PROOF & COMPANY CHINA PARTNERS WITH LIBER WINES


SHANGHAI 20 May 2020 – Proof & Company China has formed a strategic partnership with LIBER, Ltd. that combines Proof & Company’s rapidly growing national distribution platform with LIBER China’s extensive private client and corporate network to expand the sales capacities of both groups. This partnership also allows Proof & Company clients to access LIBER’s portfolio of crafted wines and champagnes across China.

This three-year exclusive partnership builds on a multi-year relationship between Proof & Company and Stéphane Moreau, Co-Founder of LIBER. In 2019, Stephane was appointed as Senior Advisor, China for Proof & Company. In this role, he is a member of the group’s advisory board.

“While Proof & Company is not a wine company, we benefit greatly from a strong partner in this adjacent category. As we launch the ecoSPIRITS offering of pouring craft spirits, it is also wonderful to have an exceptional champagne to complement our craft spirits lineup,” says Christopher Lowder, General Manager, China. “The LIBER team also maintain an excellent network of luxury corporate clients, and we have been able to successfully collaborate in supplying these clients with some of our premium spirits products such as Ferrand Cognacs and single-cask Scotch whiskies.”

Jean-Marie Pratt from the LIBER x Proof & Company team serves Presidents Xi and Macron in Shanghai in 2019

LIBER manages an exclusive portfolio of fine wines mainly from Rhône Valley, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne. Their wine portfolio features premium, terroir-driven brands such as Billecart-Salmon, Nicolas Rossignol, Confuron-Cotetido, Jasmin and Gerin. LIBER’s team in Mainland China includes wine industry veterans Queenie Xia and Jean-Marie Pratt, both of whom serve as national ambassadors for these high-quality brands in China’s luxury hotels, gastronomic restaurants and networks of private and corporate clients. In addition to Mainland China, both Proof & Company and LIBER have distribution operations in Hong Kong and Macau, where they similarly collaborate through shared offerings to both on-premise and private clients.

Billecart Salmon in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, France

“The partnership between LIBER and Proof & Company is truly the result of a common vision, shared values and a strong will to build together a platform to develop a customer-centric strategy for our independent crafted wines and spirits. I also feel extremely proud to be a Senior Advisor for our group operation in Mainland China, which is a major priority for both companies,” notes Stéphane Moreau.

The partnership in China allows the combined salesforce to access a broader base of clients, which bolsters opportunities while streamlining operational costs. Both measures will help the partners strengthen their financial position and service quality during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


About LIBER, Ltd.
LIBER, founded by Connor McClay, Bertrand Carquillat and Stéphane Moreau, is an independent privately-owned company dedicated to crafted wines, champagnes and spirits. LIBER operates in Greater China with a team of dedicated professionals who live and work by their shared values: Passion, Respect, Integrity and Accountability. LIBER activities are structured around four divisions, each focusing on specific customer needs: Distribution, Servicing, Consulting and Open Market Sourcing.

For more information, please visit www.liberwines.com


OPEN LETTER: LET'S COME BACK STRONGER, TOGETHER

SINGAPORE, 13 May 2020

To Our Industry Community,

For the first time in nearly nine years, the Edison lightbulb above the entrance at 28 HongKong Street in Singapore is dark. That simple, welcoming symbol of hospitality will stay dark until at least 1 June, when Singapore’s “circuit breaker” lockdown is tentatively scheduled to be lifted.

28 HongKong Street, the cocktail bar where the Proof & Company journey started in 2011

These past 12 weeks have been the most difficult that all of us at Proof & Company have seen in our lifetimes in the hospitality business. COVID-19 has been devastating for the bar, restaurant and hotel industry in Asia Pacific. It has brought about a level of stress regarding the present and uncertainty about the future that can be difficult to grasp. Many of the clients who have supported us for years are hurting even more than we are.

