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PicoBrew launches professional-grade brewing appliances, new distiller at CES

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PicoBrew has been popular in the home brewing market for years for its flagship Zymatic beer-brewing appliances, but the nearly decade-old startup upped its game considerably at CES 2019 with a line of professional-grade, scalable brewing appliances that could be a gold mine for restaurants, bars, brewpubs and craft breweries, not to mention amateurs who really do party hard.

More CES 2019 coverage

We’ve seen the new brewing appliance before, with a tease of the PicoBrew Z Series appearing right here at Digital Trends back in March of last year. According to the announcements at CES 2019, it looks like the company has been tinkering with the inner workings of the Z Series quite a lot, resulting in a base unit that was able to be pre-ordered at $1,500 previously and now commands a more robust $2,199 at pre-order with a suggested MSRP of $2,500.

The new Z Series from PicoBrew can brew craft beer, cold brew coffee, and kombucha in batch sizes ranging from one to 10 gallons, in two-and-a-half gallon increments. The Z Series is available in four models, ranging from the aforementioned Z1 at $2,500 up to the 10-gallon Z4 model, which carries an MSRP of $8,500 but can be pre-ordered at $7,300. The only way to pre-order a Z Series PicoBrew appliance is directly through the PicoBrew website here starting February 13, 2019.

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“Our new Z Series and our incredibly popular PicoStill™ serve to highlight the growth and expanding focus of PicoBrew from just craft beer to virtually all beverages,” said Dr. Bill Mitchell, CEO of PicoBrew in a release. “We’re now truly a total beverage appliance company with the most extensive pipeline in the industry.”

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Part of the Z Series’ charm is in its adaptability. Not only can companies and restaurants brew up to 10 gallons of the same beer in the Z4 at the same time, they can also use each 2.5-gallon model to brew multiple different beers at the same time. Brewers can also come up with their own recipes or use the company’s proprietary PicoPaks, whose recipes have been developed by more than 200 breweries around the world. The company even runs a popular BrewMarketplace where developers can earn royalties for their creation.

On the hardware side, PicoBrew says the Z Series introduces a new range of features. Because the system is modular, the company’s designers and engineers have made the machine and its components easily serviceable for cleaning, troubleshooting, and repair.  They’ve also replaced and improved several internal components and improved the heat loop by introducing a pressurized water system and more robust filter.

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“Z Series builds on PicoBrew’s pioneering Zymatic and Pico technology and addresses the needs of professional and advanced homebrewers alike,” Mitchell said.  “With a single appliance, restaurant and craft brewery owners can use their own loose grains and coffee to create custom batches precisely and efficiently and scale up production as needed.”

Alongside the Z Series unveiled at CES 2019, PicoBrew also showed off its new PicoStill distilling appliance accessory, which enables customers to distill small batches of spirits as well as to extract essential oils from hops, herbs, and spices to infuse food and beverages. The product is essentially a vacuum-enabled still that mitigates the risk of working with alcohol. The PicoStill is compatible with all Pico brewing appliances. The PicoStill is on the market now for $350.

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