ELEMENTAL DISTILLERS PARTNERS WITH PROOF & COMPANY NEW ZEALAND AND ECOSPIRITS


AUCKLAND, 29 JULY 2021 – Starting this month, award-winning, Marlborough-based distillery Elemental Distillers will partner with Proof & Company to accelerate its brand growth and distribution presence in its New Zealand home market. The new partnership will also see Elemental’s Roots Marlborough Dry Gin become the first New Zealand spirit to be available in the ecoSPIRITS low carbon, low waste distribution technology.

Roots Marlborough Dry Gin voted NZ Best Overall Gin 2021

Roots Marlborough Dry Gin, in bottle and ecoTOTE™ format

The new partnership is a natural fit as both companies share a vision centred on the rise of craft and local spirits, industry education and brand independence in the region. It also comes hot off Roots Gin’s recent “Best Overall Gin 2021” win at New Zealand Spirit Awards in June.

The picturesque, thoroughly sustainable Elemental distillery in Vines Village, Marlborough

Founded in 2019 by Ben Leggett and Simon Kelly, Elemental has rapidly emerged as one of New Zealand’s premier craft distillers, producing gins, bitters and liqueurs in the heart of the internationally recognised Marlborough wine region.

With a hospitality career that took him from bar back to bartender to brand ambassador in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Leggett knew from an early age that he eventually wanted to build his own spirit company. When the time came, Leggett chose to partner up with Kelly, a United Kingdom native who had left the corporate world for a 15-year career in wine production, commercial and brand management. Simon holds the Diploma of Wines and Spirits from the WSET and is an Associate of the International Wine and Spirits Trust.

Elemental Distillery Founders Ben Leggett (right) and Simon Kelly

The duo set out to create both a gin brand and a craft producer grounded by the principles of seasonality, traceability, and sustainability. The distillery itself is built from repurposed shipping containers, utilises solar power for distilling and production, and employs a water reticulation system drawing well water from below the distillery. The result is a superb low carbon craft gin, as well as a range of bitters and craft liqueurs.

 As luck would have it, on the day of the first run of Roots Gin Leggett’s wife Louisa gave birth to their first son, Toby. The first bottle of Roots Gin, bottled on Toby’s birthday, was aptly named ‘Toby’s Cut’ and is now kept at the distillery. It will be released on Toby’s 18th birthday.

Roots Gin is a crisp, robust London Dry that is batch distilled in a 200L pot still after a 24-hour activated maturation in a sustainable whey neutral base spirit. Whey spirit is sourced sustainably from local dairy production, making use of a by-product of milk processing. Roots Gin botanicals are entirely locally sourced in New Zealand, with the exception of juniper berries that are wild foraged in North Macedonia. The juniper base is supplemented with ‘Golden Special’ grapefruit from Gisborne, New Zealand, coriander seed from Hawke’s Bay, organic Motueka hops from Nelson, wild-foraged gorse flower from Marlborough, and wild-foraged Kawakawa berries from the Kāpiti Coast, Bottled at 45% ABV, this is a crisp and robust London Dry-style gin.

Golden Special grapefruits and local botanicals are highlights of Roots Gin

A visit to the distillery itself is a wonderful experience if you find yourself in the Marlborough region. Visitors can enjoy personalised tours and tastings with the distillers themselves and purchase bottles from the cellar door. Each September, locals are invited by Elemental to volunteer for a day to pick local wild gorse flowers from a high plateau in the Kaituna Forestry range. October sees the distillery hosting the annual ‘Grapefruit A-Peel,’ when freshly harvested Golden Special grapefruits are peeled for the next year’s runs of gin production. Volunteers for both events are compensated in barbecue and Roots Gin & tonics.

To accelerate the growth of Roots Gin, Proof & Company will first expand its distribution footprint in the on-trade and premium national retail channels, while launching the gin in its ecoSPIRITS pouring program across New Zealand. The new partnership will also see the brand take on a broader presence in New Zealand’s strong independent retail landscape. Strong trade and consumer demand for local spirits will provide a tailwind for this next phase of expansion.

Ben Leggett, Founder of Elemental Distillers

“Roots Marlborough Dry Gin is a product driven on values of sustainability, traceability and transparency. The story of Roots is one of not only each botanical selected, but of how they’ve been grown, when they were harvested and how we ultimately use them,” notes Leggett, “ With aligned principles of sustainability alongside a passion for premium craft spirits, we’re excited to join the Proof & Company portfolio and the ecoSPIRITS technology platform.”

Damian Kaehler, General Manager of Proof & Company Australia & New Zealand

“The growth of our New Zealand business has been exceptional, and that momentum will continue with the further rollout of the ecoSPIRITS. Local craft spirit brands have experienced the strongest growth, with consumers choosing to support local where they can,” notes Damian Kaehler, General Manager, Australia & New Zealand at Proof & Company, “We are delighted to partner with the great team at Elemental Distillers to represent Roots Gin at home and, eventually, around the Asia Pacific region. Together, we will be able to accelerate the growth of one of New Zealand’s finest spirits.”



PROOF CREATIVE CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF THE OPULENT REPUBLIC BAR AT THE RITZ-CARLTON IN SINGAPORE


SINGAPORE 6 July 2021 – As Singapore venues reopen their doors and welcome guests back after the latest round of COVID-19 restrictions, local cocktail enthusiasts can finally experience the grandeur and magnificence that is the newly opened Republic Bar in the East Wing of the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. The Lion City is no stranger to dramatic hotel bars, but Singapore now has one with a concept to celebrate as its very own.

Republic Bar is an homage to the then and now – The ‘House on the Hill’ overlooking Singapura. Flavours, ingredients and aesthetics are inspired by the 1960s, an influential decade for the modern world and one that marked the founding of Singapore as an independent republic. Bringing this concept to life, four 1960s cultural capitals – Singapore, the United Kingdom, America and Italy – are represented celebrated throughout the venue.

