The Farmers' Cabinet


Awaiting 10 Ratings
The Farmers' CabinetThe Farmers' Cabinet

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1113 Walnut St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107
United States

(215) 923-1113

// CLOSED //

It should be noted that the house beers, although served exclusively at the Farmer's Cabinet and at the Boilmaker, were in fact brewed for them at a microbrewery they owned in Alexandria, VA, called Cabinet Artisanal Brewhouse.

They no longer have house beers brewed for them.

Added by hhkal17 on 03-18-2011

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 34
Photo of sneth019
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
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 - 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.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.06/5  rDev +1%
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!

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Photo of slander
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
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…

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Photo of Dennycurr
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

My likes---??
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.


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Photo of dmgnyc
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Went here for the Mikkeller tap takeover as part of Philly Beer Week. 20+ taps of yummy Denmark craft. As such, did not get to try any of their house brews.

The Farmers' Cabinet begs the it possible for a place to be simply too hipster? This one has it all....waiters and bartenders forced to wear suspenders with old-timey facial hair, mason jar lights, taxidermy on the wall, and even a (not-bad, though loud) Dixieland brass band in the corner. Very dimly lit, and surprisingly large, with several tables and two levels, not to mention roomy bathrooms. Clearly they are trying really hard here.

And the bottle selection is significantly extensive and unique, with a huge selection of European craft beers and quality domestics, all put into groups by style with name and abv easily seen. That said, 9 bucks for a standard pour from the tap is a little high, and though there's an option of a 7 buck pour as well, none of the servers bothered pointing this out (That being said....Mikkeller often costs you 8 bucks for a 12 oz bottle anyway, so I guess 9 at a restaurant for a similar pour is no biggie). Little expensive perhaps, but the variety and quality of the curating is impressive.

Where the place kind of gets my goat a little bit is the quality of the food. Obviously they're attempting to go high end here, offering a quality dining experience along with the beer, but the charcuterie plate was meager and ridiculously overpriced, as are most of the smaller courses (12 bucks for a single marrow bone? c'mon). And my main course veal at 27 bucks was small, and overcooked, with a negligible carrot garnish. Mass produced wedding catering food came to mind.

I'd return for the beer and maybe a Bavarian Pretzel or two, but would not eat the food. There's potential here, but how about less focus on the atmosphere, more on the vittles, guys?

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.93/5  rDev -27.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 1

A hop, skip, and a jump away from The Boilermaker, whatever that's worth? Located in the heart of downtown Philly, The Farmers Cabinet is kinda unassuming from the outside, you would never expect this is a bar, except for the small chalkboard outside boasting the upcoming beer events.

Once inside, after going through a large tapestry, I am took away to old style bars located in Europe from the Victorian Era. A lot to look at, dimly lit with some candle light and some dimly lit regular lighting throughout. The front room consists of two bars, beer bar to the left seating 15 or so, a small walkway leading into a cocktail bar serving overpriced booze. To the left of the cocktails an upstairs seating area for larger parties and downstairs are some nice roomy bathrooms.

To the right of the beer bar area is a larger seating area for smaller parties surrounded by walls of open, old beer bottles from everywhere. It's impressive looking.

The bar area is very old looking in a beautiful way with shit I could not describe, but there was a lot of wood. There is about 20 or so taps coming out from the wall in groups of four or five designated by country of origin. Small pours ranged in the 7 dollar range large pours 9 beans and up. Very expensive, but it is all imports and the house made beers by Terry which are a bit steep.

A nice impressive bottle list with a lot of stuff being not available. How hard is it to cross off some beers on the bottle list? The Bartender looked like the figure on the a Heady Topper can, hair and all. While obviously home schooled or just different, he fits the part for the feel of this bar. He was also pretty well versed in all things beer and fermentation and all that. Very detailed when pointing towards all the bullshit overpriced "food" that i will get into later. He did his job.

