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Clitheroe Beer Festival – This Weekend!

On Friday 13 May we’ll be kicking off our Clitheroe Beer Festival fringe events with a tasting session all-dayer by Crossover Blendery.

George from Crossover Blendery will be pouring Pay As You Go tasters of Barbarian Lands, little moor and Walled Gardens. It’s going to be a really special afternoon, and if you’re a big fan of spontaneously fermented and sour beers, you’re in for a real treat. Do not miss this.

Then, on Saturday 14th May, Dick and Cath, the forces of cider activism behind many of the UK’s new natural cider movements, will be joining the Corto crew for a mini cider festival. Pay As You Go tastings will be available from a range of ciders by some of the country’s best cidermakers, including Little Pomona, Oliver’s Cider, Ross On Wye, Brutes and Eve’s Cidery.

IPA Tap Takeover at Corto

Throughout the weekend, we’re hosting a tap takeover with a difference—every tap will be pouring a different version of IPA, a total exploration of IPAs, if you will. The full lineup is:

  1. Pomona Island’s IBUKI VII Sorachi Ace and Yuzu IPA, brewed with Kveik for a soft and fruity flava.
  2. Cloudwater’s Acknowledge This, We Deserve Better WEST COAST IPA. A piney, bitter and zesty banger brewed in support of @endometriosis.uk on International Women’s Day.
  3. Cloudwater’s Hybrid FARMHOUSE IPA, brewed with @stigbergetsbryggeri using a farmhouse yeast for a saison session feel.
  4. Rivington’s Never Known Fog Like It NEW ENGLAND PALE. The OG. Our house beer. Not an IPA but…what is an IPA in 2022? Discuss.
  5. Rivington’s Double Fog DIPA. A big badboy version of Never Known Fog Like It. 8% and feeling fine. Juicy and a little bit dangerous. TRY THEM BOTH SIDE BY SIDE!!
  6. Buxton’s Black Axe BLACK IPA. Totally tropical, black as your heart. Cult classic, perhaps also bestseller.

CASK: Red Willow’s Weightless SESSION IPA. A fave around here. Lush citrus and satisfying bitterness. Yummo.

Taste Never Known Fog Like it side-by-side with Double Fog! Drink an amazing example of a Black IPA!

Keep checking our socials for more info.

WE ARE EXCITED. LET’S DO THIS.

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Katla Wines – Tasting Event

Bringing Mosel and Rheinhessen to Clitheroe, we’re hosting a Katla wine tasting at Corto on Thursday 26th May, from 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

Katla is a winery unlike any you’ve ever come across. The baby and creation of Jas Swan, a 28 year old winemaker from Germany, each wine is an expression of creativity, purpose and energy — rather than simply the land from which it came.

Get your tickets!

Jas’ wines can be frivolously fun or seriously contemplative, depending on her mood and the direction her grapes tell her to move in. Previously based at the legendary Staffelter Hof winery in Mosel, she has recently relocated to Rheinhessen where her forthcoming vintages will all be made.

Each Katla wine is natural and unfined, unfiltered and with very little (if no) sulphur added. The result is bright, surprising wines with freshness, balanced acidity and impressive clarity and poise. 

Jas is extremely passionate about the environment, and as well as foraging in her local region for additional ingredients for meals (and occasionally for ciders and other drinks she makes on the side for fun) she advocates for better practices within the wine industry as a whole. This advocacy is intersectional — for Katla wines, there can be no ecologically responsible wine without also producing that same wine ethically from vineyard to glass, industry to drinker. This includes promoting a wine world that’s free of prejudice and welcoming to all.

The Wines

At this tasting, you will taste:

  • Katla — Kiki
  • Katla — Queendom
  • Katla — Cucu
  • Katla — Sóley
  • Katla — Helja

As well as tasting these wines, we’ll have notes from Jas and you’ll be able to buy bottles at a special take-out price.

Bring an open mind and prepare to fall in love with German wine that’s got its sights firmly set on a more inclusive future! Don’t miss out, get your tickets now.

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Corto’s Clitheroe Beer Festival Fringe Events – Crossover Blendery and a Cider Fest!

Clitheroe Beer Festival is back for 2022, and Corto is getting well involved!

On Thursday 12th May, Clitheroe Beer Festival opens for trade, but it’s on Friday 13th — lucky for us beer festival-goers — the event opens up to all, and we couldn’t be more jazzed about it.

This year, Corto has picked the beers for the Ale House-sponsored Keykeg bar, and we’ve got some really special beers on there to tempt you to the dark side. Yes, it’s Keykeg, but can you really pass up on trying some of the UK’s best beers being brewed right now? Come on. Live a little.

