Amid the swell of hype surrounding 3D printing during the past decade, I found myself saying one thing countless times: "Sure, a T-Rex-shaped shower head is cool, but please wake me up when I can go into my kitchen and download a delicious cold brewski -- because that's what I'm really interested in."
And while the my futuristic dream hasn't quite come to fruition, the new PicoBrew Pico kit -- designed so amateur brewers can efficiently brew their favorite craft varieties, basically from scratch -- is a beautiful reality. Using pre-made packets (kind of like a Keurig), you can brew fresh mini-kegs from craft breweries like Rogue, Bayou Teche, Dogfish Head, and Tallgrass, all in the comfort of your own kitchen. While PicoBrew's previous venture into the brewing market was specifically geared toward professional beer makers, the Pico is slanted toward home-brewing enthusiasts, and designed to deliver an ease of use not seen within the market today.
"After years of R&D related to heating, fluid distribution and ingredient packaging, PicoBrew reduced the cost and complexity of the patented processes and technology employed in Zymatic, and designed it into a compact, stylish package. At 12 inches wide and 31 pounds, the Pico, for the first time ever, allows someone with no brewing experience to easily brew five (5) liters of fresh, top-quality craft beer in the comfort of their own kitchen," Pico said in a recent press release, adding that they believe to have "...truly created the craft brewing appliance for beer lovers everywhere."
The beauty of the Pico, is that beer lovers across the country can enjoy regional brews, brewed freshly, on location (more than 50 breweries and brewmasters have signed on to bring their recipes to Pico) -- and, you can get that "home-brewing" experience without having to quit your day job, or turn your garage/basement into laboratory. This slick machine is designed to fit inside your kitchen. And the turn-around is surprisingly efficient for what it delivers.
Essentially, you can brew roughly five liters of beer, overnight (it has to ferment, duh). And the process is relatively easy: "Brewing on Pico is as simple as filling a keg with water, loading the hop and grain modules into the machine and hitting brew," according to PicoBrew.
Pico's online connectivity adds yet another dimension -- it's able to connect to an online database to download brewing recipes from a vast and constantly updating database.
So far, the PicoBrew hit its $200,000 goal on Kickstarter just nine hours after it launched, and (at the time of writing) it's approaching $520,000 raised with more than 35 days left in its campaign. The Pico is set to be available in the Spring of 2016 -- with an MSRP of $999. But, if you jump on the Kickstarter now, you can grab an early-bird special for just under $500.
A small price to pay for a seemingly endless supply of fresh craft beer.