Home kitchens are increasingly outfitted to churn out homemade versions of everyday staples and even speciality foods that keep us from having to buy them at the store. There are countertop appliances to make great coffee, quick seltzer, fresh bread, and even homemade yogurt. Now, there’s one that allows us to brew craft beer with hardly any more than the touch of a button. Pico is a new craft beer home brewing machine that allows anyone to make 5 liter mini-kegs of professional quality craft beer in just a few hours, with hardly any hands on time. No joke.
This kitchen gadget is so cool, it might even make beer lovers out of us.
Pico is the new version of PicoBrew’s first product, the award-winning Zymatic. The new iteration of the countertop home brewer is smaller and more affordable than the original. It also uses PicoPacks, pre-packaged beer-making ingredient kits made by quality breweries who have partnered with PicoBrew, including Dogfish Head and Rogue, that will sell for anywhere between $18-30. Serious business. In fact, Ty Pendlebury at CNET reports, “I tasted two beers created by the machine and both were a huge step up from any home brew I’ve ever tried. They tasted like craft beers I would pay money for.”
Working Pico seems relatively easy: Once you add your PicoPack and water to the right compartments, you set customized levels for bitterness and alcohol content. Then, allow the machine to brew which takes about 2 hours. After that, the beer needs to ferment, of course, which takes time. But after a week or longer, depending on your brew, you add bubbles and sip. Real craft beer, as fresh as it comes.
You won’t be able to create your own grain blend with this machine since it only works with the pre-packaged PicoPacks, but they already offer a wide variety of brews and more are being added all of the time. If you’re super serious about beer and want a home brewer that allows you to totally customize the result, the original Zymatic is still available.
Honestly, I barely drink beer and I kind of want a Pico. It sounds incredibly cool and is getting good reviews. I can’t imagine that your favorite beer-lover or home brewing hobbyist wouldn’t love this—or, if you prefer beer to wine or cocktails, that you wouldn’t want to treat yourself. But a treat it is. Pico is expected to retail for $1,000, though it’s currently available for much less on their Kickstarter page.
It’s still totally a splurge but, if you’re so inclined and with the holidays coming up, it might be worth spoiling someone in your life—or yourself—with nearly a 50% savings. Just saying.
PicoBrewer is expected to hit the market in Spring 2016. There are currently early bird packages starting at $559 still available at the PicoBrewer Kickstarter that will get you the PicoBrew machine and varying combinations of PicoPacks.