She Loves Beer
Thursday, August 31st, 2017
This Women’s Month, we want to honour the ladies who appreciate a well-poured, well-brewed, ice-cold beer, along with those who brew them.
In the spirit of empowering women, we interviewed three strong and confident female employees from our Alrode Brewery, where we gained some powerful insights into the passion with which they brew and the daily stereotypes they face as female brewers.
Did you know? History shows that women were primary brewers during ancient times
CHEERS TO PHINDI MTHAMBAMA
Let’s raise a glass to Phindi, who started as a service trainee and worked hard to obtain the position she holds today. She became interested in brewing because she had a fascination for the science behind beer.
“Besides sounding cool and fun, brewing beer requires specific skills. As brewers, we are constantly challenged to produce a consistent beer, irrespective of the environment.”
Her favourite beer is Castle Milk Stout because of its distinct colour and rich, original flavour. However, Phindi explains that she often experiences gender stereotypes when enjoying her beer of choice, some even ask her why she’s drinking a stout.
Phindi doesn’t let this discourage her ¬– “I enjoy it though, as it gives me an opportunity to educate people more about beer.”
She explains that even though the stereotype is still prevalent, it’s slowly fading as she notices more women publicly enjoying beers at social events. These women are confident and will not be defined by other people’s perceptions.
“I love what I do because after all the hard work (and stress) of brewing, there is the satisfaction knowing we – the great team I work with – have produced a good quality product that consumers enjoy and appreciate.”
ASAVELA THE SPECIALIST
Asavela’s key focus is on the filtration process, hygiene and quality control of every batch brewed and produced at the SAB Alrode Brewery, and she could definitely teach you a thing or two about brewing beer.
Asavela started at SAB in 2012 as a low-ranked technical trainee, but over the last 5 years she has steadily progressed through various roles and has worked her way up to where she is today.
When asked why she believes beer is not just a guy’s thing, her response was – “As long as you can drink responsibly, anyone can enjoy beer. In fact, it is proven that women have a better palate than men, so women are not only better tasters, but also great brewers.”
This hasn’t stopped the stereotypes creeping in though. Asavela is generally faced with the misconception that women brewers cannot lead or manage brewing quality. However, this hasn’t prevented her from following her dreams.
“There has also been growth in terms of career opportunities – as a young female brewer, this is greatly encouraging.”
She goes on to explain that – “The filtration process is only one of the many steps required to brew a good quality beer – and each step is as important as the next.”
“One slip up along the way and the entire batch needs to be turfed – there is no room for error.”
Asavela also goes on to express how much she loves her job and how it challenges her. “From technical aspects and problem solving, to working within a multi-skilled team and coaching peers” – she feels like she’s constantly developing her technical and interpersonal skills, on a daily basis.
A ROUND FOR PROMISE MOSHIDI
Her grandmother was a home brewer many years ago and there’s no doubt that Promise is filling those shoes as an integral part of SAB’s brewing process.
Her daily responsibilities range from managing and handling the yeast to control management and coaching. Promise plays an important role because without yeast, there is no fermentation and the sugars would not be converted into alcohol.
“The best part of my job is when I find new and improved ways of implementing yeast systems.”
“A lot of people believe that brewing is a man’s game and beer is a man’s drink’. I strongly disagree with this, as I work in a team with other female brewers. Unfortunately, the women in beer stereotype still exists and I experience it when people outside the company learn what I do. It’s silly, because there are growing numbers of women who drink beer and appreciate it.”
Women have and will continue to master the art of brewing, despite pre-conceived ideas of what a woman’s role should be in creating a perfectly brewed beer.
“There are lot of women that appreciate and enjoy drinking beer.”
There’s no doubt that these three women are inspiring and passionate about what they do at SAB. We’re proud of the women who are challenging conventional thinking and pursuing their passions in life, regardless of what others believe. And it’s only through challenging our own beliefs, that we start inspiring others to do the same.
A special thank you goes to these three strong women for sharing their stories, in the hopes of inspiring others.