If you’re a fan of craft beer, you might be tempted to try homebrewing — if only it wasn’t (to quote my colleague Ryan Lawler) “a pain in the ass.”
Startup PicoBew has built a machine called Zymatic that should make the process a lot easier, automating the brewing process and making it more consistent. PicoBrew’s Greg White even pitched it (half-jokingly, I think) as an “Internet of Beer” device: “The Internet of Things was so last week.”
“It’s all cloud based, too,” he said, adding, “We actually have recipe crafters, recipes libraries online. You pull recipes from the cloud to your machine. There’s a little bit of AI in the crafter, too, so it can solve your taste preferences, filling in ingredients. Every 60 seconds it’s dialing home telling us the health of your brew.”
The initial steps, including mashing, takes about three hours, followed by days or weeks of fermenting, depending on the recipe.
The Zymatic machine is currently available for preorder — it’s $1,699 for just the machine, or $1,799 with a keg. As for obtaining the ingredients, White said that many home brewers already have their favorite shops, though PicoBrew can also provide recommendations.
And yes, when Ryan and I swung by the PicoBrew booth at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this week, they did have some beer behind the counter. I’m not a connoisseur, so I can’t give you a detailed description of the taste — but I certainly enjoyed sampling some good beer in the middle of all the CES madness.