Despite continuing tough times for local bars and restaurants amid restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Flood Valley Brewing Craft Taphouse in Chehalis continues to do its best, recently rolling out a new product.
One year ago this month, The Chronicle featured Flood Valley Brewing Craft Taphouse. By that time, the pandemic had given owner Chris Rohr two options: close the business or run every aspect of it alone.
As a former mechanic and current small business owner, Rohr doesn’t back down from problems. He fixes them. He chose to keep the doors open.
From then on, he did everything he could to bring his staff back, including foregoing a paycheck.
“I really wanted to make sure they had a home to come back to,” Rohr said.
Just under a year later, Flood Valley is releasing a new beer that Rohr created in collaboration with Jones Creek Brewing, a Pe Ell-based business.
And besides the employees who moved on, he was able to bring everyone back.
With the release of their new citrus-forward “Chehalis Ave” IPA, Flood Valley adds the third beer to its collection of Rohr’s recipes.
The other two are the “Fort Borst” brown ale, also brewed at Jones Creek in Pe Ell, and the “Cuban Connection” IPA, which is a collaboration with Five Dons Brewing Co in Longview.
The creation of these beers gave Rohr the opportunity to add to his menu while helping out other local businesses that were also going through tough times.
Rohr believes that his taphouse and others like it can offer a different atmosphere than typical bars.
For Flood Valley, they showcase locally made craft beers and a creative menu. During The Chronicle’s latest conversation with Rohr, a group of customers walked through the door and one shouted, “We are here for the best burger in town.”
Rohr’s hands-on approach allows him to remember his customers and develop relationships with them. He isn’t trying to turn over tables at record speed; he wants people to feel welcome to come in and have a good time.
To him, the craft beer industry is all about a culture of creativity and fun.
“It’s not about getting drunk,” Rohr said. “It’s about enjoying good things.”
And with every pint, Rohr brings joy to the community that brought him through his darkest hour. “Community support and my hard work is the only thing that’s built me to this point,” he said.
But the work is not over yet.
Rohr’s ultimate vision is to turn Flood Valley into its own brewery. In the meantime, he’s just glad his doors are open.
More Information on Flood Valley
Facebook: Flood Valley Brewing Craft Taphouse
Hours: Monday through Friday, 12 to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: 289 NW Chehalis Ave, Chehalis