Pico Brew would probably be one of the companies I’d look to invest in. Aside from my natural interest in beer, they actually have a fairly compelling business proposition that I think has potential.
Pico Brew is a Seattle based startup that is designing and building a home brewer’s kit that’s roughly the size of an espresso machine. It simplifies a traditionally complicated, wildly inconsistent process by allowing users to literally input ingredients (water, hops, barley and yeast) and wait. I mention home brewing kit, but that’s almost a bit of a disservice, as most home brewer’s kits involve buckets. Pico Brew, however, applies technology to improve a process that has changed very little for thousands of years.
At $1600 a pop, this isn’t for your typical “I enjoy the occasional beer” common-man. No. This is for the guy that’s spent countless hours brewing a 5-gallon batch of beer, only to find out, weeks later, the beer is “skunky”. While this is a somewhat niche market, it doesn’t take a genius to project the long term growth potential when you begin factoring in commercial customers – be it mom & pop pubs and small scale breweries.
Technology aside, what I’m impressed by is how these guys have managed to string together endorsements from the who’s who of both the home brewing and micro-brewing communities. It means that they’ve demonstrated their product works well enough to win over critics. (I’ve tried the beer from a Pico Brew machine and it’s actually really good).