ProWein 2023: top spirits exhibitors
This year’s ProWein show in Düsseldorf, Germany, will feature an exciting mix of spirits, and the opportunity to network with companies from all over the world. But where to begin when compiling your must-see exhibitors? Our comprehensive list highlights a number of create spirits stands worth visiting.
“Spirits belong to ProWein like the river Rhine to Düsseldorf,” states Michael Degan, executive director of show organiser Messe Düsseldorf. The final touches are being made to this year’s event, which will return to
Messe Düsseldorf in Germany from 19 to 21 March, ready to welcome wine and spirits exhibitors, importers, exporters, suppliers, and more.
“In excess of 500 suppliers – including just under 100 whisky suppliers – from around the globe will exhibit products not falling under the category of wine,” adds Degan. “Pretty much everything is on show, from Armagnac to Zacapa rum.
“Especially geared to the hip and trendy gastronomy and bar community, the trend show ‘Same But Different’ is the highlight at the heart of ProWein 2023. One-hundred-and-twenty exhibitors from 26 countries will present a varied range of the latest craft spirits, craft beer and cider in Hall 7. This special show is fully booked yet again. Its successful formula and hallmark are the unique spirit and atmosphere of the activities in this exhibition hall.”
After Covid-19 restrictions kept them away from the 2022 comeback show, producers from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will be returning to ProWein this year.
ProWein has enjoyed significant growth over its 28-year history. First held in 1994, with 321 exhibitors and approximately 1,500 visitors, ProWein has grown into a 6,000-plus exhibitor fair, showcasing the best of wines and spirits from around the world. Since 2013, the Düsseldorf event has been complemented by international shows, including the first ProWine Shanghai in 2013, followed by ProWine Singapore, ProWine Hong Kong, ProWine Mumbai, and ProWine São Paulo.
The 2022 iteration of ProWein Düsseldorf welcomed more than 38,000 visitors from 145 countries following a two-year hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Exhibitor numbers reached 5,724 from 62 countries.
Among those brands set to bring their best wares to the 2023 show is Finnish producer Sharman Spirits, which will be showcasing its vodka, and Saline Drink from the Balearic Islands will be highlighting its use of Ibiza’s salt water in its vodka.
There is evidently much to explore at this year’s ProWein Düsseldorf event; Degan shares what he is most excited about: “It is the whole package: a mix of a broad and deep range of products, numerous special shows, such as Same But Different, the Champagne Lounge, World of Zero, Organic World, and a great supporting programme. Of course, I am also looking forward to the many visitors and exhibitors from all over the world.”
Same but Different
There will be two Same But Different ‘hotspots’ at this year’s event, which guests can discover in Hall 7 and Hall 13. The area will cover a combined floor space of 3,000 square metres, highlighting all manner of spirits including whisky, Cognac, brandy, liqueurs, gin, vodka, and more.
ProWein is expecting to welcome more than 120 exhibitors from 26 countries to the Same But Different show. The whisky offering will include Irish whiskey brands Teeling, Lough Ree, and Skellig, while Japanese labels Akashi, Onikishi, and Togouchi will be present. In addition, Milk & Honey from Israel will be exhibiting, alongside Stauning from Denmark, Slyrs from Germany, and Penderyn from Wales.
Furthermore, Dansk Industry will be offering tastings and masterclasses through its Trendshow programme.
“For the industry, it is more important than ever to enter new export markets now, to follow market trends and network,” insists Degan.
“That is precisely the strength of ProWein. We provide the industry with the matching contact opportunities, information, and connections for all of these requirements. If not here, then where?”
Over the following pages, we highlight a selection of spirits brands to look out for at ProWein Düsseldorf 2023.
Stand: C07, Hall 7
From gin and vodka to whisky – independent bottler Charles Edge has a jam-packed line-up for guests to discover during ProWein 2023.
The company will be exhibiting its full portfolio: blended Scotch whisky Scots Gold, Canmore Scotch whisky, and London Square Spirits.
Open to meeting new business partners, Charles Edge hopes to gain sales leads – particularly in the European Union. Plus, the company said it was looking forward to engaging with current partners who will be in attendance.
“As an independent spirits bottler with a strong export strategy, ProWein is probably the most important trade show in our international events calendar,” noted Charlie Pountney, global marketing manager.
“In 2022, we had a fantastic show, which resulted in a number of international distribution agreements, so we are excited to attend again to pursue new leads and meet our international partners who also attend the show.”
Stand: A48, Hall 9
The entire Cognac Frapin range will proudly be on display at ProWein 2023, complemented by the launch of two products. The brand will be showcasing its new Château Fontpinot 100th anniversary edition, and Cognac Frapin 1990 vintage.
