The homebrew appliance wars might be upon us. Last week, Beer Voltron pinned a news announcement to a corpse and sent it riding into town on horseback (we assume), and it said that Anheuser-Busch will be teaming up with Keurig on a new beer-brewing appliance. This will likely pair nicely with its new homebrew supply monopoly.
From the dead man’s note:
The venture, which will bring together the expertise of both companies, will build on the Keurig KOLD technology and system innovations and AB InBev’s brewing and packaging technology, and evolve them within the realm of the full adult beverage category.
The plot here is to make a machine that would deliver the convenience of one-cup dispensers, but for beer. Because, you know, opening a fridge door, selecting a beer and popping the top is one of life’s greatest time-consuming pains. If only there was a machine I could put on my kitchen counter that could make this more convenient! Plus, you can’t beat that feeling of brewing a fresh, commercial beer on demand.
Seems worth noting that the Keurig KOLD machine technology this is being based on was discontinued after disappointing sales.
PicoBrew updates its craft beer appliance gizmo
Now, we don’t really know what the homebrewing love child of these two mega-companies is going to be, but we feel OK in wildly claiming that whatever it is will be inferior to other homebrew appliances already out there.
PicoBrew, one of the first manufacturers of craft beer brewing appliances, is gearing up for this kitchen beer revolution with its new FreeStyle PicoPak BrewCrafter. The FreeStyle feature is a powerful new capability that allows anyone to create custom craft beer PicoPaks for the award-winning Pico beer-brewing appliance. PicoBrew then custom manufactures your PicoPak and delivers it to you fresh and ready-to-brew in several days.
With the PicoBrew BrewCrafter, making a custom craft beer is now as easy as dragging and dropping grains, hops and yeast into a virtual PicoPak.
“The new FreeStyle PicoPak capability and the FreeStyle BrewCrafter tool gives customers the ability to create their own unique craft beers, while PicoBrew does the heavy lifting of sourcing ingredients and producing a tidy compostable brewing package, making the whole homebrewing process easier and more precise,” said Dr. Bill Mitchell, CEO, PicoBrew. “Customization has always been an important goal for us because Pico customers are craft beer aficionados. They like to brew great beers created by the best breweries around the world, but sometimes they also want to create their own unique beers and share them with others. We’re committed to providing both capabilities.”
Oh, and as we were tediously working on that rendering above, PicoBrew also announced that it’s developing a line of commercial craft beer brewing appliances for bars and restaurants. The products, code-named “Indy,” will be available in 2017.
How it works
Pico is an automated, IoT, beer brewing appliance that can brew five liters of craft beer in about two hours and has a grain-to-glass serving time of just seven to 10 days, depending on the recipe. It uses PicoPak ingredient packs, which contain the fresh hops and grains needed to brew fresh, brew-pub quality craft beers. With the push of a button, Pico recognizes the PicoPak inserted and follows brewing process instructions transmitted over a local Wi-Fi connection. The design of the Pico fits on a kitchen or bar counter top.
To make their own custom brews, Pico users can select from a variety of “known-good” baseline beer recipes to get them started, including an IPA, a porter, a stout and more. Next, they simply drag and drop grains and hops in or out of their FreeStyle PicoPak to achieve the flavor, color and alcohol level desired. The BrewCrafter provides predictive guidance along the way, suggesting a balanced mix of ingredients to ensure creation of a delicious beer recipe. Customers give their creations their own unique names and even have options for how the PicoPak are laser-etched on the front of their packaging.
In addition to the new FreeStyle PicoPak capability, PicoBrew also offers PicoPaks created in collaboration its 150 brewery partners, such as 21st Amendment and Rogue Ales, so that homebrewers can make fresh craft beer from regional breweries no matter where they live. Currently, 60 craft beer recipes are available with more being added continually.