For years, the Seattle-based homebrew startup PicoBrew has attempted to revolutionize the experience of crafting beer from the comfort of your own home. With its countertop brew machine dubbed the Pico, anyone willing to shell out $800 for a kitchen appliance could concoct fresh beer similar to the way traditional homebrewers do. After bringing this innovative homebrew tech to the masses, PicoBrew one-upped themselves at CES 2017 by unveiling what it is calling the FreeStyle PicoPak. In short, FreeStyle PicoPaks let anyone piece together a uniquely blended beer.
To give PicoBrew’s FreeStyle PicoPaks a go, users simply visit the company’s online BrewMarketplace and select from a handful of base recipes. Be it an American IPA, an American lager, or imperial stout, the BrewMarketplace merely provides users a starting point before opening the floodgates for absolute customization. Add or remove specific amounts of hops to increase or decrease a creation’s bitterness and hoppiness, add grains to kick up the alcohol content, or go a little wild by adding chocolate malt to an IPA — the choice is completely up to the user.
Aside from having a full-on custom brewery at its user’s fingertips, PicoBrew also brings beers from world-renown brew pubs right to the Pico itself — no matter where its owners live. Say, for instance, a Pico user lives in Florida but wants to enjoy a nice cold pint of Rogue Ales’ iconic Dead Guy Ale. With Pico, this dream scenario becomes reality with a simple order of a Rogue Dead Guy PicoPak — which retails for $24.
“With Pico, you enjoy the freshest craft beer from award-winning breweries around the world and even customize it to your tastes,” said PicoBrew CEO and co-founder Bill Mitchell.
PicoBrew also features brewpub partnerships with 21st Amendment Brewery, Oakshire Brewing, Steel Toad Brewery, and Upslope Brewing Company, among many, many others. So not only does the company allow for anyone to enjoy a craft beer they would otherwise miss out on — save for actually traveling to the pub itself — but with the Pico, they would have a direct hand in producing the ale entirely on their own. There is certainly no shortage of at-home brew solutions but PicoBrew’s latest offering easily makes it one of the most attractive options.