In addition to offering guests the chance to sample its new and old offerings, Frapin is hoping to meet new importers from countries it is not yet available in.
Thomas Soret, communications manager – Cognac Frapin, said: “ProWein is one of the biggest fairs in the wine and spirits world. More than 6,000 exhibitors from over 60 countries will be showcasing their ranges in 13 halls of the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre. It is a very great opportunity to gather in one place.”
Stand: D06, Hall 13
With a prime spot on the Department of International Trade stand, Courageous Spirits will be showcasing its Glaswegin London Dry Gin, Glaswegin Raspberry & Rhubarb Gin, and King’s Inch Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Furthermore, visitors will be able to sample the award-winning Glaswegin pre-mixed gin-and-tonic cans.
Courageous Spirits hopes to meet its international partners in person, and to highlight its portfolio to the international audience of buyers and importers.
Hannah Gladman, marketing manager, Courageous Spirits, said: “We have been extremely fortunate to have been selected by the Department of International Trade to feature on its stand, for their first stand, for their first ever attendance at ProWein, and having the backing of the British government means a lot, especially as we are looking for new partners.”
Stand: D44, Hall 13
There’s plenty to discover at Creamy Creation’s stand. The award-winning business-to-business (B2B) producer will be showcasing several of its beverage concepts, including: a Vegan Piña Colada, SL!M lower-calorie Apple Pie Cream Liqueur, lower-alcohol Vegan Sparkling Coconut Mango, and a creamy pre-mixed Espresso Martini in a can.
Creamy Creation is determined to highlight the innovative possibilities of a cream-based tipple, from the spirit source to the ABV, pH level, flavour, and more.
“After a two-year hiatus, we’re looking forward to reconnecting with our customers, partners and colleagues from all over the world,” said Antonio Sánchez Barrera, sales director EMEA, Creamy Creation. “As the global market leader, we’re excited to share our concepts and knowledge, and to create synergies that move the industry forward.”
Stand: C10, Hall 13
Eager to reconnect with its export partners and local retailers, and to discover new export opportunities, delegates will find single malt whisky brand Armorik at the Distillerie Warenghem stand. The distiller is keen to meet distributors in Eastern Europe and Asia.
The company will be showcasing its Bourbon barrel-aged Armorik Classic expression, plus Armorik’s Sherry Cask, Double Maturation (aged in Breton oak casks and Sherry casks), and peated Yeun Elez. In addition, there will be a number of limited edition bottlings to sample, such as the 10-year-old and 15-year-old expressions.
Director David Roussier said: “ProWein is one of the main shows for the spirits industry in the world and, as one of the leading brands in the French whisky category, we don’t want to miss this opportunity to meet and discuss with all our export partners. ProWein is a must when you want to develop an export strategy for your brand.”
Stand: G07, Hall 13
If you’re in search of premium rum at ProWein, then look no further than Grays. The firm will be presenting a trio of 2023 rum editions: New Grove, Lazy Dodo, and Mauricia.
Grays produces single-estate rums. The company owns and oversees the entire five-step production process, from field to glass. This allows Grays to offer ‘greater visibility and traceability’.
The rum maker is hoping to meet potential clients to strike business deals in markets that will help Grays achieve its export expansion plans.
Yannick Noel, export manager at Grays, said: “ProWein is without equal internationally. The passion for perfect organisation and exceptional products has been the essential conditions for the lasting success of this business event.”
Hamburg Distilling Company
Stand: C35, Hall 13
Among the award-winning spirits available on the Hamburg Distilling Company stand will be Knut Hansen Dry Gin.
Founded in 2017 by two young German entrepreneurs, the brand has experienced year-on-year growth.
Inspired by the legendary sailor Knut Hansen, the gin is made using 14 botanicals, including juniper, basil, cucumber and apple. The brand will also be highlighting its alcohol-free Knut Hansen 0,0%. The non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ is said to have a fresh taste with pleasant citrus notes.
Svenja Hölter, brand manager, said: “I really enjoy coming here. It’s a great place to exchange with partners and competitors, and you always learn something new.”
Hamburg Distilling hopes to gauge the latest industry trends during ProWein 2023, and meet fellow spirits producers.
Heaven Hill Brands
Stand: F36, Hall 13
If you’re looking for some top American whiskeys to sample, then visit Heaven Hill Brands.
The family-owned company will be bringing a selection of whiskey offerings, from Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon to Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey.
The latter whiskey is a bottled-in-bond expression, created to commemorate Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square; its flavour profile is described as ‘distinct’ and ‘spicy’.
