Harpoon beer gets a makeover, complete with a tiger

By Jon Chesto

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Harpoon Brewery has dropped its harpoon.

The South Boston-based brewer has given the label to its flagship beer, the Harpoon IPA, a dramatic makeover.

Both the harpoon and the lilies in the corners are gone, swept away by a cleaner-looking design, one with a tiger face in the middle, flanked by two flowers. There are also descriptors — hoppy, floral, crisp — that weren’t there before. The color scheme is similar, with the same shade of blue still dominant.

It marks the first major change to the beer’s look — there was a tweak in 2009 — since its inception in 1993. Harpoon will eventually roll out similar labels across all of its beers during the next 12 months. The face-lift is, in part, being driven by the increasingly stiff competition for craft beer drinkers’ dollars.

“We hope it does help us stand out, ... that we’re easier to see on a shelf that’s just packed with craft beer brands,” said Charlie Storey, Harpoon’s president.

The new look was developed in-house, with help from brand strategy agency Catapult Thinking of Boston, and announced in an email to customers on Thursday.

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