If you eat here regularly or more than twice, you are either a moron, a 1%er, or just don't know any better. I won't be eating here again and here is why. Portions and price. Insanely overpriced food that would not fill the belly of an ant.

I went with some friends well versed in all things food. We got some stuff including a cheese/charchuterie match up with a lot of additions along with a bottle of Fantome Saison which was delicious.

Worst Char 'board' in Philadelphia by far. 1st off, it's not served on a board, it's served on a slate which is a fail and nasty as well. When the bartender pointed to each type of meat I had a hard time seeing what he was pointing at, and I have 20/20 vision and I was sitting 2 feet from the plate, I swear i could not see anything.

Maybe I am going a bit extreme there. But the following is not extreme. Remember in Goodfellas, when Henry Hill was serving time in prison with Paulie. "Paulie was doing a year for contempt and had a wonderful system for garlic. He used a razor and sliced it so thin, it would liquefy in the pan with a little bit of oil. It’s a very good system."

Remember how thin those garlic slices were in the movie, that's how thin and sized the meat portions were, a TOTAL FUCKING FAILURE. The cheese was also portioned out weak, as well as the bread points to put this shit on. Oh yeah , they drizzled some 'special' honey on the bottom of the slate getting in the way of everything. They also sprinkled some tapioka powder on the plates, whoop de fucking do. The best thing i had all night were the beets which were quite tasty, but probably cost 10 beans. You would have to spend at least 100 beans here to fill your belly.

I don't know what's going on with this place. I like the idea, but it's sort of like your at the casino in this place, no sense of time while money goes quick. For the food portions we ordered, especially the meat/cheese portions, there was at least a 1000% mark up from your local grocer, and the product was not all that special, except the beets.

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Photo of JAXSON
2.34/5  rDev -41.8%
vibe: 1 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

I will open with the positives. Obviously, the decor is really nice, a lot of thought went into the concept and design. Nice quality beverages -- house beers are good, imports are focused and unique and the cocktails are nice.

My last visit there with my wife I had spent near $40 within 10 minutes and had barely sat down. Draft beer prices are indicated on a big chalkboard for each size pour, for example, $9 / $7 is listed for a given beer. You have to figure the "large" pour would be at least a pint, especially for the house IPA. No, large pours were about 8-10oz taking head size into account. A house freakin IPA close to $10 for half a pint, and none of this is indicated. Bartenders take forever. You’re surrounded by trouser-wearing hipsters and edgy early 30s people, and a freakin dixieland brass trio, or something, blaring repetitive chord progressions endlessly.

I don’t mind spending a lot on good beer. I’ve bought more than my share of bottles on ebay, had massively expensive drinking nights in Belgium, small tastings where $1k plus was spent on just a handful of bottles. That said, I won’t tolerate a place that blatantly rips people off and replaces all customary courtesies you expect from a restaurant/bar with aesthetics and style. Cocktails are $13+ and are 95% ice. Oh but it’s fancy special ice! Fuck off. Don’t bother with this place, I’d much rather hang out at my shitty neighborhood bar with $1 Yeungling pours than shovel money into this snotty, prick establishment that’s all style and no substance.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.1/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This place is a dimly lit, small pub. Like an upscale 1700s place that has old style wooden tables and a bench seat and is lit by candlelight (although not solely by candlelight as there are backlights behind the bottle displays)

The selection of beer is very expensive and unique. They have a selection of De Molen beers on tap as well as some of their house beers and a few other imports. Luckily, the bottle prices are listed-but they are extremely expensive. They had the only keg in the US of Mooi and Machtig-which is a huge offering.

The waitress was very helpful and let us keep a copy of the menu. She did well in reccomending my mother a beer that fit her limited palate.

Speaking of which-the food menu was rpetty limited. We had blueberry pancakes, which were very good, but expensive. The other food there was kinda weird and trendy.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The Farmers Cabinet is a great find in Philly.

