Proof & Company Is Redefining Hotel Bars in Australia

Melbourne’s recently opened Sky Bar

One of Australia’s leading independent spirit companies is shaping the Australian hotel bar landscape with its award-winning consultancy arm, Proof Creative

Proof & Company, specifically its award-winning F&B consultancy Proof Creative, is embarking on a quest to elevate and define the Australian hotel cocktail bar. Working with global brands, Proof Creative brings creative, fun and delicious drinking experiences to life.

Following 10 years of launching some of the world’s best hotel bars across the Asia Pacific, and hot on the heels of the newly-announced global partnership with Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Proof Creative has set its sights on the world of beverages in 5-Star Australian hotels.

Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam

As leading influencers of what has been described as ‘the Second Golden Age of Fine Drinking’, Proof Creative has had an indelible impact on the Asia Pacific region in recent years, with a slew of awards including 4 x  World’s 50 Best Bars (2022), 10 x Asia’s 50 Best Bars, World’s Best Spirits Selection (2019), World’s Best Hotel Bar (2019), World’s Best Cocktail List (2020), and many more.

From its Melbourne HQ, Proof Creative works holistically across all aspects of the bar experience, including initial concept creation, brand development, functional layout, master beverage lists and signature cocktails. The team of leading bartenders and consultants come with a combined 150 years of experience, which allows them to deliver unmatched service.

From historical hotspots to thriving inner-city havens, Proof Creative can transform any hotel bar

Launching in December of 2021, Mary Mary is a beautiful; example of modern luxury drinking in an Australian context. Proof Creative worked with the owners from conceptualisation right through to execution. Housed inside a heritage building from the late 1800’s, The Tasman, A Luxury Collection Hotel, the idea was for this space to become a beacon of fine drinking for the local Tasmanian community. Proof Creative supported the sourcing of native ingredients to live across the cocktail menu, as well as liaising with local ceramicists to produce custom vessels for signature serves, building on the exclusive in-house experience.

Mary Mary, Hobart

“This venue will be a beacon to the world of fine drinking here in Tasmania, joining a collection of the world’s most notable hospitality experiences. Our vision is for Mary Mary to enchant both locals and travellers in the know, guided by the passion and expertise of Charlie and Proof Creative,” Stephen Morahan, General Manager for The Tasman, A Luxury Collection Hotel says. 

More recently, Proof Creative finalised a project with Sky Bar, Melbourne, (as pictured) establishing their renewed take on modern Australian fine dining. Working alongside the team to develop the overall concept, atmosphere and drinks menu, including all bar equipment and accessories, before leading industry training sessions to ensure a high level of luxury service.

“We put creative and critical thinking to every detail of a bar, which is part of the reason Proof Creative is one of the most well-regarded creative consulting teams in the global bar industry.” – Jason Williams, Creative Director at Proof & Company says.

Proof Creative also have worked across the InterContinental Sydney’s once in a lifetime restoration and relaunch of Aster Bar and The Treasury. Situated on the 32nd floor, Aster is a stunning rooftop bar with 270-degree views of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and more. The Treasury holds a vault of carefully curated links to the past and present, with 170-year-old heritage sandstone alcoves and earthy brick archways.

Aster Rooftop Bar at Sydney’s Intercontinental

Proof Creative was appointed during the refurbishment and repositioning stage of the project to develop venue and beverage concepts, functional bar layout and much more. The cocktail menu of Aster Bar plucks inspiration from drinks found at the world’s best hotel bars, feeding into the overall vibe of the beauty and riches of Sydney.

“What an incredible opportunity to be a part of the InterContinental Sydney’s new era. To work on not one, but two bar concepts in the building was a challenge we relished in, especially collaborating with many other disciplines such as construction, interior design, brand and marketing,” Charlie Ainsbury, Senior Bar Consultant at Proof And Company says.

“To see the Treasury come to life in that sun-drenched heritage backdrop is nothing short of magical and will cement itself as an iconic hotel bar location. I am confident that its cocktail bar Aster, high up on level 32, will enter into the canon of the world’s great hotel bars. This project truly marks the beginning of Australia’s renaissance of fine drinking in hotel bars.”

Additionally, Proof Creative facilitated pre and post-opening training and support for bar staff. The entire InterContinental bar experience – from looks to menus to cocktails to customer service – has been touched by the Proof Creative team.

“The opportunity to work directly with Proof Creative has been extremely inspirational and a seamless partnership. From research, concept creation, architect support and bar design; it has been an absolute pleasure to work with the Proof Creative team who understood the project brief clearly and provided advice and support at every stage to bring the bars to life, with a vision to launch two of Sydney’s best hotel bars. I cannot speak highly enough of the Proof Creative team, particularly on the level of engagement throughout the entire journey,  from the beginning through to hands on pre and post opening training and support – it’s been a pleasure to work together,” Jennifer Brown, General Manager of the InterContinental Sydney says.

Proof Creative continually breaks the mould… and it works

With many more impressive hotel partnerships locked in for 2023, Proof Creative is excited to continue paving the way forward for the hotel bar industry in Australia.

“Hotels don’t always know the bar world, but we do and we bring that expertise and spirit of collaboration to work with our clients. We have had remarkable success by using our secret sauce, a 20 Pillar Plan framework that defines everything from the overarching bar concept to the fine details throughout the offerings. We put creative and critical thinking to every detail of a bar, which is part of the reason Proof Creative is one of the most well-regarded creative consulting teams in the global bar industry,” Jason Williams, Creative Director at Proof & Company says.

Jason Williams, Creative Director at Proof & Company

From their focus on well-crafted, premium spirits, a pioneering stance on sustainability, and the world’s most awarded bar and beverage consultancy  Proof & Company is on its way to becoming the region’s most trusted partner for the hospitality industry.

Independent drinking backed by independent thinking. To learn more about Proof And Company’s evolving business model, or discover their portfolio, head to