Beer Dude Out and So Is the Beer at Farmers’ Cabinet

A week ago Eater reported that beer dude Matt Scheller had left Farmers’ Cabinet. We held off on reporting it, call it a case of Farmers’ Cabinet people are leaving fatigue or maybe we were just waiting for the next boot to drop. And what do you know ….

Jack Curtin is reporting that Mike Hiller (a brewer who was brewing at Farmers’ Cabinet’s Virginia brewery, Cabinet Artisanal Brewhouse) says a dozen beers were  dumped out. A poster on added a bit more detail, saying it was the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the TTB who ordered the dumping.

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  • CaptainLogic

    TTB dumping = death sentence. see ya smucks!

  • KindaAgree

    Foobooz is really getting lazy in reporting news. Art sticks to two PR company press releases and misses the rest. Quit dialing it in Art and get back to work. Eater is running circles around you.

    Regarding Matt Scheller, I don’t see how he is going to get work in a real corporate environment. Employers will google his name and he will forever be associated with the shenanigans of Matt and Colleen Schwartz and their . You made your bed Matt, have a rotten life sleeping in it.

  • Ernesto Anastastio III

    For your viewing pleasure

    Sadly, I am writing to inform you that Bella Vista has ceased doing business in any capacity with the people behind the Farmers Cabinet/Boilermakers
    retailers immediately. Bella Vista has dealt with them before they were in Southeastern Pa with their failed restaurants in the Lehigh Valley; Tap and
    Table in Emmaus, PA, and The Bookstore Speakeasy in Allentown, PA. Bella Vista has received worthless check issued from the group for years, but they
    always made good on the bad checks after reporting them to the PALCB as per state law.

    Fast forward to Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers after a short stint with the Fork and Barrel in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, PA. The group promised to make good on all purchases and were to maintain an escrow balance to cover all deliveries to both locations. None of this ever came to fruition. They forged relationships with some of our more popular suppliers directly against our wishes, which complicated things further.

    Bella Vista continued to deal with the NSF checks and The Grainery Group would make every excuse in the book to keep stringing us along. My family was fed up, and gave them an ultimatum requiring having 2 corporate cards
    accountable (debit) as a fail safe or we would no longer be involved with supplying them with beer.

    Bella Vista had a meeting with The owners of the group, Matthew Schwartz and Matthew Scheller regarding the ultimatum. This was the final warning, and
    they left the meeting understanding the outcome, had the fail-safes in essence were to fail. Sept, 7, 2012 they failed.

    Bella Vista’s office instructed the driver to head back to the Farmers Cabinet to retrieve the beer that was unpaid. While the driver was taking the beer back, Bella Vista’s office was informed that The Farmers Cabinet had tapped one of the kegs and the manager asked our office to try and run
    the debit card for the value of that keg. By some miracle, the transaction for the amount was approved. The driver was instructed to leave the tapped keg and return all the other items that were not paid for to Bella Vista’s
    warehouse. These situations are truly saddening, and as a small family company we understand financial hiccups and we dislike having to be the enforcer, but when it comes to the financial stability of Bella Vista, we must act. Rarely do we do this, but when we do it is because the account has
    left us no other choice but to comply with state law after so many attempts to maintain a positive relationship for all parties involved.

    Later on that night, I was in our warehouse late and one of the owners, Matthew Schwartz stormed into our retail floor, and darted for our office, entered unannounced and unwelcome. He later stepped out into the retail
    floor near the bank of cashier stations. He yelled at me (fortunately no customers were nearby during the engagement, however the driver that returned the product, a cashier, our office assistant, and one of our sales reps were witnesses to the entire scene), I noticed him leave the office and wondered what he was doing in there as I had not been made aware that he was even in the building, let alone our office. Matthew Schwartz had raised his
    voice and looked like a rabid dog, yelling pointing his finger, threatening to beat me up, saying he was this close to beat me up. Yelling at me, “How could you do this to us? You didn’t even call!” I told him he had been warned and that we could no longer hold their hand to help them limp along in paying their bills. It was obvious he was everything I heard about him:
    Acting like an animal, lashing out, and threatening in a manner as to having no regard for the situation around him. I told him to leave the property or I would have the police called to remove him from and have him arrested for threatening me.

    Compounding this, there’s another situation I need to write you about regarding the owners of the Grainery Group. Last year they purchased Shenandoah Brewing Company located at 652 S. Pickett Street – Alexandria, VA
    22304. Bella Vista maintains the franchise rights to Shenandoah Brewing Company and all of its beers. The agreement as per state law made with then owner, Anning Smith is still in effect today and enforceable by franchise
    law. Matt Scheller, the partner in this business, was completely uneducated in franchise law, and concluded to sell beer to another wholesaler in our market to distribute the beers to The Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers
    exclusively. We were not aware that when they did choose to have another wholesaler work with them, that the brewers notice and the trade name remained unchanged, as Shenandoah Brewing Co. We were notified that they re-registered the original four beers that were registered back in 2009-2011 to somehow make the state believe they were
    being compliant with registration law, without naming a successor wholesaler. The wholesaler they were using ( I believe and hope the wholesaler has stopped working with them at this point) had no written agreement, and acted out of compliance, by picking up the beer from Virginia and having it shipped to their warehouse, and then putting it on their trucks and delivering the beer to The Farmers cabinet and Boilermakers. The beers were being renamed as Farmers Cabinet or Cabinet Artisanal beers on the keg collars, however they have always been and are still brewed under the brewers notice of Shenandoah Brewing Co. According to the TTB and COLA approved research, nothing under the Farmers Cabinet or Cabinet Artisanal comes up, in any form of search as approved COLAS or brewers notices. I have heard of an even worse offense by this brewer: With good authority, I know for a fact that Shenandoah Brewing/Cabinet Artisanal was self distributing its own beer.They were/are crossing state lines from VA to PA in an non bonded, non licensed truck. In fact it was a rental box truck they would rent for the day from Philadelphia, drive down to VA, pick up beer and take directly to the Farmers Cabinet and Boilermakers,

