There’s more to life than craft beer. That might be hard for some to swallow, especially in such a beer-crazy place as Seattle. But at PicoBrew, it was time to start thinking about expanding the beverage menu.
The 8-year-old startup that specializes in home-brewing appliances is launching another Kickstarter on Wednesday. This time they’re touting the Pico U, the company’s smallest countertop machine so far, that will take craft brewing beyond just beer and have the ability to create coffee, tea, kombucha, milk-based drinks, yerba mate, horchata and dry sodas.
“Beer brewing is very exacting work,” said Bill Mitchell, PicoBrew co-founder and CEO, in a news release. “When pioneering the world’s first craft beer brewing machine, we had to ensure incredibly precise process control to accurately produce great beers from around the world. We realized this technology also enabled the most precise brewing of coffee and tea and began exploring a broader world of brewed beverages. We’re incredibly happy to introduce this breakthrough fusion brewing technology, and to be able to offer it at our most accessible price point ever.”
The Kickstarter campaign will run through mid-June and feature two bundle options for the new device. Here they are, as described by the company:
- Pico U – Basic: Pico U Basic supports a precision single-serve coffee configuration, which allows you to brew perfect pour-over coffee with your own coffee beans, and to dispense precise-temperature hot water for tea and other beverages. It also includes a small step filter that allows brewing compostable “PicoPak Minis” and a 1-liter Bruet vessel for use in brewing larger batches (4-6 cups) of craft coffee, tea and fusion beverages. Pico U Basic starts at $169 on Kickstarter and will retail for $249.
- Pico U – Deluxe: Pico U Deluxe supports the single-serve configuration and Bruet batches (4-6 cups), but also includes a larger step filter and Pico keg to enable brewing 5-liter batches of craft beer, kombucha and cold-brew coffee. The Deluxe bundle enables brewing of more than one 100 craft beers from the available PicoPaks on PicoBrew’s BrewMarketplace. Pico U Deluxe starts at $189 on Kickstarter and will retail for $299.
Owners of previous appliances, such as the Pico Model C and the Pico Pro, can get an upgrade bundle containing the new smaller step filter and Bruet in order to brew the new assortment of beverages as well. The upgrade bundle starts at $49 on Kickstarter and will retail for $99.
The Pico Model C raised $1,927,217 from 4,301 backers on Kickstarter last spring, setting a record in the crowdfunding site’s food category.
The Pico U measures 13 inches by 9 inches by 10-inches and weighs 10 pounds. It’s WiFi-enabled and control and monitoring can be done through a front panel display as well as through a smartphone app.
The new appliance will be available at retail in the first quarter of 2019.