The Farmers' Cabinet
Active Beers: 27
Beer Ratings: 97
Beer Avg: 3.86
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 28 | Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Dennycurr:
3.05/5 rDev -22%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$$
I went here after reading reviews from BA. Then I come here to write a review and read the last 3 reviews here and it is something like I'm going to write.
Reviews I didn't read before I went.
All not so hot & all within the last month.
What's up with that?!
Where to start?
I sought out the Farmer's Cabinet on a Fri for lunch. After entering thru a curtain, I was introduced to the darkest joint, I had ever been in. I literally could not see a foot in front of me. I asked to go to a restroom and the waitress, said right down the steps over there....and I just stood there for about 30 secs trying to see the steps. Finally I was led there.
When I came back I wanted to sit at the bar but it was going to be too dark to read what I expected, from BA reviews, to be a great beer and lunch, menu.
Luckily---there was a seat by an open doorway, to the street, where a little daylight sifted thru.
Btw ---my seat was a round no back stool and my table was a "chic", barrel. Both uncomfortable but I guess, that is what you get when someone is trying to be a hip spot. My exact seat is in the BA picture up there. There is a barrel in front of that stool.
What was unlucky were, ironically,,,the beer and lunch menus.
It was beer week and they were boasting their Danish Craft beers. I came for Belgians and/or these new great American beers out there. I guess it was too bad I WASN'T there for Danish beers. This might be a diff review.
Now----they did have an array of Belg beers..(None on tap of note. Hoegarden and Stella, I think, were there), but they were wayyyy out there and very difficult to decipher. The print was, (purposely), made hard to read with a very fancy font I had a couple good ones (St Feuillion Cru and a Roch 8). If I went back, I'd check a few others out.
The food menu was ridiculous.
Has anyone ever heard of a "Hirame Crudo"? That's a lunch entre'. Lots of choices like that.
I wound up eating a soft pretzel.
I can't tell ya much about the inside because, even from where I sat...looking back into the place...all I could see was the end of the bar, nearest me.
I like the oldtime music.
I like where the Farmers Cabinet sits. Right across the stree from the Forest Theater.
I liked my seat looking out the open door onto a busy street...albeit, an uncomfortable seat and, heh, again---eating off of a,"chic and hip", barrel.
I also would go back again just to try a few more diff beers. This time, tho---I'd know what I'm getting into.
06-06-2012 21:05:47 | More by Dennycurr
More User Reviews:
4.03/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4 | $$$
I'd probably better review this place before it's closed, which says a lot - http://philly.eater.com/tags/the-farmers-cabinet. I've avoided doing so in the past because of all of the inside / backdoor information I've been given on it, but now that that's all coming out in the press, who cares?
Maybe I can sum it all up in just a few words while ignoring all of the s#*t-swirl that's been going on pretty much since they opened (and then closed) Fork & Barrel: great looking place. comfortable. beautiful. pricey - yes. beers that no one else has. foods that no one else would dare try. authentically hip / not hipster. If you haven't been you should go. This is what so many places in Brooklyn really want to be but cannot achieve.
02-13-2014 03:57:20 | More by NeroFiddled
4.06/5 rDev +3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.75 | food: 4 | $$$$
Whatever happened to the Farmers' Cabinet?? Too many shakeups and issues, I guess...
My first visit years ago was super impressive. I was now looking forward for more rare European taps and their own house brews but guess what? They're all gone.
On my second visit, they had Ballast Point Big Eye and Two Brothers listed under the "adventurous" section, and Sierra Torpedo as a "seasonal". Belhaven Wee Heavy and Coronado Brown are "house favorites". You got the picture, right? This place looks like a Taco Mac now, as far as beer is concerned.
The bottle menu still looks good, and the cocktails are stunning indeed (if pricey and small). Still same great service and beautiful atmosphere. But really, where is the beer?
The Farmers' Cabinet has got to be the classiest, coolest beer-focused establishment in the Philadelphia area. You wouldn't know from the outside, but step inside and it's like entering Das Kabinet des Dr Caligari.
The place reminds me of Death & Co. in NYC and other speakeasies... cool decor, lots of wood, dim lights, candles... romance and flirtation. Staff looks mighty dapper, with bow-ties and vests and well-groomed moustaches.
There is a beer bar upfront, a martini bar on the other side and a large (LARGE!) dining room past the bars. The entire joint was quiet and nice when we visited on an early Monday afternoon, and service was swift (not sure how knowledgeable the bartender was about beer, though, and I think he poured too much head). Only negatives would be how hot it was inside (the cabinet needs more A/C) and the loud music, slightly off place for an empty bar.
Selection is exceptional indeed, if only because they carry the rarest beers from Europe. I had a tequila-barreled Mikkeller Black, The Bruery Cuir and Beer Here Dark Hops. Also saw Brewdog Tokio '09, Evil Twin Yang, Baladin Super on tap. Beers are expensive but worth- where else can you get these bizarre brews on tap? I like their small pours (around 6-8 oz) because it allows me to try a bunch of stuff, even though they go for about $1 per ounce.
