Women changing the face of the brewing industry

SABC News Apiwe P - Women changing the face of the brewing industry

As South Africa commemorates Women’s Month, the spotlight has also fallen on women who are taking the beer industry by storm.

Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, from the Eastern Cape, is the first female brewmaster in South Africa to own a brewery.

Since beer-making was industrialised, it has been known as a male-dominated sector, but this is changing.

Nxusani-Mawela is thrilled to be among women who are celebrated.

“Being the first female black-owned brewery in South Africa is quite a privilege for me and honour because it shows that we are able to do things that we were previously not able to and it also helps to empower those coming after me and so that they are able to do the same thing.”

Nxusani-Mawela led a team of female personalities that brewed a limited edition of a special lager for Women’s Month.

She also trains aspiring brewers.

“This to means we as women are responsible for bringing about change in our communities. It is quite a privilege to be one of the women that are leading part of that change and being in the beer industry that is mainly male-dominated, to have women like myself, who are showing other women that anything is possible, as long as you put your mind into it.”

Meanwhile, another inspiration in the brewing industry is Mandy Ryan, who is a production team leader at ABINBEV in Rosslyn.

She says women are making their strides in the industry.

“We are moving away from the male-dominated industry that beer used to be. We are giving women more power and I am privileged to work for a big company where the opportunities and possibilities are going up in the business. We have a lot of mentors in the brewing industry, both males and females. So, if you have the potential to do this and you are actually good at what you do, they help and assist us however they could.”

Nxusani-Mawela has made it her priority to ensure her product meets the highest standards. She says patience and perseverance are keys to her success.

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