There are a surprising number of wines, beers and liqueurs made locally, many of which are widely enjoyed by the Maltese and visitors alike.
Incredible views & brews
Maltese companies began to mass-produce beers in the 1920s, with Farsons brewery as the pioneer with Pale Ale. In the decades that followed, Malta's beer-brewers have increased, creating premium and distinct award-winning ales.
Cisk is the iconic beer with a bright yellow label that has been brewed in Malta since August of 1929. Born out of adversity and perseverance, Cisk was to play a definitive role in the transformation of the local beverage industry, which saw a predominately wine drinking culture embrace the love of beer. It's become a Maltese institution, equivalent to pastizzi and festa fireworks.
This little craft beer brewery was set up in Gozo just in time for the movement to settle into the islands. "We're an independent brewery making that kind of tasty, flavourful beer we want to drink." Hard not to try it after that.
Farsons Blue Label & Hopleaf Pale Ale
More classic award-winning Maltese beers by the same brewery as Cisk. Blue Label is a top-fermented ale which offers a velvety texture with subtle chocolate and caramel notes, while Hopleaf Pale Ale was made to be quite British in taste, as it was originally brewed to cater to the British market during the days of the Empire.
Farsons Traditional Shandy
This is the beer of choice when you're spending a day at the beach and don't want to peak that beer buzz too early. A mixture of ale-based beer and lemonade, it's a very light beer, with just 2.2 per cent ABV.
The air touched by the sea in Malta carries a brininess which adds a subtle salt tang to the grapes grown here. While Malta isn't as renowned as its larger Mediterranean neighbours for wine production, local producers are still striving to produce world class wines with Maltese character. Maltese-grown international grape varieties include the main ones, while the indigenous varieties, Gellewza and Ghirghentina, produce some excellent wines of distinct body and flavour.
Delicata's story begins more than 100 years ago. It has remained in the hands of the Delicata family, which still runs a successful winery with over 100 international awards under their winemakers' belt.
Since 1987, Meridiana’s mission has been to produce “World-Class Wines of Maltese Character” – internationally acclaimed wines made from wine-grapes grown exclusively on Maltese soil. Meridiana’s Isis is probably the most commonly drunk on the islands, which is fermented in steel vats, reducing the buttery, oakiness that's often found in Chardonnays.
Marsovin has five privately owned vineyards across the Maltese Islands which are used for producing its premium quality, single-estate wines. The company was founded in 1919 and has continued to expand and modernise, maintaining its spot as one of the leading producers and exporters of wines in Malta.
A sweet something
Malta offers some unique liqueurs, made from traditional and indigenous ingredients. These include prickly pear liqueur, carob liqueur, lemon liqueur and pomegranate liqueur. You'll see the bottles lining the shelves at souvenir shops, but most restaurants have them available for an after-dinner tipple.
And finally, a non-alcoholic treat
Malta has also got its very own soft drink, brewed from bitter oranges and extracts of wormwood. Kinnie is as loved by the locals as Cisk, and is widely available across the islands, sitting comfortably shoulder-to-shoulder with the biggest soft drink brands.