Home Brew Without the Work at CES Unveiled

The Pico: a device from PicoBrew that allows for home brew easier and faster. PicoBrew showed the product at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 3, 2017. It can be purchased for $799 USD from picobrew.com.

By Kyle Davi
BU News Service

LAS VEGAS — You just spent weeks letting your home-brewed beer ferment and carbonate.  The jug opens and the smell of yeast and beer permeate the air.  The fruits of your labor are about to pay off, so you take a little sip for a taste before bottling.  That beer you just spent four weeks waiting for?  It’s horrible!

That exact situation is what PicoBrew is attempting to avoid with the Pico.  The device takes up slightly more room than a Keurig, but instead of making coffee or tea, it produces beer. 

“You can enjoy your own customized craft beer, or get one from award-winning brewers right in your own home,” said CEO and Co-founder of PicoBrew Dr. William Mitchell.

The process of creating home brew with Pico is simple.  You receive two prepackaged boxes in the mail from the company (PicoPaks).  Simply slide the packets into the device, then add water to the Pico and yeast to the Brewing Keg.  Adjust the bitterness and alcohol percentage and wait two hours.

The Pico brews the beer and places it directly into the Brewing Keg.  From there, the beer ferments for around a week.  Pour the finished beer into the Serving Keg, and enjoy five liters of your own beer.

There are so many ways home brewing can go wrong: bitterness, flavor, carbonation, alcohol percentage.  PicoBrew attempts to eliminate all of them.  And that four week process for home brew just dwindled down to one week with Pico.

Biodegradable packs are sent to customers’ doors with hops and grains pre-packaged. These “PikoPaks” are inserted into the Pico device with water to start the brewing process. PicoBrew presented the Pico at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jan. 3, 2017. Photo by Kyle Davi/BU News Service.

Unlike typical Keurig K-cups, Pico uses biodegradable packaging to be more environmentally friendly.  Each “cup” has its own scanning label, so the brewing device knows exactly what recipe the ingredients are for and how to brew it.

Customers can customize and purchase beer recipes online to fit their desired tastes through PicoBrew. They can also have the PikoPaks delivered to their front doors. Prices vary based on ingredients in each recipe. Photo by Kyle Davi/BU News Service.

Eliminating the struggle of brewing at home is only one side of PicoBrew.  Designing and sharing your beer creations is the other.

“You can freestyle your own beer to get it exactly perfect to your taste,” said Mitchell.

Through PicoBrew’s online ordering system, you can order recipes from over 150 different brewers from around the world.  Those recipes can also be customized to fit your desired taste.

For professionals or brewing experts, recipes can be made from scratch.

If you have a custom recipe you enjoy, you can put it up on the PicoBrew forum with your own label.  From there, the company will review the recipe and label to make sure it is appropriate and feasible.  If it passes, your own beer may be on the website for other brewers to purchase.

The best part of this system?  You receive royalty checks from PicoBrew when people buy your recipe online.

“We want our recipes to be pioneered by home brewers so the community gets the best beer possible,” said Mitchell.

Over 150 brewers are part of the global PicoBrew community, including Rogue Ales from Oregon. The Pico device allows customers to brew beer more quickly and easily in their own homes. Photo by Kyle Davi/BU News Service.

The Pico is currently available at picobrew.com for $799. 

You can also purchase the PikoPak inserts from the online store.  Each packet’s price is proportional to the ingredients within the recipe, so prices vary.

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