Far­sons marks the de­liv­ery of its first beer to Qormi, 90 years ago

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Far­sons Brew­ery cel­e­brated 90 years since the de­liv­ery of its first beer, Far­sons Pale Ale, in April 1928 to Qormi, for the feast of St George, and marked this mile­stone with a re­cep­tion at the Qormi lo­cal coun­cil.

Em­pha­sis­ing Qormi’s sig­nif­i­cance in this mile­stone, Far­sons Group chair­man Louis A. Far­ru­gia out­lined the his­tor­i­cal high­lights that, over nine decades, con­nected the com­pany with this lo­cal­ity. Draw­ing on sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween bread bak­ing, for which Qormi is well renowned, and brew­ing, Far­ru­gia ex­plained that beer is some­times de­scribed as “liq­uid bread”. As is the case of the Mal­tese loaf, the three main in­gre­di­ents of beer are yeast, wheat and wa­ter. Both bread and beer also need time to fer­ment.

Both Qormi and Far­sons went through some chal­leng­ing times dur­ing the last cen­tury. Orig­i­nally, the Far­ru­gia fam­ily had es­tab­lished a flour mill and pasta mak­ing fac­tory in Ħam­run, but when this mill was de­stroyed dur­ing the Sette Gi­ugno ri­ots in 1919, the fac­tory was changed into a car­bon diox­ide pro­duc­ing fa­cil­ity, called L. Far­ru­gia and Sons Ltd,” the Far­sons chair­man ex­plained.

Con­tact was made with the brew­ing in­dus­try through the sup­ply of car­bon diox­ide and the Far­ru­gia brothers, on the ad­vice of Luigi’s son, Lewis V. Far­ru­gia, de­cided to ven­ture into the thriv­ing beer mar­ket. They made the cru­cial de­ci­sion of brew­ing beer them­selves in Malta for the first time, rather than im­port­ing it. Their first brew­ery in Ħam­run was a brave and in­no­va­tive step in the coun­try’s eco­nomic and in­dus­trial his­tory.

As Qormi de­vel­oped, so did Far­sons. In 1929, brew­ers H. G. Si­monds merged with Far­sons, while in 1948, The Malta Ex­port Brew­ery, that was then pro­duc­ing the pop­u­lar “Cisk” Lager – joined Si­monds Far­sons, and so Si­monds Far­sons Cisk Ltd was formed.

Far­ru­gia paid homage to his fa­ther, Lewis Vic­tor Far­ru­gia, also an ar­chi­tect by pro­fes­sion, who had de­signed the com­pany’s sec­ond brew­ery in nearby Im­rieħel. This his­toric build­ing is to­day con­sid­ered a unique part of Malta’s in­dus­trial her­itage. Presently, this brew­ery build­ing is be­ing re-born as a Busi­ness Park of the high­est stan­dard, man­aged by Tri­dent Es­tates plc. Far­ru­gia also re­called the late An­thony Miceli Far­ru­gia, who took the helm of the com­pany fol­low­ing the un­timely demise of Lewis V. Far­ru­gia, and who came up with the idea of an orig­i­nal soft drink by the name of Kin­nie in 1952.

“Qormi’s motto Al­tior ab imo (Ris­ing from below) also mir­rors Far­sons’ story. From a small brew­ery serv­ing the Mal­tese mar­ket, to­day Far­sons has be­come a di­ver­si­fied group of com­pa­nies in the food and bev­er­ages sec­tors with an as­pi­ra­tion to be­come a lead­ing player in the Mediter­ranean re­gion, and be­yond,” ex­plained Far­ru­gia.

To mark this 90th an­niver­sary, Far­ru­gia an­nounced that Far­sons is spon­sor­ing a set of paint­ings by artist Daniel Scerri. One of th­ese paint­ings will be used as a First Day Cover when it is pub­lished by Mal­tapost in May. Th­ese paint­ings will be ini­tially dis­played at Dar Bjorn in Qormi and sub­se­quently placed at the Qormi lo­cal coun­cil of­fices.

While thank­ing Far­ru­gia and Far­sons board of direc­tors, Qormi mayor Jes­mond Aquilina said: “Our Lo­cal Coun­cil ac­cepted Far- sons’ in­vi­ta­tion to mark the 90th an­niver­sary as the first beer was first de­liv­ered and sold specif­i­cally in our lo­cal­ity. This oc­ca­sion has an even greater sig­nif­i­cance for us as this year we are cel­e­brat­ing the 275th an­niver­sary since Qormi was de­clared Citta’ Pinto through a de­cree by Grand Mas­ter Em­manuel Pinto de Fon­seca. We ap­pre­ci­ate and are very grate­ful for Far­sons’ gen­er­ous do­na­tion for the com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially for those who love the arts and cul­ture. We au­gur that other com­pa­nies em­u­late this ex­am­ple by con­tribut­ing to the com­mu­nity as part of their cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Guests at the event also had the op­por­tu­nity to sam­ple Far­sons Gold La­bel Pale Ale, a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion brew, ahead of its of­fi­cial launch in May.

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