This pandemic has forced all of us to make painful decisions. At Proof & Company, no decisions have been more painful than parting ways with beloved team members who had such bright futures with us. Through it all, our approach to the crisis has been straightforward: to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our team, our clients, our brand partners and our shared future.

And yet we count ourselves amongst the fortunate. Something extraordinary has emerged from this crisis in recent weeks: an unprecedented sense of togetherness. All across the region, the industry is coming together in remarkable and unexpected ways. If we are all lucky, these changes will strengthen our industry for years to come.

To our team, the sacrifices we are making together are difficult, but they are making the difference. To our warehousing and delivery teams, who have worked through the lockdowns across the region, thank you. You are part of an army of essential workers who are keeping economies on life support. Your continued belief in our mission, your dedication to our clients and your positive spirit inspire us.

To our clients, the bars, restaurants, hotels, wholesalers and retailers of Asia Pacific, you are the frontline in this crisis and you are being hit the hardest. As you pivot to new business models overnight, you are sharing your learnings with peers and competitors alike. Look up Hope + Sesame in Guangzhou, China and their excellent online COVID recovery content. You won’t regret it. On our side, we are doing everything we can to be there for you – by extending credit terms, by helping you launch bottled cocktail programs, and by supporting local COVID-19 industry relief initiatives like #lovetowuhan. Is there more we can do to help? Please reach out.

To our global bar family, your perseverance, creativity and tireless energy in the face of historic adversity inspire us every day. Your camaraderie is of benefit to us all. Nearly 2,000 of you have signed up for our complimentary COVID-19 JERRY beverage learning, looking to sharpen skills and knowledge during the lockdowns so you can take even better care of guests when the good times return. We cannot wait to see you over the bar when they do.

To our brand partners, almost without exception, you have asked a simple question, “How can we help?” You have extended payment terms, air freighted shipments to avoid stock outs, and generally had our collective backs. Your support ensures that we can serve our clients without interruption, as they navigate this difficult period. We will not forget it. We are proud to represent you.

To our regional governments, your COVID-19 support for small- and medium-sized enterprises, such as the JobKeeper program in Australia, is giving everyone a fighting chance – and saving countless jobs. We are fortunate to have such capable, action-oriented government leadership. Asia Pacific was hit first, and hit hard, but it will do its part to help lead the world out of this crisis.

To our shareholders, you have always believed in the Proof & Company vision. Your steadfast support, particularly in a crisis of this scale, puts us in a stronger position to help our teams, our clients and our hospitality communities.

This togetherness translates into resilience. As hospitality venues in China, Hong Kong and, soon, New Zealand reopen, this resilience is on full display. It gives us all hope.

A busy service at 28 HongKong Street in happier times

We now have every confidence that we – as a community, as an industry, and as a company – will beat COVID-19. Yes, the post-COVID world will be different. Hospitality will be different, possibly for a long time to come. The road back will take time, and there will no doubt be setbacks along the way. Like you, we are using this time to reflect, to absorb the lessons we are being taught, and to adapt to the new normal that will follow.

More than anything, we are grateful to be a part of this community. It may be amongst the hardest hit, but it is also the most unified. The light outside 28 HongKong Street will most certainly come back on in due time.

When it does, let’s come back stronger, together.

Spencer Forhart Chairman  I   Paul Gabie  Chief  Executive Officer



DIPLOMÁTICO RUM JOINS PROOF & COMPANY AUSTRALIA, EXPANDS NATIONAL RETAIL FOOTPRINT


MELBOURNE 30 September 2019 – Commencing 1 October 2019, Diplomático Rum has appointed Proof & Company as their distributor in the Australian market. The acquisition builds on a seven-year partnership between the two companies in key Asia domestic markets and travel retail across Asia Pacific.

“We could not be more excited to bring this delicious liquid to the Australian bartender and consumer. We aim to build on Diplomático’s strong foundation here and develop it into a household name for lovers of rum and quality dark spirits alike,” says Paul Broadbent, Proof & Company General Manager, Australia & New Zealand.

