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