Meet Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, South Africa’s First Female Black Brew Master

Craft beers are taking South Africa by storm and women are becoming more and more involved in the business.

Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, is synonymous with the country’s beer scene and is asserting herself as South Africa’s first black female brewmaster. She is a trainer at Brewhogs, a microbrewery in Kyalami, Midrand, north of Johannesburg.

Nxusani-Mawela is familiar with the process of brewing beer. For thousands of years, brewing umqobothi (traditional beer) has been the realm of women. What is different now is that Nxusani-Mawela is the first black female shareholder in a microbrewery in South Africa and the first black South African to be accredited as a training provider by the Institute of Brewing & Distilling.

With the help of South African Breweries, Nxusani-Mawela managed to get a bursary  to do her BSc Honours in Microbiology at the University of Pretoria. Afterwards, she did a brewing internship with the company for 18 months. Once she was working as a brewer, she obtained her brewing diploma through the Institute of Brewing & Distilling in London.

Nxusani-Mawela says there are not a lot of black players in  the craft beer space and there are even fewer women. To this end, she has started another business.

“Last year I started my other company called Brewster’s Craft where I do brewing training and offer consulting for other emerging brewers. I also offer a lot of science exhibitions to high school learners just to expose them to different brewing sciences and to make science more relevant and fun,” she says.

Watch the video below

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