Meet South Africa’s first black woman to own a brewery, Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela


Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela

The world of beer is typically dominated by men, so we love the work of Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, professional beer-enthusiast and owner of Brewsters Craft. Apiwe owns the first black female majority-owned brewery in South Africa and is well-known in the craft beer industry for her expertise in all things brewed.


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Apiwe loves beer but wasn’t content with drinking what she could find on the shelves. She is particularly passionate about experimenting with ingredients, which is why she got involved in the craft beer industry.

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

In 2015 she opened her own brewing company, Brewsters Craft. They describe themselves as ‘the leading provider of training, quality analysis and consultant services within the South Africa brewing industry.’

The brewery aims to help people to make the jump from dreaming of creating their own beer to actually making that dream come true. ‘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,’ she told Kaya FM.

Everything from the soil the grapes were planted into the temperatures they were exposed to can affect the taste of wine, and beer is no different. Apiwe says, ‘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,’


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Brewsters Craft is all about developing the African brewing industry and educating young people who want to play their role in that. They offer a range of courses including NQF3 Certificate in Brewing, a Craft Beer Sales Rep course, a course in the fundamentals of cider making, and more.

If you’re interested in making your own beer or just in learning more about the alcohol you love the most, check out their website.

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