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UK Roadmap? What does that mean?

when is corto opening?

Yesterday we were feeling all kinds of nerves. The lockdown has been many things over the past 10 months (10 months!!), but in the not-to-distant future it’s about to be something we kindof felt like it might never be: OVER.

Staying safe has been our number one priority ever since we opened our little shop in December — the safety of everyone has always been at the front of our minds. Going into deliveries only territory was strange and unfamiliar, but if it meant people were safer, we were happy to do it.

Now the lockdown’s got some end dates, it’s a bit weird, isn’t it? It felt like it would go on forever. We all definitely want it to end, but now it’s going to be over we’re feeling a bit like — oh! What a surprise! Okay! Better get planning then!

So the first thing we want to chat about is our first opening dates. What does the UK Roadmap for lifting lockdown mean for Corto?

The rules, according to the BBC news explainer (which is super helpful for all aspects of life outside of lockdown btw), say the following:

  • 12th April 2021: All shops allowed to open
  • 17th May 2021: Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors

We weren’t sure if the law will allow “hospitality venues” to sell alcohol to take away after the 12th April. James from SIBA reckons it is though, and we trust him!

So, this means:

Corto will be open as a shop from April 12th 2021

We will be planning Corto opening parties to start from the week of May 17th 2021

So keep your eyes open for announcements in the coming weeks! We’ve got some stuff to share…

Pubs will be allowed to open up their beer gardens earlier than this, on the 12th April, but we don’t have any outdoor space so this doesn’t apply to us. No, we can’t put benches on the pavement (unless the council wants to close off the main streets to traffic for a little while for some continental vibes? Might be a shout?) 

So until May, see you in our shop, or out the back of The Swan With Two Necks with a pint of Lagonda!

Stay positive

We’re not silly. We know that things could change and dates could move, and that April and May are still months away. But for now, let’s be positive. The days are getting longer and the vaccines are working well. The end of all this is in sight. 

We’re allowing ourselves to feel a little bit lighter and a lot more excited today 🙂

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Vault City x Corto Virtual Tap Takeover

On Friday 19th February 2021 (aka. next week) we’re having our very first virtual event!

Andy Gibson from Vault City will be hosting a virtual tap takeover and tasting sesh with us, and he’s told us he’ll be happy to answer any and all questions about the brewery, the beer and how they brew it!

We’ve put together a tasting selection of four ace Vault City sour beers to drink-along on the night, some of which haven’t even been launched yet.

For £27.50 you get:

  • 1x Raspberry & Violet 7.1%
  • 1x Strawberry, Peach & Custard 10.4%
  • 1x Plum Bakewell 7%
  • 1x OJ IPA 7.2%
  • A pass to the Zoom event
The Corto and Vault City virtual tap takeover bag contains: strawberry peach custard, raspberry violet, plum bakewell and OJ IPA

We can’t wait – in fact we’re super excited about this. The fact that we’re hosting such a nerdy beer event locally seems really, really cool to us.

We thought we’d start off our first tasting session with a bang. It had to be sour beer, and we’ve loved trying all of Vault City’s beers from right at the beginning when they were brewing out of a kitchen! Now they’ve got a shiny new brewery we’ve been super jazzed to see what they come up with next.

Anyway. Join us! We can’t wait!

UNFORTUNATELY WE CANNOT SHIP OUR BOOZE NATIONALLY. Our Vault City virtual tap takeover bag will only be available via our normal local delivery routes.

If you live a little outside of our “6 miles of Clitheroe” delivery radius, get in touch. We’ll do what we can to reach you.

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The Corto Home Delivery Service

We know that quite a lot of you would like to click + collect,  but unfortunately we’re classed as a “hospitality venue” and after a few conversations with various people in the know, we’ve closed the shop to customers. (Here’s some more info on that, if you’re interested.)

However, we’re still open behind the scenes! We’re getting delicious new stock in all the time, and you can get your hands on it in a number of different ways. 

Check out our new webshop for our full availability.

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Cosy Boxes! Take Corto Home and have a Cosy Night In

Like every hospitality business in the country, we’ve been pulling the most interesting faces trying to figure out how best to get our delicious drinks to you this week.

We’ve made a few changes to how the shop looks, and we’ve also made a few additional changes to make it a bit easier for you to pick some ideal things to drink for your Big Cosy Weekends In.

We might be back in lockdown, but we can’t let that beat us. We’ve had a bit of a yell and a bit of a strop, and now we’re ready to get back to spreading positivity. LET’S DO THIS!

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Corto (the shop)’s New Year Opening Times

We thought it was about time, since we’ve been open for a week or so now, to let you know when we’ll be open over the next few weeks.