Glam 1960s interiors by acclaimed tonychi studio

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Helming the revitalisation of the East Wing of the hotel was globally-acclaimed design firm tonychi studio, whose previous works include the Rosewood Hong Kong Hotel in Kowloon. Meticulous and discerning design touches are showcased throughout three separate spaces: the Library Reception, the Republic Lounge and the Republic Bar. One design highlight is a curated display of spirits evoking of the four cultural epicentres, an ode to the famous home bars of the 1960s. Each ‘Home Bar’ is adorned with red Venetian glass, 1960s vintage spirits bottles and the requisite crystal and barware for serving a well-balanced stirred drink. Guests can relive the era with authentic liquid history, imbibing on their drink of choice.

The America ‘home bar’ at Republic Bar

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Republic Bar team is led by Head Bartender Martin Villareal, Beverage Manager Konstantin Nemolochnyi and Outlet Manager Rudi Mohamed. Much of the team came together in the hotel’s award-winning Chihuly Lounge, which anchored the East Wing prior to the renovation. As a result, the team was intimately involved in the menu development from start to finish, supported by the Proof Creative team. Guests at Republic Bar can expect thoughtful, immaculately garnished cocktails, each prepared in 1960s style.

 “Being a part of Republic’s opening is a huge honour for me. To work alongside tonychi studio and the expert Proof Creative team was both exciting and educational. Republic Bar is the result of our collective effort. We feel very proud to share this new experience with Singapore – home to one of the most vibrant cocktail scenes in the world,” notes Nemolochnyi.

Head Bartender, Martin Villareal

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Beverage Manager Konstantin Nemolochnyi

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Outlet Manager Rudi Mohamed

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Mythical Beast Cocktail, with Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Merlion, a national Singapore icon born in the 1960s, takes centre stage in the Mythical Beast Cocktail, which uses a base spirit from Singapore’s first full-fledged microdistillery, Brass Lion Distillery. A spirituous stirred drink, Brass Lion Gin is blended with Tio Pepe sherry, house-prepared Port City syrup, citric solution and Scrappy’s Orleans Bitters.

Republic Bar cocktail elegance, with the Mini Skirt Cocktail at left

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Mini Skirt Cocktail takes inspiration from one of Britain’s most famous design ideas from the 1960s period by fashion designer, Mary Quant. A red-hued, sour-style drink with citrus and berry notes, this cocktail is a shaken blend of Tried & True Straight Wheat Vodka, Luxardo Limoncello Liqueur, Pimm’s No. 1, house-prepared cranberry pineapple cordial and citrus stock. The Mini Skirt is served in an era-inspired bespoke cocktail coupe designed by British purveyors, John Jenkins & Sons, a family business who hold a Royal Warrant for crystal glassware.

The 15 Minutes of Fame Cocktail, with Farmer’s Organic Gin

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

A memorable quote from notorious American pop artist, Andy Warhol, who said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” is the inspiration for the 15 Minutes of Fame Cocktail in the America selection. This drink is a  visually striking serve with chocolate paint garnish in the same vibrant colours as Warhol’s  iconic Marilyn Monroe silkscreen. Farmer’s Organic Gin and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur are balanced with clarified apple juice, verjus, cacao, Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters and topped with Champagne.

Republic Bar’s signature Boneless Texas Buffalo Wings

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The bar’s elevated food menu is created by Executive Chef Massimo Pasquarelli and offers guests a selection of plates inspired by social and cultural trends of the 1960s. One of the culinary highlights is the boneless Texas Buffalo Wings, a reimagining of the classic bar snack with tender bites of chicken, criss-cross chips and house made ranch and barbecue sauce.

Proof Creative’s work on Republic Bar dates back to 2018, when it was asked by the hotel and its owners, longstanding clients Pontiac Land Group, to bring a signature bar concept to one of Singapore’s most iconic hotels. Over time, the Proof Creative team working on the project included Spirits Evangelists, Mimi Lorandova, Jeremy Chua and Guillermo Bravo, with support throughout from Creative Director, Jason Williams and Creative Project Coordinator, Jonathan Teo.

 

Notes Teo, “I had the privilege to be involved in Republic Bar from ideation to opening, and I witnessed tremendous creativity, teamwork and tenacity from the Republic Bar team during the lengthy process of research and development, pre-opening and training. It has been an enjoyable journey for all involved.”


With Republic Bar now open again and dining in allowed in Singapore, bookings can be made on Republic Bar. You can follow the journey on Instagram  


PROOF & COMPANY AUSTRALIA TO TAKE ECOSPIRITS NATIONWIDE WITH AUSTRALIAN LIQUOR MARKETERS


MELBOURNE 22 April 2021 – Building on the remarkable success of its ecoSPIRITS technology since the Australian launch in early 2020, Proof & Company Australia has now forged a new partnership that will see leading wholesaler Australian Liquor Marketers offer sustainable spirits distribution to thousands of more hospitality venues nationwide.

Beginning 1 May, premium spirits in the ecoSPIRITS low carbon, low waste format will be available to ALM customers, starting with Melbourne and progressively rolling out nationwide over the course of the year.

“At ALM, we are the largest national liquor wholesaler supplying independently-owned liquor retailers and on-premise venues with the most extensive range of products in our portfolio, notes Anthony Rose, ALM On-Premise Category Manager, “Specialising in on premise, we know that sustainability and service are both important to our customers. For this reason, we are proud to announce our new partnership with Proof & Company Australia and ecoSPIRITS.”

Under the new partnership, ALM’s warehousing and delivery teams have received specialised training and support to manage ecoSPIRITS’ patent-pending ecoTOTE format, ensuring seamless supply chain management, warehousing, tracking and fulfilment – all while eliminating more than 80% of the carbon footprint of spirits distribution.

ALM customers will now have access to a growing range of premium spirits in the ecoTOTE format, including one of Australia’s most highly awarded gins from Never Never Distilling Co. and the acclaimed Plantation Rum from Maison Ferrand.

“We have long been proud to have been one of the first spirits partners for ecoSPIRITS, developed by our good friends at Proof & Company,” notes Angelique Julienne, Marketing & Communications Director at Maison Ferrand, “We are convinced that meaningful ecological innovation like sustainable alternative packaging are the future of our industry when done with authenticity. In addition to our partnership with ecoSPIRITS, Maison Ferrand is continually working to do our part. At the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados, we aim to be a net zero carbon footprint distillery by 2030.”

