La Cave à Bulles
Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
4.94/5 rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
It's been one year since I've reviewed a place on BA, but I finally hit one noteworthy enough to get me started again. I've tried unsuccessfully to get here many times over the years, my own fault as they do post their open hours. It was well worth the wait though, this is just a wonderful store.
The location is ideal for visitors to the city, just north of the Chatelet Metro stop. Chances are that you'll be strolling Rue de Rivoli at some point in your visit anyway. The shop is small (but what real estate isn't small in Paris, palaces and cathedrals notwithstanding?). Most of the beers are placed on shelves, and understandably the heaviest selection is French beers. So many of them! I didn't know most (all?) of the names. Luckily the owner (Simon) speaks very good English, and he is a true lover of beer. Even better, he has an American BA working in the store (Brandon) who also knows his stuff. They walked me through the choices and I trusted them based on their detailed descriptions of what they liked and disliked in different beers.
There are also 2 small coolers. One is stocked with their vintage/"expensive" beers, and the other cooler is stocked with a variety of large and small bottles for people who want a beer that has been chilled to some extent for take away.
Beyond the French beers there's a good selection of Belgian beers, and also some Nordic and USA selections. I even saw Hopping Frog from OH, so surprised to see this. I didn't travel 9 hours by plane to drink OH beer though!
Overall I can't recommend this store highly enough. I will be back any time I'm in Paris.
03-13-2013 19:40:20 | More by TurdFurgison
5/5 rDev +7.1%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
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.
09-16-2009 01:09:05 | More by Yetiman420
5/5 rDev +7.1%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Wow. This place is great. If you are coming to Paris, it's imperative that you visit here. I mean, absolutely necessary. A wide selection of French beers tops anything you will find anywhere else in Paris. There certainly isn't every single craft beer made in France here, but there is such a large variety, that you'll find plenty to drink. And on top of that there is a huge amount of Cantillon brews to choose from. More than you would normally find in NYC even. But I am here for French beer. My first visit I grabbed four bottles from Brasserie des Garrigues and Saint Colombe. They were all tasty and I drank them at night. On my next visit I must have grabbed 30-some beers. As far as service goes: Simon is the man. Quite ready to tell you about any beer or brewery you should ask about (and in English no less!), he brings a wealth of knowledge about anything you'll want to know about. Not only that, he's completely honest and forthcoming about whatever topic comes up.
I think Simon is several years ahead of the beer curve here. If Paris is any indicator, France is where the U.S. was about 15-20 years ago and people like Simon should be supported at all costs. If you are visiting, I'm not sure what more you could ask for with so many French beers being available here. And if you're French, you definitely need to show love to your beer industry and shop here routinely. And if all of that isn't good enough, there are plenty of big hitting Belgians to go for as well (Cantillon, trappists, Brasserie la Senne, etc.) Stellar. And I am happy to make this my first perfectly rated beer establishment.
Quite close to Centre Pompidou.
P.S. Simon loves hoppy beers. So if you feel so inclined to bring him something, I am quite sure he would be appreciative.
05-13-2009 23:31:18 | More by RblWthACoz
4.7/5 rDev +0.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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!
03-29-2014 18:06:19 | More by BeerResearcher
4.58/5 rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Most have said it all but I'll reiterate. The owner, Simon, is awesome. Speaks perfect English which is great because I'm too dumb and lazy to learn French, my bad, I know. The store is located on a small pedestrian only street and the apartment I rented for the week was on the same street, only a block away. What an awesome coincidence!
Like I said, Simon was great. Has a passion for beer and was happy to show me around and teach me about French brews. I contacted him before traveling to Paris and asked if he wanted any FL brews like Cigar City. Surprisingly he already had some but wanted more so I brought him three 750ml bottles. He was quite excited saying he would have a Cigar City tasting night soon. He traded me three bottles (750ml) of French beer which I let him choose and I purchased a half dozen other bottles he recommended. He packaged everything up in a box and made a handle for it for me to carry back to the apartment. Nicely done.
Awesome selection, great owner, great location and worth going to if in Paris.
01-03-2012 15:39:40 | More by dstc
4.82/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
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
4.85/5 rDev +3.9%
quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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.
06-30-2010 19:37:57 | More by cbak999
La Cave à Bulles in Paris, France
100 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.