Malta

Ratings Key:

A: Choice and/or quality of drinks: /10

B: Style and décor: /10

C: Atmosphere and feel: /10

D: Amenities, Events & Community: /10

E: Value for money: /10

F: The Pub Going Factor: /10

Valletta

8/10

  • Ollie’s Pub – A: 6/10 B: 9/10 C: 7/10 D: 5/10 E: 6/10 F: 8/10
  • Café Jubilee – A: 6/10 B: 8/10 C: 8/10 D: 6/10 E: 7/10 F: 8/10

The clash of cultures and effect of tourism define Malta’s drinking scene. Malta is a tiny island and there is a reasonably big brewery based there which does a tidy range of beer, Cisk, a decent tasting lager (think Sam Smith’s Taddy), Blue Label, a very old fashioned bitter ale, Hopleaf, a rather rank pale ale and finally a low gravity milk stout amusingly names Lacto.

It’s a range more akin to a working man’s club in Bolton in the 1970s than an island on the Mediterranean, but Malta is an oddity and this unusual quirk is just one of a series that come, gradually, to define the place.

There are a series of ex-pat type bars across Malta which as usual are over-the-top, garish, rather too filled with England flags, and run by the kind of people you’d see bare chested on EDL rallies in Dagenham. Due to the sleepy and backward nature of the traditional drinking scene you may have to slightly hold your nose at times and enter in.

The Maltese themselves seem to prefer smokey drop-in type bars which are not dissimilar to those found in France.

This isn’t to say Malta is without any standout places. There are some atmospheric bars to be found in central Valletta if you’re out at the right time of the evening. Additionally, the craft beer scene has hit Malta, and even Gozo features its own microbrewery (though good luck finding those beers anywhere).

Otherwise, expect mainly the same row of generic cafes in the squares and marinas along the coast offering Cisk.