Dave SchmierProfile Photo

Dave Schmier



At Proof & Wood Ventures, Inc., we invest in and develop spirits brands, and age our own spirits. Our core business is sourcing and bottling fine American whiskies, but we also import other high-quality spirits from around the world that were not available in the US previously. Founder Dave Schmier is delighted to be able to create both cocktail-friendly bottlings for value-focused bartenders and high-end collectors’ editions for connoisseurs.

“Our name comes from the two things we control as a blender and finisher of fine spirits, and the two things that are incredibly important to any spirit’s flavor: the proof it’s bottled at, and the wood of the barrel we age it in,” Schmier says. “That is who we are.”


Dave Schmier has a long history of marketing and selling spirits. He was Founder & CEO of boutique beverage marketing agency Idea Foundation, winner of Reggie Awards for its work with Absolut Vodka and Alizé. Schmier’s first venture into actually creating spirits was as owner of drinks consultancy Dynamic Beverages, LLC, which launched Orange V—one of the first flavored vodkas to use a certified-organic base spirit—in 2003. In 2020, its success (or lack thereof) led Schmier to co-found Bardstown Barrel Selections, a merchant of carefully selected American whiskies. The company’s booming hit, Redemption Rye Whiskey, grew to sell 20,000 cases per year in less than five years and resulted in the brand's acquisition by industry giant Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits in 2015.

With his years of experience and personal connections at distilleries, barrel makers, and more, Schmier didn’t want to leave an industry he’d grown to love, so he founded Proof & Wood Ventures in 2015. “I didn’t want to just sit back after BBS and Redemption Rye,” he says. “So I started a company to source not only great American whiskies but also other amazing booze from all over the globe.”

Schmier also founded the Independent Spirits Expo in 2005. The convention for small, craft liquor-makers, distributors, bartenders, and others now holds annual events in Chicago, New York, and Las Vegas.

TCGP Season 1 Finale: Part II (EP 24)

August 11, 2022

TCGP Season 1 Finale: Part II (EP 24)

On this episode of THE COCKTAIL GURU PODCAST, Part Two of a two-episode season finale captured live at the 20th annual Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans, hosts Jonathan & Jeffrey Pogash dig deep and dig delicious at Loa Bar, inside the International House Hotel, with bar chef Abigail Gullo and some of the hospitality industry's most dynamic movers, shakers, and stirrers, including Bodega Lustau's Steven Dragun, legendary restaurateur Dickie Brennan, whiskey wizard Dave Schmier, tequila entrepreneurs Adam Millman & Daniel Neeson, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey's Gillian Murphy, and Spirited Hive's Jack Espy. Brought to you Bodega Lustau, DE-NADA Tequila, Monin Gourmet Syrups, Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, Proof & Wood Ventures, Spirited Hive, and Tullamore D.E.W.