Philadelphia Distillery will redeem gift cards for Ben Simmons jerseys, then donate them

💌 Do you like Philly? Sign up for Billy Penn’s free newsletter to get everything you need to know about Philadelphia, every day.


Update: During the month, Stateside collected 352 Ben Simmons jerseys. They were donated to a shelter in Brooklyn, here is the video proof.

What are Sixers fans doing with Ben Simmons jerseys now that the sulky All Star has finally been traded? If you bought it in the last year using AmEx, the NBA is running a promo where you can redeem itbut a local distillery has a better option.

Anyone who brings their outdated No. 25 Sixers apparel to Stateside Vodka in Kensington will receive a $25 gift card in exchange. the the offer is good now until the end of the month.

Once the local liquor company collects all the goods, they will donate the clothes to a shelter in Brooklyn, Simmons’ new home.

“We thought, ‘We don’t just want to burn them, what else can we do with them?’ explained Eddy McGehean, chief operating officer of Federal Distilling, which manufactures Stateside. He said the idea first came from one of the Maryland sales reps.

The team considered several possibilities, including cutting up the jerseys and donating them to the PSPCA or another animal rescue operation to use as bedding, before settling on the factory to give them to people in the need.

“I contacted a shelter in Brooklyn called ‘The Kensington,'” McGehean said. “We’re in Kensington, so it made sense.”

He has not yet heard from this operation, which offers temporary housing for NYC familiesbut if it doesn’t suit him, if he only accepts clothes for children or for women, for example, he will find another place.

Stateside, which brothers Matt and Bryan Quigley launched in 2015 after developing the product in their parents’ basement, is known for its original marketing that supports the community. Every June, he posts a rainbow tagged “Love is love” bottle for pride month, and it’s a supporter of Connor Barwin’s Make the world a better place Foundation.

Almost everyone who works at Stateside is die-hard Philadelphia sports fan, McGehean said, and the company’s group chat was on fire when news broke Thursday about the Sixers trade.

“We want to love our athletes here. But we had this player here in Ben Simmons who for some reason didn’t seem to like our city. It was painful,” the 33-year-old Delco native said. “Then you have James Harden, a first top 5 player who really wants to come here…it was like this perfect storm of happiness.”

During the pandemic, Federal Distilling shifted to direct-to-consumer sales, reassigning bar staff to delivery drivers instead of laying people off. She also launched several canned cocktails, including the new, non-carbonated, slightly sweetened iced tea.

There is also an e-commerce store, which can ship anywhere in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire or Washington DC. Stateside now retails in those states, as well as Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut, with distribution in Florida and Georgia beginning March 1.

The bar and restaurant at 1700 N. Hancock St., just north of Cecil B. Moore, reopened last weekend for the first time in two years, McGehean said.

You can drop off your Ben Simmons jersey with a bartender there anytime it’s open – 5pm to 10pm Thursday, 5pm to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday – or bring it to same place during working hours on weekdays and hand it over to someone at the distillery offices.

Along with a $25 future food and drink bonus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your Simmons jersey is on track to do more good than its namesake for the entire first half of the season.

Michael N. Clark