The CEO of Singapore-based Proof & Company, a leading independent spirit distribution company and drinks consultancy, talks building great bars, Covid recovery and the three key trends governing the industry in the Asia-Pacific
The “second golden age of fine drinking”, as Paul Gabie sees it, has its origins in the US in the early 2000s. As a young Canadian lawyer making his way in New York City, Gabie fell hard for fine Big Apple bars such as Milk and Honey. So when he moved to Singapore in 2007 with business partners, he decided to bring an American style of hospitality to the city-state, opening 28 HongKong Street, Singapore’s first American-style craft cocktail bar.
Ten years later Gabie is the CEO of Proof & Company, a champion of fine spirits and a bars consultancy whose work has helped many bars open up in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and beyond. It’s fair to say that wherever Proof goes, recognition and awards follow, and it has been ranked one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in Asia Pacific by the Financial Times.
In the latest episode of hospo industry podcast Back of House, Gabie tells Mike and Luke about his company’s extraordinary success riding the fine drinking wave, as well as the way bars in the region are recovering from Covid. He also reveals the three major trends on the rise in the sector: small, bartender-owned bars; localised spirits; and sustainability.
On this third topic Gabie has plenty to be proud of. Proof & Company has launched EcoSpirits – a closed loop system for reducing the cost and environmental impact of transporting fine spirits around the world that eliminates single-use glass from the supply chain.
Back of House is a business podcast that focuses on people and issues in the hospitality industry. It is hosted by Luke Butler, Managing Director of Hastings Recruitment, and Mike Rodrigues, Managing Director of Time Out Australia and Chair of the Night Time Industries Association, Sydney.