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Profiles in CBW: Brendon Van Allen

No brewery is an island. Now that we’ve been open for two years we’ve needed some help, and a few stalwart friends have stepped up to the challenge.

These are their stories.

This week: Brendon Van Allen, Sales & Local Beer Celebrity



Tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I originally hail from Rochester but moved to Buffalo a few years ago when the wife got a good job out this way and I followed. At the time I was in banking where my sales background comes from, but I hated it. Thus, in trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I realized that I love beer so what better job to have than to be a seller of beer! I started working for Custom Brewcrafters as a part-time tasting guy going out to Wegmans and sampling out beer. During that timeframe, I was fighting pretty hard to get into the beer industry when the previous sales guy left which opened everything for me, beerjob-wise. I was the main Rochester and Buffalo sales guy until my territory shrunk to just Buffalo. I miss my Rochester industry friends but I love Buffalo just as much and for the same reasons. Now I’m your Sales / Local Beer Celebrity / I-Do-Everything-for-CBW guy! Aside from beer, I like hunting and fishing but also computers and old school video games. My wife and I just had a son who is about 1.5 months old. I also have two dogs, own my own home, and don’t play any instruments.

TL;DR I’m the Buffalo sales guy. I sell beer.

How did you get involved in the CBW gang?

I got involved with CBW through just being a part of the beer industry. I met the guys a number of times out at events and that started everything. Honestly, even before I got my job at Custom Brewcrafters I was saying that CBW was and is making the best beer in Western New York. Yes, that is a very sales thing to say, but my acknowledging that it is a very sales thing to say should make me seem down to earth and you want to buy beer from me now. I started with CBW as (I think) the very first full-time employee about 2 weeks ago and I love my job already. It’s a fun atmosphere where I can have fun and I feel like I can really be myself.

TL;DR I worked in beer and met guys.

What started you down the rabbit hole that is good beer?

I started on good beer because it was of general interest among most of my friends. It was fun to hang out with people where everyone brought something new trying to outdo each other. This was more than several years ago and the landscape has changed drastically from then, but it’s still a fun scene to be a part of!

TL;DR Beer is good.

Duff’s or Anchor Bar?

That’s a loaded question to someone in my position. The correct answer is whomever is buying my beer. Since neither are buying my beer at the current moment, my answer is the original Nick Tahou’s on Main Street.

TL;DR Question avoided.

Anything else we should know about you? Any parting words of wisdom?

I am a very loud person and I tend to joke around a lot. I feel that if you aren’t having fun in life, what’s the point? You can [mostly] choose your attitude about things, and yes, at times we all get angry or disappointed or depressed, etc, but when people are constantly in a nasty mood, ain’t no one got time for that. I also like memes. Wet Hot American Summer is my favorite movie. Rush is my favorite band but I love ska music even more. When it comes to beer, sometimes it’s ok to just drink without critiquing the hell out of it but there’s also nothing wrong with having an opinion about it. Still on the subject of beer, you aren’t always going to have the same opinions as those around you and not everyone is an expert; those that claim to be experts and are better at tasting than you should show you their laminated Beer Expert Club card. If they don’t have that, don’t trust them.

TL;DR I get in trouble because I joke around too much and I’m not a member of the Beer Expert Club.

I’ve added a quote because why not:

I bet a fun thing would be to go way back in time to where there was going to be an eclipse and tell the cave men, “If I have come to destroy you, may the sun be blotted out from the sky.” Just then the eclipse would start, and they’d probably try to kill you or something, but then you could explain about the rotation of the moon and all, and everyone would get a good laugh.”

  • Jack Handey