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It was about three years ago that our good friends Savory Cade and Cap’n Rawkenschpiel introduced us to Sailor Jerry. At the time, our rum of choice was Captain Morgan and to us nothing could ever replace it. And when Savory and Cap’n first told us about the Sailor, claiming that it was far superior to our beloved pirate, we simply wrote it off as another impostor akin to Calico Jack and Admiral Nelson.
Shame on us!
One sip of the Sailor and we were sold. Not only was it stronger than Captain, it was smoother and mixed better with Coke. And as a bonus (depending on your point of view), it made us even more surly during podcasts. We never looked back and Sailor Jerry and Coke has been the favorite mixed drink of Drunken Gamers Radio ever since.
On a drunken Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, I stumbled out of an Irish pub (more on that later), rounded the corner, and saw the sign for the Sailor Jerry store. I rubbed my bloodshot eyes and looked again. Could it be? An entire store dedicated to the greatest rum ever distilled?
The Sailor Jerry store has a very distinct boutique vibe to it. From the punk music that fills the air to the decor lining the walls. The shop primarily deals in clothing, though trinkets like jewelry, flasks, pins, and stickers fill up the empty spaces, and the artwork that decorates each item comes from original Sailor Jerry (aka Norman Collins) tattoo art. The clothes were cool, as were the other items, but something was missing: the booze! So I decided to do a little investigating by talking to the folks behind the counter. I soon found out, much to my surprise, that the clothing line actually came first and the rum came five years after the company was started.
You see, the actual Sailor Jerry, now dead for nearly thirty years, has virtually nothing to do with the company beyond his artwork and his legacy. The company began by fans of the Sailor’s artwork. The full history can be found here, but the long and short of it is they started the company making shirts, jackets, ash trays, and other items, and only after they got the company off the ground did they decide to go into the business of booze. And when I inquired about his connection to the rum, I was told that it was made as “something he would have enjoyed” and not, as I had hoped, based on some lost recipe that the Sailor had left behind.
So as spectacular as the rum is, it’s apparently not the only focus of the company. Furthermore, I suspect that selling the rum would require the store to obtain a liquor license and go through an array of legal hoops, so they stuck with selling the artwork.
Here are a few shots of the store.
In my half-drunken/overenthusiastic state, I wound up spending quite a bit of cash on t-shirts and paraphernalia. I nabbed the following two shirts for myself:
And the following shirt I got for my wife, along with one that was exclusive to the store:
Incidentally, before you ask, those images are from the Sailor Jerry website and are not actually my wife and I posing for you.
Additionally, I grabbed these two glasses for Moe and Hilden:
If you don’t live on the east coast or are not traveling there any time soon, don’t be jealous. Though there is only one Sailor Jerry store in existence, you can get all of the pictured items at their online store. But if you’re ever in Philadelphia, I highly recommend making the pilgrimage.