The craft beer scene was a bit different when Jay and Lori Wince launched Weasel Boy Brewing Co. in Zanesville a decade ago.



For starters, there were only 39 breweries, give or take a couple, scattered across Ohio — most of them concentrated in the Cleveland area.



Beer drinkers were still learning to embrace craft — with some turned off by hop bitterness.



And beer festivals were far and few between — Weasel Boy was one of just six breweries to participate in a tasting in Columbus early on.



“It’s been an exciting run,” Jay Wince said when asked to reflect on the brewpub and music venue’s upcoming 10th anniversary. “Sometimes, it feels like it’s been 10 years and sometimes it feels like it’s been last week.”



Weasel Boy, which owes its name to the Winces’ love of ferrets, will observe its anniversary with a weeklong celebration July 11-16 that will include:



• A special tasting of the 2007 and 2012 versions of Anastasia Russian Imperial Stout. The brewery won Great American Beer Festival medals those years, taking home gold in 2012. Jay Wince calls the medals one of the proudest moments of his brewing career, especially being able to win twice with the same beer.



• The release of a smoked version of Anastasia aged on vanilla beans and cocoa nibs.



• The release of a new logo. The current logo features a cartoon weasel holding a bottle cap with its long pink tongue rolling out of its mouth. The new black-and-white image — designed by Jeff Carr of Newark — depicts that original weasel but as a skeleton holding an “X,” as in the Roman numeral.



• Live music July 14-16, with Cello Fury performing on July 16.



Weasel Boy, which hugs the Muskingum River, brewed its first batch of beer July 15, 2007. At the time, Jay Wince was a supervisor at a wholesale bakery and Lori Wince was a newspaper reporter.



With a seven-barrel brewing system, they focused on draft beer only and gave their beers weasel-related names such as Plaid Ferret Scottish Ale, Brown Stoat Stout and Dancing Ferret IPA. The brewery also added live music and handmade pizza.



Weasel Boy was one of the first craft breweries to open outside the major metropolitan areas in Ohio.



“After a slow start, the local community really started to respond with what we were doing — focusing on our beer only, our entertainment and our little bit different style of pizza that is generally done around here. We’re the only whole grain pizza around here that I know of,” Jay Wince said. “I think they finally bought in ... We kind of hit our stride there in the middle of the 10-year run and we’ve stayed really consistent.”



The local food and local drink movement — with people seeking out products made in their communities — helped significantly.



Over the years, there have been plenty of highlights for the Winces, who have been active in the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. In addition winning medals at the Great American Beer Festival, they partnered with Irish brewer West Kerry Brewery to make a collaboration beer and reinvented pre-Prohibition lagers once made by The Simon Linser Brewing Co. They also have become more involved in fundraisers such as Beer for Boobs and community activities.



They also recently saw a second craft brewery open in Zanesville -- Y-Bridge Brewing Co. Jay Wince said he was a little surprised that didn't happen earlier, given the growth in the industry.



The Winces have seen a substantial change in craft beer customers over the years, particularly their knowledge.



“People have a much better handle on what they are going after,” Jay Wince said. “I think they know what they are looking for now. Back then, it was all unknown territory for people coming into the craft scene. They knew the big guys. They knew Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and they knew Samuel Adams Boston Lager. They knew the nationals, and Great Lakes, of course...



“When a lot of the small breweries introduced beers, they weren’t really sure what they were all about.”



Weasel Boy has seen the tremendous growth in distribution throughout the industry, but Jay Wince said the brewery has no interest in chasing customers in bottles and cans.



“We’re not a brewery that has any plans build a production facility or grandiose expansion plans or any plans to package,” Jay Wince said. “We’re a brewpub first and foremost and probably only. That was always our plan to begin with.”



The brewpub produces about 500 barrels a year. The Winces envision always making between 500 and 1,000 barrels.



“We’re happy with that,” Jay Wince said. “We’re comfortable with that level of business. We put in our hours but at the same time we’re not overwhelmed by the big side of the brewery business. To us, it’s a small town brewery and we’re happy to be there.”