1585 - Jamaica ginger was the first oriental spice to be grown in the New World & imported back to Europe
1900 - The British army introduced the drink to the Ionian Islands
1908 - Desnoes and Geddes Limited was formed in 1918 by Eugene Peter Desnoes and Thomas Hargreaves Geddes. One morning, two youngsters came upon each other in the offices of West Indies Mineral & Tablewater Company in Kingston Jamaica. "My name is Thomas Hargreaves Geddes" said the newcomer. The other smiled "Glad to make your acquaintance! I've been here a bit. I'm Eugene Desnoes" And so for the first time, Desnoes and Geddes shook hands. Neither of them could have imagined that this would mark the beginning of an extraordinary partnership. They shared what seemed to be then an impossible dream: to build a brewery to produce a Jamaican beer of international quality. It would be more than a decade before that dream would become a reality
1927 - Desnoes & Geddes opened it's Surrey Brewery in Kingston
1952 - Paul Geddes (son of the company founder) becomes Chairman of the company
1958 - A new brewery was opened in Hunts Bay, This was the most modern brewery in the Caribbean
1988 - Old Jamaica Ginger Beer was introduced to the UK
2020 - Old Jamaica continues to be the #1 Branded Ginger Beer in the UK.
In 1918, they joined forces to form Desnoes and Geddes Company Limited. The company became well-established in making popular sodas and distributed the best imported liquors. Over the years the business remained a family affair and the baton was passed on to Peter Desnoes and Paul Geddes. Like their fathers before them, Peter and Paul had big dreams. They envisioned a new, ultra-modern plant and they decided to gamble everything-selling some property and using deeds of others as loan securities-to buy land and begin construction of a plant which was to be the marvel of Jamaica. The old Surrey Brewery on Pechon Street was phased out in 1958 when the ultra-modern plant at Hunt's Bay went into operation. This was the most modern brewery in the Caribbean and with its capacity the horizons of Desnoes & Geddes widened considerably.
Along with Red Stripe, the company had a remarkable portfolio of products including international favourites like Pepsi-Cola and 7-Up, as well as D&G Sof Drinks, Jamaica's best-loved sodas. Other major brands include: Heineken, Dragon Stout, Guinness Stout, McEwans.
Desnoes & Geddes became a public company in 1970, and the company remained under the control of the Desnoes and Geddes families until 1993 when controlling interests were acquired by Guinness Brewing Worldwide (GBW).Guinness assumed management of the company and later sold the soft drinks division to Pepsi Americas in December of 1999. Pepsi Americas make, sell and deliver a broad portfolio of Pepsi-Cola core brands, Cadbury beverages and other national and regional brands in 18 U.S. locations as well as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia. In total, the company serves a population of more than 117 million people.