PicoBrew LLC (http://picobrew.com/) is the company that created the PicoBrew Zymatic, a home brewing machine that they describe as “an espresso maker for beer”. Using this machine, a home brewer can load malted barley and hops into a drawer, set, record, and repeat customized beer recipes, and return in 3 to 4 hours to their very own beer. It re-creates the large vat processing of traditional breweries by combining modern computer technology and skilled machinery craftsmanship.
The market for the device would range from the serious home brewer (again, like the serious at-home barista) to smaller craft breweries who would want to experiment with small batches of new recipes before committing to larger vats or who want to produce small, custom or exclusive runs for customers. It addresses the frustrations of home brewing – from the time, imprecision, and repeatability, to clean up, all of which would provide value to the end customer. As an investor, this is attractive as a blue ocean opportunity in the home and small business appliance market both domestically and internationally as well as for the IP. The product is also priced in a sweet spot (between $1500 and $2000) like a good espresso machine, which would be in the range of where the target market would consider to purchase.
The team is made up of Bill (almost two decades leading hardware design at Microsoft) and Jim Mitchell (built innovative food processing plants), both grandsons of the inventor of Pop Rocks and Tang. A third member, Avi Geiger, also left Microsoft from his role as a hardware architect. Together, the three combined software, design, engineering, and food chemistry experience into an innovative new home device to simplify and automate the small batch craft brewing experience. The company also ran a Kickstarter campaign and received over 4x their target (reached their goal within 34 hours).