Maltese Beers

Malta CiskMalta has a wide range of beers to choose from.

Most countries love their beer and also brew excellent examples of it. Malta is no exception. The Mediterranean island nation has been invaded numerous times over the course of history and all of the conquerors left some type of influence on the culture. However, the British are recognized as introducing beer to the islands.

Back in the 1880s the H&G Simonds Brewery of Reading, England opened up shop in Malta and started feeding the nation with a steady supply of beer. It was also sent to other areas of the Mediterranean wherever British troops happened to be stationed at the time.

The Simonds brewery eventually joined forces with Farrugia & Sons and in 1928 Simonds Farsons was born. The company merged with the Malta Export brewery and then became Simonds Farsons Cisk. The brewery’s most famous beer is known as Cisk. The company currently brews a fine variety of lagers and ales at their site which was erected in 1949.

In the 1960s Simonds became a part of the Courage beer group. But while the Hop Leaf brands may have slowly disappeared in the UK, they’re still popular in Malta where you can find Hop Leaf pale ale and Hop Leaf Extra. Another popular brand is Blue Label and there’s also another type of ale called milk stout with the most popular version being Mackeson. This three-per cent ale is brewed with milk sugar or lactose in it. Basically, it’s Hop Leaf pale that has lactose, caramel, and vitamin B added to it. It’s ideal for baking and cooking and often ends up in Christmas cakes.

Since Malta doesn’t have hops and malt, they’re imported from other nations. Water supply can also be a bit tricky and that’s why Farsons Brewery is located in area of Mriehel as there are artesian wells there. Water can also be supplied from Mdina as it flows down Roman aqueducts. Other water comes from roof tanks and the sea, which is then desalinated.

Cisk Lager

Cisk lagers are still the most popular in Malta as they represent about 75 per cent of the brewery’s production. It goes down well with the 400,000 Maltese residents and the million visitors each year, especially since half of them are British. Cisk Lager is 4.2 per cent and comes with a hint of Hallertau hop and lemon aroma. You can also find Cisk Export Premium, Extra Strong, Export Premium, and Excel Low Carbohydrate Lager.

One of the newer products is Cisk Chill Lemon Lager Beer. This is a lemon-flavoured beer that has an alcohol level of four per cent. It comes in a clear bottle while the other Cisk beers are packaged in brown bottles. The lemon lager is available in 25cl bottles.

Farsons also brews Lacto, Shandy, Strong Ale, Skol, and Carlsberg as well as a wide range of soft drinks, juice, juice drinks, and waters.