FROM INNOVATOR TO INSTITUTION - TEN YEARS OF 28 HONGKONG STREET


SINGAPORE, 1 November 2021 – 28 HongKong Street, Proof & Company’s very own award-winning cocktail bar, turned 10 years old on October 31 2021. To celebrate, we’re taking a look at where we came from and what’s been achieved — and launching a short film titled “You Had To Be Here“.

28 HongKong Street

When 28 HongKong Street co-founders Spencer Forhart, Paul Gabie and Snehal Patel arrived in Singapore they brought with them a love for cocktails, spirits, and the bartending craft. They were enthusiasts of what would soon be called the second golden age of fine drinking. In 2011, this golden age had spread around the world, but a craft approach to cocktails in Singapore was still largely in its infancy.  Save for a few bright spots, the bar scene in the city was a far cry from what was happening in London, Melbourne, and San Francisco.  The trio missed the bar experiences they had at New York cocktail bars like Milk & Honey, Employees Only and Angel’s Share, so they decided to bring to Singapore a little of what they loved from back home.  28 HongKong Street opened on Halloween 2011.

It was an instant success. It took Michael Callahan’s, founding General Manager, experience and our founders’ vision to identify raw local talent and raise their skills to a world-class level.

Michael Callahan, Founding General Manager of 28 HongKong Street

“The novel idea was to create something unique in Singapore and to bring that to the world, rather than bringing something from the world to Singapore, as was the fashion at the time.  To that end, we took international standards, but employed locals and empowered them to make this outlet their story.”

28 HongKong Street pioneered an unwavering commitment to ingredients, preparation, and technique. The bar put in place one of the country’s first high-quality ‘nice ice’ programs, strict use of fresh ingredients, and a culinary approach to making syrups, infusions and more. Many of these principles are the norm these days but weren’t at the time. 28 HongKong Street created the demand for cocktail block ice where there was none before; today it is widely available in Singapore.

Paper Tiger; Alipus Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, dry sherry, Gran Classico Bitter

Another important 28 HongKong Street innovation was to introduce out-of-market craft spirits to Singapore.  The enthusiasm for alternative small batch, artisanal and craft brands was pivotal in marking 28 HongKong Street as a unique experience, enhancing the cocktail offering and cementing the bar’s reputation for creating cocktails with nuance. The demand for these brands also provided the impetus to launch Proof & Company, Asia Pacific’s leading independent spirits company, and subsequent endeavors such as Proof Creative, True Believers, and ecoSPIRITS.

A wall of spirits from around the world

It wasn’t long before the global bar community took notice.  In 2012, 28 HongKong Street’s first full year in operation, the bar made its debut at number 10 on The World’s 50 Best Bars list — quite an accomplishment for a newcomer, in a city about as far away from the traditional cocktail world as one could get.  Not only would 28 HongKong Street stay on that list for seven straight years, but it would soon find a lot of company from other bars across Asia.  Other acknowledgements followed: coveted awards at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards in 2014 and 2015, for Best International Bar and Best International Bar Team respectively.  For a little Singapore cocktail bar to win these awards was a big deal.

A trophy case displays awards and gifts received through the years.

Tales of the Cocktail, Spirited Awards on Display

But it isn’t the 28 HongKong Street way to rest on one’s laurels. The bar adopted an identity and a set of values, created by a remarkable roll call of people across the years who built and evolved 28 HongKong Street. Just look to the many alumni who have gone on to achieve greatness in the industry beyond the bar’s unmarked door.  There must be some magic within the walls.

A proud moment for 28HKS bar captain Lukas Kaufmann

As famed bartender, Steve Schneider recently said: “You know, anyone can be hot for a year or two. But these folks at 28 have done it year in and year out for the last 10 years.”

Serve the community long enough, and a bar can cross the threshold from innovator to institution.  Today it is clear that 28 HongKong Street has crossed that threshold. Born to celebrate the institutions its founders admired, and through its innovations, its ability to inspire others and its longevity, 28 HongKong Street is an institution of fine drinking in Singapore. We’re celebrating a wonderful decade of 28 HongKong Street with this short film here. It is a visual poem and a love letter to 28 HongKong Street that not only commemorates the last 10 years but builds anticipation for what comes next.

The era of Covid remains a challenge for bars around the world, but 28 HongKong Street is looking forward with excitement and ambition. With a team of inspired talent, a desire to provide memorable drinking experiences and a pipeline of creative initiatives ahead, the future looks good, and it looks delicious.


