Can Colenso & DB Export save the entire world?

Editor TVCs, News Make a Comment

Colenso BBDO has announced its intention to harness the power of drinking beer to save the world. In a New Zealand first, the agency and its client DB Export are 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, Kiwis can save the world by doing what they do best – drinking beer,” says DB head of domestic beer marketing Sean O’Donnell.

DB Export Brewtroleum will be made using ethanol derived from beer by-product which will be mixed with normal petroleum to create Brewtroleum. “That means every time someone drinks DB Export they’re helping to create an environmentally-friendly biofuel that can be used in any combustion engine that runs on petrol,” O’Donnell reckons.

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 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. Now DB Export has joined the crusade and the first sample of bioethanol will be ready for testing in a few weeks.

“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,” says O’Donnell. “What’s more, men can help to save the world just by doing what they already love – drinking DB Export.”

He says New Zealanders have been coming up with “ideas over beers” for years and 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 founder, Morton Coutts, an entrepreneur and ideas man. Coutts was renowned for not just having smart ideas, but 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 one of the country’s major fuel retailers, meaning all Kiwis can get involved.

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.

The Brewtroleum experiment – the statistics:

  • DB Export, with its distillers, is setting out to produce an initial release volume of over 30,000L of ethanol
  • 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 Petroleum Laboratories (IPL) and DB Breweries Head Brewer Dave Eaton to produce Brewtroleum


DB Breweries

Marketing Director: Maud Meijboom-van Wel
Head of Domestic Marketing: Sean O’Donnell
Marketing Manager: Tony Wheeler
Senior Communications Advisor: Simon Smith

Colenso BBDO

Creative Chairman: Nick Worthington
Copywriter: Simon Vicars
Art Director: Brett Colliver
Copywriter: Matt Lawson
Art Director: Andre Sallowicz
Head of Planning: Andy McLeish
Head of Account Management: Angela Watson
Business Director: Brodie Reid

Spark PR & Activate

Managing Partner: Robin Wilson
Client Services Director: Kristy Mayo
Head of Content: Mike Harland
Account Director: Cassidy Meredith
Account Manager: Lucy Harris
Senior Account Executive: Lauren Hunt


General Manager: Todd Wackrow
Account Manager: Rory Braatvedt

Spark PHD

Media Director: Amanda Palenski
Media Planner: Harriet Finnigan
Senior Trader: Lisa Rainger


Digital Director: Jas Gierlinski
Digital Media Manager: Kat  Burnett

Share this Post