Angelique Julienne, Marketing & Communications Director, Maison Ferrand

The West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados

A source distillery for Plantation Rum, where Maison Ferrand is installing solar power as part of a push for net zero

In addition to Never Never Triple Juniper Gin and Plantation 3 Star, Original Dark and Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum, ALM will offer Tried & True Vodka, Arquitecto Tequila, Mackintosh Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and Widges Gin in ecoTOTE format from May. Additional spirits in ecoTOTE format will become available in the coming months.

Since its launch in Australia, ecoSPIRITS has been quickly adopted by more than 100 hospitality venues. Venues adopting the ecoSPIRITS technology reduce the cost of their spirits purchasing, eliminate 95% of the daily glass and cardboard waste from their spirits pours and save 150g of carbon emissions per serve. Bars have embraced well-made spirits in the sustainable format. As Huw Griffiths, owner of Union Electric in Melbourne notes, “Union Electric has always loved Plantation Pineapple, not just as one our favourite spirits but also for the story and care that goes into its production. ‘Stiggins Fancy’ teaming up with ecoSPIRITS is one more good reason to love Pineapple and a good example of an industry leader setting an example addressing issues of waste and sustainability.”

Huw Griffiths, Owner, Union Electric, Melbourne

The ecoSPIRITS closed loop system, which includes the ecoPLANT™, ecoTOTE™ and SmartPour™ technologies, is operated in Australia by Proof & Company, which has been an early champion of sustainable spirits. Venues joining the ecoSPIRITS network through ALM will have access to all ecoSPIRITS benefits, including the “One Tote, One Tree” reforestation commitment under the ecoSPIRITS Forest Program.

“End consumers are increasingly looking to reduce their impact on the planet,” says James ‘Dub Dub’ Wynn-Williams, National Sales Manager at Proof & Company, “It has been a great honour to introduce the ecoSPIRITS technology to the Australian hospitality industry over the past 12 months. Our partnership with ALM will simply help us work with more venues to reduce waste and the cost of their premium spirits. We couldn’t be more excited about the future for sustainable spirits in Australia.”

James ‘Dub Dub’ Wynn-Williams, National Sales Manager, Proof & Company Australia

ecoSPIRITS will be available via ALM from 1 May. For more information, please reach out to your local ALM or Proof & Company representative, or contact James Wynn-Williams


About ALM
Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM) is Australia and New Zealand’s leading broad range liquor wholesaler, supplying more than 14,500 hotels, liquor stores, restaurants and other licensed premises throughout Australia and New Zealand with all their liquor needs. ALM provides retailers with a one stop shop that allows them to receive all their liquor supplies “in one delivery; on one invoice; in full; on time; every time” together with strong marketing support and a wide variety of retail services. ALM provides a specialist on-premise liquor supply and marketing support division to the on-premise sector, including bars, restaurants and hotels, via Harbottle on-Premise (HOP) in Australia and Allied Liquor in New Zealand. ALM will continue to help grow and consolidate key brands in the marketplace, and continue to drive the success of the business with the strong support of Metcash Trading Ltd.

For more information on ALM, please visit almliquor.com


About ecoSPIRITS
ecoSPIRITS is the world’s first low-carbon, low-waste spirits distribution technology. Founding in Singapore in 2018, ecoSPIRITS has developed a patent-pending closed loop distribution system that nearly eliminates packaging waste in the premium spirits supply chain. By dramatically reducing packaging and transport costs, ecoSPIRITS provides both a powerful cost advantage and a transformative carbon footprint reduction. By partnering with ecoSPIRITS, spirit producers, distributors and hospitality operators can save costs and reduce the environmental impact of their operations. With each bottle eliminated, ecoSPIRITS saves at least 550 grams of carbon emissions. This means each cocktail or spirits pour through ecoSPIRITS saves 30 grams of emissions. The ecoSPIRITS Forest Program adds an additional 120g of carbon emissions savings per serve.

For more information on ecoSPIRITS, please visit ecospirits.global or follow ecospirits.global on Instagram.



NEW LEADERSHIP AND RESOURCES FOR PROOF & COMPANY IN AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND AMID STRONG TRADING CONDITIONS

MELBOURNE, 19 April 2021 – Proof & Company has appointed Damian Kaehler as General Manager, Australia & New Zealand and will make substantial investments in expanding headcount and national footprint in both markets in 2021. The region continues to be one of Proof & Company’s strongest performing markets in Asia Pacific.

Kaehler joined Proof & Company on 1 April from SouthTrade International, Australia’s leading spirits supplier, where he was most recently Sales Director. A 20-year hospitality and spirits industry professional, Kaehler started his career behind the bar in Edinburgh, before transitioning back to Australia and into advocacy, sales and management roles with Brown Forman, Bacardi and SouthTrade.

Under his sales leadership, SouthTrade has been the fastest growing spirits supplier in the Australian market, delivering exceptional results over the course of his tenure. His personal passion for craft spirits, fine cocktails and developing high performing teams are a natural fit for the new role at Proof & Company. Kaehler also previously worked at Bacardi Australia with Proof & Company’s new CEO, Paul Broadbent.

“There is no better time to be joining the Proof & Company business.” notes Kaehler, “Our strong partnerships with leading local and international independent spirit brands, the nationwide rollouts of the disruptive ecoSPIRITS low carbon distribution technology, and our team of talented, passionate professionals are all aligned with where the market and consumers are headed.”

Damian Kaehler, General Manager, Australia & New Zealand

“I could not be more excited to be reunited with Damian, after our previous chapter working together,” says Broadbent, “Damian is one of the most talented sales and people leaders that I have had the pleasure of working with. I have every confidence he will lead our Australia and New Zealand businesses through another chapter of extraordinary growth.”

