Kiwi Engine-Uity – Kiwis Find Way To Drink Beer And Save The World

Beer by-product turned into biofuel

New Zealand beer brand DB Export is announcing it is on a mission to harness the power of drinking beer to save the world. In a New Zealand first, DB Export is attempting to make the country's first ever commercially viable biofuel from the by-products of brewing beer. By creating this biofuel, which emits less carbon than petrol, Kiwi men can save the world by doing what they do best – drinking beer.


“DB Export Brewtroleum”, will be made using ethanol derived from the yeast leftover after they finish brewing DB Export. That means every time someone drinks DB Export they’re helping to create an environmentally-friendly petrol that can be used in any modern car that runs on petrol.

Research and testing by DB Export and independent experts found that ethanol could be stripped from the yeast slurry of the brewing process and distilled to produce high-grade bioethanol, a more environmentally friendly fuel created by blending 10% ethanol and 90% premium 98 octane petrol.

Bioethanol created from a by-product of dairy production is already available in select outlets around New Zealand and the world, and is proven to be more environmentally-friendly than normal petrol as it emits less carbon. Now DB Export has joined the crusade and the first sample of bioethanol will be ready for testing in a few weeks.

Head of Domestic Beer Marketing at DB Breweries, Sean O’Donnell said, “Brewtroleum was an idea sparked over a few beers, which presented the opportunity to take the natural by-product of the brewing process and turn it into something that can genuinely help the environment. What’s more, men can help to save the world just by doing what they already love – drinking DB Export.”

O’Donnell adds that Kiwis have a reputation for being “an ingenious bunch and have been coming up with “ideas over beers for years”. DB Export Brewtroleum is an example of one of these clever ideas.

“The Brewtroleum experiment is a way for DB Export to continue the legacy of its Kiwi founder, Morton Coutts, an entrepreneur and “ideas man”. Coutts was renowned for not just having smart ideas, but “doing the doing” and turning them into reality. From inventing a full-functioning x-ray machine at the age of 12, to creating a world-first brewing process, Coutts is the epitome of the “Kiwi doer”.

Following the first sample, the next step will be demonstrating Brewtroleum works via a live pilot, which then will lead to an ambitious world first: making Brewtroleum the first commercially-viable biofuel made from beer. If successful, DB Export Brewtroleum will be made available through a major fuel retailer.

DB Export Brewtroleum is the first in a series of ingenious “ideas over beers” that DB Export will roll out in the coming months as part of its “Made by Doing” campaign
(Made by Doing TVC:

The Brewtroleum experiment – the statistics:

  • DB Export, with the help of its’ distiller partners, is setting out to produce an initial release volume of over 30,000L of ethanol derived from beer by-product which will be mixed with normal petroleum to create Brewtroleum by July 2015
  • Over 58,000 litres of yeast slurry (product leftover from the natural beer brewing process) will go in to the production of Brewtroleum
  • DB Export has been testing and refining the Brewtroleum product since February 2015
  • Biofuel, such as Brewtroleum, can reduce carbon emissions by 8%[1]
  • Biofuel is great for combustion engines with no performance issues vs. normal petrol
  • The yeast slurry is usually distributed to local famers for stock feed and other manufacturers and is often discarded of due to the sheer amount of slurry produced during the brewing process

The Science of Brewtroleum:

  • Ethanol is stripped away from the yeast slurry
  • Ethanol is distilled and refined to 99% purity and can then be used as fuel-grade bioethanol
  • 10% ethanol is mixed with 90% petroleum to produce 98 octane Brewtroleum
  • DB Export is working closely with a number of suppliers including independent laboratories and DB Breweries Head Brewer Dave Eaton to produce Brewtroleum

[1] Comparison of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Gasoline and E85, Ronald Timpe & Ted Aulich, University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center


For further information, interviews, video or images, please contact:
Cassidy Meredith
Spark PR & Activate
Ph: 021 752 586
[email protected]

Interviews are available with DB Head of Domestic Beer Marketing, Sean O’Donnell and DB Breweries Head Brewer Dave Eaton.


  • At just 12 years old, Coutts built himself a full functioning x-ray machine
  • At 13 years old, he built himself a two-way radio station and became the first New Zealander to broadcast a shortwave radio signal and the first person ever to send a radio signal across the equator
  • When Coutts took over the family brewery at 15, he created the world famous ‘Continuous Fermentation’, a ground breaking brewing process where raw materials are added to one end of the system and beer is continuously withdrawn from the other
  • Morton Coutts owned 12 patents, one he is best remembered for is the development of continuous fermentation, patented in 1956, as an alternative to the traditional batch brewing

Q. What is bioethanol?

A. Bioethanol is a more sustainable fuel source created by blending specific ratios of ethanol with petrol. Biofuels are considered renewable as they are produced from biomass, such as algae, sugar cane, dairy by-products, plant based oil or, in this case, the naturally occurring beer by-product, which can be produced year-after-year through sustainable practices.

Q. What is Brewtroleum made up of?
A. Brewtroleum is a high performance 98 octane fuel made with 10% sustainable bioethanol produced from beer brewing by-product. Brewtroleum emits up to 8% less carbon dioxide than other high performance fuels. Brewtroluem is a renewable biofuel that’s more sustainable – so you can enjoy 98 octane fuel with more power and do your bit for the environment.