Australia remains Diplomático’s most important Asia Pacific market. In keeping with this status, both companies are expanding their investment in Diplomático’s development. Sai Hamsala, Diplomático’s Melbourne-based Asia Pacific Brand Ambassador, will now be joined by Kate Mansour, in the newly created role of National Brand Manager, Australia for Diplomático. Mansour joins Proof & Company Australia and Diplomático with a wealth of spirits industry brand and marketing experience, including at Brown-Forman, where she helped oversee the growth of Woodford Reserve Bourbon and other premium brands in Australia.

‘It is a privilege to join Proof & Company and Diplomático to oversee the Australia market for this exceptional rum. I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting involved in the entrepreneurial culture that both companies are renowned for,” notes Mansour. In her new role, Mansour will be responsible for rolling out the “Heart of Rum” program across the country, with a focus on getting liquid on lips of this award-winning rum.

Diplomático is one of the fastest growing premium rums in Australia. Starting in late 2019, Coles Liquor Group will make Diplomático available in Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and First Choice Liquor Market locations. This builds on an existing nationwide presence with EDG Group through Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores and with independent liquor retailers.  Through Hamasala’s work over recent years, Diplomático also has a strong presence in leading bars and restaurants, which will see continued focus from the expanded team.

“Diplomático have been present in Australia for the last nine years thanks to the exceptional work carried out by the Baranows Emporium team. We are thankful for their work in building this foundation. Moving forward, we are excited to take Australia to the next level, from good to great, with the talented and passionate team at Proof & Company,” notes Alfonso Castillo,  Diplomático Asia Pacific Marketing Manager.


About Diplomático Rum
Diplomático is a super-premium rum from Venezuela. In 2018, Diplomático was awarded Wine Enthusiast’s prestigious “Spirit Brand of the Year,” the first-ever rum to win in this category. The Diplomático distillery is located at the foot of the Andes Mountains and is a family-owned brand inspired by the character of Don Juan Nieto Melendez, whose portrait is illustrated on its labels. Having produced top-quality spirits since 1959, Diplomático’s distillery combines traditional methods with modern technology to produce the finest of rums. The production area boasts great conditions for sugar cane and rum production including fertile lands, abundant water and a Caribbean climate. The team of award-winning Master Blenders works diligently to create unique and complex rums. The product range consists of the Tradition Range: Planas (aged up to 6 years), Mantuano (aged up to 8 years) and Reserva Exclusiva (aged up to 12 years), the Prestige Range: Single Vintage and Ambassador, both aged 12 years and finished in Spanish sherry casks for one and two years respectively, and a Special Edition: The Distillery Collection, featuring a Single Batch Kettle rum, a Single Barbet column rum and a Pot Still rum. For more information, please visit www.rondiplomatico.com.


URBANBAR LAUNCHES ASIA BARWARE HUB AND ONLINE STORE IN COLLABORATION WITH PROOF & COMPANY


SINGAPORE, 19 August 2019 – UrbanBar, a leading United Kingdom designer of premium bar tools and glassware, has launched a Singapore-based stock hub and online store (www.urbanbar.sg) to serve the rapidly growing Asia cocktail and bar scene. This premium barware hub, which will be operated in collaboration with Proof & Company, is the first of its kind in the region.

“We have witnessed the increase in premium cocktail bars, spirits distribution and premium drinks culture across Asia.” notes Nick Andrews, “After a number of years building our position in the region, we are now extremely pleased to be working with the team at Proof & Company to offer our full range online and direct to a number of Asian countries. We are stocking and supplying Asia from Asia.”

By holding UrbanBar stocks in Singapore, and allowing consumers and trade clients to purchase online for the first time, UrbanBar and Proof & Company will be able to reduce prices, shorten lead time for orders, and offer improved customer service and support. With the launch of the new store, online ordering and shipping service will be open to customers in Singapore, China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea. Trade clients of Proof & Company in Singapore will also be able to order UrbanBar items through the new Proof & Company online trade portal.