Paul Broadbent, CEO


Since its acquisition of Neat Spirits in 2018, Proof & Company’s footprint in Australia and New Zealand has grown six-fold, driven by a strong brand portfolio and excellent on- and off-premise channel performance. In Australia, Proof & Company national retail presence has growth from under 500 distribution points in 2018 to more than 8,000 in 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for the region, particularly for on-trade venues, overall conditions in Australia and New Zealand are improving. Against this background, Kaehler’s appointment coincides with a plan to further expand the company’s operations in the region, with seven new roles to be added in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland over the course of 2021. This investment will further expand distribution footprint for Proof & Company’s portfolio of leading spirits brands, including Australian producers Never Never Distilling Co. and Sullivans Cove Whisky.

“Damian’s appointment marks an exciting development in the partnership that Proof & Company and Never Never started in 2018, notes George Georgiadis, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Never Never Distilling Co., “Both businesses continue to grow incredibly fast, and Damian’s experience in scaling both international and Australian brands will provide critical leadership in the next phase of growth. We welcome Damian to the new role and are really looking forward to working with him.”

Sean Baxter, Tim Boast and George Georgiadis of Never Never Distilling Co.

Australia's most highly awarded gins


For more information, please reach out to your local Proof & Company representative, or Damian Kaehler


PROOF & COMPANY WELCOMES NEW CEO AND BOLSTERS LEADERSHIP TEAM, AS GROWTH RETURNS IN ASIA PACIFIC

SINGAPORE, 2 March 2021 – After safely navigating a challenging 2020, Proof & Company is preparing for a return to growth in 2021 by welcoming a new CEO and bolstering its leadership team.

On 1 April, and following a 12-month search led by co-founders Paul Gabie and Spencer Forhart with support from the company’s board of directors, Gabie will hand CEO responsibilities to Paul Broadbent. Gabie and Forhart will remain as a Directors, providing oversight and support to the new CEO and leadership team. Broadbent currently serves as Proof & Company’s General Manager, Australia & New Zealand. This CEO transition is the first in Proof & Company’s nine-year history and comes at a time when the outlook for independent spirits in Asia Pacific is brighter than ever.

Since joining Proof & Company in 2018, Broadbent has led a chapter of transformational growth in the company’s Australia and New Zealand markets. Over this three-year period, Proof & Company’s business in the Australasia region has grown six-fold, driven by expanded presence in national retail, excellent performance in the on-trade channel, and the acquisition and growth of leading independent brands to the company’s Australasia portfolio, including Diplomático Rum, Never Never Distilling Co. and Sullivans Cove Whisky.


Prior to joining Proof & Company, Broadbent spent 14 years with Bacardi-Martini Australia where he undertook a variety of roles across global travel retail, national on trade, national accounts and the brand ambassador program. Over his career, Broadbent has held senior roles in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and will now relocate to Singapore to take on the CEO role with Proof & Company.

“Being part of such a progressive and dynamic drinks company over the past three years has been truly exhilarating.  We have a fantastic brand portfolio anchored by great partners. When you couple this with talented and passionate people across our teams, the future is bright,” says Broadbent, “Taking over from a successful founder is always a significant task and I want to thank Paul for handing over the business in such a strong position.”


In April, Gabie will shift his day-to-day focus to the global expansion of ecoSPIRITS, a technology spinout from Proof & Company that has developed the world’s first closed loop distribution technology for premium spirits. ecoSPIRITS works with local partners worldwide, including Proof & Company, to reduce the delivered cost and carbon footprint of spirits.

“Serving as CEO of Proof & Company has been the highlight of my career. Over the past five years, we have entered the Australia and China markets, grown by more than 500%, and developed a team of spirits professionals that is amongst the most committed and able in the business,” notes Gabie. “Proof & Company has a strong leadership team, talented market teams across the region, and some of the best brand partners we could ask for. Having worked together closely now for three years, I have every confidence that Paul Broadbent is the right leader for our next chapter.”


As part of this transition, Elaine Hardiman will take on an expanded Group CFO role, working closely alongside Broadbent in leading Proof & Company. Since joining Proof & Company in early 2018 from Ralph Lauren Asia Pacific, Hardiman has successfully steered the group through both the challenges of rapid growth and the COVID-19 pandemic. In her expanded role, she will take on broader oversight of the group’s financial and administrative functions across the entire region.

“During my time with Proof & Company, we have been on a transformative journey, not just one of rapid growth but also in upgrading our processes and systems,” notes Hardiman. “I am excited to be partnering with Paul Broadbent to help lead the next chapter of our development across the region. Paul and I are confident that our skill sets complement each other well as we take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

To further strengthen Proof & Company’s Australasia business, Damian Kaehler will succeed Broadbent as Proof & Company’s General Manager, Australia and New Zealand in April. Kaehler joins from SouthTrade International, where he was Sales Director of Australia’s fastest growing spirits supplier. The move reunites Broadbent and Kaehler, who previously worked together from 2009 through 2018. More details regarding Kaehler’s appointment at Proof & Company will be released in early April.



OPEN LETTER: WHAT WE'VE LEARNED FROM 2020

Dear Spirits & Hospitality Community,

Back in May, we shared our first open letter, titled Let’s Come Back Stronger, Together. In the months since, our markets across Asia Pacific have seen the worst of the COVID-19 crisis subside, yet had to persevere through serial local lockdowns, alcohol sales curfews, and social distancing restrictions at every turn. In short, a rollercoaster of hope and despair. Yet, here we are on the 31st of December – still standing, certainly wiser, and unexpectedly optimistic about the future.

The 28 HongKong Street team in November 2020. Still together, still strong. Photo Credit: ensofphotography for 28 HongKong Street


So, what has 2020 taught us?

Hospitality is resilient. We – as individuals, as teams, as communities and as an industry – are stronger than we thought. We can adapt more quickly than we believed possible. We can do more to help each other through challenge than we have done in the past. This resilience has been on display all year and across the globe. It can give us comfort for the road ahead.

People are still drinking. If anything, this once-in-a-hundred-year moment has confirmed the value we all place on a good drink, either at home or in a favourite bar or restaurant. Globally, spirits sales have been surprisingly resilient, even if the impact of the crisis has been unevenly distributed. When the pandemic finally subsides, this industry is coming back stronger.