About 28 HongKong Street

Hidden behind an unassuming 1960’s shophouse façade, 28HKS is a word-of-mouth venue for people who might appreciate the kind of venue that we enjoy ourselves: relaxing at the beginning, growing a tad louder as the night goes on. The drinks focus’ is on artisanal spirits and American-style craft cocktails. The food is gussied up American comfort food made from scratch for sharing.

You can visit the venue from 5:00pm to 10:30pm, Monday to Saturday. You can follow the journey on Instagram.


PROOF & COMPANY’S NEW LOOK LEADERSHIP TEAM ANNOUNCED, BUILDING FOR A POST PANDEMIC RECOVERY IN APAC


SINGAPORE, 18 October 2021 – Since commencing his new role as CEO of Proof & Company in April, Paul Broadbent has been focused on building the best team to guide the rapidly expanding drinks company in Asia into its next phase of growth. As part of this growth strategy, three key appointments have been made in the past month adding to two prior appointments in Trisha Chan (General Counsel) and Damian Kaehler (General Manager – Australasia), who joined Proof & Company earlier in the year.

In a commitment to strengthen the company’s brand building reputation, Proof & Company has appointed Vienna Thompson into the newly created role of Head of Marketing.

Vienna is a seasoned brand, communications and marketing professional with over 15 years’ experience in APAC. She prides herself on a non-traditional career trajectory that has spanned agencies, consultancies and in-house roles across multiple industries, thus bringing a different perspective to the drinks and consultancy business.

Based in the Singapore headquarters, Vienna will lead an expanding marketing team across APAC, building not only the Proof & Company brand but the 50+ extraordinary spirits brands within the portfolio with a focus on consumer and brand experience executions across the Proof & Company markets.

Vienna Thompson, Head of Marketing

“Proof is an intoxicating (shameless pun) business for a brand marketer; with an entrepreneurial and creative foundation, portfolio of exciting partner brands, passionate people, spirited community… and I’m thrilled to join the newly formed leadership team tasked to evolve an already cool, highly regarded brand. The opportunities, and fine drinking occasions, are endless.”

In Proof & Company China, Craig Aldous has been appointed as the General Manager, replacing Chris Lowder who exited the business in July after a month-long transition between the two. Craig brings a wealth of knowledge in doing business in China with 10 years with Elders China as CEO and more recently CEO of Woolworths China (including Summergate Wine and Spirits). One of the largest wine importers in China, Summergate employed 400 staff and represented over 80 brands of wines and spirits.

During his time with Woolworths China, Craig developed a customer-centric culture within the organisation, following the mantra, “If your job is not to serve the customer then it is to support those people who are serving the customer”.

Craig Aldous, General Manager, China

“China is a challenging market but presents opportunities for premium brands – which Proof & Company has in abundance! I’m excited about the portfolio and the calibre of partners we work with in the region, as well as the visionary initiatives the company is taking to promote environmental sustainability through its ecoSPIRITS program.”

The third and most recent appointment is that of Brandon Grusd as General Manager of the Southeast Asia region based in Singapore. Grusd’s history before Proof & Company includes three years with Maritime & Mercantile International with headquarters in Dubai, UAE and spanning 16 other geographies, through which he undertook a variety of roles in different sectors, including; Head of Spirit Education, Non Alcoholic Category Management for International Markets & FMCG, Head of New Product Innovation & Onboarding, Category and Brand Management for Speciality Products, Corporate Social Responsibility Leader and Advocate and most recently WSET L3 Educator.

Prior to his time with Maritime & Mercantile International, Brandon held a senior role in Dubai as Group Operations Manager, responsible for the management and growth of consultancy project teams throughout the region and abroad – experience which is crucial for the work that Proof Creative does in Singapore and globally.  Brandon will now relocate to Singapore with his family to drive the market that started it all for Proof & Company 10 years ago.

Brandon Grusd, General Manager, South East Asia

“I have been impressed with the growth, innovation and urgency of Proof & Company from afar for some time now and I could not be more excited to be joining the team in Singapore. They have effectively expanded through this pandemic by cultivating strong partnerships while maintaining notoriety in the APAC region. I will look to further build team capabilities, driving forward our consumer and brand building focus areas and continue to deliver and grow award winning concepts and distribution through our network.“

Proof & Company continues their expansion in APAC under the leadership of Broadbent, with a simple strategy to reach more customers, more often.  Taking premium craft spirits to more regions of Asia and more accounts, especially the retail channel in all markets, has driven the growth of the business, even during challenging trading periods in the region.

