The PicoBrew Z brewing system

PicoBrew announced this week that the first Picobrew Z1 has rolled off the production line and made its way to the customer, local food pioneer Ron Zimmerman of the Herbfarm.

As you might recall, the Picobrew Z series is PicoBrew’s attempt to fill the gap between the home and pro markets with a modular brewing system that allows aspiring brewing pros (or really heavy drinking home brewers) to scale up to 10 gallons per brew.

Here’s how PicoBrew CEO Bill Mitchell described the Z series in February:

We’re introducing the PicoBrew Z Series, our first professional-grade, all-grain brewing appliance line. While we have been very successful with 2 generations of consumer Pico machines, we have not yet addressed the needs of the prosumer and professional audience since the launch of our original Zymatic…until now! Reap the benefits of larger batch sizes from 1 to 10 gallons, rugged, maintainable, industrial grade components designed for professional use and more with the new PicoBrew Z Series.

As a pioneer in the local food movement,  one might wonder why Herbfarm founder Ron Zimmerman would embrace a beer brewing robot. As it turns out, he’s been using the original Zymatic for years to brew his own locally sourced recipes:

Ron’s a long-time beer brewer who learned the craft using a traditional gas-fired setup. Several years ago, he discovered the magic of the PicoBrew Zymatic™ and he was hooked!  The proud owner of several Pico™ units as well, Ron recently acquired a second Zymatic to help him brew over 30 batches of his own Amber Waves recipe for his famous 100-mile dinner, and also to test, refine, and publish his Amber Waves PicoPak on BrewMarketplace.

Shipping the Z1 is an important milestone for PicoBrew, which experienced a setback in June when it decided to cancel the Kickstarter campaign for the Pico U. At the time, Mitchell said the company had a “lot on our plates right now” and pointed to the still-to-ship products in the PicoStill and Z series. With both now shipping, it will be interesting to see if the company relaunches its crowdfunding effort for the Pico U (which PicoBrew has indicated will still ship in the first half of 2019) later this fall.

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