The interior is clad in old boards, candle-lit mason jars, a cooper-clad bar, antiques, and burlap. A very friendly and knowledgeable barkeep is always a plus especially at a place with such a great tap line-up. Upon our visit they had close to a dozen De Struise beers on tap as well as some of thier house-made brews. Happy hour pricing from 4-6 on thier own beers @$4.00 each. Great deal for Philly.

In the background it would seem there would be some oldster cranking away on the gramaphone as the hits from way WAY back keep the vibe chill. We're talking ragtime favorites, but it really works here.

The place is clean, quite, upscale, and rustic.
Western-Americana-chic? Maybe a bit full of schtick, but very well done and a lot of fun.

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Photo of Gavage
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

You walk into the establishment through some hanging burlap like curtains from the front door. You immediately notice how dark the place is as it is mostly lit with candles in mason jars. There is a smallish bar in the front where the beers are poured. There is another small bar that has the liquors just on the other side. There is a long restaurant section of the back of the bar area, and on one wall is a large beer bottle collection. There are plenty of barrels around, and burlap is hanging too. The music is from the 30's and 40's. The vibe here is very cool.

The beer list is definitely unique for Philly. There are several house beers brewed at a brewery in Alexandria VA. On my two stops in they had the Field Hop Grisette, French Country Ale, and Layover in Berlin. The Field Hop and Country Ale were outstanding. There are about 20 beers on tap from Italy, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and England. The beers we had were fresh and not served too cold. The beers come in small 8-10oz glasses, and the costs range from $7-$10 a glass which is expensive.

Service was very friendly and prompt. Any questions about the house beers were fully answered, and the bartender knew the beers he was serving. Only food we had was the pretzel which was very good.

For me this place is a nice change up from the typical Philly bar scene, but it is very expensive so the number of beers here will be limited in a session. The house beers are worth the trip.

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Photo of Kaydogg
2.35/5  rDev -41.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 3

Was excited to try this place with some friends. We were there on a Thursday night.. Place was empty. The restaurant is very dark, lit by candlelight and has a an old 1930s farmhouse/barn feel to it. Old ragtime music plays in the background. We sat at a long table and waited for a long time before we were waited on. This is were it got bad fast. My 3 friends order Double Jack and Bruery Cuir and some De Dolle x2IPA. The waiter came back and told us that all 3 of the beers were out.. my friends scrambled to order some other beer cause they didn't want to wait for the guy to come back so they ordered the small glasses (7oz) of some beer for $7.
We got our beer, and finished them rather quickly. The waiter didn't come back to refill our orders for like 15 minutes. Even though he walked by us twice (briskly) and did not stop. We sat with empty glasses. Nobody was there! Really annoying. When we ordered food he proceeded to tell us the 2 dishes we ordered on the menu were sold out as well. Ridiculous! My one friend wanted to leave. Food was fine but at that point everyone was just pissed. The waiter also gave me a wrong beer. At least he gave that to me free. Then when the bill came we were really pissed. Won't be going back

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Photo of Giovannilucano
5/5  rDev +24.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Since I have not tried the food I cannot comment yet, so on to the beer and other great stuff.

I am on a quest for Italian craft beers and this place is the place for such beer. A lot of beer drinkers may question the reason why Italians are getting into the beer brewing, but it is something we do with passion. A lot of these beers concentrate on beers that are for the Italian palate. Italian craft beer is new so we have yet to see where it will go.

I also love liqueurs from Italy, and this place has a small but beautiful choice.

The wine list is impressive as I see selections I have not seen anywhere else.

I am excited for the Rare Italian Beer night Dec 6. I hope see others there too!

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Photo of MsRif
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The Farmer's Cabinet is an exquisite establishment. I LOVE the vibe here. Wow. Perfect set-up, perfect lighting...I could sit there all day drinking slowly just in my own thoughts. I really enjoy the separate beer/wine bars. Beers on tap are always excellent, with a good selection. Could be a larger selection, but it's still decent. They always have special events going on as well which can be pretty awesome if you can make it.

