Art News

RiNo Art District Curator Paints Whiskey Label for Breckenridge Distillery

Alexandrea Pangburn painting her mural on a wall by Number Thirty Eight.
Alexandrea Pangburn painting her mural on a wall by Number Thirty Eight. Breckenridge Distillery
Rino Art District director of curation Alexandrea Pangburn saw her Kentucky roots and Colorado lifestyle converge on the label she created for Breckenridge Distillery, which just launched its second annual Collectors Art Series.

It's been a project long in the making. Pangburn was first approached to create a label back in 2019 for the distillery's second Collectors Art Series, originally slated for 2020. But the pandemic put the kibosh on that, pushing it to this year. The cognac cask finish whiskey, decorated with a copy of the mural that Pangburn installed on a wall at Number Thirty Eight, will now officially launch on May 6. For each bottle sold, Breckenridge Distillery will donate $5 to the RiNo Art District's ArtPark campaign to build an interdisciplinary arts center.

"I grew up in bourbon country; I'm from Kentucky," Pangburn says. "My dad's a big bourbon drinker, my brothers.... The first whiskey I had from Colorado was Breckenridge, so it's kind of ironic that it's come full circle."
click to enlarge Alexandrea Pangburn in her studio with the painting that she made back in 2019 for the Collectors Art Series. - BRECKENRIDGE DISTILLERY
Alexandrea Pangburn in her studio with the painting that she made back in 2019 for the Collectors Art Series.
Breckenridge Distillery
Pangburn didn't play a role in creating the whiskey. "But I met with them a couple weeks ago in Breckenridge and talked to the head distiller, and he described what the whiskey was going to be and the tastes and whatnot," she says. "I haven't had it yet, but I'm really excited to try it."

With her label, Pangburn wanted to highlight local flora and fauna, as well as honor her Kentucky heritage. "The Western Tanager is a bird that is very Colorado to me; it's the very first bird that I ever painted in a mural," she says. "And the mountain florals that happen up there near Breckenridge are so stunning, so a lot of the floral colors are really brought into the label. And there's a fox, too, which is a nod to my hometown in Lexington, and that bourbon country meeting the whiskey culture here in Colorado. That was my inspiration behind the label."
A cognac cask finish whiskey decorated with Pangburn's label. - BRECKENRIDGE DISTILLERY
A cognac cask finish whiskey decorated with Pangburn's label.
Breckenridge Distillery
While Pangburn designed the label years ago, she only recently installed the mural. "It sits in the alley behind Number Thirty Eight, and it's the exact imagery or painting that's going to be on the label," she says.

Pangburn's excited that a portion of sales of the bottle will go to the interdisciplinary arts center that RiNo is planning in its ArtsPark, which she hopes will be finished sometime next year.

This is the first label that she has designed. "It's been really cool to have my Kentucky roots also become my Colorado roots, all tying into a project," she says. "So it's definitely been humbling and very surreal."

The Collectors Art Series whiskey will be available May 6 at Breckenridge Distillery, 1925 Airport Road, and its tasting room, 137 Main Street in Breckenridge. Learn more about Pangburn on her website; find more on Breckenridge Distillery's Collectors Art Series here, and check out its last collaboration with graffiti artist Detour here.
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Emily Ferguson is Westword's Culture Editor, covering Denver's flourishing arts and music scene. Before landing this position, she worked as an editor at local and national political publications and held some odd jobs suited to her odd personality, including selling grilled cheese sandwiches at music festivals and performing with fire. Emily also writes on the arts for the Wall Street Journal and is an oil painter in her free time.
Contact: Emily Ferguson