Consumers place a premium on authenticity these days, especially when it comes to food and drink. So back in 2015 when a few avid Red Stripe Beer drinkers found out that the “Jamaican Style Lager” had been produced in Pennsylvania for three years, they filed a class action lawsuit for being mislead. A year later, Heineken acquired the beer brand and vowed to bring production back to Jamaica—a move more than welcomed by locals. “Red Stripe is a beer that embodies the passion and culture of Jamaica through and through,” explains Winston Cousins, Red Stripe’s brewery manager. “It’s crucial that that authenticity comes through in every single bottle, which is why we repatriated Red Stripe back home to Jamaica—where it belongs.” Jamaican-produced Red Stripe is finally hitting shelves across the world, and we were lucky enough to visit the brewery that’s making it all happen.
Located just north of Hunts Bay, the brewery and its massive Red Stripe-branded tanks are a landmark to drivers passing along Spanish Town Road. The facilities date back to 1958—the year owners Peter Desnoes and Paul Geddes moved shop from the original plant in downtown Kingston. Now, with some added operational upgrades thanks to Heineken, nearly 70,000 cases of Red Stripe beer are brewed each day. Water filtration, fermentation, bottling, bottle recycling and packaging are all handled on-site too, with roughly 200 highly trained workers keeping the entire operation humming.
The recipe for Red Stripe was created back in 1928. Even with all the technical advancements in production, the signature “Jamaican-style” light lager flavor profile remains intact. Take a look at the entire process through our slideshow above.
Building photo courtesy of Skkan Media Entertainment, all others by Kevin Serai