Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela SA's first black female brewmaster to own a brewery

Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela SA’s first black female brewmaster to own her brewery


By Zuko Komisa

Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela from Brewsters Craft is the woman behind the first black female majority-owned brewing company in South Africa. This pioneer in the field of spirits recently had a conversation with David O’Sullivan.

Speaking about her journey with over 12 years of practical brewing experience within both macro and micro brewing industries, she spoke about the science of brewing.

The Brewing Process

Asked what makes the varying tastes in the continent so distinct, Nxiusani-Mawela explained how the process of making beer unfolds. “During the brewing process, we use various ingredients, our main ones being malt and barley, and hops. The taste in the beer depends on the different ingredients you use. It’s like baking, we all can make scones but everyone has their own special ingredient. When you go around, especially on the continent, everyone gets their grains from different areas. Some of the countries actually use sorghum, locally grown so you do get some of that variation. “

A love for Brewing

Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela has a contagious passion for the African continent, its people and the continent’s advancement within the global brewing community. “I love beer, I love all kinds of beers, I love playing around with ingredients. That’s how I got to play around in the craft industry. When I was at SAB, I used to brew at the Francis Street brewery, I actually got to play around with different types of malts, that what I carry on doing.”

Listen to the full conversation here:

At Brewster Craft, Nxusani-Mawela also brews for other companies, through her skills as a brewer she assists other companies with her technical know-how. The company was founded in 2015 and is currently the leading provider of training, quality analysis and consultant services within the South Africa brewing industry.

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“The core business is around brewing for other people,” she explained her approach. “The reason I chose that route was that I realised, as the craft beer industry grows, a lot of people lack the technical know-how, I wanted to close that gap where, if you wanted to start your own brand but don’t know how to make beer but you think you have a powerful brand, you know how to market, you’ve got a sales network, then I make it for you.”

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Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela holds a BSc Honours in Microbiology from the University of Pretoria, a Master Brewer qualification from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and was the first person in South Africa to complete the NQF6 National Diploma in Clear Fermented Beverages.

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