It’s still a festive time, after all, and we know you need to re-stock those fridges with beer, cider and bubbly. (We’ve got some ace natural fizz in by the way…)

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Woohoo! The Corto Shop is Opening on Saturday 19th December 2020

We’re OVERJOYED and OVEREXCITED to tell you that we’re opening Corto as a shop on Saturday 19th December from 11am – 6pm.

Has anything good happened in 2020? Well, lots of great beer, wine and cider was made. So we want to share it with you.

We’re getting a temporary wall in place so you don’t get covered in building dust or fall down any holes, and the front of the bar is being turned entirely into a shop, selling natural wine, natural cider and perry, and a whole massive selection of brilliant beers.

We’ll also be serving hot and cosy mulled cider, made by us with cider from Udders Cider in Huddersfield.

Come in, say hello, don’t be shy. Have a little nosey. Ask a bunch of questions. We’re here for you!

Whatever you like, we’ll find you something you’ll love!

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Listen to Corto on BBC Radio 6 Music – The Open Arms with Shaun Keaveny

On Friday 11th December we were ripping up the floorboards in the back of the bar and listening to the radio. We always have the radio on. Radio 6, of course.Katie got a bit bored and texted in to try and get a shoutout. She does that a lot. It’s quite sad really.

Anyway, a text turned into a phonecall, and she ended up on Shaun Keaveny’s programme choosing a drink and a tune for the jukebox at his fictional Friday afternoon pub The Open Arms!

They chatted about missing the pubs during lockdown, Corto, and a few other things too. Have a listen.

Thank you to Joel for ripping this from the BBC Sounds app so we can keep this very weird moment for posterity.

What we loved most was having so many people message us to ask “WAS THAT YOU ON THE RADIO??” Yes! It was! It made our day to know not only that our future customers are 6 music listeners (aka. Very cool)  but that they recognised that it was us being chatted about on live radio. Ha! Brilliant.

And if you don’t want to listen but you’re curious to know what Katie chose to drink and to listen to: a pint of sparkled bitter each for her and Tom, and Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin.

The ultimate Friday tune.

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Exciting News! We’ve Got The Keys and We’re In

This week has been one of our most exciting yet. We got the keys to 36 King Street, Clitheroe. We’re in!

We’ve spent the past few days taking more measurements and figuring stuff out, but we’re here. Let’s hope we can get the work done quickly and get open soon!

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A First Look At Our Special Artwork by Artist Carmela Caldart

A few months ago, some artwork that accompanied a series of great features in Punch magazine about natural wine and changing attitudes towards certain types of wine in the US caught Katie’s eye. They were bright and full of life, colourful, engaging and had women at the front and centre. Women eating tapas. Women pouring bottles. Women drinking wine without a forced grin or a knowing smirk: women comfortably enjoying the things they loved.

And then there were the bottles and snacks themselves. Vaguely cartoonish in their deliciousness, they begged to be tasted. They showed the excitement and joy of food and drink, of eating and drinking. Underneath the leading image, these digital paintings were created by Barcelona-based artist Carmela Caldart.

We contacted Carmela to ask, first of all, if she was selling prints of the Punch paintings, so we could frame them and hang them in Corto. Of course, these were commissioned by the magazine, and so couldn’t be reproduced for anyone without the magazine’s permission — which we saw as being a long and ultimately costly and probably unsuccessful venture.

“I could paint something for you instead though?” she offered. “Why don’t you commission something of your own?”

Putting grandiose ideas of Napoleon-esque portraits aside, this was an offer too tempting to refuse. But being in the early stages of opening a bar during a pandemic, we didn’t have the readies to pay Carmela what she deserved for the commission.

This is when something amazing happened. On the back of what Katie felt was an extremely cheeky request for donations towards the artwork, it turned out that Corto has some very cool supporters who stepped up and chipped in and made it happen. We were chuffed to bits that within a couple of weeks we could go back to Carmela and say, yes! Do it! Please paint us a beautiful picture!

And she did. And here it is. (Please forgive the watermark which we’re using for now until the big version is printed, framed and hung.)

The Contributors

Here is where we say a huge and heartfelt thanks to the people who donated their hard-earned cash to help us pay for a piece of art that we think helps represent what Corto is and will be — a place very rooted in our hometown of Clitheroe, where everyone can gather and enjoy delicious drinks. So thank you, thank you, thank you to:

Joel Crookes

Cath Potter

Dick Withecombe

Maryanne O’Connor

Chris Norman

Emily Oram

Michael Yates

The Big Unveiling

We’re going to be printing and framing Carmela’s digital painting “Corto” and will hang it with pride on the best wall in Corto (whichever one that ends up being). We’ll have an unveiling, hopefully, on our opening day. More details to follow when we figure out when that will be!!