Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Proof Drinks appoints former Hi-Spirits chairman as MD

Published:  25 October, 2018

Drinks brand owner and distributor Proof Drinks is gearing up for the next phase of its growth as the company confirms the appointment of Jeremy Hill as managing director.

Hill is the founder and former chairman of Hi-Spirits, which was acquired by Sazerac in 2015. He is taking an equity stake in Proof Drinks, joining founders James McDermott and Paul Ferguson on the senior management team.

Founded in 2010, Proof Drinks owns and distributes Cazcabel Tequila and CUT Rum, as well as distributing brands including Swedish craft beer pioneer Pistonhead and coca leaf liqueur Agwa De Bolivia.

Hill said: “I’d always planned to return to the drinks sector once my non-compete agreement expired. I’d been following what James and Paul have been doing with Proof Drinks, and I see a lot of similarities between Proof and Hi-Spirits in the early days. It’s my mission to help the guys position Proof as the UK’s leading independent drinks agency.

“Cazcabel is already a category leader in terms of its growth rate, while the recent launch of CUT Rum shows that Proof can create differentiated products even in the most competitive categories. As I’ve always maintained innovation is the lifeblood of the drinks sector and that will continue to be our focus. There are many opportunities out there, both established and evolving, we will ensure that we have the right fit within the Proof Drinks portfolio.”

Proof Drinks works across the on-trade and off-trade.

Major retailers include Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

In the on-trade, its brands are stocked by Mitchells & Butlers, Casual Dining Group and the Restaurant Group.

“We’ve seen Cazcabel become a 40,000 case a year brand in just four years, while with Pistonhead we were ahead of the curve on the craft beer market’s shift into cans,” Ferguson added. “The drinks sector in hugely competitive, but there are always opportunities. We expect both our portfolio and our team to expand further, and we’re delighted to have Jeremy’s proven entrepreneurial flair focused on the continued success of Proof Drinks.”

Photo show Proof Drinks directors (left to right) Paul Ferguson, Jeremy Hill and James McDermott.