Distillers Blog
Monkey Business | 09 Feb. 2016

The Urzels of Sachsenheim

The whip and the Urzels!

The Urzels of Sachsenheim

Since 1965, the Sachsenheim guild of Urzels has been responsible for preserving and promoting the fools’ custom known as the Running of the Urzels. The main figures in this practice originating from the Transylvanian city of Agnita are the Urzels, fantastical carnival creatures in painted, wire mesh masks. They are often joined in the traditional parade by figures such as bears and the Mummerl, a tall, masked entity in a white gown. In Agnita, located in the Sibiu district of Romania, this custom served to protect the guild chest as it passed from the old guild master to the new. While the parade originally took place three weeks after Three Kings’ Day, it now continues in Sachsenheim on Carnival Saturday. A small group of whip crackers known as Pletschers announce the start of the parade. They are followed by a group of Urzels who walk along the edges of the street, each one holding the whip of the Urzel in front of him to form a chain around the parade’s traditional figures. Inside this chain, the captain and his escort, a cherub, lead the procession. Then comes the guild chest, carried by men wearing the traditional burghers’ costume of Agnita – a dolman with a red sash and an ermine hat or a wide-brim felt hat. After the parade, the Urzels ask bystanders to dance, or they visit nearby homes to offer their traditional greeting, “May luck visit this house. May our whips and bells drive worries out. Our jokes and songs are meant for all to hear. If we visit you, you know we hold you dear.” At 5 pm the foolish antics come to an end, and the Urzels prepare for their evening ball.

Monkey Business Einspaltig | 26 Aug. 2016

The Monkey and His Simian Sidekicks

King Louie, Cheetah, Miss Baker, and Herr Nilsson

Upon making his move to the Black Forest – to the Schaberhof and the Wild Monkey distillery, to be precise – the Monkey began turning his surroundings into a picturesque new home. Primates are not all that different from people, after all, and relocating typically offers the opportunity to...

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Monkey Business | 18 Jul. 2016

Philipp Mainzer – The Architect and His Monkey

Architecture & Design: The Distillery “The Wild Monkey”

Philipp Mainzer – The Architect and His Monkey
© Ingmar Kurth

For some time now, Monkey 47 has been produced in the Black Forest at a distillery dubbed “The Wild Monkey”, which is located at the Schaberhof. An idyllic location that, until its purchase by Black Forest Distillers in 2013, was the site of traditional agriculture and cattle husbandry for five...

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Monkey Business | 10 Feb. 2016

The Carnival Steed of Constance

The Polizeiblaetzle and his steed!

The Carnival Steed of Constance
© Axel Hoedt

Led by the Polizeiblaetzle on horseback – Blaetzle refers to the felt scales that adorn the policeman’s garment – the Blaetzle boys of Constance’s fools’ guild roam the city’s alleyways on Holy Thursday in keeping with a long-held Alemannic Carnival custom. Their traditional costume, or Haes, is...

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Monkey Business | 08 Feb. 2016

The Butzenzuttel of Hirrlingen

Butz, Butz Dollia, hot an alta Doffel an!

The Butzenzuttel of Hirrlingen
© Axel Hoedt

According to early records, Carnival in Hirrlingen (a community in the Tübingen district of Baden-Württemberg) begins on Candlemas. This holiday, which falls 40 days after Christmas, on February 2, is considered auspicious for cleaning and is therefore the day when Christmas trees are...

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Monkey Business | 04 Feb. 2016

The Rußhexe of Empfingen

Schmotziger Dunschtig and its witch!

The Rußhexe of Empfingen
© Axel Hoedt

On Rußigen or the day of soot, which falls on Holy Thursday (Schmotziger Dunschtig or “dirty” Thursday in the Alemannic dialect), all is quiet on the streets of Empfingen. The residents cower in their homes, only rarely peeking through the curtains to see if the soot witch, known as the Rußhexe,...

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Monkey Business | 11 Jan. 2016

Stuttgart Market Hall: Merz & Benzing

A Monkey Among Beautiful Accessories

Stuttgart Market Hall: Merz & Benzing
© Merz & Benzing

If you had to guess our state capital based on its characteristic features, renowned motor car brands, a football team that could do with some support again this season, the home of countless tinkerers and thinkers, and lentils with spätzle noodles would all be high on the list. And among those...

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Monkey Business | 11 Nov. 2015

Axel Hoedt

Narri Narro to a Black Forest artist!

Axel Hoedt
© Axel Hoedt

Born in Staufen, Axel Hoedt is a true Black Forest original. After studying photographic design in Bielefeld, he has been living and working in London since 1999. The forty-eight-year-old artist has always been interested in Black Forest carnival customs, and his series of portraits, collected...

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Monkey Business | 28 Sep. 2015

Nemestrina

A monkey with a pigtail

Nemestrina

Descending from a genus of macaque, a primate type from the family of Old World monkeys, the nemestrina is a kind of southern pig-tailed macaque. These furry little creatures owe their name not least to their tail, which closely resembles that of a pig. While their back is coloured olive-brown...

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Monkey Business | 23 Sep. 2015

Welcome to "Wunderbar Adventures Of Sophistication!"

Episode 2: Raiders of the lost Bark - PORTUGAL

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Monkey Business | 24 Aug. 2015

47 – Fortyseven

47 hand-picked ingredients – 47% by volume – and Monkey 47

47 – Fortyseven

The number 47 is shrouded in numerous myths and tales that not only pose conundrums but sometimes also lead us off into quite mysterious worlds. Legend has it that the number 47 came to the forefather of Monkey 47, Montgomery Collins, in a dream one night, whereupon he developed his famous...

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