Bryan Fallon, managing director Heaven Hill International, commented: “We are delighted to attend ProWein 2023, and look forward to meeting valued existing partners and potential new customers.”
Additionally, visitors to the Heaven Hill stand will be able to learn more about Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, and Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon.
Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association
Stand: H30, Hall 14
This is your opportunity to discover authentic Japanese spirits, such as Honkaku shochu and awamori. Honkaku shochu is a Japanese spirit, made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, and other ingredients. Awamori is a spirit made entirely from rice, and only in Okinawa in the south of Japan. Both shochu styles undergo a single distillation.
For those who want to learn more about Japan’s spirits offering, the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association will be hosting a masterclass in Hall 13 (forum 13.1) from 10am-11am on 21 March.
The Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association exhibition will comprise four stands in total, with 19 brands of schochu for guests to sample.
Kinahan’s Irish Whiskey Co
Stand: D30, Hall 13
Irish whiskey fans will be able to get the first look at the updated version of Kinahan’s Irish Whiskey Co’s flagship The Kasc Project range at this year’s ProWein. The whiskeys were made in bespoke hybrid casks.
Furthermore, the company will be releasing exclusive bottles of its Special Release Project whiskeys, which have previously found favour in venues such as Annabel’s in London, and the Rosewood in Hong Kong.
Zak Oganian, owner of Kinahan’s Irish Whiskey Co, said: “The annual ProWein event in Düsseldorf is the ideal platform for us to compare notes with our existing 30-plus international partners, and gain new relationships, all under one roof.”
The brand is looking forward to having meetings with key partners from 30-plus countries.
Lambay Irish Whiskey
Stand: D30, Hall 13
The Bord Bia/Irish Food Board stand will be sharing a selection of spirits from Lambay Whiskey. The brand’s bottlings aim to showcase the impact that Cognac cask-finishing is able to have on Irish whiskey.
Expressions that will be available on the stand will include Lambay Small Batch Blend, the brand’s flagship whiskey, and blended malt Lambay Malt Irish. Lambay Whiskey has two objectives for ProWein: the first is to showcase the ‘large offering and variance’ of Irish whiskey. The second is to meet existing distributors from around the world, strengthen business relationships, present new product development, and meeting new potential partners.
Jean-David Costerg, managing director of Lambay Irish Whiskey, said: “ProWein exhibition is for Lambay Whiskey very useful as an SME [small-medium enterprise] to meet up with customers, and distributors, collect feedback from all over the locations where Lambay Whiskey is distributed and also introduce them [to our] innovation and share best practices.”
Stand: F10, Hall 13
Gin lovers will want to pay attention to the focal point of the Liviko stand – Crafter’s Gin. The brand is now available in Asia duty free, and Liviko is eager to develop its reach further and expand into new markets – particularly those in duty free.
The Crafter’s Gin range includes Crafter’s London Dry Gin, colour-changing Crafter’s Aromatic Flower Gin, and Crafter’s Wild Forest Gin.
Furthermore, Liviko will be showcasing its Estonian liqueur, Vana Tallinn, and its Estonian vodkas: Hõbe, Bellingshausen, and Viru Valge.
Gloria Hallaste, export marketing specialist at Liviko, said: “We have participated in ProWein before and will continue to do so in the future. The ProWein fair is very important to us; it is a good opportunity to introduce our products, and to make contact with current and new partners.”
Stand: D41, Hall 13
Visit the Luxco stand to witness the official launch of Indiana-born Remus Bourbon and Rossville Union Rye Whiskey at this year’s ProWein.
After offering samples of the whiskeys at the 2022 show, the most recent bottlings from Luxco’s Ross & Squibb Distillery will be bottled this spring for the UK and wider European markets. Both whiskeys sit at 47% ABV.
Greg Mefford, international sales director, Luxco, said: “Luxco is ramping up its brands’ presence throughout Europe and the UK, and ProWein is the ideal event to showcase our brands’ stories and talk one on one with visitors about what makes each liquid unique and special, alongside the all-important sampling.”
He continued: “Tastes, wants and needs vary throughout different territories so we enjoy the opportunity ProWein affords to gather feedback, and respond to the international market’s demands accordingly.”
Guests can also learn more about Yellowstone American Single Malt, said to have notes of honey, pear and stone fruits.
Stand: B53, Hall 7
There will be not one, but two brands to view at the Mintis Gin stand. First, discover Mintis Gin, an Italian brand made with natural ingredients and no artificial flavours. The brand’s range includes Mintis Originale, Mintis Gin Clementina, Mintis Amarena, and Mintis Gin Ribesa.
