, and a French selection of course. Owner was having fun talking beers and told me to bring along things to trade if I ever come back. Great great service. To my dismay, I did not grab a French beer and he noticed, gave me a hard time, and handed me a free 750 ml he said was his favorite. On the house. A must stop if in Paris.

Photo of TRICKYD1CK
4.44/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Nice, homey-feeling beer shop in the heart of Paris (right by Pompidou).

The service here is awesome. Friendly, multilingual staff. The owner has tried most American beers and will trade with you if you have something he hasn't tried.

You won't find a better selection of French beer in Paris.

Considering that the standard rate for a 33cl bottle at this place is 3.10 Euros, it's a bit pricey. Exchange rate aside, only exceptional beers in the US are $3.10 per 11.2oz. Nonetheless, it's worth it for the selection.

Any beer drinker visiting Paris should stop by this place (and sample their amazing selection of sours!!).

Photo of Torontoblue
4.48/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Visited May 18th and took along 2 bottles from Alley Kat (Farmhouse-Style Saison & Black Dragon Single Hopped DIPA) for Simon, and he seemed pleased to receive 2 brand new beers from Canada.

Real nice looking store, laid out well, good selection of beers on the shelves, mostly French which was good to see, and a fair few from Italy. Had a good long natter with Simon about all things beer, especially the way things are moving forward in France.

Super friendly especially when someone comes in the store and needs help with selection. Wish I had more room in my case but had to content myself with purchasing just 4 bottles.

Highly recommend to visit when in Paris. You won't come away disappointed.

Photo of kwdavis
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Stopped in to La Cave a Bulles with my wife as we were walking around the Halles area of Paris, I had read several of the reviews on Beer Advocate, but they do not do service to the "Cave" or its proprietor. The selection was good and the prices were good. However, the service was first rate. We spoke with Simon for about an hour discussing French and Belgian beers. He is knowledgeable, friendly, and loves to talk beer. By far the best customer service in Paris, I walked out with four beers and the knowledge that I will be back again.

Photo of ronhocker
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Stopped in on a recent business trip to Paris. Picked some beers to enjoy while working at night in the hotel room -- and then realized I need to pack a bottle opener!

The owner has around 100 beers, nearly all from small french producers. Prices range from 2-7euro each depending on what you get. I found some very neat stuff I've never seen before. French IPAs, BrewDog from Scotland, a swiss beer, etc.

The owner/shop keeper is very helpful. I was ready just to buy based on my interpretation of the french labels but he explained each beer to me and it's flavors to make sure it was what I wanted. Best service of any beer store I've ever been to.

Photo of smbslt
4.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Was there in November. Owner was helpful - loved talking about beer with everyone who came in. Asked him to run the gamut and walked out ten different beers (2 based on a trade) - not all great but representative of the craft beer movement there - mission accomplished.

Photo of Etan
4.56/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Stopped in here while on vacation in Paris. The store is a medium-sized room with shelving all around, a small cooler beneath the register and a larger one behind it, and a wooden table in the middle. The owner, Simon, was at the table talking to customers and employees, and was quite friendly when we walked in. His English was very good, and he was interested in where we were from. His employee on hand, Brandon, is an expat who is quite knowledgeable about American beer (he was wearing a DC Brau t-shirt and Simon had on a Half Acre t-shirt!). They were very friendly, and recommended their favorite French craft beers. Brandon was even so kind as to offer some harder-to-find bottles from his personal stash, and asked if we were bringing any of the beer back to the US. When I said that we were bringing 2 of the bottles back, he wrapped the beers in bubble wrap for us. I stopped in a second time the day before I left because we were in the area, and there was a rep from a French brewery hosting a small tasting and discussion, which was nice. It seems like the shop is very close to the French craft community.

Overall, although the place is somewhat small, the selection is pretty good and interesting, with a focus on French beer, but with a good amount of beer from Belgium and surrounding countries, and even a couple American breweries. The service was outstanding, and you won't really find the selection anywhere else in Paris. And it's right around the corner from the Pompidou, so it's in a very central location with lots of things to do. Go here if you're in the neighborhood.

Photo of videofrog
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of Dreizhen
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Probably the best known beer shoppe in the city and for good reason. The atmosphere is lovely. It's got the small European bottle shoppe feeling that you grow to expect on the Continent. Tucked away in an alley close to a major mall and shopping district, La Cave à Bulles feels quite homey and intimate.

The service perpetuates this feeling. Very nice and friendly. Happy to help if you want it or talk shop. Had some pretty cool events for Paris Beer Week #1 like a blind taste-test of Belgian Quads. The staff genuinely enjoys what they do (as they should! This is craft beer we're talking about).

Selection is very good for a European store. Lots of Drie Fonteinen and Cantillon. Great selection of French micro brews, too. I think most people will agree France is a little ways behind other big beer countries, but I'm proud to say they're well on their way. I look forward to seeing what's going on here in five years. Maybe then people will flock to La Cave à Bulles for something French instead of something Belgian?

Value is appropriate. Some stuff is a little pricey, but you can't fault them for the supply and demand of alcohol in France that causes this.

All in all, a great shoppe that's worth visiting if you're in the area and want to stock up on some Cantillon and local brews.

