Seattle-based startup PicoBrew is on a mission to democratize beer making, and as part of an ongoing effort to make homebrewing easier and more accessible, the company has recently unveiled a new micro-brewer dubbed Pico — a smaller, simpler version of the company’s original homebrew machine. The first generation brewer, dubbed the Zymatic, allows beer enthusiasts to experiment with different ingredients while the machine handles the brewing process, but the new Pico brewer takes this automation process and goes one step further, bringing the convenience of the Keurig K-Cup to home brewing.
Similar to the Keurig coffee brewer and its associated K-cups, the new Pico brewer uses prepackaged PicoPaks that include all the ingredients necessary to brew beer. You simply place a single PicoPak into the Pico machine, set it to brew, and come back in two hours when the brewing process is complete. But of course, the brewing is only part of the process of making beer. Once the brewing is done, it still takes a few weeks of fermentation before the beer is ready to drink.
PicoBrew is not only looking to entice consumers to adopt the fast and easy brewing of the Pico machine; it’s also marketing the machine to brewmasters and breweries. With its PicoPaks, the new Picobrew machine provides a way for beer makers to introduce their beers to an even greater audience. To that end, PicoBrew is partnering with over 50 breweries, such as Dogfish Head and Rogue, which will sell PikoPaks of their most popular beers.
The new Pico brewer is available to pre-order now via Kickstarter and has already reached its funding goal of $200,000. The fundraising started today with an early bird pledge of $500 for one unit with a single PicoPak, and $549 for a single unit with three PicoPaks. Once these early reservations are gone, the Pico will jump in price to $599, which is still a $400 discount off the brewer’s $999 retail price tag. PicoBrew plans to ship its first Pico brewers sometime around April 2016.