Our Story

A Bold Start

hand drawing of the 1950 brewery
This is the story of Cisk

It all starts more than a century ago with Marquis Giuseppe Scicluna, a visionary entrepreneur who established Malta’s first privately-owned bank in 1830.

At that time, Malta was a quieter place, characterised by traditional limestone houses and many brightly-coloured fishing boats (luzzu). Within the villages, Maltese people worked hard, passing on skills in fishing, craftsmanship and commerce through the generations. It became normal practice to “stash your cash” under your bed or within secret pockets sewn into your clothes. Those bold enough to entrust their fortunes to the banks deposited their wealth in secure vaults.

It was Scicluna's Bank who realised a more efficient approach, introducing current accounts and cheque payments. As cheques gained popularity some depositors who struggled with the pronunciation of “cheques” referred to them as “cisk”. The Marquis also became affectionately known as “Iċ-Cisk”, meaning The Cisk, and that’s how our iconic brew got its name!

Marquis John Scicluna
Signature of Marquis john Scicluna

Scicluna’s grandson, Marquis John Scicluna, developed an instant passion for brewing or, more likely, spotted a great opportunity and took charge of a company possessing a license to produce German style lagers. This marked the beginning of The Malta Export Brewery, and the introduction of Cisk Munchener and Cisk Pilsner.

In 1928, forward-thinking entrepreneur Lewis Victor Farrugia founded a brewery under his industrial gas business, L. Farrugia & Sons, which later became commonly known as Farsons. The following year, Farsons joined forces with the renowned H&G Simonds Brewery in Reading, UK, which had been supplying beer to Malta since the 1880s, primarily for the British garrison in transit through Malta at the time. This important partnership led to the creation of Simonds Farsons Limited.


The Malta Export Brewery, 1930s
Cisk is born

The first bottle of Cisk was sold in the summer of 1929 during the local feast of Ħamrun, just as the 'Roaring Twenties' were drawing to a close, and only a few weeks before the tumultuous market crash of 1929.

Cisk advert designed by robert Caruana Dingli in the 1930s, also issued as a postal stamp in 2003 by the Malta Post Office
cisk pilsner LABEL
CISK Munchener LABEL


Merger creates simonds farsons cisk ltd.

The Scicluna family found themselves in a competitive arena, with their brewing rivals Simonds Farsons Limited. Marquis Scicluna recognised the wisdom in unity and the two companies merged, creating Simonds Farsons Cisk Ltd, also known as Farsons.

first logo of Simonds Farsons Cisk in the 1950s
first Cisk label after the merger in 1948


A new brewery in Mriehel

The demand for beer in Malta grew and Farsons responded by investing in a new, larger brewery and construction works started on a site at Mriehel in 1946. Construction was carried out under the direction of Mr Lewis V. Farrugia, an architect by profession, and Scottish architect William B. Binnie. This Brewery remains our proud home to this very day.

team photo taken before the kick-off of traditional football match during Christmas time between staff members in the 1950s
Fordson used in the 1950s as a delivery truck and also as a maintenance vehicle to reach other delivery trucks when they needed to be repaired


Delivery was used in the Mid 1960s
1960s Cisk advert


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1980s Cisk Lager Can
Cisk wins first gold award

Cisk started to gain international recognition, securing the Gold and Dual Championship award for both the Lager and Best Overall categories at the UK’s Brewex Competition.

This was also the year of the first Farsons Beer Festival, where Cisk Lager was introduced on draught.

1980s Cisk advert


1997s Cisk Export Bottle


Cisk goes Export

Encouraged by the growing demand for Cisk Lager, and spurred on by international ambitions, Farsons challenged themselves to find a way to export Cisk to different countries. Cisk Export Premium Lager was born and first launched in Italy. Just one year later, Cisk Export wins its first Gold award in the Australian International Beer Awards.

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A 2000s Cisk Advert


Official Malta National Rugby team sponsors

Passionate about sports from the start, Cisk teamed up with the Malta National Rugby team and became the official sponsor, renewing its sponsorship over the years.


Cisk xs

Created specifically for the Italian market, Cisk XS was launched and quickly developed a following among beer fans, who enjoyed the full-bodied premium brew.

2006 Cisk XS Bottle


A new legend: Cisk Excel

Cisk Excel is born and proves that a low-carb option can still deliver on flavour. Voted the best low-carb beer at the UK World Beer Awards that same year.

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Cisk Excel Advert


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2016 Cisk Pilsner Bottle


Cisk Chill flavoured lager

Cisk Lager gets a tasty, fruity twist with the innovative and refreshing lemon-flavoured Cisk Chill, the only Cisk variant available in a clear bottle.

2011 Cisk Chill Lemon Advert


Official Malta National Football team sponsors

More sport and more sponsorship. Cisk became a major sponsor of the Malta National Football Team. Read more

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New innovations

Following Cisk Chill Lemon's instant success and popularity, the Cisk Chill range was extended to include Cisk Chill Berry in 2014 and Cisk Chill Ginger and Lime in 2017.

The Signature of Marquis Giuseppe Scicluna


Cisk Lager turns 90

Cisk Lager celebrated 90 years in style with funky limited-edition packaging and a series of public events around Malta and Gozo.

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Cisk 0.0

Our iconic alcohol-free lager is born and within the same year is crowned Gold medal winner and overall Trophy winner at the Brewing Industry International Awards, one of the most important international competitions in the beer world and referred to as the ‘Oscars of the Brewing Industry’.

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A bold new approach

Cisk Lager and Cisk Excel made a bigger, bolder statement with a rebrand of both its cans and bottles. A new visual identity was created, uniting history and legacy with a vibrant new future.

The official inauguration of the renovated Farsons Brewery takes place. Extensive regeneration works have transformed one of Malta’s finest 20th Century industrial buildings into a dynamic mixed-use development. Renamed The Brewhouse, the building is now home to the Farsons Brewery Experience, a micro-brewery, conference facilities, office spaces, The Cisk Tap and other catering outlets.

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the Brewhouse
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