The newest line of automated beer brewing machines from the Seattle company, the Z series, is made for those who want the option of making bigger batches of brews.

Share story

PicoBrew is making a move into craft breweries and restaurants, but the startup says it will still be available to brew beer on your kitchen counter.

The newest line of automated beer brewing machines from the Seattle company, the Z series, is made for those who want the option of making bigger batches of brews – think restaurants, bars, breweries and serious individual beer lovers.

PicoBrew launched about five years ago with a home brewing machine, the Zymatic, that was about the size of a microwave oven and aimed to automate some of the beer-making process, making it easier for aspiring garage brewers.

So far, about 2,700 Zymatic units have sold and about half went to professional brewers who wanted to make pilot batches of new beers, said PicoBrew founder and CEO Bill Mitchell.

Most Read Business Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

PicoBrew has since announced smaller brewing units that more compactly fit into a home and come with curated ingredient packs, if the brewer desires. That Pico series will still be available.

But the Zymatic — which could brew only 2.5 gallons — will be replaced by the Z series. It allows brewers to make between 1 and 10 gallons at a time, a larger capacity that commercial brewers wanted.

The Z series allows brewers to add or remove some components depending on how big a batch they’re brewing, an idea that former Microsoft executive Mitchell modeled on the scalability of data centers.

PicoBrew has relied on Kickstarter to launch its product sales in the past, but this time it’s moving away from the consumer-focused website. Instead, it will take orders on its site beginning today.

The Zymatic is still currently on sale for $1,999 and the small Pico C costs $449. The Z series, available in June, costs between $1,499 for a machine that makes 2.5 gallons of beer to $3,999 for a 10-gallon unit.