Pico: The Keurig of Beer?

Check out what Forbes Magazine is calling the Keurig of beer! The Pico is a kitchen appliance that makes fresh homebrew with just the push of a button. Created by Microsoft ex-vice president Bill Mitchell, this nifty machine uses pre-packaged ingredient pods to take the hassle out of homebrewing.

Now, we all love beer from around the world, but not knowing how fresh it really is can make buying foreign beers a huge gamble. But fear no more! Last week, picoMicrosoft ex-vice president Bill Mitchell unveiled his latest creation, and it’s going to change the way we imagine homebrewing. The Pico, by PicoBrew, is a microwave-sized kitchen appliance that brews beer with just the push of a button, eliminating the hassle of brewing. Long gone are the days when we’d have to take time off work just to homebrew. The Pico makes brewing simpler than ever, and on top of that, it brings foreign beer right into our kitchens.

It works just like a Keurig Coffee Machine – instead of loose ingredients, the Pico uses pre-made pods (called “Picopaks”) that get placed in the machine. Then, you dial in how much bitterness and alcohol you want, push a button, and you’re brewing away. That’s it. Now, although you’ve still got to wait for your beer to ferment it’s about as on-demand as beer can get.

But what’s really exciting is that PicoBrew is working with breweries and homebrew clubs from around the world to bring their favorite recipes straight to your kitchen. Want to try a Peruvian IPA? No problem. Missed your favorite seasonal release? Don’t worry; you can just make up a batch at home. To give just a few examples, Rogue Ales, Propeller Brewing Company, and Quebec’s Dieu De Ciel are all designing recipes specifically for the Pico.

While there’s definitely no shortage of variety, it’s worth mentioning that the pods used by the Pico make it difficult to tinker and add a personal touch to your beer. If you’re a hobby brewer you might find that you sacrifice a little too much freedom for the Pico’s convenience. But if you’re in it for the freshest possible beer, it doesn’t get better than this. Besides, it shouldn’t be too long before someone figures out a way to build their own Picopaks.

Perhaps the coolest part about the Pico is that PicoBrew has created an online marketplace for users to swap their own recipes. So if you’re looking for something off the beaten track you can try some creations from homebrew veterans around the world – and it goes both ways, if you’ve got a killer stout recipe, put it online so we can all enjoy it.

The Pico is on track to be available next spring priced at $1000. But if you donate to their Kickstarter, you can order it now for half the price. Great way to do some hassle-free homebrewing!



Dave Wheaton – CAMRA Vancouver Contributer





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