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 rfgetz:
4.2/5 rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$
A uniquely rustic outpost in the middle of Center City Philly with an exceptional foreign beer menu. Upon entering, your transported to a 1920's era farmstead - one side has slabs of imperfectly cut wood planks and burlap sack line the walls along with farm tools and back woods decor like mounted game and fur pelts while the other is victorian in feel. Candles accent the dimply lit room, wooden barrels substitue for hightop tables. 4 distinct rooms in the palce - a barn like area with a copper topped bar for the exclusive use of serving their exceptional beer menu, a 2nd victorian bar for prohibition era cocktails in an adjacent room seperated halfway by a wall. One dining area features a long farmhouse style table that seats upwards of 35 people for a community like dining feel while another features victorian feel and more secluded and individual dining. I could go on about the atmosphere, but this is a beer site.
The draft beer menu is current 26 offerings with 24 taps and 2 casks. The bottle menu is about 100 strong. About 90% imports with plans for 4-5 in house brews comming later in 2011. The draft options are made up of brews that see very little distribution by this method. 4-5 beers each from Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, Italy and UK make up most of the taps. Beers can be sampled in 7oz or 10oz sizes. The bottle list is divided amongst components of taste, rather then style (ie. snifter worthy, roasty, friendly, funky). Quite a unique list for draft, and while many of the bottles can be found elsewhere in the city, to have all in one place is quite spectacular. The only knock is the price - think about $5-$6 per 7oz pour and $7-$9 per 10oz pour for draft - but slightly expected based on atmosphere and rarity. The bottle prices are comparable to other notable beer meca's in the area - maybe just a few quaters higher. The few beer events they have had so far have been wonderful and upcomming Philly Beer Week looks to be a good one.
Service has been good my first few visits, staff is quite knowledegable and the overall busyness of the place in its first few weeks can attribute to some of the small kinks.
A majority of what food i have sampled has been good... the mmenu, preparation and presentation are a little unfocused at this time.
Overall, the atmosphere is great, the beer menu is exceptionaly unique. Only the price would keep this from being a routine stop off.
05-23-2011 16:06:20 | More by rfgetz
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.