Service was spotty the first time I went, but that was during a Beer Week event so it was understandable. The second time I went I had exceptional service from my very beer-knowledgeable bartender.

Food is good, but a bit different from normal "bar food." Be prepared to pay a lot of and drink here is VERY expensive. One of those $8 for a pint sort of places...not outrageous, but still way more than what I would consider reasonable. Still, you are paying partly for the experience, and this place has a lot to offer. Go at least once, and more if you can afford to!

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I went to the Farmers Cabinet last night with the intention of hating the place. It is Restaurant Week and that was enough of an excuse for me to visit this place for the first time. I wanted to hate this place because I hated the owners former restaurant Fork and Barrel. The Farmers Cabinet, while very similar to Fork and Barrel in appearance, was for me much improved!

The atmosphere is rustic. Lots of old antiques and worn wood everywhere. Candles light up the bar and tables and are scattered throughout the restaurant, but this is supplemented with artificial light as well. (Huge negative at F&B, which was 100% candle lit...waaaay to dark) Here the lighting adds to the mood instead of hurting my eyes. There was live music as well, something that I hear that Farmers Cabinet does quite often. The musicians were right next to where my table was located but they sang old timey music and I was thrilled to hear these quirky musicians with their old school microphone and odd horns....

The seating arrangement is the same as F&B: communal. The tables are laid out lengthwise down the main hall and you could be sitting on the same bench as a stranger. I like this way...seems European. The one wall is lined with beer bottles from end to end, inch by inch. And the other walls have rustic artwork and taxidermy pieces keeping with the theme.

The waiter we had was very polite and attentive. I only had to correct him once when he said that the sour beers were the best beers that they carried. He knew a lot, and gave a reasonable response when I asked him what a Grisette was. I kept trying to figure out more by asking a lot of questions, and he told me that he would check about my questions. He immediately went to the bar and asked the bartender my questions, only to return with some clarified answers. He also made some very nice suggestions about food pairings and at no point (other than the sour beer comment) was pretentious. THIS is what I was worried was going to happen. But he was just nice and helpful. I tipped him well.

The selection of beer is good. They had 2 house beers available, a Grisette and a Stout. I had both and enjoyed both. The list is definitely pretentious and somewhat snobbish, but less so than F&B. Their saving grace was that they actually had SOME beers on tap that I knew and that were good beers to boot. (Fullers London Pride, Victory Kolsch, Bells Oarsman) A lot of the beers are no name beers that no one has ever had before, and I think that is what makes it pretentious, as they certainly consider themselves a beer bar.

The food was excellent!!! It came out quickly and was just so good, that when I took the first bite (or actually sip, since I started with soup) I was saddened that I was probably really, really going to like this place. I ate the Roasted Corn Soup, Grilled Pork Loin and Vanilla Custard. All were top notch meals!

I will be returning here, and I hope they lighten up a little bit on the no-name beers....

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

A nice open front throwback bar in the city. This place is dimly lit by candles and has lots of wood inside. The music is what seems to be old time instrumental records. A little too dark inside for me, it kind of feels like using candles when the electricity goes out. A beer bar on the left with a large selection of beers posted on wooden slabs hanging on the wall. There is a large printed beer list, categorized by beer style mostly. Tens of beers available and a variety are hard to come by. Primarily European beer, they offer some every day drinkers as well as rare beers and vintage selections too. This place leans heavily toward higher end beers and pricey selections, mainly in the way of large and aged bottles. The bartenders were always friendly attentive and very knowledgeable about the beer there. I didn't try any of the food yet, but it looks pretty intriguing, mostly game inspired. I need to step up my beer knowledge when I head back here, and try the food as well. A great place for beer lovers.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I was finally able to stop here on a Thursday night during a recent trip to Philadelphia for work.

A: The place is dark and very rustic. The place has an old time colonial feel to it. The place is lit primarily by candle light with a few inset lights behind the bar.

Q: I was very impressed with the quality of beer choices here. Some were so unique, I never even heard of them.

