Opportunities for women in the brewery industry are increasing, despite there being a relative shortage of qualified women in the industry, says first black female majority-owned brewing company Brewsters Craft founder Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela.
To combat this challenge, Brewsters Craft offers various courses enrolling about 50 people a year.
“We take in both genders based on interest from the candidates. We are, however, biased towards women, provided they meet the set criteria and are passionate enough.
“Our head brewer and head of quality are both ladies. Next year’s intake will be split 50/50,” she says.
Nxusani-Mawela adds that there are different courses targeted at different stages of a brewer’s career.
The one-day courses comprise the introduction to brewing science, the introduction to sorghum brewing and the introduction to cider making, which covers the basic science of making these beverages.
The basic sensory analysis course covers the flavours typically emitted by beers that are indicative of whether the beers are good or bad.
The microbrewery startup course includes aspects such as compliance with industry bodies and marketing. This course is suited to individuals who want to start their own brewery and, subsequently, want to have a better understanding of the associated laws and legalities and how to best market their products.
“We have a five-day course on the fundamentals of brewing that unpacks the science of brewing in more detail. “The company also offers training in preparation for the international Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD) General Certificate in Brewing and a diploma in brewing,” adds Nxusani-Mawela.
The IBD is a UK-based institution that offers globally accredited qualifications.
Further, Brewsters Craft is also accredited with the Food & Beverages Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority to offer training and assessments for National Qualifications Framework Level 3 brewing learnerships and skills programmes.
Nxusani-Mawela notes that some of the students who received training at the company now own successful breweries, for example, Stash Brewing Co, Sharpville Brewery and X!Brewing Co. Other students are working at various breweries in the country.
“Next year, I will take four individuals through a year-long brewing learnership, after which the individuals will be fully employable by the industry. This is a very exciting industry to be a part of, with many opportunities for growth,” she concludes.