“The dramatic rise of Asia’s cocktail scene means the demand for proper tools, glassware and other accessories of the Second Golden Age – oak barrels for cocktail ageing, for instance – has never been greater,” notes Bobby Carey, Spirits Evangelist at Proof & Company “We find that trade clients, in particular, have suffered due to the lack of premium options available locally and the long lead times for overseas orders. We are excited to be able to finally address these two challenges through this expanded collaboration with UrbanBar.”

To celebrate the launch of the new online store, customers who register and place their first order by 30 September 2019 can use code SAVE5 for a special 5% launch discount.


About UrbanBar
Urban Bar is a leading United Kingdom-based designer and producer of luxury barware and glassware. They have been developing products for almost forty years and continue to develop and learn new techniques that enables them to produce cutting edge items and keep pace with the evolution of mixology and drinking culture. They do not release an item unless they are entirely confident in its design, functionality, quality and proud enough to allow it to carry their name. For more information, please visit www.urbanbar.com.


PROOF & COMPANY COMPLETES SGD 11M RAISE LED BY AGLAIA FAMILY OFFICE TO FUND ITS CONTINUED APAC GROWTH

SINGAPORE, 12 JULY 2019 – Proof & Company, the independent spirits company headquartered in Singapore, today announced that it has closed a growth capital round totalling SGD 11 million led by Aglaia Family Office. A significant portion of the round was taken up by the company’s existing investors. With this closing, Proof & Company has become one of Asia Pacific’s most valuable independent spirit companies.

The funding will support the growth of the group’s APAC spirits distribution platform, including continued team development in Australia and China, along with inventory expansion at the company’s stock hubs in Singapore, Shanghai and Melbourne. The funding will also support the company’s innovation initiatives, such as JERRY, its SaaS-based hospitality education service, and True Believers, its vehicle for developing and distributing affordable craft spirit brands.

“Proof & Company’s disruptive approach to independent spirits is experiencing nearly unlimited growth opportunities. Consumer markets across APAC continue to develop at an extraordinary pace and regional preferences are coming to align with global preferences. This investment will allow us to deepen our distribution in the region while allowing our innovation initiatives to gain broad market access,” said Spencer Forhart, Chairman of Proof & Company.

Over the past year, Proof & Company has grown its team from 70 to 100, opened an office in Shenzhen, and completed the integration of its Neat Spirits Australia and Neat Spirits New Zealand acquisitions. Building on this momentum, the company will now use this funding to increase inventory levels across the region and reinforce what has become the sector’s only APAC-wide platform for independent spirit brands.

“Proof & Company has positioned itself as one of the leading independent spirits companies in APAC. We are excited to support the business as it continues to capture the strong growth we are witnessing in the craft and premium spirit segments, ” said Patrick O’Regan, Head of Investments at Aglaia Family Office.

“Proof & Company has developed an innovative business model with strong growth potential. JPJ Invest is very comfortable with this investment. “, noted J. Peter Jessen, Chairman and CEO of JPJ Invest Pte Ltd, who will also join the Board of Directors as an outside director.


About Aglaia Family Office
Aglaia is a capital markets-licensed multi-family office headquartered in Singapore. Founded in 2006, Aglaia provides bespoke family office services to ultra high net worth families, trusts, and foundations across the globe. Aglaia adopts an endowment approach to investing, establishing a bespoke portfolio that will preserve and grow capital through generations. Aglaia’s infrastructure and resources are dedicated to sourcing and evaluating the best investment ideas and opportunities across public and private markets globally. For more information, visit: www.aglaiaim.com

About JPJ Invest
JPJ Invest is a member of the Jebsen & Jessen Family Enterprise. Established in January 2016, it serves as an investment platform providing a home for SME businesses without any geographical or industry sector restrictions. JPJ Invest is focused on both active and passive investments in businesses with impeccable standards and governance, solid track records and transparent business models. The team at JPJ Invest are comfortable to take on responsibilities and provide guidance to the businesses it invests in, both at board level and on an individual project basis.


