DB Export trucks were out in force at Gull Omahu Night'n Day on Saturday morning, but there was no beer in sight.

Instead, people scrambled to take advantage of free Brewtroleum - fuel made from a DB Export byproduct - which was dished out in the form of vouchers. The owners, Karen and Perry Laurent, said the giveaway was brilliant "with a lot of happy folks".

In June last year, after teaming up with Gull petrol stations, DB Export's Brewtroleum became the country's first commercially viable biofuel from the by-products of brewing beer.

There were television advertisements and social media posts touting, "drink DB Export and help save the world", to increase beer demand which increased the byproduct, yeast slurry, to make petrol.


Yeast slurry is usually sold off to farmers for cattle feed. It still has ethanol coming off it and during "ideas over beers" the team at DB Export dreamed up the idea of using it to power cars.

After refining the yeast slurry a total 30,000 litres of ethanol was produced before it was mixed with petrol at a rate of 10 per cent ethanol, 90 per cent petrol, DB spokesman Simon Smith said.

In total 300,000 litres of Brewtroleum was produced and sold at Gull stations for six weeks throughout New Zealand.

It was the left-over 1800 litres from this which motorists were nabbing on Saturday.

Mr Smith said about 90 $20 vouchers were given out at the Omahu Rd Gull station within hours, with the first taken at 8am and the last at about 10.15am.

He said a post on Facebook about a month ago asked people which region was most deserving of the remaining 1800 litres of 98 octane Brewtroleum and this station made the cut.

The owners said they were overcome by the amount of support shown by locals for the event.

"Many thanks must be given to both DB and Gull for the Brewtroleum given to the Hastings folks."


A team from Auckland helped out during the giveaway, police and traffic management were also in force to ensure smooth running of the event.

The petrol retails for a similar price as other fuel. Mr Smith said a brewery in Mexico as well as others overseas had contacted them for advice.

The Gull website states brewtroleum is a cleaner 98 octane fuel because it uses natural waste extracted during the brewing process. It states Gull is New Zealand's leading biofuels retailer.

Plans are in the pipeline for more Brewtroleum to be produced by mid year, but recent developments at the refinery need to be completed before production can get under way.