In the video above, Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione gives us a speedy 40-second overview of the 21-year history of Dogfish Head Brewery’s beer labels. His conclusion: We’ve been consistent about being inconsistent. The Delaware-based brewhouse is looking to change that. Dogfish Head unveiled a new packaging design last week that brings focus to the creativity, high quality and often rare ingredients that go into its eclectic portfolio of beers.
The project was a collaboration between Dogfish’s in-house creative team and Interact Boulder, a Colorado-based strategic packaging design firm. Seven Dogfish brands showcasing the new design will hit shelves early next month, with additional brands to come later in the year.
The new designs set out to honor a foundational spirit of off-centered innovation and imagination by highlighting Dogfish’s legacy of exploring goodness through ingredients and process. When Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione opened the brewery in 1995, innovation wasn’t an option — it was the whole point.
“My goal was to make truly unique beers based on the idea that culinary ingredients from around the world could be as integral to brewing distinct beers as the finest barley and hops,” Calagione explains.
Ingredients are the stars of the design, showcased in playful illustrations that create realistic and authentic flavor expectations in an off-centered manner. For example, shoppers can see what goes into each bottle by viewing the side panel of each carrier, which highlights the specific ingredients and unique brewing processes involved in creating that beer. The handle area is also a unique feature, offering consumers a literal handful of the ingredients when proudly holding a four- or six-pack.
The new design also organizes key information, such as beer style and ABV, in a way that makes it easier for consumers to shop. “We wanted to create some uniformity across our portfolio without falling into the trap of being predictable and sterile,” Calagione says. The iconic Dogfish Head “shark and shield” logo and proprietary “Doggie” font are the two recognizable design elements that will carry through from the old packaging into the new style.
Dogfish Head is the first American craft brewery to focus on culinary-inspired beer recipes outside traditional beer styles and it has done so since the day it opened with the motto “off-centered ales for off-centered people.” Since 1995, Dogfish has redefined craft beer and the way people think about beer by brewing with unique ingredients.
Today, Dogfish is among the fastest-growing breweries in the country and has won numerous awards throughout the years including Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 Brewery of the Year. Dogfish Head has grown into a 200+ person company based in Delaware with a brewpub/distillery in Rehoboth Beach, an innovative seafood restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, a beer-themed inn on the harbor in Lewes and a production brewery/distillery in Milton. Dogfish Head currently sells beer in 31 states.