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The story behind Cisk: the ICONIC Maltese beer
There’s a long history behind this iconic Maltese drink.

Francesca Xuereb

In honour of International Beer Day, let’s look at the long history of Cisk, and the company that created it.

Cisk was established all the way back in August 1929, and the drink was originally brewed by the Scicluna family. The family was nicknamed ‘iċ-Ċisk’ because they introduced cheques to the Maltese Islands

Malta had a wine-dominant drinking culture at the time, but the beer was embraced and forever changed the local beverage industry.

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A post shared by Cisk (@cisk)

Almost 20 years later, the Scicluna family would join forces with their rivals in order to consolidate the Maltese market, forming Simonds Farsons Cisk Limited, colloquially known as Farsons. The company would later go public and be placed on the Malta Stock Exchange in 1995.

By the late 1940s, the demand for beer had increased considerably – so Farsons built a larger brewery in Mrieħel, inaugurated in 1950.

Cisk grew in popularity and started to garner international recognition. This was evident by 1980, when the drink won Gold and Dual Champion awards in that year’s Brewex Competition. They won in the Lager and Best Overall categories, the first awards of many.

1980 also saw the first-ever Farsons Beer Festival take place!

Farsons held the event at Floriana’s Argotti Gardens, where Cisk was launched on draught.

In light of the growing demand for the lager and the recognition it gained overseas, Farsons launched a premium version of its beer: the Cisk Export Premium Lager Beer. Upon its launch in 1997, the beer became established in several foreign markets, with Italy being its main export destination.

Cisk Export won Gold in the Australian International Beer Awards in 1998 – only a year after its launch!

The original Cisk and its exported counterpart wouldn’t be the only drinks made by Farsons. In 2006, Cisk XS was born – a variety of Cisk that’s specifically aimed at the Italian market, and Cisk Excel was created in the following year, even being voted the best low-carb beer at the World Beer awards.

Cisk Chill, a lemon-flavoured beer, launched in 2011 and would be the first of three flavours so far. The product expanded to include a berry flavour in 2014, along with ginger and lime in 2017.

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A post shared by Cisk (@cisk)

One of the latest additions to the Cisk collection is actually a blast from the past, as in 2016, Farsons brought back the Cisk Pilsner, which was originally brewed in the late 1940s!

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A post shared by Cisk (@cisk)

Cisk, Cisk Export and the Pilsner have all won several awards over the years in competitions such as the World Beer Cup, the Australian International Beer Awards, the World Beer Awards, the Brussels Beer Challenge, and the Brewing Industry International Awards – which is known as ‘the Oscars of the Brewing Industry’!

As an established company, Cisk has also become a sponsor for Malta’s National Rugby and Football teams since 2000 and 2012, respectively.

Did you know about all this?

 @cisk/Instagram, @farsonsbeerfestival/Instagram, @cisk/Instagram, @cisk/Instagram

5th August 2022


Francesca Xuereb
Written by
Francesca Xuereb
Equipped with puns and references galore, Francesca is a writer who's interested in almost anything and everything. When not creating or consuming memes, she can probably be found listening to music, playing video games, reading, and going down endless Internet rabbit holes.

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