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Robert Vail | Head of Innovation & Activation at The Boston Beer Company

Interviewed by Duke Maines

We welcome Robert Vail, Head of Innovation & Activation at The Boston Beer Company for a raw conversation on the turning points in his life that got him to where he is now and what drives him to keep going.


Robert Vail is the Head of Innovation and Activation at The Boston Beer Company. Robert has been with Boston Beer for 28 years.  He first joined as a Brewery Representative on the Sales team.  Following in the footsteps of founder Jim Koch, Robert hit the streets selling Samuel Adams beer and educating drinkers and the industry about the quality and craftsmanship of craft beer.

He has worked across the nation evangelizing the benefits of craft beer and was responsible for launching Samuel Adams beer in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois.  Robert was progressively promoted and became the Division Manager for all of New England for Boston Beer.  After several years, his area of responsibility was extended to include New England down to Pennsylvania.  From there, he went on to tackle the role of Division Manager of the On-Premise team responsible for National accounts. Robert is currently the Director of Innovation and Activation and has helped to develop the Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard, Truly Sparkling, 26.2 Brew, Tura Kombucha and Wild Leaf Hard Tea brands. 

He resides in Massachusetts with his two sons.  Outside of work, Robert is a board member of My Life My Choice, which provides resources, training and counseling to help adolescent women leave harmful situations and build new lives for themselves. Robert is also a Board Member of The School of Hospitality at Boston University and Freebird Rides, which helps drive customers to restaurants in the United States.

We hope you enjoy our raw conversation with Robert. Editing and sound mixing of this episode was done by Clara Ernoult.