Nothing “nine to five” about being a brewer
Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Michael Oosthuizen, Brewing Manager at SAB’s Polokwane Brewery, has a little-known personal goal – one day he will compete competitively in triathlons. If his track record is anything to go by, Michael will undoubtedly reach this goal as he has so many others before it. His successful career as Brewing Manager at SAB has seen him win the inaugural award for most reliable brewing and utilities department during peak, after just six months on the job.
On working for SAB, Michael says, “My aspiration as a 10-year-old boy was always to work for the best company in South Africa; my father supported SAB’s products since I could remember and it convinced me that SAB was the best company to work for.”
Being involved in brewing requires a love of the product itself. Michael particularly likes beer because “it’s not boring – it’s a natural product and very diverse when it comes to different styles.” As Brewing Manager, Michael is involved in creating many of these styles.
There is no doubt that Michael loves his job and the perks it comes with: “I get to work with the finest and best calibre people in the country and I have the option to work in my office or out in the plant. The brewery is small, friendly and very scenic; it is not a ‘factory’ and still creates an atmosphere of what a brewery should feel like.
The job is definitely not a 9 to 5 one – “when working night shift you will see some of the finest sun rises the city can offer, ” says Michael.
Born in Potchefstroom, Michael was raised in Pretoria until he was 10 years old, when his family moved to Polokwane after his father was transferred. He went on to obtain a B.Sc Honours in Biochemistry from the University of Pretoria, which put him on the path to a brewing career at SAB.
Michael’s ambitions don’t just extend to triathlons; he plans to complete his Master Brewer qualification and an MBA in the next 5 years, and be an involved father to his three daughters.
Meet more people working behind the scenes at SAB:
Chris Shilubane: Technical Brewer
Kate Jones: Trade Brewer
Danie Odendaal: Brewmaster
Paula Medronho: Cellars Area Manager
Payal Sukram: Project brewer
Suraksha Maharaj: Lead Process Engineer
Hanika Moodley: Yeast Specialist
Vanitha Engelbrecht: Brewmaster