OLD DUFF GENEVER LAUNCHES IN ASIA PACIFIC WITH PROOF & COMPANY, SUPPORTS EDUCATION & BARTENDER INITIATIVES


SINGAPORE, 19 June 2019 Old Duff Genever, founded by renowned bartending, spirits and cocktail educator Philip Duff, and Proof & Company have announced a distribution partnership to cover key markets in Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Australia and New Zealand. This launch is the first partnership of its kind for an independently-owned genever in the region.

Old Duff Genever will join Proof & Company’s new “Brands of Reference” initiative, which focuses on championing best-in-class offerings in the lesser known spirit categories that are nonetheless essential to the Second Golden Age of fine drinking.

“Genever, while a niche category today, is historically important and makes some cracking classics. In the modern cocktail realm, leading bars need at least one quality real Dutch genever in their arsenal,” notes Jason Williams, Creative Director at Proof & Company and Master of Gin at ATLAS in Singapore, “We really do believe Old Duff is the gold standard in the genever category today – and we always love being able to champion a brand founded by a dear friend and fellow bar professional.”

Old Duff Genever is a range of real Dutch genevers designed for the modern cocktail bartender, and cocktail civilian, as Philip likes to say. Genever is the parent of both whiskey and gin, and the spirit has a rich distilling tradition dating back to the 1500s in Holland, Belgium and parts of Germany and France. It is historically distilled from a whisky-like grain base – often including a good bit of rye – complemented with very small amounts of juniper and other botanicals.

During the First Golden Age of cocktails in mid-1800s America, genever was the best-selling imported spirit in the United States, with as many as 450 bottles of genever being imported for every 1 bottle of other imported spirits. Old Duff, which is entirely milled, mashed, fermented, distilled and bottled in Holland, brings to life this important chapter of spirits history that was on the verge of being lost.

“When I created Old Duff Genever in 2017, Asia Pacific was always a region that was on my mind; historically, because of the genever-drinking traditions of Asian countries where Dutch travellers established themselves from the 1600s on, and commercially, because the region represents the future of a large chunk of our industry, especially in the realm of craft spirits and cocktails,” reports Duff, “I’ve been teaching seminars on cocktails and spirits throughout Asia Pacific since 1998, and I’m beyond excited to return to launch Old Duff Genever. I couldn’t wish for a better partner on this journey than Proof & Company; they instinctively understand and champion founder-led craft spirits brands and have an unmatched expertise in the world of bars.”

As part of its Asia Pacific launch, Old Duff will be supporting a year-long genever education campaign in collaboration with JERRY, the online beverage learning platform. The goal? Simply to raise awareness of this unique and beautiful spirit, and its importance to cocktail culture in the First and Second Golden Ages of fine drinking. Old Duff and Proof & Company will also be continuing Old Duff’s tradition of donating USD 1 per bottle sold to bartender charities and bar community initiatives in the region.


About Old Duff Genever
Old Duff Genever is the world’s most legitimate and transparent real Dutch genever range, currently composed of the core Old Duff Genever, and the rare Old Duff Genever 100% Maltwine with the Seal of Schiedam (one of only three such genevers in existence). While most supposedly “Dutch” genevers buy in their maltwine from Belgian distillers, every drop of Old Duff is milled, mashed, fermented, distilled and bottled exclusively in Holland, at a family-owned distillery founded in 1777. The brand was created in 2017 by spirits expert Philip Duff, an Irishman and lifelong bartender who had spent 17 years living in Holland. Since its global launch in New York that year, Old Duff Genever has become the best-selling 100% maltwine genever in the USA (and the first such genever to be sold in the US in a century) and gained listings and menu cocktail placements in the Dead Rabbit, Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad hotel, Amor y Amargo, Existing Conditions, Katana Kitten and virtually every other significant cocktail bar in New York. After launching in the UK in October 2018, Old Duff cocktails can already be found on the menu at top venues such as The Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, Swift, Aqua, Demon Wise & Partners, and the brand is additionally available in its homeland Holland and onboard the Holland America cruise lines. For more information, visit: www.oldduffgenever.com