    The state of Pennsylvania is not the wild west when it comes to liquor law, there are strict rules and regulations that we all must abide by. I am writing to inform you that Shenandoah Brewing Co, can not “shop around” for wholesalers, and at this point I don’t think anyone of you who I respect tremendously and dearly would even consider working with them in any capacity. Bella Vista is reaching out to you to hopefully protect yourself from taking a financial loss by working with them on the retail end, and if you risk doing so, tread lightly.”

  • Hypocrite

    Ernesto, that would all be very impressive if you hadn’t just hooked up to distribute Shady Shelton Brothers beers. You know, the guys who almost bankrupted New York Breweries with pointing out unregistered beers there too

    And tiny Matt could kick your butt

  • Incest

    Step 1 – Open Beer Distributor
    Step 2 – Make money selling to surrounding bars
    Step 3- Use money to buy nearby bars (Hawthornes and Cambridge)via family shell owners
    Step 4 – Stop selling to other nearby bars (Boilermaker and Farmers Cabinet
    Step 5 – Go to jail you south philly mafia types

  • Wow

    Jordan from Bella Vista stops doing business with a company because they keep giving him bad checks. The owner of the Farmers Cabinet threatens to beat up Jordan. Posters somehow twist it into Jordan is a bad guy. Welcome to the Internet.

  • Wow

    Any word on what happened to all the beer from Farmers Cabinet? Marry Me in Goslar was some solid brew. Was all Hawbaker’s hard work dumped? I’d love to hear his side of what really happened. There is a good book waiting to written about these fools

  • Badjack


    In regards to your cogent point #4 – It’s not “selling” if you never get paid for the product you delivered. Purveyors are people, too.

  • NoDoubt100

    It was pretty sad to see so many distributor reps sucking up to the Matt losers from these failed restaurants. Those distributors lost a lot of credibility in my eyes. Nice to see at least Jordan has had the balls to see the light and cut the ties finally. The others, especially those still hyping and do promotions with these felons can never make me forget.
    Good luck Alyssa, you belong with these ADD immature impatient clowns. Hopefully you will get your act together by 40. Try to stay out of jail.

  • MattFriends
  • MattFriends
  • Brian


    Hawbaker left a few months back.

  • Krautster

    Jordan, You are going to the LCB with this I hope. Tar and feather them on the way out of town. I hate shady, slimy unethical business people.

  • Russell Jones

    @ MattFriends, How about some recent articles:

    Boing boing go the paychecks.

  • Ernesto Anastastio III

    When a restaurant/bar/beer distributor bounces a check to a wholesaler, that wholesaler is obligated to report it to the PLCB and professional courtesy dictates they inform other wholesalers if its habitually.

    Farmers cabinet also is fined if they had continued to pass worthless checks.

  • ElliotPNess

    Jordan and Ernesto, driving kegs that likely were made illegally (see The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the TTB story) into another State and selling them in a restaurant is the real story. It’s going to put a prior convicted felon like Matt Swartz and his partners Matt Scheller, Robert Liccio and Benjamin Miosi all in jail probably. Did you report that to the PLCB? That’s the icing on their cake of corruption. Not paying bills, not paying employees, harassing employees, dashing in the middle of the night, etc etc. This is the one that brings them down permanent in my opinion. Did you report that to LCB? The Feds? TTB? IRS? Interstate Commerce Commission ? PA District Attorney? etc? Aren’t you required to under LCB law since the illegal kegs could theoretically be traced to you as distributor for Philly ? The guys in Virginia probably aren’t done their search you know. I am shocked how brazen these people are, complete disregard of the laws and social norms the rest of us follow in civiled society. It sickens me.

  • Phishy

    Mr Anastasio, Always something Phishy about the Matts, “The Asse Festival”

    So which distributor is the TTB going to close for bringing in these Farmer’s Cabinet illegally brewed brews?
    Any “Bathtub Gin” involved?

    “Den of Iniquity” (never played live) is bringing down a lot of people whith them

  • DocLock

    A prior poster stated that PA is not the wild west as far as beer is concerned.

    That’s not entirely true. The BLE/PLCB has been suspect for decades, and their archaic beer laws are the subject of mockery and crfies for change among PA natives and West Coast beer advocates alike. Now, with PJ Stapleton having resigned rather than be thrown in jail for accepting bribes (and this story hit the Philadelphia Inquirer Thursday) the PLCB has become John Gotti, and the taxpaying beer populace has become Eliot Ness.

    As for the Matt’s, I do not understand how scumbags such as these assholes continue to get loans and stay out of jail. I was with a close friend of mine, Dan Bengal, in Craft Ale House in Limerick, PA, when these two came in and acted like they owned the place and then left without paying their bill. They were seasoned pros on walking without paying, and that’s what makes this cause me to wonder how these assclowms ever got loans or accounts with distributors. I hope this is a just a case of a few bad apples, but methinks there might be more beneath the surface here.

    To finish, someone barging into an establishment yelling “I’m going to kill you” is at least a death threat worthy of massive jail time, and I hope we get these fake losers off the beer scene and into a federal prison once and for all.