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Breaking Ground: South Africa’s First Black-Owned Brewery

soweto-beer-Ndumiso-MadlalaSouth Africa is a country that loves its beer. It’s a product that has blossomed into a multibillion-dollar industry for commercial beverage companies. But now there’s a growing popularity for craft beers made by smaller microbreweries that are opening across the country.

There’s a new offering for South Africa’s growing thirst for good beer. It’s called Soweto Gold, and it’s the creation of master brewer and businessman Ndumiso Madlala. He’s making history by opening South Africa’s first Black-owned and locally brewed beer in the Johannesburg suburb of Soweto.

“A lot of people were very surprised that a Black person can brew beer,” he said. “So I am very proud that I have been able to demonstrate to other African people that it is possible to venture into brewing as an African person, and I so hope that a lot of people are going to follow suit in the brewing field.”

Madlala has a chemical engineering background. He learned about the business as a master brewer for the world’s second-largest brewing company.

“The determination and the career path that I followed actually helped me to gain a lot of experience which I am using now to start my own business,” he said.

Madlala says he combined his technical knowledge with his knowledge of South Africans’ palate.

“They prefer a little bit of sweetness in the beer and they love fruity beers,” he said. “It [Soweto Gold] is a craft beer. It is different because it is much more richer, it is very fruity. Yes, it is less hoppy and it has a very nice lingering sweetness in the background.”

Madlala plans to hire 150 workers, exclusively from Soweto, by the end of January. His small brewery will produce about three million liters of beer a year.




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3 thoughts on “Breaking Ground: South Africa’s First Black-Owned Brewery

  1. Ed Dunn says:

    This is not accurate and it cannot be accurate…there is no way in hell I'm going to believe brothas and sistas in South Africa did not have their own distillery until now. They may had one in the hood that didn't get any press. This is why I despise these garbage "first black" nonsense because it is rarely involved true research and always tend to show some smug photo of someone as the caption picture…

  2. I must disappoint you. Me or others haven't heard of any other black (co-)owned brewery in SA before Soweto Gold launched. Only if you count Umquomboti (sorghum beer) breweries in that, there'd be options, but proper brewing is all-white so far. Welcome to South Africa…

  3. Ed Dunn says:

    Randolf Jorberg you "haven't heard" does not equate to "did not exist"…..

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