How we serve them is changing. 2020 threw much of what we thought we knew about the industry into a cocktail shaker. How brands and venues reach their audience changed overnight. Home consumption, craft RTD serves, direct-to-consumer channels, online venue marketing, bottled cocktails from bars. Nascent trends became forces of change, and many are here to stay.

This year has been hard. We would be remiss not to mark the toll this year has taken on the industry, and all of us. We have collectively lost millions of jobs, thousands of great venues, and a measure of stability that we previously took for granted. The cost of the crisis has fallen unevenly, most notably on hospitality venues and professionals. We cannot forget this.

Next year will be hard, at least to start. 2021 brings the promise of recovery, but also of continued uncertainty. The first half of the year – at a minimum – will challenge us all. Some markets, such as New Zealand and China, are on the road to recovery. Others, such as Hong Kong SAR and Thailand, remain in the depths of the crisis. Our best hope lies in the lessons of 2020. Plan carefully, adapt quickly, embrace new ideas and take care of each other.

We’re in this together. For all of us at Proof & Company, the unprecedented sense of togetherness, which we wrote about back in May, remains the defining characteristic of 2020. This coming together of the spirits and hospitality industry – brands, suppliers, bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers – is the most powerful tool we take with us into 2021. Let’s all work to make it permanent.

New ideas and the embrace of change offer a pathway to recovery in 2021. Photo Credit: Rum Diary Melbourne


That leaves us at the final task of 2020: a simple, heartfelt thank you. To our team members, our brand partners, our business partners, our clients, our governments and our communities for the remarkable support they have given Proof & Company over the course of this extraordinary year. We are humbled and grateful for everything you have done in the difficult moments. We only hope that Proof & Company has been able to return the favour.

Whatever 2021 has in store, we will be stronger, together.

Spencer Forhart

Chairman

Paul Gabie

Chief Executive Officer


SULLIVANS COVE TEAMS UP WITH PROOF & COMPANY TO EXPAND ASIA PACIFIC FOOTPRINT


MELBOURNE 29 October 2020 – Starting this month, acclaimed Tasmanian distillery Sullivans Cove has partnered with Proof & Company to expand the footprint for their extraordinary spirits. Under this new partnership, Proof & Company will take over distribution of Sullivans Cove spirits in their Australian home market as well as the broader Asia Pacific region.

The new partnership between Sullivans Cove and Proof & Company is a natural fit given both companies’ commitment to championing craft, quality and independence in the Asia Pacific spirits landscape. Proof & Company will now offer the Sullivans Cove portfolio of award-winning spirits to its client base of more than 3,000 leading bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.

Proof & Company’s award-winning drinks consultancy, Proof Creative, will also work closely with the Sullivans Cove team to bring Australian whisky to some of the region’s most high-profile bar openings. Although the new distribution partnership will help raise the profile of the distillery and Tasmanian spirits around the region, Sullivans Cove’s limited stock availability and very high demand remains. As such, stock will remain on strict allocation.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Proof & Company for distribution of our products in Australia and throughout the Asia Pacific region,” says Sullivans Cove Brand Manager, Fred Siggins. “Our focus has always been on quality over quantity, so it was important for us to partner with a distributor who understands that and isn’t just going by the numbers. As a small team, we’re never able to spend as much time out in the venues as we would like, so we’re excited that our customers in every state and every country in the region will have access to local knowledge and understanding through the Proof & Company team, and we look forward to building closer relationships, hosting brilliant events and offering better service than ever through this partnership.”

Sullivans Cove Distillery is Australia’s premier craft producer of single malt whisky. Founded on the shores of Sullivans Cove in Hobart, Tasmania in 1994, Sullivans Cove is one of Australia’s longest-running whisky distilleries of the modern craft era.  As Australia’s most awarded whisky, having won three “World’s Best” titles at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014, 2018 and 2019 and many, many other accolades both locally and globally, Sullivans Cove has been fundamental in the development of the Australian spirits landscape by becoming one of the world’s most awarded whiskies and one of a small number of local spirits producers to gain notoriety outside of Australia.

Pure Tasmanian rainwater, some of the cleanest in the world

The Sullivans Cove Distillery, Tasmania, Australia

Sullivans Cove Distillery is the true embodiment of craft spirits, producing full-flavoured, rustic, hand-made single malt whiskies from 100% Tasmanian ingredients. Allowed to mature over many years in the unique Tasmanian climate in hand-selected, full sized casks, Sullivans Cove whiskies are unrushed, each barrel allowed to express its own individual character and quality.

The majority of Sullivans Cove whiskies are aged in full-sized American oak ex-bourbon or French oak ex-tawny casks. All Sullivans Cove whiskies are allowed a long maturation period in the unique Tasmanian climate – typically between 9 and 18 years. Many of these casks will be hand-selected at the peak of their character and quality to be bottled completely unblended as Sullivans Cove’s flagship single cask whiskies, while others will be carefully married together to create Sullivans Cove’s small-batch vatted Double Cask expression.

Beyond whisky, Sullivans Cove also collaborate with the thriving Tasmanian wine industry in the Huon Valley, using a 100% Tasmanian grapes to produce both single cask and vatted expressions of some of Australia’s most intriguing and complex brandies.

Sullivans Cove Double Cask Tasmanian Whisky

Winner of Best Australian Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2018, the Double Cask is aged in a combination of French and American oak casks, displaying rich complexity and length. Non-chill filtered and additive free, this expression is bottled at 45% ABV (90 Proof).

Sullivans Cove American Oak Single Bourbon Cask

The distillery’s most awarded expression and Australia’s most awarded whisky, American Oak Single Bourbon Cask is the defining style of Sullivan Cove, with malty notes of caramel and vanilla on a foundation of  pronounced oak. Bottled at approximately 47.5% ABV (95 Proof), each bottling single cask bottling is unique, allowing the individual character of every cask to shine through.