DIPLOMÁTICO RUM AND PROOF & COMPANY EXPAND PARTNERSHIP, APPOINT PETER CHUA AS ASIA BRAND AMBASSADOR


SINGAPORE, 24 May 2019 – After the successful re-launch of Diplomático Rum in Mainland China together in 2018, Diplomático and Proof & Company are expanding their partnership in Asia Pacific to cover travel retail across the region and are jointly appointing Peter Chua as a Singapore-based brand ambassador to support Diplomático’s Asia markets.

In late 2017, after five years of partnership in Singapore and Hong Kong, the two companies extended their collaboration to cover Mainland China. Under Proof China’s active management, China has developed into one of Diplomático’s fastest growing Asia Pacific markets.

“Asia’s growing prestige and international exposure in the F&B industry provides an exceptional platform for independent brands such as Diplomático,” mentioned Alfonso Castillo, Diplomático Asia Pacific Marketing Manager. “We’re thrilled to have Peter joining the team as it will bring all his experience, knowledge and networking allowing us to increase our reach and attention on the region.”

In early 2019, Diplomático appointed Proof & Company to manage a number of key travel locations in Asia Pacific. Travel retailers, long a major force in the region, are now embracing craft and independent spirits like never before, driven by rapidly changing consumer tastes, cocktail culture and the spread of Second Golden Age of fine drinking.

“Travel retail has traditionally been about offering spirits at an unparalleled value. Today’s traveling drinkers are considering a wider range of factors in their spirits purchases: craftsmanship, regionality, sustainability, and even health and wellness,” notes Tom Hogan, General Manager, Regional Asia for Proof & Company, “We have worked closely with Diplomatico for years now. As a family-owned producer, they live the values of quality and independence that we are passionate about. Their rums are a truly perfect fit for this new era in travel retail.”

Diplomático’s award-winning rums are now available in 7 travel retail gateways around the region, including Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney airports. In the second half of 2019, this footprint will expand to more than 15 Asia Pacific gateways, positioning Diplomático as a regional leader independent spirits in the travel retail channel.

To support the rapid growth Diplomatico is enjoying in the region, the two companies have appointed Peter Chua as a Diplomatico Brand Ambassador, with a focus on Diplomatico’s Asia markets, including Proof & Company’s markets of Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. In this role, he joins a brand team that includes Sai Hamsala, Diplomático’s Melbourne-based Brand Ambassador. Both will be working in enhancing the brand’s education and presence in the 17 countries where Diplomático is already available in Asia Pacific, part of a reach over 80 countries globally.

Peter is one of Singapore’s most loved, and most awarded, bartenders, having been with Proof & Company for almost 8 years. He was on the founding team of 28 HongKong Street in 2011, and is currently the Head Bartender of Junior Singapore, Asia’s only pocket bar with rotating concepts. Peter’s international success includes representing Singapore in the Diplomático World Tournament, Diageo World Class and Bacardi Legacy global finals. Peter also earned his Bachelor of Hospitality from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2013.

Noted Peter, “Diplomático was the first craft rum I tasted that got me interested in that spirit category. Having worked closely with them for the last 6 years now, officially joining the family feels like an inevitable progression. More so, I am excited to be able to share the appreciation for Diplomático throughout the rest of Asia!”

Peter will retain a bartender residency at Junior, so long-time guests and fans of Diplomático will be able to catch him there on a weekly basis, when he is not traveling around the region spreading love for the “heart of rum.”


