HAMPTON — Old Brown Dog and Finestkind IPA have a new look as Smuttynose Brewing Company has rolled out new packaging designs for its popular beers.
The packaging will replace the previous designs, Old Brown Dog having featured Olive, founder Peter Egelston's Brittany Spaniel-Weimaraner cross, since 1994. Finestkind IPA featured two elderly men, Cy and Paul, in lawn chairs for the last 15 years.
The redesign, introduced to stores in June, comes as part of the company's continued rebranding after being sold in a foreclosure auction last year, said Aubree Giarrosso, Smuttynose’s vice president and chief marketing officer.
She said the brewery has been working on new labels for those beers and two others for the last year. The company is also discontinuing its Shoals Pale Ale, the first beer produced by Smuttynose, replacing it with the New Hampshire Pale Ale Giarrosso said is more drinkable.
"It's been a huge undertaking," she said of the new labels, done in water color. The company also redid labels for its Robust Porter and Vunderbar Pilsner. The labels feature various locations around New Hampshire.
"We want to be New Hampshire's craft brewery, so we chose iconic places around New Hampshire," Giarrosso said. The labels feature GPS coordinates for each location depicted on the can.
The new label for Old Brown Dog features a dog in a boat on Back Lake, Finestkind a person floating in a tube on Echo Lake, Vunderbar the aerial tramway at Cannon Mountain and the Robust Porter the Carleton Bridge, one of several covered bridges for which the western part of the state is known.
Giarrosso said it was a difficult decision to move away from the old labels, but added Smuttynose used focus groups and learned most fans were not emotionally attached to the labels so much as the beer.
"Those guys (Cy and Paul) are so iconic for customers," Giarrosso said. "But they didn't necessarily feel that emotional connection to them and that it wouldn't ultimately alter their purchase if they were to see different can."
Shoals Pale Ale was discontinued because Giarrosso said Smuttynose wanted to move away from the beer's malt-heavy taste. Packaging for the New Hampshire Pale Ale that replaced it features an image of a tug boat leaving Portsmouth Harbor.
"We definitely have some loyal fans to Shoals (Pale Ale), but we realized, with the trends in the market, it was time to make a change," she said.
Smuttynose is celebrating the new design for Old Brown Dog by collaborating with DockDogs, which hosts competitive aquatic canine competitions around the world. The competition is open to the public and dogs at least six months old, featuring challenges in which dogs get to dive into pools and test their jumping and swimming abilities.
The event runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and will feature dog-related sponsor vendors and rescue organizations with dogs on site that are up for adoption. Giarrosso said the DockDogs is one of several events being held this year in an effort to connect with the dog community.