Ex-Microsoft craft ale buffs rattle tankard for desktop brewery

PicoBrew promises no-hassle custom beer

US home-brew tech outfit PicoBrew has raced past its Kickstarter fundraising target for its Pico "fully automatic craft beer brewing appliance".

The device will produce five litre batches of "fresh personalized craft beer" in 5-7 days with minimum hassle, thanks to "convenient pre-packaged ingredient PicoPaks produced by over 50 of the worlds most interesting craft breweries."

PicoBrew was founded by Dr Bill Mitchell – a former Microsoft vice president – and his brother Jim, a food scientist. With hardware engineer Avi Geiger – another Microsoft veteran – they produced the Zymatic, a somewhat heftier machine than the Pico and, according to the manual, requiring a lot more user input into the brewing process.

The first 12 PicoPak flavours, offered with the PicoBrew as part of the Kickstarter campaign, are based on brewery recipes created for the Zymatic. The forthcoming "BrewMarketplace" will give access to a far more ample range of options, both professionally and home-brewer developed.

PicoPak prices are not noted, but Bloomberg says they'll start at $19.

Estimated PicoBrew delivery for Kickstarter backers is April 2016. For $499, thirsty backers in Canada and US only can get a Pico and PicoPak, but if you want the same delivered worldwide, you'll need to pledge $599. The ultimate retail price will be $1,000.®

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