Where does the word ċisk come from?

Cisk is synonymous with Maltese iconic beer but its etymology has far more ancient roots dating back to 1840, when the first private bank was set up in Malta.

Giuseppe Scicluna was a businessman who founded this local private bank and in 1929 he took over the operations of the company of one of its customers who was given a license to manufacture Pilsner and Münchener beers in the Malta Export Brewery.

But how exactly did the word Cisk come into existence? The norm at the time, for the average businessmen and for people generally was to hide their hard earned money in a copper box, under the bed or in leather bags inside their clothes. But, eventually they would come to keep their money in a current account at Scicluna’s bank and over time they were even introduced to the cheque system. The depositors, few of whom could read and write, found it hard to say the word ‘cheque’ and would say ‘Cisk’ instead. Giuseppe Scicluna himself became known as Cisk.

This year, Cisk Lager celebrates its 90th year as the leading Maltese beer which has made a name for itself not only locally but also abroad.

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