Here’s what we know about Jäger: It comes in a square green bottle, it tastes somewhat like licorice, and it has the ability to remove clothing from college girls.
But ask what the logo means, or what that German writing says around the label, and you’ll get met with blank stares. (Although, to be fair, ask anyone drinking Jäger anything and you get met with blank stares.)
I did get an answer once, from a female bartender wearing a Jager promo shirt, when I asked her what the deal was with the deer and cross on the logo. (Actually, she caught me staring at her chest, and that was my cover.)
Her answer, while pointing at said chest (and you can click here to see the full sized logo and follow along): “See the circle? It’s an O, so that stands for ‘Oh.’ The deer means ‘Dear.’ And see the cross with the lines radiating out? It makes you think of what? God. So the logo means ‘Oh Dear God.’ Get it?”
Oh, yeah. I get it. And those of you who’ve ever woken up after a Jäger Bomb-filled night get it too.
Since then I figured I had the inside line on the secret of the cross and deer. Won a few bar bets with it, too.
But then I spoke to my new friend Kate over at Jägermeister, and bragged how I knew the deal. She said, “Not true.”
Not only not true, but she’d never heard that story. Then she laughed at my guy gullibility, believing anything a hot chick tells me. (Damn tight shirt wearing female bartenders.)
But because I gave her a good laugh, Kate said she’d give up the real story. And so here it is, word for word, right from the Jäger files:
“For centuries, St. Hubertus has been the patron saint of hunters. According to the legend, in his youth, Hubert was a wild and unrestrained hunter, without responsibility towards the creatures that he hunted and captivated by the drive to kill.
Even on the holy day of Sunday, he set off into the forest with his dog and rifle and cared little about the day of the Lord. Until one holy day, emerging from the dark woods, a large white deer carrying an illuminated cross between his antlers confronted him.
From the moment of his vision, he devoted himself to good works under the banner of the antlered stag. He died in 727 AD, and centuries later he was venerated as a patron saint.
It is from this story’s inspiration that the Jägermeister trademark derives. The name Jägermeister itself is German for “Master Hunter”, and incidentally it’s not made up. Even in Germany today, there is a position called Jägermeister, which is an employee of the district’s hunting authorities who is responsible for the region’s hunting regulations.”
So there you have it. The real story behind the Jäger logo is about a bloodthirsty hunter who, after seeing a holy stag, became a saint. (Which makes you wonder how much Jager he’d been drinking.)
Personally, I think “Oh Dear God” is more fitting… but I guess you can’t sell that to distributors.
And to win some bar bets of your own, memorize this…
The old German writing around the label translates as follows:
“It is the hunter’s honor that he protects and preserves his game, hunts sportsmanlike, honors the Creator in his creatures”
It’s the perfect double-or-nothing comeback bet for the d-bag who always comes with “What does the 33 on the Rolling Rock label stand for ?”