Here’s all the Sailor Jerry Pins & Pin-Ups final action


Story by Sam BygraveIn association with Sailor JerryPhotography by Declan Roache

What do you call it when you take five teams of four bartenders from around the country and put them in a bowling alley with a big bunch of Brisbane bartenders? Well it’s called Sailor Jerry’s Pins & Pin-Ups National Final, and it was one hell of a party.

On last Sunday, teams from bars around the country including Adelaide’s The Curious Squire, Perth’s Baby Mammoth, Melbourne’s The Beaufort and Sydney’s Establishment landed in Brisbane and joined the hometown heroes from Cobbler to kick off the festivities for the Sailor Jerry Pins & Pin-Ups National Final bowling competition. They were there to compete for the grand prize of one magnificent trophy (seriously, check the picture) and a trip to Hawaii in January to compete against the best bartending bowlers the USA has to offer.



But before the bowling final the next day, they adjourned to the go-kart track to get the competitive juices flowing. Despite some repeated pile ups — there’s something about bartenders and a refusal to follow the rules, who knew? — there were some guns out there on the track. Cobbler’s Martin Lang had some speed round the bends (when he wasn’t hitting the wall), but it was The Beaufort’s Dave Kerr who stole the day to take out victory honours. That guy can drive.


The teams then reassembled that night for some killer barbecue from New Farm restaurant, The Smoke — padding their stomachs before heading out to Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall for drinks, and for some, in to the small hours of the morning.

Come Monday morning at 10am, as the teams met up with a large posse of Brisbane’s bartending community at The Flying Cock, there were a few sore heads. Everyone had come to win, except perhaps Team South Australia, who did a pretty good job at winning the night the night before. After some Sailor Jerry Bloody Mary’s everyone piled into two large coaches for the trip to the AMF.



This is where things got real.

The teams were given half an hour to warm up, knock down some pins, and cast an eye over the competition. The crowd sipped on Sailor Jerry and Ginger, smashed some food, and once the competition began, got loud.


The first round saw each team get a frame to prove their chops, with two teams to be knocked out: it looked like the last night’s exuberance was too much for the SA team, and VIC’s The Beaufort just missed out on a place in the second round. That saw QLD, WA and NSW progress to the next, best of two games round.




With the QLD hometown heroes — pin-ups? — in the three team playoff, the crowd got behind them and made some noise. But early on their form seemed to be slipping, while NSW looked to be hitting their straps. WA and, in particular, their teammate Money (aptly named for his killer ten pin skills) — looked to be peaking at the right time. Strikes were easy to come by. Each team had to bowl two frames and have their scores tallied together — the top two teams would go through to the sudden death final.

The scores were tallied, while lucky Brisbane bartenders got some bartender appreciation courtesy of a barber on site (provided by Jack the Knife) and the Sailor Jerry flowed. Then, the scores were announced: it would be a QLD and WA sudden death final.

Cue wild excitement from the crowd.


WA had come good and looked in mighty fine form, while fears were held by the crowd for the local favourites from Cobbler — this was nail biting stuff. But the boys from Cobbler dug deep, psyched themselves back into the game; strikes started flowing as their pins kept dropping. In the end, they were too good for the lads from Baby Mammoth in Perth, and Cobbler was crowned the Australian champions.

“We couldn’t be more excited to head to Hawaii to represent Australia,” said Cobbler’s Martin Lange after the final. “We were up against some awesome bar teams from amazing bars but we got the win for QLD and for Sailor Jerry Australia! We’ll definitely be getting in a lot of practice leading up to the international event in Hawaii.”


They’ll be competing against the Americans in an international final in Hawaii in January, visiting the home of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins’ original shop for tattoos, hitting the beaches and drinking Sailor Jerry (not half bad, we think).


As for the rest of the night after the event this week? The after-party was held at Cobbler, where the Sailor Jerry ever present and a tattoo parlour where bartenders could get some tatts — it was a stellar effort from everyone involved! And if you’ve not been to an afterparty at Cobbler, then you should. And book the next day off work.

Check out more photos from the event below.
























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