So, after the last post, even I realized that I could have gone into more detail with the pico brewery vs. Nano brewery idea. In that vein here are some more details and thoughts about Pico Brewing!
Some of the characteristic of what would differentiate a pico from a nano from a micro brewery would be the following, in my humble opinion.
1. No debt overhead, be it because the owner can afford the costs of startup on their own, or arrange angel or VC style investments.
2. The brewery is still a "second" job and is considered a part time endeavor, with the owner being the primary employee.
3. For the first year, at least, I would think that barrel output would be under the 1000 barrel mark. Beyond that you start moving into the nano and micro brewery realm, and above.
I wanted to add a 4th item, solely based around the production capacity, but the reality is that my own opinion on what size of a brew setup is necessary to maintain a pico brewery has changed over the last few months.
Initially, the plan, and thought was that you could do this with a 1.5BBL system, but after some deep thougth, I am going to agree with the general community consensus, and say that a 10HL system is about as close to minimal as I would want to recommend to anyone. Would I personally drop down below that, maybe, but that would be a hard call.