Bavarian brewery runs dry after storks build nest in chimney

A brewery in the German state of Bavaria has been forced to suspend beer production after a family of storks made themselves at home in one of its chimneys.

Bavarian brewery runs dry after storks build nest in chimney
Christian Zwanzger, brewery and innkeeper, points to a stork's nest on the chimney of the brewery of the Zwanzger inn. Photo: DPA

The plucky birds – a protected species in Germany – built a nest in the Zwanzger brewery in the village of Uehlfeld in early spring, bringing production to a grinding halt, brewer Christian Zwanzger told AFP.

Uehlfeld, north of Nuremberg, has long been a favourite haunt for the storks, which often return to the same spots every year to build their nests.

“We already had one last year (on the roof) and the young storks, when they come back, often come to the same place. So they looked for a place to build their nest and they did it on the chimney of the brewery,” Zwanzger said.

He and his team had planned to wait until the nest was completed and then raise it out of the chimney – but then Germany went into lockdown due to the coronavirus, which forced the closure of bars, restaurants and clubs across the country.

READ ALSO: How Berlin bars are surviving the coronavirus crisis

It meant the Zwanzger brewery had to wait until now to get the specialist help needed to deal with the nest, as baby storks have since hatched. The brewery is now hoping to move the nest next week.

In the meantime, stocks of beer are running low — and even if brewing resumes next week, the beer will not be ready until mid-September.

But Zwanzger is not bitter. “Storks love to come to us. Here in Uehlfeld we have about 35 nests,” he said.

Indeed, the storks appeared to be having their time of their lives on the roof of the brewery, merrily clucking and guarding their nest with no regard for the trouble they have caused.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Fluffy nuisance: Outcry as Paris sends Invalides rabbits into exile

Efforts to relocate wild rabbits that are a common sight on the lawns of the historic Invalides memorial complex have provoked criticism from animal rights groups.

Fluffy nuisance: Outcry as Paris sends Invalides rabbits into exile

Tourists and Parisians have long been accustomed to the sight of wild rabbits frolicking around the lawns of Les Invalides, one of the French capital’s great landmarks.

But efforts are underway to relocate the fluffy animals, accused of damaging the gardens and drains around the giant edifice that houses Napoleon’s tomb, authorities said.

Police said that several dozen bunnies had been captured since late January and relocated to the private estate of Breau in the Seine-et-Marne region outside Paris, a move that has prompted an outcry from animal rights activists.

“Two operations have taken place since 25 January,” the police prefecture told AFP.

“Twenty-four healthy rabbits were captured on each occasion and released after vaccination” in Seine-et-Marne, the prefecture said.

Six more operations are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.

Around 300 wild rabbits live around Les Invalides, according to estimates.

“The overpopulation on the site is leading to deteriorating living conditions and health risks,” the prefecture said.

Authorities estimate the cost of restoring the site, which has been damaged by the proliferation of underground galleries and the deterioration of gardens, pipes and flora, at €366,000.

Animal rights groups denounced the operation.

The Paris Animaux Zoopolis group said the rabbits were being subjected to “intense stress” or could be killed “under the guise of relocation”.

“A number of rabbits will die during capture and potentially during transport,” said the group, accusing authorities of being “opaque” about their methods.

The animal rights group also noted that Breau was home to the headquarters of the Seine-et-Marne hunting federation.

The police prefecture insisted that the animals would not be hunted.

In 2021, authorities classified the rabbits living in Paris as a nuisance but the order was reversed following an outcry from animal groups who have been pushing for a peaceful cohabitation with the animals.