This is what it’s like to hit Hawaii with Sailor Jerry

day 1.1

One Wednesday morning in January, bartenders from Cobbler, Brisbane, dragged themselves out of bed and hurried to the airport to make the first leg of what was to be an excellent Hawaii adventure, thanks to Sailor Jerry.

If you read our January issue, you’d know that the Cobbler lads won the national final of the Sailor Jerry Pins & Pin-Ups bowling competition (which, by the way, is on again this year — see the end of the story for the dates). And not only did they win bragging rights as the best ten pin bowlers in the bartending game, they also scored themselves this trip to Hawaii, where they would, at the end of four days, square off against the winning team from the USA.

day 1

The Australian contingent arrived in Hawaii first thing on Wednesday morning (despite having left at 6pm the same day in Australia). After checking in to The Modern (some very swish digs), it was time for Buffalo wings before hitting the hotel pool — yes, Pina Coladas were involved.


The lads were treated to cocktails and an introduction to Team USA by the pool that night; with the Sailor Jerry flowing, both crews ventured out into the night for a bar crawl in Honolulu’s Chinatown district, getting some eats at Downbeat Diner, and hitting up the drinks at Bar 35.

day 2

Day two of our excellent Sailor Jerry started off with some sightseeing. It was an early wake-up call — and there were some sore heads— because the crew was heading down to Pearl Harbor. After touring the historical site (and checking out the inner workings of a WWII-era submarine), the Aussies joined up with the rest of the crew for eats at Leonard’s (they’ve been making a Portugese-style donut since the 50’s), and then off to beachfront mansion for a luau to celebrate what would have been Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins’ 105th.

day 2.1

We learnt some Hawaiian dancing skills, drank Sailor Jerry cocktails in the infinity pool, were sereneaded with some traditional Hawaiian singing, and generally partied like kings for hours, before once again hitting the bars of Honolulu.

day 3

Day three arrives, and no-one is greeting the morning with wide open arms (it was a late one, to be fair). But you’re in Hawaii, so you saddle up and get on the team bus for a tour of Oahu’s North Shore.

Thankfully, someone was wise enough to suggest a dose of salt water to remedy the exuberance of the night before. We stopped first at Halona Blowhole, which is right around the corner from the Halona Beach Cove, home to a famous scene from the movie From Here to Eternity.

We next stopped at Makapu’u Beach for that much needed, restorative swim. The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli. The waves were big, breaking close to shore, with a powerful current pulling you back out. The Aussie boys loved it (Martin Lange snapped a selfie bodysurfing a couple of these big waves), but it was a bit much for some of the New Yorkers on the trip.

We then went on to the North Shore, where Pipeline is, to get a look at the waves. Out the back the waves were around 30 foot, and the beaches were closed due to a search and rescue operation. No-one was game for a surf here.
We then went on to grab one of the best burgers in Hawaii, stopped in at pineapple farm (because it’s the tropical thing to do), before hitting up a classic American sports bar for eats and more drinks later that night.

day 4

Day four and it’s time to bowl. The boys from Cobbler have put in a lot of training — and like a bartender who brings his own ice, they even brought their own balls.

Though Cobbler did well to take out the Australian final back in December (they beat out stiff competition from rivals WA to take the title), it didn’t seem to be happening for them in this international match.

It was always going to be hard to beat the Americans, because bowling is just what they do.

The real winner here was the party. Day four was the wrap to what had been an incredible, whirlwind trip to one of the most beautiful places on earth — the luau to celebrate what would have been Sailor Jerry’s 105th birthday alone was worth the flight.

A big Mahalo to the crew at Sailor Jerry, particularly Nick Miles and Greg Litzner for hosting Australian Bartender on the trip, and big ups to the team from Cobbler— one of the craziest and funniest bar teams in the country.
Make sure you check out the dates below for this year’s instalment of the Sailor Jerry Pins & Pin-Ups competition, and get practicing on the lanes— whatever the grand prize is this year, you know it’ll be a hell of a party.

Sailor Jerry’s Pins & Pin-Ups is back this year!

Do you fancy yourself a bit of a bowler? Or do you just want to win a killer prize courtesy of Sailor Jerry? The Sailor Jerry Pins & Pin-Ups comp is back again this year, and this year they’ll be bowling in the Northern Territory and Tasmania as well.

Take a look at the dates below and get in touch with your Sailor Jerry ambassador for more.

2016 Sailor Jerry Pins & Pin-Ups Dates
NEW SOUTH WALES: Monday 21 March
QUEENSLAND: Monday 11 April
VICTORIA: Monday 16 May
TASMANIA: Monday 12 September

The national final will take place in November 2016.

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