The Farmers' Cabinet
Active Beers: 27
Beer Ratings: 98
Beer Avg: 3.86
Taps: 26 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by slander:
4.44/5 rDev +16.2%
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
More User Reviews:
4.7/5 rDev +23%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Cool atmosphere, a lot of room to sit and grab a drink, bar is really cool and they have a lot of taps. It was a little pricey but if you in philly you should def check it out, hear the food is $ but we didn't eat. Beer selection had quite a few great taps everything from lambic's to lagers.
04-28-2014 16:57:51 | More by sneth019
4.03/5 rDev +5.5%
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
The Farmers' Cabinet in Philadelphia, PA
87 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.