Katie will also be hosting some tasting events at Clitheroe Beer Festival throughout the weekend. These tasting sessions will be hour-long breakouts where five beers, chosen by Katie from the festival line-up, will be tasted and compared. Let’s get geeky!

Look out for her tasting sessions advertised in the official Clitheroe Beer Festival event guide; they’ll be priced at a few token’s-worth, so basically, a bargain.

Corto Official Clitheroe Beer Festival Events

Throughout the Clitheroe Beer Festival weekend, bars all over town will be hosting special fringe events to bring the festival vibes out into the wider town. 

It’ll be well worth getting out of the beer festival hall for an hour or two and stretching your legs to see what else is on offer around Clitheroe. There are going to be tap takeovers aplenty!

Crossover Blendery Tasting — Friday 13th May

On Friday 13th May, Corto will be hosting Crossover Blendery for informal tasting sessions and blending talks as part of the Clitheroe Beer Festival fringe events.

Crossover Blendery are an 100% spontaneous fermentation brewery and blendery based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. They are visiting Corto especially for the beer festival weekend to show their beers and chat about the fascinating ways they are made.

Their beers are totally seasonal, and reference locality and terroir in their ingredients and blends. It’s very exciting to be welcoming them to Clitheroe — we can’t wait to taste their beers with them.

Sessions with Crossover Blendery will take place from 12pm — 6pm on Friday 13th May. It’s a drop-in, casual affair, but if you have a specific desire to make sure you can see them, please give us an email and we’ll try to reserve you a table: hello@cortobar.co.uk

Dick & Cath’s Corto Cider Festival – Saturday 14th May

Join two of Manchester’s most famous cider activists for a day of natural cider and perry tasting, exploration and adventure.

Learn all about the apples and pears that make up our favourite ciders, and the importance their trees and orchards have on our biodiversity and environment.

Taste delicious ciders and see or yourself that there’s much more to cider and perry than Strongbow and Babycham! (No shade intended.)

Natural cider is really important to us at Corto — it’s something we love and we hope we can share that love with you all.

Informal sessions will take place all day from 1pm, drop-in whenever you can and have a taste and a chat.

It’s going to be an amazing weekend. We’ll see you there!

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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.

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Paddy Raidy x Corto “Taste Of France” Supper Club

On Thursday 17th February 2022 from 6pm — 9.30pm, Corto is hosting a very special rustic French dining pop-up supper club.

Paddy Raidy has cheffed at The Freemasons and The White Swan at Fence. He’ll be serving a five-course menu of French classics, in his own unique style, and we’ll be providing the drinks.

Tickets are £55 — this includes your five course dinner and a bottle of wine (or two beers from the draught menu if you’re not a winer).

We only have 18 seats for this one, and spaces are limited. Please be aware that we can only seat three tables of two and three tables of four. No large group bookings.

Email hello@cortobar.co.uk to make your reservation.

Due to space constraints, the menu is locked in and substitutions cannot be made. Please stay tuned for more veggie and vegan pop-up options coming soon!

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A chat with Jonny Lindsey – the local artist behind our upcoming Bog Gallery exhibit

On Sunday 30th January, we’ll be donning berets and dusting off our weariest withering looks for our Bog Gallery opening party at Corto — the launch of Jonny Lindsey’s first ever gallery exhibit.

Jonny has been making art in East Lancashire since 2020 under the name @paint_yer_brain, and every piece displayed in the Bog Gallery is brand spanking new, created between Christmas 2021 and the days leading up to the month-long exhibition in Corto.

You might have seen some of Jonny’s work already — he’s designed cans and pump clips for local breweries and pubs and he’s even painted something for us before, the brilliant portrait of Anthony Bourdain that’s hung in the alcove by the window. We love it!

We asked Jonny to tell us a bit more about himself and his art ahead of his opening party.

How would you describe your art?

I’d like to think it is as chaotic as a pigeon trapped inside a Greggs.

I’m a big believer in doing things a bit outside of the box, the more eye catching and strange – the better! Bright colours that pop into your eyesight and make you wonder what the hell you’re looking at. I don’t have any formal art training as I just started it out of boredom in (way back when) the first lockdown about March, 2020. It has largely and always will be trial and error (emphasis on error..!)

Who are your main artist inspirations or heroes?

This is one of those questions where I will immediately regret not mentioning about 10 other artists BUT here goes: David Shrigley is a big influence, I love his simplistic style be it his illustration or paintings, I think if I could be assed I’d stalk him. 

Picasso’s line work fascinates me. Francis Bacon had some mental paintings which look like nightmares which I can relate to, being from Accrington. I love the chaos of Noel Fielding’s work and how abstract and simple it is. Celeste Mountjoy is incredible, I love her line drawing! Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) bird paintings have me in stitches and awe in equal measure. More recently the writing of Babek Ganjei is hilarious, his writing style is so unique. also Albert Willem, Ruth Mora, Isabella Cotier… So many more!

