St Peter’s Ruby Red Ale

Company info:
St Peters Brewery


Bottle size sampled: 500 mL

Alcohol: 4.3%
Standard drinks: 1.7

Cap type: Non-screw

Cost: I picked this up for $7.99AU

Label info: ‘A rich, red ale with subtle malt undertones and a distinctive spicy hop aroma from Styrian Goldings. Brewed with skill and patience in one of Britain’s finest small breweries.

Historical notes – St Peter’s Brewery is located in a medieval hall in a remote and beautiful corner of Suffolk. There our beers begin their lives deep below the brewery with water drawn from a pure source – as it has been for over 700 years, essential for the full flavour and pure character of all St Peter’s beers.
Our beautiful flask-shaped oval bottle is a faithful copy of one produced c.1770 for Thomas Gerrard of Gibbstown, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The original is now kept at St Peter’s Hall and is a rare example of an oval Eighteenth Century beer bottle’.

What the label really means: If this brewery hasn’t put Suffolk on the map, it sure has been well and truly placed on my mind-map of ‘must see’ places. I gotta see that medieval hall. I gotta see that magical mystical well from which the water is drawn. It’s created an ethereal-like vision for me that I just can’t shake.
I also love knowing that this bottle is a tried and true shape, and has been for such a long time.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: …And speaking of that beautiful flask-shaped bottle….wow. This is the most beautifully designed bottle I have ever seen in my entire life and I simply can’t ignore it when reviewing this bottle’s label. Just holding this bottle makes you bow down and worship St Peter’s Ruby Red Ale as the most awe-inspiring beer of all time before the lid is even cracked. It is…just…wow. I can’t explain this. It fits neatly in the hand and just seems so right. It’s like watching a butterfly emerge from a pool of baby vomit, or a small Chinese man massaging your scalp – it’s just beautiful.
The label, in all its minutely displayed goodness supports this bottle with great enthusiasm. Its sits aloof, staring out to sea without the faintest hint of concern for the approaching ship sure to run aground on those jagged rocks dead ahead. There’s a little bird on the label, possibly a black-bird, a golden key enthroned in its chest. It chirps with a beauty that rocks me awake like church bells in a cemetery. There’s a ring of gold around the label but I don’t even notice it and I go back to holding this bottle in my hand, caressing its sweet, sweet neck ever so gently, rocking it to sleep and mouthing the words to ‘Islands in the Stream’ to an absent crowd.

I give it a label rating of 9 out of 10.

AROMA: More chocolatey than any other beer I have ever sniffed. This is very enticing.

Taste: GLASS – Very chocolate-like in texture and mouth-feel with an ever so subtle coffee bitterness that arrives as an after-taste like the postman who forgot to deliver that Lowes catalogue on the first route. It’s very enjoyable, very flavoursome, very hearty, and very full-bodied. It’s reminding me a little of Kilkenny in taste, without the creamy thickness.

I give it a beer from glass rating of  8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE –
That distinct chocolate taste is there, minus the delicious aroma. It’s good but it’s not quite the whole experience. But, this is completely forgotten when you’re reminded that you are holding the coolest damn bottle in the whole damn world. This beer needs to be consumed from the bottle, I don’t care if I am missing any damn aroma. Hold, drink, caress, sigh. Repeat. 

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Definitely beef…perhaps a gently marinated steak.

Best season to appreciate: A genuine Winter-Warmer. The only difficulty I had reviewing this beer was that the room temp was 25 degrees +. It just didn’t seem right.

All-nighter beer? While I could hold this bottle all night, drinking it all night would be a little more difficult. I think it’s a bit too heavy…but the first couple would be amazing.

Other: My apologies for being MIA last week. I had an ulcer on my tongue that prevented any true tastings taking place. But I am back now and tonguey good.


  1. […] 126. St Peter’s Ruby Red AleHalloween Beer Battle RoyalOKTOBER#FAIL […]


  2. BargeDave says:

    A very fine drop, like so many real ales out of southern England. I agree that the bottle adds to the experience too.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Thought we may have lost you there for a second, BD!


      • Radio Snivins says:

        I thought he’d emigrated to McMurdo Sound. I assume everyone that goes silent has emigrated there. One day I’ll be right.

        Incidentally, you can buy St. Peter’s Ruby Red home brew kits. I saw one at my local beer grower store. They’re 50 walletworms, which is at the steeper end of kits, but you don’t hafta add sugar, and it’ll yield 42 x 500ml bottles. That’d cost you 350 ww’s from Murphett’s.


      • BargeDave says:

        Thanks for noticing. I’ve recently quit my job and thus only log onto the interweb only every few days, rather than every few minutes as is the want of an employed booze-hound.


  3. Radio Snivins says:


  4. Luke says:

    possibly your best review ever, which possibly makes it THE GREATEST BEER REVIEW THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN! … possibly


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Reading back on this review composed late last night, I may have possibly let the 1.7 standard drinks go to my head a little. Possibly.


      • I concur with Luke’s comments, great review. I think we can all remember the first time we saw a butterfly emerge from a pool of baby vom; a wonderous and beautiful thing. As for the beer? Sounds bloody awesome. An oval bottle! I’m tracking this sucker down.


      • Radio Snivins says:

        Possibly, ‘Kazoo, but more possibly not. 1.7 sd’s is an apéritif for seasoned foozenauts like us. No, it’s much likelier the Ruby Red reacted with the SM-33. That can happen. My advice in such circumstances is that ‘Up yer bum!’ becomes less a drinking salution and more an instruction.


      • Radio Snivins says:

        Upon re-read, my above comment sounds a tad harsh. It sounds like I’m tellin’ you to go boil your head. I’m not. What I meant was that the fooze ‘n’ the SM-33 ulcer medication got on like chlorine and brake fluid in a neighbour’s letterbox, and made you addleonioned, a condition that could have been rectified, Gnuk! Gnuk! Gnuk!, if you’d guzzed it murgatorially. That’s what I meant. I shall stick to the ‘nine out of tens’ in the future. There’s a good Radio.


  5. Sandy says:

    Great beer (most of their’s are), but from a retailers point of view – if all bottles we’re this size/shape we’d get 50% less bottles on the shelf!
    Glad it the exception, not the rule…


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