Searching for a suitable site to establish their first brewery operation in the Caribbean, Heineken settled for the Industrial Estate at Vieux Fort in Saint Lucia as the location of choice. The facilities provided by the site, the quality of the water in the area and the concessions available under St. Lucia's Incentive Legislation, were some of the factors that led to the decision.
As a result, Windward and Leeward Brewery Limited was incorporated under the Commercial Code of St. Lucia on March 11, 1974 and commenced production in November 1975 to manufacture Heineken Beer under franchise from its Dutch parent company Heineken as a major shareholder. The other major shareholders are Desnoes & Geddes Limited and the St. Lucia National Development Corporation. Other shareholders include nationals of Caricom countries residing in and outside the region.
The brewery's capacity at startup was 50,000 hectolitres with a workforce of 60 employees. The company produced 750,000 cases of beer annually, for sale on the local and OECS markets.
Today the workforce has grown to 101 employees and the company serves the not only the domestic market and the OECS countries, but also Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Anguilla, BVI and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The present capacity has grown to 170,000 hectolitres, and by the end of 2006 this will be doubled.