St Peters Brewery

Matt Donelan is someone who marches to a different drum from most other craftbrewers. He doesn’t have a website or own a mobile phone and doesn’t believe in cardboard packaging. He matches his keg prices against Victoria Bitter and is more interested in producing beers that quench a thirst rather than winning awards at competitions. He often wears a black beret and Che Guevara T-shirt and he’s also one of the hardest-working brewers you’ll ever meet, assisted in recent years by his son Michael. ‘It’s my get-richslowly scheme,’ he told me years ago, and the sentiment still rings true behind his ready, self-deprecating laugh. Donelan launched his flagship St Peters Blonde in 2000 before anyone else in Australia had thought of the name. ‘I’d read somewhere that the ‘blonde’ category was the fastest-growing in Europe during the late ’90s when the rest of the beer market was declining,’ he says. ‘And they were popular with women because they were refreshing and had less body and bitterness than other beers.’ The term ‘blonde’ has since been hijacked by bigger players and attached to various lower-carbohydrate brands, though Donelan reckons Cascade Blonde is closest in spirit to his own brew. Apart from St Peters brands, Donelan produces beers for the Pumphouse Bar at Darling Harbour, plus liquid wort-kits for the home-brew market. He also hosts a monthly real ale night at the Nag’s Head Hotel in Glebe, personally pouring hand-pumped ale.

House Style

From the easy-drinking, wheat-based Blonde Ale, pitched at the inner-city Newtown–St Peters area, the range has extended to a medium stout and a cinnamon-infused brew.

Signature Beer

St Peters Blonde

Behind the Label

Brewers don’t come much greener than Matt Donelan who travels to and from work by public transport and distributes his longneck bottled beer with ‘enviro bags’. Green Star is a bottled version of Blonde, which shouts its green-tinged environmental qualities out loud: no cardboard or plastic packaging is used. The Blonde logo is a Marilyn Monroe lookalike and the wheat-based ale was designed to appeal to both blokes who love a lager and sheilas who may not normally drink beer.

Contact Information

15 May Street, St Peters 2044 Tel: (02) 9519 0191 Tours by appointment

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