Sullivans Cove French Oak Single Tawny Cask

The French Oak Single Tawny Cask has undisputedly put Australian whisky on the global map since winning World’s Best Single Malt at The World Whiskies Awards 2014 and then World’s Best Single Malt Single Cask in 2019. Aged in 300-litre Australian tawny fortified wine casks and bottled at approximately 47.5% ABV (95 Proof), each unique single cask expresses notes of rich dried fruit, Christmas spice, chocolate and fine European oak tannins.

The team behind Sullivans Cove is well-known and well-loved in the industry. The distillery is helmed by Head Distiller Heather Tillott and Production Manager Kirsten Laurie. Brand strategy and advocacy is led by Brand Manager Fred Siggins with Sam Cumming in the role of Sales Manager, both long-time bar and beverage professionals. The small team is made up of 20 staff in total across production, cellar door, bottling, logistics and administration, with all aspects of Sullivans Cove production and business based out of their facility in Hobart. Open to visitors seven days a week and for in-depth tours and tastings by booking, Sullivans Cove Distillery is a must-see for any Tasmanian-bound whisky lover.

“In recent years, Proof & Company has made a major commitment to championing leading local and regional spirits producers,” notes Paul Broadbent, Proof & Company’s General Manager, Australia & New Zealand, “The partnership with the wonderful Sullivans Cove team builds on that commitment. We look forward to sharing their exceptional portfolio with our clients across Asia Pacific.”


About Sullivans Cove

Sullivans Cove Distillery is Australia’s premier craft producer of single malt whisky. Founded on the shores of Sullivans Cove in Hobart, Tasmania in 1994, Sullivans Cove is one of Australia’s longest-running whisky distilleries of the modern craft era. Sullivans Cove is also Australia’s most awarded whisky, having won three “World’s Best” titles at the World Whiskies Awards in 2014, 2018 and 2019 and many, many other accolades both locally and globally. Sullivans Cove Distillery produces full-flavoured, rustic, hand-made single malt whiskies from 100% Tasmanian ingredients. Allowed to mature over many years in the unique Tasmanian climate in hand-selected, full sized casks, Sullivans Cove whiskies are unrushed, each unique cask allowed to express its own individual character and quality.

For more information, please visit sullivanscove


PROOF CREATIVE CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF VIRTÙ AT THE NEW FOUR SEASONS HOTEL TOKYO AT OTEMACHI


TOKYO 12 October 2020 In a city famous for its glamorous hotels and high-rise bars, a luxurious new hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, made its sparkling debut on 1st September. Nestled on the 39th floor of the new hotel, VIRTÙ is a destination hotel bar that celebrates the long, intersecting history of two capitals, Paris and Tokyo. Opened in collaboration with Proof Creative and the renowned Japanese Design Studio Spin, VIRTÙ offers French-inspired drinking and spectacular views of the bright megapolis that is modern Tokyo.

The golden thread at VIRTÙ is Paris’ and Tokyo’s common position as global capitals of style, now and throughout recent history. As a result, VIRTÙ is a celebration of the potent cultural influence of these two cities, spanning the arts, music, fashion, design, people and architecture. The name ‘VIRTÙ’ signifies the virtues of humankind and their influence on drinking etiquettes.

The gorgeous setting is courtesy of the award-winning team at Spin and centers on a main room with seating for 78 guests, an intimate crescent bar and a unique communal long table that spans the length of the room, inviting guests to interact in a family-style setting. The design fuses French art deco patterns and materials with Japanese textiles and craftsmanship.

Warm hues, soft fabrics and a distinctive checkered backbar at VIRTÙ

The arrival at VIRTÙ marked by an entrance library, home to a working collection of books by the world’s most prominent food and beverage authors. This collection supplemented with hand-picked cocktail artefacts and antiques, each with their own drinking story to tell. Tucked in a hidden walkway behind the library is the Spirits Chambers, which house a collection of the world’s finest French brandies as well as barrels and demijohns of spirits ageing experiments by the VIRTÙ bar team.

The entrance library at VIRTÙ

A wall of French Cognac in the Spirits Chamber

The bar and beverage program at VIRTÙ is led by respected Head Bartender Joshua Perez, an American known for his work at a series of legendary New York City cocktail institutions, including Booker & Dax, Experimental Cocktail Club and Milk & Honey. Fluent in Japanese, Perez was drawn by the prospect of returning to Japan to oversee a flagship hotel bar in a culture for which he has a deep appreciation.

Under Perez’s stewardship, guests can expect irreverent and detailed Japanese drinking rituals infused with classic French sensibility. Cocktails at VIRTÙ revolve around seven human virtues: Mercy, Loyalty, Justice, Honesty, Honour, Respect, and Bravery. The interlinking of drinking etiquettes and the strong social code of Japanese culture is purposeful, providing guests an intuitive guide when selecting a cocktail.

Notes Perez, “We’ve taken each virtue to represent a different style or category of cocktail to guide guests along. We start with ‘Mercy’ being low ABV aperitif-style cocktails, ‘Respect’ are spirit-forward, and we end on ‘Bravery’ with more experimental and esoteric drinks. The cocktails combine minimal Japanese styling, fresh local produce, with epitome French flavours, liqueurs and fine aged spirits.

The Takara Cocktail

The Champs de Lavende Cocktail

In collaboration with Tokyo’s YYG brewery, the VIRTÙ team have developed ‘Saison de Tokyo,’ a traditional French-style farmhouse ale. The craft beer is made exclusively for Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi and brewed in the YYG brewery in the Yoyogi district.

As is fitting, the food at VIRTÙ highlights the culinary traditions of these two culinary capitals. The bar menu is provided by the neighboring est restaurant, helmed by acclaimed Michelin Star chef Guillaume Bracaval and plays on French cuisine with endemic Japanese ingredients. One of our favourites is the Gyu Katsu Sando, a decadent wagyu beef sandwich on house-made toasted milk bun with VIRTÙ ‘bulldog’ sauce.

The aural direction aligns with the French and Japanese influence, drawing on influential French and Japanese musicians from the 1940s through present day. All expertly curated by the musical styling experts Bellosound. 

