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La Cave à Bulles

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

60 Ratings
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 4.68
pDev: 8.55%
[ 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: 60 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TurdFurgison
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.

TurdFurgison, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of Yetiman420
5/5  rDev +6.8%

I could walk into La Cave a Bulles blindfolded, pick five beers, and be extremely pleased that I wound up with five artisinal French beers that I knew nothing about.

This is a testimony to the selective and excellent job Simon does running this store. On my first stop, I went in asking for his benchmark Biere de Garde to which he replied he was presently out but was planning a trip to the small brewer to pick up another case. He personally set me up with other beers based on my interests. I don't know a whole lot about French beers and was floored by all the premium quality stuff on his shelves. Some Belgians "hidden" around the corner by the cashier. All else was artisinal French.

If you're traveling to Paris and plan on visiting, bring Simon a couple of local beers. He's such an awesome guy.

Yetiman420, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Wow. This place is great. If you are coming to Paris, it's imperative that you visit here. I mean, absolutely necessary. A wide selection of French beers tops anything you will find anywhere else in Paris. There certainly isn't every single craft beer made in France here, but there is such a large variety, that you'll find plenty to drink. And on top of that there is a huge amount of Cantillon brews to choose from. More than you would normally find in NYC even. But I am here for French beer. My first visit I grabbed four bottles from Brasserie des Garrigues and Saint Colombe. They were all tasty and I drank them at night. On my next visit I must have grabbed 30-some beers. As far as service goes: Simon is the man. Quite ready to tell you about any beer or brewery you should ask about (and in English no less!), he brings a wealth of knowledge about anything you'll want to know about. Not only that, he's completely honest and forthcoming about whatever topic comes up.

I think Simon is several years ahead of the beer curve here. If Paris is any indicator, France is where the U.S. was about 15-20 years ago and people like Simon should be supported at all costs. If you are visiting, I'm not sure what more you could ask for with so many French beers being available here. And if you're French, you definitely need to show love to your beer industry and shop here routinely. And if all of that isn't good enough, there are plenty of big hitting Belgians to go for as well (Cantillon, trappists, Brasserie la Senne, etc.) Stellar. And I am happy to make this my first perfectly rated beer establishment.

Quite close to Centre Pompidou.

P.S. Simon loves hoppy beers. So if you feel so inclined to bring him something, I am quite sure he would be appreciative.

RblWthACoz, May 14, 2009
Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +6.8%

AlexM, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of mattmarka1
5/5  rDev +6.8%

mattmarka1, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev -14.5%

Sparky44, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of atpca
4/5  rDev -14.5%

atpca, Jul 16, 2014
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.

BMMillsy, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of Griffith
4.75/5  rDev +1.5%

Griffith, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
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!

Jerseyislandbeer, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of BeerResearcher
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!

BeerResearcher, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of dstc
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

dstc, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Beer21
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Beer21, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of MattGrimley
5/5  rDev +6.8%

MattGrimley, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of Rohkey
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

Rohkey, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of Dreizhen
4.58/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

Dreizhen, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of -NESTO-
4.25/5  rDev -9.2%

-NESTO-, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of cbak999
4.85/5  rDev +3.6%

Stopped in here while visiting family in Paris. Immediately, Simon greeted us at the door, and I introduced myself as someone who enjoys good beer. He and I talked for a while - maybe 20 minutes about beer and he pointed out to me La Triple Brune I.P.A. from La Brasserie de Fleurac, based on my appreciation of IPAs. He was right on. I had been drinking many other styles while on our trip, but this beer hit the spot (which I plan to review the next time I pop one open.) Anyway, a great selection of over 250 bottles. Simon is very knowledgeable and a pure joy to talk with. Definitely a must stop while visiting Paris.

cbak999, Jun 30, 2010
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.

ahalloin, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of rvdoorn
5/5  rDev +6.8%

Also I don’t know what to say about this shop that was not mentioned by other reviewers before. But because a review needs at least 500 characters (useless rule IMO), I will try to make a story around it. I visited Paris several times for work during the last year. Every time when I had time, I went to this shop to buy some local French craft brews. Although average beer quality is debatable, the shop offers a wide selection of these beers. Also, every time I come there, there are other surprising beers available. The shop owner Simon is the nicest guy you will find in a Paris shop. He is very friendly and helpful. He can talk for hours about beer, and will recommend you brews based on what you like. He packs all the beers in bubble plastic and boxes so you can easily take them with you. Also, he is very much willing to trade beers, so if you visit this place, bring some locals with you! Highly recommended!! No place in France will offers you so many local craft brews!

rvdoorn, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of Torontoblue
4.48/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

Torontoblue, May 31, 2012
Photo of sfprint
3.86/5  rDev -17.5%

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.

sfprint, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of Jeffo
3.31/5  rDev -29.3%

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.

Jeffo, May 18, 2014
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.

ericfb18, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of spdyfire83
4.94/5  rDev +5.6%

This is a MUST stop for anyone visiting Paris! Simon is wonderfully knowledgeable about beers and everything he has in the store. We had a good chat about beer, travelling, places to visit, and (of course) more about beer. He is a great guy and knows his stuff!

The shop itself is located near Notre Dame in central Paris - easy to find and a quick walk to several Metro stops if you are not staying in the area. Beautiful store-front window with a good feel. Check the hours before you go though as I noticed the shop is closed during the afternoon for a bit.

The selection is excellent and, as mentioned previously, Simon will surely take the time to chat with you about new releases, what you like, and everything in between. I was impressed by the quality of beers at such an affordable price.

I will definitely stop here again and bring Simon some treats from my cellar next time I am in Paris.

spdyfire83, Jan 16, 2012
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La Cave à Bulles in Paris, France
100 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.