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The country’s first black female brewer is taking South African beers across the globe. #SABCNews

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2022-01-22 04:10:00 PM

The country’s first black female brewer is taking South African beers across the globe. SABCNews

The country's first black female brewer turned to social media after the company’s closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mawela turned to social media to market Tolokazi beer. This caught the attention of Beer52.

File image of the Tolokazi beer.The country’s first black female brewer is taking South African beers across the globe. Numerous alcohol bans during the COVID pandemic forced the closure of Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela’s craft brewery in Johannesburg. Now, through social media marketing, her proudly South African product brewed with local ingredients has caught the attention of international beer lovers.

Tolokazi beer is now beer brewed in Croatia and distributed across the United Kingdom.However, in the last two years, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the South African craft beer industry has taken a serious knock, with more than 25% of businesses reportedly having permanently shut their doors due to the liquor ban.

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Image: Tolokazi File image of the Tolokazi beer. The country’s first black female brewer is taking South African beers across the globe. Numerous alcohol bans during the COVID pandemic forced the closure of Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela’s craft brewery in Johannesburg. Now, through social media marketing, her proudly South African product brewed with local ingredients has caught the attention of international beer lovers. Tolokazi beer is now beer brewed in Croatia and distributed across the United Kingdom. However, in the last two years, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the South African craft beer industry has taken a serious knock, with more than 25% of businesses reportedly having permanently shut their doors due to the liquor ban. The country’s first black female brewer, Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, was unable to pay her bank loan and her eight staff members lost their jobs. One door closed, another opened However, as one door closed, another opened. Mawela turned to social media to aggressively market her brand Tolokazi beer, which caught the attention of Beer52, a subscription service company that introduces beer lovers to beers produced in different parts of the world. Mawela explains her partnership with the UK-based company. “Once we closed down the brewery which was around June 2021, I decided to focus my energy on growing the Tolokazi brand. Through social media marketing where I was posting a lot about the brand, what it was going through, I got introduced to the founder of Beer52 via LinkedIn. We had a few Zoom calls. [In] the end, we identified a brewery in Croatia that would brew the product for me and distribute it on my behalf.” Already, more than 200 000 cans of Tolokazi beer have been brewed in Croatia and distributed to Beer52’s 100 000 subscribers. The response has been phenomenal with many raving about the taste and depth of this locally sourced product. Mawela says this has sparked interest from many other countries for the craft beer. She says, through this expansion, she wishes to tell the African story. “I have made contacts in Germany, who are also interested in telling the African story through the beers. There is a huge interest. This is actually opened up the idea of having South African beer distributed across the globe. I have been having interesting chats with Americans. Even on the continent, I have had calls from Kenya, Rwanda. So, it’s exciting times. The comments have been very positive. I also think because we use sorghum in it, I wanted to tell the African story with African ingredients.” VIDEO | Aphiwe Nxusani-Mawela is the 1st female brewmaster in South Africa: August 2019 Meanwhile. Nick Smith, a member of the Craft Beer Association of South Africa says, the industry has certainly been crippled as a result of the ban on alcohol. He says, coupled with that are the high taxes small businesses are expected to pay whilst competing with international companies that have taken over the South African beer trade. “It’s been pretty bad. Devastating is the word that comes to mind. We estimate that we have lost 25% of breweries and probably one third of the jobs. If I could just ask people to support local breweries. What’s great about the craft beer industry in SA. There are breweries all over the country, embedded in the community. One thing we continue to push for is a break on excise and tax. These are really tiny businesses and we’re essentially competing against the largest companies in the world. But we still pay the same tax that they do.” The industry is calling on South Africans to support locally-sourced products as entrepreneurs work to expand exports and thus increase job creation in the country. This entry was posted on 22 Jan 2022,02:04PM at 2:04 PM and is filed under