Armed with some experience and dreams of greater success, Eugene Desnoes and Thomas Geddes merged their soft drink companies in 1918 to form a single entity. Ten years later, the company brewed its first Red Stripe Beer, and as they say, the rest is history.
Fast forward to the 21st century and Red Stripe is still the undisputed Jamaican champion of beers. The company's positive outlook and potential for growth attracted the attention of the Amsterdam based multi-national HEINEKEN NV, and on October 7, 2015, it became the majority shareholder of Red Stripe.
As part of the HEINEKEN Company, the Kingston based-business indicated its intent to take advantage of the global reach now made possible through one of the world's biggest names in brewing. With new ambitions of positioning itself as a key global player, Red Stripe continues to enjoy a deeply entrenched place in the hearts and palates of consumers. Having earned a spot among the celebrated icons of Jamaican culture, such as reggae music and Miss Lou, Red Stripe is world renowned as a uniquely Jamaican product.
The handshake that shook the beer industry - When Thomas Geddes and Eugene Desnoes met at West Indies Mineral and Table Water Company, and shook hands, history - and a great Jamaican Beer - were about to be made.
Two very dashing gentlemen, Thomas Hargreaves Geddes and Eugene Desnoes, form Desnoes and Geddes Company Ltd. The Company makes extremely delicious and popular sodas, as well as distributes imported liquors.
Desnoes and Geddes announces the opening of the Surrey Brewery on Pechon Street, in the heart of Downtown Kingston.
The light-golden Red Stripe we enjoy today is first brewed. This was the creation of Paul Geddes (Jamaica’s 1st Brewmaster) and Bill Martindale.
Peter Desnoes and Paul Geddes, progeny of the founders, take over the family business. Like their fathers, they too had gigantic and fantastic dreams.
Red Stripe Lager becomes so successful that the outraged British Government, with its English Beer unable to compete with the excellent and inexpensive Red Stripe Lager, attempts to levy an excise tax on local beer and other goods. A public outcry ensued, and the order was quietly withdrawn.
1941 - 1945
World War II brings a large number of Canadian and American troops to Jamaica. When they finally settle into the island life, Red Stripe Lager sales skyrocket.
The old Surrey Brewery on Pechon Street is phased out for the new ultra-modern plant at Hunts Bay. This was the most modern brewery in the Caribbean, and with its capacity, the horizons of Desnoes and Geddes widened considerably.
Jamaica gains independence from Britain. Many Red Stripe Beers are consumed.
Desnoes and Geddes became a public company and the company remained under control of the Desnoes and Geddes families.
HEINEKEN brewed and bottled.
Controlling interests acquired by Guinness Brewing Worldwide (GBW).
Guinness merges with Grand Metropolitan to become Diageo.
Red Stripe Beer exports volume exceeds domestic volume.
HEINEKEN acquires majority shares.
We focus on some core principles that are very important to us. We want people to remember us for more than simply great tasting beverages (although we want to be known for that too!).
Red Stripe has a long history of success in the beverage industry spanning over several decades. Each milestone we've achieved in the past pushes us harder to meet new goals. We're proud of what we've accomplished over the last year. Take a look at our annual reports, if you share the same high standards as us, you should like what you see.
Partnerships & Collaboration
The ground breaking collaboration with the Bob Marley Foundation in 2016 and again in 2017 was the latest in a long tradition of pioneering synergies that have celebrated the country's cultural heritage. Events such as the annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival and Reggae Sumfest are two of the international events that have brought millions in tourism dollars to Jamaican shores.
As title sponsor of the Red Stripe Premier League, the beer company has invested heavily in local football. Through its partnership with the Premier League Clubs Association, Red Stripe has lifted the profile of the league and its players, who have also benefited from training in a range of areas. The beer brand continues to make an indelible mark on Jamaican life through its involvement with and promotion of reggae music and sport, proving that the company is a part of Jamaica's many remarkable qualities.
More than just beer.
Red Stripe's corporate footprint has also been significant. Through the Desnoes and Geddes Foundation, the company has trained approximately 12,000 young Jamaicans in a range of skills under the Learning For Life Programme since 2008. The Foundation also supports charity efforts such as the annual Sigma Corporate Run and National Political Debates.
With the return of production of US volumes to Jamaica in 2016, coupled with a commitment to continuously increase its use of local raw materials, the agriculture and manufacturing sectors have already begun to benefit by way of jobs.
As an employer of choice, the brewing business is powered by just over 350 of the most talented and skilled staffers who deliver amazing outcomes every day. The Red Stripe team is led by an acclaimed Executive with expertise that has steered the business on a consistent growth path.