It’s been more than two decades since Rob LoBreglio, co-founder and brewmaster of the Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, first started joking with his friend and former brewing apprentice Tetsuya Kiyosawa about opening a brewery in Kiyosawa’s native Japan. When the talk got serious years later, he pictured spending about half his time in Japan and half in Madison.

Now, as construction is set to begin next week in the picturesque Akiu area of the Japanese city of Sendai, LoBreglio has sold his house in Oregon and bought a place 400 yards from the future brewery, figuring he’ll be spending 95% of his time there for at least the next several years.

“I imagine I’m going to be centered in Akiu for the rest of my life,” LoBreglio said.