S: Service was superb. Chris, the bartender, was very attentive and even offered reccomendation for beer and food.

S: For the beer choices, I was impressed. A lot of selections you never see on draft or have never heard of. I had a difficuly time deciding on my draft choices because of the selection and uniqueness of the offerings.

F: I was impressed with the food I made. However, I took the food reccomendations from my bartender and did not stray. I have the Pea Tendril Salad, Fried Sweetbreads and Short Rib Burger. All of which were outstanding.

V: For the food, I thought the prices were on par for what I got/expected for Center City Philadelphia. The beer I thought was a bit pricey but I have no basis for a price on some of the selections I had because I have never seen them. A good point is that the beer is offered in "half glasses" which allows for more sampling

All in all, I was impressed and I look forward to going back again. If they ever get to brewing in-house, that would also be another reason to visit.

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Photo of corby112
4.56/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I've been to the Farmer's Cabinet a few times now and have to say that I'm really impressed with it. I haven't eaten there yet but have been for drinks several times and as recently as last night.

The vibe of this place is awesome. I know a lot of people have complained about the atmosphere but for me it's perfect. Sure, it's dark in there but I don't do much drinking in the day time so it's not really a problem for me. Even during the day, the front is open this time of year so there should be plenty of light coming in. Lots of dark wood, two bars(one for beer one for craft cocktails) and a bunch of barrels along the one wall. I haven't spent much time in the dining room but the front bar area is nice. In addition, they have really cool, unique music there, whether live or recorded. During one of my visits there was a folk/jug band playing some great instrumentals. Trumpet, percussion(including washboard!) and something else. The recorded music is mostly all pre-war including delta blues, big band, ragtime and folk. It adds a nice touch to the speakeasy kind of feel. The front area is kind of small so it can get a bit crowded but that's my only complaint.

All of the bartenders here have been friendly and knowledgeable so far and have dealt with larger crowds very well. For the extensive list of mostly rare European beers that they carry, I was surprised at how knowledgeable they were about what they were offering. On slower nights you can actually sit and have a nice conversation with them about the beers and how their house beers will be coming along.

At first glance the selection is good but not terribly impressive but my opinion of this has changed in less than a week. Many of the beers offered are bottles, however, they are rarely seen on draft. They are priced kind of high but you can try a beer at that price point instead of buying a bottle at a store for 3-5 times that amount. Also, they offer half pours for a bit less which allows you to try more beers. Great for tickers/reviewers. In addition, they just put on head brewer Terry Hawbaker's(formerly of BullFrog) beers on tap. When these are at full production this place will be incredible. Everything will be barrel aged and the main focus will probably be on sours/wilds. The last time was there they had 26 beers on tap including three I had never seen anywhere on tap or in bottle as well as Pliny the Elder, four casks including Hanssenns Oude Kriek and '09 JW Lees and a crazy bottle list that rivals any bar in the area except Monk's. They have 100 bottles mostly focusing on beer from Europe. Tons of stuff from Italy, Scandinavia, Germany, Belgian, etc. The lambic selection is also very, very impressive. The bottles are very costly but for a Center City bar there not much more than they would be in a bottle shop if you could find them. My only complaint is the lack f more American craft options. I know that isn't there focus but it would be cool to see a few more.

Overall, I'm really excited that this place is in town. I love the vibe, the service is very good and the selection is great. The prices are a bit high but not crazy considering the cost and quality of the beers they serve. Recommended!

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Photo of ShanePB
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

The girlfriend and I visited The Farmers Cabinet today for their Belgian Beer Geek Brunch as part of Philly Beer Week. Conveniently located in Center City, I was very excited to visit this place who's making a name for themselves since opening in March of this year.

Walking up Walnut Street, you're greeted by an open front to the restaurant with huge barrel tables on the sidewalks, seating patrons. Inside, a "cocktail" specialty bar is on the right, where we ended up sitting as it was completely packed for the event. The left holds the beer bar and fortunately today they were serving beer at both bars.

