An Internet-Powered Beer-Making Robot…What Could Go Wrong?
Geoffrey A. Fowler journeys into the dark heart of computerized homebrewing with PicoBrew, an internet-connected beer maker.

Fresh beer tastes best but, for the love of Duff, do you know what a pain it is to make? After you dedicate a day to simmering sugar out of grains, you’re stuck for a couple weeks babysitting yeast as it works its magic. Miss any minutiae, and congratulations, you’ve got skunk juice.

Homebrewing beer is the perfect task for someone with surplus patience and attention to detail. Or maybe a robot.

That’s why a robot has been making my beer of late. I’d never homebrewed until I got a PicoBrew Pico, an $800 internet-connected kitchen contraption. I named mine iHops. It works like those pod-based coffeemakers… except, for beer! Pop in a sealed pack of grains and hops, and the Pico expertly cooks its contents, then fills a keg with the brew. Sprinkle in yeast, and you’re a week away from your very own beer.