The opening of the new hotel and its elegant food and beverage offerings has been led by Regional Vice President and General Manager Andrew De Brito, along with Hotel Manager Anthony Tschudin. “Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi is in the perfect spot for guests to experience the best of Tokyo as we bring a freshness to the city,” notes De Brito, “In Japan, the art of hospitality is known as omotenashi; here at Four Seasons, it is how we take care of our guests every day.”

VIRTÙ is a project three years in the making and the latest in a long series of collaborations between Proof Creative and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, dating back to the opening of Manhattan Bar in 2014 and including the acclaimed Caprice Bar in Hong Kong, Charles H. in Seoul and Bar Trigona in Kuala Lumpur. VIRTÙ development work was led by Spirits Evangelist Bobby Carey, with support from Creative Director Jason Williams and Creative Project Coordinator Jonathan Teo.

“Four Seasons Asia has developed a reputation for beverage excellence, and we have every confidence that VIRTÙ and Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi are another step in that journey. It has been an honour to collaborate with Andrew, Anthony, Joshua and their entire team on this latest Four Seasons landmark opening,” notes Carey.


VIRTÙ is now open to the public. For reservations, point your cursor to  https://www.fourseasons.com/otemachi/dining/restaurants/virtu/ or restaurant.otemachi@fourseasons.com. Catch all the latest news on Instagram and Facebook.


ABOUT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL TOKYO AT OTEMACHI
In a city fuelled by boundless energy and defined by intriguing contrasts, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi delivers next-generation luxury experiences with inimitable style. Soaring above the heart of the capital and offering expansive Imperial Palace views, Four Seasons puts you at centre stage, from sky-high gourmet meals on our rooftop terrace to gala business and social events at Tokyo’s best address.

For more information, please visit:
www.fourseasons.com/otemachi/


ABOUT DESIGN STUDIO SPIN
Design Studio Spin based in Tokyo are a distinguished interior design company serving for clients around the world who seek for the highest quality. Multiple award-winning creators of stunning Food & Beverage spaces, their high-profile work can be experienced throughout the globe.  They have previously worked closely with the Four Seasons at their Tianjin, St Petersburg, Bali, Cairo and Hong Kong Properties

For more information, please visit:
www.ds-spin.com


PROOF CREATIVE COLLABORATES WITH SIAM@SIAM DESIGN HOTEL TO OPEN PARADISE LOST IN BANGKOK


BANGKOK 11 September 2020 In a city renowned for its rooftop bars, this week marked the opening of a new standard bearer for open air drinking: Paradise Lost at the Siam@Siam Design Hotel. A neo-tropical bar and social habitat, Paradise Lost is a signature project for the team at Siam@Siam.

As the name foreshadows, Paradise Lost is inspired by a post-apocalyptic world, one in which climate change and environmental trauma have banished lush, tropical biosystems to the hazy reaches of distant memory. The only hope for resurrection lies in sustainable and thoughtful living.

Led by Managing Director Khun Pranai Phornprapha and General Manager Justin Swart, Paradise Lost is more than two years in the making. In collaboration with Proof Creative and award-winning Australian designers MASH, the Siam@Siam team developed a multi-level, maze-like venue with 360-degree views of the Bangkok skyline. Featuring three distinct bars, stunning wraparound ledges, a multitude of hideaways for guests, bold neon lighting, and liberal dashes of neo-tropical colour, Paradise Lost is all about escapism.

“We always wanted to create something very conceptual, a hidden sanctuary which allows us to spread the message about sustainability,” notes Phornprapha, “We would like for our visitors to feel like they’ve entered another world and hope that both locals and tourists will enjoy our unique twist on the modern bar experience.”

The drinks program at Paradise Lost is managed by Head Bartender and ‘Good Times Guide’ Gabriel Lowe. Lowe is the creator of Black Bear in Bogotá and a former bar manager at Locanda, Black Cat and The Battery in San Francisco. He was listed in Zagat’s 30 Under 30, honouring up-and-coming food and drink talents of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Gabriel Lowe, Head Bartender and ‘Good Times Guide’ at Paradise Lost

The food and beverage on offer at Paradise Lost showcases the sustainable practices that a neo-tropical future might entail:  eliminating single use plastic and glass, local and hyperlocal sourcing, upcycling of ingredients and working with brands and suppliers that share the same sustainability ethos. Drinking vessels, coasters, furniture, and more throughout the venue are made from reused or recycled materials.

Upcycled drinks coasters from salvaged plastics by BOPE in Chiang Mai

Paradise Lost is also a proud partner venue for ecoSPIRITS, the world’s first low-carbon, low-waste spirits distribution technology. Through this partnership, nearly every cocktail served in the venue saves 150g of carbon emissions and supports reforestation through the planting of Paradise Lost geo-tagged trees in the endangered Kalimantan rainforest area in Borneo, Indonesia.

Sustainable doesn’t mean there is a deficit of fun or flavour. Drinks at Paradise Lost are as bold and delightful as the interiors. The cocktail menu plays homage to disaster manuals of pre-apocalypse times, offering guests a step-by-step guide to making the most of their moment. Lowe says, “Every drink is a miniature vacation, a moment of escape and enjoyment in a world where reality can be all too weighty.”

The WWW (What We Worship) Cocktail

Drinks such as the WWW (What We Worship), a play on the colours and flavours of Bangkok and Thailand. A colourful combination of low-carbon Tried & True Straight Wheat Vodka, blended with Rinomato Aperitivo and Rinomato Americano; bolstered with native citrus and local passionfruit. WWW is a drink that evokes the venue: vivid, bold and uncompromising.

The Invisible Garden Cocktail

Drinks feature world-class spirits, a new standard for Bangkok’s rooftop bars, as well as surprising and thoughtful local flavours. The Invisible Garden Cocktail is a spin on the classic Bloody Mary, featuring low-carbon Widges Gin, clarified tomato, celery, Thai peppers & lemon, salt and some heat from Scrappy’s Firewater Tincture - with a Thai chili dust rim.


The focus on quality, sustainable sourcing flows throughout the other drinks categories too, including the venue’s bespoke Paradise Pilsner, a tropical- leaning light and dry refresher with subtle sour mango nuances created in collaboration with the Rise of Civilization brewery in Saigon, Vietnam.

