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An Inside Look at a Corto Sour Beer Tasting

At a Corto sour beer tasting, it’s likely you’ll come across drinks you’ve never tasted before.

On April 21st, Tom poured specially selected sour beers for ticketholders to showcase the range and talent within the often misunderstood style of sour beers, with a springtime feel. In the line-up were Pastore — La Primavera, Tommie Sjef — Sprong, Ammonite — Solera, Wander Beyond — Swoop and Cantillon — Rose de Gambrinus. 

Photographs © James Pinder

So many beautiful things to try!

Each beer was served at a leisurely pace alongside a likeminded friend: the Solera with La Primavera, Swoop and Gambrinus, to show how technique as well as spontaneous fermentation and additional ingredients (if any) can totally change the character of a similar beer. Tom worked his way around the tables chatting about yeast, barrels, malt and bacteria (all favourite subjects) and favourites were chosen and then re-chosen throughout the night.

Sharing these special beers in this way is something we absolutely love to do. There is something so satisfying about opening a big bottle of incredible beer and sharing it out among friends. What’s even more exciting is that we’d not tasted the Ammonite Solera ourselves before the evening, and we’d been super jazzed to try it. Sharp, resonant and blindingly bright, it’s going to be hard not to finish off our remaining stocks ourselves.

At the end of the night, super-generous guest Phil bought a magnum of Burning Sky Assemblage for the whole room to share. We also popped a bottle of Little Earth Project x Mills — Mire that was given to us by Tom and Dani of LEP when they visited a week earlier. It’s called sharing the wealth!!

“It just seems cruel to be given something it turns out I love, only to be told I’ll probably never be able to have it again!” said one of our guests about that bottle of Mire, and we know the feeling. There’s a special kind of sadness that accompanies the tasting of a very special beer (or wine, or cider.) It’s that knowledge that what you’re doing will never be replicable. It’s thrilling, but you can’t help that miniature sense of greed. You don’t want this to be the only one. You want more.

We liken it to visiting a perfect beach on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, or if you want a less lavish example, like when you scrawl your signature absolutely perfectly totally by accident. It was a glorious fluke—a one-off. Our advice is to enjoy the moment while it lingers. And then book on to the next tasting session.