Photo of dstc
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Most have said it all but I'll reiterate. The owner, Simon, is awesome. Speaks perfect English which is great because I'm too dumb and lazy to learn French, my bad, I know. The store is located on a small pedestrian only street and the apartment I rented for the week was on the same street, only a block away. What an awesome coincidence!

Like I said, Simon was great. Has a passion for beer and was happy to show me around and teach me about French brews. I contacted him before traveling to Paris and asked if he wanted any FL brews like Cigar City. Surprisingly he already had some but wanted more so I brought him three 750ml bottles. He was quite excited saying he would have a Cigar City tasting night soon. He traded me three bottles (750ml) of French beer which I let him choose and I purchased a half dozen other bottles he recommended. He packaged everything up in a box and made a handle for it for me to carry back to the apartment. Nicely done.

Awesome selection, great owner, great location and worth going to if in Paris.

Photo of ericfb18
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%

Stopped in during a business trip after finding La Cave on BA. Previous reviews of the excellence of this place are spot on...and nothing that even remotely resembles this place can be found anywhere else in Paris.

The minute I walked in I was greeted by the owner, the infamous Simon. He was very willing to fill me in on the French beer scene and was very accommodating to my traveling by hooking me up with boxes and bubble wrap. Simon is the true definition of a "beer advocate". Let's hope the French craft beer scene catches on like it is in the U.S. I had to apologize for not bringing something with me from the States. If I had realized this place existed before arriving to Paris, I definitely would have.

Selection was amazing...just filled with probably 200-300 French craft beers, and a small Belgian section. I know absolutely nothing about French beers, but Simon was quick to fill me with the appropriate knowledge. He picked out about 12-14 beers. The ones I've had as of now have been excellent...and were just as Simon described them.

Prices were extremely reasonable...for the most part, prices are based on the bottle size, with harder to find beers a bit more pricey. The 12-14 beers I bought only came to about EUR 40.

A must visit place for all BA's that find themselves in Paris. Highly recommended...wish I had more time to spend in the shop.

Photo of ahalloin
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%

Let me make this abundantly clear! If you are in Paris for any reason, and have 30 minutes to spare, even if the wife doesn't like beer stores and gets antsy when you spend time in them, stop in La Cave a Bulles!

Let me throw something else out there as well. If you know you are traveling through Paris and can stop in at this place, bring a good American beer for Simon (not Sierra Nevada regulars, as he gets those). He will make it worth your while by trading you an outstandingly generous French beer, or anything else your heart would desire. He will also chat with you (and teach you stuff) about the beer industry in France and Belgium. I brought along a Great Divide Fresh Hop for Simon, because I friggin love that beer and he traded me a French Saison from Brasserie Bailleux.

That being said, the store is located down a sort of half street with little vehicle traffic about a block from the Pompidou and a few blocks from the Louvre and various subway stops. It is also easily walkable from Notre Dame de Paris. The shop is rather small but packs a lot of beer and a very good selection, especially of non-US-exported French beer. Simon may be busy talking with other customers when you arrive, but he will quickly be attentive if you are patient. He will pick out beers for you based on personal taste. I found this helpful, as I had almost no idea what I was looking at half the time!!
He also carries a good helping of typical Belgians: all Trappist save one, Cantillon, St. Bernardus, Fonteinen, Boon, etc.. And for the ex-Pats living in Paris, he has Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Porter, and Stout (at least, while I was there).

I didn't get to pick Simon's brain about where to drink beers in Paris, but I'm sure he would be a resource for that as well.

Definitely worth the stop.

Photo of dcp5703
4.65/5  rDev -0.6%

This place was awesome. I went here on the end of my trip to Belgium and was in Paris for a couple of days. My friend and I stopped in after doing some touristy things and Simon couldn't be more helpful. We already had plenty of Belgium beer and were looking for some good French beers. Simon worked with us on just about every style and so far the beers we have tried have been spot on. You can get a wealth of information on French and Belgium beers and he will work with you to find what you want (also speaks very good English which is a plus). We also got several tips on some local places to go that were great. I would definitely recommend going here if you can. Bring him a good American Craft brew (although he has a nice selection already there).

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.7/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

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!

Photo of Fflemming
4.7/5  rDev +0.4%

i was in Paris in the week between xmas and new year and had the opportunity to know this very charmy store. I went if the expectative to find a big stor with a big mix of beers but when i arrive the stor I saw that they sell specialy French beer.
All styles of French beer for the whole country.
I was a little upset becouse I thouth I would find more European Beers and not just French Beeer.

The owner is a very nice guy with a great knowledge of French beers.

It's a little hard to find the place. There is no name in front of the store and it's in a very small street.

Photo of EatsTacos
4.7/5  rDev +0.4%

Quality: 5/5 - This store is great selection of French microbrews and a few choice Belgians as well. You can be confident that everything on the shelves is top quality and is reasonably fresh.

Service: 5/5 - The owner speaks English very well and is extremely helpful but not pushy. You get the sense he really loves French beer and is doing what he can to showcase it.

Selection - 4/5 - This shop is a showcase of French microbrews and that is its aim. There is a small Belgian selection but the focus here is French beer

Value: Considering that this store is in Paris is it quite reasonable, in many other cities it might be a tad pricey.

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La Cave à Bulles in Paris, France
100 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.