The driveway and parking lots are paved.
The walls are up.
The giant logo is on the front of the building.
And the 170-barrel brewhouse and other brewing equipment are on the way from Germany.
The new U.S. headquarters and production brewery for Scottish brewer BrewDog — a 100,000-square-foot space set on 43 acres in this Columbus suburb — is rounding into shape.
BrewDog USA, as it’s known, hopes to release its first beers in cans and on draft in February.
“We’re looking forward to unleashing our hopped-up hardcore beers on the American landscape,” co-founder James Watt said.
BrewDog, known for its punk attitude and the Brew Dogs TV show, made a splash last year when it announced it would open a $30 million brewery in the U.S., choosing Central Ohio as its new home.
BrewDog is expected to bring an international spotlight not only to the Columbus beer market, but also Ohio, which has seen explosive growth over the last few years in new breweries. The state has issued more than 190 brewing licenses, although some brewers hold more than one.
“The Ohio craft scene is super strong,” said Tim Hawn, BrewDog head of production who came from Dogfish Head Craft Ales.
BrewDog will feature a restaurant called DogTap and the brewery announced that it plans to open a separate pub in the Franklinton neighborhood near downtown Columbus. BrewDog, an international brand, operates about 30 pubs around the world.
There wasn’t much to see at the brewery during a recent tour, considering the facility is just a shell now without the equipment.
Hawn pointed out where the quality control laboratory, restaurant, offices, outdoor fermenters, brewhouse and other equipment will be located.
He also noted that the facility will feature an industrial look, with plenty of gray, black and white colors.
BrewDog USA will have the ability to produce small batch and exclusive beers for the local and U.S. markets.
Hawn said he’s looking forward to having the freedom to design those special beers, in addition to brewing flagship brands such as Punk IPA and Dead Pony Club.
BrewDog has accumulated a big following and passionate fans thanks to its punk approach, the television program and infamous The End of History, a 55 percent Belgian-style ale that featured bottles inserted into the taxidermy carcasses of grey squirrels and stoats.
Earlier this year, BrewDog launched a $50 million Equity for Punks USA campaign, which has raised $2.5 million from 3,000 investors so far.
One of those investors is Renato Ghiraldi, 28, an automotive engineer from the Detroit area who attended a “general mayhem” meeting last weekend at the brewery.
“Their beer rocks. They are awesome,” he said.
Ghiraldi, who first tasted BrewDog while living in Brazil and then later in Europe, loves the brewery so much he got the BrewDog logo tattooed on his shoulder.
He’s thrilled that the brewery will be producing beer in the U.S.
Adam Benner, co-founder of Land-Grant Brewing Co. in Columbus, also is pleased with BrewDog’s arrival.
“I think it’s good for Columbus,” he said. “Columbus is a young brewing scene and having them here is not bad.”
BrewDog in Columbus
Watt is excited about entering the Ohio market.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s an incredibly exciting, eclectic scene and we’re really looking forward to being a part of it.”
At the general mayhem meeting, BrewDog beers were served alongside those from Ohio brewers Land-Grant, Seventh Son, Rockmill, Fat Head’s and Rhinegeist, along with Dogfish Head and Stone.
Watt has no concerns about BrewDog making inroads in the growing, and crowded, craft beer industry here.
“Craft beer is anticipated to account for 20 percent of the wider beer market by 2020, according to the Brewers Association,” he said. “With that in mind, there is no doubt that there is room for more awesome breweries and beers on the scene. It’s far from saturated.”
“We’re also completely confident in our beer,” he continued. “We’ve been carefully honing our recipes and our team for the past eight years and we’ll be transplanting all that knowledge and experience from Scotland to Ohio.”