Furthermore, discover Serum Rum’s portfolio, a selection of bottlings from Panama that range from 35% to 45% ABV. The selection will include Serum Elixir, a rum-based spirit made from a blend of rums aged up to eight years, flavoured by a ‘long, slow maceration of fruit, herbs and spices’.
Serum Gorgas Gran Reserva will also be available to sample – a super-premium blend of rums that have been aged for up to eight years in Bourbon casks.
Stepan Stanek, co-founder of Mintis Gin and export manager of Serum Rum, said: “We are so excited to have the opportunity to showcase Mintis Gin and Rum Serum at one of the biggest world trade shows, especially at ProWein’s trend-setter area, Same but Different.”
The Confederation of Danish Industry
Stand: C59, Hall 7
On Monday 20 March during this year’s ProWein fair, make your way to Hall 7 for a spectacular evening of Danish spirits. The Confederation of Danish Industry will host the Taste the Spirits of Denmark event from 5pm to 6.30pm.
Eight spirits brands from Denmark will be showcased during the event. The organisers are particularly keen to welcome retail and food-service professionals with an interest in high-quality spirits.
Zander Lauritzen Hansen, of Mixology International, said: “ProWein is by far among the most important fairs for us in the EU market. Besides being the largest and most trendsetting wine fair, it has also become an attractive marketing platform for spirits, and the opportunity to expose your brand not only in Europe but globally.”
The Spirits Business is a co-host of this event, with Mixology International and The Confederation of Danish Industry.
Stand: D43, Hall 13
If niche spirits are what you’re in search of, then Molinari has bucket-loads to offer. Head to stand D43 in Hall 13 to discover Molinari Sambuca, Molinari Caffè, Limoncello Di Capri, Italian liqueur Vov, and Grappa Ceschia.
Molinari has a clear goal it would like to achieve from this year’s show: to stimulate the international interest of the Molinari range, and its reputation for making quality products.
“ProWein is an important event for Molinari Italia,” said a spokesperson for the brand.
“We have been participating [in ProWein] since 2018. In recent editions, spirits have been acquiring more and more weight, and for us [the fair is] a unique opportunity to get in touch with a growing number of visitors.”
Palirna U Zeleneho
Stand: F22, Hall 13
Palirna U Zeleneho is the oldest European distillery, boasting 500 years of traditional alcohol making in the Czech Republic.
At this year’s event, the distiller will be showcasing its rye whisky, Old Hunter’s Reserve 4 Years Old, with fruit infusion. The producer will also highlight its Old Hunter’s Bourbon Cask 4 Years Old, aged in ex-Bourbon barrels. There will also be a 10-year-old rum from Panama on offer, Heffron, which has been aged in a mix of ex-Sherry, ex-Bourbon and ex-Cognac casks. Additional products to peruse will include a coffee elixir, a coconut elixir, and Hanácká vodka, made from crystal-clear water from the company’s own wells, which has been filtered six times through active charcoal.
Kristyna Prušovicová Ranglová, export back office manager, said: “Expanding into new markets across the globe has been our focus, and Green Tree Distillery [the brand’s name translated into English] has recently seen many new successful expansions in India and China, with new partnerships coming soon in Latin America and Africa.”
Stand: D30, Hall 13
Three Irish whiskeys will be on show at Powerscourt’s stand this year: Fercullen Falls, the flagship of the Powerscourt Distillery; Fercullen Single Malt; and Fercullen 21 Years Old Single Malt Limited Release.
This will be the second year Powerscourt Distillery has exhibited at ProWein.
The producer hopes to meets its international partners during the event, and to make fresh connections from regions where the company does not yet have distribution, such as Australia, Japan and northern Europe.
Caroline Gardiner, head of marketing, Powerscourt Distillery, said: “ProWein allows us the opportunity to connect with our importers from all over the globe in a unique setting over three days in Düsseldorf.
“It also allows us to connect with potential future partners who may be looking to add a premium Irish whiskey set to their portfolio.”
Rooster Rojo Mezcal
Stand: A40, Hall 13
Spirits enthusiasts the world over have been keeping a close eye on the agave spirits category – and now Rooster Rojo is planning on making its mark on mezcal.
The Amber Beverage Group-owned Tequila brand is set to unveil its first mezcal at this year’s ProWein event – an important milestone for the brand that is deserving of its own stand.
Scheduled to launch this summer, the ultra-premium spirit will be available for delegates to sample. It is made in Oaxaca, Mexico, at the Lopes Sosa Palenque distillery, and sits at 43% ABV.
Mantas Zlatkus, global brand director for Rooster Rojo Tequila, said: “The idea to extend the Rooster Rojo Tequila range with mezcal has been a long-held ambition as it is a natural fit portraying the core of our brand character. I would describe it as bolder than Tequila.”
