Bulleit Distilling Co.

These limited-edition pieces are part of an ongoing project to support and preserve the art of neon.

Mike Pomranz
December 08, 2017

When you think of alcohol-endorsing neon signs, you’re probably more likely to conjure up an image of one promoting a big-name beer than a respected brand of bourbon. But though the history of neon might be intertwined with some garish advertisements, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey has been making a big push to support the actual art of neon, including collaborating with a neon specialist for a limited run of $1,000 Neon in a Bottle art pieces.

In an effort to support modern artisans of all types, Bulleit—the Diageo-owned Kentucky-based distillery known for its popular Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye—has what the brand calls its “Bulleit Frontier Works” program. Following on the heels of its Tattoo project, earlier this year, Bulleit launched its Neon project in an effort to “fuel neon art.” The first piece commissioned under that umbrella was a 26-foot dynamic neon billboard placed at the Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles. Now, the company has announced the newest additions to its Neon program are pieces you can purchase yourself: the Neon in a Bottle collection.

Created in collaboration with “The Neon Queen” Lisa Schulte and online art gallery Saatchi Art, this 13-piece collection features neon words and phrases shining inside of Bulleit Bourbon bottles—words like “Spirit,” “Vibes” and “Offline.” All of the neon glass in these one-of-a-kind pieces is hand-blown by Schulte, and they will all be sold exclusively through Saatchi Art at $1,000 a pop.

“Art is an expression of who we are and who we want to be,” explained Schulte in a statement. “For me, that's a constant desire to live on the edge of the modern cultural frontier. From the form and function of the Bulleit bottle to the inspirational messages that live within, that's what I've tried to create with Neon In A Bottle.”

Regardless of who grabs these neon pieces, the proceeds will be going to a good cause. Bulleit has pledged to give the money to the Museum of Neon Art. And to further its love of neon, the brand has also stated that it “plans to engage in neon sign restoration projects across the United States.”