The bar is copper plated, awesome looking just like the entire interior. It's a Western / Victorian / farm-centric atmosphere and decor. Almost all of the lighting is provided by candles, though there are bulb lights recessed in the ceiling. Overall, it's fairly dimly lit but gives a really cool vibe. Completely unique in Center City, I absolutely loved it.

The barman greeted us promptly and was very attentive throughout, despite being quite busy though they had the necessary staff on today - excellent. I ordered a Shortrib burger and my girlfriend ordered the BBQ Pork, both of which were served with hand-cut and handmade chips on a thick stone slab. Totally cool. Our meals were both out of this world, cooked to perfection. The menu is very game-centric, even during the special brunch menu that included duck among other items.

The prices were in line with most other places for the meals, nothing overpriced, really. The beers on the other hand were a little bit more expensive. Most pours were 7 oz or 11 oz, which is nice to have the choice and save some $ if you want.

Overall, this was a wonderful first impression for a brand new establishment. The beer is a great selection, 25+ taps from all over Europe mainly, food is outstanding, atmosphere was wonderful and the service was good. A must try!

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Photo of Rifugium
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 1.75

I'm going to attempt to give the most objective review of this place, bearing in mind that the owners are extremely shady and are essentially and quite literally criminals. (Look it up.)

Atmosphere is very nice and classy, dark (always good). Sort of British / Victorian style decor hybridized with old Americana / farmhouse. A large, primary bar greets you when you enter, and there is a really nice selection of diverse beers from all over the world, with signs specifically telling you what region of the Earth your beer has traveled from: Germany/Austria, Scandinavia, etc. 25 or so beers on tap, and often a couple casks. They truly serve beers here that you will most likely never see anywhere else. Additionally, their house beers are exceptional. Cabinet Artisanal was the name of the brewery in VA that used to brew beers exclusively for Farmers' Cabinet and the Boilermaker. Brewer Hawbaker now fortunately brews for Pizza Boy, and CabArt is no longer in existence.

There is a secondary bar in the next room, that to features wine and cocktails exclusively. Additionally, there are a couple very nice dining areas, barrel-tables dotted about where you can just chill out casually with your beer, a few sofas, and an outside area. Very nice.

The service can be hit or miss. Sometimes I/we felt invisible, with the servers not even giving a passing glance...I've mainly experienced this on the rare event that I get a table as opposed to sitting at the bar. Other times, everything is just fine. I suppose it's all a matter of who you "get" when it comes to your bartender/server. Overall, the staff and bartenders give me the impression of being elitist and aloof, which can really be kind of a turn-off, though it doesn't really effect me too much (especially if the good beer is flowing).

The menu...seems to be a running problem. At first it was quite diverse and atypical, with game items and such. Then I think they fired the kitchen because they weren't cutting it, as it were. The new menu (as I edit this in mid-2012), is okay, but very inaccessible. Your choices are basically overpriced snacks ($8 for a dry freaking pretzel?), or overpriced entrees ($30 for a freaking pork chop?). No mid-sized selections, and no real diversity in the menu. I'd rather go next door and get a slice of pizza when I leave the bar. I've had a few tasty items here, but overall the food options are woefully inadequate.

The beer is not cheap, and you can really run your tab up fast, considering it's mostly 12oz. pours or less that you get. I did like the half-pour option though. Rarer beer can move upwards of $10 for a pour between 4-7oz.

Good bar overall, theoretically. It's lesser qualities are compensated for by their impressive and unique tap list. Too bad the owners are total deadbeats and will probably run this bar into the ground like all their other endeavors (Boilermaker, Fork & Barrel, Butcher & Brewer, etc., etc., probably five other doomed bars by the time this entry is locked).

This has been my best objective review on the Farmers' Cabinet. All that aside, ultimately, the take-home message is: don't give your money to these people. They're a disgrace to the craft beer scene and need to be stopped. I will never go back.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.3/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

In town, Twilight Singers at the Troc tonight. Plans to meet the sister-in-law at Monk's. I stopped in and never left...

