There's a new device on the market for those who want to be able to brew beer at home on-demand. According to Bloomberg, PicoBrew — which is founded by ex-Microsoft vice president Bill Mitchell — has launched a new machine simply known as the Pico. The Pico uses prepackaged pods to brew beer similar to how the Keurig makes coffee, except instead of making one cup, it makes 5-liter batches.
The pods are the biggest advantage of the Pico, which is about the size of a large microwave. Instead of "loading up loose ingredients according to a recipe," users simply have to dump the contents of a pod — which include grains and hops — and some yeast (which comes in a separate pod) into the device to make beer. Currently, Pico offers PicoPaks (its term for pods) from 50 craft breweries including Dogfish Head, Rogue Ales, Elysian Brewing, and Peru's Cervecería Barbarian, notes the Kickstarter campaign. The packs start at around $19 for a 5-liter batch.
The downside, Bloomberg notes, is that the device doesn't contain the "mini keg" where the beer is stored, so your counter needs to have space for that too. Plus, you have to have room in your fridge to chill the beer as well. And the device is 30 pounds which means that it isn't the easiest to move around. The price point of the device is also a little steep. When the Pico hits the market in spring 2016, one unit will retail for around $1,000. However, those who pre-order the device through the Kickstarter can purchase one for $499.
This isn't PicoBrew's first Kickstarter campaign. Earlier this year, the company launched a campaign for a smart kegerator called KegSmarts. The device tracks how many servings are left in a keg and maintains beer at the "perfect temperature." It also shows users how fresh the beer is and display details about what style of beer it contains. Watch a video about the Pico below: