Blast from the Past: Philly Beer Week 2011

The following is a post that I wrote following my first trip to Philly Beer Week (2011).  We will be posting a series of articles as we prep for Philly Beer Week 2012.  
The crowd outside of The Farmer’s Cabinet was 20 deep when we arrived at 1045am.

Mark, Christine, and I arrived at The Farmer’s Cabinet at approximately 10:45am and none of us were surprised to see a crowd of about twenty people already waiting to get into the restaurant.  From the outside, The Farmer’s Cabinet is rather unassuming and fairly indistinguishable from the rest of the storefronts along Walnut Street.  This plain facade belies a unique interior that is reminiscent of a Prohibition Era speakeasy.

Artisanal Beer Tap List by European Region.
Now this is what I call interior decorating.

I won’t dwell on the food as it was decent but nothing I couldn’t get at a wide number of establishments in the city. While I wasn’t overly impressed with the food this time, I will gladly give The Farmer’s Cabinet another chance to impress me with their menu.

Here is a brief description of two of the beers I had along with my cast iron frittata.  I use the Randy Mosher method of deconstructing a beer: Aroma, Appearance, Body & Texture, Aftertaste, and Overall Impressions (Tasting Beer, 2009).

Baladine Super (A Belgian Strong Pale Ale that is quickly becoming one of my favorite beers)

Side Note- I subsequently had this beer in Italy last fall.  The Italy craft scene is exploding right now.  

Aroma: Slightly fruity and malty

Appearance: Deep amber color with no head or lacing

Body & Texture: Strong malt backbone, fruity esters

Aftertaste: Smooth alcohol warmth, not overpowering

Overall Impression:  The seven ounce tasting glass was the perfect size for this strong beer.  The sweetness of the malt is well balanced by a crisp hop note.  It is absolutely refreshing and strong without being overpowering.

“The Cantillon Fou’ Foune is like a fizzy apricot pit in your mouth.”

Cantillon Fou’ Foune (Apricot Lambic)

Aroma: Fruity apricot jam with a slightly astringent smell

Appearance: See above picture-pale golden straw color with light lacing

Body & Texture: Light and effervescent

Aftertaste: Sour, like having a fizzy apricot pit in your mouth

Overall Impression: I should start by saying that I am usually not a fan of sour beers.  The Fou’ Foune is an exceptionally crafted beer.  Sweet yet sour.  Dry yet rich.  I promise from this day forward to expand my palate to include sours.  Maybe one day I’ll devote an entire post to them.

“If Pat wasn’t here this would be kinda romantic.”

Now that Mark and Christine have moved down here I have some partners in crime to share my passion for great craft beer.  I am looking forward to many more enjoyable Philly Beer Week events with Mark and Christine.  Kudos to Philly!

Ursus Beersus

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