[WATCH] At 90, Farsons celebrates with Gold Label

The Farsons beer fest, now in its 39th edition, has become a summer staple in Malta, with drinkers flocking to have a taste of the 70 or so beers on offer

Farsons is brewing Gold Label in the same spirit as the first beer it ever brewed in 1928
Farsons is brewing Gold Label in the same spirit as the first beer it ever brewed in 1928
The Farsons beer fest, now in its 39th edition, has become a summer staple in Malta, with drinkers flocking to have a taste of the 70 or so beers on offer

Beer is a beverage enjoyed by drinkers all around the world, with interest in the various types and styles of the amber nectar seeing no sign of abating.

The Farsons beer fest, now in its 39th edition, has become a summer staple in Malta, with drinkers flocking to have a taste of the 70 or so beers on offer.

MaltaToday visited the ten-day festival, which started on Thursday, and spoke to Karl Bondin, Farsons’ brand manager, who told us about the brewery’s new aromatic beer offerings.

“The beer market has developed a lot in the last years, and there’s now a very healthy interest in beer,” Bondin said. “In this spirit, and to celebrate its 90th anniversary, Farsons created a new beer, Gold Label, a pale ale, which is symbolic of the first beer the company ever brewed, in 1928.”

“The first beer we made was also a pale ale. The recipe for Gold Label is different, but it’s the same style of beer, in keeping with tradition,” Bondin said.

“Gold Label is different from the other beers we produce. We used a dry hopping technique during fermentation to make it. So beer is hopped not only at the boiling stage, but also at the fermentation stage, specifically at maturation, and we obtained more aroma from the hop during brewing.

“When you taste Gold Label, you immediately realise how full of flavour it is, and how its aroma compliments its bitterness. It’s not a session beer, which you drink in large quantities over an extended period. Rather, it should be savoured, because it has a complex flavour profile.”

Gold Label joins a series of ales that Farsons launched last year – India Pale Ale and Double Red Strong Ale – and Blue Label, a classic.

The brewery has also started to experiment with speciality beers, Bondin said, having launched Cisk Pilsner, Cisk Strong Lager (bottled at 9% alcohol) and Cisk Export.

“The ingredients used at brewing stage for these three special beers are different from those used in our other beers – they are specifically chosen from their aromas and flavours.”

Farsons have also brewed, for many decades, a milk stout, Lacto, which is not as widely known.

“We still make Lacto,” Bondin said, “It’s popular during the Christmas period, added to puddings, but is used in other types of dishes too. I recommend it – it’s a very good beer.”

Cisk Lager, however, maintains its top spot as the most preferred beer by the Maltese and foreigners on the island, Bondin said. “It’s a beer with 4.2% alcohol – an easy drinking, medium-bodied beer.”

Craft beer competition is positive

Competition from the craft beer industry, which has gained ground worldwide, is not a threat to bigger breweries, Bondin said.

“I think the rising popularity of craft beer is very positive, since it increases people’s interest in beer, and everyone in the beer business can reap benefits from this,” he said.

“Farsons cannot be classified as a craft brewery, due to its scale, however, the interest in craft beers leads to developments and interest in the general market, which is a good opportunity for everyone,” he added.​

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