Bold Brew will be available to the public from 13 August 2019 at the SAB World of Beer in Newtown, Johannesburg.
In addition to Bold Brew being brewed by an only women team, the beer’s ingredients were also selected by women members of the public via a poll run on SAB’s social media pages.
“We wanted to make a beer that embodied the characteristics of strong, independent women,” said Pranisha Maharaj SAB and AB InBev’s corporate reputation manager.
“We gave the public a chance to vote for ingredients that would form part of a ‘secret brew’ and then we put the results into the hands of a team of talented women to create both the beer and its packaging.”
The campaign aimed to make the beer as broadly representative as possible. The brewing team comprised of women from diverse backgrounds and working in industries ranging from beer brewing to IT, design and filmmaking.
Overseeing the process was South Africa's first black female brewmaster, Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, whose company – Brewsters Craft – was also responsible for brewing the beer.
“I think #BrewingTheBold is an amazing project,” says Nxusani-Mawela. “Not only for those within the beer industry but for women in general. I want young women to believe in themselves, and to know that they can become great brewers, brewmasters, hop growers, and barley breeders.”
The rest of the team comprised artist Sonia Dearling, who designed the packaging label; content producer Hallie Haller, who documented the brewing process and the project overall; home brewer and IT professional Elbie Louw, who is herself a beer judge and avid homebrewer who is in the process of opening her own small brewery; and SAB and AB InBev Africa external quality manager Lynn Wicomb-Leibrandt, who ensured the quality aspects of Bold Brew.
“As a representative of SAB, my responsibility was to support the brewing team to ensure that the customer would receive the best quality product,” says Wicomb-Leibrandt.
Once the results of the public vote were in, the team chose their ingredients from the shortlist. And when brew day rolled around it was all hands on deck, with the team members joining fellow women from the craft brewing industry lending a hand to get the brewing process started.
A lot of thought went into creating the perfect packaging to reflect the ideals of the #BrewingTheBold project. Ultimately, the design had to reference both the brew and the women behind it.
“The icon shows a woman holding up the sun – representing power, life, warmth and unity,” explains Dearling.
“It also cues the sun giving life and the warm and toasty caramel flavours of the malt.” She adds that the open ‘B’ represents open-mindedness, while the dynamic geometric shapes indicate women’s stability and strength.
As someone who isn’t directly involved in the beer industry, Haller found the project’s message particularly important. “What this project demonstrates for me is that women are relevant in any space, and our preferences and our tastes are relevant in any industry,” she says.
“It shows that women can come into industries that they're not expected in, and still create great work.”