Food is good, almost very good. Lots of cheeses and charcuterie and pairing boards and all of that you expect in this kind of bar. The wife ordered deviled duck eggs and a cheese fondue; next time I will order from the meat-heavy menu.
We left the Cabinet intensely impressed. Sure, it is pricey (at least for Philly), but oh-so-worth. I need more!
04-29-2013 15:07:17 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4.44/5 rDev +13.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Okay, but what about that spot right there? (pointing). Wait for the red light (break in traffic), jolt out, back up quickly, and park (everything in its right place). Dance the meter man settling up, and a ½ block walk. Yes, it’s that easy...
Off to the left, a dinged, dented, & stained copper sheet panel topped bar of straight, with a plank wood base, phat beam footrest, and seating for a baker’s dozen on stools tightly fit. The barback is a wall of wide old wood planks with 5 alternating height boxes mounted, each box holding 5 taps with non descript handles, and lined atop with bottles, books, candles, jars, pieces, etc. They’re seemingly held by ropes from above, which they are in fact, not, and there are boards riding the ropes affixed along the way up listing tap selections, origin, price, & ABV. A basin runs the length below, and there’s shelved glassware of all sizes & shapes tucked down under. Meat & cheese preppish area concealed up front, with implements of kitchen tooling and pickled things jarred.
Block slate tilings, brown walls, light in this light or lack thereof, and a darker brown ceiling with inlayed spots. Large front windows to both sides of closed off doors curtained; their horizontal windows atop burlap sacked up. Mounted lanterns on the ends of the bar, Alt length drop Bali mason jar lamps that must be a pain in the ass to light above, candle lighting on a strung rope set over the open room area, and wide candles in holders along the bar; the light by which I write.
A single barrel table up front along the windows, a bar counter slab over barrels off the wall behind me, and another barrel table on the end. Behind me in a don’t trip and fall slight step down next room, is another bar, similar to this one but an ‘L’, seating 15 on stools. ‘Mixology 101’ fixings on the bar. And the barback a split of a wallpapered wall and a nook of liquor 4 shelved end to end and tiered below. A pair of barrel tables sit forward the bar and another one to the rear.
Mesh framing divider conceals a room to the rear. A long row of tables in the center pushed together seating 40, a handful more to the left seating another 20, and a single table to the rear past a rack of barrels. Wood beams suspended above with candles, and the walls holding bottles bottles bottles; the length of 6 loooong shelves with more intermittent candlings. Other pieces about include a mounted stuffed grouse, a bison head, antlers, framed mirrorings in places, prints, animal skins, and a piano in the corner. Latice mesh framings hiding more bottled selections.
And up in the far corner, a back room events space, of sorts, I was there once for the ‘Philly Beer Week Session Beer’ event. You know, the one where Don Russell lost his fucking mind and denounced session beer as being “a farce, completely unnecessary, and flying in the face of the good beer we all drank when we first got into craft beer”. Yeah, good times.
23 beers on tap just now, a mix & match collection of mostly imports; Belgian (Dupont Posca Rustica, Kermok Bink Bloesem, a Vapeur Saison de Pipaix), Scandanavian (Nogne O Two Captains, HaandBryggeriet Dark Force, Kissmeyer No. 1 Stockholm Syndrome IPA, Omnipollo Mazarin), German (Gaffel Kolsch, Spezial Rauchbier Lager, Ettaler Kloster Dunkel, Schlenkerla Fastenbier), UK (Harviestoun Old Engine Oil, J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2011 & J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2011 on calvados, Thornbridge St Petersburg Imperial Stout, Porterhouse An Brain Blasta & Porterhouse Oyster House), and elsewhere (De Molen Vuur & Vlam, Ca L’Arenys Guinen River, Hopfenstark Captain Swing, Renaissance Stonecutter Scotch Ale, Baladin Noel), and the lone American craft beer offering, the Dock Street/Thiriez La Biere Des Amis collab. Say, where are the house beers hiding? Oh, I see, that’s too bad; that Gose I had during PBW was monsterously good. Drafts are served in large & small format, the latter for about $2 less. I drank shortys of the De Molen Vuur & Vlam, Ca L’Arenys Guinen River, & Dock Street/Thiriez La Biere Des Amis.
And a bottle list of 200+, divied by stylings (sour & funky, lovely & bright, malt forward, bold Belgian style beauties, earthy & complex, snifter worthy, distinguished, wildcards, smokey, brutally bitter/bitter/mildly bitter, refreshing, wheat, welcoming & sessionable, spiced and/or fruity), and 2 dozen + wines, a dozen ciders & meads, and cocktails cocktails cocktails; it’s a good list.
All the low lighting & old tyme music got me thinking that it was very reminiscent of the Bookstore Speakeasy, and that was before I ran into the Paultender, who talked of the LoverBeer BeerBrugna (ale with plums in oak barrels), as he does, and so we did (tasty). The place is pricey pricey, although my benchmark Orval runs a cool $9. Good house; Witz fed the meter, so I guess we’re on the hook for another hour…
12-05-2012 22:29:51 | More by slander
The Farmers' Cabinet in Philadelphia, PA
89 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.