Brewing for 10 years in Zanesville, OH
Jay and Lori Wince opened their micro brewery, Weasel Boy Brewing Co. in July 2007. They were the first to brew in Zanesville since prohibition legally. Weasel Boy has four regular, year-round brews and twenty others that are seasonal. Before opening the brewery, Jay was a baker for Wendy’s, and Lori was a reporter for This Week newspapers. The establishment only serves draught and growler options. Jay and Lori decided not to bottle their beer because they are not large enough to package the product from a cost component. Their annual production is about 500 barrels. They also have their draught beers available around select locations across Ohio.
Lori and Jay Wince, owners of Weasel Boy Brewing
Initially, Jay and Lori’s biggest challenge was being in a new industry; now the craft brewing industry is booming. The craft beer customer is evolving and looking for something new. There are so many varieties of craft brews and people are always looking to try new things. Jay and Lori work to keep the customers engaged and offer live entertainment. Their atmosphere is alternative with no TVs. They have music groups that tour all over the country stop by and play at the brewery. There is live music every Saturday and most Fridays, no cover charge. They elected since the initiation of Weasel Boy to not have any investors in order to keep the business their own. Very little advertising has ever been incorporated into their business model. A core group of people helped spread the word of the new concept of a micro brewery in Zanesville. Ohio has been easy to deal with to help the industry grow.
The mural on Weasel Boy Brewing’s outdoor patio was done by employees and is now sold on shirts.
Jay and Lori were attracted to NFIB through the recommendation of their accountant, McLain Hill Rugg + Associates. Weasel Boy is also a member of two other trade associates that are specific to the brewing industry. NFIB is important to them because there are so many other issues outside the specific brewing industry ones that NFIB focuses on every day. One piece of legislation Jay would like NFIB to work on to help them as small business owners is to help simplify the tax structure.
Their scope of business is both the service and tourism industries. People stop by as a destination from all over Ohio and the country. Their core customers are from Muskingum country and the central Ohio area. To Jay and Lori, the best part of being a small business owner is being able to get involved with the community and all the people they can meet through the brewery. It is also a perk to not be part of the corporate structure and have control over their own business.
Weasel Boy Brewing hosted the Zanesville Area Action Council, and Congressman Bill Johnson presented them with a 5-year member plaque.
Jay and Lori offer strong encouragement to anyone who would like to open their own small business but advise the individual or group to do extensive research and talk to other small business owners in the industry to understand the challenges. There are hidden costs and a lot of government agencies to deal with when running a business.
Please visit Weasel Boy Brewery’s web page to learn more http://www.weaselboybrewing.com/about/#brewpub.
Follow the brewery on twitter @WezlBoyBrewing and like their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/weaselboybrewing/.