Atmosphere: Like an old farmhouse and barn. I entered at the cocktail bar, copper covered and very nice. Realizing the error of my ways (cocktails?), I made my way over to the tap bar. Remember how I said that I like chalkboards? This one opts for wood panels over chalk, a very nice touch (it cleans as well as a chalkboard too). Lots of wood on the bar's back wall, along with the listings of ales and lagers, grouped by geographic region. To the left of the bar, a cheese- and bread-monger's station. Dining is in the back, as are racks containing barrels. No house beers right now, but, hmmm what will end up there?

Quality: I was greeted immediately at the cocktail bar and was graciously sent off to the beer bar. Clean restrooms, crisp menu, good staff. A veritable hive of activity.

Service: Chris, the bartender, was friendly, quickly striking up a conversation with me. We have a mutual friend in Terry Hawbaker (forgive the term, I'd say that Terry and I are friendly acquaintances, but 'friends' drives home the small world motif so much better). He guided me through a few beers and made an excellent recommendation on cheese (moliterno, a pecorino with black truffles). A drink on the house even! Oh, Terry also stopped by (didn't immediately recognize him without the long hair, porkpie hat and glasses). We chatted about his plans, Bullfrog and other sundry matters. No beer yet, but he is planning to starting brewing in a few weeks.

Selection: Beers from across the globe. The heavier Italian focus surprised me. The listing included 20 beers of continental origin and a guest tap for Mongo. I went through several different beers during my stop: Hoffstetten Saphir Bock, Del Ducato Via Emilia, Schlenkerla Helles Lager, Haandbryggeriet Royk Uten Ild and 't Brouwot Netebuk. SIL Sarah had the cider, potential BIL Bill had the Schlenkerla rauchbier. While we were there, Terry and Brian Strumke of Stillwater fame were plotting out PBW ideas - oh the secrets I know!

Food: Eclectic menu focusing on the farm. I ordered a cheese plate (the aforementioned moliterno) and tried a few others (a pecorino, gouda, and bleu) with the resident cheesemonger. Sarah had a cheese plate sampler. Meats, both charcuterie and otherwise, along with fresh breads are also available. A full dinner menu also.

A very nice place, I'm glad it didn't run off into the ether after one glass. I'm looking forward to the artisanal beers.

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Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Wow! What an awesome place! We visited on 3/19 (third day of operations) and were blown away.

The Farmer's Cabinet is located at the edge of Washington Square West, a short hop from Tria, Varga Bar and Fergie's. The place has a very cool vibe from the minute you walk in. On the right side is a Victorian styled bar that serves specialty cocktails, on the right is the beer bar. The dining room behind the beer side has miles of rectangular tables, including a communal table that can seat 50 or 60 people. Lots of medium and dark wood, stuffed animal heads, an old upright piano, barrels repurposed as tables, all in all a good look. Unlike the owners' other places, Farmers' Cabinet is only mostly candlelit The recessed lighting is welcome.

We grabbed a comfortable stool at the copper-topped beer bar. There were about 23 beers on tap during our visit. The taps are split into 5 or 6 tap sections. The beer lists is divided geographically (Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, UK(?)) and displayed on a wooden board suspended by ropes above the taps. There is also a section that will be devoted to house brewed beers (mainly saisons and barrel-aged beers), though the brew house is not yet installed. Selections are off beat and pricey, though you can get a half pour to keep the sticker shock down. I had a Beer Here Dark Hops (never seen the beer or brewery on tap around here) and a Hop God because I love that beer (it was, by the way, the only American beer on tap). The bottle list numbers about 80 and is similar in nature.

Service was quite attentive and knowledgeable.

The only food we had was a cheese plate. The menu is game-centric and pricey so I don't see us going here for dinner. But for drinks and cheese we will be here plenty.

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The Farmers' Cabinet in Philadelphia, PA
4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings.
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