Paul Broadbent, CEO, Proof & Company

“Each of these appointments have a proven track record in strong leadership which resulted in improved financial performance, increased satisfaction from brand owners and stakeholders, and higher engagement scores from their people, which were all the qualities I was seeking while building out this new leadership group.”



PROOF & COMPANY’S JERRY JOINS ALLARA GLOBAL TO FORM PREMIUM HOSPITALITY RESOURCE


SYDNEY, 23 September 2021 – Proof & Company and Allara Global jointly announced today Allara’s acquisition of JERRY Global with a commitment to continue to develop & integrate the solution. As part of the acquisition, Nicole Smith – JERRY Chief Education Officer, will join Allara Global as Education Lead, JERRY working under Aaron Johnson – Allara Global General Manager.

Under the terms of the acquisition, the two parties will collaborate in other areas including content development and new customer acquisition. Proof & Company will have access to and continue to use JERRY in its work with hundreds of hospitality operators across Asia Pacific for at least two years.

JERRY beverage e-learning joins Allara Global stables, delivering a 400+ online course library to the hospitality industry

Paul Broadbent, CEO, Proof & Company

“The JERRY training program is one of the many layers to Proof & Company that has helped drive our vision to champion the second golden age of drinking in our markets and elevate beverage programs throughout the industry. Many talented people have contributed to the JERRY journey, starting with Nicole and including contributors from around the world.

From all of us at Proof & Company, thank you to everyone who has contributed to JERRY’s impact on hospitality professionals around the world. We look forward to partnering with Allara as they drive JERRY’s growth over the coming years.”

Andrew Lewis, CEO, Allara Learning & Allara Global

“Allara Learning started from a deep passion for hospitality and seeing a gap in the market for quality training that would meet the ever-changing landscape, one that demanded integrated bespoke training within the workplace. This blended learning approach – online, face-to-face and workplace – became the model of success for our clients. We launched Allara Global, our eLearning platform, to provide dedicated support for the fast-growing online arm of the business.

Our trainers and mixologists all know and love the JERRY product and thus we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with Proof & Co. We warmly welcome Nicole Smith into the extended Allara family and look forward to working together.”

Aaron Johnson, General Manager, Allara Global

“This strategic acquisition is part of our ongoing commitment to add depth to our rapidly expanding content library and provide additional value to our hospitality clients throughout Australasia and beyond.

This is another fantastic step forward in the continued evolution of Allara Global and we are incredibly excited at having JERRY join us for this journey.”

Nicole Smith, Education Lead – JERRY, Allara Global

“Never before has the need for holistic online education been so great. The industry-leading beverage and hospitality learning platform, JERRY, has joined forces with Allara Global to meet this challenge. Allara Global, brings over 10 years of experience delivering hospitality, leadership and retail management. Together, they will provide the most comprehensive training program in the hospitality space.”

Allara plans to migrate JERRY content and learner base into their learning management system in due course, but for now the focus is on getting JERRY into the hands of the hospitality industry in a post-covid environment. Tangibly, this means providing free access to existing JERRY clients until January 2022.  For more information or to sign up, please contact info@jerry.global


About Allara Global

Allara Global provides end-to-end eLearning solutions to empower businesses with a set of tools to meet their staff training needs. From induction, onboarding and upskilling to workplace safety and compliance; they provide scalable expert training with the aim to help businesses build better teams, an engaged workforce, and profitable operations. Allara Global’s eLearning complements the industry expertise of their sister company, Allara Learning, to create engaging world-class content.

https://allaraglobal.com

 

About Allara Learning

Founded in 2009, Allara Learning is a leading Australian national vocational education and training provider offering training solutions to the industry including Nationally Recognised Qualifications, short courses and JobReady employment programs. With a focus on hospitality, leadership and retail management training; Allara’s mission is to make a real difference to businesses whilst providing the learner with education and training to enable career growth. Clients include Accor, Merivale, Solotel, Howard Smith Wharves and Compass Group. In March 2021 Allara Learning launched two live training venues in Brisbane, Australia – Leonards Bar & Bistro and Dawn.

http://allaralearning.com.au

 

About JERRY

Established by Proof & Company in 2018 and based in Singapore, JERRY is one of the industry’s leading modern beverage learning resources, with over 8,000 learners in 44 countries who have earned JERRY Certificates. Backed by a library of more than 200 online courses across a range of beverage subjects, JERRY offers five levels of certification programs to beverage and hospitality professionals. JERRY also offers bespoke learning environments to large hospitality operators, including Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Starbucks and Accor Hospitality Group.

https://jerry.global


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