PROOF & COMPANY SPIRITS COMPLETES INTEGRATION OF NEAT SPIRITS NEW ZEALAND, BOLSTERS LOCAL TEAM AND OPERATIONS

SINGAPORE, 10 May 2019  Building on its integration of Neat Spirits Australia in September 2018, Proof & Company, one of Asia Pacific’s leading independent spirits companies, is making a significant investment in expanding its platform and capabilities in New Zealand.

In April 2019, Neat Spirits New Zealand completed its integration into Proof & Company, and now operates under a unified banner as Proof & Company New Zealand. This integration marks another step in Proof & Company’s drive to create an Asia Pacific-wide platform for independent spirit brands.

Proof & Company will significantly expand its team in New Zealand over the course of 2019 under the leadership of General Manager Paul Broadbent, who oversees both Proof Australia and Proof New Zealand from the company’s Melbourne-based regional headquarters.

The official launch of Proof New Zealand has also seen the introduction of Proof & Company’s acclaimed creative team services in New Zealand. This award-winning support for hotels, bars, restaurants and retailers will be overseen by Creative Director Jason William and Sydney-based Spirits Evangelist, Charlie Ainsbury. The Spirits Evangelists on Proof & Company’s creative team provide bar development, training and education for clients and act as ambassadors for Proof & Company’s portfolio of independent spirit brands.

This weekend, you can catch Charlie and Jason at the official after party of Highball Spirits Festival in Wellington, where CGR Merchants is also hosting  a 28 Hong Kong Street takeover. Guests can expect 28 HongKong cocktail classics, and the high energy atmosphere of this iconic Singapore cocktail bar.

As part of the integration, Proof New Zealand has also officially launched JERRY, Proof & Company’s online beverage learning platform. This modern beverage education solution, the first of its kind globally, soft launched in Asia in early 2018 and is now used by leading hospitality operators around the world.

“New Zealand was where the Neat Spirits journey all began back in 2012,” notes Broadbent, “The New Zealand independent spirits scene is really starting to blossom and we are keen to contribute to its growth by expanding our team and portfolio, supporting education for hospitality  professionals through JERRY and helping to elevate guest experiences through our creative services.”

“We are committed to building a world-class platform for independent spirits across key markets in Asia Pacific. This next step in New Zealand is a natural one, given our successful investment in Neat Spirits in Australia in 2018,” notes Proof & Company CEO, Paul Gabie, “New Zealand consumers and the local bar community are committed to so many of the principles that define ‘independent’ for us, including craft, provenance, and sustainability. We look forward to building on the great work of the Neat Spirits New Zealand team.”

Proof & Company and Neat Spirits were both founded in 2012 to champion importation, distribution and marketing of independent spirits brands in key Asia Pacific markets. With the integration of Neat Spirits New Zealand, Proof & Company has completed its full acquisition and integration of Neat Spirits.


PROOF & COMPANY SPIRITS APPOINTS NEW GM, AUSTRALIA AND COO, APAC TO CAPITALISE ON UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH

SINGAPORE, 10 April 2019 Six months after re-branding Neat Spirits Australia as Proof & Company, the independent spirits company has made two leadership appointments to capitalise on the extraordinary growth it is experiencing in its Australian and Asia Pacific markets.

 Starting 1 April, Paul Broadbent has been appointed as the group’s new General Manager, Australia & New Zealand. Since joining Proof & Company from Bacardi Australia in early 2018, Paul has helped to lead Proof Australia through a period of rapid growth, with distribution volumes expanding more than 250% in the past 18 months. National retail and travel retail channel partners helped drive much of this growth, with Australian consumers continuing to embrace independent spirits for entertaining at home in ever greater numbers. Star performers in Proof Australia’s spirits portfolio have included Citadelle Gin, Plantation Pineapple Rum, Lark Whiskies, Forty Spotted Gin and the newly crowned “World’s Best Classic Gin” by Adelaide’s own Never Never Distilling Company. This expanded distribution footprint has been complemented by the launch of Proof & Company’s creative services and JERRY online beverage learning platform in late 2018.