What makes East Lancashire a unique place to draw inspiration from?

I think it’s the lack of seeing our accent written down the way we say it. I love local dialect, I use it in my poetry also. I think the scenery in a lot of England is so drab and grey, carbon copy towns with the same supermarkets. The thing that can set them apart are the independent bars, pubs, restaurants and breweries. There’s so much history in Lancashire’s pubs. 

I take a lot of inspiration from just listening to how people speak and the stereotypes some people play up to. I hope my paintings can brighten up a few of those places too. Also, “Oreet” is great to write with a Posca pen.

Where is your studio?

I was getting pretty sick of painting in my bedroom. I live in a house share with a mate, renting. Have you ever tried getting paint out of carpet? I wouldn’t recommend it personally. Especially if you’d been drinking out of boredom in lockdown. Anyway, my friend Becky Livsey mentioned she had a space in Accrington at Haworth Art Gallery Stable Studios so I took a trip down! There was one space available in the converted old barn up in the attic. It’s a magnificent building and I feel like an Earl when I’m there, it’s got a Facebook page too if you want a gander at it. I’ve got some videos of it on my instagram also! 

I paint every week, I think there is always room for improvement and practice makes perfect, I have quite a lot of paintings displayed there at my work bench, with some being displayed at Corto also!

What are your themes for the Bog Gallery exhibit?

It will look like someone has thrown a paint pot at the Sun filled with every colour in the rainbow, as God sprinkles you with natural wine and IPA beer. The theme is fun, enjoyment and celebrating how stupid and funny a night out can be and the wild things you’ll hear.

Why are you working with Corto?

It’s the most relaxed space to have some beautiful beverages in. It’s the perfect sized building to avoid the chaos of the outside world and drink some extremely potent IPA beer, some tasty natural wine or cider. I always feel so welcome there and to be honest, if I did it in Accy Wetherspoons all my paintings would be nicked within an hour.

Local artist recommendation?

This is where I start getting uninvited on nights out if I miss someone out…so here goes:

Becky Livesy & Steve Crowther plus all the other resident artists at Haworth Art Gallery Stable Studios! @Treeanon.Paints Sometimes does some amazing neon mountains! @CatFunted also creates some hilarious illustrations about a very annoyed cat. @ProperRude creates some distressingly offensive bathroom and kitchen utensils. @SadGurl_Art makes some great Simpsons inspired portraits! My mates at True Til Death Tattoo Studio in Accrington (special mention to Christopher Kenyon who has tattooed me for over a decade now, proper ink wizard I tell thee!) There are so many… @BronxCharlieArt is my mate Lee who creates some stunning realism, he’s got one of Jimi Hendrix on his instagram that blows my mind. I will await the beatings for forgetting probably loads of people..

Would I be able to buy your artwork at the Bog Gallery? 

I will have some prints available and may put price tags on selected paintings towards the end of February but I want them to be displayed as long as possible till the exhibits closing date! There will also be a donations box if you happen to want to help me buy more paint. Cheers!

Check out Jonny’s art from January 30th until February 27th at Corto in the Bog Gallery!

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POURING AT CORTO ALL HALLOWEEN WEEKEND: Rivington x Chainhouse Evil Dead Trilogy Tap Takeover

This weekend, we’ll be pouring Rivington and Chainhouse’s collab Evil Dead Trilogy beers as part of their national tap takeover. And we can’t wait!

From 4pm on Friday 29th October 2021, Rivington Brew Co. and Chainhouse Brew Co. will be well and truly taking over our taps with their full Evil Dead Trilogy range. The Evil Dead Trilogy beers are:

THE EVIL DEAD: Mango, Raspberry and Vanilla Sour – 5%

EVIL DEAD II: DIPA – 10%

ARMY OF DARKNESS: Imperial Stout – 10%

Each beer will be available all weekend, INCLUDING at our Halloween Pizza Party with Marley’s authentic Neapolitan pizza. Oh yes. Wood fired pizza and brand new beers. You can’t get better than that.

Corto x Marley’s Halloween Pizza Party

That’s right – we’re having a pizza party and you’re invited.

Just what is it about pizza that makes us feel all halloweeny? Maybe its all the fresh slices oozing mozzarella on our screens during the teen horror movies of the 90s we grew up with. Maybe we just love an excuse to throw a rager with an old-school house party vibe. Whatever it is, we can’t wait.

Rock up on Saturday 30th October 2021 from 3pm for a pizza the action!

Rivington Evil Dead Trilogy Take-Out Cans

Over the weekend you will also be able to take home your own cans of The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness in a special edition pack complete with its own limited ed. glass.

Glassware! You know you want it.

Grab all three beers and the glass for £20. What an absolute bargain.