Food at Paradise Lost is just as thoughtful and colourful. Sitting above the hotel’s award-winning creative Thai restaurant, TAAN, and sharing a kitchen, the Paradise Lost food menu adopts its sister restaurant’s celebration of Thailand’s food artisans and their unique ingredients. One of the highlights is the Prawn Steak Roll, native fried prawn heads, layered with sour chili cream, onion marmalade & a burst of citrus, on a toasted butter bun.

The Native Prawn Steak Roll

With a rotating list of DJs and performance artists, Paradise Lost promises to be a beacon of escape, hospitality and positive energy in the Bangkok skyline. Just what 2020 needs, we suppose.

Paradise Lost is open to the public from 6 September 2020. For reservations, make your way to paradiselostbkk.com/ or info@paradiselostbangkok.com. Follow along on Instagram or Facebook.


ABOUT SIAM@SIAM
Established in 2007, Siam@Siam Design Hotels takes inspiration from the diverse and colourful neighbourhoods that surround its properties in Bangkok and Pattaya. Believing that exceptional hospitality goes hand in hand with cutting-edge design, nightlife, and culinary experiences, the hotel group boasts a growing portfolio of bars, restaurants and public spaces. Siam@Siam Bangkok is home to Paradise Lost, a bold and creative rooftop cocktail bar, as well as TAAN, a modern Thai fine-dining restaurant, and Chim Chim, a vibrant all-day diner (coming late 2020).

For more information, please visit:
www.siamatsiam.com


ABOUT MASH
Mash is an interdisciplinary design studio creating spaces and brands that ultimately help their clients achieve hospitality success. Coining the phrase ‘Art-itechture’ Dom Roberts the founder has created an emporium of innovation blurring the lines between interior design, branding and artistic endeavour. They are designers and brand-creators, bringing wonder and imagination to their clients’ venues. Their clients hail from all around this small world of ours. With projects completed in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Bangkok to name a few. They are currently working on new endeavours in Tokyo and London. Mash is inspired to create holistic spaces where harmony between all the parts come together to create a complete venue experience. Founder Dom Roberts believes interior design and branding must co-exist and work together to enhance and create truely amazing hospitality venues.

Their work has won multiple accolades including D&AD Awards in London and Graphis Awards in New York. Their work has also been displayed in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA).

For more information, please visit:
www.mashdesign.com.au


TERAI INDIA DRY GIN LAUNCHES IN COLLABORATION WITH THE PROOF CREATIVE TEAM


SINGAPORE 3 August 2020 – The modern era of craft distilling has well and truly arrived in India, home to one of the world’s largest spirits markets. This month marks the launch of an extraordinary new offering: TERAI India Dry Gin from the India Craft Spirit Co. in Behror, Rajasthan. 

Inspired by the Indian region of ‘Terai,’ which is a strip of fertile marshland running along the foothills of the Himalayas, TERAI is carefully crafted to pay homage to these notions of being lush, bountiful and fresh. The Swarups, the family behind the India Craft Spirit Co., have a history of agriculture in the region dating back to the 1700s and opened one of the first distilleries in India in 1958. TERAI India Dry Gin is their first contribution to India’s new era of distilling.

The verdant Himalayan foothills in India

Best known for its signature bar projects, the Proof Creative team worked closely with Shekhar Swarup, the founder, over two years in the development of the gin itself, the visitor experience at the distillery, and the storytelling and launch plans. The assignment? Develop an emblematic gin that sets a new benchmark for India craft spirits and one that can hold its own in the Second Golden Age of fine drinking.

“Our commitment over the last two years has been driven by a devotion to our land, our experience in agriculture and distillation, a spirit of craft and the love of a good drink! We are immensely proud of how this journey has shaped TERAI India Dry Gin and are delighted at its launch,” says Shekhar.

TERAI India Dry Gin is a modern interpretation of a traditional London Dry gin, the result of countless recipe trials drawing on India’s rich botanical and spice offering and testing in some of Asia’s best bars. The final recipe showcases 11 botanicals – juniper berries, tulsi (or holy basil), coriander, fennel, lemon peel, orange peel, lavender, rose, almond, angelica and orris root. Many are sourced from Asia’s largest spice market Khari Baoli in New Delhi.

TERAI’s commitment to craftsmanship exemplifies the best qualities of modern independent spirits. The gin is produced in a purpose-built distillery, using traditional one-shot distillation in the country’s first copper pot still from Carl GmbH. The neutral spirit at the heart of TERAI is produced from rice at a neighbouring distillery owned by the Swarup family. The glass bottle draws inspiration from pillars in ancient Indian architecture, and each stopper is handmade in the traditional style of India’s Channapatna craft. On the label an intricate representation of the botanicals has been illustrated in the design of vintage Indian coins.

“This is a world class gin,” notes Jason Williams, Proof Creative Director and Master of Gin at ATLAS Singapore, “Shekhar and the Swarup family should be rightly proud of their new addition to the global spirits landscape. With the launch of TERAI, and other quality India craft gins, the world of gin has come full circle to its historical roots in India. We could not be more delighted to have played a role in TERAI’s development.”

The TERAI botanical mix gives the gin a bold, dry spice profile, while the tulsi, a signature botanical, and the more floral elements add freshness and vibrancy. As a modern London Dry Gin, TERAI India Dry Gin works beautifully in a classic G&T with fresh lemon and mint or in a classic Southside cocktail.

TERAI India Dry Gin is available in New Delhi starting this month and will soon be available across India. A launch in overseas markets are planned for later in the year.


About India Craft Spirit Co.
India Craft Spirit Co. is an initiative undertaken by Globus Spirits Ltd. one of India’s leading grain distillers. Within this initiative, Shekhar Swarup, Founder, aspires to create contemporary spirits inspired by Indian produce and culture. Shekhar is a 4th generation distiller and part of the Swarup family which has been involved in agriculture in India since the 1700s. The family has been part of the burgeoning spirits industry of India with the family’s first distillery that was established in 1958. India Craft Spirit Co. has established its own small-batch craft distillery in Rajasthan and TERAI India Dry Gin is its first offering.