Sir Edmond Gin
Stand: D38, Hall 13
Did you know Sir Edmond Gin was inspired by Michelin-starred chefs who used bourbon vanilla to create “culinary magic”? You can learn more about the Dutch brand at its ProWein stand in Hall 13.
The gin has won many awards, and is available in high-end restaurants and cocktail bars.
Co-founder Dominique Makatita said: “The past few years have shown us that Sir Edmond Gin is a unique product within the current gin landscape. The distinctive taste, the rich brand story, and the team’s dedication have led Sir Edmond Gin to new partnerships with attractive and enthusiastic importers.
“Putting the brand further on the map internationally is one of our main goals and participation in the ProWein fits in well with that. This is a place where we meet great future partners.”
Stand: C46 and C45, Hall 13
International expansion is on the cards for Spivi Group, which is keen to connect with distributors in new markets at this year’s ProWein show.
Spanning two stands, the group will be showcasing its SMA shots brand, which has proven popular in the Nordics, and is growing in the UK, South Africa and Japan.
Plus, the company’s Mundo Tequila brand will also be available to sample. The brand launched 18 months ago, and boasts a mixto expression, which is soon to be joined by a reposado. Mundo has already found favour in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and, since 1 March 2023, the UK.
Sebastian Groenskov, export director Spivi Group, said: “It’s a pleasure to showcase our brands, meet current partners from around the world, and, of course, chase new export opportunities.”
Stand: G36, Hall 13
If you’re a whisky fan intrigued by products coming from less-established markets, set aside some time to visit Starward. The producer’s Australian whisky range includes Left-Field, Nova, Solera, and Fortis. The latter whisky is a single malt that’s described as being ‘rich and full-bodied’, having been fully matured in American oak red wine barrels, and bottled at 50% ABV.
Solera was Starward’s first whisky, aged in Australian Apera barrels. Created using the traditional solera process, there is a drop of the first cask in every Starward bottle.
Scott English, Starward commercial sales director, said: “We’re hoping to continue driving growth in the region, based on the great interest we’ve seen in the market so far. Taking part in ProWein is a great next step for us, and we cannot wait to showcase our range of award-winning whiskies.”
Stand: B31, Hall 7
Connecting with distribution companies in Poland and France is a key priority for Stobbe 1776 during ProWein 2023.
Stobbe 1776 is one of Germany’s oldest gin brands, and remains a family-owned firm. Today, ninth-generation Uta Stobbe oversees the distillation and cask maturation.
The brand’s portfolio includes Stobbe 1776 Blackcurrant, Stobbe 1776 240 Bourbon Barrel, Stobbe 1776 Basement, and Stobbe 1776 Old Tom Gin.
Botanicals used in Stobbe 1776 include juniper, green pepper, blackcurrant and bergamot. Gin fans can learn more about the brand’s portfolio at the stand in Hall 7.
The Old Tom, for example, includes bergamot and blackcurrant botanicals, and is bottled at 42.5% ABV. It is recommended to be served neat or as a Tom Collins, with lemon juice and a cocktail cherry.
Teeling Whiskey Company
Stand: D30, Hall 13
A wide range of award-winning Teeling Irish whiskeys will be front and centre of the Teeling stand this year.
Whiskey enthusiasts will be able to find the brand’s flagship Small Batch Irish whiskey, and Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey – the first Dublin-distilled Irish whiskey to be released in almost 50 years.
Plus, a handful of Teeling’s Collaboration whiskeys will be available to sample. The Teeling stand will provide an opportunity to try some of the oldest Irish single malts on the market.
Stephen Teeling, sales and marketing director, said: “We have been coming to ProWein for many years now, and it is great that it is back in full swing after Covid.
“We have really enjoyed watching it grow into the show it is today. It is always an enjoyable experience where we have the opportunity to share stories with our industry partners, and make plans for the year ahead.”
The Finest Group
Stand: A44, Hall 13
Tequila is one of the hottest spirits on the market at present, and putting an innovative spin on the category is Tequila cream liqueur producer The Finest Group. Inspired by Mexican wrestlers, the range of Tequila cream liqueurs comprises: Capitán Fresón (strawberry); Mariachi El Mango (mango); Lupita Passión (passion fruit); and Pancho Sandia (watermelon).
The company hopes to highlight its range of products at this year’s ProWein, and to discover new partners as it works to grow its availability.
Victor Aragón G, senior brand manager at The Finest Group, said: “In our first participation last year, and just after Covid, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of leads received at our stand, the quality of visitors, and the speed of those taking decisions to incorporate our brand.”