 “There is an exciting energy across the Proof & Company markets right now, much of it coming from our great brand and channel partners. We have momentum on our side, and I am looking forward to leading the charge for independent spirits in the highly competitive Australian and New Zealand marketplaces,” notes Broadbent.

 As part of these investments in Proof Australia, Dan Walker, formerly General Manager, Australia & New Zealand, will relocate to Singapore with his young family and take on the newly-created role of Chief Operating Officer for all Asia Pacific markets. In this senior operations role, he will oversee brand partnerships, procurement, warehousing and local fulfilment operations in all eight Proof & Company markets.

“The growth we are experiencing across our portfolio requires continued investments in people, technology and facilities. With this new role, I will be able to focus on delivering the best possible service to our brand partners and channel clients, notes Walker, “Brand building and radical customer focus remain cornerstones of the Proof & Company mission. I am delighted to be appointed as the guardian of our continued commitment to these core principles.”


PROOF & COMPANY SPIRITS LAUNCHES INDEPENDENT PLATFORM, EXPANDS IN SOUTH CHINA WITH NEW SHENZHEN OFFICE

SINGAPORE, 1 April 2019  Following two successful years of distribution collaboration with Sarment Wine for the China market, Proof & Company has established a wholly-owned subsidiary in China to focus exclusively on spirits distribution. Commencing today, all Proof & Company distribution in China will be managed by the new Proof & Company Spirits (Shanghai) Limited. With this transition, the Proof & Company portfolio of independent spirits, craft cocktail ingredients and premium barware be distributed directly by Proof China. 

As part of this transition, Proof China is expanding its market team and has appointed Christopher Lowder as its first General Manager, China. Fluent in Mandarin, Chris has spent the past two years as a Spirit Evangelist on the acclaimed Proof & Company creative team, working with luxury hotels, cocktails bars and other clients across China. Previously, Chris’ hospitality career included stints with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Nomad Hotel in New York, where the bars he helped establish and lead were ranked World No. 64 and World No. 4 respectively in 2018.  

“Independent spirits and cocktail culture are flourishing in China at a rate that’s globally unparalleled,” notes Lowder, “We are thrilled to contribute to this industry here by continuing to expand our team and portfolio, supporting education for hospitality  professionals through online learning and helping to elevate guest experiences through our creative services.”  

In order to expand its independent spirits distribution, Proof China has opened a Shenzhen office, which will support Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Hainan to tap into the booming market for fine spirits in South China.  

Proof China’s portfolio will also continue to expand in 2019, with upcoming launches of the Los Danzantes and Alipus portfolio of craft mezcals, Jason Crawley’s line of Simple Syrup Co. craft cocktail syrups, and additional brands from Proof & Company’s APAC-wide portfolio. Existing China distribution of Citadelle Gin, Plantation Rum, Ferrand Cognac, Diplomatico Rum, St. George Spirits, Rebel Yell American Whiskies, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, and East Imperial Superior Mixers will also be further developed.  

In the third quarter of 2019, Proof China will officially launch JERRY, Proof & Company’s online beverage learning platform, in Mandarin. This modern beverage education solution will also be one of the first platforms to be available in Mandarin in China. JERRY is currently used by leading hospitality groups around the world to develop their staff and enhance the beverage guest experience. 

“We are humbled by the response from the hospitality community in China over the past two years. As we turn the corner to the 2020s, watch out – China will play an ever more prominent role in this Second Golden Age of fine in drinking,” notes Proof & Company CEO, Paul Gabie, “We are grateful for the collaboration with the talented team at Sarment Wine over the past two years and wish them very well in their continued drive to spread appreciation for fine wine and spirits in this all important market. We will continue to find opportunities to work together as two independent platforms.”