For the first time in the brewery’s 30-year history, the Harpoon IPA label has been completely redesigned, yet a few classic elements that the brewery is known for remain intact. “The checkered pattern has adorned our packaging since 1989,” says Director of Communications, Liz Melby, “and although our arched logo is bigger and bolder, the design of it remains the same.” But by far the most striking change is the addition of the tiger.
Tigers and IPAs both have unique ties to India. Tigers are the national animal of India and IPA, which stands for India Pale Ale, is a style born out of a need to keep beer from spoiling. Hops have antibacterial properties and their addition to the brewing and fermentation processes helped the beers stand up to the long journey overseas. “The tiger brings character and personality to the IPA package,” says Melby. “It makes it more fun – and to us, beer is fun! The tiger also builds associations with the flavor and the idea of Harpoon IPA – tigers bite and IPAs have bite. The symbol can be perceived in many different ways. We want people to derive their own stories.”
Melby continues, “Harpoon’s mantra, ‘Love Beer. Love Life.’ is much more prominent on the packaging and will be a larger focus for our branding in 2016. The label
will include more flavor descriptors to give consumers a better understanding of the taste of the beer before they open the bottle.” Beer geeks were kept in mind as well, as ABV and IBUs have also been added .
“It was time for our logo to evolve,” says Harpoon CEO and co-founder Dan Kenary. “We’re not changing who we are, or most importantly the beer inside the bottle,
can or keg. But, we are working hard to do a better job of telling our story.”