PicoBrew, the Seattle-based makers of craft beer brewing appliances suitable for the homebrewer’s kitchen counter, is upping the game with a new line of automated machines geared toward restaurants, bars, brewpubs and craft breweries.
The Z Series is the startup’s first professional-grade, all-grain brewing appliance line and it will allow larger operations to make small batches of custom beer or kombucha. Homebrewers who have worked with models such as the Pico Model C would also gain the ability to incorporate greater precision and repeatability and create larger batch sizes.
The Z Series will come in four sizes, able to produce between one and 10 gallons of beer at a time. Pre-orders started today and the units will begin shipping in June:
- Z1 produces up to 2.5 gallons per brew cycle (MSRP $2,500, Pre-order for $1,499)
- Z2 produces up to 5 gallons per brew cycle (MSRP $4,000, Pre-order for $1,999)
- Z3 produces up to 7.5 gallons per brew cycle (MSRP $6,000, Pre-order for $2,999)
- Z4 produces up to 10 gallons per brew cycle (MSRP $8,500, Pre-order for $3,999)
Founded in 2010 by Bill Mitchell, a former Microsoft executive, along with his brother, Jim Mitchell, a food scientist, and engineer Avi Geiger, PicoBrew’s first machine, the Zymatic, was introduced in 2013. The Pico Model S, aimed at kitchen-counter brewers, debuted in 2016, and the Model C was introduced in April of last year.
“We have heard the demand for larger brewing-volume solutions from our customers loud and clear,” Bill Mitchell said in a news release. “After almost two years of experimentation and prototyping, we arrived at the Z Series: a modular solution that can meet the needs of advanced homebrewers, bar and restaurant owners and pro-brewers alike.”
PicoBrew also announced the launch of the PicoBrew Network (PBN) for Homebrewers, which Mitchell said, when combined with the company’s existing BrewMarketplace, essentially creates an “App Store for beer.”
Brewers are able to develop their own recipes and publish PicoPaks — the ready-to-brew packages which contain the measured ingredients for beer — that other PicoBrew users can brew. All PBN published brewers earn royalties on their BrewMarketplace sales and receive unique data insights on their customers, the company said in its release.
“While we have all probably dreamed of quitting our day jobs and opening a brewery, startup costs and a competitive landscape make this option unworkable for most homebrewers,” Mitchell said. “The PicoBrew Network (PBN) gives homebrewers the opportunity to distribute the beers they create and earn royalties, while PicoBrew does all the work of marketing, manufacturing and fulfilling the Paks.”