Prefab Sprout were formed in 1982 and had many hits throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s and charted again in 2013 with the album with the album Crimson/Red which got to No 15 in the UK charts. My favourite Sprout record is ‘Faro(n) Young’ which was a track on their 1985 album Steve McQueen which got to No 21 in the UK. Faron Young (1932 -1996) was a US country singer who had a big hit in 1972 with a rather lachrymose song called “It’s Four In The Morning”.
One of the things I really like about beer is the amazing range of styles that are now available in the UK. I may think that I am a beer expert and have tried pretty much everything, but when poking around in a dusty corner of an off licence I find something completely different. A recent beer foraging exhibition to Guildford took me to Innathome- a large bottle shop on the High Street. It was there that I found Boon Faro, an obscure type of Belgian beer which I had read about but hadn’t sampled. I decided to pair this with ‘Faron Young’.
Boon Faro pours a copper colour and has a barley sugar aroma. The taste is quite intriguing and not like any other beer I have tried. Sweet and sour is perhaps an accurate description. This is a sour Lambic naturally fermented beer to which candy sugar has been added. Boon describes the beer as tasting of “sweet pickles” which is certainly a term few beer writers have in their vocabulary. I think this is a beer to sip slowly on its own as the sour/sweet taste might overwhelm most foods.
Lambic beers are brewed in the area around Brussels, Belgium and are fermented with wild airborne years.The resultant beer is sour and is often served in Belgium with the addition of a fruit syrup. Many Lambic beers have cherries or raspberries added to them which gives them a very deep intense fruit flavour. Faro is a barrel-aged Lambic beer to which candied sugar is added. The beer is then pasteurised to stop the sugar from fermenting into alcohol and then bottled.
Boon are just one of a small number of traditional Lambic breweries who still make Faro which used to be a popular drink in the 19th Century. Boon are based in the small town of Lembeek which is south of Brussels. They were founded in 1975 and brew eight different Lambic beers. The brewery is open to the public.
Belgium is the spiritual home of beer and has over 180 breweries. It is claimed that Belgium produces over 400 different styles of beer. Belgium is very popular as a Beercation destination as most of the breweries are open to the public. Belgium also has many fine specialist beer cafes many of which serve hundreds of different type of draft and bottled beers.
So pour yourself a glass of sweet/sour Boon Faro, open up a jar of pickled gherkins and listen to Prefab Sprouts witty intelligent pop song about Faron Young.