Spotlight: Beer is Art
Obakeng Malope is a celebrated filmmaker, documentarian and craft brewer with a straightforward pursuit – to provide opportunity and pathways for Africans to enter the brewing industry. A long-time beer enthusiast and certified Cicerone, Obee (like Obi-Wan) is using her filmmaking expertise to create a platform to inspire and support a new generation of brewers.
During the height of Covid, Obee came across the “Road to 100” Cicerone Certification Program, spearheaded by American craft beer enthusiast Eugenia Brown (@blackbeerchick). The online course, which she had to attend at 2:30 am (!), added considerably to the beer expertise she had built through studying Youtube videos and volunteering at local breweries.
Building A New Generation of Brewers
Beer Is Art, the program Obee is developing, will be a classroom learning environment where students can be educated in brewing by South African brewers. Brewers from India, Belgium, USA, and India’s first beer podcaster, Cheers Chatty by Chatty Girija (@cheerschatty) will be joining in online, teaching South Africans how they brew beer the way they do it in their country – and Chatty Girija will teach how to podcast about beer. The filmed lessons will be free and accessible to all Africans, age 21+. Beer is Art will begin late this year or early next year. Obee is creating collaboration beers to raise funds for Beer Is Art = follow her instagram for updates!
The Queen Hyena
Obee is focused on providing education. She does not get involved in job placement, brand building or any “hand holding” after education is complete. Like the Queen Hyena, Obee “creates the community, the clan survives, and all prosper.” She gives her students the tools they need to create their own prosperity.
Obee is hopeful that South Africans will continue to advance their skills and opportunity at existing breweries, but more important to Obee, she hopes that more South Africans will have the opportunity to create and build their own brands. In many impoverished communities around the world, beer is a big part of the economy. Not only does Obee see an opportunity to make the beer economy more inclusive in African communities, but she sees an opportunity to advocate for conscientious beer drinking. She promotes the moderation of beer consumption, while celebrating craft beer, especially beer and food pairings.
According to Obee, she has “put her life on hold to make free beer education available”, and she has no plans of slowing down any time soon!
To learn more about Obakeng Malope and the Beer is Art program, please click the link below.