Home-brewing has seen large growth in the US over the last decade or so, and one startup to find success with this new legion of craft beer enthusiasts is PicoBrew. Today it has introduced a new counter-top home-brewing device that comes in cheaper than its predecessor, while still maintaining a focus on ease-of-use.
Like company's flagship PicoBrew Zymatic and other makes such as the MiniBrew, the new Pico Model C is aimed at taking much of the hassle out of making beer at home. Such undertakings have typically involved setting up and operating complex and expensive equipment, along with a lot of mess. The emergence of these kinds of devices, however, has given newcomers a much less daunting road to home brew success.
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The Pico Model C is essentially a cheaper version of the company's stainless steel counter-top brewing device, which is priced at US$800. With a black, powder-coated exterior and a simpler two-line OLED display, it will instead retail for $549. While far from pocket change, this still on the affordable side for such a device (the MiniBrew costs over $1,000 to pre-order, for example, while the Zymatic costs $2,000).
Design tweaks aside, the Model C pretty much functions the same way as its predecessor. It can brew 5 l (1.3 gal) of beer, and users begin by adding a PicoPack to water. Think of these like biodegradable coffee pods for beer, containing all the ingredients needed to create beer recipes from craft breweries all around the world. There is also a new Freestyle option to design your own PicoPacks online, along with the ability to tweak them all at brew-time by upping the bitterness or alcohol-content.
The new model comes with a purpose-built Pico C Keg for fermentation that is dishwasher-safe. And to go with the new launch, the company has also built an app called BrewPulse, which is free for iOS and Android and allows users monitor their brewing progress remotely, along with shop for new PicoPaks to try out.
These PicoPacks live in the BrewMarketplace, which the company has previously likened to an app store for beer. Here, they are generally priced between $20 and $30 apiece, but the company has now introduced a subscription service that allows for unlimited packs for $59 a month.
With a Kickstarter campaign now underway, the company is well on its way to reaching its $350,000 goal, with $170,000 raised at the time of writing and 39 days left to run. Early pledges of $279 are available, which will have a Pico Model C headed your way in August if everything goes to plan.
You can check out the pitch video below.