The Red Stripe story is one of Jamaica’s most remarkable tales of ingenuity, business success and innovation, with a history as rich and flavourful as its people. It is the story of two young enterprising business men and a product that has come to be synonymous with Jamaica. Armed with some experience and dreams of greater success, Eugene Desnoes and Thomas Geddes merged their soft drinks 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, maintaining a strong connection with beer drinkers. The company’s positive outlook and potential for growth attracted the attention of the Amsterdam based multi-national HEINEKEN NV, which acquired controlling interest in Red Stripe in October 2015. As part of the HEINEKEN Company, the Spanish Town Road 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. Often listed among lofty cultural icons such as reggae music and Miss Lou, Red Stripe is world renowned as a uniquely Jamaican product.
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 what’s good about Jamaica. The ground breaking collaboration with the Bob Marley Foundation in 2016 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 and Sportsmax, Red Stripe has lifted the profile of the league and its players, who have also benefited from training in a range of areas.