Brewery: Farsons

Virtually everywhere I've travelled, there's a national - or at least regional - beer brand that you see everywhere; in every bar and restaurant, on every pub sign and every awning edge. It fascinates me that the UK seems to be almost unique in lacking that national brew.

The Cisk Family

That national brew isn't always a remarkable beer. To be honest, it's usually the same old, 4.0 to 4.5% generic lager but I don't think that matters. I'll dive into the local craft beer scene as quickly as I can, but it feels important to grab a glass of the "local beer" before anything else.

So it is with Malta; their oldest brewery - Farsons - brews the ubiquitous Cisk (which is pronounced 'chisk'), among a lot of other beers.


The original Cisk is what you see pretty much everywhere you go. It's a classic 4.2% ABV lager, and it's what you'll generally get if you just ask for a local beer.

It's a traditional golden colour in the glass, with a fairly fleeting head but lots of rising bubbles. The nose is lightly malty, with just a hint of fairly earthy hops.

In the mouth, there's plenty of fizz to go with the malty sweetness, and a very satisfyingly crisp bitter finish. There's nothing remarkable going on here, but it's a satisfying cold beer on a hot day.

Cisk 0.0

Next up is Cisk 0.0, the zero alcohol version of their main beer. Now alcohol free beer has come a long way in the last few years, and this definitely shows that a decent beer doesn't need the alcohol.

In the glass it's almost indistinguishable from the original Cisk, although the head maybe lingers a little longer. The nose comes close too, although there is just a hint of the unfermented wort aroma that used to plague alcohol-free beers of old.

In the mouth, it's impressively close to Cisk; perhaps lacking a little sweetness, but other than that you wouldn't know it was a different beer. Impressive.

Cisk Strong

Lastly, we come to Cisk Strong, which at 9.0% ABV really isn't pulling its punches.

Visually, it looks very similar to its brothers. The nose has plenty of malt and a little digestive biscuit, but it's only over time that you can start to get a hint of the alcohol heat in there.

In the mouth, it's syrupy sweet, with a lovely warming alcohol and a delightfully foamy texture. There's a clean hop bitterness that chases all that away in the aftertaste, making it an incredibly easy-drinking beer that belies its strength.

This review was originally published 15th June, 2024. It was last updated 15th June, 2024.